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Take a San Diego Harbor Cruise | Boat Tours and Dinner Cruises

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Located right on the coast, San Diego is well known for its aquatic activities, including a variety of boat tours and cruises.

This post provides details about the best San Diego Harbor Cruise options, including dining options and sunset outings.

San Diego Harbor Cruises

These cruises will take you out on the water in the San Diego Harbor to get a view of the most notable landmarks in the city from a different perspective. 

You can expect most basic harbor cruises to last for between 1-2 hours on average, and tickets are usually around $30-$40 per person. 

TIP: Most San Diego City Passes include admission to at least one harbor cruise at no extra cost!

Flagship Cruises

This is one of the most popular cruise companies in San Diego, and they offer one of the main harbor cruises around the city.

While cruising around the harbor, you can expect to see landmarks such as the USS Midway, Coronado Bridge, and other notable sites around the downtown area.

While traveling around the city on a modern yacht, you’ll receive a professionally narrated tour of San Diego with both indoor and outdoor seating. There is also a snack bar onboard which serves soda, beer, wine, and cocktails.

  • $32/Adults (13+) | $24/Children (4-12)
  • Availability: Daily at 10 am, 12:30 pm, and 3 pm
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • A 2-Hour cruise is also available for $37/Adults and $27.75/Children
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

NOTE: This cruise is included with the Go City San Diego Pass and the San Diego Explorer Pass.

City Cruises CA

If you’re looking for a good alternative to some of the other San Diego harbor cruise options on our list, this company is well known across the country, and they also offer sightseeing cruises around the city.

Guests can expect to pass by sites such as Seaport Village, Coronado Island, the Cabrillo National Monument, the USS Midway, and many other important landmarks.

  • $36.30/Adults (13+) | $27.23/Children (4-12)
  • Availability: Daily at 11:15 am, 12:30 pm, 1:45 pm, 3 pm, and 4:15 pm
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • A 2-Hour cruise is also available for $42.90/Adults and $32.18/Children
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

NOTE: This cruise is included with the San Diego CityPASS at no extra cost.

SEAL Tours

Although this isn’t technically a cruise, you will have an opportunity to see San Diego from the harbor while on a SEAL tour.

This outing takes place on an amphibious vehicle which is designed to both drive on land and float across the water.

Think of this as a hybrid bus and boat tour, as the vehicle is essentially a bus in every other way. A professional guide will provide information about San Diego as you travel around the city to see its various landmarks.

  • $49/Adults (13+) | $29/Children (4-12) | $10/Infants (3 and under)
  • Availability: Daily at 10 am, 10:30 am, 12:45 pm, and 1:30 pm
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

San Diego Dinner Cruises

If you’re looking to enjoy a dining experience out on the water, there are plenty of San Diego dinner cruise options to consider. 

These outings last for approximately 2-3 hours and include a meal of some sort. While some dining cruises offer a buffet, others provide a 3 course plated dinner and music. Prices run from $100-$150 on average.

City Cruises CA

In addition to their San Diego harbor cruise, this company also offers dining cruises which include a meal or drinks with the service.

This is a great way to relax while enjoying some time on the water, and it’s also an excellent idea for date night!

Here are the dining cruises currently offered:

San Diego Sightseeing Dinner Cruise w/ DJ Music

San Diego Champagne Brunch Cruise

Sights & Sips: San Diego Sunset Cruise

Flagship Cruises

Much like their competitors, this company also offers a dinner cruise on the San Diego Bay.

Although they don’t have any brunch or sunset cruise options, this is an excellent alternative to similar services from other companies.

One nice thing about this dining cruise is that you can actually choose to pay for unlimited access to their bar.

They also provide a complimentary drink for all guests, so you’ll have a chance to enjoy a nice drink either way!

San Diego Sunset Sails

If you’re worried about the engine being too loud, what better way to avoid noise pollution than by sailing?

In addition to the harbor cruises and dining experiences, there are also several San Diego companies offering sunset sails around the city.

Sunset sailing excursions typically last for 2-3 hours and tickets cost approximately $120-$130 per person.

San Diego Sailing Experiences

While traditional San Diego harbor cruises are usually offered on large yachts capable of holding dozens of passengers, this sunset sail is limited to just 6 people at a time, ensuring as private and quiet of an experience as possible.

Guests can also expect free snacks and drinks such as wine, soda, water, and chocolates. Depending on what time of year you choose to enjoy this activity, you can expect the outing to start at 3 pm, 3:30 pm, or 4:30 pm.

Sail San Diego

This is another sunset sail you might want to consider, and it’s also limited to groups of 6 people. Guests will have access to complimentary beer, soft drinks, and other snacks.

If you’re hoping for an even more relaxing atmosphere, this company will allow you to plug in your own music and enjoy the tunes while sailing around San Diego Bay.

Depending on what time of year you choose to sail, this excursion will begin at some point between 2 pm - 5 pm.

Fun Cat Sailing

Much like the other companies offering sunset sails in San Diego, this company also offers outings for small groups of up to 6 people. They also include free alcoholic beverages for all adults!

As with other sunset sails in San Diego, the time of departure will depend on the season, with hours between 2 pm - 5 pm.

San Diego Speedboat Cruises

For visitors who don’t have a lot of time, a speedboat cruise is one of the best alternatives to other services in this post.

Clocking in at around 30 minutes per outing, a speedboat cruise is quick, exciting, and you can expect to see a lot of the most notable attractions.

Tickets are usually around $35-$40, but there are also companies who let you drive your own speedboat for a bit more money!

TIP: These speedboat cruises are included at no extra cost with at least two major San Diego city passes.

Flagship Cruises

In addition to their other services, this company also has one of the best speedboat tours in San Diego. With speeds of up to 50 mph, this is more of a thrill ride experience than a cruise.

While you’re traveling around the city at high speeds, you can expect to see landmarks like the USS Midway, North Island Naval Air Station, Coronado Bridge, Star of India, the Maritime Museum, and many other important sites.

There is a high likelihood that you will get sprayed with water on this speedboat tour, and they offer ponchos for anyone who might want them.

NOTE: This speedboat tour is included at no extra cost with the Go City San Diego Explorer Pass.

Speed Boat Adventures

If you’d rather have more control over the whole experience, this company offers a 2-hour self-driven speedboat tour with live narration.

Each boat seats two people, and you’ll be given life jackets and  instructions on how to drive and stay safe.

This is a great option for anyone who wants to get out on the water and have some fun while learning about the city of San Diego. 

NOTE: This service is included with both the Go City San Diego Pass and the Explorer Pass.

About The Author


Justin is a travel content writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the field. He graduated from Portland State University in 2012. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest his whole life and knows the American West Coast very well. Justin has been part of the Free Tours By Foot content team since 2017.
Updated: November 16th, 2022
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