Colorful coral reef with red, orange & aqua marine features, looking up tp water's surface with a school of fish swimming above.
Looking out to turquoise sea from a rocky shoreline with boulders & a green cactus during the Baja California & Sea of Cortez Odyssey.
A pair of sea lions swim above a silvery school of fish in turquoise green waters during the Baja California & Sea of Cortez Odyssey.
Aerial view of large white basalt rocks rising up out of calm deep blue & turquoise waters on a sunny day in Baja California.
Red sandstone rocks sit jumbled beside calm blue ocean on a sunny day during the Baja California & Sea of Cortez Odyssey cruise.
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North America Baja California Cruise

Baja California & Sea of Cortez Odyssey

Experience the magnificent natural wonders of Mexico’s Baja California Sur on this 9-day small ship cruise. Aboard the purpose-built expedition ship Sylvia Earle, which carries an average of 132 guests, take in the area’s rich marine biodiversity in an active and educational way. Baja California is home to over 900 species of fish, including sharks – 90 of them endemic – and roughly 30 percent of the world’s cetaceans. 

Hike among coastal desert ecosystems with cacti forests and breathtaking bay views. Tick off your list of numerous bird species, including blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, red-billed tropicbirds, Heermann’s gulls and the endemic Xantus’s hummingbird. Snorkel in warm waters filled with vibrant coral reefs and tropical fish, and Zodiac cruise along colorful coastlines in search of wildlife. The possible sight of tens of thousands of mobula rays flying out of the water in the attempt to attract a mate is an experience that will stay with you for years to come.  

Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site from the comfort of the Sylvia Earle expedition ship. This ship offers state-of-the-art design and technology, plus excursion-minded preparation rooms and multiple boarding platforms for efficient embarkation and disembarkation. Enjoy access to an unparalleled capacity and variety of adventure gear, to ensure your Baja California experience is like no other.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Baja cruises and Baja trips.


Baja California & Sea of Cortez Itinerary

The 9-day Baja California & Sea of Cortez cruise operates round-trip from San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, and focuses on the Protected Areas of the Gulf of California.

Route map of 9-day Baja California & Sea of Cortez cruise, operating round-trip from Los Cabos, Mexico, with visits along the inner coastline.
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Day 1
Arrive Los Cabos, Mexico

Arrive in Los Cabos and transfer to the group hotel. Upon check-in, be provided with ship cabin tags to fill out with your name and cabin number. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet fellow expeditioners at the voyage briefing this evening.


JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa (or similar)



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Day 2
San Jose, Transfer to Pichilinque & Embark

Birders can enjoy an early morning visit to the nearby bird sanctuary where several endemic species are seen. Check out and explore the historic quarter of San Jose on a guided tour before transferring to Pichilinque for embarkation. After boarding, there’s time to settle in before learning important safety briefings. This evening, meet the expedition team and crew at the captain’s welcome dinner.


Sylvia Earle


breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 8
Gulf Islands & Protected Areas of the Sea of Cortez

Over the next 6 days, enjoy a flexible itinerary and hope to experience the many spectacular wildlife encounters offered in the Sea of Cortez, including the amazing spectacle of tens of thousands of mobula rays congregating, where they exhibit their unique behavior of literally flying out of the water, allegedly to attract a mate. Plan to explore a few of the 244 islands, islets and colorful coastal sandstone formations that make up the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California. Possible sites may include:

Isla Danzante

This small island near Loreto is surrounded by turquoise waters teeming with marine life, including sea lions, dolphins and an abundant variety of fish. It is also home to a variety of waterfowl, including the famous blue-footed booby. Hikers can explore one of the many short trails that lead to magnificent scenic lookouts.

Isla del Carmen

Privately-owned Isla del Carmen is Loreto National Marine Park’s largest island and features marine fossils, colorful cliffs, bighorn sheep and diverse beaches ranging from smooth cobbles to red pebbles to white sand. The island’s west coast offers kayaking, snorkeling and easy walks along the shoreline. On the remote and wild east coast is Arroyo Blanco, where divers can explore the underwater caves.

Isla Monserrat

In the heart of the marine reserve, Isla Montserrat is the idyllic location for aquatic activities, especially kayaking. An abundance of marine life makes the waters perfect for snorkeling and diving. Blue whales and bottlenose and common dolphins are often found in the waters surrounding Isla Monserrat, Isla Danzante and Isla del Carmen.

Bahia Agua Verde

Bahía Agua Verde offers excellent land-based birdwatching, a unique experience in Baja where most birdwatching takes place at sea. Species that may be spotted include the endemic Costa’s hummingbird, vermilion flycatcher, grey thrasher and northern mockingbird. In Zodiacs, there is a great chance to spot blue-footed boobies, brown boobies and perhaps even osprey.

Puerto Gato

Characterized by its bright-red rocks, Puerto Gato offers great snorkeling and kayaking, plus excellent exploratory hikes with terrific views from the top. After some rain, the arid desert is awash with colorful blooms.

Isla San José

Photograph the ochre cliffs of one of the larger islands in the Sea of Cortez. Hike an enchanting arroyo or gully at Punta Colorada, or snorkel in the clear waters that attract bottlenose dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, mobula rays and pilot whales.

Isla San Francisco

With pink sea cliffs and a stunning crescent-shaped bay, Isla San Francisco is one of the most beautiful islands in the Sea of Cortez. Enjoy a day hiking along the ridge, with sweeping views of the bay below and its possible whales. Also snorkel among colorful marine life and later, enjoy a barbecue under the desert stars.

Isla del Espiritu Santo & Isla Partida

Jointly known as Espiritu Santo, these islands are two of Baja’s gems. Venture into a secluded cove surrounded by fingers of red rock and golden beach. Spend the day exploring the beach on foot, where large numbers of roosterfish are known to appear, or venture farther on a guided hike. The deep bays are ideal for kayaking. Several wrecks, wall dives and vast undersea canyons support a rich ecosystem where whales, sharks and manta rays roam, making the island a must for any diver.


In the quiet seaside town of Loreto, choose one of the following excursions:

Loreto City Walking Tour (2 hours)

From Loreto pier, explore the serene town of Loreto on foot. Loreto was Spain’s first permanent settlement in the Californias and served as California’s capital from 1697 until 1777. From Loreto, Spanish rule slowly expanded south to Cabo San Lucas before spreading north towards San Diego. During the walk, visit the museum and the City Hall.

San Javier Mission Tour (4.5 hours)

From Loreto pier, drive approximately one hour through vibrant desert landscape to San Javier Mission, located roughly 1,375 feet above sea level. Explore the mission, where the church still stands in its original form since it the mission was founded by Jesuits in 1699. Visit the museum and stroll around the charming countryside surrounding the mission.


Sylvia Earle


breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Disembark Pichilinque, Transfer to Los Cabos & Depart

Disembark in Pichilinque, say farewell to the expedition team and crew, and transfer back to San José del Cabo to continue your travels.





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Inclusions, Terms & Notes


Transfer from airport to hotel on Day 1; one night’s hotel accommodation on Day 1, breakfast included (Day 2); sightseeing tour and transfer to the vessel on Day 2; group transfer from ship to airport on Day 9; onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service; all meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage; beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner; all shore excursions; educational lectures and guiding services from the expedition team; complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult); a waterproof dry bag; complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage; comprehensive pre-departure information; port surcharges, permits and landing fees; gratuities for ship crew.


International or domestic flights; transfer not mentioned in the itinerary; airport arrival or departure taxes; passport, visa and vaccination chargers; travel insurance, emergency evacuation charges or insurance of any kind; hotels and meals not included in itinerary; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; optional activity surcharges; all items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, WiFi, email or phone charges.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
91 days or more – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot), including a booster shot for those eligible. There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The 9-day Baja California & Sea of Cortez cruise begins and ends in Los Cabos, Baja, California (SJD). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Los Cabos any time ahead of the 6:00pm pre-voyage briefing. An arrival transfer from the airport to the group hotel is included, regardless of flight arrival time. Plan flights to depart Los Cabos no earlier than 2:00pm on disembarkation day. A direct transfer from the pier to the airport is included following an 8:00am disembarkation. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.


Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, photography, whale watching and wildlife observation. Added-cost activities of sea kayaking ($580 per person in 2022) or scuba diving ($650 per person in 2022) may be available; please contact AdventureSmith for availability and to reserve space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Solo travelers willing to share may be matched with a person of the same gender. If the other cabin berth goes unsold, you will only pay the standard single occupancy rate. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found.

Families & Children

Kids 8 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Children between 8-17 years of age must pay the adult price of the expedition.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers, signed by their doctor, is required for every departure. Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum required coverage of $250,000 USD per person, covering medical, accident and repatriation/emergency evacuation, as well as baggage loss and cancellation or curtailment of holiday. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

May 11 - May 19, 2023
Sylvia Earle • 9 days
From $7695USD
Per Person
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Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Sylvia Earle

Due to sail in November 2022, Sylvia Earle offers a robust menu of adventure activities from kayaking and polar diving to mountaineering and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Cruise responsibly knowing this brand new icebreaker polar expedition ship was built with cutting edge nautical technology including one of the lowest polluting marine engines in the world.

Expert Review

Reviews From Our Experts So You Know What To Expect

Todd Smith • January 19th, 2021
Expert Aboard: Sylvia Earle & Greg Mortimer Ship Review

Read this detailed ship review about the identical polar sister ships and what they offer Antarctica travelers. Our expert has been aboard and writes this from his firsthand experience!

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Baja California & Sea of Cortez Odyssey

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