Hornblower San Diego Harbor Cruise in San Diego, CA

Hornblower Cruises & Events970 N. Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101
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Overview

Featuring live, professionally narrated tours of more than 50 landmarks in the San Diego Bay area, San Diego Harbor Cruises offers entertainment for the whole family. Each cruise covers more than 13 miles of the Big Bay, passing Seaport Village, Point Loma and other points of interest. Guests can choose from seven daily departures, and enjoy a snack and beverage bar, an onboard exhibit, and more.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our San Diego Travel Experts
  • Sails rain or shine with U.S. Coast Guard approval.
  • Wear a light jacket.
  • Casual attire required.
  • Cover more than 13 miles of gorgeous San Diego Bay.
  • View Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument and more.

Description

from San Diego Harbor Cruise
Enjoy the best sightseeing on San Diego Bay—with a professionally narrated tour of more than 50 storied landmarks. We’ll cover over 13 miles on the Big Bay, passing by Seaport Village, Shelter Island, ship-building and dry-docking facilities, Coronado Island, Point Loma, and Cabrillo National Monument, among many others. As we sail, we’ll see delightful marine animals and majestic sea birds, and we’ll talk about what local environmental efforts are doing to protect them. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to capture all the sights in photos and video, and our fully stocked snack bar is always open.

1 and 2 hour Harbor Cruises with 6 departures daily!

One Hour South and One Hour North Bay Cruise & Sea Lion Adventure:
• 13-mile tour of the north or south bay.
• More than 20 landmarks, historic sites and environmental interest points

Two Hour Full Bay Cruise:
• Includes all the sights of the North and South Bay Cruises!
• More than 50 landmarks, historic sites and environmental interest points
• 25-mile tour of the North and South Bay

All Cruises Include:
• Onboard experts providing a live, professional narration
• Comfortable indoor and outdoor seating with climate controlled indoor viewing and spacious outer decks
• Snack bar including full bar with adult beverages
• Souvenir boarding photos available for purchase
• Onboard exhibit featuring environmental and green facts and features on San Diego Bay, as well as local marine wildlife.

DAILY CRUISE SCHEDULE:
(Sea lions sightings are not guaranteed but are most often seen on the North Bay Route.)
1-hour tours: 10:00 am, 11:15 am, 12:30 pm, 1:45 pm, 3 pm, 4:15 pm, *5:30 pm
2-hour tours: 10:00 am, 11:15 am, 12:30 pm, 1:45 pm, 3:00 pm, *4:15 pm

*Summer only.
North Bay Routes in bold

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to tour time.
Harbor Cruises board at San Diego Navy Float 970 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA

Reserve San Diego Customer Reviews

5 Reviews
Karen Singleton
Moreno Valley, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Wonderful experience"
April, 2018 NEW
Took my 3 children and 2 grandchildren on a 2 hour harbor cruise. The children enjoyed it immensely! I stood outside in the bow of the boat because my son wanted to be outside. I would have given it 5 stars if I could have heard the first mate telling us about the surroundings. I only caught glimpses of what he said. Put speakers outside and you will have 5 stars.
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Tip: Ask the captain which way the boat will be going around the harbor. I sat on the side away from shore and missed some of the sights.

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James and Janet Chrzanowski
CRYSTAL LAKE, IL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Very Pleasant and Relaxing - After Much Confusion..."
February, 2018
Cruise very pleasant in itself but boarding was confusing bordering on chaotic for first timers. No signage stating that two different cruises were leaving from the same dock...Further, no mention was made by ticket office/advertising/dockside personnel that the same boat was actually used for both the one hour and two hour cruise with the boat returning to the dock after an hour to pick up passengers for either: a one hour cruise, or another full two hour cruise...

Narrators were (switched after one hour leg) very informative...On board beverages were fairly priced and white tablecloths were a surprise.

Definitely five stars if the confusion hadn't existed...
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Tip: Generally covered above, I believe...

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Reserve San Diego Customer
Denver, CO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Pleasant experience"
October, 2015
Pleasant experience, informative n the views was beautiful. The ride was smooth.
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Tip: Buy ur tickets a head of time. Know where to park

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Ilse van Ewijk
Los Angeles, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Magnificent views of San Diego!"
October, 2015
My mom visiting from Belgium, my husband and I took the 2-hour Hornblower cruise of the San Diego bays during a weekend trip. The boat itself was spacious and could accommodate a lot of people even though the numbers aboard at the time I went were low. The captain gave detailed information about all the different bays and areas. The bar aboard provided drinks and snacks at reasonable prices too. When I compared everything to other tour boats, I could not have been happier not to be crammed like a sardeen on a touristy boat. Would definitely recommend the Hornblower to everyone out there!
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Tip: Sealions Baycruise SanDiego

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stasia doom
Las Vegas, NV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"harbor cruise"
February, 2015
reservations, price and boarding were good. However, staff on the cruise were rude and unfriendly.
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Tip: No staff will be nice to you once you board.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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TXSnoot
"Charter of High Spirits for Private, Corporate Event"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed April 17, 2018 NEW
Our company held a three-day long event at the Hotel del Coronado for our top clients from around the southern states, and one of the highlights of our time spent in the area was the dinner cruise on the High Spirits, one of the Hornblower vessels. The boat picked us up across the street from the hotel, so we had no worries with transportation or parking, saving us hassle and additional costs. It was an easy process to board the ship, pausing to take photos with a custom made buoy, and we were met with our custom drink requested, the French 75. Appetizers were already displayed upon our arrival, passed appetizers came out quickly after that, and the bartenders kept up with our thirsty crowd. The dinner was served on the upper deck, where there was plenty of room to move around a buffet table and second bar. If the weather is pretty enough, ask them to raise the plastic drapes for a better view. Dessert was back downstairs, delicious and plentiful. The boat was an amazing vessel built in the 1920s and in very good condition. You can bring your own music, but we asked them to just play the Satellite Radio Jazz station. The staff did an incredible job, the time flew by and we all departed with smiles.
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Courtney F
Boston, Massachusetts
"$30 pukefest"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed April 15, 2018 NEW
Was really looking forward to a west coast whale watch since they are all rough back in new england. Well i really wished they would have cancelled the trip that day. Once we were out of the bay it was 6ft waves and pretty rough, people were throwing up everywhere, i almost got vomited on a few times by passengers who wouldnt just sit down and vomit! The bathroom sinks and floors were also covered in vomit. Im pretty sure my friend and I were the only ones not sick (thank you Dramamine). Then after an hour of that they turned the boat around and headed back since it was too rough. Then we saw a grey whale in the bay. The staff were nice but we couldnt hear anything they were saying over the loudspeakers. They gave us a rain check but i am petrified to get on their boat again after that horrible experience, i would have much rather preferred a refund.
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BeachFamilySND
Carmel, Indiana
"Underwhelming and too long"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed April 08, 2018 NEW
This looked like a must do to what ended up to see "a whale" and military ships and bases. The tour is way too long for what it is but we did get to see "a whale" that happens to be close by and no whales in the open ocean although several ships go in many different directions to locate one and then radio each other. We did get to see a school of dolphins which was more fun that the whale since there were a lot of them and they were jumping out of the water and following the boat all the way around. Lots of people were bored and not feeling well. Operator advise is to shorten the tour and have someone on a small boat spot the whale first before getting the big boat going all over the place making people sea sick. Alternative is to go to La Jolla and watch the seals sunbathe and play in the water for free for hours which is what our kids enjoyed a lot more.
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bluzee
USA
"A great way to see the city from a different perspective "
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed April 03, 2018 NEW
Took the two hour Harbor Cruise with family and really enjoyed it. Definitely bring a jacket along. When visiting the South Bay, you want to be on the left side of the ship. When visiting the North Bay, the right side is ideal. And upper deck if you can get it. We really enjoyed viewing the Navy ships, Coronado Bridge, City vistas and sea lions. We purchased our tickets via Groupon and felt we received a good value for what we paid. Would definitely recommend to first time visitors.
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Michael L
"Two-hour tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed April 02, 2018 NEW
The two-hour tour takes you to the north and the south areas of San Diego bay. You get to see the collections of military ships, shore lines attractions, and the adorable seals. An experience that you don't get to see everyday.
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San Diego Harbor Cruise is located at Hornblower Cruises & Events970 N. Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101
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Frequently Asked Questions about San Diego Harbor Cruise

Do I get to choose the south or north cruise for my One Hour Harbor Cruise?
You can be selective on which time you select. Currently, the North Cruise departs at 10:00 am, 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm. The North cruise covers the California Sea Lions, Nuclear Submarine Base, Star of India, Point Loma Lighthouse, America's Cup Harbor, North Island Naval Air Station and the Cabrillo National Monument. The South Cruise departs at 11:15 am, 1:45 pm and 4:15 pm and cover Midway Aircraft, Naval Destroyers & Frigates, Convention Center, Ship Building Facilities, Naval Station San Diego, Coronado Island and travel under the Coronado Bay Bridge.

Note: Times for each direction subject to change.

Does the Two Hour Harbor Cruise cover both the North and South Routes?
Yes, you will get to see both the North and South.

If one or more people in my party are not able to make it or we miss the cruise departure time will we receive a refund?
No. Once payment is received cruises are non-refundable. With a 48-hour or better notice, we will be happy to reschedule your cruise date or issue a gift certificate for the amount paid. Cruises are non- refundable and non-transferable within 48 hours of your cruise. We do not compensate for no-shows or late arrivals.

Is gratuity included?
A service charge is collected at the time of reservation, related to the cruise and the service included in the ticket. If you wish to purchase additional beverages or food enhancements onboard, we recommend you leave a gratuity onboard based on the quality of service provided to you by your server.

What happens if it rains or snow?
Hornblower sails rain or shine. In the case of severe weather conditions or upon the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard, we will remain dockside, but provide the full dining service.

Are there any age restrictions on your cruises?
There are no age restrictions for most of our cruises. All minors require adult supervision. Please call with questions about any of our special event cruises, as minors are not restricted, but the cruise may not be appropriate for all age groups.

Do you offer any children discounts?
Children under 4 are complimentary.

What is the dress attire for the cruises?
Casual attire, such as shorts and t-shirts are appropriate. We recommend bringing along a light jacket or wrap as it may get breezy on board, especially for those cruises that occur out on the open ocean.

What time do I board the ship?
Boarding time is usually 30 minutes prior to departure for all cruises. Please check your boarding time when making your reservation.

Is smoking allowed?
Smoking is allowed on the outside decks only with the exception of Harbor Tours and Whale Watching Cruises. Please dispose of all refuse in proper receptacles. Do not throw anything into the water. Please help us keep our harbors clean.

Can we meet the Captain and visit the pilot house?
Yes. Guests are welcome to come and meet the Captain and the First Officer. However, for safety and security reasons, we ask that you check with our staff onboard before visiting the pilot house. We want to ensure that all passengers and crew are kept safe and that the captain is not distracted while performing essential duties.

Are you regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard?
Our vessels are all subject to inspections by the U.S. Coast Guards and our crew are all properly licensed. We also follow Marsec security guidelines. Should the Marsec security level be elevated, we may opt to increase security measures onboard our vessels to insure everyone’s safety. The U.S. Coast Guard requires all passengers over 18 years of age to have valid photo identification. Please make sure to have your photo ID available at boarding.

Are life preservers on board?
Each vessel is 100% Coast Guard certified with life preservers and all required lifesaving equipment, including child life vests.

Is the ship handicapped accessible?
Hornblower does have accessible yachts in the fleet. However, not all yachts and decks are accessible. Please call 888-467-6256 to ensure handicap accessibility for the date you are planning to cruise.

Will I get seasick?
The vast majority of our guests experience no discomfort at all as we do not leave the calm waters of the harbor. If you tend to have a problem with motion sickness, you may experience seasickness. If you are sailing on one of our whale watching cruises, we do go out into the open ocean and as a result, the chance of getting seasick increases. For these cruises, we recommend that if you are prone to motion sickness that you take advantage of a number of preventative measures that are available to you.

Where are you located?
In San Diego, we have three main locations.  Please check your confirmation to determine which is the correct location for your event. 

  • Our main ticket booth is located at 970 N. Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Our secondary ticket booth is located at Grape Street Pier at 1800 N. Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Our offices and event space are located at The Abbey at 2825 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
Does Hornblower validate parking?
We do not validate for parking.  Hornblower San Diego shares a parking lot with the USS Midway. Parking fees are typically $8 for 4hrs and $12 for 12hrs.