Sailing and on the Water Adventures

Need on the water adventure? We have that covered. Enjoy one of our many options to feed your adventurous side.


The Californian is a replica of a revenue cutter - an armed maritime law enforcement vessel - that patrolled the coast during the California Gold Rush. A topsail schooner built for speed, the Californian carries 7,000 square feet of canvas, measures 145 feet in length and weighs 130 tons. In July 2003, she was designated the Official Tall Ship of the State of California.


Our 1914 Pilot is a completely different type of experience. As you board the oldest working pilot boat on the west coast, her sturdy, no nonsense, stability will immediately put you at ease. She will make your Historic Cruise on San Diego Bay a memorable experience.


Enjoy our newest addition, PCF816 Swift Boat is now on duty taking 75 minute tours. Enjoy this unique one of a kind adventure aboard a historic Swift Boat. Be a part of history.

Swift BoatSwift Boat at the Maritime Museum.

75 minute Tours now available most weekends.

In 1971, the US Navy donated two Swift Boats to the newly formed Republic of Malta’s Maritime Squadron. After forty years of coastguard duty, Malta retired these boats from service. In 2011, Malta's Minister of Defense donated a Swift Boat to the Maritime Museum of San Diego with our
.....Click to read more.

Pilot escort cruiseTake a Historic Bay Cruise aboard Pilot

45 minute Historic Bay Cruises are held most days with boarding check-in times ending at 10:15am, 11:15am, 12:45pm, 1:45pm, 2:45pm.

Launched in 1914 to her removal from regular service in 1996, Pilot enjoyed an active career as San Diego's chief pilot craft - assisting almost every one of the thousands of major commercial ships to enter or leave the bay during that time.

Restored by the Maritime Museum of San Diego and relaunched in 2002, Pilot now hosts school groups on “Economy and Ecology” voyages, where students help with navigation and perform water quality experiments while exploring the Bay, in addition to her public day cruises.

This is a add-on activity, tickets are $5.00 plus Maritime Museum admission. Tickets are only sold at the Maritime Museum of San Diego on a first come first serve.

Please note there are no restrooms aboard Pilot.

BUY NOW Maritime Museum of San Diego General Admission.

Adventure SailTall Ship Adventure aboard Californian

Need to find some fun?

Californian sets sail March 2015 for the 2015 sailing season.

Embark on this special journey and spend the afternoon sailing towards the Pacific Ocean and back on the Official State Tall Ship .....Click to read more and purchase tickets.


What to bring on a Day Sail

  • Sunscreen or sunblock
  • Closed toed shoes with non-slip soles
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat for sun protection and or warmth (should stay on in a stiff breeze)
  • Jacket that will protect you from cold and wind (the wind chill factor can be 15 degrees cooler then the land temperature.)
  • Camera and a smile.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is sea sickness an issue?
We recommend that if you have any doubt, you take preventive measures before hand. (Bonine, Dramamine, etc.)

Can I bring my own drinks?
Alcohol is prohibited. Do not bring your personal beverages aboard. We have them on board.

What happens in the case of bad weather?
Wind and weather are not under control and the trip may be rescheduled or cut short should conditions prohibit safe passage. If weather conditions are poor on the date of your sail, please call for updates.

How many guests are on board?
Maximum 45 passengers aboard the Californian.

Can I participate in Sailing the ship?
Yes! We encourage participation. It's up to you, your ambitions, abilities and attitude. The captain will have ultimate control of the ship and its crews movements.

Is there food on board?
Yes. We have water, soft drinks and light snacks for sale on board. Coolers are NOT permitted on board for the safety of passengers and crew. Passengers are allowed to bring bagged food only on board.

What is the seating on the Californian like?
Limited, as the ship is a sailing vessel. But there are areas both below deck and topside that are available to relax. Please do not bring chairs.

What do you do when you have a baby on board (a 1-year-old)?
For safety reasons, we suggest you hold the child. This might create some problems in going below deck, as the stairs are steep. But crewmembers and docents are available to help, if needed.

Does everyone wear life jackets, including the baby?
No, they are up to you as an individual to determine whether you want to wear one. Just ask as you board, if you prefer to wear one. Life jackets are provided as required by the U.S. Coast Guard. Coast Guard regulations require us have life jackets available, but they are not required to be worn.

Can you go below deck, or does everyone stay above the whole time?
This is completely up to you. Most persons enjoy the topside areas of the sailing experience, but the restrooms and snack bar are below deck.