Does San Diego have a cruise port? Where is it? What is near San Diego Cruise Port?
San Diego Cruise Port is one of the largest cruise ports on the west coast, allowing travelers to cruise from San Diego on various cruise lines with different itineraries along and from Pacific Coast.
While many cruises embark and start their journeys from here, the San Diego cruise port sometimes serves as a popular stop on Pacific Coastal Itineraries and the Mexican Riviera.
After visiting Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlán, during our Mexican Riviera cruise on the Celebrity Solstice, San Diego was the last stop on our itinerary after entering US waters and returning home to Los Angeles.
San Diego is a city in Southern California known for its beaches, warm climate, and vibrant culture. The port is conveniently located in downtown San Diego, making it easily accessible to visitors to get off and explore.
The San Diego cruise port is home to two terminals: B Street Pier and Broadway Pier. A hub for various cruise lines.
Some of the most popular cruise lines that operate out of San Diego include Holland America Line, Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruise Line.
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Having been to San Diego multiple times during our 16 years living in Los Angeles, it’s one of those welcome stops in a cruise itinerary that allow us to experience something new in the city without driving a few hours to get there.
There are many things to do in San Diego, including the San Diego Zoo and a quick jaunt to La Jolla to see the seals. We’ll give you some of the most popular attractions you can visit when you cruise to San Diego Cruise Port.
We also periodically check cruises that leave out of the Port of San Diego instead of Los Angeles Cruise Port or San Pedro. It’s another homeport we can drive to, park near the terminal, and embark on a cruise.
Overall, San Diego Cruise Port is an excellent port of call for those looking to take a cruise that explores more of the West Coast.
In this article, you’ll find what you need to know about San Diego Cruise Port and a quick rundown of attractions to check out in San Diego.
- The 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. You can reserve parking at nearby hotels and the Bric.
- There are many popular attractions and things to do near the San Diego Cruise Port.
San Diego Cruise Port
Where is San Diego Cruise Port?
Most cruise ships dock at the larger pier, B-Street Pier & Cruise Ship Terminal, conveniently located near the heart of downtown.
The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier also receives cruise ships occasionally, mostly when there are more than 1-2 cruise ships in.
They are all in very short distance from one another.
San Diego Cruise Port Address: 1140 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
If you’re embarking on a cruise, always double-check with your cruise documents which pier and address you should arrive at.
How to Get to San Diego Cruise Port?
San Diego By Air
How far is San Diego Cruise Port from the airport?
The San Diego International Airport is just a few miles from the port, making it easy for travelers to land and take a 10-minute drive to the port.
Other alternatives are to land at Los Angeles International Airport or Ontario International Airport and book a transfer to San Diego Cruise Port to embark on your cruise.
The port is also located near several major highways, making driving to and from the port easy.
San Diego By Train
Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner has a route that runs from multiple cities in Southern California, like Santa Barbara, Irvine, or Los Angeles to Downtown San Diego’s Santa Fe Depot.
The Santa Fe Depot is a 10-minute walk from San Diego Cruise Port.
Parking at San Diego Cruise Terminal
There is no long-term parking available at the San Diego Cruise Port.
There are a variety of parking lots downtown, including BRIC parking and hotel parking lots across the street from the cruise terminal.
Reservation in advance is recommended.
The terminals at San Diego Cruise Port are modern and well-equipped to handle the needs of today’s cruise passengers. The terminals offer a variety of amenities, including shops, restaurants, and lounges.
Hotels Near San Diego Cruise Port
You’ll find these hotels within walking distance from the San Diego cruise terminal.
- Wyndham San Diego Bayside
- Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Downtown
- Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection
- The Westin San Diego Bayview
- Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Make sure to book your pre-cruise stay or post-cruise stay early.
Downtown San Diego and Surrounding Areas
San Diego’s downtown area is a bustling hub of activity, with plenty of attractions and amenities to keep visitors entertained. From where the cruise ship docks, you are near what Downtown San Diego offers.
You can explore the Marina District. Take a stroll along the Embarcadero, a two-mile stretch of waterfront that offers a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options, including Seaport Village and Waterfront Park. It makes for a beautiful day in San Diego.
On foot, you can walk to areas of downtown San Diego near the cruise port from the terminal. You can explore the historic Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Columbia District, and the East Village. You can also take a walking tour, which is usually fun and informative.
For those interested in outdoor activities, San Diego has plenty of options. The city is home to several beaches, including the beautiful coastal city of La Jolla Cove, known for its tide pools and seals that love to chill under the sun.
There is also plenty of opportunities for hiking in San Diego. You may need to hop in an Uber to get to the trails, but they are worth exploring. Visit Balboa Park to hike one of its trails. Or take a leisurely hike on Sunset Cliffs Coastal Trail for beautiful coast views.
You can also book water activities:
If you want to explore more than the top attractions and activities, you can take a ferry to Coronado Island. An iconic and historic beach town where you’ll find the famous Victorian beachfront hotel, Hotel del Coronado.
No matter what you decide to do with your time in San Diego, you’ll have a fantastic time exploring this part of Southern California. You can always plan a more extended visit in the future, even if you’re just there for a day with your cruise.
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 is the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier that served the naval air forces from 1945 to 1992. It was decommissioned and turned into a museum in 2004.
This museum is easily walkable from San Diego’s Cruise Terminal.
Photo Opp: Near the USS Midway, in Tuna Harbor Park, is a 25-ft statue of the iconic image of the celebratory kiss and embrace of the sailor and nurse that was taken at the end of the war in NYC.
San Diego Zoo & Safari Park
The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park is one of the most famous zoos in the world and 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.
You can plan to spend the day, purchase your tickets in advance for the zoo or book a wildlife safari. This is a visit everyone can enjoy.
San Diego Zoo Tip: Take the bus tour at the zoo to maximize your time and see as much as possible. Trust me, your feet and calves will also thank you.
Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre park with plenty to see and do, including the San Diego Zoo we mentioned above. You can spend the entire cruise day here in San Diego, exploring Balboa Park’s fantastic architecture, museums, gardens, and trail without seeing it all or experiencing everything it offers.
If you plan accordingly, you can fit in the San Diego Zoo and enjoy the rest of Balboa Park.
Tour Idea: Balboa Park Highlights Small-Group Tour [book here]
The Gaslamp Quarter is in the historic downtown of San Diego, known for its Victorian architecture and gaslamps throughout the district. You can plan to spend the day exploring independently or book a walking tour to learn the area’s history.
Come nightfall, the Gaslamp Quarter transforms into a bustling hub of activity, with a diverse selection of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
Also along San Diego’s waterfront is the charming Seaport Village, within walking distance from the San Diego cruise port. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy stunning views of the harbor, browse through art galleries and boutique shops, or sample delicious local cuisine at one of the many restaurants. You’ll also find a classic carousel that is loved by all.
Read more: How to 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?
The time it takes to get off a cruise ship at the San Diego Port can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the ship, the number of passengers disembarking, and the customs and immigration process. Generally, getting off a cruise ship at the San Diego Port can take 30 minutes to a few hours.
When we came from Mexico and stopped at San Diego Cruise Port for the day, everyone took a few hours to go through customs. Remember that once you went through customs, you weren’t allowed to return to the ship until everyone had completed customs and immigration. If you stopped in a foreign country before making it to San Diego, everyone on the ship has to go through customs.
So keep that in mind as you plan your day in San Diego. If you plan to hang out on the ship for the day, you may want to wait until the end of the process to go through customs. This way, you don’t have to wait long at the cruise terminal.
Cruise lines typically provide passengers with an estimated disembarkation time and instructions on how to proceed, so it’s a good idea to 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.
Looking for cruises from San Diego?
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Quick Cruise Planning Guide
Where to book a cruise?
We like to shop around before booking by going directly to the cruise line and checking out the deals on GoToSea, CruiseDirect.com, Costco Travel, and Cruise Compete. Ultimately, the best advice is to find a travel agent you can trust to help you book a cruise.
Hotels for pre-cruise and post-cruise stays
We always use Booking.com or Hotels.com to book international accommodations and Expedia or Hotels.com for US accommodations. Airbnb or Vrbo for vacation rentals.
Can I book my own shore excursions?
Yes, you’ll save money booking your own excursions and not with the cruise ship. We like to use Viator or WithLocals. Don’t forget to read up on our tips for booking.
We like to rent a car at cruise ports and for the freedom to explore on our own when the destination makes sense. We also sometimes rent cars during our pre-cruise stay or on embarkation day.
Should I book cruise insurance?
Yes! Cruise insurance is essential. We always book with a third party rather than the cruise line. Compare pricing on Insuremytrip.com.
Packing for a Cruise? Don’t miss our essential cruise packing list.
Meet Kathy Ava – a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena. 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 travel itineraries. She’s always looking for delicious, fun cruise itineraries and travel destinations and is slightly obsessed with Italy. Her passion and curiosity for travel started in childhood on her yearly and sometimes bi-yearly trips to PR. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it – so let’s explore the world and make some incredible memories.