San Diego, the fastest growing cruise port on the U. S. West Coast, offers a wide range of cruise lines and itineraries. San Diego Bay is the year-round homeport for Carnival Cruise Lines’ Elation; in addition, Holland America Line and Celebrity Cruises homeport seasonally in San Diego. Other cruise lines scheduled to visit San Diego during the year include Azamara Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Fred Olsen, Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Silversea ships.
These nine cruise lines begin or end more than 200 voyages in San Diego and offer itineraries that include the sun-drenched Mexican Riviera and Sea of Cortez, the exotic Hawaiian Islands, breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Coast and the adventure of the Panama Canal, Central America and the Caribbean.
Travelers can view and download a complete schedule of San Diego’s round-trip and one-way cruises at the Port of San Diego’s Web site, www.sandiegocruiseport.com.
Following are a selection of San Diego’s 2009 cruise offerings:
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
Carnival has three ships operating out of San Diego with regular, round-trip voyages to Mexico.
· Carnival’s Elation offers weekly departures to colorful and exciting Baja, Mexico. The three-, four- and five-day voyages feature stops in Ensenada, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas aboard the 855-ft. vessel, which accommodates 2,040 passengers. The ship features a health club, lounges and bars, a nine-hole golf course, jogging track, Internet café, three swimming pools and three restaurants, including two elegant main dining rooms and 700-seat poolside eatery.
· Seven- and eight-day round-trip Mexican Riviera cruises also sail from San Diego aboard the 2,124 passenger Spirit. The excursions visit a selection of magnificent ports of call like Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, La Paz, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. The ship offers a diversity of resort-style amenities and features, including expansive spa and children’s facilities, swimming pools and cascading water slide.
For more information on Carnival Cruise Lines, visit www.carnival.com.
Four Celebrity ships operating out of San Diego offer exciting cruises through the Panama Canal and to the Hawaiian Islands.
· The 2,046-passenger Infinity, 2,034-passenger Constellation and 1,886-passenger Mercury offer 14-day one-way Panama Canal cruises from San Diego; the 2,034-passenger Millennium and Mercury offer a 16-day Panama Canal cruise. With options originating and terminating in San Diego, these cruises include a full day traversing the iconic Panama Canal and ports of call in exotic locales like Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cartagena, Columbia; Cristobal Pier, Panama; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Huatulco, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
· The newest of the Celebrity Century-class ships, the Mercury also offers 15-day round-trip Hawaii cruises with island stops in beautiful Hilo and Kailua Kona, Hawaii; Nawiliwili, Kauai; Honolulu, Oahu; and Lahaina, Maui.
For more information on Celebrity Cruises, visit www.celebritycruises.com.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
With six ships sailing to and from San Diego Bay, Holland America offers a wealth of options, from a week-long Mexican excursion to a month-long Panama Canal odyssey.
· The 1258-passenger Statendam and 1848-passenger Oosterdam offer 14-day Panama Canal cruises between San Diego and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. that feature different ports of call in each direction, with only one port in common. The sailings, occurring February through April and again in October and November, can be combined as back-to-back cruises for a 28-day round-trip Panama Canal Collectors’ Voyage. Sample ports of call include Puerto Caldera and Puerto Quetzal, Costa Rica and Oranjestad, Aruba.
· The Oosterdam also offers a 32-day Panama Canal and Transatlantic Collector cruise with exotic ports of call including Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Panama City, Panama; Cartagena, Columbia; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Funchal, Madeira and Lisbon, Portugal; Cadiz, Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Florence and Rome, Italy.
· The 1,916-passenger Westerdam, sails on an 18-day Panama Canal cruise in the fall with ports of call including Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco and Huatulco, Mexico; Puerto Quatzal, Guatemala; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; San Bias Islands, Panama; Santa Maria, Columbia; Oranjestad, Aruba; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
· The 1,258-passenger Ryndam offers 19-day Panama Canal and 26-day Panama Canal Collector cruises in the fall with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Acapulco, Huatulco and Puerto Chiapas, Mexico; Puerto Quetral, Guatamala; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; Panama City, Panama; Cartegena, Columbia; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; and Tampa, Fla. The 26-day Panama Canal Collector cruise adds stops in Key West, Fla; Belize City, Belize; Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala; and Costa Maya, Mexico.
· The Oosterdam offers a new, seven-day round-trip Mexican Riviera itinerary from San Diego during January, February, November and December. Guests visit the popular ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, plus enjoy scenic cruising through Bahia Magdalena, renowned as a breeding ground for migrating gray whales. In October 2009, the 1,258-passenger Veendam also sails the same itinerary.
· The Ryndam sails on 10- to 15-day round-trip Mexican Riviera and Sea of Cortez itineraries during February through April from San Diego. Ports of call include Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Topolobampo, Loreto, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas.
· The 1,432-passenger Zaandam offers 10- and 15-day round-trip Hawaiian Islands cruises from San Diego with stops in tropical and lush Hilo, Hawaii; Honolulu, Oahu; Nawiliwili, Kauai; Lahaina, Maui; and Kailua, Kona.
· The Veendam is offering a 19-day Americas Discovery Cruise in October with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Acapulco and Huatulco, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; Manta, Ecuador; Salaverry, Trujillo and Lima, Peru; and Coquimbo and Santiago, Chile.
· The Ryndam and the Westerdam offer four-day Pacific Coast cruises in the spring from San Diego with ports of calls in Catalina Island, Calif. and Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. Also, the Veendam offers a three-day cruise from San Diego to Vancouver in the spring.
· The Ryndam’s 11-day spring Coastal & Alaska Inside Passage cruise departs San Diego in May for ports of call in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia and Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan, Alaska.
For more information on Holland America Line, visit www.hollandamerica.com.
Royal Caribbean has two ships operating in and out of San Diego offering exotic voyages to the Mexican Riviera, through the Panama Canal, to South America and sailing the azure waters of the Hawaiian Islands.
· Throughout the year, the 2,501-passenger Radiance of the Seas offers four-, five-, nine- and 10-day cruises from San Diego to the Mexican Riviera. Ports of calls include Manzanillo, Acapulco, Ixtapa (Zihuatanejo), Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Ship highlights include a rock-climbing wall, African safari-themed solarium, indoor/outdoor country club with golf simulator, day spa and fitness center.
· The Radiance of the Seas also offers a 15-day cruise from San Diego to Valparaiso, Chile in December. Ports of call include La Serena (Coquimbo), Chile; Lima, (Callao) Peru; Manta, Ecuador; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
· The 2,501-passenger Seranade of the Seas sails on 14-day voyage from San Diego through the Panama Canal in November with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco and Huatulco, Mexico; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Cristobal Pier, Panama; Oranjestad, Aruba; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
· The Radiance of the Seas offers an 11-day Ultimate Alaska Cruise from San Diego in May with stops in San Francisco, Calif.; Icy Strait Point, Hubbard Glacier (Cruising), Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and the Inside Passage (Cruising), Alaska; and Vancouver, British Columbia.
For more information on Royal Caribbean, visit www.royalcaribbean.com.
With enticing cruises sailing year-round from San Diego Bay, it's easy to see why San Diego is one of the nation’s finest homeports for cruise ships.