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
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
FredN47
Walnut Creek, California
"Nice afternoon cruise"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 03, 2019 NEW
Decided to finally see San Diego from the water. Nice relaxing cruise and fun. Great narrator during the cruise. Was not dissapointed.
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tomplmr
Vancouver, Washington
"Boat trip sinks"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed October 20, 2019 NEW
We recently went on a horn blower cruise. It was supposed to be music, hor devours and a cocktail service. We had been on the cruise previously and had a wonderful time. Thought we knew what to expect. WRONG. We started out in the lower cabin where the air conditioning was set much lower than necessary. It was cold! Too cold to the point where it was truly unbearable. We ended up outside where it was much warmer. The food was very limited to crackers and cheese. Occasionally a server would enter the room with a small tray of food that went to those people standing in the cracker line, never making it to the rest of the cabin. Very disappointing. And the music, it was played way too loud where normal conversation was impossible. We asked the dj to turn it down which he did, only to turn it back again? It was a most uncomfortablde evening, and not cheap!! Never again! Ext time I’ll .
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DRJohnstone
Lancaster, California
"Hornblower dinner cruise"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed October 19, 2019 NEW
The 3 hour dinner cruise was really lovely. The dining area has white table linens and upscale settings and food. The food was very good. It is basically set up as a fine dining atmosphere. But they had a major damper, the music. They could have been playing beautiful music - perhaps of a romantic nature or easy saks music, that type of thing. But the DJ played very rowdy dance beats. It was awful and literally stole away the mood - was hard to take on a 3 hour cruise that would otherwise have been perfect. I asked him twice (nicely) to play something pretty but he just couldn't bring himself to do that. It is mostly what I remember about the cruise - the noise. It isn't supposed to be a party boat. It's supposed to be conducive to fine dining on the moonlit water. Also, 3 hours is a long time. Perhaps 2.5 hours would be better.
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IdahoGirl83716
Boise, Idaho
"It's A Boat"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed October 03, 2019
If you are looking to see whales and other marine life make sure you book the right venue! The Harbor Cruise is simply going (SLOW) around the harbor. Yes, you see LOTS of military boats and YES the crew members give you great history and information about the boats and helicopters, but being a non-military person it was boring to me. At least it was a boat and nice to be on the water. Highlight...the photo opp's SD skyline.
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McK5nz
San Diego, California
"HornBlower cruise"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 30, 2019
We did the Sunday brunch buffet. It is great for families, friends or couples. It is a buffet so there is a lot of selection but as one would expect the hotest dishes at times and it is mass produced. For the adults there are bottom less Momoso's
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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.