Whale Watching & Sunset Cruises, Sailing Excursions & Boat Rentals

One of the best ways to pass a few hours in San Diego is simply appreciating its winding coastline, home to pristine beaches and marine refuges. For those who would like to experience the city’s ocean scenery, here are our recommendations for boating excursions and cruises that can ferry you around the bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Whale Watching

With 70 miles of coastline directly in the whale migration path, San Diego is an ideal destination to see the bi-annual parade of gentle giants. More than 20,000 gray whales will make a 10,000-mile round-trip journey from Alaska to Baja California, from mid-December through April — it’s winter and spring when the females prepare to give birth to their calves. Once the little ones have grown big and strong in the warm Baja waters, the return migration annually occurs through the second half of the year.

San Diego Tours offers daily sailing tours located only twenty minutes from the Pacific Terrace.

Blue Whales and Blue Sharks

Snorkel with blue whales and dive with sharks and dolphins! Freediving with blue whales is an experience filled with excitement, anticipation, and joy — all defining qualities of true exploration. It will deepen your understanding and appreciation of our ocean realm, the lifeblood of our planet.

Sunset Cocktail Cruise

Hornblower Cruises, which depart from the San Diego Harbor just six miles from Pacific Terrace, offer sweeping bay views and a happy hour that includes complimentary champagne at boarding and light hors d’oeuvres. Enticing drink specials are also available. The popular Sights & Sips Cocktail Cruise takes place on Friday and Saturday nights from April to October.


San Salvador Sailing Adventure

If you’ve ever wondered what it was like for Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to navigate the coast of present-day California, in 1542 — wonder no more. With the crew of San Salvador, a replica of Cabrillo’s four-masted, 100-foot galleon, you’ll spend four hours sailing the Pacific and San Diego Bay as part of a package that also includes admission to the Maritime Museum. Tours depart from the San Diego Harbor, located 15 minutes from the Pacific Terrace.


Boat Charters

If you prefer to chart your own course, Mission Bay Sports Center, five minutes from Pacific Terrace, invites you to hire a staffed Malarky vessel. Choose from multiple cruise options tailored toward families and corporate events. You can even arrange an on-board movie night to further customize your journey.