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Taking A Cruise From San Diego? Here's What You Need to Know

Seven Seas Splendor cruise ship docked at Broadway Pier in San Diego

When you cruise from San Diego, or cruise to California in general, you are getting the best of both worlds: a beautiful cruise and everything that California has to offer. When planning your cruise vacation, it is important not only to know where you will be cruising from, but also what is there for you when the boat docks.

What Cruise Lines Sail Out Of San Diego?

While a variety of cruise lines may visit San Diego on a port call, Celebrity Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises are the primary cruise lines that sail from San Diego.


Where Do Cruise Ships Dock In San Diego?

San Diego has two cruise ship piers located on the Embarcadero just minutes from the San Diego International Airport and the downtown Gaslamp Quarter entertainment district.

Depending on the date and cruise line, different piers are used for different cruises. Luckily, both the B Street Pier & Cruise Ship Terminal and Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. B Street Pier is the larger of the two and is where the majority of cruise ships dock, this is especially true of the larger vessels like those from Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Carnival.


What Is The Cheapest Month To Go On A Cruise?

Unlike Caribbean cruises, San Diego is mostly a seasonal cruise port and highly dependent on ships that sail in Alaska during the summer spending time in San Diego during the winter as well as Fall and Spring cruises when the ships transition from summer to winter cruising destinations.

Additionally, because of this, most cruises from San Diego are seven days or longer.

Based on our expert advice though, you can still find a cheap cruise from San Diego. Repositioning cruises offer great value if you are willing to fly home, instead of having the cruise ship return to San Diego.

Are You Ready For A Cruise?

Please fill out the form below and Heather from Flow Voyages (or a representative from CruiseWestCoast.com) will contact you as soon as possible.

For immediate help, please contact Heather directly: 630-779-9301 or : heather@flowvoyages.com

These cruises aren't your typical experience and have fewer port visits than other options but if you are looking to cruise from San Diego to Vancouver for cheap then this is a great option. Prices for these repositioning cruises will generally be $100 or less per day based on double occupancy, not counting port expenses, taxes, and other fees.

This would ultimately make March and April the cheapest months to take a cruise vacation from San Diego.


Where Do Cruises From San Diego Go To?

Cruises from San Diego serve a diverse number of destinations including Hawaii, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera / Baja Mexico Cruises, as well as California Coastal / Pacific Coast cruises.

Many cruises lines also use San Diego as the starting or ending destination for very long cruises that visit Central and South America, Asia, and the South Pacific including Australia.


Are There Cheap Mexico Cruises From San Diego?

As the west coast cruise market re-builds, most cruises to Mexico from San Diego are longer cruises compared to the cheap three day and four day Mexican Riviera and Baja cruises that you might find out of San Pedro and Long Beach.

As the industry continues to recover, we expect to see more cheap cruises to Mexico like we saw before the pandemic.


Do You Need A Passport For Cruises From San Diego?

Yes ... and no. Customs and Border Control / Immigration officers coming back to the United States may not always require US Citizens to have a passport when traveling to Mexico or Canada. However, your cruise line will almost always require it. If you do not have a passport though, other documentation is generally required which can be complicated and time consuming or even disruptive if something happens where you need to leave the cruise ship for some reason.

Additionally, while a US Passport Card or even the Secure ID Drivers License cards are great for getting back into the United States at land crossings, we strongly recommend bringing your Passport Book to avoid any issues.


Passport Policy For Cruise Lines Departing From San Diego:


Best Hotels To Stay At Close To The San Diego Cruise Port

San Diego is one of the absolute best cities in the United States when it comes to taking a cruise vacation. Not only is the weather almost always awesome and the port facilities are large enough to be efficient ... but not overwhelming, but there are a huge number of hotels at different price points just minutes away from the cruise port.

For instance, if you are looking for a waterfront view so you relax as you overlook San Diego Bay before or after your cruise, places like Wyndham Bayfront, Manchester Hyatt, and Marriott Marquis are great options.

If you want something more urban where you can walk to food, shopping, and nightlife attractions downtown then we recommend Pendry hotel in the heart of the Gaslamp.

On the other hand, if you are looking for something a bit more affordable when selecting a hotel before or after your cruise, Point Loma has a number of boutique hotels such as Dolphin Motel and The Pearl Hotel that are good quality but less expensive.


Is There Good Parking Close To The San Diego Cruise Port?

There are multiple options for long term cruise parking close to the port. This includes many of San Diego's long term airport parking providers who offer cruise ship shuttles on days that ships are in port as well as cruise parking in garages walking distance to the cruise piers.

Two of the best options for cruise parking are in the BRIC North and South Garages as well as the Wyndham as they are located directly across from where the cruise ships dock and are easy walk, even with bags.


How Can I Get From The Airport to San Diego Cruise Port?

Transportation from San Diego International Airport to the cruise port is extremely easy. While public transportation is not readily available (we do not recommend visitors take the bus on their vacation as it will be far slower than a taxi or ride share and more complicated with bags), the ride from your terminal to the port is only 2.3 miles and should take no longer than 15 minutes and cost less than $20.


What Cruise Lines Plan To Sail From San Diego in 2021 / 2022?

This list of cruise sailings from San Diego will be updated shortly

Carnival Cruises


Holland America Line Cruises


Celebrity Cruise Line Cruises


Disney Cruises Cruises


Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises


If You need additional help or information about Planning Your San Diego Cruise, please contact our partner, Heather at Flow Voyages. She is a registered travel Advisor and can work with you to pick the right San Diego cruise for you as well as help coordinate last minute details such as hotel, transportation, and even shore excursions to explore San Diego before your departure.