In partnership with National Geographic Expeditions.

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 an exceptional 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.

Highlights


• A cruise in partnership with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert onboard.

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

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

Superior Stateroom

$ 10710 AUD pp
Superior Stateroom
(226 sq.ft.) 8 superior staterooms of 226 sq.ft.located on Deck 3. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line, telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

DeLuxe Stateroom

$ 11640 AUD pp
DeLuxe Stateroom
(200 sq.ft. + 43 sq.ft. private balcony), 28 Deluxe Staterooms of 200 sq.ft.with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4

$ 13160 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
(18,5 m² + 4 m² private balcony), 92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5

$ 13860 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
(18,5 m² + 4 m² private balcony), 92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6

$ 14610 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
(18,5 m² + 4 m² private balcony), 92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Deluxe Suite

$ 20840 AUD pp
Deluxe Suite
(290 sq.ft. + 54 sq.ft. private balcony), On Deck 6 you will find 3 Deluxe Suites with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table

Prestige Suite - Deck 5

$ 28710 AUD pp
Prestige Suite - Deck 5
(398 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony), 20 Prestige Suites with private balcony will provide you a sea with in total discretion. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table

Prestige Suite - Deck 6

$ 30200 AUD pp
Prestige Suite - Deck 6
(398 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony), 20 Prestige Suites with private balcony will provide you a sea with in total discretion. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table

Owner’s suite

$ 34860 AUD pp
Owner’s suite
(484 sq.ft + 97 sq.ft. private balcony). The Owner's suite is situated on Deck 6. It has been decorated by Franch interior designers and will provide you a breathtakting panoramic sea view. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Bathtub or shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Large bathtub, Sofa, Table with 4 chairs, Armchair & Pedestal table

Additional charges:

Port Taxes: 960 AUD pp

Le Soleal

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship

Length: 142 metres

Passenger Capacity: 264

Built: 2013

Sailing under the French flag, this magnificent yacht of only 132 staterooms and suites, with balconies, joined in 2013. You will be enchanted by the contemporary decor inspired by the luxury yachting world, with fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white.

A refined ambience is enhanced by the quality of the workmanship and materials: white Corian counters in the lobby contrast with the warmth of leather to recall a boat's hull, while the central scuplture of enamelled pieces takes its inspiration from the sea.  In the loungebar, the carpet picks up a tennis stripe theme symbolising a certain idea of cruising, one synonomous with French elegance and a chic seaside spirit.

Cabin layout for Le Soleal
Le Soleal
Baja California Luxury ExpeditionLuxury Expedition
14 Days from
$ 10710 AUD pp

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