The Port of San Diego in the city’s downtown waterfront area is a popular cruise embarkation point for veteran travelers. The appeal is twofold: convenient navigation of the two terminals, and local area attractions. This location on the Pacific west coast of the US is a destination in itself. Consider the following tips for your next cruise ship vacation launch.
There are two pier terminals at Port of San Diego – B Street Pier & Cruise Ship Terminal (largest) and Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier (public access). They are in the Bay’s Embarcadero area, which is known for its restaurants, hotels, museums, and public spaces. This is a popular destination for cruisers and locals alike to enjoy food, drink, and live entertainment.
How to get there
As one of the easiest cruise ports to access, this location is serviced by the San Diego International Airport (SAN). To reach the docks, you’ll enjoy a short two-mile drive along the scenic North Embarcadero. If you want to arrive by rail, historic Santa Fe Depot (Union Station) is only one block away. Amtrak and light-rail services are still available at this 1914 landmark. One unusual point is the lack of parking for personal vehicles at the piers. If you drive in, you must park away from the port. There are, however, many shuttle services, including those provided by the cruise lines.
Port of San Diego cruise lines
There are currently six cruise lines that depart and arrive at this Pacific west coast location.
- Celebrity Cruise Line
- Crystal Cruises
- Disney Cruise Line
- Holland America Line
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Princess Cruises
Each of these cruise lines has multiple ships coming and going from this port. Check with your preferred line, and choose a vessel, itinerary, and destinations according to your interests.
This location is just north of an international border on the Pacific Ocean. While many embark on cruises to the Mexican Riviera and the South Pacific, you may leave for many destinations from the Port of San Diego. Popular points include the Panama Canal, South America, Alaska, Hawaii, Pacific islands, and points along the Pacific Coast.
For a detailed list of lines, ships, destinations, and schedules visit the official Port of San Diego document HERE.
The US Coast Guard rules and regs protect the security of ships and passengers at this port. If you arrive via common carrier, be prepared to show a photo ID and cruise ticket. For private vehicle drop-off, you will have to do the same. This will be repeated at your specific cruise ship’s counter. Also, pre-tag your luggage with name, address, (required) and ship (optional).
The waterfront area around the terminals offers visitors a host of fun activities at 8 parks, 8 urban wineries, 7 craft breweries, 6 museums, and 10 art galleries within a two-mile radius. Extend your vacation with a stay at one of the 20 hotels also within this close proximity.
For my fellow map-lovers, see the general port layout HERE.
Angela is a professional freelance travel writer and published indie author – AngelaMinor.com