45 minute Historic Bay Cruises aboard Pilot are held most days
Launched in 1914 to her removal from regular service in 1996, Pilot enjoyed an active career as San Diego's chief pilot craft - assisting almost every one of the thousands of major commercial ships to enter or leave the bay during that time.
Restored by the Maritime Museum of San Diego and relaunched in 2002, Pilot now hosts school groups on “Economy and Ecology” voyages, where students help with navigation and perform water quality experiments while exploring the Bay, in addition to her public day cruises.
This is a add-on activity, tickets are $5.00 plus Maritime Museum admission. Tickets are only sold at the Maritime Museum of San Diego on a first come first serve.
Daily boarding times for Pilot are 10:15am, 11:15am, 12:45pm, 1:45pm, 2:45pm.
Please note there are no restrooms aboard Pilot.
75 minute tours
Feel the history & power of the twin 12 cylinder Detroit Diesels as you take a behind the scenes 75 minute tour of San Diego's military history. Enjoy this unique one of a kind adventure aboard our historic Swift Boat, PCF-816. Be a part of history. Tours began Memorial Day 2014.
Two tours daily: Saturday, Sunday.
Check-in time ends: 10:30 am and 1:00 pm .
Tour route heads under Coronado Bay Bridge, Naval Base San Diego, and then Naval Amphibious Base. It then heads back by the aircraft carrier basin and Naval Air Station North Island before returning to the Museum.
This is a narrated tour describing PCF 816 's role in the U.S., Malta, Viet Nam, Swift Boat sailors, and the above establishments on the Bay.
Tours are $10.00 per person (Or take the 2 for one special, Swift Boat Tour plus the Historic Bay Cruise aboard Pilot for only $13.00 - this special is only available at the museum), plus Maritime Museum of San Diego admission.
To purchase tickets online Click Here
Sail aboard Californian
The Californian is a replica of a gold rush era revenue cutter and the Official Tall Ship of the State of California.
Join the crew in sailing a traditionally rigged tall ship. Passengers will be invited to haul a line, man the helm and end their day with a cannon salute. 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, tales of whaling and sea otter trade, local sea battles, the art of ship's gunnery, life at sea and more.
Click button to view available sailing dates.
- Tall Ship Adventure is 3 hours
- Check-in ends at 11:30am*
- Tall Ship Adventure ticket includes museum admission.
- You can check-in as early as 9:00 am, enjoy the Museum before or after your sail.
- Return to museum at 3:00 pm
- *Schedule is subject to change. Any new times will be noted on ticket.
Aboard the famous yacht America
Next Level Sailing has never made it so easy for you to see these wonderful animals off our beautiful coastline. Sail aboard America, the famous 139 ft yacht that the America’s Cup is named after for an adventurous blue whale and marine life expedition.
This is reproduction of the legendary vessel that won Queen Victoria’s trophy back in 1851. That trophy was later renamed after the yacht in 1870 when the “America’s Cup” as we know it today was first started. She has a shiny black hull, beautiful gold emblems, polished timber & brass everywhere and at 139 Ft long is the biggest sailing vessel in San Diego and likely California. She provides the best of the best when it comes to comfortable ocean sailing experiences, and is a fantastic viewing platform for getting up close with the whales and dolphins, and as a sunset sail vessel she is second to none.
- Value, Value, Value!
- 4 hours sail on the most famous yacht….a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience
- Chance to see a blue and grey whales (depending on season as to which)….biggest animal on planet Earth and another “once in a lifetime” experience
- FREE admission to Maritime Museum of San Diego ($14 value)
- Light Snacks, & soft beverages included
- Guests can BYO alcohol (Beer & wine available for sale - No coolers allowed.) Make a “Picnic” of it
- A NO Seasickness Guarantee (= free trip if you get seasick or $25 gift certificate)
- Environmentally friendly way to see the Blue Whales
Click Here for times, tickets and specials.
For more information call 1-800-644-3454
Or Email us: Click here
Check-in at least 1/2 hour before your departure time at the white Info/ticket booth in front of the Berkeley Steam Ferry at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Tickets can also be purchased at the Maritime Museum of San Diego if seats are still available.
What to bring on a Day Sail
- Sunscreen or sunblock
- Closed toed shoes with non-slip soles
- Hat for sun protection and or warmth (should stay on in a stiff breeze)
- Jacket that will protect you from cold and wind (the wind chill factor can be 15 degrees cooler then the land temperature.)
- Camera and a smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sea sickness an issue?
We recommend that if you have any doubt, you take preventive measures before hand. (Bonine, Dramamine, etc.)
Can I bring my own drinks and food?
Glass containers, coolers, strollers, folding chairs and alcohol are not permitted onboard. Californian has ice chests if you need refrigeration. We have water, soft drinks and light snacks. Passengers are allowed to bring a bagged lunch.
What happens in the case of bad weather?
Wind and weather are not under control and the trip may be rescheduled or cut short should conditions prohibit safe passage. If weather conditions are poor on the date of your sail, please call for updates.
How many guests are on board?
At max capacity: Californian - 40, PCF-816 Swift Boat - 25, Pilot - 30.
Can I participate in Sailing the ship?
Aboard Californian YES! We encourage participation. It's up to you, your ambitions, abilities and attitude. The captain will have ultimate control of the ship and its crews movements. Pilot & Swift Boat is a sit back and enjoy the ride with narration, but you can get up and move around.
What do you do when you have a baby on board (a 1-year-old)?
For safety reasons, we suggest you hold the child. This might create some problems in going below deck, as the stairs are steep. But crew members and docents are available to help, if needed.
Does everyone wear life jackets, including the baby?
No, they are up to you as an individual to determine whether you want to wear one. Just ask as you board, if you prefer to wear one. Life jackets are provided as required by the U.S. Coast Guard. Coast Guard regulations require us have life jackets available, but they are not required to be worn.
Can you go below deck, or does everyone stay above the whole time?
This is completely up to you. Most persons enjoy the topside areas of the sailing experience, but the *restrooms and *snack bar are below deck (*Californian only).
Californian has restrooms (heads in boat speak). Pilot and PCF-816 Swift Boat do not.