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Alcatraz Cruises

1398 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA
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  • 98%
    History Buffs
  • 81%
    Family Travelers

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  • Alcatraz CruisesPro 2014
    Travis Katz
    Member of
    Business Travelers
    Family Travelers
    Foodies
    Nightlife Lovers
    4 Aug 31, 2013

    Alcatraz is an absolute must see when you come to San Francisco. You MUST book in advance with Alcatraz Cruises, any day of the year, to get a ticket. The boat takes you from the city to the island. We did the self guided tour and found it absolutely fascinating. Plan 3-4 hours.

    Recommended for:Family TravelersHistory Buffs
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  • Alcatraz CruisesPro 2014
    Sharon "Bubz" Z
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 3
    • Foodies
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Art & Design Lovers
    5 Feb 12, 2013

    Definitely one of the most enjoyable experiences for me in the San Francisco Bay area. We purchased the Citypass for San Francisco, and the Alcatraz Cruise was an option offered to replace the standard cruise that comes with Citypass. To do the substitution, you must reserve by phone with Alcatraz instead of purchasing the Citypass independently.

    Alcatraz was definitely one of the destinations I was eager to see on this trip. The cruise line offers several different departure times, we were allowed to change our reservation to the earlier departure since it wasn't full - without hassles. The island is in full view from the pier and the cruise itself was short - only took a matter of 5 minutes to get to the island. The boat is stable, clean, modern and beautiful - it was only of the few that's completely wind/solar powered! Once we were on the island, we had plenty of time to explore, as long as we got back to the boat by the last departure. Allow yourself ample time to explore the island, there are so much to see and explore. We first joined a guided tour by an incredible animated tour guide, he introduced us to a detailed history and evolution of the island, how it came about, its original purpose, intermediate purpose and finally how it became one of the most famous prisons in US. The history was filled with many interesting and hilarious anecdotes, the guide was a great storyteller and had us laughing constantly. Then we were left off at the foot of the real prison, from there we marched up to the building that hosted the prisoners and there was an audio tour with accounts from both the warden and prisoner view of Alcatraz from many perspectives. It also included accounts about the only successful escape out of the prison. We visited the dining hall, the cells, got a short taste of solitary confinements, looked into the beautiful view of San Francisco Bay from the recreational yards of Alcatraz.

    It was an amazing experience with a taste of history. Loved it!

    Recommended for:History Buffs
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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    John H.
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 2
    • Foodies
    • Backpackers
    5 Dec 24, 2012

    A trip to San Franciso isn't really complete until you've gone on a boat to visit the former prison of Alcatraz. The Rock used to hold many famous prisoners and the tour itself is not bad. Of course, there is also the spectacular view of the city from the island as well.

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Drew M.
    First to Review
    5 Dec 20, 2012

    There are few things to be aware of when you head out to "THE ROCK," but I'd like to say that, overall, this is a phenomenal trip! Alcatraz has been on my bucket list for a while, and I fortunately got to make the trip as a visitor, not a resident.

    A few notes:
    1. There is no food on the island. You can buy greasy food at the wharf, or sandwiches and snacks on the boats. They do, however, have coffee/tea/water for sale on the island. Come prepared.

    2 . No large bags on the island. If you are traveling out of a large rucksack (as I was), you can check it at the visitor center at Pier 39 (about .5 miles / ~1km from the wharf).

    3. They will try to take your picture as you board to later sell to you. I just declined it- problem solved.

    4. Make sure you book in advance... these sell out quickly, and standby is not a guarantee.

    Other than that, the boat ride over is well orchestrated, comfortable, quick, and gorgeous. They give you an intro speech when you land, but realistically, you can just make your way to the top of the hill where you will enter the prison (it's well marked), and grab yourself an Audio Tour.

    The Audio Tour is riveting, and is narrated by ex prison guards and inmates. It is thorough and engaging. There was also a man who served time at Alcatraz in the bookstore signing books and answering questions. Pretty cool.

    This is a must-see when you come to San Fran! I want to come back and do the night tour next time!

    5 Stars.

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    J.Canes
    5 Oct 13, 2012

    It's one place you will never for get my first time there was 40 year's ago loss count how many times I visit since!

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Stace
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Backpackers
    + 2
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    4 Oct 09, 2012

    Be sure to choose this tour if you want to dock at Alcatraz. There are so many other "tours" out there but this is the only one that can actually dock on the "Rock". It's a quick 15min ride to the island. I came in Oct and neither the ride there or back was over crowded.
    Snacks and drinks can be purchased on the boat as well.

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Ying T
    4 Sep 15, 2012

    If you know you are not going to visit SF that often, try and go to Alcatraz. It has a very interesting history. Expect to spend a day here and expect it to be windy.

    Recommended for:History Buffs
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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Alfred White
    4 Jul 05, 2012

    It was exciting & kinda nerve to.it hadn't been closed long before i went.Not a place i would want to live.

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Hailey Alber
    5 Jul 05, 2012

    It was cool and fun! Crazy to think that people actually had to go to prison there and that people lived there! A blast!!

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Laura S
    4 Jul 05, 2012

    Actually had a good experience with a cruise ship...

    I ordered my tickets in advanced by 5-6 days and picked the time. It was easy ordering and the tickets weren't a bad price.

    So we got to Pier 33 early, so we figured go get something to eat. I asked one of the security guys how it works and what time to board. He said just get here before the time it says on the card 1245. I asked if I came late, what would happen? He said its ok, I'd be put on standby...

    So... we went to get food... and came 1 minute late. 12.46... and missed the boat. So we went on standby for the next one at 1:20.

    They were really nice about it and let us on.

    Nice experience with them.

    The only downside to them is the times to return to the island. 4:20 was the latest and I felt there should had been more a little bit later.

    Also, the shops close at 4pm. So sad. Stay open later!

    Good boat. Sturdy and safe :D

    Other than that, good experience.

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Snave Legrev
    3 Jul 05, 2012

    Pick your time wisely. Apparently in high season you'll need to book ahead and plan. But if the time is right, you walkin no problem. AND you get to ride on a boat!

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Rodrigo Bressane
    5 Jul 04, 2012

    This is something you must do when visiting San Francisco. The tour is amazing. Make sure you get headphones and follow the guided tour inside. The mood is incredible inside the famous former maximum security prison.

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Betty L
    5 Apr 08, 2014

    A must if you are visiting San Francisco

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    essjoy
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 6
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
    • Vegetarian
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers
    4 Feb 07, 2014

    The night cruise is fantastic!

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Corner Suite San Francisco
    5 May 24, 2013
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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Owner Recommendations
    Member of
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
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    + 2
    • Family Travelers
    • Foodies
    5 May 20, 2013
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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    JMF
    5 May 01, 2013
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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Helen Windle
    5 Jul 05, 2012

    Best tour I have ever been on

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Kevin Picholo
    Member of
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 6
    • Business Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Backpackers
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Nightlife Lovers
    4 Jul 05, 2012

    A must do tourist thing!

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  • Alcatraz Cruises
    Shelia Young
    5 Jun 28, 2012
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OverviewEdit

4.5 out of 5
30 members' reviews
1,315 people visited Alcatraz Cruises

Description

Alcatraz Cruises offers ferry service to Alcatraz Island. Tickets include boat service, tickets for the island, and an audio tour. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended - most dates sell out as much as a week in advance. Boats depart every 30-40 minutes, beginning at 9:10 a.m., 7 days per week.

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Aliases: Alcatraz tour, Tour of Alcatraz