Wild California Escape: Channel Islands

This 5-day Wildness + Wellness adventure with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic takes you to the remote and remarkable Channel Islands. Board the National Geographic Venture, your floating base camp, in Los Angeles, and head for three of the five wildlife-rich islands which make up Channel Islands National Park, plus Catalina Island. Here, you'll actively explore unmarred landscapes, revel in pure nature, and rejuvenate mind, body, and soul with exhale's award-winning well-being programs.

Click here for 5 reasons why you should visit Channel Islands National Park.

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2019 Departure Dates:

  • December 3-7, 2019

2020 Departure Dates:

  • April 25-29, 2020
  • September 23-27, 2019


  • Exult in the pristine beauty of the islands and roam free in wide-open spaces

  • Take a leisurely trail walk with a naturalist, looking out for the astonishing number of endemic flora & fauna

  • Explore fascinating sea caves by kayak or paddleboard

  • Find your center with daily guided exhale meditation sessions

  • Challenge body and mind with exhale fitness classes including Core Fusion Bootcamp, Barre + Cardio, & restorative Chill Yoga

  • Stroll white-sand beaches or spend time exploring bustling tide pools

  • Take in panoramic views & spectacular landscapes on exhale mindfulness hikes + post-hike assisted stretching sessions

  • Enjoy a sunset cocktail party on deck, then end the day with stargazing


Flexibility and spontaneity are a big part of our itinerary. Our ace spotters are always ‘on it,’ and if they sight a blue whale, they’ll let you know—so you won’t miss a thing nature has to offer. If conditions cancel one option, our nimble team will have another. They might surprise you with a BBQ on deck or a dance party under stars. Your Base Camp getaway might be compact, but it’s a genuine expedition, so there’s always room for magic.

DAY 1: Los Angeles, CA/Embark: Arrive in Los Angeles, or toss your bag in your car if you live there, and head to the Port of Los Angeles to be welcomed aboard. Familiarize yourself with the ship, stow your stuff, and take in the sights on the ship’s deck. We’ll set sail in the early evening—where you’ll meet the team and settle in for the days ahead! (D)

DAY 2: Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands, Channel Islands National Park: Wake to the ship at anchor off the rocky outcropping of East Anacapa Island. Join your exhale instructor on the sundeck for morning yoga. After breakfast, join naturalists aboard our expedition landing craft to go ashore on East Anacapa. The goal is the Anacapa Lighthouse, built in 1912, the last major light station to be built on the west coast. Soak in the views from Inspiration Point or, for a more relaxing option, explore Arch Rock via zodiac.

After lunch we head to Santa Cruz for hiking and exploring. At over 96 square miles in size, it’s the largest island in California, with more than 600 plant species, 140 birds, including large colonies of nesting seabirds, and 11 land mammal species, including pinnipeds. Isolation has led to adaptation—there are 60 endemic species found nowhere else in the world. So, test your skills by trying to spot the Santa Cruz Island fox, one of the smallest in the world.

Spend the day your way: there are many trails covering the eastern end of the island offering the opportunity for leisurely walking, birding, or working with your certified photo instructor to capture the natural beauty. Or opt for a strenuous hike and make your Fitbit proud. Grab a kayak and explore the shoreline. Go beachcombing.

Head back to the ship to refresh for cocktail hour and Recap, a presentation or two, and dinner. (B,L,D)

DAY 3: Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park: Spend the day kayaking, hiking one of the many trails, or simply relaxing ashore. Join our naturalists for a more strenuous hike out to the base of the Torrey Pines, considered one of the world’s rarest pines, and one of only two naturally occurring groves in the world.

The day ends with a pre-dinner exhale Chill Yoga session on deck, followed by a cocktail party as we cruise, weather permitting, around San Miguel Island at sunset to see the spectacle: over 30,000 pinnipeds, and up to five different species, haul out on the beaches at various times of the year. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Catalina Island: Spend the day discovering the colorful history and natural wonders of Catalina Island. Once a haunt of smugglers and gold-diggers, the island was transformed into a resort destination by chewing gum tycoon William Wrigley, Jr. in the 1920s. Some 50 years later, William’s heirs, Philip K. Wrigley and Dorothy Wrigley Offield, established the Catalina Island Conservancy, protecting nearly 90 percent of the island. After a morning workout on deck followed by breakfast, enjoy a session with a Conservancy member to learn about their work on the island before heading out on the trail for spectacular views of the coastline and the Catalina backcountry. With luck, we may catch a glimpse—or a photo—of the elusive fox species endemic to the island. Head for the water to kayak or stand-up paddleboard.

After lunch, the ship arrives in Avalon Harbor, for an afternoon of exploration on your own. Downtown Avalon, the island’s only incorporated city, has a population of less than 5,000. Take the 30-minute (mostly uphill) stroll up to Avalon Canyon to visit the Wrigley Monument and The Botanic Garden. Or visit an architectural gem: the famous Catalina Casino, built by William Wrigley, Jr. in 1929. Scuba-certified? Our team will arrange diving and gear rental for you with a top local operator. Return to the ship for sunset yoga on deck, a farewell dinner, and a last evening at sea, under the stars. (B,L,D)

DAY 5: Los Angeles/Disembark Awake dockside in the bustling Port of Los Angeles (early risers can catch the action in one of the world’s largest ports). Enjoy a final breakfast on board before disembarking and either transferring to the airport or heading to your car or Uber—refreshed by your getaway. (B)

For more information contact travel@npca.org or call 202.454.3305.

Check out NPCA’s full tour lineup at www.npca.org/trips

  • Cost:
    From $3,010 per person double occupancy; single supplement applies
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