Explore the Gulf of California with a Silversea cruise along Baja California, where you will find canyons, rugged coastline, jungle and UNESCO-protected biospheres. With a highly qualified expedition team on board, you are sure to make the most of your journey and discover the beauty of this scenically rich part of Mexico. Excursions include explorations by Zodiac and complimentary expedition gear, while guests can also benefit from the largest expedition suites at sea, complete with butler service, inclusive room service and wi-fi (one hour complimentary wi-fi for all guests and unlimited for guests staying in certain suite categories).
Day 1 – Mazatlan, Mexico
Embark Silver Explorer and get to know your home for the next eleven days.
Day 2 - Los Isolotes and Espiritu Santo, Mexico
After breakfast, join a lecture to learn more about the wonderful Sea of Cortez before arriving at your first destination. An important biological reserve, take to the ship’s Zodiac to get up-close to the animals residing along the unique rock formations and enjoy the chance to swim and snorkel among the sea lions.
Day 3 – Isla San Pedro, Mexico
Having headed further north into the Gulf of California, spend the afternoon cruising in a Zodiac around the island, spotting the birds that reside there year-round, including Blue-footed Boobies, Red-billed Tropicbirds, pelicans and cormorants and Frigatebirds. For the protection of their nesting sites, landing is prohibited, though Bottlenose Dolphins and Sperm Whales can also be spotted, along with the third-largest colony of sea lions in the gulf.
Day 4 – Isla Partida and Isla San Esteban, Mexico
Explore two further islands and go ashore to search for desert birds and lizards, and examine the remains left by the early Seri native people to learn more about the area’s human history.
Day 5 – Isla Santa Catalina, Mexico
This afternoon, go ashore at Isla Santa Catalina, and see the array of Manta Rays, dolphins and whales that often frolic in the surrounding waters. Once you have landed, hike into the Cardon cactus forest and look for birds and reptiles that make their home there.
Day 6 – Isla San Jose and Isla San Francisco, Mexico
Anchor off the coast of the 170 square-kilometre Isla San Jose and explore the mangroves, take a Zodiac into the lagoon and settle on the beach for excellent snorkelling opportunities. If you fancy a walk, take a hike to appreciate the diverse plants and flowers.
Days 7-8 – Topolobampo, Mexico
Drive to El Fuerte where you will have two options of how to spend your next day:
Option 1 – Copper Canyon
From El Fuerte, board the privately chartered train on the Chihuahua Pacifico Railway. Enjoy leisurely breakfast as you traverse the Sierra Madre Mountains before reaching the Copper Canyon – four times larger than the Grand Canyon and only accessible by rail, this magnificent natural wonder will blow you away. Taking approximately six hours, your journey will take you over 1,475 feet above ground and through tunnels below. That night, stay at the Mirador Hotel, boasting stunning views of the canyon, where you will have the chance to see a dance by the reclusive Tarahumara tribe.
Option 2 – El Fuerte, Mexico
Should you prefer to not venture so far and enjoy a night on the ship, spend the day in El Fuerte, home of the fictional outlaw, El Zorro. Learn about the culture of the Mayo Indians, and see a colourful folk dance, before enjoying lunch at the Posada del Hidalgo Hotel, believed to have been the original home of Don Diego de la Vega, Zorro’s true identity. After lunch, take a walking tour of the old colonial town. The next day, head north of Topolobampo to the area’s farming region, where you will find sugarcane, rice and flower fields along with the Los Mochis’ Regional Museum. Tour the mango plantation at La Carambola Hacienda and sample some sweet treats before trying your hand at cooking traditional Mexican dishes.
Day 9 – Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico
At the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, enjoy a scenic catamaran cruise featuring complimentary snacks and open bar, during which you can snorkel over the reef with colourful marine life. Alternatively, take a visit to a sea-side ranch for a leisurely ride along the beach or be driven north to San Jose del Cabo, through the desert, palm trees and sand coves, to visit a local mission church and old town. Kayaking can also be arranged up to Lover's Beach, or for those who wish to explore the area further, a motorised catamaran can offer a coastal cruise along the Sea of Cortez, where you can admire the pristine beaches, secluded coves and famous Land’s End arch.
Day 10-11 – At sea
Silver Explorer will depart Cabo San Lucas and cruise the west coast of Baja California, allowing time to spot sea birds, attend a lecture on the area, enjoy a cooking demonstration or wine tasting and simply savour the time relaxing on the sun decks.
The on-board videographer will also present the voyage DVD and all guests will be invited to the Farewell Cocktail Party and dinner.
Day 12 – San Diego, USA
After breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer in San Diego, California.