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Tips for the Hornblower San Diego Champagne Brunch

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If a weekend in San Diego presents itself, schedule a Hornblower Cruise- Champagne Brunch option, a tasty way to see the city from the water.

During a trip to San Diego, a friend invited me to join him for Sunday Champagne Brunch cruise aboard the gorgeous Hornblower boat. With such fantastic scenery and the sheer thought of a delightful and original brunch, I couldn’t say no. Here is how Jeffrey of Weekend Explorer and I spent two hours aboard the chartered yacht. 

Jeffrey and I arrived for our Hornblower San Diego Champagne Brunch cruise and took the opportunity to speak to and get photos with the captain and staff. Try to arrive early to avoid lines. You can actually board the boat 30-minutes prior to the 11:00 sailing. We stepped about the boat, already booming with intrigued guests and great music, and were shown to our private table. Next to us in the harbor was the USS Midway. 

A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Impressive Brunch Options

From there, the waiter took our drink orders, and explained the food stations to us. There were so many, but the areas were spacious and well-marked, making it easy to navigate.

Salads, breads, and soup were first up, and Jeffrey and I filled our plates with the healthy salad choices, with the tomato mozzarella being my fave. Next came the carving station, offering succulent turkey, honey-baked ham,  and rosemary scented sirloin roast. The seafood station captured my attention, so I opted for a plate of peel & eat shrimp (with spicy cocktail sauce), fresh crab salad (with an amazing remoulade) and a smoked-salmon mousseline that was delicious!

A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The Hornblower’s hot entrées were in warming dishes with selections such as braised beef, sausage, and bacon. Several vegetables and starches accompanied the entrée dishes like asparagus and baked Mac and cheese. The most popular station offered was the traditional brunch items with Belgian waffles (with warm syrup), biscuits with sausage gravy, and Eggs Benedict to name a few.  

Lastly, the Hornblower Champagne Brunch Cruise offered a huge array of richly decadent desserts (cake, petit fours, bread pudding, mousse, truffles, parfaits, you name it), and fresh fruit were beautifully arranged on a decorated table. While I didn’t try any of these (still full from the shrimp and Eggs Benedict), Jeffrey approved. 

Drinks included soft drinks, tea, juices, water, and did we mention free-flowing bubbly? Yep, champagne is unlimited, a big perk for many on the cruise. Mimosas and sparkling cider were also included. 

A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Enjoying the Views

After enjoying our brunch, Jeffrey and I headed upstairs to the deck where the atmosphere was much more lively. We grabbed some chairs and started capturing great photos of the San Diego Skyline. Once under the San Diego Bridge, we really lucked out with amazing photos. The Hornblower offers free WiFi so you can post while you are onboard. Don’t forget to stay safe though, even though this is a domestic destination there are hoards of people onboard trying to connect.

This was my first time in this part of San Diego and I was highly impressed with the beauty of the city. Our boat continued sailing toward the naval base and both Shelter and Coronado Islands. I didn’t want to miss a second of these spectacular views. Our navigator/guide told stories and gave us historical information about the things we were sailing past, such as the North Island Naval station and the adorable sea lions at Point Loma. 

A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

A Simply Delightful Day

I recommend the Hornblower champagne brunch cruise for anyone coming to the San Diego area. It is a great way to see the city from a different view, as well as eat delicious food. Tickets run $69. Tip: Come early as parking can be a little difficult. Don’t forget to tip your wait staff. 

We recommend bringing a light jacket, sunscreen, and sunglasses for your cruise. The weather can be chilly at times and the sun is potent. If you are prone to seasickness, take a Dramamine a few hours prior to boarding. We did not have any noticeable movement at all since the boat stays in the harbor, but better to be proactive. 

A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Need a Hotel in San Diego?

My stay was at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina which was super comfy, very chic, and a great location for stunning waterfront marina photography. My nautical themed room was a refreshing change from the typical hotel rooms I encounter. Be sure to check out the three swimming pools, tennis courts, and fitness room available for use at the Sheraton. A big perk is that free airport shuttle is available to and from the hotel.

A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
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More Hornblower and San Diego Photos

A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
A champagne brunch cruise aboard the Hornblower is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Check out our other California posts:

San Luis Obispo (a California Treasure)

Driving California’s Pacific Coast Highway

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