San Diego Harbor Cruise by Hornblower 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 by Hornblower
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

Please note: that the 2-hour tour does include a brief dock stop to transfer all 1-hour tour guests.

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 a full bar with adult beverages available for purchase
• 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

Tripster Customer Reviews

9 Reviews
John Ruggiero
Tucson, AZ
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"San Diego Harbor"
September 2019 NEW
Harbor cruise was excellent. I recommend doing both the North and the South bays at the same time. Make sure you get in the front of the line for boarding if you want a seat on the top deck. I gave it average review because of on glaring irritating thing they did. You have to go to the ticket window even if you buy your tickets from Tripster. I accept that. However get this. There were four count 'em four people inside the glass booth but only one person was working on tickets. So you have to wait which I understand usually but I even asked one guy that wasn't working on the tickets and he said he was only there to answer questions. Oh bring some Off or another insect spray for waiting in line because the biting flies were awful.
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Tip: Bring insect spray.

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Tom Smith
Fort Pierre , SD
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Ok cruise, but unfortunately short"
June 2018
We booked the 2 hr harbor cruise. Unfortunately about 10 minutes into the first hour the boat had an engine issue and had to return to the dock. Since we booked online and got part time f our cruise we were unable to get a refund. The people on the boat were so noisy it was extremely hard to hear anything the captain was saying. We were disappointed. You would think Hornblower would have another boat they could have brought in to finish our cruise, but they didn’t.
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Tip: It will s very breezy on the boat so bring a jacket or blanket.

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Anthony Italiano
Medford, NY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"We saw Sea Lions"
June 2018
It was nice taking a short boat ride around the bay to see the marine life. There was also a lot of interesting stuff to see on the shore. We enjoyed the adventure!
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Tip: Bring a jacket it can be windy

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Larissa Leslie
AU
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great hour"
April 2018
Was a lovely tour and very informative
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Karen Singleton
Moreno Valley, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Wonderful experience"
April 2018
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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Tripster 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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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Fdrl L
Emory, Texas
"Great"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 18, 2019 NEW
Educational and informative. We took the 2 hour tour, we saw the seals and the monument on the first hour and the second hour the ships and Coronado island highlights. The captain was pleasant and informative
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Michael O
Scottsdale, Arizona
"Nice dinner cruise on the Inspriation, their large newish vessel"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 16, 2019 NEW
San Diego Bay is beautiful and this is a great way to see it at night. Get a window table for your dinner. Go up on the large top deck to enjoy the view. Dance the DJ later in the cruise. Everyone on board was having a good time.
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lejones1785
Pueblo, Colorado
"Great Dinner and Whale Watching Cruise"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 09, 2019 NEW
We did a dinner cruise on Christmas and a whale watching cruise a few days before. The dinner cruise was super fun and the food was delicious. The whale watching cruise would have been a lot funner if the water wasn't so choppy (lots of people got sick), but that was not the companies fault. We even got to see a little whale
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JTR15
Fayetteville, AR
"Two Hour Harbor Cruise afternoon-no Sea Lion Adventure"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 07, 2019 NEW
August 31st, I was in the area visiting and was very excited about this cruise. The cruise itself was wonderful and the captain who was our tour commentator was very engaging and informative. I would recommend the two hour cruise because the first hour you sail up one side of the bay and then return to the dock after 1 hour to release the 1 hour cruise people and board the next 1 hour cruise people. Then the 2nd hour, we went down the other side of the bay under the Coronado Bridge and learned so much history on all the ships there. Pleasant and relaxing and informative. Did not partake of any food, just a couple of sodas. Felt very safe and the staff was friendly and welcoming. Now getting to the cruise was not pleasant. I booked on the phone and was sent an email telling us the address and it said Pier 2. It had a google map which showed the location away from the Midland Ship Museum some distance. That was my focus since the morning was spent at Midway. Even my own google maps on my phone between the address of Midway and the address for Hornblower showed the location away from the Midway. We had seen two large Hornblower ships docked coming down Harbor Drive towards Midway. It is hard to see addresses on Harbor drive on the wharf side and even harder to see Pier numbers. So our mistake, we assumed the two ships we saw was the place to go. So after Midway, we rushed down the crowded sidewalk in the noon heat to that location, only to be told by a crew member that location was the evening cruise location and to go back to Pier 1, a different pier than we were told in the email. Again we rushed back in the heat afraid we were going to miss the cruise because it took 15 minutes to get there. There was something special going on with lots of booths, people, music on the drive. Still not seeing Pier numbers and not trusting Google maps, we finally arrived, literally next door to the Midway parking. Google maps was misleading. It did not show this address was right next to Midway. Their map on their email was misleading. It also did not show this location was right next to Midway. Never did see any Pier numbers so don't know whether we were at Pier 1 or 2. Did see a pier called Broadway. All they had at the street was a small flip board sign about 3 feet tall saying Hornblower. The ticket office was behind either booths that were set up or another building. We would have never seen this little sign from the street as we were focused on finding parking when we first arrived. When we left Midway, we were on the sidewalk and not the street. We did make the cruise and it was wonderful. I would suggest that they need to clarify in their email that they have TWO locations and that this cruise is right next door to the Midway Ship Museum instead of relying on their Google Map attachment. We arrived exhausted, sweat soaked and spent the first hour indoors in air conditioning, but could see out the large windows and could hear the audio just fine. The 2nd hour we spent up on top deck next to the railing and it was also pleasant and relaxing. I would recommend this cruise, just please for out of towners, please clarify your location better in your email. Google Maps cannot be trusted.
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david p
Falkirk, United Kingdom
"Patriot jet boat"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 27, 2019 NEW
This is a $32 35 minute blast around San Diego bay, what a blast, the guys who run this tour make it, they provide ponchos if you don’t want to get wet,but what’s the point of that, the boat is very powerful and does sharp stops and turns, you also get great views around the bay, as well as a good time. Would definitely recommend, and good value for money, you also get the chance to buy a photo they take before you board. Top tip sit nearer the front to stay reasonably dry, good luck.
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San Diego Harbor Cruise by Hornblower 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 by Hornblower

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.