Welcome to the Sea of Cortez where ultra-luxury meets discovery

Explore untouched islands of the Sea of Cortez, a vibrant archipelago known as the Aquarium of the World. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is a destination best visited on a Discovery Yacht. Kayak along the rugged coastlines, snorkel in the warm sea and spot unique reptiles and cacti on volcanic islands. Join the Discovery Team on deck with binoculars, looking for the tell-tale spray of water from the ocean, indicating the presence of majestic blue, fin and sperm whales in the vicinity. 

Aquarium of the world  

Hailed as ‘the aquarium of the world’ by French explorer Jacques Cousteau, the Sea of Cortez stretches for more than 1,100 km between the Baja Peninsula and mainland Mexico. Also known as the Gulf of California, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most diverse seas on the planet, home to a large number of dolphins and whales (including the magnificent blue whale) with more than 900 species of fish. The scenery is stunning with pristine beaches, volcanic islands and green mangrove forests meeting the shore.

Here, Scenic Discovery Naturalist and Zodiac driver Adam Jenkins shares his highlights of the Sea of Cortez discovery voyage on board Scenic Eclipse.  

Why is the Sea of Cortez so special?  

The Sea of Cortez offers a unique discovery experience, from its deep blue waters to pure beaches, rugged Sonoran desert and unspoilt mountain landscapes. With kilometres of coastline and stunning beaches, witness awe-inspiring scenery from one of Scenic Eclipse’s on board helicopters^. The warm water is perfect for water sports and swimming, with wildlife beneath the surface, which guests can experience on board Scenic Neptune, a custom-built submarine^. 

Please note: ^Flights on board our two helicopters, helicopter experiences and submarines at additional cost, subject to regulatory approval, availability, weight restrictions, medical approval and weather and ice conditions. Helicopters are unable to operate in South Georgia, Svalbard and Russia. Submarine unable to operate in US waters and Svalbard.

What Marine species can be found in the Sea of Cortez?


The world’s rarest marine mammal, the vaquita (meaning ‘little cow’) is a tiny porpoise found here and is on the verge of extinction.  

Mobula Ray & Sea Turtle

The Mobula Ray is one of the most entertaining species found here, the mobula ray, can be seen leaping from the water - sometimes reaching up to two metres

The Sea of Cortez is home to five species of sea turtle, all of which are endangered: hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback, green turtle and olive ridley

Blue Whale & Sea Lion

There are many whale species to keep an eye out for, including the world’s largest animal – the blue whale – which comes here to mate between February and March each year. 

These playful marine mammals, Sea Lions, breed at Los Islotes with around 300 calling the islands home during summer, producing up to 70 pups. The male sea lions can weigh up to 270 kilograms; most forage near the shore and snorkelling here is excellent.

What are your top 5 memorable experiences from the Sea of Cortez?

  1. Witnessing the amazing sunrise and sunsets 
  2. Snorkelling in azure waters 
  3. Whale-watching Zodiac cruises and from the bow of Scenic Eclipse 
  4. Walking on unspoilt beaches 
  5. Hiking along an arroya (a creek) through a cardon cactus forest 

On Board Scenic Eclipse

Limited guest numbers of up to just 228 people on board Scenic Eclipse means multiple landings a day, each one carefully designed to offer a immersive experience, and in between, you return to The World’s First Discovery Yacht. Enjoy lunch at one of several dining experiencesvisit the expansive 5,920 square feet Senses Spa for the pure indulgence of rejuvenating treatments, or soak in our Vitality Spa or outdoor pool. Enjoy6-star luxury on board while also experiencing the wildlife, history and culture of this incredible region.