San Diego, California
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clock-o2 hours (Approx.)
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Overview

Experience the thrill of driving your own speed boat during this 2-hour tour of San Diego Harbor. Learn the basics of boating from your expert guide before following your guide's boat around the harbor, cruising past highlights such as the USS Midway, a US Navy submarine, Coronado Bridge, Seaport Village, the cruise ship terminal, the historic ship Star of India and San Diego Maritime Museum. Learn from your guide about these landmarks via the onboard two-way communications system and stop for photo ops on this exciting tour.
  • 2-hour self-drive speed boat tour on San Diego Harbor
  • Navigate and captain your own speed boat
  • Get close to US Navy ships, the Coronado Bridge and a submarine and more
  • Learn from your knowledgeable guide how to handle your speed boat and hear fun facts about the sights
After making your own way to the Cabrillo Isle Marina in San Diego Harbor, your guide welcomes you to your speed boat adventure.

Start off with a safety briefing taught by your professional guide, followed by a lesson on hand signals and boating rules. You’ll navigate and your own F13 speed boat for the entirety of the tour, following the lead of your guide who sets the pace in a different boat. Your boat is equipped with a two-way communication systems that allows you to hear your guide throughout the tour. If you want to change drivers you may do so at any of the brief stops.

Set out on your 13-mile (20-km) spin around San Diego Harbor, which includes several stops for photo ops and a closer look at points of interest throughout the harbor. Enjoy close views from your vantage point on the water of US Navy ships and aircraft carriers such as the USS Midway, home to a museum that offers insights into the history of this famous vessel. Zip over to see the famous vessel the Star of India, one of several historic ships berthed at the San Diego Maritime Museum. You'll also pass the Coronado Bridge, Seaport Village, the cruise ship terminal, and have excellent views of the downtown skyline and possibly the sea lions that live in these waters.

Choose from four departure times in the morning and afternoon for your 2-hour tour of San Diego Harbor.

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

5.0
45 Reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
R
, Oct 2018

The guide was experienced, helpful and fun to chat with. The office staff is really good. The tour was fun and interesting. The speakers in the boats are not as clear as they could be. The boats could go a bit faster to increase the fun. Good excursion!

M
, Dec 2017

We visit San Diego often and this is definitely one of the most unique experiences we've had there.

J
, Sep 2017

This was a fun experience. Driving the boats was an adventure and the harbor was fun to see. It was a little difficult to find the meeting place, that's the reason for not giving it 5 stars.

M
, Aug 2017

Our guide Carl was amazing and was so good at his job witch my experience the best it could be. I totally recommend this excursion!!!

s
, Aug 2017

Fun fun fun. Karl made the experience easy and relaxed. Getting to see the sights from the water is a great way to see SD. We got so close to the seals you could smell them! : Both carriers were in port, which was a treat to see up close. Our boat turned out a little slow compared to the others and Karl gave us his...right in the middle of the harbor! We would do it again for sure.

M
, Jun 2017

The water was very rough and choppy due to weather and it being a Holiday weekend and lots of traffic on the water. Due to this the adventure had to be cut short which we were told before leaving. Was disappointed to not get to see all the sights but understood it was not their fault. The leaders boat broke down by Coronado island so we got to just mess around the area while waiting for his tow to arrive. At that point we just headed back in to dock the boats. My husband was afraid this was a follow-the-leader adventure but was very happy getting to drive and go full speed! I would do it again on a calmer day when we could see all the sights. The weather and leaders boat breaking down was nobody's fault, just didn't get quite the adventure we signed up for but maybe next time!

N
, Jan 2017

Everything is fine, until something goes wrong. Your guide will loose its temper, shout and yell at you and at the end, he left us alone. Frustrating. Irresponsible. And for sure unprofessional and a no-go for this price.
1. If you are taller than 6', we cannot recommend this tour. We have bruises all over our knees.
2. If the two people in the boat are heavier than 400 lbs, we cannot recommend this. You will have to push your weight to the front of the boat for getting it on plane, which basically means to get speed. In the beginning you will have additional weight of the full gas tank in the front to get you going. But at the end of the tour, your weight will not be enough to push down the nose of the boat and you will never get on plane anymore. The Guide Bob or Rob will make you keep trying, but if you have any understanding of physics, it is simply not possible anymore because of your weight and the mass distribution. Usually boats have a trim to adjust the motor to this weight distribution. But these boats are simple and small and don't have it or the guide didn't tell or know about it.
3. We had rather big waves. This also interrupts the traction to the water, which doesn't allow you to get speed. We ended up trying and failing.

The thing is, this trip is not a sightseeing tour. Don't expect that. You will be busy getting control over your boat and to follow the guide. He is alone in his boat and way ahead of you. They do not offer a two-way radio, there is only a speaker in the boat and while you are standing, leaning over the bow to get on plane, you will not hear a single word he says. After we mentioned this to him, he simply said I know. How helpful is that? There are not even hand signals agreed on to have a minimum of communication with the guide.

When stopped the 2nd time, he told us that because of our problems in the beginning there will be no stop on the tour anymore. He more or less blamed us to ruin the tour for everybody else. Honestly, we didn't wanted to stop anymore and just go back. But guess what... Of course he stopped again, I ignored him first and got yelled at me again over the intercom... So I stopped and never got the boat on plane again. We were lying on the bow for the rest of the tour. Our knees hurt, our back and neck hurt. The guide was annoyed, rude and not helpful at all. If someone is yelling at you, that nobody ever had these problems, I can tell you to read Yelp. There a dozens of reviews stating the same problems and the same carelessness. It was frustrating and nothing, we will recommend.

It might be a lot of fun, if you get speed. But there a a lot of factors, that could prevent you to get on plane. And if so, it is no fun at all. The guide is not prepared for this situation and you might end up paying a lot of money for bad service.

c
, Nov 2016

Truly the highlight of the trip. Will do this again upon return to San Diego. The fellas there at Speed Boat Adventure are fun and professional. We even had people in the group who wouldn't stay with the rest of us because they didn't speak english, not to worry the guys didn't freak out, we just passed them up and stayed with the people who could understand what we were supposed to be doing.

P
, Oct 2016

Be more fun if the boats were faster

A
, Jul 2016

We were surprised how much fun this was! It was a fun and beautiful way to see San Diego! Don't plan on wearing normal clothes or makeup because you're going to get wet!


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