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Cruises to Ensenada

Ensenada (Photo:alysta/Shutterstock)
Ensenada (Photo:alysta/Shutterstock)

About Ensenada

Ensenada, known as Baja's "Love Boat" port, is no longer a sleepy resort town. Each year, some 4.5 million visitors descend on this seaside city 68 miles from the border, joining 325,000 residents. Fishing, processing and shipping have made Ensenada Mexico's second busiest port.

It's quite a change from 1542 when Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into the sheltered bay in his quest for the mythical Northwest Passage, or sixty years later, when Sebastian Vizcaino named the area Ensenada de Todos los Santos after All Saints' Day. Over the centuries, many have left their mark here, from Spanish missionaries and Russian settlers to gold miners and gamblers.

The result is eclectic mix -- from Mexico's oldest winery and Baja's first cantina to a plaza featuring statues of national heroes. In addition to expected attractions like the large tourist shopping area and fish market, Ensenada also offers the unexpected - an elegant Prohibition-era casino and a blowhole that spews water sixty feet into the air.

Ensenada is an informal city dependent on fishing, shipping and tourism. Among the highlights are fresh seafood, cantinas, crafts shopping, sport fishing and winter whale watching. Beaches are located north and south of the city.

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9 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Catalina Island, Ensenada ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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DAY 1: Vancouver

7 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Victoria, San Francisco ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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18 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Catalina Island, Ensenada ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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5 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Ensenada, Victoria ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
San Francisco, Monterey ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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18 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Key West, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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17 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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24 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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5 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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15 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Hilo, Honolulu ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Hilo, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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4 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Santa Barbara, Ensenada ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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17 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Kona, Hilo ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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15 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Hilo, Honolulu ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Hilo, Honolulu ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Hilo, Honolulu ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Kauai, Honolulu ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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5 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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18 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Hilo, Kona ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

25 Night
Cruise to Ensenada

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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Why go to Ensenada?

Pros:

Ensenada offers a killer food scene if you know where to look, from ceviche carts to margarita joints

Cons:

Be wary: If you get dropped off at a local beach away from town, you might be walking back

Bottom Line:

The port's main shopping and dining district is full of diversions, if you don't mind a hard sell

Ensenada Cruise Port Facilities?

Ensenada's cruise dock features a market with numerous vendors. In addition to souvenirs, there's a pharmacy and liquor store.

Getting Around?

The cruise ship pier is within easy walking distance of Avenida Lopez Mateos, the main tourist zone for shopping and dining. Alternatively, taxis and shuttles are available at the dock to take passengers on the short ride downtown. Taxis are also available at corner stands along Avenida Lopez Mateos.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Mexico's currency is the peso, divided into 100 centavos. In addition to the peso, US dollars are widely accepted in Baja, as are credit cards. ATM machines for withdrawing pesos are available in several downtown banks.

Language?

Spanish is the official language, with English spoken throughout the tourist areas.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships share an industrial harbor with commercial and sport fishing fleets, shipping containers and tankers.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated Mexican Riviera Destinations

Ensenada Cruise Reviews

Royal Princess
Arizona Budgies
Sail Date: Oct 2019
Took the tour to see Ensenada as this was our 1st time. Will not get off if we are docked in Ensenada in the future.... Read More
Emerald Princess
Travel N
Sail Date: Jan 2019
Ensenada: We walked to the Riviera of Ensenada, an old luxury hotel that is completely free to tour and have a bar that is famous for their Margaritas that only cost a few bucks. I enjoyed the walk and especially... Read More
Carnival Imagination
amisella
Sail Date: Feb 2019
ATV Ensenada arranged for us to be driven by van to the blowhole and to walk the grounds, shop, and get tacos. Good times.... Read More
Emerald Princess
cruisin twosome seniors
Sail Date: Jan 2019
I did not expect much from Ensenada stop, but was pleasantly surprised. We took the bus to town (4.00 RT) and went to McDonalds. We walked around, looked at the shops and then found our way to the fish market. The... Read More
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