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Maritime Museum, San Diego

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Maritime Museum, San Diego: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Diego: Harbor Cruise

1. San Diego: Harbor Cruise

See San Diego's best sights. Learn about the city and enjoy a cruise on the bay. Depending on the option booked, this tour takes you under the Coronado Bridge, past military ships, waterfront landmarks, and marine life for a look at San Diego's scenic beauty and fascinating history. This tour’s luxury ships offer three levels with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, 360-degree views, and an on-board snack bar serving snacks, soda, beer, wine and cocktails (available for purchase). This is a great way to experience San Diego from the water.

Sights & Sips 2-hour Sunset Cruise on San Diego Bay

2. Sights & Sips 2-hour Sunset Cruise on San Diego Bay

Come aboard the only floating happy hour in San Diego. The Sights & Sips Sunset Cruise on San Diego Bay includes complimentary appetizers, a no-host bar featuring refreshing drink specials and a perfectly timed sunset every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer. Get ready to enjoy the sights and sounds of the magnificent San Diego Bay. The bay boasts some of America's most historic warships such as the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Midway as well as playing host to the scenic sights of the Coronado Bay Bridge and Seaport Village. Take part in a cruise experience where the celebration begins the moment you come on-board. Start with cocktails on deck, then relax as our gracious crew transports you to a world of ease and luxury. You and your guests will feel pampered, privileged, relaxed and refreshed. Quench your happy hour thirst aboard the Sights & Sips Sunset Cruise.

San Diego: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

3. San Diego: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

Embark on a marine life adventure on a dolphin and whale watching tour off the coast of San Diego. Keep a lookout for gray whales, blue whales, common dolphins, and more as you glide over the Pacific Ocean's dark blue waters. San Diego is one of the best locations to watch whales year-round. Gray Whales migrate winter-spring from feeding grounds in Alaskan waters to calving lagoons in Baja California and back. In summer, the legendary Blue Whales, the largest animals on Earth, commonly feed off-shore of the San Diego coast.  You may also spot Fin, Blue, Humpback, and Minke whales during the summer whale watching season. Additionally, you'll often see pods of Dolphins including Risso’s, Common, Pacific White-Sided, and Bottlenose Dolphins. Your captain will also highlight other wildlife such as Sea Lions, various fish like Mola Mola (Sunfish), and a variety of marine birds such as Herons, Terns, Pelicans, and Gulls.  View these extraordinary mammals in the wild on this spectacular cruise. The expert crew will help you locate these creatures and additional marine wildlife, such as dolphins and sea lions. Learn about marine life and local environmental efforts from professional captains and whalers who work at the San Diego Natural History Museum.  You may even spot a whale calf traveling with its mother as they return from the Arctic. This is a fantastic and exhilarating journey for all age groups. Guaranteed whale or dolphin sighting. If you don't sight some type of whale or dolphin during the cruise, you'll be issued a pass that's good for another San Diego whale watching or harbor cruise. San Diego is quickly becoming one of the world’s best whale watching locations. The city is home to whales, dolphins, and sea birds, and features one of the world's most beautiful coastlines.  Enjoy live educational narration from captains and trained naturalists employed by the Natural History Museum.  Watch blue whales and dolphins in comfort on a large, fast, and stable boat!

San Diego: Sailing Tour with Open Bar

4. San Diego: Sailing Tour with Open Bar

Cruise past the most memorable sights in San Diego Bay on a 2-hour or 3-hour sailing trip. Pass the Maritime Museum, the USS Midway Museum, Downtown San Diego, and other famous landmarks. Choose to sail out in to the beautiful Pacific Ocean, along the beautiful southern California coastline. Enjoy a fun-filled trip as you discover San Diego Bay with a coast guard-certified captain. If you’re lucky, you may see seals, sea lions dolphins, and whales. Unlimited beer, white wine, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks are  provided throughout the tour. Sunscreen and sunglasses are provided, and in case it gets chilly, jackets, hats, and blankets are also available.

San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2-7 Attractions

5. San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2-7 Attractions

Experience San Diego's top attractions and tours and get up to 55% off combined admission with Go City's Explorer Pass. Simply choose 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 top attractions from over 45 options and go at your own pace - you have 60 days to use your pass from first activation. Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo or the USS Midway Museum. Explore more of the city with a hop-on hop-off trolley tour, or kayak and snorkel in beautiful La Jolla. The possibilities are endless. Your pass is fully digital and no physical card is required. Simply download your pass directly to your smartphone or print at home. Show your pass at each attraction for quick and easy entrance. Choose from the following things to do in San Diego with the San Diego Explorer Pass: Museums and Places of Interest • San Diego Zoo OR San Diego Zoo Safari Park (choose 1) • USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum • Belmont Park Ride and Play Pass • Maritime Museum of San Diego • Air and Space Museum • Birch Aquarium at Scripps • The Fleet Science Center with IMAX • San Diego Natural History Museum • Museum of Us • Living Coast Discovery Center • The New Children's Museum • San Diego Museum of Art • San Diego Model Railroad Museum • Japanese Friendship Garden • PETCO Park Tour - Home of the San Diego Padres • San Diego Automotive Museum • Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown) • Mingei International Museum Tours and Activities • 2-Day Hop-On Hop-off Old Town San Diego Trolley • Living Coast Discovery Center • 1-hr San Diego Harbor Cruise by Hornblower • 90-min Best of the Bay Cruise by Hornblower • San Diego Speed Boat Adventures • Jet Ski Rental San Diego Harbor • Go Kart and Thrill Park • Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises • Plunge San Diego • San Diego Fishing Tour • San Diego Hiking Tour • San Diego Harbor: Kayak Rental or Stand Up Paddle Board Rental • La Jolla: Kayak Rental, Snorkel Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, Surf Board Rental or Bike Rental • Coronado: Kayak Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, or Bike Rental • UTC Ice Sports Center • Speed Circuit: All Access • San Diego City & Beach Tours • 1-Hour Scooter Rental • GoCar San Diego Tours 1-Hour • San Diego City Tour • Patriot Jet Boat

San Diego: Downtown & Balboa Park GPS Talking Car Tour

6. San Diego: Downtown & Balboa Park GPS Talking Car Tour

This is the essential San Diego tour. You will see almost all of the greatest sights San Diego has to offer, like the visually stunning Balboa park which is littered with Spanish Renaissance inspired architecture. Pass by over a dozen museums, colorful flower gardens, and world renowned outdoor organ pavilion all the way to the always happening Hillcrest, which has a great variety of shops and restaurants. Hillcrest is known to have some of the best food in the county. But best of all you will also get to see Downtown San Diego at its finest, from the Maritime Museum, to the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Downtown San Diego is one of the best places in the world for its diversity, and visual appeal. Don’t miss the best places San Diego has to offer on this tour.

San Diego: Californian Tall Ship Adventure Sailing Trip

7. San Diego: Californian Tall Ship Adventure Sailing Trip

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind adventure at sea aboard the Californian, the Official Tall Ship of the State of California. See San Diego from the water on a replica of a gold rush era revenue cutter, then continue the fun at the Maritime Museum with included admission. Become part of her crew in sailing a traditionally rigged tall ship. During this unique experience back in time, you’ll be invited to haul a line, man the helm, and watch the crew as they scamper up and down the rigging to set and furl the sails. Listen as the Californian’s crew relates the history of sailing and exploration in San Diego. Hear tales of whaling and sea otter trade, local sea battles, the art of ship’s gunnery, and life at sea. You can use your entry ticket to the Maritime Museum of San Diego before or after your trip at sea.

San Diego: Maritime Museum of San Diego Admission

8. San Diego: Maritime Museum of San Diego Admission

Start your visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego with a tour of the 1898 Victorian-era steam ferry boat, Berkeley. See a range of exhibits on the naval and commercial fishing industry history. Learn about navigational exploration and see vintage photography and artwork, military artifacts, and impressive yacht models. After the Berkeley, head down the gangway underwater to the USS Dolphin. Explore the USS Dolphin and see what the world’s deepest dive submarine looks like on the inside. Make your way to the Vietnam-era PCF 816 Swift boat, the 1904 royal steam yacht Medea, and a 1914 Pilot boat. See the replica of the 1452 Spanish galleon Explorer Cabrillo, which sailed into the West Coast. See both the replica galleon and the Californian topsail schooner. The last vessel is the Star, with three decks of treasured exhibits and gallery space. Learn about the history of the great Age of Sail onboard.

Coronado: GPS-Guided Private Electric Open-Top Car Tour

9. Coronado: GPS-Guided Private Electric Open-Top Car Tour

See the sights of Coronado on a GPS-guided private electric car tour. Have an exhilarating drive in an open-top vehicle as you visit downtown Coronado, go over Coronado Bridge, view San Diego Harbor, or pass Petco Park. Learn about the city's attractions from your onboard commentary. Your tour begins downtown to explore the Gaslamp Quarter, USS Midway, and Seaport Village. Afterward, head to Coronado's pristine beaches, the famous Hotel del Coronado, the ferry landing, Petco Park, and more. Enjoy the drive as your electric car takes you to important sites, recommends restaurants, cracks jokes, and tells stories that bring destinations to life. On your tour, drive over the Coronado Bridge for incredible views of San Diego. Ride along the beaches and pass by the Naval Air Station on North Island.

Urban Adventure Quest: 3-Hour Interactive Tour in San Diego

10. Urban Adventure Quest: 3-Hour Interactive Tour in San Diego

If you’re looking for a way to turn San Diego into a giant board game, try the Urban Adventure Quest. This is an interactive scavenger hunt that combines the fun of the Amazing Race with a 3-hour sightseeing tour of San Diego. Guided from any smartphone, groups make their way among well-known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning about local history. The adventure begins at the Waterfront Park and takes you on a well-designed course through Little Italy, the waterfront, and down to the war memorials. The tour involves approximately 2.5 miles of walking and uses the downtown transit system at one point in the game. Using a smart phone as your guide means that you can begin when you like and determine your own pace of play. Stop for a stroll in the park or gelato in Little Italy. The Quest is offered at a fixed price per group rather than per person, making this city tour/game great value for those on a budget. Points of Interest on Your Quest: • Little Italy • Maritime Museum • USS Midway • Bob Hope Memorial • "Kissing the War Goodbye" Statue

Other Sightseeing Options in Maritime Museum, San Diego

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What people are saying about Maritime Museum, San Diego

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,169 reviews

Although we didn’t see any whales, the captain and first mate did there very best to look for them and other signs of life. We did see seals, a huge family of dolphins and a sun fish being cleaned by sea gulls, which was really cool!! I would definitely do this tour again. It was fun and relaxing!!!

Plenty of covered and open air seating, snacks, wine, drink for sale and we saw at least 20 + dolphins and a whale today. They swam with the ship and all around ... we got great videos to last a lifetime.

It was a very nice experience. We learned a lot about the ship, my bf helped the crew to raise the velets. Just remember to bring some lunch, water and sunblock.

Our family loved the 2 hour boat ride and tour. The guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. We highly recommend this tour for all ages including kids.

Fantastic!!!! saw a blue whale up close! staff and museum whalers on board were very nice and knowledgeable! captain was super awesome!