A Maiden Voyage for a New Cruise Ship Stops in Monterey Bay

This article was originally published by the Monterey County Weekly.

MONTEREY, CA—Usually, a walk along the coastal trail greets visitors with a few, familiar sights—seals sunning themselves on the rocks, fishing boats coming in and out of the harbor, a few kayakers braving the elements.

But every so often, a larger, more conspicuous sight can be found anchored just outside of the harbor: a towering cruise ship.

Most of these ships are chartered by large, international companies like Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, and pass through while in transit between summers in Southeast Alaska and winters in the warmer waters of Baja California and beyond.

But Tuesday brought a slightly smaller ship to town, one that’s never before made an appearance in Monterey: Lindblad Expeditions' National Geographic Venture, making its maiden voyage from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The Venture is Lindblad’s newest addition to its fleet and will only stop in Monterey once this winter before heading south for the winter to run 10-day expeditions billed as “Baja California and the Sea of Cortez: Among the Great Whales.”

Lindblad Expeditions, known for its close affiliation with National Geographic, carries significantly smaller passenger loads than other cruise ships and is staffed with naturalists well-versed in local flora, fauna, natural history and photography—areas of interest popular with those who have an affinity for the National Geographic brand.

The Venture carries 100 passengers, and sold out soon after tickets went on sale for its trip along the Coastal California by Sea trip.

Passengers aboard the Venture had the opportunity to join shore excursions touring Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and hiking in Point Lobos.

The Venture departed Tuesday afternoon and will cruise south along the coastline of Big Sur, before arriving in Long Beach on Friday.