Steinbeck and Rickets had six weeks in the Sea of Cortez and spent much of their time exploring, cataloging specimens and taking measurements. Other Baja sailors may have the luxury of spending six weeks cruising Baja. The Baja Westward Cruise is designed for the rest of us who have limited vacation time but want to explore the peninsula in a meaningful way.
A natural history cruise tour aboard the 8 guest Westward is like stepping back in time and cruising the Sea of Cortez with Steinbeck and Rickets. This new trip is a departure from the many small ship adventure cruises which have become popular over the past decade. This is an intimate expedition aboard a historical vessel where Baja’s solitude is embraced and the natural elements dictate the course. Just as John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Rickets explored Baja in detail and lingered long enough to learn about their environment, the Baja Westward yacht cruise offers an easy pace and up-close explorations.
The brand new Baja Westward Yacht Cruise travels seven days from La Paz to Loreto visiting popular islands such as Espirito Santos and Isla Partida and those that are more off the beaten track including Isla Catalina, Danzante, and San Jose.
Days consist of up close guided exploration on foot, by kayak and snorkeling. Cruise leisurely from one island to the next in search of whales, dolphins, sea lions and seabirds. Evenings are spent at anchor in a quiet cove with time to appreciate the solitude and wilderness only available in Baja.
The cruise is combined with a three-day land tour excursion to watch whales in San Ignacio Lagoon. Depart from Loreto for a scenic drive through Mulege and onto San Ignacio. Overnight in San Ignacio before proceeding to San Ignacio Lagoon. Here guests board local pangas for a full day of whale watching. Overnight again in a deluxe tent camp close enough to hear whales spouting as you fall asleep. Return to Loreto for one more overnight before departing from the Loreto airport. This whale watching tour at the end of the cruise makes a Baja cruise aboard the Westward like no other small ship cruise.
The historic Westward is an 8-guest wooden yacht that is somewhat famous in the Pacific Northwest. She is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places and is still dependably powered by the original Atlas Imperial Diesel Engine. Four cabins with double lower bunks and portholes comfortably accommodate 8 guests. Each cabin has a semi-private bathroom that is shared with one other cabin. A passionate and knowledgeable crew facilitate the exploration and you would not believe the delicious meals that are served from a tiny galley. Westward's historical and adventurous spirit enriches the voyages of those who are lucky enough to cruise with her to the Sea of Cortez.
The cruise is available from La Paz or Loreto and transfers to the airport in Cabo are included. Cruises begin January 1, 2015, and continue every week through February 27, 2015. Prices are $5,750 per person and include accommodations, excursions, entrance fees, all meals, local guides, and permits. Flights are not included and travelers should plan for a gratuity that is customary for this type of cruise. A deposit of $500 is required to secure your reservation. For a full selection of Baja Cruises contact AdventureSmith Explorations.