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Superyacht seized by U.S. from Russian billionaire arrives in San Diego Bay

June 27, 2022 / 3:40 PM EDT / CBS/AP

A $325 million superyacht seized by the United States from a sanctioned Russian oligarch arrived in San Diego Bay on Monday.

The 348-foot-long (106-meter-long) Amadea flew an American flag as it sailed past the retired aircraft carrier USS Midway and under the Coronado Bridge.

"After a transpacific journey of over 5,000 miles (8,047 kilometers), the Amadea has safely docked in a port within the United States, and will remain in the custody of the U.S. government, pending its anticipated forfeiture and sale," the Department of Justice said in a statement.

The FBI linked the Amadea to the Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, and the vessel became a target of Task Force KleptoCapture, launched in March to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs to put pressure on Russia to end the war in Ukraine. The U.S. said Kerimov secretly bought the vessel last year through various shell companies.

But Justice Department  officials had been stymied  by a legal effort to contest the American seizure warrant and by a yacht crew that refused to sail for the U.S. American officials won a legal battle in Fiji to take the Cayman Islands-flagged superyacht earlier this month. 


The Amadea made a stop in Honolulu Harbor en route to the U.S. mainland. The Amadea boasts  luxury features  such as a helipad, mosaic-tiled pool, lobster tank and a pizza oven, nestled in a décor of "delicate marble and stones" and "precious woods and delicate silk fabrics," according to court documents.

"The successful seizure and transport of Amadea would not have been possible without extraordinary cooperation from our foreign partners in the global effort to enforce U.S. sanctions imposed in response to Russia's unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine," the Justice Department said.

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Things to do | How San Diego became a player in the…

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Things to do | how san diego became a player in the super-glitzy world of superyachts, for superyacht owners, no extravagance is too extreme, no port too glamorous.

The 145-foot super yacht Dumb Luck, center, is docked in...

The San Diego Union-Tribune

The 145-foot super yacht Dumb Luck, center, is docked in Shelter Island basin on Nov. 6, 2019.

superyacht in san diego

Take, for instance, Golden Shadow. Launched in 1995 by San Diego’s Campbell Shipyard, the 219-foot vessel has luxurious staterooms for 16 guests, more modest quarters for 22 crew members, a 50-square-foot dive chamber and an exterior elevator platform, powerful enough to hoist aboard a seaplane and spacious enough to set down a helicopter.

Impressed? Don’t be. Golden Shadow was built as a floating garage for Golden Odyssey, a Saudi prince’s 404-foot superyacht.

“These big yachts have so many helicopters and toys aboard,” said Neal Esterly, a San Diego salesman for Fraser, a premier superyacht broker. “They are building 200-foot shadow boats to carry the submarine, the helicopter, the dirt bikes.”

In the world of superyachts, no extravagance is too extreme, no port too glamorous. These palatial vessels anchor off Cannes, roam the Windward Islands, explore Norwegian fjords, wander across the Pacific. The owners — Russian oligarchs, Middle Eastern sheikhs, American tech titans — travel in royal splendor with Cordon Bleu-trained chefs, masseuses, dive masters, pilots, tutors for the kids. On board, they are surrounded by African hardwood cabinets, spas fed by waterfalls, herb gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, basketball courts, hot tubs, Dale Chihuly glass chandeliers and Keith Haring originals.

Size alone doesn’t define a superyacht, but everything in this category is at least 75 feet from stem to stern. The largest, the 600-footer REV Ocean, is almost 100 feet longer than a U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

“They are very much for the 1%,” said San Diego’s Kate Pearson, chair of the U.S. Superyacht Association. “Well, the .1%.”

During a leisurely voyage — from Alaskan glaciers to Costa Rican rainforests, say — these vessels often need to pause in a safe harbor for repairs and replenishment. That’s San Diego’s role in this glitzy world, offering shipyards, sheltered dock space and an army of woodworkers, welders, engineers, sailmakers, even specialists in the surprisingly delicate task of on-board carpet cleaning.

All of this, fans note, pumps money into the local economy. So do the live-aboard crew members who take advantage of our waterfront’s proximity to bars, restaurants, nightclubs.

“Most of them are 35 and younger. They pay no rent, no monthly bills, they’re not paying for food,” said Steve Brownsea, captain of the 145-foot Dumb Luck, moored at Shelter Island. “All they do is go and party.”

Like all industries, this business is sensitive to the market’s ebbs and flows. Orders for new vessels slipped during the Great Recession and brokers like Esterly keep a wary eye on signs that the global economy is weakening. As the gap between the .1% and everyone else widens, some superyachters fret about the “optics” of their seagoing displays of super-wealth.

Perhaps the greatest hazard, though, is also this lifestyle’s greatest attraction: the beautiful and unforgiving sea.

Port for all reasons

San Diego arrived late to the party. Massive pleasure yachts have been enjoyed by European royal families for centuries, while the ostentatious vessels of 19th century American tycoons commonly cruised near the Gilded Age mansions of Newport, R.I., and Long Island, N.Y.

In 1947, David Fraser founded a yacht brokerage house in Newport Beach. About 20 years later, he opened a branch office San Diego. Despite these deep Southern California roots, Fraser now has an Old World feel — in the 1990s, it merged with Europe’s United Yachting, and the company’s headquarters moved to Monaco. With Burgess and Y.Co, Fraser is one of superyachting’s Big Three brokers.

While Fraser maintains an office here, San Diego is home port for only a handful of superyachts.

“We don’t have the cruising grounds like you have in Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean or Europe,” Esterly said. “From San Diego, Cabo and Seattle are each 1,000 miles away. Between those two, there just isn’t any place to go cruising. You can only go to Catalina Island so many times.”

To this super-wealthy crowd, though, San Diego markets itself as the destination between destinations.

“We are not Monaco or the Bahamas,” said Todd Roberts, president of Fifth Avenue Landing, the superyacht anchorage south of Seaport Village. “We are effectively a transit port. But we are doing a pretty good job of giving the superyacht the whole package.”

The landing’s 12 slips can accommodate mid-size superyachts, up to about 300 feet in length. Vessels that moor here can hook up to shore power, pump out “blackwater” — yachtspeak for sewage — unload food, drink and other supplies straight off the dock. Fifth Avenue also owns the Marine Group Boat Works, which operates shipyards in National City and Chula Vista.

San Diego’s naval heritage guarantees plenty of people trained in ship maintenance. Brownsea, the captain of Dumb Luck, recalls the dismay of another superyacht’s owner, when he learned his vessel needed new parts that were only available in Europe. His sailing date would have been delayed — if he hadn’t stumbled upon a San Diegan able to machine the parts.

“They were delivered within 24 hours,” Brownsea said. “The owner couldn’t believe it.”

Geography, too, works in San Diego’s favor. For southbound sailors waiting for the Mexican hurricane season to blow itself out, this bay is a comfortable place to spend days or weeks while monitoring satellite weather maps.

“The captains that go down to the Sea of Cortez, they all stop in San Diego,” said Scott Whittaker, the Puget Sound-based skipper of Gayle Force, a 99-foot expedition boat. “Everybody does.”

Changing trends in sailing also benefit San Diego, as long voyages — to Costa Rica and Peru, say, then across the Pacific to New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, Micronesia and finally back to the U.S. — appeal to a certain class of well-heeled wanderer.

“The boats we get in San Diego, the vessels you see on our waterfront that blow your mind, that owner is more adventurous,” said Fifth Avenue’s Roberts. “The yacht owner who wants to sit on the deck with a margarita and wave at his friends, those aren’t the owners we get. We get the more expeditionary owner.”

Expeditionary or sedentary, owners value their privacy. Typical is Robert Mercer, a New York tech millionaire and major financial contributor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. On Sept. 11, his superyacht tried to enter San Diego Bay incognito, with tarps draped over her name.

Might as well put sunglasses on the Mona Lisa. One of the world’s most photographed vessels, this 203-foot floating mansion is instantly recognizable, thanks to her forest green hull and cream-colored decks. Few, though, have been invited aboard to marvel at the carved mahogany “tree” rising through four decks, the frescoes saluting Darwin and Newton, the hand-knotted carpet of Nepalese wool and silk.

During Sea Owl’s eight-week stay at Fifth Avenue, a sign dangled over her gangway: “Private yacht — no boarding.”

Peril on the sea

Like a garage full of Maseratis or a closet full of Valentino gowns, superyachts are a sure sign of wealth. TV’s Judge Judy owns a 152-foot cruiser, Triumphant Lady, while Tiger Woods’s Privacy is slightly larger, 155 feet. Steven Spielberg’s Seven Seas is grander still, a 282-foot home-away-from-his-other-homes-away-from-home, with crew of 23, flotilla of tenders and on-board movie theater.

San Diego has enjoyed occasional visits by ocean-going glitterati, such as Luna, the 377-foot vessel owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, and Tatoosh, a 303-foot wonder built for the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The latter’s five decks house a cinema, gym, massage room, swimming pool, 11 staterooms and a crew of 35. Fraser now charters Tatoosh — a week in the Caribbean this winter will run $650,000.

Attessa IV also made a big splash here, mooring in San Diego Bay often between 2016 and 2018. Her most recent visit ended in tragedy — while cruising off Imperial Beach on Oct. 26, 2018, Attessa IV slammed into the Prowler, a 65-foot sportfishing boat. One passenger, Richard Neff, was killed and another, John Schmit, critically injured.

Schmit, who suffered a fractured skull, vertebra, rib and sternum, sued the owners of Attessa IV and Prowler. A hearing in this case is scheduled for Dec. 6.

Both vessels reported poor visibility due to heavy fog, just one of the many hazards superyachts must navigate. A partial listing of recent victims: in 2015, Hurricane Carlos sank the 127-foot Bellissima near Acapulco; in 2017, Hurricane Irma sank the 131-foot Sierra Romeo in the Caribbean; and in 2018, heavy seas capsized the 124-foot Suegno off the Italian port of Genoa.

Some danger can be avoided by staying in port. Dumb Luck, the 145-foot tri-level motor yacht skippered by Brownsea, rarely leaves her Shelter Island dock. Even so, the usually absent owner is hit hard in his pocketbook.

“Just to keep her in port costs about $750,000 a year,” said Brownsea, citing the crew’s salary, docking fees, fuel, insurance and property tax, the latter levied on vessels that remain here at least six months a year. “If we were active, going more places, it would be about $1.5 million.”

That’s a lot of money — unless you are a superyachter. Fifth Avenue’s Roberts once priced repairs for an owner. The job wasn’t cheap, and Roberts advised the owner that expenses would climb astronomically if had to be done quickly.

“I’m old, Todd,” the owner responded. “I have way more money than time. Just make it happen.”

Super budget

If superyachts are for the .1%, the Nerissa is for the other 99.9% — or at least those with a decent amount of disposable income. A 73-foot motor yacht going to seed on the Gulf Shore, Nerissa was purchased by San Diego’s Shari and Amos Zolna, who restored it as a party vessel with a well-stocked bar and a hot tub.

Now docked on Shelter Island and Coast Guard-certified for 49 passengers, Nerissa specializes in day cruises on San Diego Bay. Summer is her high season, but year-round she is booked by bachelor and bachelorette parties, sightseers, sunset cruisers and others. Two hours on the water for 40 people, with a caterer and an open bar, runs about $5,000, or $125 a head.

The experience, Amas Zolna said, is priceless: “There’s nothing like sitting out there in the hot tub with a cold beer or a glass of wine.”

The true superyacht experience will always be far out of reach for most people. Kate Pearson, the U.S. Superyacht Association’s chair, laughs when asked if she owns one.

“No,” said Pearson, who is vice president of Safe Harbors Marina, the world’s largest owner and operator of marinas. “We are a boating family, but on a much more subdued level.”

While she has been a guest aboard numerous superyachts, she views them the way most people view the stars — something beautiful, magnificent and unattainable. When Pearson is sailing with guests and they see a superyacht, she quickly alters course.

“We take them up close,” she said.

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superyacht in san diego

Port successfully woos superyachts, megayachts to San Diego waters

superyacht in san diego

SAN DIEGO —San Diego made a push in 2007 and 2008 to remind those navigating the Pacific Ocean in large recreational vessels Los Angeles is not the only destination in Southern California for superyacht and megayacht owners to dock for a few days while traveling to Alaska or Mexico.

The campaign for multimillion-dollar yachts to moor in San Diego Bay started to materialize when port officials launched a trial program in 2008. Megayachts would be allowed to moor along San Diego’s embarcadero with the promise of a myriad of services for 100- and 200-foot vessels visiting the harbor. Services included concierge and boat maintenance.

Fast forward to 2015 and superyachts and megayachts appear to have a steady presence in the harbor, with a few docking at Fifth Avenue Landing in downtown and San Diego Mooring Co. offering docking opportunities for 100- to 300-foot yachts. The port’s campaign appears to be yielding positive results, according to a boatyard representative and yacht broker.

Downtown San Diego has become a destination for superyachts and megayachts stopping over in the Southern California city en route to Mexico or Alaska. City and port officials marketed San Diego to luxury yacht owners as an ideal stop during long navigations up and down the Pacific Ocean coast. Photo courtesy Fifth Avenue Landing

Ambitious Beginnings

San Diego Superyacht Association (SDSA), a collective of business executives, marinas, and superyacht brokers, builders and designers, was launched in 2006. Members included representatives from Driscoll Boat Works, Fraser Yachts, Kona Kai Marina, Marine Group Boat Works and Shelter Island Marina.

“The group’s mission is to promote San Diego as a world-class superyacht destination and provide a conduit to marine services and suppliers,” port staff stated about SDSA.

SDSA’s mission appeared to materialize in 2007 as the Port of San Diego campaigning for superyachts and megayachts to visit the harbor began.

The Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners granted San Diego Mooring Co. a two-year lease to manage megayacht moorings the following year.

Princess Mariana was the first megayacht to dock in San Diego Bay; the six-deck, 225-foot yacht docked Mediterranean-style at the embarcadero in August 2008.

After the economic downturn an assemblyman from Carlsbad introduced legislation to make it easier for large recreational vessels to visit California’s ports. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law in 2012, making it easier for superyacht and megayacht owners planning to visit San Diego (among other ports) to submit an oil spill prevention and pollution plan to the state.

“Yes, we do have areas for megayachts. We had a couple of megayachts dock in secure port areas because their owners requested privacy and security,” said Marguerite Elicone, marketing and public relations representative with the Port of San Diego. “We had Luna , owned by Roman Abramovich, here for several months in 2013.”

Just Passing Through Fraser Yachts’ Neal Esterly said the port’s efforts to market San Diego as a destination for superyachts and megayachts is yielding results, particularly for vessels passing through the region while en route to Alaska or Mexico.

“There is no noticeable growth of superyachts based in San Diego, but … there is an increase [in large yachts passing through]. It’s growing bigger,” Esterly said.

He added San Diego is attractive to superyacht and megayacht owners for several reasons. The city, for example, features an accessible international airport and yards such as Marine Group Boat Works in Chula Vista capable of servicing large projects. Having the Navy and hi-tech companies in town means the right technology is available for most work.

“Boats like coming to this environment,” said Esterly, adding the weather in San Diego is more cooperative than harbors in Florida. “San Diego is ideal as a transition for going to Alaska or Mexico. It’s well situated.”

Available dockage at reasonable rates and cooperative government agencies are among the reasons San Diego’s position as a destination for large yachts passing through the area has met with positive traction, Esterly said.

“It’s a team effort between private industry and the government to keep boats coming. Captains have a good feeling about San Diego right now,” Esterly said. “Word is out there the port can handle this. Word would go around the world quickly if San Diego is a hassle.”

Marine Group Boat Works’ spokesperson Leah Yam echoed similar sentiments, saying San Diego Bay is large enough to handle superyachts and megayachts.

“San Diego is one of the largest port cities on the West Coast and acts as a perfect destination for leisure, rest and resources for superyachts,” Yam said. “It’s also arguable that many of the reasons that draw yacht owners to San Diego stems from the number of facilities equipped to handle them including Marine Group Boat Works, a shipyard with two locations that can haul vessels up to 220 feet and dock up to 350 feet for repairs, and Fifth Avenue Landing, a marina located in downtown that docks up to 350 feet.”

Superyacht vs. Megayacht vs. Gigayacht

Yam said the distinction between superyacht and megayacht is evolving. The type of vessel qualifying as a “superyacht” has grown since the turn of the century, while “megayacht” was not widely used until recently, Yam explained.

“If you were to ask me 15 years ago, I would’ve defined a superyacht as being about 85 feet or greater and there was no such thing as a megayacht.  Now I’d categorize a superyacht as being about 100 feet or greater and a megayacht would be 200 feet or more.  The terms are still evolving,” Yam said.

The term “gigayacht” could be the next term commonly bantered about from the large vessel lexicon, according to staff at Warsash Superyacht Academy (a division of Southampton Solent University in the United Kingdom). Gigayacht could apply to vessels larger than 100 meters (about 328 feet).

Increased Presence and Economic Impact

Marine Group Boat Works serviced more than 60 vessels measuring larger than 100 feet in 2015, according to Yam.

“Between our two shipyards, just this year alone, we serviced [more than] 60 superyachts over 100 feet. That’s almost double than what we saw in 2013 during America’s Cup, which brought record number of yachts to the West Coast,” Yam said. “The megayachts are also booking at Fifth Ave Landing … especially during major conventions such as Comic Con.”

Visiting San Diego, be it during major events or while en route to points due south, north or east, each large yacht coming into the bay impacts the local economy, according to Esterly and Yam.

“These boats are a floating economic stimulus,” Esterly said.

A 200-foot yacht typically employs a crew of 10 or more people, according to Warsash Superyacht Academy staff. Food supplies for the crew during multi-day navigations are usually bought during stopovers in San Diego. Captain and crew would rent hotel space or housing if the superyacht or megayacht is being serviced.

Yam said superyacht and megayacht owners support employees at boatyards and bring revenue to fueling stations, restaurants, retail and local housing.

One superyacht, for example, could spend tens of thousands of dollars on one trip to Costco, stocking up on provisions for everyone aboard a long voyage south or west. Yam cited an example of one captain renting out two homes in coastal San Diego for his crew. Each home was rented out at $15,000 per month for three months, she said, infusing nearly $100,000 into the San Diego economy.

There are no recent economic impact reports to validate how much money is put into the San Diego economy courtesy of visiting superyachts and megayachts. A 2007 Marine Group Boat Works press release citing industry estimates stated for every $1 spent on repairing or maintaining a superyacht meant $7 was invested locally on entertainment, hotel rooms, restaurants and shopping.

“With such large vessels, whose value ranges from $10 million to $100 million and higher it is commonplace that at least 10 percent of the vessel’s market value is required to keep it operating each year. Expenses go for such essentials as captain and crew, provisions and fuel,” port staff stated. “For repairs it’s not uncommon for such yachts to spend several million dollars on refits – the industry term for complete refurbishing of the vessel – along with engine re-powers, hull and topside paintwork and general maintenance.”

Superyachts and megayachts also bring an aesthetic value to the local landscape, according to Yam. She said superyachts and megayachts are well-received by San Diego’s recreational boaters.

“In speaking for them, I think boat owners become boat owners because they’re fascinated by the aesthetics, mechanics and performance of the actual boat. For them to see so many different custom designed and engineered vessels is exciting to them,” Yam said. “I think it also helps to legitimize the services we perform. If we’re capable of repairing and maintaining vessels of that size and magnitude, especially if the work is logistically impossible and yet we’re still able to accomplish it, then we can find the solution to their needs as well.”

A few superyachts and megayachts are regularly spotted at Fifth Avenue Landing in the downtown area, which advertises itself as a “12-slip boutique San Diego superyacht marina”  capable of serving 300-foot vessels.

San Diego Mooring Co. and GB Capital Holdings LLC currently advertise the city’s waterfront as an ideal destination for yachts between 100 and 400 feet in length. Berthing rates start at $75 per day ($2,250 per month) for a 100-foot superyacht to $225 per day ($6,750 per month) for 300-foot megayachts. The mooring company charges $150 per hour for loading and unloading of equipment and provisions.

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Yachting in San Diego, CA

Yachting in San Diego, CA

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Once you confirm your reservation, your broker will process your payment.

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  • If you are booking for a multi-day charter and your reservation is confirmed more than 30 days in advance, a deposit of 50% of the cost of the yacht is processed immediately in order to hold the yacht. Once your embarkation date is 30 days away, the other 50% is collected for the price of the yacht, plus the APA, plus the taxes due.

Terms of refunds are dictated by the Charter Agreement. Generally, once a payment is collected, it is non-refundable. In certain circumstances, as dictated by the Charter Agreement, credits can be provided so you will be able to enjoy your yacht charter at a future date that is convenient for you.

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Which luxury yacht to charter? --- San Diego Charters --- Champagne Yacht - Guest Max: 49 - Location: San Diego 105' ft. Astandoa - Guest Max: 12 - Location: San Diego --- Orange County Charters --- 100' ft. Azimut - Guest Max: 12 - Location: Newport Beach --- Cabo San Lucas Charters --- 93' ft. Nordlund Yachtfisher 'Tigress' Yacht - Guest Max: 12 - Location: Cabo San Lucas, MX 85' ft. Viking Princess 'Avicci' - Guest Max: 12 - Location: Cabo San Lucas, MX

What's the occasion? Birthday Party Corporate Event Family Reunion Engagement Wedding Bridal Shower Bachelor/Bachelorette Party Burial At Sea Other

How did you hear about us? Facebook Instagram Google Search Online Ad Friend Referral Family Referral Yelp Previous Customer Online Ad


Welcome aboard

The champagne yacht, san diego's #1 luxury yacht rentals, create your personalized yacht experience.

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High End Luxury Yachts

Family reunions

Family Reunions

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Corporate Events

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Yacht birthday party san diego

Birthday Parties

Special occasions celebration san diego

Special Occasions

Bring out your, two daily charters san diego. 1200pm - 4:00pm & 5:00pm - 9:00pm. **additional times available per request., * subject to availability.

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Feel The Vibe

Treat yourself and your guests to a unique and unforgettable experience in San Diego. An event they’ll never forget.


Qualified and experienced crew at your service. Prior to your event and for the duration of your event, we’ll be there every step of the way.

Create your own Yacht Charter Experience today. Act now. See you on the water.

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Make it Special

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  • Pier 32 Marina
  • Point Loma Marina
  • San Diego Mooring
  • San Diego Mega Yachts
  • Waterfront Grill     - @ Pier 32
  • Jimmy's Famous     - @ Point Loma
  • Dock 'n Dine
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Call Us: (619) 807-8000

Aolani Logo

San Diego’s Premier

Catamaran cruises.

The Aolani Catamaran Cruise

San Diego’s Best Private Yacht Charter & Boat Rental

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Welcome aboard Aolani, your premier luxury yacht rental in San Diego!

Whether you’re seeking a lavish sunset cruise or an exhilarating day trip, our versatile catamaran is ready to exceed your expectations. Our expansive 58-foot vessel paired with five-star service sets us apart as one of the finest boat charters in San Diego. With 17 years of experience and a commitment to excellence since 2003, we guarantee an unforgettable sailing adventure. Sail worry-free as our Captain and Crew are included on all power catamaran boat rides, ensuring a smooth and safe journey.

Let us turn your corporate event, dream wedding, or special occasion into a reality!

Whether it’s a thrilling marine life and whale watching excursion, a serene island anchorage for filming, or a lively graduation party or family reunion, we’ve got you covered. Elevate your experience by indulging in catering from San Diego’s top local restaurants while savoring our premium spirits bar. Embark on your extraordinary journey with us and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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image reading see the 360 degree view of the catamaran sailboa


Explore San Diego Like Never Before

With ample space for up to 48 passengers, our 58-foot catamaran offers the perfect setting for you and your guests to discover the beauty of San Diego from a whole new perspective. Whether you’re looking to host a private gathering, corporate event, or a romantic wedding celebration, our yacht provides the ideal venue for any occasion.

Flexible Options to Suit Your Needs

Need to accommodate a larger party or sync up with local wedding venues? No problem! We offer flexible options to meet your needs. Our team can arrange docking alongside a nearby hotel or add a second rafted wedding yacht to double the maximum capacity, ensuring that your event is nothing short of spectacular.

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San Diego’s best sailing locations

When you book a private charter with us, you are likely wondering what there is to see and experience during your San Diego sail. We’re here to assure [...]

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The Aolani Story

It was Spring 2001 on the sunny shores of Waikiki Beach, Honolulu where Bruno Schwarz was on a family vacation enjoying the sunset sails and surf, when [...]

When is the best time to embark on a whale watching tour with Aolani?

While the peak season for blue whale watching in San Diego typically spans from November through April, guests can enjoy our marine life tours year-round thanks to the region’s favorable weather conditions. Whether you’re planning a family outing, corporate event, or educational excursion, Aolani’s whale watching tours offer an exciting and educational experience for all ages.

What amenities are available onboard for bachelorette parties and weddings?

The Aolani offers luxurious features you won’t find anywhere else, including an expansive sundeck for photo shoots and relaxing with friends and family, as well as a posh cabin for enjoying food and drinks. Our wedding coordinator can assist with all the planning details, including catering, decorations, and more.

What amenities are available onboard for corporate events?

Our catamaran features elegantly designed interiors equipped with multiple flat-screen TVs with Bose surround sound for presentations and entertainment. Additionally, our spacious interior provides ample seating for up to 35 guests on the deck and 30 guests inside the salon, offering 360-degree panoramic views for an immersive experience.

Is this a child-friendly experience?

Absolutely! First, we are certified by the Coast Guard, have plenty of life jackets on board for every age, and have netting all around the Aolani, ensuring that your child is in a stable and safe environment. Additionally, we offer a variety of entertaining sailing tours, whether it be for whale watching in San Diego or simply taking in the sights! However, we would request that if your child is an infant to please hold them.

Can Aolani accommodate private groups or corporate parties for whale watching tours?

Absolutely! Aolani caters to both personal get-togethers and corporate events, offering customizable whale watching tours tailored to your preferences. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion with friends and family or hosting a team-building activity for your organization, our experienced crew is dedicated to ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience for all guests aboard our luxurious catamaran sailboat.


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& Bachelorette Parties

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Family-owned and operating for over 20 years in San Diego – whether a corporate event, wedding charter or just a relaxing day on the water – Aolani has the experience to make sure your event is exactly what you’re looking for. Our vessel offers both intimacy and spaciousness and our Captain and Crew will mirror the energy level and vibe of your guests. Elevate your cruise with some of San Diego’s most popular catering options and premium spirits beverage packages.

Call now to reserve your charter today!

(619) 807-8000


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  • (619) 636-7620‬
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SummerVibe Yachts


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Why Choose Us?

San diego’s most luxurious yacht charter, nothing else compares, custom design luxury yacht.

Summer Vibe offers an incredibly unique experience with a layout that is designed for all types of parties, gatherings, & events with 2 levels, superb interior and exterior spaces, full kitchen, state of the art surround sound / light system, and comfort/luxury emphasized throughout the entire boat.

US Coast Guard Certified Captain & Crew

Summer Vibe is captained and crewed by US Coast Guard certified personnel, so that you can enjoy your day/evening on the water stress-free and in capable, qualified hands!

Your Charter, Your Way

Whether you are planning a bachelorette party, an epic birthday, a corporate event, family reunion, or romantic anniversary celebration we are glad to cater to your needs and customize your charter to provide the best experience possible. Drop the anchor at one of San Diego bay's summer hotspots, cruise the city skyline, or dance the night away, its your charter - your way 🙂

Our stunning 76ft yacht Summer Vibe received a complete makeover and remodel in 2020, with both exterior & interior spaces re-designed to provide our guests with the most comfortable, exhilarating, and luxurious experience possible while soaking up the sun, or dancing through the night on the beautiful San Diego bay!

  • Professional quality surround sound system
  • DJ booth with equipment & plug/play wiring
  • Laser lights for night cruises & dancing
  • Full sized kitchen complete with fridge
  • Huge open air top deck lounge area with 360 degree views
  • Dancefloor, bar/food table, coolers for drinks
  • Interior lounge area + 2 full size bedrooms + 2 large bathrooms
  • AC and heating system

Come and find out for yourself why voted us one of San Diego’s Best Boat Charters


Corporate Events

SUMMERVIBE San Diego yacht charter for day or night cruises, bachelorette parties, birthdays, corporate events, and more!

Engagements / Anniversaries

SUMMERVIBE San Diego yacht charter for day or night cruises, bachelorette parties,

Bachelorette Parties

SUMMERVIBE San Diego yacht charter for day or night cruises, bachelorette parties,

Special Occasions

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San Diego Private Yacht Charters

Live for experience, if you are looking to book a san diego private yacht charter, bay experiences is san diego’s premier luxury boat and yacht charter company. located on harbor island in the port of san diego at safe harbor sunroad marina, luz de luna our 50′ sea ray sedan bridge and luna de mar our 40′ sea ray express cruiser await you to host your next gathering. we specialize in celebrations of all kinds, birthdays, anniversaries, engagement parties, proposals, bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings as well as corporate events. we also create custom cruising experiences, including overnight charters. whatever yachting experience you want to have, we’re here to make it happen., contact us contact us today for more information or if you have any questions about our san diego private yacht charters..

“ We had another amazing stay on the Luz de Luna. Athan is an amazing host who delivers a first class experience. We cannot thank him enough for the memories we have over the past two years. William Charter guest
“ Loved this vessel! My favorite thing was to turn on the ambient lights under the boat at night which attracted the minnows. This in turn attracted the bigger fish and sea gulls feasting on the minnows. It was like our own private nature show each night of Survival of the Fittest- which minnows would survive? One night a sea lion, a shark and gar-OH MY-ventured up to the boat to get in on the action. It was exciting for this "land locked Atlanta girl" to watch the scuffling that would take place between two birds or two fish. Jan Overnight charter guest
“ This is the second time to reserve this beautiful Yacht and invite this time Daughter and Son to experience this experience. Did not make the Sunset this time to Cloudy but the tour around the Bay was a great choice by the Captain. Thank You! Ruben Overnight charter guest
“ I’ve been airbnb with 2007 this is by far one of the most amazing stays I’ve had since i’ve been booking. The boat is immaculate from how beautiful the boat is to courteous and hospitable Athan and his team was. The boat ride and views are breathtaking in all the best stay i’ve ever had thank you. Evian AirBnB & private charter guest
“ I had a great and memorable time on Athan’s yacht. Athan was a great host super friendly and showed us a great time. He was the captain and the bartender The yacht was clean and immaculate. I’m looking forward to my next visit and most definitely will be back. LaQuita Charter guest
“ This boat was perfect!! We celebrated our anniversary weekend on the yacht, and it was everything we could have wanted and more. Taking the cruise is a must!! All of it was worth every penny! Morgan Overnight charter guest
“ I had an amazing time celebrating my birthday with my closest friends. The boat was exactly like the pictures and exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend cruising on Luz de Luna! Thank you, Athan!!! Shaela Charter guest
“ picture me this you and 12 of your friends rent this yacht living your best life. you get the privacy and exclusivity of being on the open water and having safe fun. while you truly soak in the beauty that is San Diego in all her glory. That’s what we did this weekend. Alexandria Charter guest

© 2024 Bay Experiences San Diego. +1 (619) 693-6770

  • Free Hour Special!
  • Bachelor Party Yacht Charters
  • Bachelorette Party Yacht Charters
  • Sunset Dinner Boat Cruise

triton charters


Your Yacht Rental, Your Crew, Your Dream Day on Beautiful San Diego Bay!

catamaran charter in san diego bay

Largest Capacity

Triton has the largest occupancy of any San Diego catamaran. We are Coast Guard certified to have up to 100 passengers on board.

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Enjoy our comfortable,  modern 13-seat custom bar, built-in waterslide, plenty of seating, elegant décor, flat screen tv, dance floor, and bow trampoline.

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Epic Sights

Splash through San Diego Bay and set your eyes on the greatest monuments that San Diego has to offer on our ticketed charters

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Cocktails and Beer

Triton offers cocktails, draft beer, wine, soft drinks, juice, and more! Ask about our catering options!

yacht charter crew and captain

Captain & Crew

Your San Diego boat rental includes a Coast Guard certified captain and crew members to assist you on your journey.

newest yacht rental in san diego

Triton arrived from a long 38-day journey and landed in San Diego Bay – Making Triton the newest San Diego yacht rental.

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What Our Yacht Rental Customers Are Saying

With over 700 5 star reviews, you can be sure you’ll have a blast on our luxury yacht charter!


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Why Choose a Catamaran Yacht Rental?

What does your dream day look like? If it includes cruising the California coast, Mission Bay, and San Diego Bay on a private, luxury yacht with your own captain and crew to take care of all the details, you’ve come to the right place.  Kick back, relax, bask in the sun and take in the gorgeous views of the San Diego skyline, while we sail into the day of your dreams.

We’ll customize your sail to your needs, whether you’re looking for a sunset sail with your family, an adventure trip out to sea with your friends, or a cruise around the bay to entertain clients and colleagues.

Our beautiful yacht rental is designed to accommodate private charters for couples, families, friends, or your most important clients. Our catamarans offer options so that you can plan the perfect afternoon or multi-day sail:

Our boats are beautiful, but it’s our people that make the real difference; we take pride in our customer service and strive to provide friendly captains and staff to ensure that your charter is enjoyable and stress-free.

Don’t just dream of your yachting vacation, let us help you make it a reality. Tranquility awaits on the Triton Catamaran.

What You Can Expect On Your San Diego Yacht Charter

Every charter includes a captain and crew that are dedicated to making your trip comfortable and safe. With a captain at the helm, and a crew member assisting with drinks, questions, add-ons, and requests, you will feel as if this is your yacht and your crew.

Embark from Shelter Island and set a course for the Pacific Ocean or San Diego Bay. Either head north to La Jolla and gaze upon the San Diego coastline, or head south towards Coronado to lay eyes on some of the most gorgeous scenery that California has to offer.

San Diego Yacht Rental Details

Includes captain and crew A full 13 seat bar offering cocktails, spirits, wine, beer, and non alcoholic beverages Open air seating throughout the boat including bean bags on the bow Luxury catamaran sailing on a 75-ft catamaran yacht Professional Bluetooth sound system 2 restrooms onboard Waterslide off the back of the boat! Up to 100 passengers

Stand Up Paddleboards Lily pad Ocean Kayaks Water slide Live music Catering and staff

Our Yacht Rentals Are Perfect For

Weddings – Make it a day you and your guests will never forget; exchange vows at sea and then dance the night away on the Triton dance floor, with the breeze in your hair and the salt on your skin.

Bachelorette Parties & Bachelor Parties – A perfect way to kick off the celebrations! Meet at the docks and start your day off right as you toast to the bride or groom on your own private charter and the San Diego skyline as your backdrop.

Corporate Events – Celebrate your success, impress your clients and prospects, and treat everyone to a memorable day away from it all.

Family Reunions – Reconnect in an unforgettable atmosphere aboard your own private charter. Swim, dance, snorkel, kayak, take in the beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife of San Diego Bay, and make memories you’ll cherish forever.

Family Vacations – Show your kids the good life aboard your own private charter. Grab the lily pad, the snorkels, and the water slide and set off for a day of fun in the sun.

Anniversary Celebrations – Looking for a unique way to celebrate your love? Treat yourselves to an unforgettable and private evening on the Big Bay. Or invite your family and friends and make it a celebratory party aboard the Triton Cat!

Celebrations – No matter what event your celebrating, we’ll bring your dream day to life. Share what you had in mind, and we’ll make sure every detail is accounted for.

View our 15 Excuses to Rent a Party Boat in San Diego to see pricing, and what to expect!

Why Choose a Catamaran Charter?

If you’re looking for a San Diego yacht rental, you have options; we aren’t going to pretend to be the only boat in the bay. But, if you have ever experienced a sail on a cat, you’ll know why we are a bit biased.

Catamarans offer much more space than monohull boats making them the perfect choice for groups; on a catamaran there really is no bad seat.

Catamarans also offer more stability with less rocking back and forth than monohull boats, which can help with seasickness.

Thanks to their shallow draft, catamarans can access areas of the bay too shallow for most boats.

Triton is the largest catamaran in The Big Bay and one of the only options in San Diego if you are looking for a private catamaran charter that can hold up to 100 people.

Triton catamaran made her maiden voyage to San Diego in August 1st 2020. She is a brand new, GC70, 75 ft day charter catamaran that boasts capacity for 100 passengers and a large deck with outdoor seating.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Yacht in San Diego?

Pricing depends on the number of guests in your party. Typically the pricing structure works as follows:

$825/hr Weekdays and $975/hr on Weekends for up to 40 guests

$1,000/hr Weekdays and $1,150/hr on Weekends for up to 50 guests

$1250/hr Weekdays and $1,400/hr on Weekends for up to 60 guests

$1500/hr Weekdays and $1,650/hr on Weekends for up to 70 guests

$1750/hr Weekdays and $1,900/hr on Weekends for up to 80 guests

$2,000/hr Weekdays and $2,150/hr on Weekends for up to 90 guests

$2,250/hr Weekdays and $2,400/hr on Weekends for up to 100 guests

To check pricing and availability click here 

Where to Park and What to Bring

Parking Directions : Please click HERE  for the map of where to park. For free parking, please park in the rear of the parking lot as there is no meters. We do not have assigned parking, so please be sure to come at least 30 minutes early.

Walking Directions : Once parked, please click HERE for walking directions. You must arrive AT LEAST 30 MINUTES prior to your charter time. Please fill out your waivers and be prepared to present your waiver via QR code, and have your ID handy before you arrive.

Yacht Rental San Diego FAQ’s

We’ve put together a list of our most common questions about our San Diego yacht charters below. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to call us or email us !

General FAQ

Where are you located?

Triton is located at 2700 Shelter Island Dr. San Diego CA 92101 on the commercial dock next to Sail San Diego. Watch our Pre-Boarding video to help with parking!

What are your COVID Guidelines?

We are committed to the safety of our customers and our staff. We follow CDC recommendations on the state level as well as the county recommendations. Since our venue is outdoors, customers are not required to wear a mask. Triton is sanitized before, during, and after every charter with hand sanitizer available for guests.

What comes standard with each charter?

Triton includes a captain, crew, bartender, waterslide (for private charters), dance floor, seating for up to 100 guests, 2 restrooms, and modern decor! 

Can we film our experience?

 Drone Filming

Filming/bringing a drone for your charter is prohibited. Triton’s location is an ever-changing “no fly zone” with only very few locations able to actually take-off with a drone. We do offer drone filming services where our experienced pilots will communicate with our captain to get the shot that you need. Please inquire for cost.

DSLR/Production Filming

Bringing professional filming equipment on-board must be approved with our administrative team.  Triton Charters must be added as “additionally insured” on your insurance policy. Filming with intent to distribute is prohibited on Triton without prior approval. Cell phone videos/pictures are encouraged! 

What is your refund/cancellation policy?

Private Charters – Triton Management LLC requires all cancellations be made 14 days prior to the scheduled departure time to receive a full refund. Cancellation within 14 days of the charter will forfeit their deposit. Any cancellations made within 72 hours before the charter will forfeit the full amount of the contracted services and are non-refundable.

Ticketed Charters –

Ticketed Charters – Tickets are 100% refundable if canceled at least 24 hours prior to the charter’s departure time. Triton Charters may cancel ticketed charters anytime for any reason in which case, our customers will receive a full refund.


Triton Charters does not operate in unsafe weather conditions, but a light rain shower is not a deterrent. The captain will assess the weather and should the captain determine that the conditions are unsafe to run the charter, the charter may be rescheduled or it will be canceled.

If a trip is canceled by Triton Charters for any reason, you will have the option of receiving a voucher for a future trip or receiving a full refund.

Please note that failure to show for the reserved trip without cancellation will result in no refund

**Triton Charters reserves the right to change/alter our cancellation and refund policy as needed based on availability, or any circumstances deemed necessary. 

Is there a deposit?

The deposit for Private Charters is 10% of the total cost. This must be paid upon booking and the remaining amount is due 72 hours before your charter date.

How is my price determined?

Triton has unique pricing structure allows our customers to get the best deal possible for a private experience. The pricing is as follows:

Weekday Pricing

1-40 Passengers $825/hr

41-50 Passengers – $1,000/hr

51-60 Passengers – $1,250/ hr

61-70 Passengers  – $1,500/hr

71-80 Passengers – $1,750/hr

81-90 Passengers – $2,000/hr

91-100 Passengers – $2,250/hr

Weekend Pricing

1-40 Passengers $975/hr

41-50 Passengers – $1,150/hr

51-60 Passengers – $1,400/ hr

61-70 Passengers  – $1,1550/hr

71-80 Passengers – $1,1900/hr

81-90 Passengers – $2,150/hr

91-100 Passengers – $2,400/hr

Each charter must pay a 10% deposit upon booking. 

What's the max capacity and seating?

The maximum occupancy of triton yacht rental San Diego is 100 passengers. With comfortable seating for everyone. Seating includes our 13-seat bar, leather bean bags, and bench seating. During COVID-19 our capacity may change.

What does the yacht rental include?

We’ve thought of everything, so you don’t have to. Included in your charter is our USCG certified captain and crew, 13-seat bar, bartender, space for 100 guests, 2 bathrooms, built-in waterslide, professional sound system, covered dance floor, 55″ flatscreen tv, lifejackets, all on the largest and newest catamaran charter in San Diego. Alcoholic beverages are also for sale at our 13-seat custom bar.

Where does the yacht charter go?

Each charter is unique. Guests will enjoy the ability to “point and go” allowing you to go wherever you’d like. Typically charters will do a tour around San Diego Bay where you will pass many of San Diego’s monuments and sights. You also have the ability to go for an ocean sail and enjoy the amazing views of Coronado and Point Loma.

What about food and drinks?

Each Private Charter includes a bartender that will serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. We have a fully stocked bar with the same amenities as a normal venue including draft beer, craft cocktails, mixed drinks, wine, juices, sparkling water, and non-alcoholic beverages. Guests are prohibited from bringing any alcoholic beverages onboard. 

You are more than welcome to bring your own food on-board. If you decide to bring your own food, we suggest finger foods that are easily served and disposed of. If you plan on catering your event, you must have the venue list Triton Charters on the ‘additionally insured business’ on their insurance. For more information, please call us at 844-5-TRITON.

Ticketed Charters

How much are the tickets?

Tickets are $55 for adults and $15 for children. Tickets do not include drinks, or food.

Where does the cruise take us?

San diego harbor cruises , take in the beauty of san diego bay on the brand new triton catamaran.

A visit to America’s finest city isn’t complete until you spend some time enjoying the San Diego Harbor. There is no better way to do that than aboard a luxury catamaran harbor cruise. Bring your family, your friends, your co-workers or come solo and experience the gorgeous San Diego Harbor views.

You’ll get beautiful shots of the downtown San Diego skyline and travel under the Coronado Bay Bridge in luxurious comfort. You’ll likely meet some of San Diego’s most beloved friends, the seals and sea lions who like to sunbathe on the docks. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of a dolphin or two swimming alongside Triton. 

To keep you refreshed and nourished on our two-hour sightseeing sail, we offer an onboard bar serving soda, beer, wine and cocktails. 

There is no better way to experience the scenic beauty of San Diego than from the water. Relax, sunbathe, sightsee, learn, mingle and unwind with us on Triton. We can’t wait to see you!

As a Guest Aboard the Triton Harbor Cruise, You’ll Be Treated to:

  • A 2.5-hour San Diego Bay Cruise
  • Luxury catamaran sailing without the expense of a private charter
  • Open-air, spacious seating on a 75-ft luxury catamaran 
  • Onboard cocktails 
  • A full bar with seating
  • USCG certified captain and crew

Notable Landmarks and Sites We’ll See 

As you soak in the sun, we’ll sail past some of San Diego’s most spectacular coastal sites introducing (or reacquainting) you with the:

  • USS Midway Aircraft Carrier – The USS Midway was commissioned one week after the end of World War II, was the largest ship in the world until 1955, and was the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the 20th century. The Midway was so large it could carry 120 planes on its armored flight deck and was the first aircraft carrier unable to cruise the Panama Canal due to its sheer size. While you are visiting San Diego, be sure to check out the USS Midway Museum  to learn more about this iconic ship. 
  • Star of India –   Star of India is the world’s oldest active sailing ship. She is an iron ship with a long and storied past that includes collisions, mutiny and cyclones. She worked as a cargo ship and then spent half a century bringing emigrants to New Zealand. You can tour the Star of India at the  Maritime Museum of San Diego. 
  • North Island Military Base –   Dubbed the official birthplace of aviation, the North Island Military Base is an active military base home to two aircraft carriers and 23 fixed and rotary wing squadrons.
  • Cabrillo National Museum – T he Cabrillo National Monument and museum mark the location where the first European set foot on the western US. There is a lot to take in at Cabrillo park including the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and the rocky intertidal zone. 
  • Hotel del Coronado –   The Hotel Del  is a historic beachfront luxury hotel situated in the city of Coronado, just over the bridge from downtown San Diego. It opened in 1888 as the largest resort hotel in the world and today is the second-largest wooden structure in the US. If you are visiting San Diego, it is definitely worth spending a couple of hours at The Del — grab lunch or stroll the pristine beach. 

Who is This Harbor Cruise Right For?

  • Families   – Bring the kids, bring the grandparents!  Triton Catamaran offers an unforgettable experience for the whole family. 
  • San Diego Visitors   –  There is no better way to acquaint yourself with San Diego than from the sea. This is one experience you definitely don’t want to miss while you’re in town. 
  • San Diego Locals   – Lived here all your life but still a little shaky on your San Diego history? Join us for a relaxing afternoon on the bay; we’ll catch you up. 
  • Groups   – We love hosting groups and can cater to parties as large as 80 on our ticketed cruises. 

What is the ticket schedule?

To see our live calendar, please visit our ticketed charter page. Our ticketed charter times change based upon the season. From March 17th – November 3rd, our ticketed cruise depart Wednesday-Sunday at 11am, 2:30pm, and 6pm. November 4th – March 9th our schedule is Wednesday-Sunday at 10am, 1pm, nd 4:30pm. Each charter is 2.5 hours and will take you on an epic adventure through San Diego Bay, down to Glorietta Bay and back! Triton may change/update/add or remove dates upon our descretion. 

How long is the cruise?

Each ticketed charter is 2.5 hours in duration.

Triton is equipped with a full bar including: mixed drinks, draft beer, specialty cocktails, soft drinks, juices and sparkling water. Passengers are strictly prohibited from bringing their own beverages. 

Prices are $8.50 for draft beer, $10.50 for mixed drinks, and $13.00 for specialty cocktails. You may bring your own food that is individually packed, ie: No cakes, or foods that require serving utensils.

What types of payment do you accept?

We take all majorly accepted credit/debit cards. We do not accept cash or checks. 

What is the deposit for Private Charters?

All private charters are required to pay a 10% deposit to secure their booking. If the charter is within one week of the reservation, the charter must be fully paid.

Private Charters – Triton Management LLC requires all cancellations to be made 14 days prior to the scheduled departure time to receive a full refund. Cancellation within 14 days of the charter will forfeit their deposit. Any cancellations made within 72 hours before the charter will forfeit the full amount of the contracted services and are non-refundable.

Ticketed Charters – You must contact us more than 24 hours before your charter to reschedule or to cancel your ticket. If you cancel within 24 hours of your charter or are late/no-show,  you may reschedule without a fee. If you wish to get a refund and cancelled/no-showed within 24 hours of your charter, you will be charged a 20% cancellation fee. Triton Charters may cancel ticketed charters anytime for any reason in which our customers will receive a full refund.

Please note that failure to show for the reserved trip without prior cancellation will result in no refund

Yacht Rental San Diego Articles

How much does it cost to rent a boat in San Diego? What is the difference between a catamaran, a motor yacht, and a sailboat? How much does a yacht rental cost? Answers to these and more questions on our articles page!


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Legacy Cruises & Events

A yacht party rental for the ultimate san diego luxury event, plan your event.

Step aboard the Sirara and into a world of ultimate comfort. Nothing says luxury like your own private yacht party rental, complete with curated food and entertainment and a 360-degree view of San Diego Bay as the backdrop to your day. Holding max. 85 guests, the contemporary Sirara is one of San Diego’s top boat wedding venues, an ideal corporate yacht charter, or as the backdrop for stylish family celebrations.

Corporate Yacht Charter

birthday Celebrations

yacht weddings

Other Yacht Party Events

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Your event deserves The Sirara

Book your Yacht and get ready to explore the magic of San Diego

Events Highlights

Relive the Magic: Compass retreat on our Luxurious Yacht Sirara in San Diego 🌟

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Michael's 40th Surprise Birthday Bash: San Diego's Premier Yacht Party Experience

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Boarding Locations

Join us at our base marina at Shelter Island, San Diego, or several selected pick-up and drop-off marinas in the local area, including downtown San Diego and Coronado Island.

H&M Landing

Why Choose A Private Yacht Party Rental with Legacy Cruises?

The crew was amazing and super flexible! The yacht was in great condition and actually exceeded my expectations. Would rent again!

Janice Pilapil profile image

Janice Pilapil

Wonderful cruise with a great dj, catering and bar for a work event. Loved the up-close views of the air craft carrier too. Would definitely recommend.

Jay Wiley profile image

The entire experience was top notch. Boat has a great set up with a large indoors area with multiple tables and a bar and area to dance. There is a large outside area on top of the boat with bar tables and tons of space to dance and enjoy the outside. The captain did a great job of touring the bay with a real close flyby of under the Midway. Staff was very helpful and took care of everything. We also purchased one of their charcuterie boards and it was pretty amazing. Highly recommend if you're looking for a large party on the water!

Sean Boren profile image

This was the one of the best decisions I made for my wedding weekend! The Legacy Cruise team and Sam really made us all feel at home on the yacht and were very accommodating to our whole party. They were attentive to all of our guests and the boat was such a fancy venue for our reception dinner. Our guests who traveled out of town were treated to such an unforgettable night cruising around the San Diego Harbor and dancing under the Coronado bridge! I also love that we were able to bring all our own food and drinks and would highly recommend the boats bar package! I highly recommend that you host your next event on Legacy Cruises!

Desiree Hsiou profile image

Desiree Hsiou

Wow! The crew was phenomenal! We had the most amazing time and they created the most amazing experience. The bartender was wonderful and everyone on the crew was super helpful and informative. This was truly a perfect experience!

Kiandra Chun profile image

Kiandra Chun

We hosted visiting executives in San Diego and took them on a Sunset Dinner cruise. The experience was exceptional beyond our expectations. The service, from booking, thru selection of dinner, beverages (open bar), flexible with timing, and during the cruise, was above and beyond. I highly recommend if you need to entertain C-Suite executives in San Diego. We even brought live entertainment with us (acoustic music) and I would give it 10 stars out of 5. Thank you!

Christy Wendte profile image

Christy Wendte

Wow, what an experience! I have no words to describe what a great time we had on the yacht! I received a message from every single guest that they never experienced something like this before, couple of them even asked about yacht details and how it works... Thank you so much for being an amazing host and part of our special day! Sam and the entire crew made our event to go as smoothly as possible and we’re super grateful! You simply can’t go wrong with them. We hope to be back and to see you again!

Ivana R profile image

We had a Fantastic time celebrating Ethan and Annabella’s love ! Views were spectacular! All staff on board were wonderful and service impeccable! Perfectly perfect !

Jan Brooks profile image

The Legacy team does a great job at providing a wonderful private boating experience. They are super professional, extremely friendly, and great at processing any requests that you may have. Time out on the water is great, seeing a bunch of local landmarks. The layout of the boat is perfect, with 2 bathrooms, a bar, tons of seating inside on the first floor and lots of room for dancing on the top floor. Would highly recommend booking Sam, Fred and team if you want a fun experience for any sized group.

Matt Perrone profile image

Matt Perrone

We had a medical/dental CE course on this beautiful luxury yacht. The event went as it was planned. Staff are super professional and helpful before and during the event. I highly recommend Legacy Cruises !!!

Oral Surgeon San Diego profile image

Oral Surgeon San Diego

We had a great time aboard Sirara for our company event. The boat is beautifully maintained, and the layout was great for or party of 18. The boat has plenty of capacity for more passengers, and we will definitely be chartering her again in the future!

Craig Taylor profile image

Craig Taylor

Excellent organization and communication. Our chartered yacht was meticulous, and the crew went out of the way to make sure we were all having a great time. Worth every penny!

Eric Steinberg profile image

Eric Steinberg

We rented the 65' luxury yacht for New Years eve and it was INCREDIBLE. We had about 50 people and it could not have been a better night/ experience. The crew, captain, and owners of the boat were super friendly and seemed like they enjoyed themselves as well. Definitely recommend!

Isabella Barbieri profile image

Isabella Barbieri

Great experience all around. The staff are very friendly and accommodating and the set up was perfect for the occasion. Wish I could use this service for every event. They were that good.

Evan Sirkey profile image

Evan Sirkey

We were very excited to host our event with Legacy Cruises, as it looked to be one of the most updated boats to host an event on in the marina.. and it did not disappoint! The staff was incredibly helpful from the planning to day of execution and the boat itself was perfect for a luxury event. We will definitely be working with Legacy Cruises again!

Ben Pinel profile image

Get Ready To Cruise

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The lowdown on chartering our luxury private yacht, Sirara, for your San Diego event. For more details and to discuss how we can make your onboard event a reality, contact us today.

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Personal information.

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Malarky Charters

Yacht Rental San Diego |Up to 12 Guests

Enjoy the largest and most luxurious yacht rental in san diego bay. includes captain & crew, byob & food.

superyacht in san diego

Captain & Crew

superyacht in san diego

Up to 12 Guests

superyacht in san diego

BYOB & Food

girls on catamaran

Malarky Charters is San Diego’s finest luxury catamaran rental. You and 11 friends will embark on an adventure that will live in memory for a lifetime. Modern decor, smooth sailing, and abundant space ensure a comfortable and jaw-dropping excursion through San Diego Bay. Sit back, relax, and enjoy what San Diego has to offer: dolphins, gray whales, blue whales, seals, birds, mixed with fresh ocean air.

Malarky Interior

Malarky Charters Interior3

Malarky Exterior

Drone Picture of Malarky Charters

Bow with Trampoline

Malarky’s unique bow offers plenty of seating and gorgeous views all the while keeping you close to the water. Watch the water splash underneath you while cruising through San Diego Bay. Expect plenty of wildlife and oftentimes dolphins, too!

Vessel Accommodations

Malarky is a luxury 47’ performance catamaran yacht rental. Its low-profile hull design and ample sail power combine in perfect balance to make for a comfortable cruising experience. Built in Cape Town, South Africa the Voyage Catamaran Yacht is the definition of a “Blue water” vessel.

Optimal use of space allows the sleek hulls to accommodate an exceedingly comfortable interior living space while maintaining the performance and safety that is characteristic of all VOYAGE yachts.

superyacht in san diego

Full Kitchen

superyacht in san diego

Epic Add-ons

Make your yacht rental even more exciting by adding paddle boards, lily pads, kayaks, tower pads and an 11ft waterslide!


Get up close and personal with the serene waters of San Diego on our easy-to-learn paddleboards.

The lily pad provides a safe and comfortable environment for your kids, friends, and family. A great add-on!

Make a Splash! Add on an 11ft steep slide and have an epic day on Mission Bay. Can only be used while anchored.

Enjoy gorgeous views while relaxing on our aft deck. We have a shaded table and seating for about 8 people with plenty of space to sit off the back of the boat.

Indoor Lounge

Relax in our spacious indoor lounge with comfortable seating, modern decor, coffee tables, and inviting natural light all calling you to slow down and relax in style. Need to keep things cold? Store your food and drinks in our mini fridge!

Malarky Charters FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers about our San Diego yacht charter.

How many guests are allowed on your yacht rental?

Malarky Charters is Coast Guard certified to have up to 12 guests on board. If you’re looking for a party boat rental for 13 or more guests, check out Triton Charters.

How big is malarky and what’s the interior like?

Malarky is 47ft in length with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large indoor lounge and a full kitchen.

where does the yacht charter go?

Your charter will begin in San Diego Bay, more specifically, in America’s Cup Harbor. Once boarded, our Captain will guide our yacht through San Diego Bay, passing all of it’s major monuments, and even under the Coronado Bridge. Want to go a specific route? Just ask your captain! 

How long should we rent the yacht for?

Malarky has a minimum of 2 hours required to rent the boat. That being said, to get the most of the yacht charter experience we recommend 3-4 hours. 

where are you located?

Malarky Charters address is   2700 Shelter Island Dr. San Diego, CA 92106 Our office is located at 2700 Shelter Island Dr. and our charter is located on our commercial dock just south of our office. If you are arriving for your charter, our vessel is located on our commercial dock behind Ketch Kitchen and Taps in Shelter Island. 

what is your cancelation policy?

All cancellations are to be made 14 days prior to the scheduled departure time to receive a full refund. Cancellation made within 14 days of the charter will forfeit their deposit. Any cancellations made within 72 hours before the charter will forfeit the full amount of the contracted services and are non-refundable.

Where do we go on the yacht charter?

Unlike other yacht rentals, Malarky Charters does not give you a “cookie cutter” experience. Our captain and crew will recommend a route, but ultimately you can go wherever you want!

What will we see during the charter?

San Diego Bay has some of the most amazing monuments to see from the water! The stunning Coronado Bridge connects San Diego to Coronado Island and offers breathtaking views of the bay. You can also marvel at the USS Midway Museum, a historic naval aircraft carrier museum located at Navy Pier, showcasing a collection of aircraft and exhibits. Another highlight is the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. As you cruise along, you’ll pass by Seaport Village, a waterfront shopping and dining complex with picturesque views and unique shops. At the tip of Point Loma, the Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo and offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. The Embarcadero Marina Park provides scenic open spaces, walking paths, and views of the bay and city skyline. You’ll also sail by Shelter Island, a long strip of land offering marinas, parks, and a distinctively nautical ambiance, and Harbor Island, known for its resorts, marinas, and dining options, providing excellent views of the city and the bay. These landmarks make a yacht rental in San Diego Bay a memorable experience with a blend of natural beauty and historical significance.

What do we need to bring?

Malarky Charters allows you to bring your own food and drinks (this includes alcohol). Be sure to bring food that is easily accessible and easy to clean up! Please do not bring any red wine aboard, or glass cups. All liquids contained in glass will be put into plastic cups. Feel free to bring towels, sunscreen and a big smile!

What are some popular occasions to rent your yacht?

Celebrate any occasion you can imagine on Malarky Charters! Some of our most popular events are birthday parties, bachelorette parties, corporate outings, family gatherings, intimate wedding receptions, and more!

What types of Add-Ons do you have?

Our add-ons are another great reason to choose Malarky Charters. We have paddle boards, lily pads, tower pads, kayaks, a waterslide and more! Please give us a call or send an email to set up your boat rental add-ons!


SAN DIEGO Yacht Charter & Boat Rentals

San diego yacht rentals.


105′ ASTONDOA (SD) | 12 Guests


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56′ SEA RAY (SD) | 12 Guests


58′ SUNCHASER | 48 Guests

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59′ Fairline (SD) | 12 Guests


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65′ UNLIMITED | 85 Guests

68′ Hatteras (SD)

68′ Hatteras (SD) | 12 Guests

68′ Sunseeker (SD)

68′ Sunseeker (SD) | 12 Guests

72’ Sunseeker

72’ Sunseeker | 12 Guests


73′ BONAIRE NAVIGATOR – SD | 42 Guests

74 Symbol (SD)

74 Symbol (SD) | 12 Guests


75′ BERTRAM (SD) | 49 Guests

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75’ Sunseeker Manhattan | 12 Guests


90’ AZIMUT (SD) | 12 Guests

93′ Tigress (SD)

93′ Tigress (SD) | 12 Guests

Reposition a yacht to san diego.


100′ AZIMUT (NPB) | 12 Guests


102′ LUXURY LINER | 12 Guests


108′ MONTE FINO | 12 Guests


125′ LUXURY LINER | 12 Guests


125′ SES LUXURY YACHT | 12 Guests


145′ SUN COAST (MDR) | 12 Guests

59′ Catamaran (Long Beach)

59′ Catamaran (Long Beach) | 12 Guests

Yacht charter vacations in cabo, company yacht parties | romantic dinner cruises.

Luxury Liners Corporate Events

Have your party with Luxury Liners!

Private Chef & Catering

San Diego Yacht Charters

Whether it’s just a weekend away or more, our San Diego yacht charters offer captivating scenic views. Watch dolphins surf the bow or whale watching is a dream. See the sea lions lounging and the birds flocking on the ocean as you breathe in every moment of your yacht charter adventure. San Diego’s an oceanside community just perfect for your yacht charter experience.


Harbor cruises , coastal cruises.


San Diego Destinations

Coastal cruise to ensenada.


From Malibu to Newport Beach Luxury Liners’ San Diego yacht charters and boat rentals are for groups of all sizes. Our San Diego yachts are well maintained for the perfect San Diego yacht charter experience traveling to Catalina Island, Santa Barbara, or any one of the Channel Islands would be an ideal destination.

superyacht in san diego

San Diego Yacht Rentals

Experience Luxury on the Pacific: Choose Seaforth Yacht Charters for Your San Diego Yacht Rentals! Nestled along the stunning coastline of San Diego, Seaforth Yacht Charters offers a premier yacht charter experience like no other. With a fleet of meticulously maintained vessels, professional crew, and a commitment to unparalleled customer service, Seaforth Yacht Charters ensures that every moment on the water is an unforgettable adventure. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, celebrating a special occasion, or planning a corporate event, trust Seaforth Yacht Charters to provide the perfect vessel and personalized service to make your San Diego Yacht Charter an exceptional and cherished memory.


Seaforth Yacht Charter Nc895 768X512 1

Starting at $925/3 Hrs

  • 8 passengers

Seaforth Yacht Charter 1095 Fly

Starting at $1,450

  • 10 passengers

36 NC 1095 FLY

Seaforth Yacht Charter Searay 44 Facade

Starting at $1,850

  • Max of 10 Passengers


Private Charter Yacht At Seaforth Yacht Charters

Starting at $1,250

  • 12 Passengers


A Luxurious Yacht Anchored In The Calm Waters Of San Diego Bay

Starting at $950

Gemini 37 freestyle.

Header Image Featuring The Stunning Jeanneau 51 Sailboat

Starting at $1,150

Jeanneau 51′.

Welcome aboard Seaforth Yacht Charters, San Diego’s unrivaled Rental and Charter company! With a reputation for excellence, we take immense pride in offering you an unparalleled maritime experience.

Immerse yourself in luxury as Seaforth takes care of every detail with exclusive management of our meticulously maintained fleet of yachts. Rest assured, we are fully permitted and strictly compliant with the esteemed Port of San Diego and the esteemed US Coast Guard, ensuring your safety and peace of mind.

Prepare to be awe-struck by our handpicked selection of top-tier vessels, each one designed to provide utmost comfort, style, and performance. Whether you seek a serene escape, a glamorous event, or a thrilling aquatic adventure, our professional and knowledgeable staff will cater to your every need, making your time on the water truly unforgettable.

At Seaforth Yacht Charters, we pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional journey that exceeds all expectations. Let us turn your maritime dreams into reality as you embark on an extraordinary voyage with us. The open seas beckon, and we can’t wait to welcome you aboard.

Seaforth Yacht Charter Nautitechoutside 1

Why Choose Us

Most trusted, premiere fleet, convenient locations, frequently asked questions.

FAQ: Got questions? No worries! Check out our answers.  We’re here to help!

  • Sightseeing Videos
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San Diego Boat Tours

San Diego Boat Tours – Yacht Charters in San Diego

P rivate ( not ticket sales ) personalized San Diego Yacht Charters and rental for all size groups are intimate, private, memorable and are available for a variety of occasions, such as San Diego sightseeing, whale watching, weddings, night champagne charters, parties, surprise engagements and much more.  Create special memories on a private yacht which will be remembered for years.

superyacht in san diego

Personalized luxury guided charter boat tours exploring San Diego Bay.  Come feel the salt air in your face and the wind at your back. Yacht charters in San Diego are completely customizable and available with full Bar / catering.   We go where you want on your time schedule. We do only private yacht charters . Below are some pictures taken on various charters .

Star of India Sailing Ship on San Diego Bay

There will be lots of wildlife (sea lions, birds etc), beautiful scenery and many San Diego attractions, so bring your camera . Whale watching tours are common as the Gray Whales migrate past San Diego from December through March each year. The Blue Whales are here during the summer months , so come out for a whale watching tour. The map provides details on each of our favorite tourist destination spots around San Diego Bay.

You are chartering the entire yacht, so only you and your group are on-board and the trip can be customized to your wishes .

  You see what is of interest to you!

Map of Yacht Charter Stops while on a Bay Tour with San Diego Boat Tours

Charter Availability – San Diego Yacht Charters

Please book your San Diego charter yacht early as available slots can fill up quickly , especially around popular days such as weekends and holidays. Some tours are season specific such as whale watching.

Private Luxury San Diego Yacht Rental – Affordable Pricing

superyacht in san diego

The #1 Superyacht Agent For Exceptional Value And Expertise

superyacht in san diego

California Superyacht Agent

Since 2003, c2c is recognized by the industry as the west coast experts regarding superyacht operational issues and support while cruising the eastern north pacific waters. , our expertise covers san diego, newport beach, los angeles, santa barbara, morro bay, monterey, san francisco, crescent city, brookings, astoria, and portland..

superyacht in san diego

Due to the ongoing shortage of berth space and shipyard slots, C2C is also known for finding suitable berth space in California and evaluating shipyard needs and making suggestions.  Contact us early if coming to California to secure the best berth space for your operational objectives, especially in San Diego.

C2C works close with luxury yachts as a traditional port agent,  providing solutions you  need.  We also work with entities ashore such as ports, pilotage associations, USCG, CBP, Department of Fish and Game, etc, to help them understand luxury yachts.

Company founder Captain Mark Drewelow is a former Chairman of  The Association of Yacht Support Services .  AYSS is a worldwide network of the world’s very best superyacht agents and support service providers to which Captain Drewelow provides leadership and vision.  When you see the red AYSS logo, you can be sure that whomever displaying that meets our strict requirements for membership.

Mark is also founder of  YachtAid Global  ( YAG ).  When you do business with C2C you can be proud to say you support YAG too!

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Questions? Contact us at  [email protected]  or call  +1-619-630-4626

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Julian Yacht Care

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Review Highlights

Coastal Garage D.

“ Armando quickly returned my call and visited the boat for an inspection and gave me a quote within a day of originally contacting him. ” in 4 reviews

Ashley E.

“ They cleaned our boat 1 week after we got a quote (such a quick turnaround), and did an INCREDIBLE job! ” in 4 reviews

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About the Business

At Julian Yacht Care, we are committed to servicing yachts small or large within San Diego providing the highest quality ceramic coatings, wax details, varnish work, interior cleanings, wash downs, teak oil, and more. Our mission is to provide you with the highest level of care and expertise to keep your yacht in pristine condition and ensure you enjoy every moment on the water. …

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Photo of Matthew M.

Julian crushed it. I bought a boat that hadn't been polished or waxed in years, and Julian shined that thing right up, doing a compound, polish, wax, and washed my carpets. I was hesitant of hiring the wrong person and have them mess up the gel coat while trying to improve it, but he proved his knowledge when he came by my house and took a look, and then spent hours getting my boat looking really nice! Highly recommend


I had them detail or 60' boat and although slow, the job was good. They made my boat shine and that always makes us happy. I haven't used them but once. I'll update as I try them again.

Photo of J. Nicole R.

WOW! Amazing service, so happy that Julian was able to clean my boat before Mother's Day. He brought her back to life and I will definitely be a return customer. Highly recommend, he gave me a price right away and got her cleaned that day!!


Service was as advertised, timely, and responsive when I had questions. Detail job was solid.

Photo of Rick V.

WORTH EVERY PENNY The guys at Julian come highly recommended for good reason. friendly, easy scheduling, and meticulous attention to detail. We had them come out to clean and wax the boat for our wedding weekend and they CRUSHED it!! We'll absolutely be using them again!

Photo of Sandy C.

Hired Julian Yacht Care after some failed attempts with a few other boat cleaning companies. I was skeptical at first, but thought he did a pretty nice job on one of the nearby yachts. After the first cleaning, I was pleasantly surprised how detailed and spotless my boat was. Since then, Julian has cleaned my boat several times and each time I'm completely impressed with the thoroughness and reliability with Julian Yacht Care. I would highly recommend them without hesitation.

superyacht in san diego

We needed our boat washed immediately, our regular washer has not been reliable. Armando was very responsive and him and his team did a great job the next morning! Very happy and will use JYC every month!

superyacht in san diego

This is a long overdue review. I have been using Julian Yacht Care since July 2021. He was referred to my by a trusted yacht broker I have known for about 30 years. I have a small 18' tender that I keep down at Harbor Island and have been boat shopping for over a year now looking for that, "needle in the haystack" boat. Julian helped turned this tender around and has made it shine and keeps it shiny for me. I have essentially had him come down weekly for washes and throw in an occasional wax and/or extra work on the tubes or other areas as needed. With more than 45+ visits to our little boat he has proven himself and his company to be incredibly reliable and dependable despite this is probably the smallest job of all his clients. He always makes time to take care of my little boat no matter what and I appreciate that. I am excited to hopefully find the 45'-50' boat we are looking for and get him on board with regular service to take care of that as well. The service is always exceptional, he's spot on and never misses a beat. I have owned boats in San Diego since 1988 and he is by far one of the most reliable and responsive marine vendors I have ever worked with. I simply can't say enough good things about Julian Yacht Care.

Julian keeps those tubes looking white!

Julian keeps those tubes looking white!

Always makes sure the tender is clean and dialed in.

Always makes sure the tender is clean and dialed in.

Photo of Jeff U.

They polished and ceramic coated our 45 foot sail boat and did an excellent job. Prompt, detail oriented and friendly.

Photo of Rick C.

I have been using Julian Yacht care for 2 years now at Sunroad Marina. I have never actually met Julian or Sylvia but every time I go to my boat it is sparkling clean! They communicate with me the day before they clean and once again when they finish. Recently I had them wax the exterior and was so happy when I got to the boat. In the boat world it is hard to find people that are reliable, take pride in what they do and communicate. I highly recommend Julian & Sylvia for all your boat cleaning needs.

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superyacht in san diego

San Diego’s 59-Mile Scenic Drive  

This 59-mile scenic drive loops its way through San Diego’s charming neighborhoods and visits unique attractions and natural wonders. Enjoy sweeping, panoramic views of the coastline, the shimmering yacht-dotted bay, downtown’s skyline, Mexico and the surrounding mountains along the way.  

If you want to cover the entire trip in one adventure, carve out at least three hours, but you might need a fews days if you want to make leisurely stops at various destinations. Blue and yellow signs bearing a white seagull mark the drive every quarter mile. 

San Diego Visitor Center  

Start downtown and gather maps, brochures and Visitor Guides at the San Diego Visitor Information Center, operated by Old Town Trolley Tours. Located at 996 North Harbor Drive (south of the Broadway Pier). Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

The start of this scenic drive celebrates San Diego as a seaport city. See the massive bay filled with aircraft carriers, cruise ships, historic sailboats and private yachts. Head north on Harbor Drive, past the Broadway Pier, where you can catch a ferry across to Coronado or explore the bay on a harbor excursion. 

Next is the Cruise Ship Terminal, where some of the world’s finest ships call on San Diego. Further along the Embarcadero, the tall masts of beautiful historic ships designate Maritime Museum of San Diego, one of the world’s top collections that includes the ferryboat Berkeley, built in 1898; the luxury yacht Medea, built in Scotland; the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, built in 1863, which has circled the globe 27 times; and, when she’s in port, the San Salvador, a replica of explorer Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo’s 1542 flagship that discovered San Diego Bay. 

Harbor Island,   

Take the exit marked “Harbor Island” and do a loop of the island, which affords spectacular views of San Diego Bay, Point Loma, the Coronado Bridge and downtown. 

Spanish Landing and Shelter Island  

Return to Harbor Drive, bear left, and continue driving west along Harbor Drive past Spanish Landing Park, a nice spot for biking or a picnic. Ahead at Scott Street make a left, followed by another left onto Shelter Island Drive. Most of San Diego’s sport fishing fleet is docked in this area. Take a loop around Shelter Island, home to hotels, restaurants and marinas. On the tip of the island you will find the “Yokohama Friendship Bell,” representing Yokohama, Japan, one of San Diego’s sister cities. 

Point Loma  

From Shelter Island Drive make a left turn back on Scott Street, then a right turn at Talbot Street and head up the hill. Turn left onto Canon Street, and then make a left at Catalina Boulevard, where the road eventually turns into Cabrillo Memorial Drive. The peninsula is home to a seaside residential community, military bases and a national cemetery. Striations of white gravestones of the Fort Rosecrans Cemetery line both sides of the street as you head out to the tip of Point Loma. 

Cabrillo National Monument  

Continue driving to the Cabrillo National Monument, named for Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. On September 28, 1542, he sailed into what is now known as San Diego Bay. Historians believe he docked on Point Loma’s east shore, the first landing by a European in present-day California. Point Loma has been described as “where California began.” 

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse began operating here in 1855; though it’s no longer in use, it is open for viewing. (In 1891, another lighthouse was built at sea level and still operates today.) The tip of Point Loma is the most southwestern point of the continental U.S., and an excellent perch to watch the gray whales migrate south to Mexico during the winter months. You can also visit the tide pools, join in a ranger walk, explore the museum and drink in the panoramic views of the harbor, city and Mexico. 

Ocean Beach  

Return to Cabrillo Memorial Drive whose name eventually changes to Catalina Boulevard. Continue along Catalina and turn left at Hill Street. Follow Hill and then turn right at Cordova Street, which becomes Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. As you continue along Sunset Cliffs, you will enter the bohemian seaside community of Ocean Beach. Take a short side trip to the Ocean Beach Municipal Fishing Pier by making a left turn onto Newport Avenue. The pier is an excellent spot for fishing, bird watching or seeing surfers ride the waves. Stroll along Newport Avenue for shopping or a bite to eat. 

Mission Bay Aquatic Park  

Return to and continue driving along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard for a visit to Mission Bay Aquatic Park, a 4,600-acre aquatic playground with 27 miles of beaches. To reach the park area, follow Sunset Cliffs Boulevard to West Mission Bay Drive. Follow signs to West Mission Bay Drive; it turns into Ingraham Street. You’ll see the exit for SeaWorld San Diego here. Continue driving North on Ingraham Street, across two bridges. At the second bridge, which crosses over Fisherman’s Channel, turn right onto Cr own Point Drive. From here you can see wind surfers and catamarans zipping across the water. To explore the area further, take a walk or bike ride on the pathway around the bay, or glide across the water on a kayak or stand up paddleboard. 

Soledad Mountain  

Follow Crown Point Drive and turn left at Lamont Street, which traverses the residential areas of Crown Point and Pacific Beach. At the intersection of Beryl Street, the name will change to Soledad Road. Drive up the hill past Kate Sessions Park (which has a nice playground) and turn left onto Soledad Mountain Road. Travel .8 miles and turn right onto La Jolla Scenic Drive that weaves through one of the exclusive residential areas of La Jolla. Look for the turnoff to Mount Soledad Park. Climb up the Veterans Memorial to the Cross for one of San Diego’s most soul-stirring views. From this lookout point, you can see San Diego County for miles in every direction. If timed right, it’s a wonderful spot to watch the sun sink into the Pacific. 

UC San Diego  

As you leave the park turn right on Via Capri, drive down the hill, and turn left on Hidden Valley Road. This hillside residential area of La Jolla offers spectacular ocean views. At La Jolla Parkway, go through the intersection and follow the signs to Torrey Pines Road. Follow it up the hill and through the canyon and then left on North Torrey Pines Road. On the right is the beautiful University of California, San Diego campus, known for its spectacular architecture, several Nobel Prize-winning faculty members and contemporary art installations. 

Birch Aquarium at Scripps and Salk Institute  

While you are in the UCSD area, you can take two short side trips from the marked route. To visit the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, turn left from North Torrey Pines Road onto Expedition Way and follow signs to the aquarium, home to marvelous kelp tanks, Pacific Ocean marine life habitats, sea dragons and more. When you leave the aquarium parking lot, turn left onto North Torrey Pines Road. Then continue north along North Torrey Pines Road, past the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, named after Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine. Just beyond the institute is the Torrey Pines Glider Port (off Torrey Pines Scenic Drive) where hang gliders soar along the jagged cliffs and sea. When leaving, make a U-TURN and then turn right on North Torrey Pines Road and head south, down the hill, along La Jolla Shores Drive. 

La Jolla Cove Park and La Jolla Cave  

Continue along La Jolla Shores Drive and turn right onto Torrey Pines Road. Turn right at Prospect Street, an upscale boutique shopping street referred to as the “Rodeo Drive of San Diego.” Turn right onto Coast Boulevard and head down to the La Jolla Cove, an enchanting spot for swimming, snorkeling with the orange Garibaldi fish and sea cave kayaking. 

Further south along the coast is the Children’s Pool, a popular gathering place for snoozing harbor seals and swimming. From the Cove, you can walk up Cuvier Street to the elegant shopping and dining district around Prospect Street and Girard Avenue. 

Pacific Beach  

Follow Coast Boulevard, past the Museum of Contemporary Art, and then turn left onto La Jolla Boulevard. Keep going through the charming beach community of Bird Rock. As you reach the bottom of the hill, the street name will change to Mission Boulevard. As you proceed, on your right is Pacific Beach, a confluence of sunbathing, surfing and SoCal culture. For a taste of the San Diego beach scene, stroll, bike or rollerblade along Ocean Front Walk (stop and make a right at Diamond Street). Watering holes and snack shops line this street that hosts a carnival of colorful characters who make for great people watching. 

Mission Beach  

Continue driving along Mission Boulevard into the seaside community of Mission Beach. Just past the roller coaster, turn right at the light, and park your car in the lot. Explore Belmont Park and enjoy an adrenaline-thumping ride on the Giant Dipper built in 1925. Play laser tag, take a dip in the ocean, or stop at one of the seaside restaurants or shops located along the boardwalk. 

Old Town State Historic Park  

Exit the parking lot and head east on West Mission Bay Drive, following the signs for Sports Arena Boulevard. Drive under the freeway overpass and turn left at the first stoplight to continue along Sports Arena Boulevard. Bear left onto Rosecrans Street and go under another freeway overpass. At the stoplight the street name will change to Taylor Street. For a walk back in time, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park awaits on the right with shopping bazaars, cantinas, adobes and museums. This historic park represents San Diego’s Hispanic heritage and merging of cultures from 1821 to 1872, when this area was the center of San Diego. You can also visit charming Heritage Park Row, where a number of Victorian buildings scheduled for demolition were relocated. 

Serra Museum and Presidio Park  

Continue driving along Taylor Street. Turn right on Presidio Drive, drive up the hill and turn left on Presidio Drive. Visit the Serra Museum, named for Father Junipero Serra, the Franciscan friar who established Alta California’s first mission and presidio in 1769. The Spanish Revival-style museum (built in 1928/29) displays artifacts and photographs depicting the early days of San Diego. 

 After visiting the Serra Museum, continue up Presidio Drive and turn left at Arista Street. Turn right at Fort Stockton Drive. You are now driving through Mission Hills, one of San Diego’s first suburbs, and a charming residential area with great Spanish-Revival architecture. Turn right at Goldfinch Street. Continue one block and turn left onto Washington Street. You are now in Hillcrest, which attracts a large LGBT community, as well as many others drawn by the rich selection of trendy boutiques, breweries, art galleries and excellent eateries. 

Balboa Park  

Turn right on First Avenue and then left onto Laurel Street, which becomes El Prado and delivers you into Balboa Park, the largest urban park with cultural institutions in North America. Named for the Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa, who discovered the Pacific Ocean in 1513, Balboa Park is cultural gem. Many of the park’s lovely buildings are examples of ornate Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, constructed for the Panama-California Exposition (1915-16), and also used for the California-Pacific International Exposition in 1935. The sprawling 1400-acre park, includes renowned museums, lush gardens, cafes and the internationally acclaimed The Old Globe Theatre, known for its Shakespeare Festival and Broadway-bound premieres. 

Called the “Smithsonian of the West,” Balboa Park has 17 museums devoted to art, history, space, sports, physical and natural sciences. Favorites include the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Fleet Science Center and the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Continuing along El Prado, turn right onto Pan American East Road, which leads to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, an outdoor concert setting featuring the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ. Enjoy free music here on Sunday afternoons. To the right is the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, where each Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM (between March and mid-November), one of the houses sponsors ethnic folk dances, music or entertainment. 

San Diego Zoo  

Head southwest on Pan American East Road and turn left on President’s Way. Turn left on Park Boulevard and then take another left into Zoo Way. The world-famous San Diego Zoo encompasses 100 acres of Balboa Park and houses 4,000 animals of 800 exotic species. Wander through the natural habitats and discover Tasmanian Devils, playful polar bears, swimming Sumatran tigers and the largest colony of sleepy koalas outside of Australia.  

Seaport Village, USS Midway and The Headquarters  

To exit Balboa Park, turn right onto Park Boulevard and follow it downtown. Take another right at B Street and then a left on Fourth Avenue. Next, take a right on Broadway and then a left on Pacific Highway toward the city’s excellent waterfront dining. About one-half mile farther down, you will reach Seaport Village. Park in one of the lots and stroll through this bustling, waterfront shopping and dining destination. Kids will love the hand-carved carousel from 1895. A little further north, along Harbor Drive, between Seaport Village and the Visitor Center (where your tour began), sits the USS Midway Museum. Berthed along the Navy Pier and open daily, the museum pays tribute to the over 200,000 service men who served aboard the now decommissioned USS Midway. Next, walk over to The Headquarters (789 W. Harbor Drive), the former police station. At this stylish, open-air mall, you’ll find art galleries, a toy store, boutique shops, gourmet chocolates and many family friendly dining options. 

Convention Center, PETCO Park and Embarcadero Marina Park  

When you leave Seaport Village, turn right onto Harbor Drive and head east. On your right is the San Diego Convention Center; across the street is the home of the San Diego Padres baseball team, PETCO Park. New to the city’s skyline is the striking three-story dome of the San Diego Central Library. Just beyond the convention center, turn right on Park Boulevard and explore the Embarcadero Marina Park, home to bike paths, picnic tables, a gazebo, a fishing pier and great views of the Coronado Bridge. 

Gaslamp Quarter  

Return to Harbor Drive and turn left, and then turn right onto Fifth Avenue, which leads to the historic heart of San Diego and its vibrant Gaslamp Quarter. During the California Gold Rush, this raucous waterfront area was once known as the Stingaree District, home to saloons, gambling halls, brothels and opium dens. Today, the dynamic entertainment district boasts more than 100 restaurants, 35 nightclubs and 100 retail shops. Weekend guided walking tours of the area start at the Gaslamp Museum at the William Heath Davis House, which was built in 1859 in New England and said to be haunted. Aspiring ghost-hunters should take a late-night tour for a spine-tingling experience. 

Headquarters At Seaport Village  

Follow Market Street east towards Harbor Drive and you’ll reach The Headquarters at Seaport Village. Through the restoration of San Diego’s Old Police Headquarters, the city has reclaimed a majestic urban treasure by offering an extraordinary new experience; a delightful destination where restaurants on the order of Puesto & Eddie V’s and specialty boutiques such as Urban Beach House and LOLO can make a lasting impression. 

Michele E. Buttelman contributed to this story. Photos Courtesy Visit San Diego.  › 

The post San Diego’s 59-Mile Scenic Drive appeared first on Santa Clarita Valley Signal .  This 59-mile scenic drive loops its way through San Diego’s charming neighborhoods and visits unique attractions and natural wonders. Enjoy sweeping, panoramic views of the coastline, the shimmering yacht-dotted bay, downtown’s skyline, Mexico and the surrounding mountains along the way.   If you want to cover the entire trip in one adventure, carve out at […]


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