Cruise Ships Departing from San Diego


Location: Downtown San Diego (North Embarcadero)

When: Varies Throughout the Year

Cost: Free To Look

Features: See the World’s Best Known Cruise Ships Depart for Ports-of-Call in Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, South America, Asia, and Australia.

San Diego Cruise Ship Highlights: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Princess Cruises, and Azamara Cruise Lines set sail from San Diego 200+ times a year. Whether you want to head downtown to see the huge cruise ships up-close and watch them maneuver through San Diego Bay or climb aboard to start a cruise vacation, we have the information you need.
Port of San Diego Cruise Ship Schedule – View the full list of cruise ships scheduled to depart from San Diego in the upcoming year. Most cruise lines also offer trips that end in San Diego. You can also pull up the cruise details from the respective cruise line web sites below.

Holland America – Pick from about six dozen cruise options departing from San Diego. Cruises include trips through the Panama Canal and visits to other South American ports, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Asia, and Australia. Holland America also offers Fall Tours that start in Vancouver Canada and end in San Diego.

Carnival – Provides cruises year-round to Mexico.

Celebrity Cruises – Cruise schedule includes trips to the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal. Celebrity Cruises also offers trips that depart from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Vancouver, and Puerto Rico that end in San Diego.

Royal Caribbean – Cruise schedule includes trips to Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, South America, and the Panama Canal. Royal Caribbean also offers cruises that depart Miami, Vancouver, and Chile that end in San Diego.

Azamara Cruises – Deluxe Cruises set sail for the Mexican Riviera and the Panama Canal. Azamara Cruises also offers Panama Canal Cruises that depart Miami and end in San Diego.

What to Expect if you are a San Diego Cruise Ship Passenger.

  • You are only 1.5 miles from the San Diego Airport. The Airport and Cruise Ship Terminal are connected by a beautiful walkway along San Diego Harbor. A number of tourist attractions and museums line the walkway.
  • If you are driving to San Diego to catch a cruise, the parking lot is directly across the street from the Cruise Ship terminal and parking only costs about $10 per day.
  • Santa Fe Depot and One America Plaza are only two blocks away. They are home to the San Diego Trolley, Amtrak, and Coaster Stations. (See the Transit section below for more details.)
  • There is a lot to see and do in the most beautiful city in America where you will find many friendly people to help you enjoy a wonderful vacation. Select one of the Related Themes at the end of this post for an overview of nearby attractions. For a more extensive list of activities in San Diego, select one of the themes in the right column that appeal to your interests.

What to Expect if you want to Look at Cruise Ships Visiting San Diego.

  • Bring your camera along because you will get to see the Cruise Ships up-close.
  • Up to two Cruise Ships can be hosted at the same time.
  • Visit the Port of San Diego Cruise Ship Schedule to see if a ship is scheduled to be in port on the day you plan to visit downtown San Diego.
  • There are several attractions along San Diego Harbor you can visit at the same time you go to see the Cruise Ships.

cruise-shipInformation on Visiting the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal

Directions from Google Maps to 1140 North Harbor Drive in San Diego, CA 92101.

Parking – There is Metered Street Parking that runs about $1.25 per hour with a limit of 2 – 3 hours. Nearby parking lots generally charge a parking rate of $10 for 10 hours. It is easier to park in the lots and spend a good part of the day (if not the entire day) enjoying the waterfront attractions, restaurants, going for a walk, and enjoying the views.

Traffic – Getting in and out of downtown using highways I-5, SR-163, and SR-94 is relatively easy. Downtown San Diego is not a major employment center and thus there is very little rush hour traffic. Watch for slower traffic on the I-5 where it does a tight S-curve through downtown San Diego near the SR-163 interchange. When heading southbound on SR-163, stay to the left side unless you want to get on the I-5. (You will encounter a slight delay getting on the I-5 from SR-163.) You will also encounter a slight delay on SR-163 going into downtown when there is an event at Petco Park. The San Diego Padres games usually start at 7:05PM. Even though traffic backs up a little on SR-163, it continues to move along. When leaving downtown, remember that:

  • 1st Avenue will get you to the I-5 North,
  • 11th Avenue will get you to SR-163 and the I-5 North,
  • E & J Streets will get you to the I-5 South, and
  • G Street will get you to SR-94.

The traffic lights on these streets are synchronized and will generally move you along without delay. (Learn how to get the latest highway traffic updates.)

Once you are downtown, you will find most of the streets are one-way, on an alternating basis. (You can see them if you zoom in on Google Maps.) Broadway and Market Streets are both two-way streets running east-west. You will find that at several intersections you are not allowed to make a left turn off of Broadway or Market. Thus, if you need to make a left turn, it is often better to use a one-way street rather than Broadway and Market Streets. The streets closest to the San Diego Bay attractions are also two-way.

All of the streets downtown move along quite well. The only exceptions are 4th and 5th Avenues through the Gaslamp Quarter in the evenings and around Petco Park before and after events. One other exception is crossing train tracks that run along Harbor Drive in front of the Convention Center. You can cross over the train tracks at Market, Front, 1st, and 5th. Sometimes, freight trains block the latter few crossover streets. If you see them sitting still, it means they are checking their brakes, so it could take a while. Don’t wait. Move farther north towards Market Street to cross over the tracks.

Transit – Both the Blue and Orange Trolley Lines move through Downtown San Diego and get you within four blocks of most attractions, including the Cruise Ship Terminal (Santa Fe Depot and America Plaza Stations) and Seaport Village (Seaport Village Station). The AMTRAK and Coaster Station is also within a few blocks of the Cruise Ship Terminal. (See San Diego Transit Information for the downtown transit map and information for the online Transit Planner.) Walking around Downtown San Diego is easy since it is flat with the exception of the northeast corner near Cortez Hill.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: Embarcadero North / Columbia, Maritime Attractions, San Diego Bay Boating |

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