Perhaps with the exception of a high-school prom, The Gondola Company can put almost any romantic event on the water. Its vessels ferry passengers across the canals of the Coronado Cays on several types of cruises, all of which spark a romantic ambiance with Italian music and BYOB amenities. The classic 50-minute Pasaporto jaunts depart for relaxing voyages day and night. As an optional add-on, a live mandolin or violin player can tag along to strum charming, traditional melodies.
The gondoliers do not exclusively transport small groups; they also pilot Venetian caorlinas, larger boats that can accommodate up to 14 people during family-style celebrations. For even grander gatherings, a fleet cruise dispatches as many as six separate gondolas, which can smoothly support entire wedding parties atop the water. Other specialized cruises treat passengers to more than scenic views and the melancholy mating croons of wild sturgeons. On a wine-tasting cruise, a sommelier lectures on a flight of six libations. Alternatively, a Voga massage cruise lays two beds inside the boat, permitting massage therapists to coax tension from couples' torsos and limbs as they skim along the canal surface.
With its fleet of luxurious vessels, Fisherman’s Landing leads equally adventurous, and often awe-inspiring, expeditions throughout the year. Its family-friendly half-day fishing trips encourage anglers of all ages to try their hands at snagging seasonal targets.
As a pod of 12 gray whales epically crashed through the waves, their mighty fins left a trail of mist in their wake. This jaw-dropping natural display didn’t come from the pages of National Geographic, but was actually witnessed live by a group on a whale-watching trip off the San Diego coast in January 2013. Private charter trips, meanwhile, offer a bit more flexibility as they cruise highly populated fishing zones such as the Coronado Islands and the backyard ponds of local celebrities.
Californians realize their nautical dreams at six harbors along the coast, thanks to the skilled guidance and boat rentals of Marina Sailing. The company's instructors—who are certified by the American Sailing Association—have been teaching people how to safely navigate Pacific waters since 1962. Whether looking to skipper a sloop-rigged keelboat, navigate the ocean by following celestial bodies and stalled spaceships, or just spend a few sunshine-filled hours on the water, fledgling sailors can find the proper training and equipment from Marina Sailing's crew. A fleet of more than 80 boats features convenient amenities such as marine barbecues, stereos, and hot showers.
From two outposts on the shores of Mission Bay, Adventure Water Sports, LLC launches vessels and seafaring classes to introduce customers to the joy of cutting through veils of spray and sunshine. Both launching points are near the bay's full-speed zone, so captains hoping to tote skiers behind powerboats or do donuts on a scuba diver’s lawn in waverunners don't waste valuable time idling through the no-wake zone. Kayaks, pedal boats, and paddleboards cut across the steel-blue mirror of the no-wake zone, an ideal stretch for learning and exploring.
Instructors from Adventure Water Sports impart nautical wisdom to youngsters in summer youth classes that focus on anything from waterskiing and wakeboarding to riding aqua cycles. The waterfront retailers also rent out single and tandem terrestrial bicycles for those looking to cruise the Mission Beach boardwalk or simply explain the motorcycle noises they are making with their mouths.
The experienced staff at Seaforth Boat Rentals play host to watery adventures that were voted finalists for the KGTV San Diego A-List’s Best Water Activities in 2010 and 2011. Guided sailing adventures and WaveRunner tours shoot seafarers along the waterways for exceptional views of the coastline, splashing sea life, and dolphins circling on their own WaveRunners.
Consummate aquaphiles can haul various benefits⎯including reduced rates on the rentals of kayaks, canoes, and other seaworthy crafts, access to all five Seaforth locations, and free bicycle rentals in Mission Bay⎯with the Seaforth Sailing Club membership. Seaforth also offers sailing classes along with myriad sailing, yachting, and fishing charters for luxurious days on the water or early mornings spent serenading elusive sailfish.
More than half the coulda-shoulda-woulda lists drafted in this country mention kayaking among their top five, followed closely by "vanquish a boisterous monk with a quarterstaff," "fly around the world on a floating continent," and "eat one's weight in penguins." Today's Groupon lets you mark kayaking off the list, at least: for $55, you get a season pass along with a one-time free wetsuit rental from Aqua Adventures (a $200 value). The season pass extends over three consecutive months and gets you unlimited rentals during which you can cultivate a rapport with the water. Today's deal also gets you 15% off a purchase of paddle and life jacket from Aqua's retail store and 25% off all lessons you schedule when you redeem your Groupon.