One of the best ways of experiencing a marine environment is by being out on the water. The purpose of this post is to concentrate on Mission Bay and list all of the available Mission Bay cruises that are offered.
To begin with, I want to take the time to mention that all cruises I will be listing do not include whale watching or fishing. I have written extensively on both previously, so please click on the above-underlined links if you want further information.
Mission Bay History
Mission Bay, home to San Diego’s pride and joy, Seaworld, is located just 13 miles north of Downtown San Diego.
Originally a salt marsh, the city of San Diego put a concerted effort into transforming Mission Bay into an aquatic park known as Mission Bay Park. The park’s development started in the mid-1940s and continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
Once finished, Mission Bay Park spanned over 4235 acres with a total of 27 miles of coastline, making it the largest man-made water park in the country! If you like the ratios- Mission Bay Park is 54%water and 46% land.
That is a lot of water! So let’s get on the water now!
Fun Fact- When Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo sailed by here for the first time in 1542, and he named this area ‘False-Bay’, due to the fact that it was a huge tidal marsh.
Mission Bay Cruises
Let us now look at the wide variety of Mission Bay cruises I have found for you! I want to start with the larger cruises and continue with smaller venues, followed by sailing charters.
(#Updated information for 2021)
Cruise San Diego
Ohana– 65 feet double-decker, holds 128 people
- unique design for bay cruises
- indoor, outdoor sitting
- private charters
- roped off VIP areas, reserved Captains Bridge available
- Sunset Cruise offered every Thursday and Saturday from 4:30 to 5:45
- Mission Bay Cruise-3 pm, 6:45 pm, 8:30 pm
- Sea Nature Cruise- call for information
- Adults (18 and older)- $39
- Children (2-17)- $35
- Captain’s Bridge- $99
- Under 2- Free
Cruise San Diego has a few additional offerings, such as having a chilled bottle of wine waiting for you and chilled vodka. Please take a look at their website for more information.
The Ohana is docked at the Hyatt Mission Bay Regency Mission Bay Marina.
Bahia Belle Cruises
Bahia Belle– 74-foot, holds up to 160 people
William D Evans– 100-foot, holds up to 450 people
Two Mississippi-style sternwheeler triple-decker boats cruise Mission Bay between the Bahia Resort and Catamaran Hotel and Resort and Spa (see map above.)
Fun Fact- The Bahia Belle, built in 1942, used to ferry military personnel in San Diego Bay.
I found another unique Mission Bay cruise out of Bahia Resort Hotel and its sister property, Catamaran Hotel Resort and Spa.
Every weekend (Friday to Sunday), a complimentary family sunset cruise is offered to guests of both resorts.
But, I did find that the public is also welcome, but for a fee. It must be noted that this cruise is first-come, first-serve, and resort guests board first.
- indoor and outdoor seating
- observation deck
- full bar
- Family Sunset Cruise- 6:30 pm-9:30 pm, Friday-Sunday, (except December-February),
- Bahia Afterdark- 9 pm- 12:30 am, live entertainment, DJ’s, $5 drink specials
- New Year’s Eve–see website for information, reservations a must
- Both boats are available for private events- Cruise Packages
Rates-Free to Resort guests, all others $10
There are several boarding times available at both resorts, so please refer to the Bahia website above for more information.
Osprey Yacht Charters
Osprey 62– 62 -foot, holds up to 12 people
Hours- 8 am to 8 pm
- the interior has room for 6 to sleep, with two cabins and one master suite
- Three heads with showers
- sumptuous and comfortable seating
- 21-foot beam allows for better equalization of the water
- 2-hour Daytime Day Charter
- 3-hour Daytime Day Cruise
- 3-hour Sunset Bay Cruise
- 2 hours- up to 6 people-$600, up to 12 people- $800
- 3 hours- up to 6 people-$800, up to 12 people- $1000
Also Available for:
- Fishing Charters- 1/2 day for $1300; 3/4 day for $2600
- Ash Scattering
- Private Catalina Charter- 3 days and three nights for up to 8 people- $6500
- Private Mexican Outerbanks Charter
- Live Music Boat Concert- cruise Mission Bay, then anchor in the middle of the Bay and enjoy a private concert- $1200
Duffy of San Diego
Duffy Bay Island Electric Boat- 21-foot, electric, silent and eco-friendly
Hours- 9 am to 4:30 pm
Opened every day except Monday, with the Captained Wine Cruise only available Wednesday-Sunday.
- Carpeted interior, mahogany tables, cushioned with pillows, a Surry op with a crystal-clear enclosure which may be opened up if you wish
- All passengers have their own space and table
- surround sound stereo
- A 90-minute Captained Wine Cruise- includes wine with a cheese and cracker platter. You may upgrade to a Charcuterie plate for an additional fee.
- Six passenger maximum (due to COVID restrictions, all have to be from the same family)
- Three-time slots are offered: 11:45 am, 1:45 pm, and 3:45 pm
- Two people- $189
- Four people- $396
- Six people- $594
- It should also be noted that infants and children count as a passenger.
Duffy of San Diego also offers boat rentals, with their vessels fitting up to 10 passengers. No boating license is required! Please refer to the website for more information. It sounds like a fabulous way of experiencing Mission Bay while on the water!
Here are the rates:
- 1.5 hours- $198
- 3 hours- $309
- Brand New 2020-2021 Boats- $209
Malarky- 47-foot performance sailing catamaran
Available every day for private charters
- four queen beds
- outdoor lounge deck and dining table
- full kitchen
- indoor lounge and dining table
- room for up to 12 people
- Sunset Cruises
- Wind and Wine Cruises
- Family Fun
- La Jolla Tours
- Whale Watching
- Corporate Events
- Sailboat Racing
- $550/hour plus add-ons
- All day- $3500
At Malarky Charters, they have stated that their primary goal is for you to feel like this is your boat, your captain, and your crew. Experience the waters of Mission Bay like very few do.
Take one step further and customize your adventure with any of these additional add-ons, such as:
- stand up paddleboards
- ocean kayaks
- Aqua Lilypad
- snorkeling equipment
- water slide
- drinks and appetizers
Here is one more Mission Bay cruise that I found. The Game Day package includes a cruise around Mission Bay, then the captain will anchor the boat, and you will be able to sit on the deck with seven different televisions broadcasting your game in the middle of Mission Bay. How many people can say that they have ever done that before?
The trip lasts for 4 hours and costs $1600.
Gone Sailing Charters
Shock Wave- 29-foot Chapparel, a high-quality speedboat that has room enough for 1 to 6 people
- full kitchen
- cushioned interior
- wine and beer available
- Mission Bay Cruise
- 2-hours for 1-3 people is $300, 4-6 people is $450
- 3-hours for 1-3 people is $450, 4-6 people is $675
- 4-hours for 1-3 people is $600, 4-6 people is $900
- see the website for additional fees for Mission Bay cruises for up to 8 hours
All charters are under the command of a licensed Coast Guard captain. Gone Sailing is happy to charter your ideal Mission Bay cruise, so feel free to tell them your intentions of what you would like to see and experience.
(Update-2021)- Gone Sailing now has additional private yachts and sailing charters available. Please see the above website for more information.
Hot Tub Cruisin
A one-of-a-kind hot tub boat rental!
8 am to 11 pm every day
- the hot tub water can be adjusted for personal preference
- a stereo system that connects to any music-playing device
- an optional propane grill is available
- an optional 50-quart under-seat cooler and a 6-quart ‘in the hot tub cooler.’
- Captained Mission Bay Cruise, which holds up to 6 people
- 1 hour $180
- Two hour-$360
- Three hour-$540
- Four hour-$625
Hot Tub Cruisin offers Self-Captained Cruises and Anchored Cruises for up to 10 people. Please refer to their website for additional information.
Seaforth Boat Rentals
If you want to go on a private sailing Mission Bay cruise, I found a little something.
First, I would like to mention that Seaforth Boat Rental is family-owned and is the most extended established boat rental, tour, and charter company in San Diego. They have four locations throughout San Diego- Downtown San Diego, Harbor Island, Coronado, and Mission Bay.
Every day at 3:30 pm, a 2-hour private sailing tour is offered. There are several vessels to choose from-
- Standard (up to 5-7 passengers) $275
- Midsize (up to 10 passengers) $375
- Luxury (up to 10 passengers) $475
- Yacht (up to 12 passengers) $575
- Elite (up to 12 passengers) $700
- Superior (up to 12 passengers) $900
The Sunset Cruise departs one hour before sunset, so that time will vary. Please refer to the website for more information.
So which Mission Bay cruise would you be most interested in experiencing? I love the idea of sitting in the middle of the Bay in a hot tub! I had a wonderful time researching the Mission Bay cruises, each with something special.
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have! Make sure to check back soon, as I will list all of the San Diego Bay cruises offered out of Downtown San Diego, Harbor Island, and Coronado.
Until next time!
I have always had a deep-seated passion for the Ocean Environment which ultimately led me to receive a degree in Marine Biology. Living in the San Diego area for over 30 years, I have extensively explored the 70 miles of San Diego’s coastline, and I am here to share! Please use my website to your advantage and have a look around at all the wonders that the beaches of San Diego can offer you!