They call it the Spirit Cruise and it goes out of Ports O' Call in San Pedro. For an affordable $12 -15 you can glide past the Los Angeles Harbor points of interest.
Spirit Cruises LA Harbor Tours from Berth 77 at Ports O'Call, San Pedro serves beer, wine and cocktails, plus snacks and beverages. An inside viewing area and two outdoor decks provide serene or exciting, wind adventures.
Be prepared for a spirited group of passengers, a captain with lots of spirit, and being thoroughly entertained by frolicking sea lions and pods of porpoises. The real spirit of this boat trip open to the public is the living, breathing ocean with all its animals, fish, and people sailing by, cruising, or working in the Los Angeles Harbor.
Among the excitement as you look every direction to see some point of interest or something happening is an up close view of the massive breakwater (constructed between 1899 and 1949).
Gigantic Container Cargo Ships and giraffe cranes that help load and unload them are simply amazing. You feel like a kid when you watch the operators in their moving machines lift and transport containerized cargo.
From the water you look over to see through barbed wire fencing a courtyard with lots of people. It's an amazing view of the Federal Prison on Terminal Island. You can also see the caretakers families in little houses on the perimeter, as they enjoy Sunday on their patio decks, watching the boats and ships go by.
Then there's the Fishing Markets and the fleet of boats that bring them tons of fish, which are auctioned daily. Some of the fish are actually cooked and served fresh in the popular seafood restaurants of Ports O'Call. The fresh catch are the talk of the town that impress everyone visiting the village.
At the old Southwest Terminal you glide past a terrific film location with buildings you'll recognize from the "Die Hard" Movies and CSI TV shows. It's interesting to learn that this is where the filming takes place.
As you circle under the famous, green Vincent Thomas Bridge, you get an up close view of WWII SS Lane Victory Ship that's still operational and offers its very own tours that cost more than the Spirit Cruise but a memorable for those who have taken the ride.
You can see all sorts of vessels including the newest LA Fireboat that can throw 38,000 gallons of water a minute if necessary. Coast Guard base and ship; Norwegian Cruise Lines massive luxury line waiting to leave port while their passengers wave to our passengers on our Spirit adventure.
Spirit Cruises steers past the LA Maritime Museum in the old ferry building, and rounds its way back to Berth 77 once again. There's so much to see that you realize you need to go back and do it again.
The courteous and caring hosts of Spirit Cruises make sure you have a wonderful time with their superb narration and smooth ride. They also have dinner cruises. You can call them on 310-548-8080 or visit their website spiritmarine.com.
While at Ports O'Call, which is a waterfront shopping, dining and recreation destination just east of the Historic Downtown, be sure and take a ride on the nearby Red Car, from which you can see Water Shows, Cruise Ships and so much more.
Our favorite place to eat in San Pedro is at
Mariscos Taco Co., 447 S. Gaffey St. (at 5th), where Owner Eddie prepares the most tender chicken we've ever had,
slow cooked over mesquite wood, served with grilled onions, flour or corn
tortillas, beans and rice. A Half Pollo Combo is only $5.99 plus tax and it's a delicious meal. Enjoy!