Pacific Port of Departure - San Diego
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1 Introducing San Diego

San Diego, California's oldest, second biggest and southerm-most city is well known for its perfect climate, miles of beaches, and geographical position next to the border with Mexico, just across from Tijuana. Originally San Diego started as a nondiscript Spanish settlement, founded in the early nineteenth century, and at first developed slowly, until the mid twentieth century, when the city boomed.

San Diego bay is fabulous for sailing, and the city possesses a long maritime heritage. The city is the base for the United States Pacific Fleet.

Today the city mingles modern urban planning with traditional Spanish neigborhoods, wide blue ocean views on the west coast with barren, boulder-strewn countryside to the east , and up-market restaurants, positioned nearby to homely Mexican food diners.

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2 The Port of San Diego

The San Diego Cruise Portis situated at North Harbor Drive at the B Street and Broadway Piers, very close to central San Diego. The cruise terminal is a modern building with the usual range of facilities for passengers.

Wharfs on the northside of B Street pier are numbered one and two, on the west 3, and on the southside four and five. The berths on the Broadway pier are numbered similarly.

On both piers, wharfs one and two can be combined to dock a big cruise ship, as are four and five. Quay three is reserved for smaller vessels. So the port is able to handle 4 large cruise ships at the same time.

The Port of San Diego is building a new cruise ship terminal on Broadway Pier, due to open in late 2010.

The cruise ship routes available from San Diego include a selection of fabulous itineraries, including ports-of-call on the Mexican Riviera, and the beautiful Hawaiian islands. See cruises from San Diego for a comprehensive listing of cruises available.

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3 Out and About in San Diego

Balboa Park
The development of Balboa Park started in 1916, when a whole group of Spanish style mansions were designed and built for the Panama-California exhibition. Today the park is the biggest inner-city events park in the United States. 15 galleries and museums are located in the twelve hundred acre park. The best known is San Diego zoo, but other notable museums are the San Diego Museum of Art and the San Diego Natural History Museum. Plus the park has glorious landscaping, especially the Inez Rose Parker Memorial Rose Garden and the Japanese Friendship Garden.

San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo, situated in Balboa Park, is internationally renowned for its size and diverse selection of animals. There are over 800 different species, who are housed in an attracively landscaped hundred acre space. Most photographed are the Penguins and Polar Bears. Kids will enjoy the animal baby nursery and petting zoo.

Gaslamp Quarter
San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter is possibly the city's most characterful section. Development of the Quarter began in 1867. Enjoy your visit to a cluster of boutique shops, restaurants, galleries, sidewalk cafes, bars, jazz clubs and nightclubs offering a evocative Victorian atmosphere mingled with a modern party atmosphere. The quarter hosts big events, from food fairs and music festivals to St Patricks Day.

Spanish Missions
San Diego is home to 21 missions, established over two centuries ago. The main objective of the missions was to covert the native Indians to religion. The first ever, named the Mother of the Missions, is the Mission San Diego de Alcala founded in the late 18th century by Padre Junipero Serra. Just a few years after completion Mission San Diego de Alcala was fired in a riot, but it was quickly rebuilt.

USS Midway Museum
It's a 5 minute walk on North Harbor Drive from the cruise port towards the large aircraft carrier ship, called the USS Midway, berthed at the Navy pier. Stop at the USS Midway Museum to learn about the naval history of San Diego.

Seaport Village
There's some great retail therapy at Seaport Village. To find the village, walk or take a cab for about three-quarters of a mile in a southerly direction from the terminal along the coast . There are over sixty trendy shops, making it an ideal place to buy a souvenir from San Diego.

Embarcadero Marine Park
Just beyond Seaport VIllage lies Embarcadero Marina park. Walk along the shoreline for wonderful views over the bay.

Maritime Museum of San Diego
Tour the interesting Maritime Museum, one of the world’s best collection of old ships, such as Pilot, Californian, Medea, the Berkeley and the Star India.

4 Traveling to the San Diego Cruise Terminal

From San Diego Airport
The cruise port is a speedy ten minute cab ride from San Diego International Airport. Cab pick-up areas are located outside all 3 airport terminals.

By Amtrak
Amtrak's main San Diego terminus, the Santa Fe Depot, is just a quarter of a mile from the cruise terminal, so it's possible to go by foot or catch a service. For those choosing to walk, head west on Broadway towards the waterfront. When you get to the bay, the cruise port is in sight.

By Car
If traveling southward on I-5, continue on the highway into central San Diego. Exit at Sassafras, signed to the airport. Follow Kettner for three-quarters mile, until you reach Laurel. Make a right onto Laurel and carry on until you get ot Harbor Drive. Turn left onto Harbor Drive. The cruise port is half a mile on your righthand side.

If traveling north on I-5, follow the road into downtown San Diego. Exit at Hawthorn, marked with a sign to the airport. Continue along Hawthorn to Harbor Drive. Here, turn left. The cruise ship terminal is one-half mile on your righthand side.

Numerous parking areas cater for cruise passengers. Booking parking ahead is recommended.

5 Other Useful Information
Currency USD
Language English
Official San Diego Port Website

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