Operated by the same company responsible for the popular Old Town Trolley Tours, San Diego Seal Tours offer guests one of the more unique tour experiences available in San Diego today. Utilizing a fleet of specially designed Hydra-Terra vehicles that can function as buses on land and boats in the water, San Diego Seal Tours split their time between riding along the bustling streets of San Diego and cruising the waves of its beautiful bay. A San Diego Seal tour truly is the best of both sightseeing worlds!
Save on your visit to the San Diego Seal Tours!
San Diego Seal Tours is included on the San Diego Explorer Pass. Save an additional 10% on the Explorer Pass with Coupon Code: CMGOCITY10 The discount stacks on top the current sale prices! Promo expires on March 31st.
San Diego Seal Tours History
Old Town Trolley Tours first began providing guided trolley tours in San Diego over 30 years ago. Shortly after launching the popular hop-on, hop-off service, the CEO of Old Town Trolley Tours came up with the idea to also offer visitors the chance to see San Diego from both sea and land while on the same tour. Thus, Old Town Trolley Tours purchased a Hydra-Terra vehicle capable of performing as a bus while on land and a boat while in water and a whole distinct brand was on its way.
Some guests may recognize this type of tour—one that combines land and water components into one exciting outing—from other cities, where more often than not it’s called a “duck tour.” However, Old Town Trolley decided to call their new product San Diego Seal Tours as an homage to the Navy SEALS who live and work in the San Diego area.
What’s to See on a San Diego Seal Tour
As a guest of San Diego Seal Tours, you’ll have your choice of two different spots to embark for your journey: Seaport Village and the Embarcadero. Seaport Village is a nearly 100,000 square-foot establishment where you’ll find dozens of places to grab a meal or spend some time shopping. It’s not far from Petco Park and the New Children’s Museum. The Embarcadero departure point is just steps north of the USS Midway Museum.
While a lot of variables can come into play, San Diego Seal tours typically last about 90 minutes. This allows for roughly 30 minutes spent on land, before the next hour takes place in the water. The bus portion of the tour will take you along the coastline, in the shadow of the city’s striking skyline, and you’ll pass such landmarks as the Star of India, the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and the USS Recruit, a landlocked training ship affectionately nicknamed “USS Neversail.”
Plunge straight from land into the majestic waters of the San Diego Harbor for the second half of your Duck Tour without ever having to leave your seat. Traveling through the waters you will learn all about the extensive military history of San Diego, as well as witness playful sea lions enjoying their natural habitat. While you float leisurely through the bay, taking in the scenery from the shaded Hydra-Terras, you will see a variety of sealife going about their day. You may even get a surprise visit from passing dolphins. Other highlights of the water portion of the tour include Scripps Institute of Oceanography, North Island Naval Air Station, and the Marine Mammal Training Center. Check out San Diego from a whole new perspective, taking in the San Diego coastline and the visually stunning mansions of Point Loma.
San Diego Seal Tours offer a superb way to learn the historical significance of San Diego from land and sea for a truly unique sightseeing experience. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the unexpected, from a ghost in the window of the Whaley House to a nearby dolphin popping up alongside you in the San Diego Bay. The added bonus is that you get to do it all from an amphibious vehicle, which is a treat in itself. You can be confident in the knowledge that your amphibious tour vehicle is 100% DMV and California Coast Guard approved, and that it conforms to all water safety regulations. The entire adventure will be long photo opportunity, as you enjoy spectacular views of San Diego as you’ve never seen it before. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy!
Tips for Taking a San Diego Seal Tours
- San Diego Seal Tours depart every hour on the hour from Seaport Village and the Embarcadero. Reservations are required, which means if you want to purchase walk-up tickets, you’ll need to do so at least 30 minutes before the tour you desire to take departs.
- Parking near the San Diego Seal Tour departure points can be challenging to find, especially during peak periods like the summer months or holiday season. As a result, it’s recommended you plan on arriving at least an hour before your tour is set to leave.
- Be sure to dress in layers for your San Diego Seal Tour. Even on an otherwise warm day, the temperature out on the water can be much cooler than it is on land. Being able to add or subtract layers as you need will ensure you’re as comfortable as possible all throughout your tour.
- San Diego Seal Tours are able to accommodate individuals requiring wheelchair assistance, but they request 24 hours of notice so as to be able make arrangements for the appropriate vehicle to be available.
- San Diego Seal Tours depart from near the San Diego Visitor Information Center and the popular USS Midway Museum. If you think you’ll be interested in stopping at either of these sites during your visit, you could plan to do so on the same day you take your San Diego Seal tour. This would make that day’s logistics easier to manage.