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Press Release: Classic “Lord Hornblower” Sails into a New Era

NOVEMBER 24, 2014

November 24, 2014 – San Diego, CA:   What becomes a legend most? In the case of San Diego’s iconic charter boat “Lord Hornblower” the answer is more than just a beautiful new coat of paint, but rather a new era of hospitality along the Southern California coast and along with it, a new name.

“There is no more classic, or widely photographed or widely beloved vessel in our fleet than the ‘Lord Hornblower’ sailing out of San Diego,” said Terry MacRaeHornblower ( founder. “Cats may have nine lives but classic yachts are eternal and with a spate of new improvements, ‘Lord Hornblower’ is poised for a new generation of onboard memory makers.”

Designed by the renowned naval architecture firm Nickum and Spaulding Associates of Seattle, Washington, “Lord Hornblower” is the perfect melding of 21stcentury technology with “Gatsby” era sophistication and 1920s elegance and style. Entering through the Clerestory Salon, guests are transported not just to sea, but to a celebration of fine cuisine with a nod to the vessel’s rich nautical and San Diego heritage.

Lord Hornblower is to be rechristened upon completion of the remodel in early December “Admiral Hornblower”, the name of first yacht in the Hornblower fleet when the company launched in 1980.  That yacht was retired last year, so by renaming “Lord Hornblower” to “Admiral Hornblower” we carry the Hornblower tradition forward another 35 years. It allows us to keep our Hornblower heritage and tip our hats to our strong military community and their naval ties to our bay.

“The new‘Admiral Hornblower’ is San Diego afloat,” said Jim Unger, Vice President of Hornblower San Diego. “Besides being the backdrop for a lifetime of family events and celebrations, her decks have played host to dozens of films, movies and commercial shoots. She is a celebrity in her own right.”

As always, hospitality, fine dining and creative beverage service are on the foredeck of a cruise aboard “Admiral Hornblower.”  However, playing a supporting role is a bevy of innovative technologies and must-have services demanded by a sophisticated and connected contemporary clientele: backlit fiber optic infused bars, Wi-Fi throughout the ship, our hip ‘boutique hotel’ style Captains Lounge and Pilot House view. Add to that three spacious, climate-controlled salons, expansive open-air sun decks offering sweeping panoramic San Diego vistas, three full-service bars, two dance floors and seating for up to 500 guests and the sum is pure memory making at sea.

“The ‘Admiral Hornblower’ is infused, stem to stern, with turn-of-the-century classicism,” said Unger. “By that I mean both the 20th and 21st-centuries.”

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Hornblower Cruises & Events has been the leading charter yacht and public dining cruise operator headquartered in California for three decades, celebrating its 35th anniversary throughout 2015.  The company operates over 70 vessels, including the three largest dining yachts on the West Coast, and has ports in San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Marina del Rey, San Diego and New York City. Two Hornblower subsidiary businesses, Alcatraz Cruises and Statue Cruises, are National Park Service ferry concessioners to Alcatraz Island and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, respectively. In 2014, Hornblower began operating the third subsidiary, Hornblower Niagara Cruises, out of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. For more information visit