Classic Yacht Sailing transports passengers back in time aboard the S/V Vanessa?a restored sailing yacht reminiscent of luxury boats built between 1890 and 1939. As the boat glides silently across the water, passengers can enjoy sights of the San Diego Bay or take pictures of whales. Classic Yacht Sailing's US Coast Guard?certified captains welcome up to six guests aboard the vessel during public cruises and private charters.
Sound Excursions describes their carefully curated group experiences as "field trips for adults." It's easy to see why: every outing takes groups to a new realm of Washington, whether it's the frothy shores of Puget Sound, inland forests and mountains, or tables at Seattle's thriving restaurants. The events held at these diverse locations range from culinary workshops on topics such as sushi-making and moonshine-tasting, to adventurous excursions with whitewater rafting or kayaking, to laid-back themed party cruises. For many outings, luxury transportation is provided.
With San Diego being one of the world’s sailing capitals, any visitor or local alike should get out onto the water and enjoy the city’s aquatic playground. Next Level Sailing has three gorgeous yachts – Abracadabra, America and Stars & Stripes – that each offer two to three hour excursions around the bay and open ocean. During these hands-on sails, passengers act as part of the team and get to steer the yachts, grind the winches and learn about the entire boating process. The 139-foot America ship takes groups whale watching off the coast from December to April, as pods of gray whales travel from Alaska to Baja. A few months later, 100-foot blue whales appear off the coast, making one of Next Level Sailing’s former America’s Cup vessels the perfect place to catch an up-close glimpse. And regardless of the season, dolphins and sea lions are always ready to make a playful appearance.
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.
Flagship Cruises and Events hosts more than harbor tours. On a given evening, a party floats out onto San Diego Bay. The stars overhead combine with the skyline's twinkling lights to become a giant disco ball, which sets the mood for dance after dance aboard one of Flagship Cruises and Events' signature vessels. These nighttime dinner cruises send gourmet chefs, DJs, and ample bottles of champagne out on 25-mile voyages up and down San Diego's waters. Yet this is only one of the events Flagship's team has dreamed up since they chartered their first cruise back in 1915, the year water was discovered not to be poisonous. You'll also find their boats basking in the glow of fireworks on New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July, as well as carrying sprawling brunch buffets during weekends.
Additionally, Flagship's captains charter private cruises and lead sightseeing trips. These include thrilling Patriot speed boat rides and more leisurely harbor tours, which float past area attractions such as the city shipyards, U.S. Navy ships, and the Coronado Bay Bridge. From December–April, some 20,000 gray whales swim through the area and give passengers even more to look at.