Hornblower Cruises, more expansively known as Hornblower Cruises and Events, offers a variety of short cruise trips in cities across the country, but primarily in California. Hornblower’s offerings are quite diverse, so it is hard to define a typical Hornblower cruise, but a celebration of some kind – for a holiday or private event – is often at the center of a cruise. A Hornblower cruise generally includes a meal and drinks, which are spread out over a three- or four-hour sailing. Hornblower Cruises therefore isn’t a vacation cruise line, but rather a company that uses their boats for dining cruises and to host private events, and to occasionally provide ferry services. Since the company offers so many different cruises, we thought it would be helpful to explain exactly what they do in the following concise guide to Hornblower Cruises.
Hornblower Cruises operates in nine cities in total: San Francisco, San Diego, Berkeley, New York, Marina del Rey, Newport Beach, Long Beach, Corpus Christi, and Sacramento. Obviously, and as we said above, most of these cities are in California, which makes sense because the company started in California and remains headquartered in San Francisco. During the first 20 or so years of the company’s existence, it exclusively focused on expanding operations across California, but now Hornblower operates more than 30 vessels all over the United States.
The precise services offered by Hornblower depends on the port out of which it is operating. In some cities, like New York and San Diego, they offer their maximum range of services, which includes dining cruises (including brunch and dinner) and sightseeing tours, and the ships can also be chartered for corporate and private events. In other ports, there are very few cruises offered by Hornblower, like in Sacramento, where the only service available is a one-hour cruise on the Sacramento River. The range of options is (not surprisingly) connected to the fleet present in a given port – cities with several ships that are equipped for various purposes can offer the broadest selection of different cruises. There will be ships that are dedicated to regularly scheduled cruises, and there will also be vessels that people can rent for business or private purposes.
If you are interested in taking a cruise with Hornblower, we recommend going to the Hornblower Cruises website, where you can select whatever port you are interested in sailing from. Once you make a selection, you’ll be brought to a page dedicated to that city, and you can explore every cruise that is available from that port. In general, there is a decent amount of overlap between the offerings in each city, but every port has distinct offerings. With a little clicking around, you should be able to figure out if they have what you are looking for.