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2 Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic Sea Bird Expedition Cruise Reviews

The Sea Bird is an old (built 1981), small (62-passenger), quite basic expedition ship with little pretense of decor and the most cramped cabins I have ever seen. (The best bets are cabins 106, 214, and 217.) It bounces sickeningly in ... Read More
The Sea Bird is an old (built 1981), small (62-passenger), quite basic expedition ship with little pretense of decor and the most cramped cabins I have ever seen. (The best bets are cabins 106, 214, and 217.) It bounces sickeningly in rough seas, which are fortunately rare in these waters. The cuisine is adequate (good dessert chef). This ship is desirable only for its itineraries. You can see Alaska's inside passage very well on more comfortable ships--think Silversea--but if you want to see the great whales of Baja, you have no better choice than Sea Bird. It's a 7-day trip--you fly in and out of La Paz, busing across the peninsula (about a 3-hour drive) either at the start or the end. On our trip, the bus ride was at the start, and we boarded at Puerto San Carlos (which is not the San Carlos farther north in Baja) on the Pacific. In narrow Magdalena Bay, setting out from the ship on Zodiacs, we had many close and exciting encounters with gray whales, usually cows traveling with their calves. We had a day and a half of these adventures. Then we set out for Cabo San Lucas, rounded Land's End, had a port stop in San Juan del Cabo (nice walk in a bird sanctuary), and continued up into the Sea of Cortez. Here humpback whales are the main objective. There seemed to be fewer of them, spread across a great expanse of water, but they display a wider variety of behavior than the grey whales and were very enjoyable to watch during our relatively few close encounters. We saw no other species of whales. But we had a delightful extended encounter with a superpod of hundreds of dolphins, detachments of which often leapt in unison. We saw many rays that leapt so high above the water that they performed several flips before re-entering. And at one rocky islet our Zodiacs were closely followed by swarms of California sea lions, among whom we also had the opportunity to snorkel. Throughout, the commentary of the on-board naturalists was interesting and valuable. You're on the Sea Bird in the waters of Baja to see marine mammals, and you certainly do, better perhaps than anywhere else in the world. Opportunities to do this don't fill your seven days, which also incorporate some inevitable padding. But for those not distressed by a total dearth of luxe, the Sea Bird is your best passage to an experience very much worth having.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
The Editor's review of this ship is spot-on, so I won't repeat what she has written. I would like to add some thoughts based on our trip "Among the Great Whales" in February of 2013. We had a wonderful experience. The ... Read More
The Editor's review of this ship is spot-on, so I won't repeat what she has written. I would like to add some thoughts based on our trip "Among the Great Whales" in February of 2013. We had a wonderful experience. The up close interaction with the gray whales was extraordinary - and not an isolated event. Every person on the ship had a chance to pet - yes, pet - a baby whale while we were out in the Zodiacs. We saw dozens of humpbacks breaching within 50 yards of the ship and spied an enormous blue whale off the bow. Lots of sea and shore birds made for nice photo ops. Be prepared: the cabins are tiny. If I stood with my arms outstretched, I could touch both side walls at the same time. I'm 6'4" and bumped my head a dozen times a day. Not much storage space with two people in the cabin, and ya gotta love the toilet inside the shower stall! The food was simple, but fresh and tasty. There were always plain beef, chicken or fish choices if you did not like the evening's special meal. Wine and booze prices were very reasonable.One note about cabin selection: there are sliding doors amidships and the cabins right next to them (like 208 and 210) have to put up with loud clangs and bangs at all hours. We suggest that you take the trip that starts in LaPaz so that you end the cruise with that wonderful whale experience. If that had been our first day, the rest of the week would have been a letdown. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
National Geographic Sea Bird Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 4.5
Entertainment 4.0 4.2
Public Rooms 3.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.7
Enrichment 5.0 4.8
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 4.5
Rates 4.0 3.0

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