In Steinbeck's Wake: An Epic Voyage Through the Sea of Cortez

   

Inspired by John Steinbeck's "Log from the Sea of Cortez," the voyage explores marine life at historic sites such as Punta Marcial, snorkeling near Isla Catalina, and whale watching between Isla Catalina and Santa Rosalia. The itinerary features a variety of activities including kayaking, hiking, and snorkeling at scenic spots like Punta Trinidad, Bahia de los Angeles, and Isla Espiritu Santo. The adventure concludes with a mesmerizing night of star-gazing before returning to La Paz.

   

   

Included Highlights:

  • Marine Life Exploration: Discover diverse marine life at Punta Marcial and Isla Catalina, with activities like snorkeling and critter hunting.
  • Sea-to-Plate and Farm-to-Table Dining: We work with local farmers to provide the best ingredients for the incredible meals you will enjoy onboard. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included.
  • Whale Watching: Search for majestic Blue and Fin whales in the corridor between Isla Catalina and Santa Rosalia.
  • Historic Santa Rosalia: Experience the unique charm of Santa Rosalia with a guided tour, including a visit to Gustave Eiffel’s Church of Santa Barbara and the historic French Bakery.
  • Bahia de los Angeles: Enjoy kayaking, hiking, and possible swims with whale sharks in this "Marine Oasis of Baja California."
  • Puerto Refugio Adventure: Spend a day in the scenic and protected waters of Puerto Refugio, known as a yachter’s paradise.
  • Star-Gazing in Isla San Jose: Conclude your adventure with an unforgettable night of star-gazing in the pristine skies of Isla San Jose.

NAV = Navigator Cabin, TRB = Trailblazer Cabin, PAT = Pathfinder Cabin, ADM = Admiral Cabin, JCO = Junior Commodore Space, COM = Commodore Suite, SGL = Single Cabin




Day-by-Day Details

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Day 1: La Paz Embarkation

Board the Safari Voyager and get moved into your home for the next 11 days. La Paz is known for fantastic sunsets, so plan on being on deck with a glass of champagne as we get underway for the rarely visited islands of the Northern Gulf of California. (D)

Day 2: Punta Marcial & Isla Catalina

Early this morning, we anchor off Punta Marcial. We will have a chance to go ashore and search the intertidal zone for critters of all kinds. This is also your chance to learn safe practices while kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and skiffing. Punta Marcial is a historic Steinbeck site. During lunch we will get underway for the nearby Isla Catalina where we may see the largest Barrel Cactus on the planet, or if we are lucky see the endemic rattle-less Rattle Snake. Maybe you are up for a snorkel at Elephant Rock? As the sunsets we get underway for Santa Rosalia Town. (BLD)

Day 3: Morning Marine Mammal Search & Santa Rosalia Town

This morning will be spent searching for Blue and Fin whales that frequent the navigational corridor between Isla Catalina and Sant Rosalia. This afternoon we visit what was a bustling French mining town from the 1880’s, you will find Santa Rosalia to possess a flavor of that early charm, even today. This town is like no other in all of Mexico…they even have a French bakery. Take the opportunity to view many of the historic structures and take an included walking tour to Gustave Eiffel’s Church of Santa Barbara (Eiffel’s Tower fame), the French Bakery, and the Mining Museum…how about Boleo history? We will be in town until late. Your guides will have these and other activities available throughout the day. (BLD)

Day 4: Punta Trinidad & Bahia San Carlos

This is a very rarely visited area without easy access. Great snorkeling, beach walks and hikes in the interior of the Baja Peninsula are available. Also, to the north is Roca el Rasito which is a great spot for bird life and for experienced snorkelers. Our guides will take you to areas that Steinbeck visited and logged the marine and terrestrial life he found. If conditions allow, you may choose our first longer kayak outing of the cruise. (BLD)

Day 5: Bahia de los Angeles

This bay and the little town are considered the “Marine Oasis of Baja California” due to the abundant aquatic life. This lovely area is also of the finest boating areas in the Baja area. Perfect for kayaking and small boat excursions and ventures ashore such as hikes to Punta Gringa, visits to the nature museum, and even possible swims with whale sharks. This is also a great chance to take guided walks and hikes or be on your own. This area is also known as one of the few places in Baja where the famed, and huge, Leatherback Turtle can be spotted. For those who enjoyed reading the “Log from The Sea of Cortes” we will have the opportunity to visit a nearby Stenbeck site. (BLD)

Day 6: Puerto Refugio, Isla Angel de la Guarda

This is the most northern extent of our journey and a treat our owner, Captain Dan, has relished returning to. This tight and protected area is known to local fishermen and yachties as one of the most protected and scenic areas in the Gulf of California. We will have all day to enjoy this yachter’s paradise. All activities are on for today, and perhaps a chance for a campfire before dinner? (BLD)

Day 7: Isla San Esteban

Field notes from our research trip tell the story best. “We went up the main arroyo that splits the island in half. We found numerous Pinto Chuckwallas, which would slap their tails hard on the ground as the scurred off. The hike was rigorous but enjoyed by all. We found hundreds of sea lions hauled out along the south shore of the island. Pelicans, boobies, terns, cormorants, gulls, and osprey were numerous along this rugged coast. After landing on the gravel bar, bones of several marine mammals could be found.” Early this afternoon we get underway for our first dedicated marine mammal search. Keep an eye out for Blue, Fin, Sperm, Orca and Pilot whales that frequent this area. This area is known as the Canal de Salsipuedes, but due to its extreme depths it is also known to mariners as the Trench. The chart indicates a depth in this area of 4860 feet! It is in this trench that large groups of sperm whales feed on Humboldt squid. We came across several groups of these whales and spent the next several hours viewing the mightiest of the toothed whales. Blows could be seen for miles and a conservative estimate put the number at about eighty animals in an area of about six miles by six miles. A sight I will never forget. Mixed among these leviathans were several small pods of bottle nose dolphins.”(BLD)

 

Day 8: Bahia Concepcion

This morning the Safari Voyager will drop the hook in the waters of Bahia Concepcion, deep in the inlet that opens to the North. We will spend the first half of the day playing in this waterborne desert, soaking up the sun and settling into the vibe. You may choose to stay onboard and enjoy the scenery, go ashore for varying levels of activities, or simply settle in at our beach camp. For those who have interest, join us in exploring one of John Steinbeck’s sites here. Be on the watch for dolphins and turtles that frequent this area. We will pull the anchor after lunch and work our way North in this long inlet before rounding the point and heading south. This is an excellent time to be on deck and watch marine mammals as we turn south for Cayo-Amatortajda, a lagoon on a desert island. (BLD)

Day 9: Isla San Jose and Cayo-Amatortajda

We arrive at this epic location before noon. This area seems like an odd landscape given the nature of this desert sea. Behold this shallow, but large interior lagoon on Isla San Jose. Perfect for bird watching and perhaps a kayak trip. You will likely find this area to be as appealing to you as it was Steinbeck. Outside the lagoon are long beaches, superb for beachcombing or taking it easy. We will be here until late, so come on deck after dinner and star gaze, with no ambient light nearby, it is amazing. (BLD)

Day 10: Isla Espiritu Santo & Punta Lobos or Bonanza Beach

We will spend the entire day at one, or both, of these nearby locations. All activities will be available along with our final Steinbeck site at Punta Lobos. This is an amazing area and part of the Biosphere National Park. Tonight is our official Captains Dinner with a wide selection of images that will be shared with all aboard the Safari Voyager. (BLD)

Day 11: La Paz, BCS

Disembark this morning after breakfast. (B)

Passport required. Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur to maximize your experience.