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6 Lindblad Expeditions Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

Whale Watching!! Cruising through the incredibly beautiful and serene Sea of Cortes and then around Cabo San Lucas to the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula. We were able to see 5 different species of whales (up close and personal, ... Read More
Whale Watching!! Cruising through the incredibly beautiful and serene Sea of Cortes and then around Cabo San Lucas to the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula. We were able to see 5 different species of whales (up close and personal, including petting a momma and baby grey). Porpoises and sea birds galore. The new Venture was magnificent and the crew including the naturalists, expedition leader and photographers were all incredibly accommodating and knowledgeable. We had a cabin with floor to ceiling windows that allowed us to view our surroundings during those few times that we were not in the zodiacs, viewing the wildlife or relaxing on the sundeck. Our shore excursions were well planned, interesting and fun. The shipboard food was plentiful and rated a five star review. This two week plus expedition was absolutely perfect in all ways. We would highly recommend this trip to nature lovers of all types. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this trip because we always wanted to see the Channel Islands as they are a National Park. This cruise was a great way to see several of the islands. ( Just to let you know, you need to add Channel Islands to your list of choices ... Read More
We chose this trip because we always wanted to see the Channel Islands as they are a National Park. This cruise was a great way to see several of the islands. ( Just to let you know, you need to add Channel Islands to your list of choices for where did I go). I like the way they are several choices for your daily excursions, hard, moderate, and easy. I did think the fall was a barren time of year to visit, spring may have more flowers, making the hiking more interesting . Staff was excellent which is why we enjoy traveling with National Geographic! Everyone was very helpful, we made some wonderful friends. The entertainment was informative talks from the staff which we enjoyed. Loved the cocktail parties to relax and chat, and especially to get out of our small, and unfortunately sad room. I would go with National Geographic again, they are a great team! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
As always with National Geographic/Lindblad the naturalists and navigators create an amazing wildlife experience. On this expedition we had extraordinary views of orcas, sealions, dolphins, porpoise, birds, and scenery, as well as lovely ... Read More
As always with National Geographic/Lindblad the naturalists and navigators create an amazing wildlife experience. On this expedition we had extraordinary views of orcas, sealions, dolphins, porpoise, birds, and scenery, as well as lovely nature walks with beautiful views. The lectures onboard were interesting and well-informed. We enjoyed visits to Friday Harbor, Alert Bay, and Victoria. The arranged visit to the First People's Big House in Alert Bay included presentations by several elders of the tribe (the Kwakwaka'wakw) and also dancing and a sample of local salmon and fry bread. A tour of the amazing U'mista Cultural Centre offered the opportunity to see antique artifacts belonging to the tribe, and enhanced our understanding of the history of this area. The food was disappointing -- not as good as we've had on other NG-Lindblad trips. The ship is generally comfortable and clean, though very small. The cabins are extremely small but we knew that when we signed up. Unfortunately the last day included a tour of Vancouver by bus with a TERRIBLE guide, but this was arranged with a different company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My travel is, for the most part, independent so read what I have written here with that in mind. On occasion, I’ve tried a cruise or a guided tour in the hope that traveling with experts would enrich the experience even if it means being ... Read More
My travel is, for the most part, independent so read what I have written here with that in mind. On occasion, I’ve tried a cruise or a guided tour in the hope that traveling with experts would enrich the experience even if it means being tied to a large group of travelers that may not share my interests. When I’ve done this, I’ve kept it short, understanding that if it is good, I can always go on a longer trip with the same company. In early January, my teen son and I traveled with Lindblad’s Base Camp Baja: Espiritu Santo trip. The cruise was a partnership with Exhale, a company focused on wellness via yoga, meditation, and exercise programs. Lindblad pitches their program as an education-driven experience that gives insight into the natural world you are sailing through and the challenges of conservation. National Geographic co-markets the cruises and provides onboard photographers to deepen the experience for the guests through ongoing photography advice. Personally, I was hoping it would be a photography seminar of sorts provided by a professional. Taken together, I couldn’t imagine a better combination of activities. The cruise left La Paz, on the National Geographic Sea Bird, a 62-guest ship with 31 cabins, and circled Espiritu Santo an island wildlife preserve in the Gulf of Mexico. Stops on the trip were made for snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, and paddle boarding as well as on-beach yoga. We learned from the staff that including Exhale in the program did attract a younger demographic to the trip than on their other cruises (which tend to be retirees and their families). The most memorable parts of our trip were: 1) Snorkeling with the sea lion pups. This encounter with the playful and acrobatic pups brought us close up to an iconic part of the ecosystem. The pups would dive, dart, and dodge around the snorkelers while also wrestling with one another and occasionally nibbling on a snorkel fin. Fortunately, there was no reward provide to the sea lions (in food) and our visit was not disrupting their lives except a long snooze that was ongoing during our time there. 2) Seeing the sea glow with bioluminescence as we returned from dinner on the beach. The zodiac pilot stopped, turned out the lights and shared with us what was happening to create the water to sparkle green in the wake of the boat. This was magical. 3) A chance encounter with a small pod of orca whales hunting rays. It was our first time seeing orcas and the boat was abuzz as they corralled the rays together. At one point, they swam alongside the boat and we could clearly see their distinctive white and black patterns. Apparently, this was a rare sighting with few of the staff or crew having seen orcas onboard. 4) Sunrise yoga on the aft deck. The instructor was excellent and the setting simply beautiful. The areas that Lindblad needs to improve: 1) Although the food onboard was good it fell short of expectations. The salads available for lunch and dinner and were excellent. Breakfast was also good. Fish entrees lacked flavor or adequate searing (tuna). The chicken also lacked flavor and was dry. The beef was excellent for one meal and poor the next. Accepting the challenge of cooking for the whole ship in a limited space, I am satisfied with the meals but did expect more. 2) Lindblad did not follow through on their partnership with Exhale and failed to provide the promised programming (as per their marketing materials). During the trip, the single Exhale employee onboard lead sunrise yoga classes (2), paddleboard yoga (2), and evening chill yoga classes (2). There was no Exhale core fusion boot camp, mindfulness hikes, post-hike stretching, or meditation sessions (all promised). In other words, lots of yoga and nothing else. There should have been two people from Exhale onboard and Lindblad should have taken their promises seriously. 3) Hire better photographers and naturalists. The lead photographer onboard was not a professional and had a basic knowledge of photography. Add to that she was not the friedliest person and we quickly learned to steer clear of her while onboard. The naturalist shared little beyond the obvious and the names of islands we didn’t really need to know. Pair that with him being out of shape and our hike became a tedious walk. Near the top, the naturalist told us we wouldn’t be going to the top for fear of disturbing the ecosystem even though a footpath was clearly visible curling up the hillside. If photography and observing the natural world are going to be Lindblad’s trademarks, they need better staff. 4) Staff that talked less about their experience working for Lindblad and more about nature, photography, and wellness. It’s only natural for people to talk about themselves but I lost interest eventually and was left asking why we weren’t talking more about sea life, etc. Training would give the staff the tools to turn the guests’ attention to what is truly meaningful on the trip. Unacceptable parts of the trip: 1) This trip was about nature but Lindblad insisted on having a videographer operating a drone again and again. In case you’ve not been around one, drones will drown out the sound of birds, disturb the wildlife, and make you wonder if there is a very large bee buzzing around your head. Understandably the videographers asked us just to ignore them as they captured footage for their marketing videos. Easier said than done. Lindblad sacrificed the guests’ experience for their own marketing needs and it sucked. 2) The captain set sail on the second morning midway through the sunrise yoga. I had the impression he hadn’t gotten the memo that this was a wellness cruise and that maybe it was best to wait half an hour so the 20 guests on the aft deck didn’t need to worry about toppling over as the ship swayed as it steamed north. As we disembarked the next day, I overheard the captain speaking with a crew member about how terrible “these short trips” were and I realized that he hadn’t given a thought to the yoga taking place. Lindblad needs to take seriously the core principles of their business (not just print them in their marketing materials) and hire staff that is dedicated to it. The trip leader needs to have an itinerary for each trip that actively pursues those principles and, if it is a wellness trip, make sure that is central. The company’s goal is to be the best in class and this will not happen without sustained attention to staffing and how that staff executed onboard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
A lovely casual cruise for active adults. I did see some people who preferred the museums and other less active activities. Food was good but not French cuisine. You could ask for something not on the menu and they did their best to ... Read More
A lovely casual cruise for active adults. I did see some people who preferred the museums and other less active activities. Food was good but not French cuisine. You could ask for something not on the menu and they did their best to fill your request. The activities were plentiful, educational and all included in the price of the expedition. There was different levels of activities offered so one can choose what they wanted to do. We had naturalists,Historians and Natural Geographic photographers on board to-instruct help any of our needs. We traveled through 8 waterway locks as we descended from the high desert areas to the mouth of the Pacific Ocean. The only drawback for those with physical limitations seemed to be the lack of an elevator. The staff was always willing to help. This trip was unique in that it had unlimited wine, beer and even hard liquor with a bartender who knowledgeable of the craft beers and wines of the region. We visited a winery and a a local beer manufacturer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
For many reasons, to explore the landscape of the many islands, to swim and snorkel with the fish, and finally to hike the volcanic rocks. I simply loved the trip. I am an artist and I had the time to watercolor all the new landscapes that ... Read More
For many reasons, to explore the landscape of the many islands, to swim and snorkel with the fish, and finally to hike the volcanic rocks. I simply loved the trip. I am an artist and I had the time to watercolor all the new landscapes that I observed. The unusual rock formations and gorgeous beaches took my breath away. We had the freedom to choose the activities of the day, and I choose to do the hikes, climbing the large volcanic rocks and drawing the landscapes.We saw dolphins on the first day, a variety of whales, and on the final day was entertained by a spectacular show by the humpback whales. We kayaked, snorkeling with sea lions and fish, and had a beautiful sunset barbecue dinner at the beach. Each morning you had the option to do yoga with Michelle, beautiful wake up exercises watching the sun rise from the horizon. All the staff was kind and so knowledgeable, experts in their field. Each night the professional staff gave a brief talk about the animals that we observed that day. The sessions given by the professional photographer, Linda Burbank was invaluable! All the scientists were outstanding, all sharing their wealth of information to us all. The food was outstanding always fresh fruit and vegetables all cooked beautifully, so many healthy selections to choose from. All of our needs were met, and beyond. The ship was spotless, everything was well thought out and ran smoothly. An outstanding trip that I would definitely consider traveling with Lindblad again, and highly recommend to all my colleagues and friends. Thankyou all for such showing me the wonders of the Sea of Cortez. I have recently retired from teaching art at a public high school , and would love to teach drawing/ watercolor journal making on one of your beautiful boats. Since nothing can be removed from the many islands wouldn't it be lovely to draw on the beaches what we observe that day. A beautiful memory to be taken home and cherished. Thankyou for my memories. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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