Photo Tour Cruising the San Diego Harbor

Last summer our family took a weekend excursion to San Diego, California during our nearly two week Southern California vacation.  We drove down from Los Angeles specifically for a sleepover experience at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, that left us a bit groggy from the 6am wakeup call.  We had plenty of time before we could check into our San Diego hotel, so we piled into the rental car and headed downtown to the harbor.  Continue reading for our leisurely tour experience cruising the harbor.

This was just what our tired family needed to while away a couple hours.  We purchased our ticket for the Flagship Cruises harbor tour.  They have one hour cruises of the North or South Bay, and a two hour cruise of the full bay.  We didn’t care which cruise we were on, and reserved the next departing boat – a 1 hour South Bay cruise.  We had a little time before we could board, so the family trundled down to the USS Midway Museum located right next door.

You may remember the Midway from its recent appearance on American Idol as the setting for the San Diego auditions.  The setting may not have been the best for singers with planes flying overhead and ship horns blasting, but it’s a great place for families to tour.

We spent about an hour wandering the decks of the USS Midway, and checking out the assortment of military aircraft.  We could have spent much longer taking in all the details, but, on this particular day, the family didn’t have the stamina for an extended museum visit.  This travel Dad has learned how to read his charges, and I knew sitting on a ship and having someone else give us a tour was the way to go.  We made our way back to the Flagship Cruises pier.

It was a gorgeous day for the cruise.  We sailed past Coronado Island, under the Coronado Bay Bridge, and past the Naval Ship Yard.

There are many tour companies competing for passengers, and we passed the Hornblower Cruises’ ship on a similar tour.

We enjoyed the ride, relaxed on deck, soaked in the sun & breezes, and watched the sights drift by.  The tour guide was very knowledgable and entertaining, and could details on all the Naval ships we encountered.  It was a great, low energy way to get oriented to San Diego.

The 1 hour harbor tour cost $22 for adults, and the 2 hour cruises are only $5 more ($27).  Note the narrator did ask for tips at the end of the cruise.  If this is something you’re interested in, keep an eye out for discounts online and book ahead.    For more photos of our family’s San Diego Harbor Tour, check out the full photo gallery featured below.

Have you done a cruise of the San Diego Harbor?  Now that our family has done one tour, I think we might enjoy seeing the North Bay, and looking for seals on the shelter islands.  One of these days, we’d love to get down and go whale watching during the December-April season.  For more travel news and features, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

Note, as of December 2009, the Federal Trade Commission requires disclosure of any payments or considerations.  The San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted our family and provided 4 complimentary tickets to the USS Midway Museum and Flagship Harbor Cruise.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.