San Diego

If you've been 'California dreaming' you'll love San Diego, located on South California's Pacific coast. See the dream come alive in its immaculate beaches, tanned surfers and inline skaters and soak up its casual, friendly vibe. With the city rimmed by mountains and situated across 200 canyons, San Diego's topography and location is amazing. Nowhere is this more evident than Balboa Park - a sprawling 1,200-acre urban park which is home to gardens, walking trails, museums, theatres and the famous San Diego Zoo. From its desert cactus garden to its Japanese friendship garden, it is a must for nature lovers and the green-fingered.


Shore excursions in San Diego

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

La Jolla and Mount Soledad

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Explore the dramatic coastline of La Jolla and enjoy the spectacular views that inspired Dr Seuss from Mount Soledad.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery as you head north along the coastal road to the jewel of San Diego, La Jolla. The rocky cliffs, beaches and caves in and around La Jolla served as an inspiration to the author L. Frank Baum, best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. With its stunning views, near perfect weather and affluent hillside homes, it’s no wonder many celebrities choose to make this their home.

La Jolla's quaint village lifestyle evokes a Mediterranean feel. Upon arrival, you’ll have free time to meander through the streets, browsing the fashionable boutiques, art galleries and antique shops. Or perhaps take a stroll along the waterfront and visit the seals and sea lions that make their home along the Cove.

Then it’s time to wind your way up Mount Soledad. Have your camera ready to capture the awe-inspiring 360° views over San Diego County, on a clear day you can even see as far as Mexico! Here you’ll also find the Veterans Memorial adorned by over 3,000 black granite plaques that pay tribute to individual veterans, including Sir Winston Churchill. Mount Soledad is also home to the ‘Seuss House’, the last home lived in by Dr. Seuss. His widow, Audrey Geisel still resides there in an unusual dwelling that includes an observation tower where many of his best loved books were written and illustrated.

Your journey ends as you head back to San Diego with views of the bay and your awaiting ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour includes approximately, 1½ hours of walking over some uneven terrain and steep inclines.

La Jolla On Your Own

Activity low

Duration: 5 hours

Discover the beautiful Mediterranean style resort of La Jolla, ‘the jewel’ of San Diego.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery as you head north to the stunning seaside resort of La Jolla. The rocky cliffs, beaches and caves are said to have inspired the author L. Frank Baum, who modelled the magical seascapes in his Oz books on this pristine area.

Upon arrival, you’ll have approximately 4½ hours of free time to explore on your own. From shimmering ocean views to timeless landmarks, there is so much to see and do. You may wish to relax on one of its sandy beaches or photograph the seals at the Cove. Discover the underwater world at Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the aquarium supports the work of the world renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography. For the shopaholics, welcome to heaven – browse around the luxury brands to everyday value stores in a beautiful seaside village setting.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Passengers are advised that this is a transfer only with no entrance fees included.

Old Town Trolley Hop On/Off Tour

Activity low

Duration: 2 hours

Hop on the orange and green Old Town Trolley Train and discover for yourself why San Diego is known as ‘America’s finest city’.

Welcome aboard the original Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego. Enjoy a 25 mile fully narrated tour of San Diego and Coronado. Colourful anecdotes, humorous stories and historical information are combined into a fast-paced 2 hour narrative that will both entertain and educate.

You’ll have the opportunity to hop-off and on at a variety of locations such as Coronado Beach and the Hotel del Coronado. The trolley rolls along to the world-famous Balboa Park, then into Little Italy and on to the Historic Old Town. With your full day pass, you will have the choice of staying on board for a full 2 hour tour or hop off at your leisure to explore at your chosen stops.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by trolley train. Admissions to city attractions is not included and are at your discretion. Passengers are requested to present their ticket/pass every time they wish to re-board the trolley. If passengers choose to leave the chartered trolley at any of the stops, they will then join the regular trolley tour, which is not exclusive to P&O Cruises. Passengers should be mindful of the ships departure time and leave enough time to return to the ship.

San Diego by Land and Sea

Activity low

Duration: 1½ hours

Take your seat on the SEAL for an adventure that visits the best city sights, then heads straight into the big bay.

Are you ready to see the best of San Diego on land and in the water? Then climb aboard the open-air amphibious vehicle for a remarkable 1½ hour journey which begins on the streets of San Diego.

Sit back and enjoy a lively narration about San Diego’s rich history, as you travel along Harbour Drive. En route you’ll pass the Star of India, the oldest active tall ship, at the Maritime Museum. Admire the sweeping harbour views and Embarcadero, a bustling boardwalk. As you wind your way through the historic streets, have your camera at the ready to capture the colourful sights of ‘Little Italy’.

Then it’s time to hold tight, as you take a splash straight into San Diego Bay. Once in the water, enjoy a leisurely cruise gliding past San Diego’s California sea lions, brown pelicans and other wildlife that make the bay their home. Spot the magnificent mansions that perch on the hillside at Point Loma, the North Island Naval Air Station, one of the largest repair facilities for fighter jets, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Marine Mammal Training Center, Shelter Island and much more.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by amphibious vehicle. This tour involves very little walking, however passengers must be able to negotiate 10 steps to board the amphibious SEAL. The SEAL has no storage for wheelchairs.

San Diego Highlights and Old Town

Activity medium

Duration: 3½ hours

Discover the birthplace of California, as you explore the best that San Diego has to offer.

San Diego has set the standard for the state’s carefree and casual lifestyle. Sit back and relax, as you embark on a scenic drive through Downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp Quarter, the historic heart of the city. Admire the facades of the beautiful Victorian buildings that shroud the secrets of this once, bustling red light district and enjoy tales about its notorious residents including Wyatt Earp, a gambler and saloon owner and Madame Cora, one of the famous madams of the day.

Heading across the magnificent award winning Coronado Bay Bridge to Coronado Island, you’ll drive by the lavish and reputedly haunted Hotel del Coronado, a national historic landmark. Back on the mainland, enjoy a scenic drive through Balboa Park, the nation’s largest urban cultural park and site of the 1915-16 Panama-California Expo. The park is acclaimed for its horticultural treasures, including 8 splendid gardens, 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

Then step back in time to San Diego’s Old Town, the birthplace of California, where the first Europeans settled. Enjoy some free time to visit the historic sites, or stroll around the artisans market and shop for local handmade gifts. Your last stop is at the Maritime Museum, where you can view the oldest active sailing ship, the Star of India, ferry boat Berkeley, steam yacht Medea and a 1914 pilot boat.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. This tour includes approximately, 1½ hours of walking over some uneven terrain.

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