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11 Spectacular Boat Rides in San Diego 2019

San Diego Bay arguably has some of the best sightseeing from the water, in the whole world. With many opportunities to take sunset cruises, champagne cruises and many other forms of water sightseeing, and the fact that it is close to a host of hotels that fit every budget, not participating in at least one boat ride seems counterproductive to your vacation. In this article, we will highlight eleven of the most spectacular boat rides in the San Diego Bay area.

Seal Tours

We, of course, have to start with the most unique of the tours available. The amphibious bus starts on land, taking you through a few landlocked sights before plunging into the bay. The fully narrated tour leaves from two different spots and has a tour duration of 90 minutes, 30 of those on land and the other 60 at sea. It covers a large area of San Diego’s historical sights and monopolises on the exquisite views around the bay. You are assured of capturing incredible shots of the scenery, local bird life and sea lions along the way. Kids love this tour. With tours not being too lengthy, kids stay focused and parents are assured that they will not be stuck in the bay with bored children.

The Patriot Jet Boat

The Patriot Jet Boat is a high speed power boat that offers thirty minute tours around the bay especially designed for thrill seekers. With speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and experienced driver’s, the tour is sure to hit the spot for adrenaline junkies. High energy spins and tricks accompanied with loud music means that this tour is probably not the most child friendly but is worth the look if you are into a little bit of water sports and an adrenaline spike.

Flagship Cruises

This family owned business has been in operation for over one hundred years and covers a wide variety of bay related tours. From seasonal whale watching which is done in association with Birch Aquarium, Sunday champagne brunches and prime rib dinners, Flagship cruises really does offer pretty much everything for every audience. The whale watching is a firm favorite for families with kids and is incredibly educational, teaching children the value of preserving marine life. They are also in partnership with some of San Diego’s cruise companies, so a little scouring on the internet may mean you are able to save some money.

Coronado Tours

On a budget? Coronado offers 15 minute tours and a very minimal price for those who want a quick tour of the bay or for those who prefer to remain carless for their stay in San Diego. The tour starts at the Broadway Pier and drops you Downtown. An added bonus is the ability to take your bicycle onboard for free. Although not strictly a water taxi service, many use Coronado as a means to get to downtown San Diego car free.

Water Taxis

Not really a tour but a pretty nifty way to get around the various bay locations. Seating 32 people, the water taxis leave every hour and do drop offs between Coronado, Point Loma and downtown San Diego. If you are not interested in a narrated tour, this is a fantastic way of getting from point a to point b without the hassle of traffic.

Hornblower Cruises

With nightly dinner cruises, champagne brunches and seasonal whale watching, Hornblower’s narrated cruises are a must for those who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere. Kids love the relaxed atmosphere and the tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable without interrupting the relaxed atmosphere. \

Speed Boat Adventures  

Want the chance to drive a 13’ mini speed boat? The boat seats up to three people and accepts riders from the age of five and up. Driver’s of the boats need to be 18 years or older. They offer the service of a driver, for those not keen on commandeering a mini speed boat. They are located closer to the airport and Harbor Island which is fantastic for airport hotel stayers.

Adventure RIB Rides

The RIB in the name stands for Rigid-hull Inflatable Boat and the Adventure stands for loads of fun. The design of the boat means that you may have a slightly bumpier ride but does mean that you are able to experience their tours with a close up view because it is a lighter boat that sits higher in the water. With amazing whale watching tours and incredibly insightful tour guides, Adventure RIB Rides is an excellent choice for families and those who are touring for a close up view and educational purposes.

Replica Ship Tours

There are several historical replica ships that cruise the San Diego bay. If you would prefer to tour in style, or history is your thing, sailing the bay on a 139 foot maritime museum or sailing the afternoon away on the San Salvador like Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s did then this is your tour option. With a little internet searching you can find a plethora of historical replica’s, there really is something for everyone. San Diego’s replica ships are a completely unique way to see the bay and brush up on your American history.

Stars and Stripes USA 11

In 1992, Dennis Conner raced in the America’s Cup with the Stars and Stripes USA 11. Now you can become an active participant in a 3 hour fully interactive tour which will have you participating in the full sailing experience. Just be aware though, that this is one of the most popular tours in San Diego and bookings are essential.

San Diego Sailing Tour

Another of those that suits the more laid back sightseer, San Diego Sailing Tours has a two hour Bay tour specializing in micro-brew beer and local wines that can be enjoyed while you are on board. The captain narrates all of the local sights as you cruise the bay. San Diego Sailing Tour offers private charters as well, if previously arranged.

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