Nicknamed "America's Finest City," and located along the Pacific Coast of Southern California, the metropolitan city of San Diego is famous for its beautiful beaches, resorts, museums, wildlife parks and zoos. Because of its mass appeal, cruises from San Diego are a great option, especially for those that live within driving distance of the city's cruise port. There are also some cruises that visit San Diego, rather than departing from it.
The cruising season in San Diego is typically from September through May. The cruise lines currently offering cruises from San Diego include Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Holland America Line. The Mexican Riviera is the most common destination when it comes to cruises starting in San Diego, but other cruise destinations (such as Hawaii and US Pacific Coast) are usually available each year.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes San Diego, CA. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to San Diego, CA. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit San Diego, CA:
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in San Diego, along with a brief description:
♦ Seaport Village
A car-free shopping and dining district in San Diego, Seaport Village is a great place to consider visiting before or after your cruise. There are over 70 shops, galleries and eateries in this beautiful area along the waterfront. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many bay-view restaurants and then go shopping - you're sure to have a great time! Located nearby this area is the USS Midway, a maritime museum that used to be a naval battleship (from the 1940s to 1990s).
♦ Gaslamp Quarter
This historic neighborhood is one of the most popular places to visit before or after a cruise from San Diego. This area is home to many festivities throughout the year, including a Mardi Gras celebration and St. Patrick's Day event. There is a nice variety of great restaurants and bars in the Gaslamp Quarter, and PETCO Park (where the San Diego Padres play professional baseball) is only a short walk away. Many people enjoy taking a relaxing walk through this area, checking out the historic buildings (many of which were constructed during the 19th century).
♦ San Diego Zoo
One of the most famous zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo (located in Balboa Park), is home to over 4,000 animals of more than 800 species. Among the endangered species and rare animals at this zoo are pandas (as this this is one of the few with a giant panda), koalas, polar bears and African black rhinos. This unique zoo is a great place to visit before or after a cruise from San Diego.
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