You may leave your heart in San Francisco, but before you do, take the chance to tour around the bay on a classic cruise. These tours typically get you on the water for an hour to 90 minutes, and take you from Golden Gate to Bay Bridge, around Alcatraz, or as far as Sausalito or Angel Island.
Here we review our selection of classic bay cruises, including one that also gets you on (and off!) a hop-on hop-off city bus tour. By the way, three classic cruises are included with GO San Francisco Card, just one of the many reason to make sure you have one in your luggage when you leave home.hop-off city tour.
Hop aboard the Adventure Cat catamaran at the Embarcadero then sail away on a cruise that takes you coasting past the city skyline. You can enjoy the 360-degree views from inside, protected from the sea breeze, but for the full experience take a seat outside on the canvas trampoline netting for an invigorating open air experience while you watch the waves rush past beneath you.
You travel beneath both of San Francisco's iconic bridges on this very popular activity. Leave the piers and start your sailing adventure by cruising under the Golden Gate Bridge, where the Pacific spills into the Bay.
Then set a leisurely sail into the bay, past the city skyline, to travel under the colossal Bay Bridge that links San Francisco with Oakland and the East Bay. You pass Alcatraz and Treasure Island, with views of the city skyline dotted by Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the Transamerica Pyramid.
No need to worry about the unpredictable weather — this is an open ticket, valid for use within one year of booking.
Depart from Pier 43 at Fisherman's Wharf and sail past the city skyline as you head west toward the Golden Gate Bridge for incredible views under the massive 4,200-foot span.
Steaming back into the Bay, you travel past the Marin Headlands, Sausalito, Angel Island State Park and around the island of Alcatraz. We like to get the last sailing of the day, so you can see watch the lights of the city come on. This is also an open ticket, valid for use within one year of booking.
Here's a way to see the best of land and sea in San Francisco — a city tour and a boat cruise on the bay. The Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours all around the city with 16 different stations where you can hop off and then hop back on to continue the tour whenever you like.
The bay cruise takes you under the Golden Gate Bridge and all around Alcatraz Island. The sea and land parts of the tour can be taken independently with several departures throughout the day.
The GO Card is the travellers resource that gets you into pretty much everything in San Francisco. We tell you all about the Go Card in our review, but here we want to point out that with the card you get not one, not two, but three cruises around the bay.
Included are the Bridge to Bridge cruise, Escape from the Rock Alcatraz cruise, and the Golden Gate Bridge bay cruise. But, wait, there's more! You also get to ride the ferry to Angel Island, round-trip, free. And the Go Card includes a 2-day hop-on bus tour pass.
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