Whale watching

(12:20 p.m. EDT) -- National Geographic Venture, the second new-build for expedition cruise line Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, will set sail this October cruising two new itineraries that follow the California coast.

Once the 100-passenger National Geographic Venture launches in San Francisco later this year, it will sail an inaugural five-night voyage December 2 -- joined by Sven Lindblad, CEO and founder of Lindblad Expeditions -- to Angel Island, Sausalito, Golden Gate Bridge, Monterey, Point Lobos, Avila Beach, Catalina Island and ends in Long Beach.

The second inaugural sailing will depart Los Angeles on December 7 and sail to La Paz on a 12-night expedition of Southern California and the Baja region of Mexico. Highlights include being on the lookout for nesting birds and migrating whales with onboard naturalists; a visit to Guerrero Negro, the world's largest salt mine, with a tour of Isla Natividad's fishing co-op; vineyards of Valle de Guadalupe and much more.

On all sailings, passengers will sail with specialists such as a certified photo instructor and a wellness specialist. Venture will also feature a B&H photo gear loan program for passengers to try out the latest cameras, lenses and binocular.

Come spring 2019, Venture will head to Alaska for a number of sailings during the season. Fleetmate National Geographic Quest launched last year and sails Alaska and Costa Rica.

--By Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor