Port of San Diego Offering Free Public Tours to Celebrate Maritime Month

May is Maritime Month at the Port of San Diego, and to help celebrate it the Port is offering free public boat and bus tours of San Diego Bay and its Working Waterfront.

Maritime MonthMaritime Month is the region’s unique celebration of National Maritime Day on May 22, which is a day to pay special tribute to the merchant marines and to the benefits that the maritime industry provides to the country.

“Maritime Month showcases the immense economic impact our Port maritime industry has on the region,” said Garry Bonelli, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “The Port of San Diego’s maritime business includes cargo, cruise, shipbuilding and ship repair, and commercial fishing. Together these local companies provide more than 13,400 jobs and $2.7 billion in direct economic impact to the region.”

Bus Tours

The free public bus tours will take place on Wednesday, May 22 and Thursday, May 23, 2019. The tours begin at 10 a.m. at Pepper Park, 3299 Tidelands Avenue, National City. Guests will have a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the National City Marine Terminal where Port tenant Pasha Automotive Services imports and processes approximately 482,000 vehicles annually. The tour will then proceed north on Harbor Drive, past Naval Base San Diego, General Dynamics/NASSCO, BAE San Diego Ship Repair and Huntington Ingalls Industries. It will then enter the Port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, where guests will see the various cargoes that arrive. During the tour, Port staff will explain the various areas and discuss the economic impact that the maritime industry has on the San Diego region. The tour will take approximately two hours. Free parking is available in Pepper Park’s parking lot.

Boat Tours

The free public boat tours will take place on Saturday, May 18 and Saturday, June 1, 2019. There will be two tours on each day, a morning tour that begins at 10:45 a.m. and an afternoon tour that begins at 1:15 p.m. Participants will board the Admiral Hornblower at Pier 1, Hornblower Landing at 1800 North Harbor Drive (at the foot of Grape Street), San Diego. The vessel tours will provide a waterside view of the Port’s cruise terminals, cargo terminals, Naval Base San Diego and shipbuilding and repair yards. The vessel tours take approximately two hours.

New this year is a vessel tour narrated in Spanish. The 1:15 p.m. cruise taking place on Saturday, June 1 is being co-hosted by radio station Que Buena 106.5 FM San Diego. There will be a DJ from the station onboard, as well as prizes and giveaways.


Also new this year is a chance for the public to win prizes when they register for the tours. This is part of the Port’s new, interactive Maritime Challenge. In this challenge, participants have the opportunity to watch four Maritime videos, view fun facts about each of four maritime sectors, and explore an interactive maritime map of San Diego Bay. Watching at least one video will then provide access to the link to register for one of the free public bus or boat tours. By participating in the challenge, participants are eligible to win fabulous prizes including:

  • A seven-day Carnival Cruise Line cruise for two from the Port of San Diego to the Mexican Riviera
  • Free fruit each month for an entire year from Dole Fresh Fruit Company
  • A helicopter tour of San Diego Bay to view the Port’s Working Waterfront
  • An overnight stay at one of the Port’s wonderous waterfront hotels
  • A $100 gift certificate to the Port’s waterfront restaurants serving local seafood

Visit portofsandiego.org/maritimemonth to participate in the Maritime Month Challenge.

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Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@coronadotimes.com