Ready to know more about San Diego?

Subscribe

We Chat with the Crew behind Hornblower Cruises and Events Aboard the High Spirits Ship

Sponsored by Hornblower
Sponsored by Hornblower

Welcome to a very special episode of the Happy Half Hour! This week, we are sailing through San Diego Bay on the High Spirits, a vintage ship belonging to Hornblower Cruises and Events. We’re chatting with the marketing manager, director of food and beverage, national sales manager, executive chef, and the captain who make the Hornblower cruises sail so smoothly.

Hornblower offers several different dining cruises which include brunch, cocktails, dinner and holiday cruises, whale watching tours (resuming on December 14), and private events like weddings, and corporate and school events. There are seven different Hornblower ships in San Diego, with the biggest one hosting up to 1,200 people.

Sophie Shrader, marketing manager and fan of the Happy Half Hour podcast, tells us Hornblower Cruises and Events is hosting a Thanksgiving brunch and dinner, as well as a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day brunch and dinner complete with carolers and Santa. If she’s not eating a delicious holiday dinner on the Hornblower, Sophie says she likes to indulge in the cheese wheel pasta at Monello in Little Italy.

Next up is Chris Schlerf, director of food and beverage—and previously Troy’s boss when Troy worked for Hornblower back in the day. Chris has been with the company for 32 years, and focuses on gathering local and seasonal ingredients in addition to providing free-flowing Champagne during their brunch cruises with bottomless mimosas. His famous grandmother’s bread pudding, which is still on the menu today, started in 1987 when Chris was working in the Bay Area and made the pudding out of day-old Danish pastries.

While waiting for our entrees to arrive, we talk to Mandy Brown, national sales manager, who takes care of business not only here in San Diego, but in the many other ports the company has on both the East and West Coast (they have more than 100 vessels). Mandy says when she’s not eating on the boat, she goes to Pete’s Seafood and Sandwich to get the mozzarella sticks filled with either mozzarella or pepper jack cheese.

While digging into our main courses, we chat with Dave Mango, executive chef for Hornblower. He had his start in Boston and loves to be creative with his cooking, even in the small, cramped cooking quarters. For example, he recreated the 10-course, final meal served on the Titanic for a special themed cruise. In addition to cooking on the Hornblower, Dave is the executive chef at Union Kitchen & Tap downtown, which serves what he calls the best chilaquiles north of TJ.

Captain Jose Gurganus is the last guest of the night, and he just celebrated his 25th anniversary with Hornblower Cruise and Events! The captain says when he’s not saving struggling jet skiers or partaking in dinner on the boat, he likes to go to Leroy’s on Coronado with his wife and order the deviled eggs.

Visit hornblower.com to schedule your next dining, whale watching, or special event cruise aboard one of the many Hornblower ships.

We Chat with the Crew behind Hornblower Cruises and Events Aboard the High Spirits Ship

Sponsored by Hornblower

Share this post

LATEST EPISODES

Podcast

All the Best Eats at the San Diego County Fair

Listen now

Podcast

Cardellino Owner Brad Wise on Truffles, Caviar & Butcher...

Cardellino Owner Brad Wise on Truffles, Caviar & Butchering

Listen now

Podcast

San Diego's King of Produce

Listen now

Podcast

Is this San Diego's Most Picturesque Rooftop Restaurant?

Listen now

Podcast

Trying Petco Park's Best Food with Don and Mud

Listen now

Podcast

SD’s Secret Sommelier Weapon is at North Park’s Black Ra...

SD’s Secret Sommelier Weapon is at North Park’s Black Radish

Listen now

Podcast

Radio Host Chris Cantore & Chef Tyler Mars Launch New Po...

Radio Host Chris Cantore & Chef Tyler Mars Launch New Pop-Up

Listen now

Podcast

Fast Food Secrets With Jordan Howlett

Listen now

Podcast

Feeding San Diego Rescues 1.2M Pounds of Food a Month 

Listen now

Podcast

Making Wishes Come True With Chef William Eick

Listen now

Podcast

The Beach Boys’ Mike Love Puts Us in a Kokomo State of Min...

The Beach Boys’ Mike Love Puts Us in a Kokomo State of Mind

Listen now

Podcast

Lighting Up the Gaslamp 

Listen now

Podcast

The Story Behind San Diego's Hottest Backyard Restaurant

Listen now

Podcast

Is This the Best Falafel in San Diego?

Listen now

Podcast

San Diego’s Legendary Tony Tee Drops By the Pod

Listen now

Podcast

Feeling Lucky with Jason Mraz

Listen now

Podcast

The Spirits Company Giving Back, One Drink At a Time

Listen now

Podcast

Let Us Eat Cake

Listen now

Podcast

Getting Real With Celebrity Chef Lauren Lawless

Listen now

Podcast

New Episode: 40 Years of La Jolla's George's at the Cove

Listen now

Podcast

The Fishmonger Tommy Gomes Returns With Dry-Aged Fish

Listen now

Podcast

Paradise, Or Something Like It

Listen now

Podcast

The Big South Bay Brewery That Could

Listen now

Podcast

Top Chef Thanksgiving Day Tips: Lessons From Brad Wise

Listen now

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA