By Boat, San Diego
One of the least known transit systems leaves from the foot of Broadway, right near where some cruise ships port. The Coronado Island Ferry is a commuter link between Downtown San Diego and Coronado Island. Normally, the price is $4.75 one-way or $7- roundtrip, but between 6 and 9am the ferry is free. Hours are long too, staying as late as midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. This is a discount bay cruise that allows one to see dolphins in the bay and great views of downtown from the water. Cyclists and pedestrians must use this ferry because the Coronado Bridge is for cars only. The ferry is privately operated by Flagship Cruises which also has a water taxi and special event ships.
Traveling from San Diego to Coronado Island and back can be done with a relaxing boat ride. Two locations leave from San Diego and arrive at the Coronado Ferry Landing on the north end of the Island. The 15 minute trip is much more enjoyable than being stuck in "commute traffic" especially when on vacation.
There are four early "commuter hour" schedules leaving the Broadway Pier ( 990 N. Harbor Drive San Diego CA 92101) in San Diego at 5:15 AM, 6:30 AM, 7:20 AM, 8:10 AM and returning from Coronado at 5:40 AM, 6:55 AM, 7:45 AM, 8:35 AM in addition to the hourly trips beginning a 9:00 AM and running until 9:00 PM (10:00 PM on Friday and Saturday).
There is also a boat leaving the Convention Center (600 Convention Way, San Diego CA 92101) that leaves 25 minutes later starting at 9:25 AM and running until 9:25 PM (10:25 on Friday and Saturday)
Tickets are $4.25 each way with children 3 and under free. Bicycles are permitted but space is limited.
Besides ground transport, ferries are another great way to do day trips to Coronado Island. See my review in my Coronado pages:
Cruising out of San Diego was a fun experience. The Port was very organized; more organized than some other ports we have embarked from in the past. The only issue was traffic getting there as there is construction by the port currently. We set sail for Hawaii on the Celebrity Century for a 15 night cruise for my Birthday.
I think the best part of cruising out of this port is the views of the city and the views on the water. I loved watching all the activity on the water and seeing the Midway from the water as we sailed by.
The Coronado Ferry crosses the San Diego Bay between San Diego and the city of Coronado. It is one of three ways to travel between these two cities. The ride takes about fifteen minutes and the ferry crosses the Bay every hour, all day between the hours of 9:00 am and 10:00 pm. It is a pedestrian ony ferry, but bicycles are allowed with no extra charge.
The ferry docks at the Broadway Pier in San Diego and at the Ferrylanding Market Place in Coronado.
Coronado Island is right across the bay from San Diego, downtown. The easy way to get there is by car over the Coronado Bridge. The relaxed way to get there is also very scenic via the CORONADO FERRY. Getting on board in San Diego is at the Broadway Pier and it leaves daily on the hour from 9am till 9pm (10pm Fri-Sat).
The crossing takes you by Seaport Village and the Naval vessels docked in San Diego Bay over to the ferry landing Market Place. You will have a great view of the skyline of San Diego on your way over. At the Market Place on Coronado, you can shop, dine, and walk the tree lined paths. Return to San Diego every half hour beginning at 9:30am on the hour till 9:30pm(10:30pm Fri-Sat). This is a fun experience for the entire family. Cost is $3.00 each way, per person. Not bad, when you consider that your ferry ride over gives you a little cruise, water sight-seeing, and a little bit of Coronado.
There is an hourly ferry that goes from the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego to the Ferry Landing Marketplace in Coronado. The ferry ride took about 15 minutes, you can buy a ticket at the dock, $3 one way, $6 round trip. The ferries leave downtown on the hour starting at 9am through 9 pm (10 pm on Friday or Saturday) and return on the 1/2 hour from Coronado from 9:30am-9:30pm (10:30 pm on Friday or Saturday).
It's a nice way to see the skyline of downtown San Diego and some of the naval ships that sit at the docks here.
Once you get to Coronado, if you want to visit the downtown area or see the Hotel del Coronado, it's a pretty long distance (someone on my bus said it took about 40 minutes to walk) so you can either rent a bike or take the 904 bus that coordinates with the ferry, I caught the 10:30 bus after taking the 10:00 ferry.
If you just want to take the ferry one way, you can also catch a 901 bus in downtown San Diego or take it back from Coronado to downtown San Diego, if you have a day pass for the trolley and bus, this bus is included. There are bus stops all along Orange Avenue for both the 901 and 904 buses.
This is the most convenient way to get to and from Coronado Island. If you're staying on the Island or downtown, it saves you the hassle of driving and parking. It also offers some fine views of the city. This is the fun way to visit the Island.
One way to get to Coronado is by ferry. You board the ferry at the Broadway pier. It leaves every hour starting at 9:00 AM. The last trip leaves at 9:00 PM. The trip takes approximately 15 minutes during which time you have a great view of the bay, water sports, the San Diego skyline, navy ships, and the Coronado Bridge. Did I say that fare is only $2.25 each way?
At Coronado is the The Ferry Landing Marketplace with its many shops and restaurants. I was pleasantly surprised to find fast food restaurants there.
A fun way to get from San Diego to Coronado or the reverse is the Bay Ferry. It's a mini harbor tour for $2.!
Unfortunately it only runs once an hour during daylight. It docks at Ferry Marketplace in Coronado & at the Broadway pier in San Diego. At Broadway pier you can catch the Old Town Trolley, visit the Maritime Museum and SOON visit the aircraft carrier Midway.
San Diego has a historical link to the ocean and is still a major US Naval base. Taking a harbor cruise will shed a little more light on this aspect of the city and will also be a great way to get some good photos of the downtown skyline. There are a number of tour companies that offer tourist-oriented tours as well as more private cruising for parties or just enjoyment. Check out www.sdhe.com or www.hornblower.com for more details.
The ms Oosterdam (pronounced OH-ster-dam) is the second member of the grand Vista-class ships within the HollandAmeica company. Dimensions of the ship include a passenger capacity of 1,848, number of crew is 800, the ship weighs 85,000 gross tonnage, is 951 feet long and travels at a top speed of 24 knots.
There are two companies that provide harbor tours from the harborfront: Hornblower and Harbor Excursions. We took the latter.
We took the 2 hour tour, which is a comination of the "north" and the "south" tours. Our recommendation? Unless you are REALLY into miltary hardware, just take the south tour.
Near the Maritime museum is this booth for tickets on the ferry. It only costs a couple of bucks for a ferry ride and it is a great way to see the Bay.