Explore the magnificent Sea of Cortez during a 14-day expedition cruise journeying from San Diego to Guatemala.
Set sail along the Baja California peninsula onboard the luxurious Le Soléal before entering the Gulf of California, known since 1539 as the Sea of Cortez in tribute to the conquistador Hernan Cortés. Take the opportunity to witness marine wildlife such as sea lions, dolphins, tortoises and dozens of different species of fish in the turquoise waters throughout the duration of your expedition.
Stop at several islands along the way including, Coronado, San José, Espíritu Santo and La Partida to name a few. Exploring the magnificent landscapes, observing wildlife and partaking in unforgettable snorkelling and hiking excursions.
Head towards Huatulco in Mexico and spend time among the preserved bays and unspoiled beaches before completing your journey in Guatemala’s Puerto Quetzal.

This Expedition Cruise is onboard Ponant’s Le Soléal ship, part of the Sisterships fleet. View full details including deck plans and features onboard here.

Trip highlights

Explore the world’s largest aquarium, the Sea of Cortez alongside National Geographic experts and photographers who will enrich your expedition experience.

Possibility of diving (PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board and of snorkelling with your expedition team.

Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites including the Islands of the Gulf of California and La Antigua de Guatemala with its colonial architecture (from Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala).

Itinerary - 14 Days

1 San Diego

Start your Sea of Cortez expedition cruise in San Diego on the Pacific Coast of California. Before embarking explore this diverse city, which is famed for its impressive hiking routes, eclectic Downtown area and world-renowned landmarks.

2-3 At Sea

During your first day at sea, get acquainted with the luxurious facilities onboard the Le Soléal ship. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day at sea will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species.

4 Cabo San Lucas

Where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean come together, Cabo is a popular seaside resort in Mexico. Famed for its rock formation that emerges from the ocean, enjoy white-sand beaches and charming landscapes with rich deserts that are dotted with cacti and rocky pinnacles.

5 Coronado Island & Danzante Island

Continue your journey to Coronado Island, at the heart of the Gulf of California. Uninhabited and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, among the islands and protected areas of the Gulf of California, with the island being home to an incredible array of biodiversity. Enjoy a snorkelling trip where you can enjoy the exceptional underwater fauna that lives in these turquoise waters including sea lions, sea turtles and a range of fish species. During a walk with your expedition team, don’t miss out on discovering the ancient volcano buried inland.

The small island of Danzante Island is situated near the eastern coast of Baja California. Enjoy a diverse day of exploration as you take a moment to relax on the pristine beaches, hike through the many paths that lead inland and swim amongst the vibrant coral that is teeming with exotic fish during a snorkelling trip.

6 Monserrat Island & Puerto Agua Verde

Monserrat Island is an uninhabited island situated off the coast of Baja California and accessed via Zodiac® dinghies. Forming part of the Bahía de Loreto Maritime National Park, Monserrat offers a diverse landscape including rocky shorelines, underwater canyons, mangroves and sea cliffs. Explore the rich coral reef during a snorkelling trip where you will be amongst schools of tropical fish.


South of the Bahía de Loreto Maritime National Park sits the largest protected area in the Gulf of California; Puerto Agua Verde. The small, remote island is home to rocky formations, lush vegetation and intriguing underwater life. Venture closer to shore with a Zodiac® visit where you can enjoy a swim or snorkel experience.

7 Punta Colorada & Bahia Amortajada, Isla San Jose

On the west side of Isla San Jose is Punta Colorada offering spectacular landscapes of huge red and ochre-coloured cliffs. Get closer to this magnificent sight as you enjoy a land visit by Zodiac®, furthermore admiring giant cacti and the treasures of the underwater world, with angelfish, butterfly fish and damselfish.

Continue your exploration of these serene islands, via Zodiac® dinghy to the shorelines and journey by foot for a unique exploration. Enjoy the magnificent array of marine wildlife and on land get closer to some wonderful flora and wander through the mangrove forests.

8 Los Islotes, Isla Partida & Espíritu Santo

Next head onto the rocky terrain of Los Islotes situated to the south-west of the California Bay. Famed for its great colonies of California sea lions, head out onwith local boats to see these majestic creatures up-close and if you’re lucky you may be able to swim alongside them which is a truly incredible experience.

Espíritu Santo and La Partida are known as the ‘Jewels of the Sea of Cortez’ due to their UNESCO World Heritage status and incredible splendour. The islands which are only accessible by boat will reveal their spectacular sheer cliffs, turquoise bays and stunning beaches. Enjoy the diverse ecosystem which includes a dazzling array of flora and fauna and you may be lucky enough to admire the fascinating and emblematic Mobula ray.

9 Cerralvo Island

Cerralvo Island is a nature sanctuary located at the entrance of the Gulf of California. Enjoy specular scenery including jagged cliffs and picturesque sandy beaches as well as wildlife-rich waters where exotic marine animals can be spotted. During a snorkelling trip, you may come across golden groupers, sailfish or marlins. Your expedition team will also take you to explore inland during a walk along a dry river bed.

10 At Sea

During your first day at sea, get acquainted with the luxurious facilities onboard the Le Soléal ship. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day at sea will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species.

11 Huatulco (Santa María Huatulco)

The popular seaside resort of Huatulco on the Mexican Pacific coast is made up of nine uniquely beautiful turquoise bays. Enjoy an incredible 36 beaches, four of which are ecological preserves and explore and shop in the small communities of the Huatulco area, such as La Crucecita, Santa Cruz or old Santa Maria Huatulco (the district's municipality).

12 At Sea

During your first day at sea, get acquainted with the luxurious facilities onboard the Le Soléal ship. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day at sea will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species.

13 Puerto Quetzal

As your expedition cruise comes to an end spend your last day in Puerto Quetzal, located on the Pacific coast. the largest port in the country, the port is situated close to the old city of Antigua, a former colonial capital listed as World Heritage by UNESCO which you can explore at your leisure before continuing your journey home.

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