sun sets over the channel islands on wild california escape small ship cruise
aerial of secluded bay with turquoise water and large cliffs in channel islands
man on paddleboard off port bow of wild california escape: channel islands cruise ship
woman doing yoga on beach in channel islands
oceanside canyon seen on wild california escape: channel islands cruise
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North America Baja California Cruise

Wild California Escape: Channel Islands

This 5-day wildness and wellness adventure in the remote and remarkable Channel Islands offers a unique and rejuvenating experience exploring, learning and relaxing throughout this special and close-to-home destination. Board your floating base camp, the 100-guest National Geographic Quest or sister ship 100-guest Venture, in Los Angeles and head to three of the five wildlife-rich islands which make up Channel Islands National Park, as well as Catalina Island. Actively explore unmarred landscapes, revel in pure nature and rejuvenate mind, body and soul with Exhale’s award-winning wellbeing programs.

Almost every national park in the U.S. is easy to get to, but the Channel Islands are separated from the mainland by miles of ocean. What this cruise offers is unique and effortless access to wild beauty and pristine nature for 5 days/4 nights, using a ship as a base camp.

This Channel Islands cruise offers opportunities to exult in the pristine beauty of the islands and roam free in wide-open spaces. Take leisurely trail walks with a naturalist looking out for the astonishing number of endemic flora & fauna of the islands. Explore fascinating sea caves by kayak or paddleboard. Find your center with daily guided Exhale meditation sessions and challenge your body and mind with Exhale fitness classes including Core Fusion Bootcamp, Barre + Cardio and restorative Chill Yoga. Stroll white-sand beaches or spend time exploring bustling tide pools. Take in panoramic views & spectacular landscapes on Exhale mindfulness hikes. At the end of the day, enjoy a sunset cocktail party on deck and welcome the night with stargazing.

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



Itinerary

Wild California Escape: Channel Islands Itinerary

This 5-day Channel Islands cruise begins and ends in Los Angeles, California and spends time exploring the islands of Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and Catalina.

Wild California Escape: Channel Islands
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Day 1
Embark Los Angeles, California

Arrive in Los Angeles and head to the Port of Los Angeles in the afternoon to be welcomed aboard. Familiarize yourself with the ship, stow your stuff and take in the sights on the ship’s deck. Embark in the early evening, meet the team and settle in for the days ahead.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture, National Geographic Quest

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
Anacapa & Santa Cruz Islands, Channel Islands National Park

Wake to the ship at anchor off the rocky outcropping of East Anacapa Island. Join the Exhale instructor on the sundeck for morning yoga, before heeding the call of the breakfast buffet. After breakfast, join naturalists aboard the expedition landing craft to go ashore on East Anacapa. The goal is the Anacapa Lighthouse, built in 1912, the last major light station to be built on the west coast. Soak in the views from Inspiration Point or, for a more relaxing option, explore Arch Rock via Zodiac.

Get ready to geek out on Santa Cruz Island after lunch, with hiking and exploring. At over 96 square miles in size, it’s the largest island in California, with more than 600 plant species and 140 birds, including large colonies of nesting seabirds and 11 land mammal species, such as pinnipeds. Isolation has led to adaptation—there are 60 endemic species found nowhere else in the world. So, test your skills by trying to spot the Santa Cruz Island fox, one of the smallest in the world.

There are many trails covering the eastern end of the island, offering the opportunity for leisurely walking, birding or working with the certified photo instructor to capture the natural beauty. Opt for a strenuous hike or grab a kayak and explore the shoreline. Or take it easy and go beachcombing. Head back to the ship to refresh for cocktail hour and recap, a presentation or two and dinner.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture, National Geographic Quest

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park

Kick start the morning with a stretch class before breakfast. Weather permitting, go kayaking, hike one of the many trails or simply relax ashore. Join the naturalists for a more strenuous hike out to the base of the Torrey Pines, considered one of the world’s rarest pines and one of only two naturally occurring groves in the world. End the day with a sunset cocktail party.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture, National Geographic Quest

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Catalina Island

Spend the day discovering the colorful history and natural wonders of Catalina Island. Once a haunt of smugglers and gold-diggers, the island was transformed into a resort destination by chewing gum tycoon William Wrigley, Jr. in the 1920s. Some 50 years later, William’s heirs, Philip K. Wrigley and Dorothy Wrigley Offield, established the Catalina Island Conservancy, protecting nearly 90 percent of the island. After a morning workout on deck followed by breakfast, enjoy a session with a Conservancy member to learn about their work on the island before heading out on the trail for spectacular views of the coastline and the Catalina backcountry. With luck, catch a glimpse—or a photo—of the elusive fox species endemic to the island. Head for the water to kayak or stand-up paddleboard.

After lunch, the ship arrives in Avalon Harbor for a free-ranging afternoon. Explore downtown Avalon, the island’s only incorporated city, population just under 5,000. Take the 30-minute (mostly uphill) stroll up Avalon Canyon to visit the Wrigley Monument and The Botanic Garden. Or visit an architectural gem: the famous Catalina Casino, built by William Wrigley, Jr. in 1929. Scuba-certified? The ship’s team will arrange diving and gear rental for you with a top local operator. Return to the ship for sunset yoga on deck, a farewell dinner and a last evening at sea, under the stars.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture, National Geographic Quest

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Disembark Los Angeles, California

Awake dockside in the bustling Port of Los Angeles. (Early risers can catch the action in one of the world’s largest ports.) Enjoy a final breakfast on board before disembarking and either transferring to the airport or heading to your car.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; all meals and non-alcoholic beverages aboard ship; meals on land as indicated; shore excursions, sightseeing, entrance fees and special access permits; round-trip transfers for guests using group flights; use of kayaks, bicycles and stand-up paddleboards; services of the ship’s physician; expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; all port charges and service taxes; gratuities to local guides and drivers.

Exclusions

Air transportation; extensions; passport and visa expenses; travel protection plan or insurance of any kind; meals not indicated on itinerary; discretionary gratuities to naturalist staff and crew; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD etc.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $750 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:
120 or more days – $350 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
119 to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 25% of total trip cost
59 to 45 days – 50% of total trip cost
44 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.

Arrival & Departure

The Wild California Escape: Channel Island cruise begins and ends in Los Angeles, California (LAX). 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 Angeles by 2:30pm on day 1 of the itinerary in order to meet at the Port of Los Angeles by 5:30pm. Disembarkation is after breakfast, at 9:00am on day 5 of the outlined itinerary. Plan flights to depart Los Angeles no earlier than 12:00pm.

Activities

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, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, photography, whale watching, yoga, meditation, Exhale’s cardio bootcamp classes, barre and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Kids under the age of 18 at time of travel save $500, at double occupancy. Skilled staff members are trained in organizing activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; 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

See Deals section for details on flexible booking policies.

Nov 10 - Nov 14, 2020
National Geographic Venture • 5 days
From $3100USD
Per Person
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Nov 14 - Nov 18, 2020
National Geographic Venture • 5 days
From $3100USD
Per Person
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Apr 24 - Apr 28, 2021
National Geographic Quest • 5 days
From $3200USD
Per Person
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Apr 28 - May 02, 2021
National Geographic Quest • 5 days
From $3200USD
Per Person
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Oct 29 - Nov 02, 2021
National Geographic Venture • 5 days
From $3200USD
Per Person
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Nov 02 - Nov 06, 2021
National Geographic Venture • 5 days
From $3200USD
Per Person
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Nov 06 - Nov 10, 2021
National Geographic Venture • 5 days
From $3200USD
Per Person
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Accommodations

Learn About The Small Ships On Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Venture

The 100-guest National Geographic Venture is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built expedition vessel made for exploring coastal waters, shallow coves and fast-moving channels while sailing with the luxury of supreme comfort.

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Quest

Purpose built to cruise coastal waters, shallow coves and fast-moving channels, the 100-guest National Geographic Quest is a state-of-the-art, expedition, luxury vessel designed for supreme comfort and enhanced wildlife viewing.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires December 31st, 2020
10% Group Savings On 2020 & 2021 Wild California Escape: Channel Islands Cruises

Book your select Southern California cruise with 6 or more people and save up to 10% in this special group booking deal.

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Flexible Cancellation Available Close To Departure on 2020 & 2021 National Geographic Expeditions

Book or re-book 2020 & 2021 travel aboard the National Geographic fleet of ships with confidence using these risk-free, flexible policy details.

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires November 30th, 2020
No Solo Premium On Select 2021 & 2022 Wild California Escape: Channel Islands Cruises

Book your select Southern California cruise as a solo traveler and don't pay the premium in this special deal.

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires November 30th, 2020
$350 Air Credit On Select April 2021 Wild California Escape: Channel Islands Cruises

Book your select Southern California cruise and receive a $350 air credit in this special deal.

Expert Review

Ship Reviews from our Experts so You Know What to Expect

Arielle Lightcap • August 27th, 2017
Expert Aboard: National Geographic Quest Review

Adventure Specialist Arielle Figueroa was among the first to step aboard the new National Geographic Quest during its first month sailing. Read her review of this stunning small ship.

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.

Extend Your Trip

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Wild California Escape: Channel Islands

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