Introducing San Diego
San Diego, the Golden State’s oldest, second largest and southerm-most city is celebrated for its perfect weather, miles of beaches, and location next to the Mexican border, opposite Tijuana. Originally San Diego was a small Spanish settlement, in the early 19th century, and developed slowly, until the mid twentieth century, when the population boomed. San Diego bay is superb for boating, and the city boasts a long naval heritage. The city is the base for the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy. Nowadays the city blends contemporary urban planning with historical Spanish neigborhoods, sparkling ocean scenes to the west side with dry, boulder-strewn hills to the eastside, and fine restaurants, positioned side by side with authentic tortillarias.
Touring San Diego
USS Midway Museum
It’s a 5 minute stroll on North Harbor Drive from the cruise port towards the big carrier ship, named the USS Midway, docked at Navy pier. Tour around the USS Midway Museum to find out about San Diego’s distinctive navy heritage.
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Tour the interesting Maritime Museum, a fine collection of historic ships, such as Pilot, Californian, Medea, the Berkeley and the Star India.
Catch a half hour ferry ride across to Coronado island. A 5 minute cab ride across the barrier island will get you to Coronado beach, a lovely sweep of sand on the ocean’s coastline. Drop in at famous Hotel del Coronado, one of the few surviving examples of the Victorian beach hotel.
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo, located in Balboa Park, is world-famous for its size and diverse collection of animals. There are over eight hundred species, who live in an attracively built 100 acre space. Be sure to see the Penguins and Polar Bears. Kids will love the infant animal kindergarten and petting zoo.
San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is probably the city’s most attractive section. Development of the area started in 1867. Here you’ll find a concentration of boutique shops, galleries, restaurants, bars, sidewalk cafes, jazz clubs and nightclubs offering a charming Victorian feeling mingled with a modern buzz. The quarter is also a center for big city parties, from music and food festivals to St Patricks Day.
San Diego is home to twenty one spanish catholic missions, built more than two centuries ago. The major aim of the missions was to covert the American Indians to Catholicism. The first ever, known as the Mother of the Missions, is Mission San Diego de Alcala. This was founded in the eighteenth century by Blessed Junipero Serra. Only six years after construction finished Mission San Diego de Alcala was burnt down in a riot, but the building was speedily reconstructed.
You can choose from a wide variety of cruises from San Diego port. Possibilities are the Mexican Riviera, Baja California, the islands of Hawaii, or through the Panama canal journeys to Florida. For unusual cruises longer routes to South America or the South Pacific are on offer. See cruises from San Diego for a full calendar of cruises.
San Diego Cruise Terminals
The main San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal is situated adjacent to North Harbor Drive on the B Street Pier, very close to downtown San Diego. The cruise terminal is a modern building with the usual variety of functions for passengers. The B Street Pier cruise terminal has now been joined by a second cruise terminal on the adjoining Broadway Pier. The cruise port is able to dock four cruise ships simultaneously.
For the port website see Port Of San Diego.
Getting To The Cruise Terminals
From the Airport
The terminal is a quick 10 minute taxi ride from San Diego International Airport. Taxi ranks are easy to find next to each of the three airport terminals.
Amtrak’s major San Diego station, the Santa Fe Depot, is just a fifth of a mile from the cruise terminal, so you can walk or take a taxi. Directions for walking are, head west on Broadway in the direction of the bay. On reaching the bay, the cruise port is easy to spot.
If driving south on I-5, follow the road into downtown San Diego. Exit at Sassafras, marked with a sign to the airport. Proceed along Kettner for 3/4 mile, until Laurel. Make a right onto Laurel and carry on until you reach Harbor Drive. Make a left to join Harbor Drive. The cruise ship port is one-half mile on the righthand side.If driving northwards on Interstate 5, continue on the road into the middle of San Diego. Turn off at Hawthorn, signed to the airport. Proceed along Hawthorn towards Harbor Drive. Here, turn left. The cruise ship port is one-half mile on the righthand side. Numerous parking lots are available. It’s a good idea to arrange parking in advance.