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Cruising from the Port of San Diego

Port of San Diego cruise ships

Published Apr 5, 2022 11:49 AM by Port of San Diego

San Diego is known for many things – its abundant sunshine, beautiful beaches, nearby mountains and deserts, and major attractions like the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and Balboa Park. San Diego is also known for its harbor, port, and the glorious San Diego Bay.

Cruising in or out of San Diego Bay at the Port of San Diego is a memorable experience packed with convenience. San Diego is an ideal location to begin a cruise to Mexico. As the closest West Coast port to Mexico, it has a large metro population and is near Los Angeles, Orange County, and Riverside drive markets. In addition to its ideal geographic location, the Port of San Diego’s two cruise ship terminals are in a central location downtown with easy access to attractions, hotels, dining, retail, and transportation. San Diego International Airport, Interstate 5 and Amtrak are all less than one mile from the cruise terminals.

The terminals are also in a vibrant and activated part of the San Diego Bay waterfront, the North Embarcadero. It’s the perfect spot to welcome cruise passengers with a wide esplanade, public gardens, landscaping, and seating. A visitor information center and walk-up restaurant with full bar are located just steps from where passengers embark and disembark. There are additional restaurants, including Portside Pier which features four different restaurants and plenty of outdoor seating to capture those famous San Diego sunsets. Another great destination is Seaport Village, recently revamped by the Port to include a new Urban Beach – a picturesque seating area with Adirondack chairs that face the bayfront vista- new landscaping, and some exciting new tenants. Guests can enjoy local craft beer, enjoy local fare, and even go wine tasting. If they’re in the mood for shopping, Seaport Village has an abundance of retail shops as well.

A short walk from the cruise terminals is an extraordinary outdoor performance venue that opened in August 2021 – the Rady Shell at Jacob’s Park. Developed by the San Diego Symphony in coordination with the Port of San Diego, the Rady Shell has performances year-round and includes exceptional dining options.

Other nearby attractions are the Maritime Museum of San Diego with its collection of historical sailing vessels and the USS Midway Museum, one of the Port’s most popular attractions. There are also bay cruises where visitors can tour the entire San Diego Bay and learn of its rich military history and view attractions from the waterside.

If guests want to venture out a little further, the trendy Gaslamp Quarter is a few blocks away in downtown San Diego. They can also hop on the trolley and visit Little Italy and Old Town San Diego.

Because there is so much to see and do at the Port of San Diego, it is referred to as the “Port of Land and See.” It offers a true land and sea experience and serves as a gateway to the heritage and culture of the Mexican Riviera and Beyond.

This message is sponsored by the Port of San Diego. The Port prides itself on its impeccable customer service and convenience and we welcome our cruise customers and their passengers with graciousness and gratitude. Learn more about the Port of San Diego’s cruise experience at portofsandiego.org/cruise.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.