San Diego Cruise Port is located in Southern California on the San Diego Bay. The American city was founded in 1542 by Spanish discoverers. It is two hours way from Los Angeles, direction South and five hours away from Las Vegas by car.
San Diego is a major departure cruise port for turnaround operations (round-trip itineraries). The cruise ship schedule offers attractive cruises to the Hawaiian island and the Mexican Riviera. The most popular voyage from San Diego Cruise Port is the 7 day Mexican Riviera visiting Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Longer voyages are available to South America or the South Pacific.
San Diego Bay (where the port is located) houses numerous luxury hotels. The port alone is landlord for 17 hotels. Here are still operational 3 shipyards - NASSCO (National Steel and Shipbuilding Company), Huntington Ingalls (Continental Maritime) and BAE Systems (Southwest Marine). NASSCO is US West Coast's largest shipbuilding yard. It specializes in building auxiliary and support vessels (for the Navy), as well as oil tankers and dry bulk cargo carriers.
Port San Diego CA
Port San Diego was established in 1962 as a public-benefit corporation. As cargo port, it is ranked one of USA's top 30 container ship ports, with annual cargo shipping volume of nearly 3 million tons3. Its largest / main terminals are 10th Avenue Marine Terminal and National City Marine Terminal.
- 10th Avenue Marine Terminal covers an area of 96 acres (39 ha). It has 8 multi-purpose berths. The imported cargo includes refrigerated food, fertilizer, cement, break bulk cargoes, forest products. There is a large, on-dock cold storage warehouse (sized 300,000 ft2 / 28,000 m2) used for storing perishables (including fresh produce).
- National City Marine Terminal covers an area of 125 acres (51 ha). It has 7 berths and is operated by The Pasha Group. Annually, here are handled over 450,000 vehicles. The terminal serves as primary port for imported cars (Honda, Acura, Isuzu, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Hino Motors, VW).
San Diego is the primary port for imported in USA vehicles (the brands Fiat, Audi, VW, Honda, Mazda, Acura, Isuzu, Nissan, Mitsubishi). The seaport holds a lease with Dole Food Company (importing much of USA's bananas).
San Diego cruise port is located downtown. Its main termnal facility (B Street Pier) has 3 cruise ship berths. The historic Broadway Pier was redeveloped (inaugurated in December 2010) as second cruise-terminal. The list of largest cruise companies homeporting vessels here includes Holland America, Celebrity, Disney, Royal Caribbean.
Most cruises leaving from San Diego are to Mexico. In early April and early November are also offered Panama Canal repositioning cruises. The port is often included in around the world voyages offered by companies like Costa, Oceania, Phoenix Reisen.
In the period 2002-2006, the cruise port reported a 44% growth in ship calls - from 122 (in 2002) to 219 (in 2006). In that period, the passenger numbers jumped from 276,000 to 619,000. In 2008, the port reported a record year with handled 252 cruise ship calls and over 800,000 passengers. In 2007, this business declined due to slumping US economy and the violence in Mexico.
In May 2013, the port was visited by its largest so far cruise ship - Celebrity Solstice. In 2016, the cruise port reported a 50% increase in ship calls. The growth was largely based on turnaround operations by Holland America and Disney ships.
Port San Diego reported a total of 69 ship calls during season 2015-2016 and scheduled 83 calls in 2017-2018. The increase in passengers was from 198,000 (season 2015-2016) to over 242,000 (2017-2018). The increased passenger shipping traffic was mainly due to Mexican Riviera itineraries. Previous cruise port statistics show 200 ship calls (season 2009-2010) and a drop to 79 calls (2012-2013).
In 2017, Disney Wonder had scheduled 13 San Diego departures. Princess ships visit the port on round-trip Mexican Riviera itineraries leaving out of Los Angeles. Holland America also operates voyages to Mexico, as well as Panama Canal transition and Mexico and Hawaii cruises leaving out of San Diego and visiting Ensenada (Baja California).
For season 2018-2019, the port had scheduled a total of 96 ship calls (83 calls in 2017) and handled around 242,000 passengers (8% increase over 2017). The projected growth in cruise passenger numbers is 5-8% a year - to 280,000 by 2020. In 2019, Walt Disney Cruises expanded company's San Diego homeport season to 2 months. Also in 2019, the seaport celebrates its 250th anniversary.
By 2020, the port plans to open a second shore-to-ship power connection. Using power supply from the city's power grid, ship-shore power reduces bad emissions from vessels while berthed in port. After 2020, cruise companies with more than 5 ship calls in California are required to plug-in (use shoreside power supply) for 80% of the calls. The mark before 2020 was 70%.
Carnival stopped to homeport ships here in 2012. Carnival Elation was the first vessel homeported year-round in San Diego (between 2007-2010), followed by Carnival Spirit (2011-2012) then relocated to Australia. Starting December 1, 2019, here was homeported Carnival Miracle (previously deployed in Tampa FL) for a 3-month cruise season to Hawaii (14-15-day) and Mexico (5-7-day).
San Diego cruise terminal
San Diego cruise port terminal is very close to the center of the city. It is located at the B Street Pier at 1140 Harbor Drive. The airport is 5 ml away from the port.
The “first green building” or the Port Pavilion at Broadway Pier also has a terminal.
It is used if more than 4 vessels are in port or if the "B Street" terminal in not operational due to maintenance works.
Both San Diego Cruise port terminals offer wide range of passengers’ facilities. Parking fees are USD 10–20 daily (Port Authority subject to change).
B Street pier has 5 wharves. Wharf 1 and 2 are on the north side, wharf 3 is on the west and wharf 4 and 5 are on the south side. Wharves 1,2,4 and 5 can accommodate bigger cruise ships. Smaller vessels dock at wharf 3. In October 2017, at B Street Cruise Terminal was installed a new passenger boarding bridge.
San Diego tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- USS Midway Museum: it is within 5 minutes walking time from San Diego cruise port, along North Harbor Drive. Discover the naval tradition of San Diego.
- San Diego Maritime Museum: amazing historic ships collection. It is north of San Diego cruise port. You will find ships like Berkeley, Star of India and Californian.
- Seaport Village: the best place for shopping. It is 2/3 miles away from San Diego cruise port.
- Embarcadero Marine Park: located just across Seaport Village.
- Balboa Park: 12,000 acres with 15 galleries and museums like San Diego Museum of Art and the San Diego Natural History Museum.. There is also the San Diego zoo, the Japanese Friendship Garden and the Inez Rose Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
- Gaslamp Quarter: the most attractive area of San Diego. It dates from 1867. Discover wide range of restaurants, fashion shops,sidewalk cafes,galleries, jazz clubs, nightclubs and bars. The Victorian atmosphere combines with a party atmosphere for an amazing experience.
- Spanish Missions: there 21 catholic missions. The first one is Mission San Diego de Alcala, known also as Mother of the Missions.
- Coronado Beach: you will need half an hour by ferry to reach Coronado island and discover that lovely beach.
Port San Diego cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from San Diego, California. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|2 February, 2019|
|3 February, 2019|
|5 February, 2019|
|8 February, 2019|
|20 February, 2019|
|24 February, 2019|
The San Diego cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near San Diego, California.
If you lose the San Diego location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
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