Woman snorkeling in clear blue waters in Belize directly above a sea turtle in shallow water
Lush, short palm trees sway in the breeze over a white-sand beach in Belize, with a small ship, Zodiac & travelers in the background.
Pristine tide pool with one person swimming near the coral on Half Moon Cay, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize
Underwater show of person Snorkeling behind bright purple coral on Caye, Lighthouse Reef in belize
Male traveler uses a large camera on a tripod in the lush green Belize jungle, during the Wild Belize Escape small ship cruise.
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Central America Belize Cruise

Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & Rivers

Cruise among Belize’s vibrant reefs, explore lush jungles and kayak or stand-up paddleboard the turquoise waters on this 6-day National Geographic Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & River expedition. Board the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Lion to discover the colorful corals and abundant sea life of the Belize Barrier Reef, the largest reef system in the Northern Hemisphere, along Belize’s remote southern coast.

Snorkel at the Mesoamerican Reef, skirt the shores of white-sand islands by kayak and stand-up paddleboard, and swim in turquoise lagoons teeming with marine life. Head inland to explore Belize’s jungles on foot and cruise coastal rivers in Zodiacs, seeking out howler monkeys and toucans in the surrounding rainforest canopy. Discover wild, beautiful places few will ever have the chance to see. Highlights include numerous stops inside Belize Barrier Reef, the Monkey River, a festive drumming performance from the internationally acclaimed Garifuna Collective and a nature hike in Mayflower Bocawina National Park, to learn about the latest research on jaguars.

This unique 6-day voyage to Belize cruise focuses on snorkeling vibrant reefs with National Geographic experts and is truly a trip of a lifetime.

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


Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & Rivers Itinerary

This unique 6-day voyage to Belize cruise operates round-trip via Belize City, exploring points along the Belize Barrier Reef.

Route map of Wild Belize Escape small ship cruise, operating round-trip via Belize City, with visits to Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, Mayflower Bocawina National Park and the Monkey River.
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Day 1
Embark Belize City, Belize

Arrive in Belize City and transfer to the ship. Settle into your cabin as the ship sets sail on the Caribbean Sea.


National Geographic Sea Lion



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Day 2
Belize Barrier Reef

Awaken in the northern cayes of the Mesoamerican Reef, a barrier reef system that stretches more than 600 miles and harbors incredible marine biodiversity. Edged with mangroves and scattered with idyllic tropical isles, these turquoise waters provide much to explore during a full day here. If weather and conditions permit, visit Half-Moon Caye to see its red-footed booby and magnificent frigatebird colony. Later, find a calm spot to paddle a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Or don a mask and fins to snorkel among sea turtles, swirling schools of tropical fish and harmless nurse sharks.


National Geographic Sea Lion


breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Mayflower Bocawina National Park

Spend the morning discovering the lush rainforests and waterfalls of Mayflower Bocawina National Park. On a variety of hikes with naturalists, photograph unusual tropical flowers, watch for colorful bird species, and identify the tracks of tapirs and jungle cats. A series of camera traps are set up throughout the park to capture images of the elusive jaguar, so revered in Maya culture. Meet local scientists and researchers to see some of this footage and learn about ongoing studies of jaguar behavior. Tonight, an internationally acclaimed drumming group, The Garifuna Collective, joins on board to perform their spirited music.


National Geographic Sea Lion


breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Monkey River & Belize Barrier Reef

Rise early to board Zodiacs at the mouth of Monkey River and cruise inland through the Belizean jungle, in search of toucans, green iguanas and myriad bird species. Few experiences rival hearing the first throaty roar of a mantled howler monkey echoing across the canopy. Explore the southern cayes of the Belize Barrier Reef this afternoon, and enjoy more opportunities to kayak and stand-up paddleboard, or go snorkeling amid vibrant corals teeming with tropical fish. For scuba divers, incredible dive opportunities abound (at additional cost).


National Geographic Sea Lion


breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Belize Barrier Reef

This second straight day on the reef explores the central cayes, Here, coral patches dot the shallow coastal lagoon, harboring parrotfish, butterflyfish, octopi and countless other marine species. Drop anchor nearby and spend the full day within the fringing reef, discovering natural wonders both in the water and out.


National Geographic Sea Lion


breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Disembark Belize City, Belize

Return to Belize City overnight and disembark after breakfast to transfer to the international airport for flights home.





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Inclusions, Terms & Notes


All accommodations aboard ship per itinerary; all meals as indicated; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of equipment; expedition fees; all port charges, service taxes and airport transfers to and from ship.


Scuba diving; immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind. Gratuities and alcoholic beverages excluded, except for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

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.

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 Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & Rivers cruise begins and ends in Belize City, Belize (BZE). 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 Belize City about 12:30-1:00pm on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Belize City around 1:00pm on day 6. Group flights between Miami, Florida and Belize City, Belize, may be arranged. 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, biking, snorkeling, scuba diving (added cost), kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, photography 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

Children under the age of 18 at time of travel save $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize 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. 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

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change. Please contact AdventureSmith for the most up-to-date pricing.

2023 departures available in January & February. Contact us for current rates and availability.


Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary 

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Sea Lion

National Geographic Sea Lion is a tried and true educational-based 62-guest expedition ship. Onboard experts from National Geographic make this ship, and its twin the National Geographic Sea Bird, unique.


Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires June 30th, 2022
10% Group Savings On Select 2022 & 2023 National Geographic Wild Expeditions

Save 10% when traveling as a group of 6 or more on select National Geographic expeditions in this special deal.

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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The 8-day Belize Sacred Caves & Coast land-based tour is an inspiring exploration of Belize’s jungles, caves and Caribbean coastline. A luxurious jungle lodge, Maya mountain tour and Placencia beachside cabana ensure the all-encompassing best of Belize.

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Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & Rivers

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