Visitors to San Diego can easily orient themselves to this city by taking a one or two hour harbor tour through a tour operator like San Diego Harbor Excursions. Their narrated tours covers up to twenty miles of the harbor.
If your time is limited, book a one hour tour of the North Harbor as this tour provides the greatest variety of sites. This 12 mile tour passes by the Point Loma Light House, Harbor and Shelter Islands, the Naval Air Station, the Naval Submarine Base, and the Cabrillo National Monument. Along the way, the tour passes by sea lions sunning themselves on the docks and the dolphin training center, which provides the greatest opportunity to catch dolphins in action.
However, if you can spare the time, book a full bay tour and take in the South Harbor as well Here you get to spot the Star of India built in 1863, the U.S. Navy surface fleet, Coronado Bay Bridge and busy shipyards.
While reservations are not required for these year round tours, check out the websites for sailing times to ensure to arrive in time before the last sail of the day. Either sit indoors for a comfortable relaxing stroll or go to the upper deck for additional seating and spectacular opportunities to capture photos. Snacks and beverages can be purchased on board.