Hornblower Cruise

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to all the questions you might have regarding your Hornblower Cruise.

Hornblower Cruises

General

Port

MAKING RESERVATIONS

HOW DO I MAKE A RESERVATION?

Reservations can be made online or by phone at 888-467-6256 with a major credit card. Seats are not held without payment. If you would like to pay in cash, reservations must be made in person at these locations:

WHAT PAYMENT OPTIONS DO I HAVE?

We accept most major credit cards. If necessary, you can pay with a personal check or money order by mail. Please call our reservations department at 888-467-6256 for more information. You may pay cash at all port locations (see "How do I make a reservation?").

CAN I HOLD A RESERVATION AND PAY ONBOARD?

We do not hold reservations without payment.

I HAVE A GIFT CERTIFICATE/ COUPON / OFFER, HOW DO I REDEEM IT?

All gift certificates, coupons and discount offers must be mentioned at the time of booking in order to be honored. Please bring your gift certificate, promotional card or coupon with you on the night of your cruise and present it to the host/hostess on board.

IF ONE OR MORE PEOPLE IN MY PARTY ARE NOT ABLE TO MAKE IT OR WE MISS THE CRUISE WILL WE RECEIVE A REFUND?

No. Once payment is received cruises are non-refundable. With a 48-hour or better notice we will be happy to reschedule your cruise date or issue a gift certificate for the amount paid. Cruises are non- refundable and non-transferable within 48 hours of your cruise. We do not compensate for no-shows or late arrivals.

IS GRATUITY INCLUDED?

A service charge is collected at the time of reservation, related to the cruise and the service included in the ticket. If you wish to purchase additional beverages or food enhancements onboard, we recommend you leave a gratuity onboard based on the quality of service provided to you by your server.

WHAT IS THE LANDING FEE?

The Landing Fee offsets a wide range of costs unique to a maritime business operation in a California port. These may include specialize Port facility repairs, percentage payment, employee health care obligations and other fees, licenses, regulatory, environmental and maritime security costs.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER TAXES?

In addition to sales tax, we are assessed taxes by some of our local governments for use of the harbor. They are paid directly and in full to the local government of the appropriate city.

WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS OR SNOWS?

Hornblower sails rain or shine. In the case of severe weather conditions or upon the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard, we will remain dockside, but provide the full dining service.

ARE THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTIONS ON YOUR CRUISES?

There are no age restrictions for most of our cruises. All minors require adult supervision. Please call with questions about any of our special event cruises, as minors are not restricted, but the cruise may not be appropriate for all age groups.

DO YOU OFFER ANY CHILDREN DISCOUNTS?

Children under 4 are complimentary. Children 4 to 12 are 40 - 50% off, depending on cruise type and port location.

ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

WHAT IS THE DRESS ATTIRE FOR THE CRUISES?

River, Harbor & Whale Watching Tours: Casual attire, such as shorts and t-shirts are appropriate. We recommend bringing along a light jacket or wrap as it may get breezy on board, especially for those cruises that occur out on the open ocean.

Lunch and Brunch Cruises: We recommend California casual attire, such as khaki pants and collared shirts. We request no shorts, tank tops, flip flops, or gym shoes.

Dinner Cruises: Business casual to dressy casual attire is recommended. For men, slacks or khaki pants, and a collared shirt with or without a jacket; for women slacks or skirt, with a collared shirt, or dress. We request no jeans, shorts, tank tops, flip-flops, or gym shoes on these cruises.

You may find that some guests are dressed more formally, especially those celebrating special occasions. However, attire varies from comfortable shorts to the more formal. Bring along a light jacket or wrap as it may get a bit breezy on the outer decks.

WHAT TIME DO I BOARD THE SHIP?

Boarding time is usually 30 minutes prior to departure for all cruises. Please check your boarding time when making your reservation.

IS SMOKING ALLOWED?

Smoking is allowed on the outside decks only with the exception of Harbor Tours and Whale Watching Cruises. Please dispose of all refuse in proper receptacles. Do not throw anything into the water. Please help us keep our harbors clean.

IS THERE PRE-ASSIGNED SEATING?

As you board, our captain and marine crew will direct you to your deck. From there the host/hostess will show your party to your assigned table(s). Decks are never guaranteed to non-private groups. We assign seats based on needs and capacity for each cruise.

WILL I GET MY OWN TABLE?

On the majority of our cruises, we assign private tables to the individual parties. However, on some of our cruises, we do have cruise-style seating, where we will ask you to share a table with other parties. If this is the case, you will be told if this is the case at the time you make your reservation.

WHAT KIND OF ENTERTAINMENT IS ON BOARD?

Hornblower offers inviting dance floors and a variety of music, from the dance hits of the 40's through today as well as a variety of jazz, standards and popular favorites. Depending on the cruise, it may be background music, a DJ or a live band. Please check online or ask one of our reservations agents for more details about the planned entertainment for your specific cruise.

CAN WE MEET THE CAPTAIN AND VISIT THE PILOT HOUSE?

Yes. Guests are welcome to come and meet the Captain and the First Officer. However, for safety and security reasons, we ask that you check with our staff onboard before visiting the pilot house. We want to ensure that all passengers and crew are kept safe and that the captain is not distracted while performing essential duties.

FOOD & BEVERAGE OPTIONS

ARE THERE VEGETARIAN OPTIONS AVAILABLE? CAN I MAKE A SPECIAL MENU REQUEST?

Yes, for dining cruises, vegetarian meals are available and can be arranged at the time of booking. If you have a group with many vegetarians or if you have vegans, please notify a reservations agent at the time of booking.

If you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions, please let your reservations agent know at the time of booking. We can also accommodate most other special dietary needs with advance notice.

DO YOU OFFER SPECIAL CELEBRATIONS FOR BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES OR SPECIAL OCCASIONS?

We offer a variety of special enhancements to add to your dining experience. Please ask your reservations agent about our celebration packages, food enhancements, balloon or flower bouquets, and our drink passports. These options are also available when booking online.

In addition to purchasing enhancements, we are happy to acknowledge all special occasions onboard. Please let us know what your celebrating and the name(s) of those being honored, and our entertainment will be happy to make an announcement during the cruise.

WHEN IS DINNER SERVED?

Dinner service begins immediately upon embarking.

DO WE NEED TO PRE-SELECT THE MENU BEFORE THE DAY OF CRUISING?

No, you do not need to pre-select your menu. Some of our cruises have multiple entrée options and we have a menu that you will chose from onboard. For our other cruises, we either have a preset menu or offer a buffet with a variety of options available. Please ask your reservations agent for more details about your specific cruise.

DECORATIONS

CAN WE BRING OUR OWN DECORATIONS?

Small groups without private space can bring table decorations but early boarding is not allowed. Please do not use confetti or tape any items to the walls of our yachts.

WHAT DÉCOR DOES HORNBLOWER PROVIDE?

All Hornblower yachts are decorated with linens, votive centerpieces, silver and china.

CAN I BRING CAKES AND FLOWERS ON BOARD?

Cakes may be brought on board, however you will be charged a $1.50 per person cake cutting fee. Cake cutting fee for wedding or tiered cakes is $3.00/per guest. Small flower bouquets are also permitted. Please keep in mind you are on a ship, so top heavy arrangements will not be stable. Unfortunately, an early boarding is not available.

ACCESSIBILITY AND SAFETY

ARE YOU REGULATED BY THE U.S. COAST GUARD?

Our vessels are all subject to inspections by the U.S. Coast Guards and our crew are all properly licensed. We also follow Marsec security guidelines. Should the Marsec security level be elevated, we may opt to increase security measures onboard our vessels to insure everyone’s safety. The U.S. Coast Guard requires all passengers over 18 years of age to have valid photo identification. Please make sure to have your photo ID available at boarding.

ARE LIFE PRESERVERS ON BOARD?

Each vessel is 100% Coast Guard certified with life preservers and all required lifesaving equipment, including child life vests.

IS THE SHIP HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE?

Hornblower does have accessible yachts in the fleet. However, not all yachts and decks are accessible. Please call 888-467-6256 to ensure handicap accessibility for the date you are planning to cruise.

WILL I GET SEASICK?

The vast majority of our guests experience no discomfort at all as we do not leave the calm waters of the harbor. If you tend to have a problem with motion sickness, you may experience seasickness. If you are sailing on one of our whale watching cruises, we do go out into the open ocean and as a result, the chance of getting seasick increases. For these cruises, we recommend that if you are prone to motion sickness that you take advantage of a number of preventative measures that are available to you.

IS THERE A PHONE ON THE BOAT THAT RECEIVES CALLS?

Hornblower does not have phones for guests' use. Most cellular services are available on the water as we do not cruise beyond one mile off shore on most of our cruises.

SAN FRANCISCO

WHERE OR HOW DO WE PICK UP OUR TICKETS?

We use a ticketless reservations system. Please follow the instructions on your confirmation for checking in on the night of your cruise. When you arrive, introduce yourself to the Host/Hostess onboard the yacht and they will show you to your table. Be sure to get a confirmation number at time of booking.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

In San Francisco, we are located at Pier 3, on the Embarcadero (cross street: Washington Street).

HOW DO I GET THERE AND WHERE WILL I PARK? DOES HORNBLOWER VALIDATE PARKING?

A map to our San Francisco location includes parking information. We do not validate for parking.

BERKELEY

WHERE OR HOW DO WE PICK UP OUR TICKETS?

We use a ticketless reservations system. Please follow the instructions on your confirmation for checking in on the night of your cruise. When you arrive, introduce yourself to the Host/Hostess onboard the yacht and they will show you to your table. Be sure to get a confirmation number at time of booking.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

In Berkeley, we are located at the Doubletree Hotel Marina at 200 Marina Blvd, Berkeley, CA 94710

HOW DO I GET THERE AND WHERE WILL I PARK? DOES HORNBLOWER VALIDATE PARKING?

A map to our Berkeley location includes parking information. We do not validate for parking.

OLD SACRAMENTO

WHERE OR HOW DO WE PICK UP OUR TICKETS?

We use a ticketless reservations system. Please follow the instructions on your confirmation for checking in on the night of your cruise. When you arrive, please check in at our ticket booth located at 1206 Front Street.  The ticket agent on duty will provide you with a boarding pass and direct you to the yacht. Once onboard, introduce yourself to the Host/Hostess and they will show you to your table. Be sure to get a confirmation number at time of booking.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

In Old Sacramento, we are located at 1206 Front Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

HOW DO I GET THERE AND WHERE WILL I PARK? DOES HORNBLOWER VALIDATE PARKING?

A map to our Old Sacramento location includes parking information. We do not validate for parking.

SAN DIEGO

WHERE OR HOW DO WE PICK UP OUR TICKETS?

We use a ticketless reservations system. Please follow the instructions on your confirmation for checking in on the night of your cruise. When you arrive, please check in at your boarding location located at the pier.  The ticket agent on duty will provide you with a boarding pass and direct you to the yacht. Once onboard, introduce yourself to the Host/Hostess and they will show you to your table. Be sure to get a confirmation number at time of booking.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

In San Diego, we have three main locations.  Please check your confirmation to determine which is the correct location for your event. 

Our main ticket booth, is located at 970 N. Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Our secondary ticket booth is located at Grape Street Pier at 1800 N. Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Our offices and event space are located at The Abbey at 2825 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

HOW DO I GET THERE AND WHERE WILL I PARK? DOES HORNBLOWER VALIDATE PARKING?

A map to our San Diego location includes parking information. We do not validate for parking.

MARINA DEL REY

WHERE OR HOW DO WE PICK UP OUR TICKETS?

We use a ticketless reservations system. Please follow the instructions on your confirmation for checking in on the night of your cruise. When you arrive, introduce yourself to the Host/Hostess onboard the yacht and they will show you to your table. Be sure to get a confirmation number at time of booking.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

In Marina de Rey, we are located at 13755 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

HOW DO I GET THERE AND WHERE WILL I PARK? DOES HORNBLOWER VALIDATE PARKING?

A map to our Marina del Rey location includes parking information.  We validate parking for the first two hours.

NEWPORT BEACH

WHERE OR HOW DO WE PICK UP OUR TICKETS?

We use a ticketless reservations system. Please follow the instructions on your confirmation for checking in on the night of your cruise. When you arrive, introduce yourself to the Host/Hostess onboard the yacht and they will show you to your table. Be sure to get a confirmation number at time of booking.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

In Newport Beach, we are located at 2431 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663

HOW DO I GET THERE AND WHERE WILL I PARK? DOES HORNBLOWER VALIDATE PARKING?

A map to our Newport Beach location includes parking information. We do not validate for parking.

LONG BEACH

WHERE OR HOW DO WE PICK UP OUR TICKETS?

We use a ticketless reservations system. Please follow the instructions on your confirmation for checking in on the night of your cruise. When you arrive, introduce yourself to the Host/Hostess onboard the yacht and they will show you to your table. Be sure to get a confirmation number at time of booking.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

In Long Beach, we are located at 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

HOW DO I GET THERE AND WHERE WILL I PARK? DOES HORNBLOWER VALIDATE PARKING?

A map to our Long Beach location includes parking information. We do not validate for parking.