A Charter For Everyone!

If you want to book a charter boat in San Diego, look no further! Here’s a robust overview of the various types of boat charters available in San Diego and Mission Bay. From huge yachts suitable for large groups to smaller ones that hold only 6 passengers and boats that you can rent for yourself.

San Diego Bay” by y6y6y6 is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Overview of all Charter Boats in San Diego:

Booking a boat charter in San Diego can be an exciting or relaxing way to enjoy what the city has to offer.

You can hop on board a nice yacht and spend the day floating around with your buddies or you can rent  a party pontoon with your best friends and just enjoy your birthday while blasting music the whole time. The possibilities are endless, from small birthday gatherings on the water to whole prom nights spent aboard a cruise.

Here is a list we compiled of the type of boat charters you can find in San Diego:

– Cruise ships

– City Cruises

– Large Motorboat Charters

– Large Sailboat Charters

– Private Motorboat Charters 

– Private Sailboat Charters 

– Bareboat Charters

NCL cruise ship Norwegian Sun” by Roderick Eime is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Cruise Ships

There is a wide variety of cruise ships departing from San Diego Bay’s Cruise Ship Terminal. Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Royal Caribbean all offer itineraries departing from San Diego Bay in 2023, offering a wide variety of experiences.

Norwegian Cruise Line offers 7-day cruises departing and ending in San Diego, CA in 2023 to destinations such as Alaska and Mexico complete with onboard activities and delicious cuisine.

Holland America Line offers a wide variety of cruises departing from San Diego, CA in 2023 ranging from 4 to 51 days with itineraries to Alaska, Mexico, Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean, all including top-notch amenities and onboard experiences.

Royal Caribbean offers one cruise in 2023 departing from San Diego, CA through the Panama Canal ending in Tampa, FL lasting a total of 16 days.

As you can see, San Diego has a pretty big bay allowing even the largest vessels to onboard passengers, which brings us to our next experiences.

Large Powerboat Charters

If you’re looking for larger powerboat charters in San Diego Bay, there’s plenty to choose from. Two of the more popular large powerboats are Seal Tours, Mai Tai, and Chere Amie Yacht Charters. Both offer private charters with a professional and experienced crew, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of San Diego Bay in comfort and style.

Mai Tai Charters offers a variety of luxurious boats and can accommodate many passengers for a half-day or full-day private charter. Offering charters of at least three hours with a captain included, this is an excellent venue for a party or celebration.

Chere Amie Yacht Charters provides private charters on their 90-foot yacht and can host up to 140 guests for half-day or full-day charters. Their yacht is equipped with two crewmates and one captain and plenty of space for events.

One of our personal favorites is Seal Tours, operating every day this vessel starts on land, then drives right into the water where you can get up close and personal with the bays’ most fabulous residents, the California sea lions!

Make sure to do your research, as there’s a lot to explore in Southern California’s largest natural bay!

A day on a catamaran” by Ian Usher is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Large Sailboat Charters

If you’re looking for a sailing experience with a lot of people in San Diego Bay, consider booking one of San Diego’s larger sailboat charters! There are several options available, the Triton, the Malarky, Mai Tai’s Catamaran, and the Aolani to name a few.

The Triton is the perfect option for up to 100 guests. One of San Diego’s newest additions to our maritime experiences, she arrived on August 1st, 2020, a brand new GC70 measuring in at an astonishing 75′ LOA, the largest in her class. With excessive amounts of space and plentiful amenities, guests will enjoy watching the sunset over the beautiful Coronado skyline from the bow of the vessel.

The Malarky is another elegant catamaran that can accommodate up to 12 passengers. This 47-foot sailing catamaran has an outdoor area perfect for hosting a group of friends. Enjoy music, drinks, and snacks on board the Malarky, or make your rental even more exciting by adding on e-surfboards, jetskis, a giant waterslide, paddleboards, a sea lily pad, or even a jet board!

So if you want to make your child’s birthday party truly extraordinary, bring a cake and some birthday candles to celebrate your child’s birthday in a unique and memorable way. Mai Tai has a luxurious charter sailboat ideal for those wanting to enjoy a wind-powered party. Capable of taking 48 passengers aboard their 60-foot sailing catamaran, this charter is a roomy and ample option for any event you want.

Finally, the Aolani is one of the most popular charters in San Diego Bay. It is a fine large catamaran charter available in San Diego Bay since 2003. This beautiful boat is 60 feet, perfect for groups of up to 48 people and includes a spacious living room, full kitchen, and plenty of outdoor seating. Enjoy breathtaking views of San Diego’s skyline as you relax in the comfort of this exquisite vessel. With its top-notch amenities and experienced crew, the Aolani makes it easy to have a fantastic evening out on the water.

MV Adventure Hornblower” by Bill Word  is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

Niche Cruises

San Diego Bay is home to a variety of niche cruising vessels. Whether you want to go whale watching or go on a fast and exhilarating ride with friends, City Cruises and Flagship Cruises can offer it!

The Hornblower offers daily lunch and dinner cruises with exquisite food and amazing views of San Diego Bay. This cruise is perfect for couples or a group of friends.

The Patriot Jet Boat offers a wild ride performing stunts around the bay such as quick accelerations, donuts, and more. 2,800 horsepower shared between two jet engines make sure you will have a blast. Bring your friends, kids or colleagues on this adrenaline-loaded adventure.

If you want to go whale watching, San Diego is the place to find it. With 15 or more companies offering this unique experience the ocean blue and its wonderful mysteries become the thing of your dreams.

If experiencing a flashback into the past is what you’re interested in, then the Bahia Belle is the cruise for you. Reminiscent of the glory days of the steam-powered engine, this 3 story Mississippi-style sternwheeler paddleboat is an experience to savor.

Experience San Diego’s unique maritime culture!

Private Powerboat Charters

For those looking for a private charter experience in San Diego Bay, smaller powerboat charters are an excellent option. These boats can take up to 6 people and offer a wide range of amenities, from driving your own speedboat to wakeboarding!

If watersports are your interest, you can book a private charter with wakeboarding and other watersports lessons over at Hydro-Motion, where you will get a comprehensive lesson on wakeboarding.

If you’re interested in driving your own powerboat, then Speedboat Adventures San Diego is the place for you. Over your tour, you will see sights like no other, such as the underside of the USS Midway. You will drive your very own tiny boat measuring 12 feet in length and enjoy feeling speed.

Private Sailboat Charters

San Diego Bay is an amazing destination for sailing with consistent wind and shelter from ocean swells. There are plenty of private sailboat charters to choose from.

Sea Monkey Adventures offers private sailing charters for up to 6 guests on their 35-foot sailing yacht. This luxury boat is perfect for private events and provides a unique experience for small groups with breathtaking views. Sea Monkey Adventures also offers complimentary beverages and snacks, not to mention inflatable paddleboards, rings, and floaties for those who choose charter options of 3 hours or more (and choose to anchor and relax).

Sterling Sails offers private sailing charters on their comfortable and spacious sailboat. They provide private events for up to six guests and even provide lessons on sailing fundamentals.

San Diego Sailing Tours offers three-hour sailing tours around the bay and will provide a memorable experience that is perfect for special occasions.

Finally, Imagine Sailing is ideal for those looking for a romantic evening for two aboard the 34-foot Catalina named “Imagination”. With an experienced crew and stunning views of San Diego Bay, this is sure to be a fun, private charter that also offers sailing lessons!

Bareboat Charters

Bareboat charters are a great option for those looking to take their group out on the open water. These charters are boat rentals with no captain included. You pay only for the boat rental, fuel, and if you need a captain, you can arrange to hire one separately as well. This is a great way to enjoy a fun and private charter in San Diego with your friends

The first and oldest bareboat charter company option in San Diego is Seaforth Boat Rentals, which has been proudly family-owned since 1976 and has 4 distinct locations to rent from!

The second bareboat charter company in San Diego is Mission Bay Sportscenter, with three locations in Mission Bay from which you can rent a variety of boats, ranging from super fun and light beach catamarans to the mighty Catalina 22. Check out Mission Bay Sportscenter for summer camps as well!

Finally, one of San Diego’s most adorable bareboat charters is Eco Boat Rentals! On these boats, you gotta pedal to move, one of the funnest experiences you can have! not only that but each boat has a funny and cute name!

Sea you soon!

We hope that this blog post helped you make a decision on the right type of boat charter for you in San Diego; America’s Finest City. From huge cruise ships to tiny bareboat charters, San Diego has a plethora of opportunities for those wishing to get their feet wet and their hair salty. We hope to see you out on the water soon. Thank you for reading and happy sailing!