Exploring Mexico’s Sea of Cortes with Un-Cruise Adventures
Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports
Judging by some of the voyages I have lined up this year, it’s easy to tell I am all about cruising to new and different places in 2014. But more than that, for me this year is all about discovering entirely new ways to cruise. After all, there’s no reason cruising has to be one-size-fits-all.
In fact, one cruise line wants to be the line you don’t think of when you picture cruise ships – and they’ve even named themselves as such.
At the beginning of March, I’ll be sailing aboard Un-Cruise Adventures’ Safari Voyager from San Jose del Cabo, Mexico on a weeklong journey to discover some of the most unseen parts of Mexico’s famed Sea of Cortes.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortes “the aquarium of the world.” He’s probably not far off the mark; the region is home to sea lions, whales, and white sandy beaches.
But this is a site that most cruise passengers will never have a chance to see. The vast majority of Mexican Riviera cruises (and let’s be honest – there aren’t that many these days) will simply spend an afternoon at anchor off Cabo San Lucas to the south. And it’s a nice little town. But something tells me it’s not as nice or authentic as the ones we’ll get to explore.
But it’s Un-Cruise’s unique twist on the cruise product and the intimate nature of the 64-guest Safari Voyager that really make this itinerary sparkle.
Guests will explore the Baja coast via motorized skiffs, kayaks, and paddleboards. There will be time to snorkel and swim on the beach; to hike on deserted islands; and to enjoy an evening barbecue under the open expanse of the night sky.
This may be one of the line’s “Luxury Adventures”, but that doesn’t mean they’re skimping on the ‘adventure’ part by any means!
All told, Un-Cruise offers four different styles of cruising:
- Active Adventures geared toward full destination immersion;
- Luxury Adventures that pair the inclusive amenities of a fine hotel with active programs onboard and ashore;
- Heritage Adventures focused on bringing the past to life aboard the classically-styled Safari Legacy;
- Charter Adventures that, like they sound, offer the ability to charter an entire vessel for private group or family use.
Personally, I love active cruises that pack as much into the days as humanly possible. But I’ll be the first to admit that I like nice things, which is why the Luxury Adventures sailings that Un-Cruise offers appeals to me. I can go kayaking in the Sea of Cortes or participate in an early-morning hike, but then I can come back and enjoy a complimentary beer on deck or spend some time relaxing in my stateroom listening to my music on the included iPod docking station.
The full itinerary, both here and onboard:
Un-Cruise, Safari Voyager: Mexico’s Sea of Cortes
|Day 1 - Embarking Safari Voyager in Los Cabos||Embark Safari Voyager; welcome cocktail and dinner.|
|Day 2 - Hiking Ensenada Grande||Begin the week's adventure in this home to humpback whales, mobula and Manta rays, tuna, dolphins, and hammerhead sharks.|
|Day 3 - Isla San Francisco||Snorkeling and kayaking in Half Moon Bay; interpretive hike; possible post-dinner night swim.|
|Day 4 - Bahia Magdalena||Guided hike at Isla Santa Catalina to see the world's tallest cactus; explore the Bahia Agua Verde coast by skiff|
|Day 5 - Bahia Agua Verde||Wildlife and marine mammal watching & scenic cruising; sunset bonfire (weather permitting.)|
|Day 6 - Los Islotes||Don a wetsuit for a pre-breakfast snorkel; enjoy an afternoon of aquatic fun at Ensenada Grande; farewell dinner|
|Day 7 - Gordo Banks||Disembark Safari Voyager; onward journey home|
As you can tell, this most definitely isn’t your average cruise!
In keeping with that theme, this won’t be our usual Live Voyage Report, either. Un-Cruise is fiercely proud of their fully-immersive experiences that allow you to truly soak up a particular destination. They also operate a fleet of eight very small, very intimate ships. And that means no onboard internet connection – which, frankly, is just how their guests like it.
So while I am sailing Safari Voyager from March 1 to 8, our “Live” Voyage Report won’t begin until Monday, March 10. But that doesn’t mean I get to kick back and relax; far from it. Just like on any cruise, I’ll be writing each report on-the-day and compiling a short list of photographs to accompany each daily post so they’re ready to publish upon my return. If anything, it’s a bit of a blessing: without the need to struggle with slow-as-molasses shipboard internet, I can post as many photos as I’d like upon my return.
So come along with us in March as we discover the Mexico that the big cruise ships sail right on past. It should be a very unique Un-Cruise adventure!