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Sail Date: May 2019
We are not big cruise ship people.....put us on a boat with 1,000 other people and we recoil. In addition, we dont travel to go to fancy restaurants or visit theme park like amenities. We travel to experience and learn about unique places. ... Read More
We are not big cruise ship people.....put us on a boat with 1,000 other people and we recoil. In addition, we dont travel to go to fancy restaurants or visit theme park like amenities. We travel to experience and learn about unique places. The Sea Bird and this itinerary beautifully met our goals. The ship is intimate...we easily got to know our fellow travelers as well as the Nat Geo naturalists and photographers, as we stood together on the deck watching and photographing the wildlife, and then mingling at happy hour and during meals. The crew (stewards, deck hands, bar tender etc) were also a wonderful part of the trip....they were as excited as we were to see this part of Alaska....and I loved that they were given the opportunity to do so. Many of the crew and staff told us that they love working on the Sea Bird and its sister ship, the Sea Lion, because of this intimacy. We all enjoyed the trip together. Be aware there is no elevator here...and you will be going up and down to the lounge and dining room, or to board zodiacs, several times a day. Also, the smaller size of the ship may mean that you will feel the rock and roll of rough seas more than in a larger ship. The learning experiences from the naturalists and photograpers were exceptional. I think the ratio of staff to passengers was very high. There were wonderful presentations at the daily recap, or after dinner, as well as on hikes and while exploring on zodiacs. Many of the staff seemed to love this part of Alaska, and loved sharing their expertise. The photography focus was great. There was always someone to help, there were interesting photography talks, and the passenger slide show at the end was great fun. The food was spectacular. We are vegan/vegetarian, and I was worried our dietary needs would not be met. Too often, "vegetarian" just means lots of cheese dishes. Not on the Sea Bird. There was always an alternative protein at dinner, and it was plated as beautifully and carefully as the meat or fish options. The lunch buffet carried an amazing array of fresh produce, as well as options like vegetarian chili, or a vegan soup. There was terrific fresh fruit everday at breakfast.. How they turned out this fresh, innovative fare in that crowded kitchen is beyond me. We chose this itinerary to travel with friends who were very interested in Haida Gwai.....this is one of the very few ways to visit the island. I loved it that the small size of the ship allowed us to go where the big ships cannot. We hope to travel on this ship, or its sister ship, again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
4th Linblad cruise and lived up to expectations. Staff were fantastic. Loved the photography tips. Alaska is a beautiful place - animals, sea, quiet, pristine - few people - I am sure the earth is happy there also. Fewer people ... Read More
4th Linblad cruise and lived up to expectations. Staff were fantastic. Loved the photography tips. Alaska is a beautiful place - animals, sea, quiet, pristine - few people - I am sure the earth is happy there also. Fewer people everywhere would do the world a lot of good. The food was fantastic and the stewards so personal and great. The photographers were fantastic and the naturalists (Lee and Linda) are a Linblad treasure. I cannot say enough about John Mitchell - who I know is going back to school but he was a great EL. His voice created us every morning and set the tone for the day. Paolo and Kim added a new and fun dimension to the trip - being a diver myself, it was exciting to see their video. I cannot say enough about James Biscardi who stayed in the shadows but made and absolutely outstanding video. More Linblad please. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
After a dull Alaska cruise on a large ship, we decided to try again and were not disappointed - this was a truly a wonderful expedition on the Lindblad/National Geographic Sea Bird. It wasn't only the humpback whales, killer whales, ... Read More
After a dull Alaska cruise on a large ship, we decided to try again and were not disappointed - this was a truly a wonderful expedition on the Lindblad/National Geographic Sea Bird. It wasn't only the humpback whales, killer whales, sea otters, brown bears and sea lions - we saw plenty of them for extended periods of time - but the chance to explore ashore in the wilderness. It was as if a veil was lifted and the boring scenery of endless spruces and hemlocks became a magical world of wildflowers, ferns, mosses, rushing brooks and birdsong. Our eyes could not get enough of the colors and shapes of the icebergs as they floated by. We were also introduced to culture of the native peoples. All the staff was excellent - the naturalists impressed us by their knowledge, enthusiasm and friendliness. Our expedition leader John Mitchell was extremely well organized, an excellent communicator, and above all had a wonderful sense of humor. The dining/cabin stewards were fine young people, always eager to please. The hotel manager responded to all our requests. The dining experience was top notch. Delicious food, and lots of it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise for our family of 10. Ages were 9,11,15,18, 47,47,48,49,74 &75. The cabins were compact, but very workable. Because our cabins were all in a line we could find each other and the younger ones could be with their ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our family of 10. Ages were 9,11,15,18, 47,47,48,49,74 &75. The cabins were compact, but very workable. Because our cabins were all in a line we could find each other and the younger ones could be with their parents or not. Meals, snacks and service was exceptional. I asked each member to tell me the three things they liked best and the 9 year old listed breakfast as one of them.The picky eaters were catered to and there was a large variety for the non picky adults. When it came to what people liked best it was all across the board of shore excursions, kayaking, walking, flight seeing,floating the Chilkat and the DIBs rides. I personally liked the information from the wildlife talks. It was a bonding experience for our family in a comfortable, exciting, beautiful venue which is why we booked it. We would highly recommend it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The NatGeo Lindblad Wild Alaska cruise on the Sea Bird (May 19th embarkation from Sitka) was incredible! We cannot say enough good things about the staff, crew and naturalists who made our 6-day cruise exceptional. In addition, our little ... Read More
The NatGeo Lindblad Wild Alaska cruise on the Sea Bird (May 19th embarkation from Sitka) was incredible! We cannot say enough good things about the staff, crew and naturalists who made our 6-day cruise exceptional. In addition, our little Sea Bird made it possible to get up close and personal to some of the Alaskan inlets and passages that the larger cruise ships cannot (or SHOULD not). [I'll be writing another review to lambaste the "Disney Wonder" monstrosity that barreled through Endicott Arm at 7 knots on its way to Dawes Glacier. It was not allowed to be there AND ignored the speed limit in order to block our view of the glacier.] From the moment we were greeted by the captain and crew at Sitka to disembarkation in Juneau six days later, we were treated like royalty, yet the atmosphere was wonderfully casual and down to earth. We were informed of upcoming talks by the naturalists, expedition choices each day, wild life sightings, wellness/exercise classes and photography workshops. The meals were outstanding and featured local cuisine with locally grown produce and sustainably caught seafood. We were transported by zodiaks (sturdy inflatable rubber boats like the ones Jacques Cousteau used) to remote shorelines where we could continue on by foot on hikes, kayak around the inlets, or hop on a stand-up paddle board! No one fell in! In Haines, Alaska we visited the Klukwan Heritage Center and floated down the Chilkat River, learning about this tribe and the wildlife that lives there. At the end of the trip, we were treated to a wonderful video compiled by the ship's rockin' videographer and we each received our own copy of the video to take home. Our photography expert also compiled our guest photos which we submitted before dinner, and got to see after dinner (when did HE eat dinner?). We came away with wonderful new friends and an appreciation for the indigenous people of southeast Alaska. THANK YOU LINDBLAD and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC for giving us the trip of a life time! We would definitely go again! And remember, do NOT sign up for a "Disney Wonder" cruise - EVER! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Whales! Not only did we see blue whales, gray whales and humpback whales, we were also close enough to hear them, and feel the spray of the "blow." The arcs of dolphins, rolls of sea lions, flights of pelicans, and spirals of ... Read More
Whales! Not only did we see blue whales, gray whales and humpback whales, we were also close enough to hear them, and feel the spray of the "blow." The arcs of dolphins, rolls of sea lions, flights of pelicans, and spirals of frigate birds were also impressive. The strolls through the desert were also compelling and a stark change from life on the water. The staff were experienced, enthusiastic and informative. They really made the expedition a success! They were all amazing and all added a special touch to the experience. The onboard expedition recaps, talks and photo lessons really enhanced the experience. The cabins were more comfortable than you might expect on an "expedition" though they are admittedly small and no frills. Who'd want to spend much time in their cabin with whales, seabirds, amazing scenery, and observations with fellow explorers to enjoy on the decks? I'd highly recommend this expedition! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
I have been a raving fan of National Geographic for over 60 years! Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic combine adventure, hiking, snorkeling, learning about the planet in an unbelievable experience to be remembered forever. I love ... Read More
I have been a raving fan of National Geographic for over 60 years! Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic combine adventure, hiking, snorkeling, learning about the planet in an unbelievable experience to be remembered forever. I love the crew and the variety of experiences that comes all packaged in a remarkably well-organized expedition. I plan on being on one of their expedition per year. Future excursions will be to Costa Rica, Panama Canal, The Faulklands, Antartica, and Europe. This year we took our 9 year grandson. He came back with a deeper appreciation for the earth and was changed forever. My husband and I always come back more relaxed and enlightened to do better and to be better. Thank you, National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions for sharing your work with us. Everyone I see hears me talk about my many excursions with Nat Geo. From Alaska, Galapagos and now from Baja California. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
This small ship, the Lindblad-National Geographic Sea Bird, was able to go into the small bays of the inside passage of Alaska to kayak around icebergs while we got to watch seals swim around us and bears up close on the shore. The staff, ... Read More
This small ship, the Lindblad-National Geographic Sea Bird, was able to go into the small bays of the inside passage of Alaska to kayak around icebergs while we got to watch seals swim around us and bears up close on the shore. The staff, the naturalists, made our trip! No other like it. There was a big ship watching us from the mouth of the bay because they couldn't fit where we went! They took us to a glacier by zodiac and saw it up close. We saw a piece calve and fall into the water with a big boom! Then our naturalist plucked a same bit of ice floating in the water and told us the history and journey that piece took through time. Activities were stellar. Service and knowledge made our trip. More food than we could eat. The cabin was small, but we were only there to sleep. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We have cruised to Alaska several times on larger ships, but decided to try the Lindblad/National Geographic cruise because we have taken others of their cruises and loved them - and because we wanted to go where the bigger ships ... Read More
We have cruised to Alaska several times on larger ships, but decided to try the Lindblad/National Geographic cruise because we have taken others of their cruises and loved them - and because we wanted to go where the bigger ships can't go and do what the larger groups can't do. We were not disappointed. What sets Lindblad/National Geographic apart for me is its emphasis on adventure, its excellent group of knowledgeable naturalists, its lectures and presentations about the places and the things to be seen and experienced, and the opportunities offered to guests to explore the destinations with guides to explain and to help every step of the way. Every trip we have been on has also had at least one National Geographic photographer on board who talks about his/her (always interesting) photography career, offers tips about photographing whatever the destination might be - and helps everyone on board who wants some advice about cameras, picture taking and picture processing. The destinations are carefully selected before the cruise and changed if need be due to weather conditions or because something really interesting is happening somewhere that shouldn't be missed. The activities and excursions are excellent. On this trip, there were plenty of opportunities to hike, to ride in Zodiacs (known here as Dibs) to get even closer to the wildlife or the interesting glaciers and shorelines, to ride bikes, to flightsee, to kayak or even for the brave to swim in the waters of Alaska - and all guests are led or accompanied by naturalists and guides who provide information and assistance (if need be) all along the way. There are no casinos or cabaret shows on board and no need to dress up for any occasion, which appeals to us very much, but may not appeal to others. The rooms on this ship are very small, but we did manage to find a space for everything we brought. The beds (twins) are comfortable but small; I wasn't sure how someone much over 6-feet tall would be able to sleep comfortably. The food was very good. The customer service was terrific. The staff, as on all trips we have taken, have been friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful. The only opportunity for exercise on board besides walking around the ship is to use one of three exercise machines, which are located on the top deck, which is essentially outside, which can be tough in the rain, the wind or the cold. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
After investigating many options, this cruise fitted our needs and expectations. The telephone conversations with agents verified that we would be physically able to participate with the varied activities. Their enthusiasm and willingness ... Read More
After investigating many options, this cruise fitted our needs and expectations. The telephone conversations with agents verified that we would be physically able to participate with the varied activities. Their enthusiasm and willingness to help made the decision easy. I also had help from a friend in Alaska who recommended Lindblad Expeditions. Our trip was all I expected and more. There was not a day that was not eventful. Watching the whales and seeing the bubble netting was beyond words. Our upclose viewing of the glaciers and ice floe was also a highlight. The 'cocoa boat' was very appreciated. The guides were so knowledgable but also fun. For the most part, they knew when to allow time to appreciate the quiet and allow for appreciation of the environment. Evening lectures were an added bonus. The staff was always cordial and there to help when needed. Food was well prepared and choices given. Dining with fellow travelers and sharing day's experiences was fun and educational. Good food, good wine and good conversation abounded. I will highly recommend this trip to everyone and would hope to go again. Thank you for giving me all and more than I expected. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I researched Alaska & what I wanted to see and do. I looked at land trips, cruise ships & other smaller ships. I went with the National Geographic Seabird for the itinerary, the educational aspect & the companies care for the ... Read More
I researched Alaska & what I wanted to see and do. I looked at land trips, cruise ships & other smaller ships. I went with the National Geographic Seabird for the itinerary, the educational aspect & the companies care for the environments that they visit. The very first evening the Captain and the staff made it clear that this was going to be an adventure! That the itinerary could change depending upon what we come across, such as whales, or what the weather does. The crew & staff took things to the next level. They were all interactive and personable. They all took the time to add value for each and every passenger. The food on board was exceptional! The activities varied and extensive! The ports were all different so we felt as if we saw a very good cross section of Alaska! The ship was very well outfitted & very comfortable! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
This was a family affair. Thirteen of us ventured to Baja and the Sea of Cortez in March. Linblad did its typical excellent job of showing us the sights and helping us to appreciate the diversity of wildlife in the area. The highlight for ... Read More
This was a family affair. Thirteen of us ventured to Baja and the Sea of Cortez in March. Linblad did its typical excellent job of showing us the sights and helping us to appreciate the diversity of wildlife in the area. The highlight for my wife and me was going out on Zodiac boats to see the whales. My niece was very good at splashing the water and attracting the young "baby" whales to the boat. We all got a chance to pet the head of the inquisitive whales. The naturalists were excellent, knowledgeable and engaging. The onboard Naturalist/Photo Instructor Rab was outstanding. He offered great tips and came along on the excursions and made suggestions to we passengers. Rab allowed passengers to submit their favorite 5 photos to share with other passengers. Be sure to bring along something like a 16+ GB USB flash drive to get a copy of those pictures. My only substantial complaint is with the shorties provided to passengers for snorkeling. Using shorties seems to be a standard with Linblad Expeditions. The Sea of Cortez is cold. You need more than a shortie to be comfortable and stay in the water for a prolonged period of time. Several in my group brought along a full wetsuit, a hood, booties, and gloves for increased comfort while snorkeling. In between snorkel trips (3 as I recall), the ship provided hangers on deck to let the wetsuits drip dry. I also brought along my own flippers and mask; the ship did provide those for guests to use, along with flotation vests. Be sure to bring along a mesh bag if you bring your own. At Puerto Gato, we had the chance to do stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. My wife and I had outside Cabin 219 on the main deck. It was in a very good location from one perspective: just step outside for instant whale watching. The not so good is that the cabin was below an open deck (the Sun deck). Someone--a crew member I think--was jumping rope on the Sun deck above the room early one morning. I went up and mentioned that it was noisy in the room below, and the person stopped the activity (and never repeated it). There were plenty of hooks, hangers, and cubbyholes in the cabin for storage. I brought along some magnetic hooks to put on the walls, but discovered the cabin walls were not made of metal. The only place to get the hooks to stay was on the cabin ceiling. Be forewarned that the combined bathroom/shower is small and cozy. There was a larger bathroom on the Sun deck. The bed was comfortable. My group, and I think most passengers, flew to Los Angeles airport and caught an AeroMexico charter flight to La Paz, Mexico. Transfers from and to the airports in Mexico were handled flawlessly by the staff. Be aware that you will have a long bus trip (3 hours or so) when you transfer to San Carlos. Expect to get to the ship after 8:30 pm local time. The bus trip for the La Paz airport is only about 45 minutes. Expect great treatment from the staff. We were greeted with champagne upon arrival at the ship (M/V National Geographic Sea Bird). We got complimentary wine at the special Mexican Fiesta Dinner. At Puerto Gato, we had dinner on the beach with complimentary margaritas and wine. Drinks on the ship were reasonably priced. You could get a bottle of wine at dinner; there was a good selection, and again the prices were reasonable. The food was tasty. One night we had music on board from a local, 2-person band. We did visit one town during the expedition. We got to spend several hours in downtown San Jose del Cabo. We had a guided tour, followed by free time. I did find Wi Fi at one of the restaurants. Typical of Linblad Expedition trips, we went on several nature walks. The Naturalists were a fountain of knowledge, and historical knowledge, because many have been coming to the Baja area for many years. The lectures on the ship were informative and entertaining. We got to see several species of whales, from the ship and close up on the Zodiac boats. Overall, it was a very good trip. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2014
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2013
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
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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