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Tour Military Ships & Watch the Navy Square Off Against Notre Dame During Fleet Week San Diego 2018

Tour Military Ships & Watch the Navy Square Off Against Notre Dame During Fleet Week San Diego 2018

USS Midway Museum

This year marks the 83rd anniversary of San Diego’s very first Fleet Week, that annual celebration of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard that sees the docking of active-duty ships, military ceremonies, and all manner of other events go down in some of the nation’s big-city ports.

Call the Sofia Hotel—the finest boutique hotel in Downtown San Diego—your home away from home during Fleet Week San Diego 2018, and you’ll enjoy quick and easy access to all of the activities along the waterfront nearby. Today we’re going to spotlight two of the upcoming events well worth putting on that calendar of yours—but first, a quick snapshot history of Fleet Week San Diego!

Fleet Week San Diego

San Diego’s very first Fleet Week took place in June 1935 during the California Pacific International Exposition. Overseen by U.S. Navy Admiral Joseph M. Reeves, 114 warships, 400 military aircraft, 3,000-plus commissioned officers, and some 55,000 enlisted service members were part of the proceedings.

Today’s Fleet Week San Diego, meanwhile, arose in 1997 as an opportunity to highlight the support shown by America’s Finest City to Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen. Originally an initiative of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the event expanded rapidly enough to warrant its own registered non-profit, The San Diego Fleet Week Foundation.

Fleet Week San Diego 2018 Highlights

A signature tradition of Fleet Week is the opportunity to step aboard military ships docked in a city for the celebration. During Fleet Week San Diego 2018, that opportunity comes Friday, October 26th through Sunday, October 28th.

Among the ships open to the public that weekend will be the USCGC Mellon, a Coast Guard Hamilton-class High Endurance Cutter built in 1966 and commissioned two years later. The Mellon is based out of Seattle and patrols from the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska down the Eastern Pacific to South America.

There’ll be a Navy ship available for touring during the weekend as well, though the exact vessel hasn’t yet been announced. (Keep an eye on announcements here.)

On Saturday night, meanwhile, there’ll be quite the waterfront soiree during the annual football game between the U.S. Navy’s Midshipsmen and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This year’s game, held at SDCCU Stadium, has a couple of exciting firsts: the first appearance of Notre Dame in San Diego, and the first these two longtime rivals have faced each other west of the Mississippi.

The Fleet Week viewing party for the game will start at 4:30 PM on Broadway Pier—just a few blocks west of the Sofia Hotel. Besides large-screen broadcast of the gridiron action, there’ll be BBQ, libations (including offerings from Iron Fist Brewing Co. and Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum), and live entertainment: comedian Heather Marie (fresh off a hosting gig for the San Diego Film Awards Show on KPBS) and Playa del Rey-based singer-songwriter Tim Hurley.

Join Us at the Sofia Hotel for Fleet Week San Diego 2018

Book a stylish guest room at the Sofia Hotel for Fleet Week San Diego: You’ll be within strolling distance of its main events, including the military ship tours and the Navy vs. Notre Dame game on Saturday. Choose our historic, boutique Downtown hotel for San Diego’s annual celebration of the hardworking men and women of the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard!