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Cruises to Ensenada

1 Award
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.

  • More about Ensenada

  • Why go to Ensenada?

  • Ensenada Cruise Port Facilities?

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Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel

7 Night
Mexican Riviera - San DiegoDetails

2,298 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Solstice
Celebrity Solstice (Photo: Celebrity)

7 Night
Mexican Riviera CruiseDetails

2,147 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Diamond Princess
Diamond Princess

16 Night
Hawaii CruiseDetails

900 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Jan 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Navigator of the Seas
Navigator of the Seas

4 Night
Catalina & Ensenada CruiseDetails

2,247 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

10 Night
Mexico CruiseDetails

367 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Oct 15, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

16 Night
Hawaiian Islands SojournDetails

1,911 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Pacific Coastal CruiseDetails

2,147 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Apr 1, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
Hawaii CruiseDetails

1,708 Reviews
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
Hawaii CruiseDetails

2,152 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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5 Night
Mexican Riviera - Los AngelesDetails

1,262 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
U. S. Pacific Coast CruiseDetails

1,907 Reviews
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Oct 1, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
U. S. Pacific Coast CruiseDetails

1,708 Reviews
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Mexican Riviera - Los AngelesDetails

331 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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5 Night
Mexican RivieraDetails

788 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Dec 17, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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168 Night
168 Night World CruiseDetails

367 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 7, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Ensenada

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.


Ensenada Cruise Reviews
Ensenada was the port we briefly visited to comply with the requirement that the ship visit a port outside the US. The waterfront park at then end of the terminal was vibrant and thankfully free of "in your face" veRead More
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wgmiller
Tacky,cheap,scruffy,busy,many beggars but excellent bars and after cheap Margaritas,Tequilas and beers we had the best day ever and sang happily all the way back to the ship. We loved Ensenada Read More
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DR2
Took the ship excursion "Made in Mexico - Ensenada Eats" 11am-3:15pm $139.95pp. Went to 4 eating places (Bullo's Place, Sabina Restaurant, 240 Grill, Mariscos Bahia de Ensenada) and then a wine store (Ensenada Vinos)Read More
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macusr
I mean let’s be honest it’s a Ensenada. It’s not the best port in the world but I find it to be fun. The people are nice. You just have to pass one street to get to the colorful shops where the vendors call you in toRead More
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GoGoGoJo

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