An UnCruise Adventure in the Sea of Cortés

I donned my mask and snorkel and jumped off the Zodiac-style skiff into the cool (for me) waters of Mexico’s Sea of Cortés. Our goal for the day on our Baja’s Bounty cruise with UnCruise Adventures? To see, and hopefully swim amongst, juvenile and baby sea lions who rest on the rocky outcropping at Los Islotes.

California Sea Lion in Marina

© Henry Turner |

After spotting a few large schools of fish and marine life far below, our first sea lion darted by. And then a second. Graceful and playful, they swam by and through our group with ease, checking us out just as we checked them out.

Peru sunset

© Susan B. Barnes

Back onboard the Safari Endeavor, after I’d dried off and warmed up in one of the two on-deck hot tubs, I traded stories of the sea lion encounter with the other guests who jumped into the undersea playground. The next day we were slated to swim with juvenile whale sharks, a mere 20–30-feet long as compared to their adult relatives who come in at 50–60 feet. As a marine life enthusiast, I couldn’t imagine a more suitable itinerary.

While the Endeavor can accommodate 84 guests in its 42 cabins, I counted a few empty tables at dinner the night before and figured I was one of roughly 65 guests on our sailing. That’s the appeal of UnCruise Adventures — the small ships in its fleet, the largest of which, the S.S. Legacy, can accommodate up to 86 guests, and the smallest, the Safari Quest, 22 guests; the unique and hard-to-reach destinations larger ships simply can’t access; the camaraderie found with fellow passengers; and the crew. Delectable meals are served casually in the dining room, with one open seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A stop on the Sea of Cortes

© Susan B. Barnes

On the Baja’s Bounty cruise, there aren’t ports of call, rather points of interest. Our itinerary took us to undeveloped and uninhabited islands for hiking, snorkeling and beach partying. We cruised the waters spotting marine life. A pod of playful dolphins played in the wake of our bow, jumping and peeking up at us as we looked down at them.

After my first UnCruise Adventures trip to the Sea of Cortés, I’m ready to check out the other itineraries to Alaska, the Columbia and Snake rivers, Costa Rica and Panamá, Hawai’i, the Pacific Northwest and, of course, the Galápagos.