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MEXICO: Experience Baja's Wild Life
The circuit: The Sea of Cortés, round-trip from Loreto, Mexico
Boat basics: American Safari Cruises' 22-passenger Safari Quest is so teeny it feels like a private yacht, with a hot tub on the upper deck and a relaxed dining room.
Shore thing: This is an intimate look at the Baja peninsula, away from the margaritas and beachfront resorts. Passengers drop in on fishing villages and commune with migrating whales and playful sea lions. Larger cruise ships have to stay two miles from the shore of Isla Raza's protected biosphere reserve, but Safari Quest has special permission to let passengers disembark and see the Heermann's gulls—all million of them—who migrate here annually. (Watch out for gifts from above.) Added bonus: Off the coast of Isla Coyote, a private island in Baja, passengers swim with sea lions, who paddle up to swimmers, nibble on snorkel fins, and dive between legs.
The details: Nine-night Mexico's Sea of Cortés cruises depart in April, November, and December 2007.
From $5,895 per person
American Safari Cruises
Tel: 888 862 8881