The New York Times is reporting today that whale sightings along the coast off of Monterey, California are fantastic. This is a good sign for whale watching in San Diego. The whales are beginning the winter migration south to Mexico, passing right by San Diego on their way.
But it was the whales that astounded even longtime residents — more than 200 humpbacks lunging, breaching, blowing and tail flapping — and, on a recent weekend, a pod of 19 rowdy orcas that briefly crashed the party, picking off sea lions along the way.
Such a large turnout to the north indicates that residents and visitors in San Diego are going to be treated to a fantastic season of marine life sightings. Scientists believe that whale are attracted to a large anchovie population, an important food source for the traveling animals.
What has drawn the animals is a late bloom of anchovies so enormous that continuous, dense blankets of the diminutive fish are visible on depth sounders. The sea lions, sea birds and humpbacks (which eat an average of two tons of fish a day) appear to have hardly made a dent in the population. Last month, so many anchovies crowded into Santa Cruz harbor that the oxygen ran out, leading to a major die-off.
To read more, visit the New York Times.
To book your whale watching adventure, visit www.sandiegowhalewatching.com.
We are pleased to announced that Annabella Stagner is the new VP Corporate Marketing and Sales effective immediately. We are thrilled to be able to bring a respected and proven veteran into this key position. Annabella will continue her efforts to support our Niagara Cruises start-up, particularly the development of the new web site, and the Omni ticketing system, which are now mostly transitioned to our new Niagara Management team.
Annabella began her Hornblower career in F&B aboard our vessels in both GLA and the Bay Area. Along her 18+ year career with Hornblower, she has held many key positions with increasing responsibilities and been a VP, team leader, a manager in many departments including our most important startups. She has worked with and mentored many of our best crew, and has worked closely with every Senior Manager in the organization.
Congratulations to Annabella!
Are you planning a holiday party for a group of friends or family? Let Hornblower Cruises & Events take care of all the food, drink, entertainment and clean-up, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy yourself.
Hornblower Cruises & Events is giving away a table for 10 on one of our holiday cruises in San Francisco, San Diego & Greater Los Angeles/Orange County. To enter, go to one of our local Facebook Pages and “Like” us. A winner will be chosen from each port, and all winners will be announced on December 2nd.
Whether you are a group of coworkers, besties forever, or a closeknit family, a Hornblower cruise is the perfect atmosphere for celebrating holiday cheer. And even if your group is bigger than 10, if you win, you can always pay to add on the additional guests, so that no one is left out. It makes the holidays fun, affordable, and painless.
A party with no work and no cleanup what’s not to love? Enter for your chance to win by liking our Facebook page at:
San Francisco Bay Area: http://www.facebook.com/HornblowerSF
San Diego: http://www.facebook.com/HornblowerSD
Greater Los Angeles/Orange County: http://www.facebook.com/HornblowerLA
Private Holiday Parties - ALL Ports
On a Hornblower Holiday Cruise moods are light and personalities shine. So throw your to-do lists overboard, leave the cubicles in your wake, and get the whole office on board for a fresh-air adventure that they'll remember throughout the year. Book by November 30th and receive a boarding glass of champagne and 10% off your hosted bar package. Available in San Francisco, Berkeley, San Diego, Marina del Rey and Newport Beach.
San Francisco & Berkeley
Holiday Cocktail Cruises on San Francisco Bay
Offered on December 6th and 13th, Hornblower’s two hour cocktail cruise is a great way for small groups to get out on the water and celebrate the winter holidays. Guests will enjoy delicious cocktails, accompanied by scrumptious hor d’oeurves and breathtaking views. http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/sf+san_francisco_Holiday_cocktail_cruise
Belle of the Ball Holiday Dinner Cruise
Get into the holiday spirit with Hornblower on the iconic San Francisco Belle. Indulge with a delicious buffet dinner, hosted wine and beer bar and entertainment. Enjoy the best views of the city lights from multiple exterior viewing decks. Offered on December 7th and 14th. http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/sf+sanfrancisco_belle_ball
New Year’s Eve
Come aboard a Hornblower yacht to ring in 2014. With three different cruises departing from San Francisco, we have the ideal celebration for you. Enjoy gourmet cuisine prepared fresh onboard, open bars, up close views of the fireworks and festive party favors to help you and your friends celebrate the evening! http://www.hornblower.com/port/category/sf+NewYears
Santa Holiday River Cruises
Visit with Santa on Hornblower’s one hour Santa Holiday River Cruise. Enjoy freshly baked cookies and a cup of hot cocoa, while sailing the Sacramento River with Mr. Claus. http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/sac+Holiday-River-Cruise
New Year’s Eve River Cruises
Spend your New Year’s Eve on the Sacramento River. Enjoy a unique view of the New Year’s Eve Sky Spectacular Fireworks show onboard a one hour river cruise! You and your guests can relax during an evening cruise under the Tower and I Street Bridges, with background music and a complimentary toast of champagne. http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/sac+Sacramento_New_Years_Eve_River_Cruise
Orange County / Los Angeles
Newport Beach Parade of Lights
Experience on of the best Parade of Lights in the country from aboard one of Hornblower’s yacht in Newport Beach. The Newport Beach Boat Parade is an incredible display of festively decorated yachts and waterfront homes. Enjoy a glass of champagne, a four-course dinner, a cruise on the harbor, all while marveling at the light display. http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/nb+christmas_boat_parade
New Year’s Eve
With cruises available in both Newport Beach and Marina del Rey, Hornblower offers a festive cruise to ring in the New Year. Enjoy a boarding glass of champagne, gourmet dinner, music for dancing and ever changing views of the harbor.
Newport Beach: http://www.hornblower.com/cruise?date=12%2F31%2F2013&port=nb
Marina del Rey: http://www.hornblower.com/cruise?date=12%2F31%2F2013&port=mdr
Whale Watching season is upon us, and Hornblower can take you there to see the best views of the migrating whales and dolphins. Enjoy live educational narration by the Captains and trained Naturalists from the Natural History Museum. http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/sd+whalewatching
Leave the cooking and cleaning to Hornblower. Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving buffet dinner, while sitting back, relaxing and taking in the sights of San Diego Harbor. http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/sd+ThanksgivingBuffet
Christmas Eve Dinner
You’ll be greeted by holiday carolers during boarding, and will enjoy a traditional holiday buffet aboard a Hornblower yacht. Enjoy the calm waters and beautiful scenery of San Diego Bay, while entertaining out of town guests or holding an intimate family affair. http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/sd+ChristmasEveBuffet
Christmas Day Dinner
Experience a lavish traditional holiday buffet aboard a luxurious Hornblower yacht. Santa will make an appearance during boarding and check in for memorable photos. http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/sd+christmasdaybuffet
Christmas Day Brunch
Join Hornblower Cruises for a memorable Christmas Day celebration complete with beautiful views, photos with Santa Claus and a delectable brunch buffet. Enjoy unlimited champagne, coffee, tea and juice. http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/sd+ChristmasDayBrunch
New Year’s Eve
Celebrate the New Year on a Hornblower Cruise! We offer three options to celebrate your New Year’s Eve in San Diego. All cruises include splendid cuisine and bubbly champagne, upbeat music and legendary city views. http://www.hornblower.com/port/category/sd+NewYears
Santa's Christmas Eve Dinner
Celebrate this Christmas by feasting with Santa and Hornblower New York. On your Christmas Eve dinner Cruise you will enjoy a delightfull and plentiful buffet, gracious service and stunning views, with a special appearance by Santa! http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/ny+Christmas-Eve-Dinner
Admiral's New Year's Eve Gala
Enjoy panoramic views of the spectacular New York City skyline aboard one of our all-new vessels, the Hornblower Hybrid. Take in up-close views of fireworks over Lady Liberty, be spoiled by our first-class service and dance your way into 2014 with our DJ taking requests throughout the evening! http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/ny+admiralnye
Nautical New Year's Celebration
Enjoy panoramic views of the spectacular New York City skyline aboard one of our all-new vessels, the Hornblower Hybrid. Take in up-close views of fireworks over Lady Liberty, be spoiled by our first-class service and dance your way into 2014 with our DJ taking requests throughout the evening! http://www.hornblower.com/port/overview/ny+nauticalnewyear
Recently, Hornblower San Diego had the pleasure of hosting Robert Vogler Jr. and his family onboard our our dinner cruise to celebrate his wife's 85th birthday. Mr. Vogler is a former POW and survivor of the Bataan Death March during World War II.
The Bataan Death March began on April 9, 1942, when the Japanese Army forced more than 60,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war to march 65 miles through the Philippines. The march was characterized by physical abuse and murder, and was declared a war crime by the Allied military commission. Hundreds of prisoners reportedly died during the march, though the exact death toll has been difficult to determine due to the conditions of the war at the time. (Source)
Since the war, Mr. Vogler has been an active member of the POW community, and participated in a delegation that traveled to Japan in October of 2011. The group of seven delegates were all former POWs who were imprisoned by Imperial Japan after the Battle for the Philippines in early 1942. Mr. Vogler joined the US Army Air Corps in January 1940, when he was 19 years old. After his capture following the Battle for the Philippines he survived the Bataan Death March, Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan in the Philippines. He eventually found himself in a slave labor camp in China and worked at the MKK factory, which stood for Manshu Kosaku Kikai. He also had to undergo medical treatments that he believes were experiments conducted by the Imperial Army's biological warfare unit. In 1944 he was transferred to Japan as punishment for bad behavior to work for Mitsu Mining. After World War II Mr. Vogler remained in the US Air Force retiring in 1960, and went to work for General Dynamics for sixteen years. In 2000, Mr. Vogler and his wife returned to Japan, to meet with mine representatives, town officials and citizens. (Source)
Following their cruise with us, we received the following message from his daughter, Julie:
I am so proud of the Hornblower for giving such a generous ticket price to our Military, without the discount they couldn't participate. We celebrated my mom's 85th birthday with a group of 12 of us and we were all so impressed with everything and our food was excellent. Many times when you attend and get banquet type food it isn't good but yours was superb. My step dad is a POW and Bataan Death March survivor and the Captain (Rich Goben) came to our table and spoke with him and then invited him to the top as his guest. He was so kind and it made my dad feel very important. Thank you so much again.
Thank you to Mr. Vogler for his service to this country, and to all our members of the armed forces, past and present. We are pleased to extend a discount to our service men and women. Current service members can purchase tickets as special rates for any of our public cruises in any of the cities in which we operate by visiting their MWR office on base. Additionally, military discounts are available through our website or by calling our reservations department at 888-467-6256.
Image of Robert Vogler Jr. from the Pomerado News. The newspaper featured him in October 2011, following his visit with other POWs to Japan. In the picture he is wearing the Japanese-American friendship medal received during that trip.
Captain Rich Goben, of the San Diego port, has been nominated for the Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Award. Nominated by friend and colleague Chris Gallup, Captain Rich exemplifies the spirit of sailing and maritime recognized by this national award.
Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky and US Sailing have selected Captain Rich as one of three finalists for this year's award. The award recognizes men and women who have made significant contributions to the advancement of sailing through education, volunteering, advocacy and encouraging sailing within their communities.
As Chris explains in his nomination:
Captain Goben exemplifies the spirit of the Maritime world in his support of Mariners and the Marine industry, in and out of the workplace.... He was the first recipient of the Roger Murphy National Safety Award from the Passenger Vessel Association. And, he was the first known Mariner to be given the “Hospitality Employee of the Year” award by the San Diego Hotel/Motel Association. Captain Rich Goben believes in training and preparedness in all facets of his maritime sailing career.
From training to safety, Captain Rich as made a life of giving back to the community he loves. He started as a volunteer at the Naval Sailing Club in San Diego in 1975. Since then he's written several articles on safety for industry magazines, as well as working with several sailing vessels to teach, train and mentor their crews. He served on Dennis Conner's America's Cup team as the "B" Team Navigator from 1982-1983. From 1984 to 1998, he crewed on the Star of India, the world's oldest active sailing ship at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and became the Master of the ship in 1998.
He has been honored several times before:
He regularly participates and leads training drills in San Diego harbor and is a founding member of the San Diego Area Maritime Security Committee.
To vote for Captain Rich, please visit the Maritime Heros Award page.
The International Propeller Club of the United States honored Captain Rich Goben this month with their International Maritime Person of the Year Award.
The Propeller Club was formed in 1927 in order to support the shipping and maritime industry. They gave Captain Rich the honor at this year's 87th Annual Convention and Maritime Industry Conference in Arlington, Virginia on October 4, 2013.
They chose to give the award
in recognition of your service as an ambassador on behalf of the maritime industry and in gratitude for your tireless advocacy for maritime safety and security.
Captain Rich is a licensed ship Master and is the Port Captain for Hornblower San Diego. He volunteers as the Captain of the oldest iron hulled sailing ship in the world, the Star of India, which was built in 1863.
Congratulations Captain Rich! It's an honor well deserved.
Laurie Simmons, San Diego
2nd & 3rd Place by Port
Everyone at Hornblower San Diego is looking forward to this weekend's 5th Annual Bow Wow Brunch. A popular fundraiser benefiting the Helen Woodward Animal Center, our Bow Wow brunch is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy San Diego Bay in the company of your furry friends.
This year's Bow Wow Brunch features a number of special guests, inlcuding Darris Cooper, Petco's head dog trainer, and Chopper the Biker Dog. It kicks off with an onboard buffet featuring free-flowing sparkling wine, mimosas and desserts. Your dogs will also enjoy pampering at the dog relief walk on the sun deck and refreshing water stations throughout the yacht. The dogs will even get to go home with their own doggie buffet bag packed with treats from our sponsor Petco.
The brunch also features a canine costume and photo contest, complete with prizes! To enter, visit our Facebook page and post a picture of your dressed up pooch. Your friends and family will have the opportunity to vote - and the owner of the dog with the most votes wins a pair of Hornblower dining cruise tickets!
A portion of the proceeds benefits the Helen Woodward Animal Center. For more than 30 years, the private, non-profit organization has been saving the lives of animals and enriching the lives of people.
The cruise is limited to one dog per adult, and the dogs must be manageable and leashed the entire time. For more information on the Brunch and how to book, please visit our website.