Thursday, September 28, 2023

Coronado History: A Look Back at the Coronado Ferry Boats (Photos)

Editor’s Note: We contacted the author of this blog post (Dan Soderberg) and received permission to post it on Thanks to Coronado Past to alerting us to wonderful look back at the Coronado Ferry Boats.

2009 marked the 40th year since we last saw the graceful San Diego Coronado Ferry Boats. This part of San Diego history is remembered fondly by many of us who rode these wonderful vessels. There was kind of smell associated with the ferry boats. A combination of marine air and the tar coated timber pilings at the dock.

The Crown City was one of the newer sleek ferry boats. It could carry the most cars of any in the fleet. The Coronado Historical Association’s Newsletter of Spring 2008 reports it is still in service at Martha’s Vineyard.

The Coronado went to Argentina and served on the Amazon River. It is reported she is beached and abandoned somewhere there.

The San Diego skyline from the Coronado ferry dock. Not so big and built up as we know it today.

The ferry boats were basically an extension of Harbor Drive. Here you can barely make out the the Harbor House Restaurant sign.

The San Diego is aground on the banks of the Sacramento River. The Coronado Historical Association indicates there were repeated efforts to bring her back to San Diego to be adaptively reused as a dinner boat. But no such success.

The handsome San Diego Coronado Ferry offices.

The bridge that replaced the ferry boats is a great achievement and an important element of our cityscape. But we missed a great opportunity to save part of San Diego’s history by letting all the ferry boats go away. They were an iconic part of San Diego’s identity for so many years, and added a lot of character to our port. No doubt in my mind if one had been kept in service here for harbor cruises or a party boat, it would have been a very popular tourist attraction. Is all hope gone to ever bring one back for that?

– Dan Soderberg

Coronado Times Staff
Coronado Times Staff
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