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Sailing Charters and Boat Tours in San Diego


San Diego Festival of Sail


SAN DIEGO, CA (August 14, 2017)—The Port of San Diego 2017 Festival of Sail, hosted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, home to one of the world’s finest collections of historic vessels, will again transform the North Embarcadero into a nautical theme park. More than twenty tall ships and other fascinating vessels from around the world will visit San Diego, Sept 1-4.

Festival visitors will enjoy touring the ships, marvelous food and drink from dozens of restaurant booths, a petting zoo, pirates, cannon battles on the bay, sunset cruises, and shopping for one of-a-kind items among more than 150 festival vendors.

Festival of Sail is sponsored by the Port of San Diego’s Tidelands Activation Program, designed to bring our dynamic waterfront alive with events that engage the community and inspire visitors to enjoy San Diego Bay.

Parade of Sail

The festival will kick off with a grand parade of sail on San Diego Bay at 1:30pm on Thursday August 31. The parade will be led by San Salvador, a replica of Juan Cabrillo’s 16th-century galleon. More than a dozen majestic windjammers will sail into San Diego’s harbor in a magnificent nautical procession.

The best spots to view from shore include the Maritime Museum, Cabrillo National Monument, local restaurants and businesses on Shelter Island, Harbor Island, and the North Embarcadero. Please note that the list of ships scheduled to appear in the parade is subject to change. Ships should be docked by 6pm at the Museum and open for visitation starting on Friday, Sept 1 at 12noon.

The Festival Ships

The festival will include more than twenty tall ships and other extraordinary vessels from around the world. The official tall ship of California, Californian, the gaff topsail schooner Bill of Rights, Irving and Exy Johnson, twin ships from San Pedro, and many more have been invited to attend. A complete list of the participating ships can be found on the Museum’s website at: Please note that the list of ships scheduled to appear in the festival is subject to change.

Cannon Battle

Join the crew for a cannon battle at sea and experience naval warfare during the Age of Sail! Several ships will engage in cannon battle reenactments on San Diego Bay during the festival. Individuals can purchase tickets to be on board for the experience. Tickets are $65 for adults and $40 for children 12 and under. This is not recommended for children under 5. A 2017 Festival of Sail ticket is also required. Tickets are for sale now on the Museum’s website at Cannon battle sails will sell out so we suggest that people get their tickets early.

Kids Zone

Petting zoo and jump house will be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 11am-4pm. Both are included with admission.

Cannon Firings

The Museum’s Shore Battery Artillery Team will also salute the ships with several rounds of fire as they pass by during the parade. The unit will demonstrate how the guns are cleaned and then will fire the 3- and 4- pound guns for a “noon salute” each day as well as firing volleys at the ships during the Cannon Battles on the Bay.

Tall Ship Tickets

Visitors must purchase a tall ships ticket to tour the festival ships. Each participating ship has its own unique stamp and guests can get their tickets stamped at each vessel. Tickets are an exceptional value at only $11 for adults and $9 for children (age 3-12), seniors (62 and over) and military (valid identification required).

Tickets are for sale now on the Maritime Museum’s website at and will also be for sale at the festival. Tickets include entrance to the Maritime Museum of San Diego during the event and the vendor area is free.

Location, Parking, Etc.

The Festival of Sail will be located along the North Embarcadero between Ash and Grape streets. Parking will be extremely limited, so we urge festival visitors to use public transportation. The County Center/Little Italy trolley station is only 3 blocks from the festival. For those that must drive their cars, nearby paid parking lots are available.

Important Information for Media Covering the Event

Media interested in being passengers on a tall ship during the parade will need to contact Robyn Gallant at 619-234-9153 ext 106. Passengers must be at Maritime Museum at 1pm on Thursday, August 31 and will return to the dock approximately 3pm.  

A media check-in tent will be located on the Embarcadero at the foot of Grape Street during the festival. All members of the media are asked to check in and receive their credentials when covering the event.

Credentials will allow you full access to the festival and the visiting ships. In addition, staff will be available to help arrange interviews, answer questions, and provide you with the latest updated information about the event. There will also be reserved parking for live trucks located next to the media check-in tent at the foot of Grape Street.

The Parade of Sail is an opportunity for spectacular aerial photography. Television stations and other media outlets with access to helicopters should have their aircraft orbiting above the harbor between 2-4pm on Thursday, August 31 to get the best shots of the parade.

About the Maritime Museum of San Diego

The Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining, and operating historic vessels. The museum has one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active sailing ship, the Star of India.


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Maritime Museum of San Diego is a 501c3 non-profit organization. The museum is located at Star of India Wharf in downtown San Diego at 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101. The telephone number for general inquires is 619.234. 9153. Additional information can be found at


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