San Diego Cruise Port Guide: Your Gateway to the Pacific Coast

Pinterest Hidden ImagePinterest Hidden ImagePinterest Hidden Image

San Diego Cruise Port, one of the largest on the West Coast, is a hub for various cruise lines offering diverse itineraries along the Pacific Coast. Located in downtown San Diego, the port is easily accessible and serves as a starting point for many cruises and a popular stop on Pacific Coastal and Mexican Riviera routes.

During our Mexican Riviera cruise on the Celebrity Solstice, we visited Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlán before returning to US waters with San Diego as our final stop. Living in Los Angeles for 16 years, we’ve frequently enjoyed San Diego’s attractions, so it was a nice change of pace in San Diego without the long drive.

San Diego is celebrated for its beaches, warm climate, and vibrant culture. The port features two terminals, B Street Pier and Broadway Pier, which host cruise lines like Holland America Line, Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruise Line.

featured blog image of view from the deck of a cruise ship at San Diego Cruise Port with the title 'San Diego Cruise Port' overlaid. The image showcases the ship's railings and the San Diego skyline in the backgroundPin

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we earn a commission at no extra cost. Please refer to our full disclosure for details.

This guide provides what you need to know about San Diego Cruise Port and the top things to do in San Diego when on a cruise.

Here are some key points to note:

  • San Diego Cruise Port is conveniently located in downtown San Diego.
  • San Diego International Airport is the closest airport to the cruise port.
  • There is no long-term parking at the San Diego Cruise Terminal; nearby hotels and the Bric offer reserved parking.

Where is the San Diego Cruise Port?

view of downtown san diego skyline from cruise shipPin

Most cruise ships dock at B-Street Pier & Cruise Ship Terminal, conveniently located near downtown. Occasionally, the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier also receives cruise ships, especially when multiple ships are in port. These piers are close to each other.

San Diego Cruise Port Address: 1140 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

If you’re embarking on a cruise, always check your cruise documents for the correct pier and address.


How to Get to San Diego Cruise Port?

San Diego by Air

San Diego International Airport is just a few miles from the port, making it a quick 10-minute drive. Alternatively, you can fly into Los Angeles International Airport or Ontario International Airport and book a transfer to San Diego Cruise Port. The port is also accessible via major highways, making driving convenient.

San Diego by Train

Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner runs from several Southern California cities, including Santa Barbara, Irvine, and Los Angeles, to Downtown San Diego’s Santa Fe Depot. The Santa Fe Depot is a 10-minute from the San Diego Cruise Port.

Parking at San Diego Cruise Terminal

There is no long-term parking available at the San Diego Cruise Port. However, there are various parking options downtown, including BRIC and hotel parking lots across the street from the cruise terminal. Reservations in advance are recommended.

Parking Options:

The terminals at San Diego Cruise Port are modern and well-equipped, offering amenities such as shops, restaurants, and lounges to meet the needs of today’s cruise passengers.

Hotels Near San Diego Cruise Port

You’ll find these hotels within walking distance from the San Diego cruise terminal. Make sure to book your pre-cruise stay or post-cruise stay early. We suggest adding extra days to your itinerary before or after your cruise as San Diego is a port that is worth exploring.

Downtown San Diego and Surrounding Areas


San Diego’s downtown area is full of activity, with plenty of attractions and amenities to keep visitors entertained. From where the cruise ship docks, you are close to many highlights of Downtown San Diego, including the iconic USS Midway Museum and the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter. Beyond downtown, the rest of San Diego County offers many activities to choose from if you want to explore further.

  • Marina District and Embarcadero: Enjoy a stroll along this two-mile waterfront stretch, featuring Seaport Village, Waterfront Park, dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
  • Historic Gaslamp Quarter: Known for its Victorian architecture and vibrant nightlife, the Gaslamp Quarter offers a range of restaurants, bars, and shops. Consider a walking tour to learn more about its history.
  • Little Italy: Famous for its Italian cuisine and charming atmosphere, this neighborhood is perfect for a meal or a casual stroll.
  • Columbia District: Home to cultural attractions like museums and galleries.
  • East Village: Explore Petco Park and trendy eateries.

Outdoor Activities:

Tour Idea: San Diego Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour [book here]

Top San Diego Attractions For Cruisers

USS Midway Museum

Right along San Diego’s waterfront, the USS Midway is an aircraft carrier that served the naval air forces from 1945 to 1992 and was turned into a museum in 2004. This museum is easily walkable from the cruise terminal.

Photo Opp: Nearby, in Tuna Harbor Park, you’ll find a 25-ft statue of the iconic celebratory kiss between a sailor and nurse from the end of World War II.

San Diego Zoo & Safari Park

One of the most famous zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park is home to over 3,500 animals from more than 650 species. Visitors can see animals from all over the world, including pandas, tigers, and elephants. Plan to spend the day here, purchase tickets in advance, or book a wildlife safari.

San Diego Zoo Tip: Take the bus tour to maximize your time and see as much as possible—your feet and calves will thank you.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre park with amazing architecture, museums, gardens, and trails. You can spend an entire day exploring here, including a visit to the San Diego Zoo. If planned accordingly, you can fit in the zoo and enjoy the rest of the park.

Tour Idea: Balboa Park Highlights Small-Group Tour [book here]

Gaslamp Quarter

Located in historic downtown San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is known for its Victorian architecture and charming gaslamps. Spend the day exploring independently, or book a walking tour to learn the area’s history. The Gaslamp Quarter comes alive at night with various restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

Seaport Village

Also, along San Diego’s waterfront, Seaport Village is within walking distance from the cruise port. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk, enjoy stunning harbor views, browse art galleries and boutique shops, or sample delicious local cuisine at one of the many restaurants. Don’t miss the classic carousel.

Ferry to Coronado Island

You can take a ferry to this iconic beach town, home to the historic Hotel del Coronado, and explore the area. The Broadway Pier ferry terminal is near the cruise port and is less than a 5-minute walk. See schedule and ticket info. You can walk 40 mins south to the hotel and its beaches or take a taxi or Uber from Coronado Ferry Landing.

Tour Idea:
San Diego Coronado History and Highlights Small Group Tour [book now]

Read more: Tips to Help You Pick and Book Your Own Shore Excursions

What port does Disney sail from in San Diego?

Disney Cruise Line sails from the B Street Cruise Terminal in San Diego.

Where do cruises dock in San Diego?

Cruises dock at either the B Street Cruise Terminal or the Port Pavilion Cruise Terminal in San Diego.

How long does it take to get off a cruise ship at the San Diego Port?

inside san diego cruise terminal rows of blue seating with people waitingPin

The time it takes to disembark at the San Diego Port can vary depending on factors like the size of the ship, the number of passengers, and the customs and immigration process. Typically, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.

When we arrived from Mexico and stopped at San Diego Cruise Port for the day, everyone took a few hours to go through customs. Once you go through customs, you can’t return to the ship until the entire process is completed for everyone. If your cruise stops in a foreign country before reaching San Diego, all passengers must go through customs.

Keep this in mind as you plan your day in San Diego. If you prefer to stay on the ship for the day, consider waiting until the end of the process to go through customs to avoid long waits at the cruise terminal.

Cruise lines usually provide passengers with an estimated disembarkation time and instructions on proceeding, so follow those guidelines and plan accordingly.

How far is Coronado Island from San Diego Cruise Port?

You can take the Flagship Ferry ride from Downtown San Diego from Broadway Pier to Coronado Island. The ferry ride is 15 minutes to and from.

What are some cruise lines out of San Diego?

Several cruise lines leave from San Diego or stop in San Diego throughout the year. Disney Cruise Line is one the top cruises out of San Diego. Other popular cruise lines that leave from San Diego include Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International.

Where can I find the San Diego Cruise Ship Schedule?

Find the San Diego cruise ship schedule here.

🚢 Book a cruise Sailing from San Diego, CA

Kathy Ava

Meet Kathy Ava, a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena, and the owner and main writer of Tasty Itinerary. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she's become a pro at crafting unforgettable tasty itineraries. She's always on the hunt for delicious, fun travel destinations and cruise itineraries. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it, so always say yes to dessert.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *