Alcatraz
Cruises & Boat Tours

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Our most recommended Alcatraz Cruises & Boat Tours

San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

1. San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

Hop on board a boat and cruise around Alcatraz Island and other sights of San Francisco Bay on this round trip journey. Benefit from a straight-to-the-gate access ticket and informative commentary as you go. Cruise San Francisco Bay and sail under the Golden Gate Bridge on a 90-minute narrated tour by boat around Alcatraz Island. Skip the box office line and go straight to the gate with your ticket. See Alcatraz island from the water while listening to accounts of the chilling escape attempts and the notorious criminals that called Alcatraz prison home. Enjoy a cruise with food and drink available to purchase onboard. Cruise full circle around Alcatraz Island, allowing you to view every angle of this mysterious island, which housed famous inmates such as Al Capone, Billy Cook the Killer, and Clyde Johnson, whose escape attempt is legendary. Gain a clear picture of what life in this maximum-security prison was like when it was the most feared institution in the American penal system.

San Francisco Bay: Sail & Jail Boat Cruise & Alcatraz Ticket

2. San Francisco Bay: Sail & Jail Boat Cruise & Alcatraz Ticket

Experience the beautiful San Francisco Bay on a 1.5-hour catamaran cruise. Take in San Francisco's breathtaking skyline as you sail by Alcatraz Island and under the Golden Gate Bridge. Feel the Californian breeze in your hair and keep a look out for sea lions in the bay. The first part of your combination tour is a ferry ride and visit to the notorious Alcatraz prison, which served as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963 and housed infamous criminals like Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the Birdman. Take the award-winning 45-minute Cellhouse audio tour and hear the tales of those who lived Alcatraz. This tour brings history to life through the recounting of tales from correctional officers and prisoners. Then, go on a catamaran cruise and view your surroundings from a protected viewing area, or you could really live on the edge and stand on the canvas trampoline nets with the waves beneath your feet. Pick up a helpful navigation guide providing information about San Francisco's landmarks as you sail past. Complete the trip by taking the helm from the captain for a chance to steer the boat yourself: it's the perfect activity for kids as well as kids at heart. The captain and crew are always there, happy to snap a photo or answer your questions about the sights of San Francisco. If all this excitement makes you hungry, there are snacks, soda, beer, or wine available at the cabin's snack bar. So come and see San Francisco's skyline like never before on this incredible sailing adventure. Please note that the catamaran cruise does not stop at Alcatraz Island. You will receive a separate ticket to board the ferry from San Francisco's Pier 33 to Alcatraz Island.

San Francisco: Alcatraz at Night & Fisherman's Wharf Tour

3. San Francisco: Alcatraz at Night & Fisherman's Wharf Tour

Take a guided walking tour through Fisherman’s Wharf, taste some classic San Francisco treats, and visit Alcatraz at night, the best time to experience the former high-security prison. Begin your experience in the afternoon near Ghirardelli Square and weave your way through Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. Explore the lesser-known paths and see San Francisco's legendary cable cars. Nibble on fresh local bread and Ghirardelli chocolate as you watch the playful sea lions. Sail to Alcatraz and enjoy the popular attraction with very few people, as tickets are extremely limited. Get a short introductory tour with a park range. Hear stories from former inmates, correctional officers, and the children that once called Alcatraz Island home.  Wander the island on your own time and spot the city's lights shimmering in the distance before returning to the ferry.

San Francisco: Waterfront Guided Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

4. San Francisco: Waterfront Guided Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

See the best of San Francisco on a city walking tour and learn the history behind each turn from your guide. Take in the views of the skyline on your ferry to Alcatraz before exploring this notorious prison. Meet your guide at the north end of Fisherman's Wharf and start your experience by taking in the amazing views of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. Hear how San Francisco transformed from a sleepy village to a booming port city when gold fever swept the nation in 1849. Learn about the life of the Italian chocolatier Domenico Ghirardelli at the famous former chocolate factory in Ghirardelli Square. Stroll along the fog-lined waterfront and drool over the numerous stalls selling crab and clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. Walk a portion of the historic Barbary Coast trail while your guide tells you about its colorful past. You and your group will then make your way to Pier 39 and admire historic ships in the harbor. Witness the colony of sea lions that have taken over many of its docks. Continue along the Embarcadero Promenade and learn about its evolution from a traditional maritime port to a modern urban waterfront filled with trendy restaurants and amusement piers. The walking tour concludes at Pier 33, where you will present your photo ID to receive your Alcatraz tickets. Board your ferry and enjoy a self-guided tour of Alcatraz upon the island.  Learn about the history of the cell house and its former residents with an award-winning audio tour available in multiple languages. You can expect to be done with the whole experience in the late afternoon.

San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

5. San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

Discover the notorious former prison of Alcatraz Island on a guided tour in San Francisco. Take a short tour of the city's beautiful waterfront, spend a few hours on the island, and enjoy a guided city tour of some of the city's famous neighborhoods during the afternoon. Following pickup, enjoy a 30-minute tour of San Francisco's waterfront where you will see notable landmarks such as Embarcadero, Levi’s Plaza, and Fisherman's Wharf. Enjoy a brief coffee break at the Ferry Building. Next, make your way to Pier 33 where you’ll board the ferry to start your Alcatraz Island tour. Listen to an audio presentation featuring recordings of inmates and guards that worked and inhabited the island. Explore "The Rock" where you will have time for a guided tour and some free time to explore.  Take one of the late-morning ferries to San Francisco so you can join for the afternoon portion of your day tour. Cruise along San Francisco’s waterfront and the Marina District, and then visit the Palace of Fine Arts. Explore the culturally rich neighborhoods of San Francisco. Learn about what made the Haight-Ashbury, Mission, and Castro districts what they are today and why they’re important to so many. After a slow drive through Nob Hill and Chinatown, visit the charming Italian neighborhood of North Beach. Finally, enjoy a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge and pause along the cliffs to admire the beautiful views of the “city by the bay”. Take in the spectacular beauty of Golden Gate Park before finishing your tour.

San Francisco: Alcatraz Tickets and Chinatown Walking Tour

6. San Francisco: Alcatraz Tickets and Chinatown Walking Tour

Explore the bustling streets of San Francisco's Chinatown on a guided walking tour and try some fortune cookies. Take the ferry to Alcatraz Island for an audio-guided tour of the notorious prison. Begin your day with a local guide near the Dragon Gate of San Francisco's beloved Chinatown. Weave through time and space down the main street for a walking tour through a neighborhood lined with dragon lanterns, imperial terracotta statues, and all the adornment of a "Little Shanghai." Hear the stories of the former streets and alleys — how it came to be and the more seedy aspects of its Gold Rush foundations. Discover how the neighborhood has transformed over the decades. See neighborhood landmarks including Waverly Place and St. Mary’s Cathedral. Stop into a traditional apothecary featuring fascinating Chinese medicine. Snack on some fresh fortune cookies, a San Francisco invention, and take some home for the road (on us!). After your Chinatown tour, head out for lunch on your own into 2 incredible foodie neighborhoods. Your guide will set you up to find all the "locals only" spots and provide you with an easy map so you can enjoy San Francisco's eclectic cuisine options. After lunch, make your way to Alcatraz where your guide will give you all the insider information on how best to make the most of your time on the island. On the ferry ride, take in views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. Explore the infamous Alcatraz prison, accompanying your visit with an award-winning audio guide.

From San Francisco: Muir Woods, Sausalito and Alcatraz Tour

7. From San Francisco: Muir Woods, Sausalito and Alcatraz Tour

On this tour, travel across the Golden Gate Bridge and through the rugged coastal mountains of Marin County. Experience the magnificent views of the San Francisco Bay and valleys where the Coastal Miwok once lived. Stop at the Muir Woods Monument where ancient groves of giant redwoods tower over the Redwood Creek. As this tour allows more time in Muir Woods than any other tour group, enjoy being in nature underneath the massive trees as your guide educates you on the area. Next, visit the beautiful coastal town of Sausalito, which is a gorgeous Mediterranean-style village with quaint shops, art galleries and waterfront restaurants. Finally, head to Alcatraz Island with your roundtrip boat ride. Discover the history and secrets behind one of San Francisco's greatest landmarks with an award-winning cellular audio tour in 10 different languages.

San Francisco: City Highlights & Alcatraz 5-Hour Tour

8. San Francisco: City Highlights & Alcatraz 5-Hour Tour

Discover why Alcatraz remains one of San Francisco's greatest landmarks and experience its chilling allure in an official Alcatraz tour. Wander through the various exhibits while learning the history of the island in a 90-minute audio tour. Back on the mainland, go beneath the surface of San Francisco, exploring its famous sites and Instagram-worthy views in a 90-minute city tour.  Meet the group at the ticket booth on Pier 33 for the ferry transfer to Alcatraz Island. After returning on the ferry, explore 6 different locations in San Francisco with photo stops along the way. Stop at Fort Point to catch optimal views of the Golden Gate Bridge and learn about the city's history, culture, and architecture as the group makes its way through the diverse neighborhoods. Water and granola bars will be provided during this part of the tour.  Discover the best places to eat in the city and even check out the filming locations for TV shows and movies such as Full House and Mrs. Doubtfire. At the end of the tour, the guide will drop the group off at Fisherman's Wharf – a classic San Francisco experience and a must-see on any visit to the city.

Alcatraz and Ferry Building Food Tour

9. Alcatraz and Ferry Building Food Tour

Enjoy a 90-minute tasting tour of the best of the Ferry Building Marketplace, where a knowledgeable guide/food industry professional will lead you on a historic, food-filled journey of the building's local, artisan cuisine and food purveyors. After a brief break, you'll then voyage by ferry to one of the city’s most popular attractions, Alcatraz Island, for a self-guided tour of the beautiful island and its history-packed maximum-security prison that has drawn San Francisco Bay Area tourists for decades. Beginning your tour at the Ferry Building Marketplace, you'll sample award-winning tastes from the Bay Area’s best food artisans, learning how this historic transportation building became the ultimate destination for food lovers: locals and visitors alike. Expect artisan cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, fresh loaves from Acme Bread, chocolate confections from Recchuiti, and French macarons from Miette (subject to change). Come hungry! Once you’ve satisfied your culinary cravings, you'll be directed to Pier 33 (a short walk from the Ferry Building) to Alcatraz Landing to pick up your tickets for the Alcatraz Cruise afternoon departure to The Rock. Most guests spend approximately 2.5 hours exploring the island, but you are welcome to return when you choose. A self-guided headset tour (with Al Capone talking in your ear) is also included in the ticket price.

San Francisco: Alcatraz & Bay Voyager Adventure Cruise

10. San Francisco: Alcatraz & Bay Voyager Adventure Cruise

Depart from Pier 33 and board the official Alcatraz Ferry on a 15-minute cruise to the prison island. Once on the island, collect your audio tour headset (included) and explore the prison island at your own pace. Go inside the jail cell blockhouse where you can place yourself in solitary confinement to experience the madness and darkness of the prison's horrid past. Immerse yourself within the same walls that drove men mad and broke even the most hardened and cruel criminals, like Al Capone. Depart Alcatraz Island, back to San Francisco with ferries departing every 30 minutes. Next, take a short and convenient walk to Pier 39 which is easy to find from Pier 33. Be outfitted with weather appropriate gear to keep you warm and dry from the occasional splash and embark on your Voyager Adventure Cruise. Take in the historic waterfront from a new angle. Make a quick visit to the world famous Pier 39 sea lions, where you can see them eye to eye. There is no need for binoculars on this trip because you will see everything up close. Listen to the narration from your expert captain and learn something new about this historic area. See the waterfront in a way that is unlike any other experience on the bay. Take photos, make memories, and enjoy one of the finest ways to see it all up close.

Frequently asked questions about Alcatraz Cruises & Boat Tours

What are other things to do than Alcatraz Cruises & Boat Tours that are worth visiting in San Francisco?

The other unmissable things to do in San Francisco are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Alcatraz

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What people are saying about Alcatraz

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,258 reviews

Maggie was such a fantastic guide!!! She is so full of knowledge about the history of SF and had so many tips to share with us. She was really invested in making sure our group got the absolute most out of the tour that we could. Between her extensive personal experiences and the research she has done on Chinatown, we learned so much about the history and contemporary life of the area. She is so personable that it felt like an old friend was showing you around SF and pointing out all of the cities quirks and easter eggs. I can’t recommend her enough!

Absolutely loved this tour. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. Such a beautiful cruise out to the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. The views awesome and got some great pics of the bridge and the prison. A must do cruise if in the Bay Area, I would do it again if I ever get back to San Francisco very well worth it. Just dress warm cuz the wind can be very chilling and we were there in June.

The China town walking tour was the best tour I have taken. We went to sights and heard history that was previously unknown to me. We walked and saw a great part of the city that most tourists pass by without notice. The pace was easy and the history amazing. The Alcatraz tour blended nicely with the walking tour and the overall experience was excellent.

I went in May and the weather was very cold and breezy on the boat. I had on a jacket but a better heads up about being well layered or to bring a blanket would have been good to know. But overall great experience.

Amazing experience worth every Penny or dollar should I say!