Relive History on the Replica San Salvador Ship in San Diego
If you want to experience a piece of California history, then you can relive one of the most significant events by visiting the San Salvador ship in San Diego.
The San Salvador was the flagship of Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who first sailed into the bay of San Diego more than 500 years ago on Sept. 28, 1542. It was the first recorded European vessel to explore the coastline of Southern California.
Although the original flagship is lost to history, the Maritime Museum of San Diego constructed an exact replica of the San Salvador. The replica is full-sized, fully functional, and otherwise historically accurate to the ship that Cabrillo commanded.
If you’re interested in experiencing what it was like to stand aboard the San Salvador ship in San Diego, you can actually book sailing tours on the replica ship. It’s undoubtedly one of the most fun ways to explore San Diego harbor.
- Each tour, which boards at 11:30 a.m., lasts about four hours.
- Tickets costs between $69 and $119.
- After the adventure is done, the ship returns to the San Diego Maritime Museum.
Additionally, the Maritime Museum regularly holds multi-day heritage tours up the coastline of California — including through the Southern Channel Islands. Although both tours are done for the season, there will almost certainly be tours sometime in the future.
These longer sea adventures let passengers become part of the crew of the San Salvador. There are a range of ship activities, from sailing lessons to celestial navigation, cartography, and sail handling demonstrations.
For those interested in maritime history and the history of California, the Maritime Museum should rank highly among San Diego museums to add to your list. Better yet, it’s located just a short walk from other amazing attractions, such as the quaint waterfront area of Seaport Village.
Media credits: Image of the San Salvador licensed from Adobe.