Frequently Asked Questions

Most of our yachts are US Coast Guard certified and inspected on an annual basis for safety. In order to receive a Certificate of Inspection, yacht owners must make a number of safety modifications to their yachts to be in compliance with the US Federal Code of Federal Regulations. One such regulation, of many, is making sure each charter vessel has the appropriate number of life vests in adult and child sizes.

Most of our charters are conducted within San Diego Bay and in close proximity to either Coronado or the city of San Diego. As such, depending on your cell service provider, you should be able to receive a strong enough signal on your cell phone to be able to be contacted if needed.

Some of our yachts and charter partners can accommodate a dock party. These are typically utilized for corporate events or other events where your guests may want or need to come and go on a fluid basis, but you'd like to host your event in a fun and unique event space like a private yacht. Please feel free to contact us directly to choose the best yacht that can accommodate your specific event.

Yes. There is no curfew on San Diego Bay and the lights of the city skyline are breathtaking. Sunset cruises into the evening hours are our most popular cruise times. In the winter months, be sure to dress in layers. When the sun goes down, so does the temperature! Fortunately, we're in San Diego! So, even our "low" temperatures are pretty nice.

As each yacht is individually owned and operated, the policies will vary from one to another. Some yachts may have the area capacity to accommodate your DJ or entertainment, some may not. It's best to reach out to us personally via request form or phone to discuss your specific needs.

Some of the yachts we represent on this site offer "anchor and play" options. This will largely depend on the number of people in your party and the availability of the yachts that offer that activity. Because of the rising costs of insurance for this activity, fewer yachts are offering it.  So, if this is something you are interested in, please reach out to us with your request and we will do our best to accommodate. However, if not, please be assured your guests are going to have a fantastic and memorable time while partying ON the boat.

Yes. Although we're most noted for hosting various parties and corporate events, we understand there are families in need of more solemn services. Planning a funeral is a challenging time for a family and there is a lot to consider. There are very few yacht charter operators in San Diego that are licensed to provide these services. San Diego Bay Cruises is connected with the best and most caring captains. You're welcome to complete a yacht charter form like any other charter request, or visit our burials at sea website at for more specific information.

No. San Diego Bay Cruises owns three of the charter boats available on the site. The rest of the inventory are charter partners and San Diego Bay Cruises acts as a yacht concierge or charter broker. Since we started our business in 2012, it has always been our objective to take care of anyone who wants to make memories on San Diego Bay, even if it's not on one of our own yachts. We do our very best to find the most suitable yacht charter for your celebration or event.

If our boat isn't quite right for your occasion or group size, please feel free to reach out to us for further assistance. We have a network of colleagues and access to approximately 25 different private yachts around San Diego Bay. The most important consideration in choosing a yacht charter for your event is finding a vessel that can safely accommodate the number of guests you intend to invite.

Costs vary widely depending on how many guests you intend to invite to your private party. Smaller groups can obviously be accommodated on a smaller vessel than larger groups. San Diego Bay Cruises represents a wide variety of private boats and yachts. The expanse of our network allows us to accommodate any party as small as two to as many as 1200 guests.

Commercial yachts are considered event venues. Tipping is customary and appreciated by the captain and crew. Some yacht charter operators will add a mandatory "service fee" to your proposal or invoice. This is much like if you were to bring a large party to a restaurant or event venue where the company will automatically include the gratuity. As a hospitality business, yacht charter gratuities average 15 - 20%.

Because each yacht is owned and operated by different individual charter operators, food and beverage options are going to vary. Generally speaking, food and beverages are offered at an additional cost depending on your budget, number of guests, and preferred cuisine. Most of the yacht charters listed with San Diego Bay Cruises are flexible and will consult with you personally to provide an individual quote for your food and beverage options.

Most private charter yachts do not allow smoking of any kind aboard. This includes all of our charter boats. Because we accommodate so many guests throughout the year, we try to provide the cleanest and allergen-free environment for everyone's enjoyment. Therefore, we ask that you and your guests refrain from smoking of any kind including tobacco, e-cigarettes, marijuana (medical or otherwise), and/or vaping.

Because most of our charters are conducted within San Diego Bay in close proximity to either Coronado or the city of San Diego, we are typically within range of most cell service providers and your cell phones should maintain service. Otherwise, we do not have WIFI service available on board.

Only YOU can answer that question as it is purely a matter of preference. There are pros and cons to either. But, more importantly, you're guaranteed to enjoy San Diego Bay on either. If you have a more specific question, please feel free to reach out to us and we'll be happy to answer your specific questions.

Although most of the charter operators in San Diego Bay have a 2-hour minimum (some require more), our experience tells us that three hours is the most popular option and ideal for most parties and events. Unless your budget or itinerary dictates that you can only be on board for two hours, three hours assures that you'll see all of San Diego Bay's best points of interest, photo opps, and allows your guests time to eat and drink without feeling rushed. We've heard many guests return after two hours and say, "Wow! That was a great time. But, I can't believe we're back already."

If you are "renting" a yacht, you are tasked with the responsibility of knowing how to drive the yacht, or hiring a qualified skipper or captain to drive the yacht for you. If you are "chartering" the yacht, you are provided with a qualified and US Coast Guard certified Captain, and in most cases (depending on the size of the vessel), a professional crew. San Diego Bay Cruises wants you to have a safe and worry-free experience.  All of the private boats and yachts on our site are available to charter and not available to rent.

As each charter yacht is owned and operated by different companies, you will receive all the necessary information of date, time, and location of your yacht when you confirm your reservation.

Yacht charters are regulated like other commercial spaces like a restaurant or bar. You may notice a placard on the wall of a restaurant dining room that might say, "Room Capacity XX." Yacht charters are regulated by the US Coast Guard and the safety guidelines are set forth by the US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 46. There are different parameters that a yacht is tested for to determine the safe number of guests that a charter yacht can carry. Be assured, that every yacht on the San Diego Bay Cruises website that carries 12 guests or more is certified and inspected.

Charter yacht operators are business owners. Like any business, there are a number of overhead costs and expenses that need to be covered in order to be profitable. These business expenses may include, but not limited to; the initial purchase of the yacht, customizing and modifications to comply with the US Code of Federal Regulations if the yacht is a commercial yacht, marina commissions, docking fees, Port Authority use taxes, fuel, liability insurance, property taxes, crew wages. As you can see, it adds up quickly. Fortunately, San Diego Bay Cruises offers some of the most cost-effective private yacht charters in San Diego.

Although we can't answer to everyone's specific sensitivities, we can say for the average person, the chances are highly unlikely. One of the many great things about San Diego Bay is that it's almost entirely landlocked. Because of this, our yachts are typically not subject to ocean swells. This makes for a pretty smooth ride for those on a typical casual party cruise. The exception to this would be for whale watching or ash scattering charters. These must be conducted in the ocean. If you consider yourself very sensitive to motion sickness, we recommend you take a remedy at least a 1/2 hour prior to boarding.