Natural Habitat Adventures

Among the Great Whales

Meet Gentle Gray Whales Up Close & Explore the Seas & Desert of Baja California
8 Days
From $6590

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Each winter, gray whales migrate from their Arctic feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to breed and birth their young in the sheltered lagoons of Mexico's Baja Peninsula. The annual journey is the longest mammal migration on Earth, covering more than 10,000 miles roundtrip. In the protected waters of Magdalena Bay on Baja's Pacific coast, cruise among the whales in expedition rafts, offering the rare privilege of a close-up, water-level perspective—these friendly mammals sometimes approach our boats directly! We also enjoy naturalist-guided walks on uninhabited islands, plus swimming, snorkeling and kayaking in the Sea of Cortez. Based aboard our expedition ship, discover all the natural treasures Baja California is famous for, including whales, dolphins, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds, huge cardon cacti, mangroves and sand dunes.
    Sunrise landing from the National Geographic Venture, Magdalena Bay, MexicoCacti in the bay in front of the National Geographic Sea Bird anchored offshore, Elephant Rock Bay, MexicoCalifornia gray whale sprays as it surfaces near zodiacs, Magdalena Bay, MexicoA California sea lion swims underwater, Los Islote, MexicoA traveler kayaks near Isla San Marcos, MexicoWhale tail, Baja, MexicoBrown pelicans, Sea of Cortez, MexicoA dolphin jumps out of the water next to a zodiac, Baja California, MexicoSilhouette of a birds perched on the top of cacti with the National Geographic Venture anchored offshore, Sea of Cortez, Mexico

Trip Highlights

  • Intimate Whale EncountersExperience magical moments with gray whales—one of the world's largest mammals—and witness the start of the whale calves' life journey 
  • An Immersion in Baja WildlifeSwim, snorkel and hike among the Sea of Cortez islands as we look for blue whales, bottlenose dolphins and endemic black jackrabbits
  • Explore Diverse HabitatsDiscover the varied ecosystems of Baja—desert, dunes and mangroves home to frigatebirds, pelicans, cormorants and great blue herons

Sail with the World Leader in Conservation-Focused Small Ship Cruising

We’re proud to offer a worldwide slate of Adventure Cruises through our partner, Lindblad Expeditions. Nat Hab joined forces with Lindblad in 2016 to expand our mutual collection of nature adventures. Founded in 1958 by Lars-Eric Lindblad, the company pioneered eco-conscious expeditions for “citizen explorers" and today is the world leader in conservation-focused small-ship cruises. Our Adventure Specialists are intimately familiar with the ships and itineraries and are on call to answer any questions you might have.

  1. Travel with a Top Naturalist Expedition Team
    Gain a deep understanding of the natural history of Baja California as you sail with a veteran expedition team. Each sailing includes an Expedition Leader and a team of naturalists, plus an undersea specialist, a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, and a wellness specialist. Our Baja naturalists represent a diversity of specialties, including marine biology, evolutionary biology, ornithology and more. As you choose your daily activities, flexibility lets you gravitate to the naturalists whose interests mirror your own.
  2. Gain Unmatched Access to Whales
    Enjoy the rare privilege of entering the Pacific gray whale birthing lagoons for close encounters with these gentle giants. Lindblad is the only non-local company allowed to bring its own expedition landing craft into this area of Magdalena Bay. Plus, this is the only itinerary that explores both the lagoons on the Pacific Ocean side plus the Sea of Cortez on the same voyage, offering more chances for whale sightings. While gray whales offer the most consistent interactions, the Sea of Cortez is home to a great variety of whales and dolphins: pods of hundreds of common and bottlenose dolphins; orcas and false killer whales; blue, fin, Bryde's, humpback, pilot and sperm whales; and more. 
  3. Explore in Depth via Excursion Craft & Specialized Equipment 
    The ship’s fleet of tandem and single kayaks facilitates intimate water-level exploration of scenic coastlines with close proximity to nesting birds. Complete snorkel gear, including wetsuits, is at your disposal so you can swim with sea lions and schools of colorful reef fish. If you prefer to stay dry, observe the underwater world of the Sea of Cortez via HD video shot by our undersea specialist who shares footage from each day's dives on the plasma screens in the ship's lounge. Listen to whale communications via hydrophone, and observe the whales underwater in real time via a bow-mounted camera that sends a live feed to the onboard screens. Via expedition landing craft, explore with a naturalist's expert narration, and get great photos from this platform with tips from a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor.
  4. Be a Part of Citizen Science
    Witness research on board our ship that's supported by National Geographic. Watch our crew lower scientific instruments that measure various levels in the Sea of Cortez, with the goal of revealing changes in an ecologically important zone.
  5. Help Support Local Communities
    In 2004, Lindblad founded the Gulf of California Conservation Fund in partnership with the Mexican Nature Conservation Fund to raise funds for conservation projects. Lindblad’s contributions support a range of programs in Baja's local towns, from promoting lower-impact fishing to seabird research, marine conservation, sustainable tourism and social marketing for sustainable seafood.
  6. Flexibility Keeps You Closer to Wildlife
    Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions in Baja California, and our small ship is what makes that possible. Expedition landing craft are dropped to get close to whales, and the captain will change course to keep the ship among a pod of dolphins. Hike through forests of towering cacti or cruise by expedition landing craft along the shore to get close-up photos of plunge-diving pelicans and blue-footed boobies.
  7. We’re Committed to the Planet
    Natural Habitat Adventures is a standard-setter in eco-conscious travel. We have been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007. And we continue to break innovative ground in adopting practices that help to protect our global environment. Because of our concern for the environment, we are pleased to partner with Lindblad Expeditions for our Adventure Cruises, a company that shares our values and commitment to the planet.
  8. Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
    Because of our environmental commitment and the outstanding quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund has chosen Natural Habitat Adventures as its worldwide travel partner, a designation we’re very proud of! When you book your Lindblad Expeditions cruise with us, a portion of your trip fee supports WWF.

Questions?
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Call Our Boulder Office at 800-543-8917 or contact your travel advisor.
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Voted Best Winter Trip: Natural Habitat Adventures' Monarch Butterfly Migration, Mexico
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