The Sea of Cortez

14 days / 13 nights
    Expedition
    New itinerary
    The Sea of Cortez

    Cruise Latin America, North America

    from 9 October 2018 to 22 October 2018
    14 days / 13 nights

    Departure Port : San Diego
    Arrival Port : Puerto Quetzal

    Ship : LE SOLEAL

    • Ref : S091018

    Other departure dates

    In partnership with PARIS MATCH.

    PONANT invites you to enjoy an unforgettable experience discovering the Sea of Cortez, during a 14-day expedition cruise. Aboard Le Soléal, feast your eyes on the unique landscapes and unrivalled biodiversity of the Gulf of California, following a brand-new itinerary.

    You will board your ship in San Diego, an American city at the far south of California, renowned for its pleasant climate. Your ship will sail along Baja California peninsula before entering the Gulf of California, known since 1539 as the Sea of Cortez in tribute to the conquistador Hernan Cortés.

    For five days, you will spend your time observing the incredibly rich marine wildlife, a veritable Eden which has rightly earned the region a listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Playful sea lions, dolphins, tortoises, dozens of different species of fish: the teeming wildlife is quite simply fascinating.

    Le Soléal will drop anchor on a number of occasions near the different islands of the Sea of Cortez, and outings in Zodiac® dinghies will offer the chance for some unforgettable snorkelling and hiking tours.

    Your ship will then chart a course towards Huatulco in Mexico and its preserved bays edged with magnificent beaches, before reaching your final destination: Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala, very close to the charming colonial town of Antigua.

    The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.

    • Naturalists Naturalists
    See the map
    Download information about the cruise

    Special offer(s) :

    CONSECUTIVE CRUISES  

    Take advantage of our special consecutive cruises offers*

    -When this cruise is in 2nd position get a -20% discount

    -When this cruise is in 3rd position get a -30% discount

    - When this cruise is in 4th position get a -40% discount

    - When this cruise is in 5th position get a -50% discount

    - When this cruise is in 6th position get a -60% discount

    *Reduction does not apply to the first cruise and relates to the port/port fare excluding port taxes, non available for Ocean Voyages and subject to availability. The offer is only available on selected cruises. Please, contact us.

    Highlights

    • In partnership with PARIS MATCH, with the exceptional presence on board of Aurore Asso, Philippe Legrand and Marc Brincourt.
    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac®inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • An expedition cruise, to discover the fabulous biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez, “the world’s largest aquarium” according to Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
    • UNESCO sites: the islands and protected zones of the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez), La Antigua de Guatemala and its colonial architecture from Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala.
    • The landscapes: reliefs of red volcanic rock plunging into the turquoise water with the desert as the backdrop in the Sea of Cortez, dazzling white sandy beaches in Huatulco (shore excursion for sale).
    • The wildlife: California sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles, tuna, barracuda, rays, pelicans, countless species of fish and sea birds.
    • Bathing and swimming with sea lions at Los Islotes.
    • Possibility of snorkelling.

    • program-9665791
    • program-5937935
    • program-5937936
    • program-5937937

    Staterooms & Suites

      Back

      There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.

      LE SOLEAL

      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL
      • LE SOLEAL

      LE SOLEAL

      Designed in 2013 and loyal to the PONANT spirit, Le Soléal like her sisterships embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and wellbeing which is Ponant’s signature. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and her intimate size (only 132 staterooms and suites)make this a rare and innovative yacht on the cruise market. 

      Interior Design

      With her fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white, Le Soléal presents references to a nautical theme.

      Port of call & excursions

      9 October 2018 – At sea

      San Diego

      Embarkation 09/10/2018 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 09/10/2018 at 18H00 .

      To the south of California, close to the border with Mexico, San Diego enjoys a privileged natural environment on the shores of the Pacific. One of the largest fleets of US Navy vessels is stationed in this strategic port. The sunny climate and the beautiful sandy beaches compete for visitors’ attention with the picturesque historic districts such as the Gaslamp Quarter, always lit up at dusk by gas lamps, a real journey back in time. Do not miss Balboa Park and its museums as well as San Diego Zoo, one of the most beautiful zoos in the world, home to a large number of endangered species. But the show also continues on the surrounding beaches where it is not uncommon to come across sealions!

      10 October 2018▸11 October 2018 – At sea

      10 October 2018▸11 October 2018 – At sea

      Arrival 10/10/2018. Departure 11/10/2018.

      During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. 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 without a port of call 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. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      12 October 2018 – Cabo San Lucas

      12 October 2018 – Cabo San Lucas

      Arrival 12/10/2018. Departure 12/10/2018.

      A seaside resort located at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico, where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean come together, Cabo San Lucas has much to offer. Famous for its rock formation emerging from the ocean and its magnificent white sand beaches, the small town also has lively nightlife. Surrounded by charming landscapes, between arid deserts dotted with cacti and spectacular rocky pinnacles, this very popular destination will certainly win you over.

      13 October 2018 – Coronado Island

      13 October 2018 – Coronado Island

      Arrival 13/10/2018. Departure 13/10/2018.

      In the heart of the Gulf of California, Coronado, the main island of the eponymous archipelago, will delight wilderness fans. Uninhabited and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site among the islands and protected areas of the Gulf of California, the island is home to extremely rich biodiversity. During a snorkelling trip, you’ll be able to admire the exceptional underwater fauna that lives in these turquoise waters: sea lions, sea turtles and multi-coloured fish will provide moving encounters. During a walk with your expedition team, don’t miss out on discovering the ancient volcano buried inland.

      13 October 2018 – Danzante Island

      13 October 2018 – Danzante Island

      Arrival 13/10/2018. Departure 13/10/2018.

      Near the eastern coast of Baja California Sur, Danzante, a small island measuring scarcely 5 km2, will take you on a marvellous journey into nature of magical beauty. To the west of the island, you’ll enjoy pleasant moments of relaxation on the white sand beaches, whereas the many hiking paths inland will enable you to set off to discover the surrounding fauna and flora. During a snorkelling trip, you’ll also be able to explore the underwater world teeming with many endemic species.

      14 October 2018 – Monserrat Island

      14 October 2018 – Monserrat Island

      Arrival 14/10/2018. Departure 14/10/2018.

      Off the coast of Baja California, land on Zodiac® dinghies on Monserrat, one of the islands that form the Bahía de Loreto Maritime National Park. Created in 1996 and covering more than 2,000 km2 in the heart of the Sea of Cortez, this park offers many panoramas: rocky shorelines, underwater canyons, mangroves, sea cliffs… On Monserrat, you will discover an enormous white sand beach: this will also be your departure point for a snorkelling trip accompanied by your expedition team to discover the wonders of a preserved underwater world.

      14 October 2018 – Puerto Agua Verde

      14 October 2018 – Puerto Agua Verde

      Arrival 14/10/2018. Departure 14/10/2018.

      To the south of the Bahía de Loreto Maritime National Park, the largest protected area in the Gulf of California, discover Puerto Agua Verde, with its superb rocky formations and its almost surreally coloured waters. Off the coast, Bahia Agua Verde, a small island with lush vegetation and rugged relief, will offer you an idyllic natural setting that you’ll be able to admire and explore during an excursion on a Zodiac® dinghy, a simple swim and a snorkelling trip.

      15 October 2018 – Punta Colorada, Isla San Jose

      15 October 2018 – Punta Colorada, Isla San Jose

      Arrival 15/10/2018. Departure 15/10/2018.

      North of the bay of La Paz, discover San José Island and its exceptional landscapes. To the west, Punta Colorada will reveal its majestic beauty. Here, huge red and ochre coloured cliffs stand opposite the sea: you’ll be able to appreciate every detail of this spectacular setting as you approach the coast aboard your Zodiac® dinghy. Inland, you’ll be able to admire giant cacti, whereas the underwater world has an unforgettable show in store for you, with angel fish, butterfly fish and damselfish. Further south, in Bahia Amortajada, your expedition team will lead you into the heart of the mangrove forests to discover completely unspoilt nature.

      15 October 2018 – Bahia Amortajada, Isla San Jose

      15 October 2018 – Bahia Amortajada, Isla San Jose

      Arrival 15/10/2018. Departure 15/10/2018.

      North of the bay of La Paz, discover San José Island and its exceptional landscapes. To the west, Punta Colorada will reveal its majestic beauty. Here, huge red and ochre coloured cliffs stand opposite the sea: you’ll be able to appreciate every detail of this spectacular setting as you approach the coast aboard your Zodiac® dinghy. Inland, you’ll be able to admire giant cacti, whereas the underwater world has an unforgettable show in store for you, with angel fish, butterfly fish and damselfish. Further south, in Bahia Amortajada, your expedition team will lead you into the heart of the mangrove forests to discover completely unspoilt nature.

      16 October 2018 – Los Islotes

      16 October 2018 – Los Islotes

      Arrival 16/10/2018. Departure 16/10/2018.

      Los Islotes are rocky islets located to the south west of the California Bay: the site is famous for sheltering a large colony of California sea lions. Used to humans, these sea lions are not shy and can be easily approached. An excursion on a Zodiac® dinghy will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to admire these playful animals, and you will have the possibility of swimming alongside them: a moving experience.

      16 October 2018 – Isla Partida

      16 October 2018 – Isla Partida

      Arrival 16/10/2018. Departure 16/10/2018.

      Jewels of the Sea of Cortez, the twin islands of Espíritu Santo and La Partida will reveal the splendour of  landscape that is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only accessible by boat, they will reveal to you the beauty of their sheer cliffs, turquoise bays and stunning beaches. La Partida is particularly rich in secret viewpoints from which you’ll be able to admire exceptional panoramas. As for the island of Espíritu Santo, it has an exceptionally well-preserved ecosystem that enables the observation of exceptional fauna and flora. With a little luck, you may have the opportunity to admire the fascinating and emblematic mobula ray.

      16 October 2018 – Espíritu Santo Island

      16 October 2018 – Espíritu Santo Island

      Arrival 16/10/2018. Departure 16/10/2018.

      Jewels of the Sea of Cortez, the twin islands of Espíritu Santo and La Partida will reveal the splendour of  landscape that is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only accessible by boat, they will reveal to you the beauty of their sheer cliffs, turquoise bays and stunning beaches. La Partida is particularly rich in secret viewpoints from which you’ll be able to admire exceptional panoramas. As for the island of Espíritu Santo, it has an exceptionally well-preserved ecosystem that enables the observation of exceptional fauna and flora. With a little luck, you may have the opportunity to admire the fascinating and emblematic mobula ray.

      17 October 2018 – Cerralvo Island

      17 October 2018 – Cerralvo Island

      Arrival 17/10/2018. Departure 17/10/2018.

      Also called Jacques Cousteau Island in honour of the famous French oceanographer who undertook several expeditions in the region, Cerralvo Island is a real nature sanctuary. Located at the entrance of the Gulf of California, this land of intact beauty is home to superb jagged cliffs and many sandy beaches. The underwater reliefs and surrounding ocean currents have fostered the development of extremely rich marine life. During a snorkelling trip, you may thus perhaps meet golden groupers, sailfish or marlins. Your expedition team will also take you to explore inland during a walk along a dry river bed.

      18 October 2018▸19 October 2018 – At sea

      18 October 2018▸19 October 2018 – At sea

      Arrival 18/10/2018. Departure 19/10/2018.

      During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. 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 without a port of call 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. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      20 October 2018 – Huatulco (Santa María Huatulco)

      20 October 2018 – Huatulco (Santa María Huatulco)

      Arrival 20/10/2018 midday. Departure 20/10/2018 evening.

      A seaside resort on the Mexican Pacific coast in the southern State of Oaxaca, the Huatulco region is made up of nine turquoise bays. Youメll be spoilt for choice with no less than 36 beaches, four of which are ecological preserves. In addition to the beautiful bays and beaches, you can 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).

      21 October 2018 – At sea

      21 October 2018 – At sea

      Arrival 21/10/2018. Departure 21/10/2018.

      During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. 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 without a port of call 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. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      22 October 2018▸21 October 2018 – Puerto Quetzal

      Puerto Quetzal

      Disembarkation 22/10/2018 at 06H00 .

      Located on the Pacific coast, 100 kilometres south of the capital, the city of Puerto Quetzal is the largest port in the country. Close to the city, the ravishing little old city of Antigua, is a former colonial capital listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. You’ll admire the wealth of its historical monuments.

      Formalities

      • The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

      • Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.

      • USA : Visa may be required. Please contact USA consulate website for details.

      Adventurers of the sea

      Adventurers of the sea

      Editorial by Philippe Legrand

      So as to best illustrate this cruise in the Sea of Cortez, PARIS MATCH has decided to showcase, aboard the ship, the adventurers of the deep blue sea: famous sailors, extreme divers, and treasure hunters. Hosted by Philippe Legrand, this expedition will bring together Aurore Asso, world freediving champion, and Marc Brincourt, a photographic historian. Exclusive accounts, all-new documentaries and passionate discussions will punctuate this unforgettable cruise, presented by Philippe Legrand in the editorial below. 

       

      Making waves

      “The adventurers of the sea know how to communicate with the deep blue sea.

      They speak words that the waves perceive.

      They listen and hear what the waves carry along in their passage and roll out on the sand.

      These adventurers live in another world, one so appealing that it has a magnetic effect, capable of carrying anyone away on long voyages, be they literary, scientific, sporting or meditative.

      From wave to wave, the oceans have their own character without resembling each other. Their own secrets without sharing them.

      The Sea of Cortez is this sea of all seas, a mother for all the others, the only one to hold within it all the mysteries of the deep!

      Let’s understand them, together, by diving with legendary adventurers.”

      Philippe Legrand, Communication Director at PARIS MATCH

      Theme

      TROPICAL EXPEDITION

      TROPICAL EXPEDITION

      Discover the unique concept of PONANT tropical expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.

      A luxury expedition voyage

      Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the archipelagos of Oceania or the atolls of the Indian Ocean, along the wild coastlines of Central America or Australia, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.

      PONANT, expedition cruise specialists

      With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is also a real specialist in the planet’s most remote tropical regions. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.

      Professional expedition teams, varied activities

      After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the tropical regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac dinghies so as to get as close to nature as possible. They can reserve local means of transport (dugout canoes, bush taxis, local buses, etc.) in order to reach essential sites for hiking (volcanoes, nature reserves, etc.) or for visiting isolated villages. Indeed, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to share the life and ancestral customs of these peoples for a few hours. The naturalist guides also supervise snorkelling tours to discover the coral reef fauna. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…

      Guest(s) Lecturer(s)

      Marc Brincourt

      Marc Brincourt

      Exhibition curator and author, he is the man nicknamed “the Paris Match eye”, so precise and accurate is his knowledge of photographic archives.

      Language spoken: French

       

      Photo credit: RR

      Philippe Legrand

      Philippe Legrand

      Journalist, author, speaker and Director of Communications, Philippe Legrand joined Paris Match in the nineties. He presents ‘Face Caméra’ in the Sunday programme, ‘L’Émission du Dimanche’, on France 3, and for the last four years has been the leading light behind ‘Paris Match Cruises with PONANT’. His ninth book is called ‘Les Pantouflards’ (Éd. Economica).

      Language spoken: French

       

      Photo credit: RR

      Aurore Asso

      Aurore Asso

      Aurore Asso is a freediving champion, one of the few women to have broken records in all seas. An agronomist engineer who became a documentary filmmaker, she is captivated by the deep. A top level athlete and modern heroine, Aurore has chosen to live in harmony with wide open spaces and is a veritable mermaid of the oceans. She is always positive and cares deeply about protecting the environment, with her partners in these amazing exploits: Thalgo, Nord Espaces and Purasana.

      Languages spoken: French, English

       

      Photo credit: DEN GC

      Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.

      Important information

      Expeditions programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Certain zodiac® outings will not allow for landings just cruising. Landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.

      Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. The raw beauty and untouched wilderness offer an unusual chance to experience a place where there is little evidence of human presence. Inevitably, there are some consequences that come with such remoteness: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is highly expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid from with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe a full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully and be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive.

      Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of expedition itineraries, the calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be subject to that of local authorities and/or the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and /or isolated zones.

       

      Dressing tips :

      • Cotton comfrortable and light weight shorts/bermudas
      • Light weight long trousers
      • Long-sleeved breathable UPF50+ shirts
      • Cotton short sleeves T-shirt
      • Aquatic UV long-sleeve T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
      • Aquatic non-slip sandals (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
      • Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
      • Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap
      • Comfortable walking shoes
      • Waterproof backpack for camera
      • Sunscreen and after-sun high index & insect repellent
      • Binoculars
      • Note: During your visits to some local communities, all guests will be required to dress respectfully. Ladies must have their shoulders and thighs covered. Gentlemen should have their shoulders covered also.

      Feel free to visit the PONANT online shop which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com

       

      Benefits of the PONANT shop:

      • expert advice to gear up
      • a selection of technical equipment and accessories approved by our naturalists
      • Duty Free prices
      • delivery directly on board

      Pre/Post & Overlands

      1. Before your cruise

        08/10/2018 – San Diego, a glimpse of California (1 night)

        For your comfort and serenity, this programme benefits from a PONANT accompaniment***.
        The escort, mandated by the company, accompanies you and remains at your disposal during your stay.
        His mission: offering you assistance and facilitating the organisation to ensure the full success of your stay.
        1090.00 AU$ **

        More information

        06/10/2018 – From the Grand Canyon to San Diego (3 nights)

        For your comfort and serenity, this programme benefits from a PONANT accompaniment***.
        The escort, mandated by the company, accompanies you and remains at your disposal during your stay.
        His mission: offering you assistance and facilitating the organisation to ensure the full success of your stay.
        3990.00 AU$ **

        More information

      2. After your cruise

        22/10/2018 – Group transfer from the pier to La Aurora International Airport

        65.00 AU$ **

        More information

        22/10/2018 – La Antigua de Guatemala (1 night)

        635.00 AU$ **

        More information

      Attention: the prices listed at the time of your reservation can be different from those listed in the brochure. These prices can evolve based on availability and the real time rates of the airline companies selected.
      Travellers are advised to check all the information with the authorities concerned prior to the departure date. Ponant advises Travellers to consult the country factsheets relating to the chosen destinations. Ponant specifically draws Travellers' attention to the fact that the information provided may change up until the departure date, and they are advised to consult that information up until the time of departure. CDP invites Travellers to adjust their behavior to the visited country, to exercise vigilance and to avoid carrying valuable objects during their travel.
      Need information ?