With a centrally located cruise ship terminal just minutes from San Diego International Airport, as well as exciting downtown hotels, restaurants and attractions, San Diego is the perfect cruise port, serving a wide range of cruise lines with diverse itineraries.
The Port of San Diego was chosen best homeport for cruises in the 2007 TravelAge West Western Agents Votes of Excellence (WAVE) Awards, and for good reason. That year, the Port of San Diego hosted 238 cruise calls servicing over 700,000 passengers. By end of 2008, the Port anticipates the number of cruise calls to jump to 252 servicing over 800,000 passengers.
Nine cruise lines make calls in San Diego, including Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Holland America, Norwegian, Regent Seven Seas, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Silversea. Destinations include Mexico, Hawaii, the Panama Canal and the breathtaking California and Northwest U.S. coasts. Cruise lengths average 4-10 days for Mexican excursions and 10-14 days for cruises to Hawaii and through the Panama Canal.
San Diego’s popularity as a cruise port is also due to an unbeatable combination of pre- and post-cruise options with consistently warm, sunny weather throughout the year. With average daily temperatures at 70ºF, passengers can schedule a few days before or after a cruise and explore San Diego’s exciting world-class attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Bay and its waterfront, and downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter.
San Diego Welcomes New Cruise Business with Royal Caribbean International
In early May 2008, Royal Caribbean International announced it will begin offering seasonal four- and five-day cruises from San Diego to the Mexican Riviera beginning September 2009 aboard the vessel Radiance of the Seas. Cruise travelers will also be able to sail aboard the Radiance of the Seas from San Diego to Valparaiso, Chile in December 2009.
Another Royal Caribbean ship, Serenade of the Seas, will be sailing from San Diego through the Panama Canal twice in 2009. These voyages depart to Miami in October and to San Juan, Puerto Rico in November.
The Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas each have capacity for approximately 2,500 passengers and nearly 900 crew members. Ship highlights on both the Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas include a rock-climbing wall, African safari-themed solarium, indoor/outdoor county club with golf simulator and day spa and fitness center. For more information on Royal Caribbean International, visit www.royalcaribbean.com.
New Cruise Terminal Approved
To accommodate San Diego’s growing cruise business, the Port of San Diego will be building a new cruise ship terminal on Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego. Construction is slated to begin late spring 2009. The design for the new 50,000 sq. ft. terminal was approved in December 2007 by the Port’s Board of Commissioners and features a modern, two-story structure. The terminal will include areas for passenger check-in, baggage processing and Customs and Border Protection