Seeing sights via swimming is an effective workout, but cramping legs and a water-filled nose hinder the viewing experience and make it difficult to sip on a cocktail. Survey the bay in style with today's Groupon. For $5, you get one ticket aboard the Bahia Belle paddlewheeler, a $10 value. The cruise departs from the docks at the Bahia Resort Hotel in Mission Bay and runs at various times throughout the night with more frequent cruises during the summer months. Children's tickets during the family-hour cruises are available for $3; after family hours end, passengers must be at least 21 years old.
The nostalgic Victorian-style paddlewheeler vessel is a 190-person double-decker festooned with plentiful wood paneling, brass accents, and marble tables. Enjoy the panoramic views of Mission Bay Aquatic Center as you leisurely glide across open waters like a hypnotized waterbug. Bask in the summer sunset cruise or get in touch with your lunar side under a moonlight shimmer. While the outdoor views are photo-fantastic, the indoor charm of Bahia Belle's vintage décor is equally elegant for sipping on cocktails from the two full-service bars, enjoying live music and entertainment, and singing sailor songs until the cruise comes to an end.
Cruising alone has been known to cause separation anxiety from land-locked friends, so scoop up as many Groupons as your seafaring hands can handle. Bring along the father who always loved making ships in a bottle, the mother who always adored double-decker boats at sunset, or the friend who is owed a favor to make up for the Halloween he agreed to be the back half of the horse costume.
All cruises subject to weather.
Yelpers give Bahia Belle cruises four stars:
- The boat itself is beautiful. We had lunch on the top floor and the ceiling is a large stained glass window that is just amazing. – Jennifer S.
- Surprisingly hassle-free…this ship is a ton of fun...It is a great place to spend birthday parties with groups of friends or take out-of-towners. – Leslie B.
The William D. Evans
The paddle wheels of The Sternwheelers' two signature boats churn through the blue-green waters of Mission Bay, transporting passengers back more than a century to when steamboats dominated America's rivers. Across the 100-foot-long William D. Evans, festive events with up to 600 passengers unfold under ornamental pressed-tin ceilings, handcrafted lamps, and the astronaut-crafted stars viewable on the open-air top deck. Handmade masts at the bow lead the ship's way, and its hundreds of decorative bulbs illuminate the bay at night. Bahia Belle, William D. Evans' smaller sibling, offers a more intimate space for gatherings. Its Victorian decor and architecture make way for a stained-glass skylight that beams vivid colors across its interior, resplendent with cast-iron staircases and red-velvet curtains. Weddings, banquets, and other events also take place on the boats between public cruises, each craft's rich detailing setting the tone for trips to remember.