There’s a reason why San Diego is known as “America’s Finest City.” With year-round perfect weather, sunny beaches, and a charming atmosphere, San Diego is an inviting place that welcomes you with open arms. Visit its award-winning museums and zoos, ride a wave along its surf-friendly shores, and explore one of its many diverse neighborhoods full of restaurants, bars, and small boutiques.
Cruises from San Diego include itineraries along the Pacific Coast and through the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale. Discover the beauty of California during stops in Santa Barbara, Catalina Island, and San Francisco. Visit Astoria, Oregon and the bustling city of Seattle, Washington before disembarking in the modern metropolis of Vancouver. Or experience the thrill of cruising through the Panama Canal while discovering Central and South American destinations like Cartagena, Colombia and Puntarenas, Costa Rica along the way.
Admire the engineering masterpiece of the Panama Canal, the water channel that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. During your journey, you’ll visit top beach destinations in Mexico, including Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta; the jungles of Costa Rica in Puntarenas; and the towns of Cartagena, Colombia and Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, where colorful, colonial architecture is found at every turn.
From picturesque vineyards to gorgeous ocean views, all of the port destinations on a Pacific Coast cruise are a sight to behold. Overnight in the exciting city of San Francisco, where you can cross the Golden Gate Bridge or spend an afternoon touring Alcatraz. Sip on wine and stroll around the hills of California’s wine country. Embark on an outdoor adventure in Vancouver, head to the top of Seattle’s famous Space Needle, and stop by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, one of the world’s best aquariums.
Cruise from San Diego in style on a Celebrity cruise. Stay in one of our spacious accommodations and enjoy unbeatable views of the Pacific Coast, or experience the magic of crossing the iconic Panama Canal from the comfort of your own veranda.
By day, visit stunning port destinations in California and Canada, or Central and South America. Spend the evenings dining in one of our world-class restaurants, watching spectacular shows at the theater, and sipping on artisanal cocktails in one of our bars and lounges. There’s no shortage of fun and relaxation waiting for you on board.
Cruises from San Diego depart from the modern B Street Cruise Terminal and Broadway Pier. Here, you'll find souvenir shops and a beautiful park where you can sit and admire the beautiful view of the water. There is ample off-street parking available, with shuttles that will take you to the cruise terminal, as well as easy access via taxi or public transportation from the airport or downtown area.
Head to Mission Beach for a quintessential San Diego beach experience. Mission Beach is known for its miles of wide, golden sand and its bustling boardwalk full of rollerbladers and surfers enjoying the sunshine. It’s conveniently located adjacent to Belmont Park, a carnival-style amusement park with a wooden roller coaster and games.
For a more serene beach day, head north to Windansea Beach in La Jolla. Located in the laidback Bird Rock neighborhood, Windansea Beach is surrounded by large flat rocks that create the perfect hideaway to lay your towel over the powdery soft sand. While its secluded location may make you feel like you’re far away, you’ll be just a couple of blocks from coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants.
The San Diego Zoo is considered one of the best zoos in the world, thanks to its incredible conservation efforts and large animal enclosures. Visitors of all ages will enjoy its wide variety of species and educational live shows. The San Diego Zoo is known for its panda exhibit, as it’s one of the few zoos outside of China where you can still see them in person.
The USS Midway is an old naval aircraft carrier turned museum that is permanently docked in the harbor of San Diego. Learn about the area’s naval history and tour the control room, the sailors’ bunks, and the deck where fighter jets used to land on the ship. Don’t miss visiting the large statue of a sailor kissing a nurse located in the small park area next to the ship.
Take a stroll around San Diego’s Balboa Park and admire its historic architecture and attractive landscaping. Visit one of the park’s 17 world-class museums, including the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, the San Diego Railroad Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Man.
If your ideal beach experience is less about sand and more about views, head to La Jolla Cove. This breathtaking coastline curves magnificently around the Pacific Ocean, and along with steep cliffs and rocky tide pools, you’ll see sea lions, seagulls, and other sea birds frolicking in the surf and on the rocks. The cove is next to La Jolla’s upscale shopping district, where you’ll find fine restaurants and designer boutiques. Adventure enthusiasts can go sea kayaking through the caves or snorkeling and scuba diving within the cove.
What should I eat in San Diego?
During your cruise from San Diego, you can’t miss trying the authentic Mexican cuisine and fresh seafood you’ll find all over the city. San Diego is particularly known for its Baja fish tacos, which are made out of fish (often cod or mahi-mahi) fried in tasty batter, placed on a corn tortilla, then topped with a tangy white sauce and a heaping scoop of cabbage.
Another iconic San Diego dish is the California burrito, which is stuffed with carne asada, french fries, guacamole, and cheese. The burger scene is also fantastic, and the battle for the best burger is usually between Hodad’s in Ocean Beach and Rocky’s in Pacific Beach. If you’re in the mood for seafood, try some fresh fish or locally caught spiny lobster (when it’s in season) at one of the many restaurants in Point Loma, the Gaslamp Quarter, or La Jolla.
What’s the history and culture of San Diego?
San Diego was discovered by Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542, but before the Spanish settled there, the area was inhabited by Native Americans, specifically the Diegueño, Luiseño, Cahuilla, and Cupeño people. In 1769, the first mission was established. Control of the mission was taken over by Mexico in 1834, and it wasn’t until the United States incorporated California in 1846 that San Diego became a part of the country.
Today, San Diego is known for its laid-back attitude, and its surf and beach culture are front and center when it comes to things to do. The city’s economy is mostly concentrated in the military and defense industries, as there are multiple naval bases in the area. Tourism also plays a major role in the city, as do biotech and telecommunication services.
Where can I go shopping in San Diego?
The mecca of all malls in the city is Fashion Valley, located in Mission Valley. Fashion Valley is home to several department stores, brand names, and luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and Balenciaga. Soak in some of the Southern California sunshine as you walk between stores at this open-air mall.
For unique boutiques and eclectic shops, including San Diego’s most famous hat store, head to the uptown neighborhood of Hillcrest. The Gaslamp Quarter, which is located within walking distance from San Diego Harbor, is home to a number of popular shops and locally owned boutiques.
How can I get around San Diego?
The San Diego Trolley is a scenic way to travel around the city. It connects the Gaslamp Quarter with Old Town San Diego and some of the outer edges of the city limits. You’ll find many taxi ranks around downtown San Diego, popular beach areas, and the Port of San Diego. Take the Coaster to visit some of the coastal suburbs and their charming downtown areas. You can also use the Sprinter, a light rail line that connects the western coast with some of the more inland areas, such as San Marcos and Escondido.
What are the currency and tipping customs?
San Diego uses the U.S. dollar, and credit cards are widely accepted. Before you get in a taxi, make sure it accepts credit cards, since some drivers only take cash. Some smaller food stands may only accept cash as well, so make sure you always have cash on hand. ATMs are located all over the city. Tipping in San Diego is similar to the rate the rest of the United States uses, at 15% to 20% of the total bill.