San Francisco
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended San Francisco Cruises & Boat Tours

  • San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

    1. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

    Launched in 1939 as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition, this 1-hour cruise has been a highlight of any visit to San Francisco for over 75 years. With 8-14 departures daily from 10:00, you will sail along San Francisco's breathtaking waterfront, under the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, and close to the notorious Alcatraz Island. Discover San Francisco's fascinating history, brought to life through audio commentary broadcast in 16 languages via personal headphones. Look out for wildlife along the way, including pelicans, sea lions, and even dolphins and whales. Sail past the lively neighborhood of North Beach, the famous swimming clubs of Aquatic Park, the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier, and San Francisco Maritime National Park, before heading west towards Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy views of Crissy Field and the lush hillsides of the Presidio, before cruising under Golde...

    Great experience. There are restrooms and a bar with snacks on board. It was a nice relaxing and educational tour to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz island. Everyone was friendly. I would recommend 100%!!

  • San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

    2. San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

    Enjoy a 1-hour journey along San Francisco's historic waterfront and experience the thrilling history of the San Francisco Bay, with all the sound and glory it deserves. The 1-hour Bay Cruise takes you past the famous PIER 39 sea lions and along San Francisco’s historic waterfront, revealing the city’s fascinating skyline. Relax in comfort, with both indoor and outdoor seating, and enjoy a full narration describing major landmarks as you sail by. Whether it’s your first time to San Francisco, or your 10th visit, the Bay Cruise is something you simply must experience at least once in your life. You will get a complimentary souvenir map, which is available in nine languages, and if you get hungry, there’s a full-service snack bar on board.

    Exactly what I expected. We were late getting to our schedule time and was graciously accommodated at a new time slot.

  • San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

    3. San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

    See both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 1 cruise with personal headphone audio included. Explore San Francisco's famous landmarks, history, natural history, architecture, and Native American culture on board this unique bay cruise. During the 90-minute cruise you'll depart from Fisherman's Wharf, one of the city's busiest tourist attractions. From there, sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. Completed in 1937, the Golden Gate is one of the world's most famous and beautiful bridges, and was at one point the largest suspension bridge in the world. Cruise past Alcatraz Island, once home of one of the world's most infamous prisons, and take the chance to enjoy the stunning San Francisco waterfront. The boat will pass along the harbor before heading under the colossal San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Then it's time to head back to the charming city of San F...

    The crew was very helpful getting my husband on and off the boat. He is in a wheelchair. I wish he could have give up too, more to set up there. We enjoyed the audio tour which was broadcast over the ship. I learned a lot about the bridges and the surrounding areas.

  • San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

    4. San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

    Cruise San Francisco Bay and sail under the Golden Gate Bridge on a 90-minute narrated tour 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. 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.

    This was a fun trip! I do wish someone would of warned us about how windy and cold it is if you sit on the outside deck. A winter coat and hat, at least, would of created a more comfortable experience. It did seem like the cruise was generous with the time. The only thing I would change is that when circling around Alkatraz that circling around at oppsite directions so that BOTH sides of the boat can get the good, unobstructed view. If you want an unobstructed view sit on the right hand side of the boat. Otherwise we enjoyed this cruise very much. Thank you!

  • San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise by Luxury Catamaran

    5. San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise by Luxury Catamaran

    Enjoy this relaxing 90-minute cruise on board a luxury catamaran and see sunset views of San Francisco as the sun dips below the San Francisco Bay. Sail by Alcatraz Island and under the Golden Gate Bridge, and search for sea lions playing in the ocean. Then, cruise along the shore, gazing on the city skyline as you watch the magnificent sunset.

    Relax onboard either a 55- or 65-foot catamaran. Both come complete with a protected viewing area, providing panoramic 360-degree viewing, in addition to canvas trampoline nets for the more adventurous who want to experience the ocean and sights in the bracing open air.

    the crew was very informative and prepared for our trip, even providing extra jackets if needed

  • San Francisco: Luxury Dinner Dance Cruise

    6. San Francisco: Luxury Dinner Dance Cruise

    Think of this as date night with a delicious, dynamic twist: When the sun sets and city lights twinkle from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate, your Dinner Dance Cruise kicks into high gear. A three-course sit-down meal includes appetizers, salad, a choice of entrée, and dessert, while live music and dancing round out this ideal sightseeing trip or special evening out. Highlights of this tour include Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, Tiburon and Sausalito, the Bay Bridge and San Francisco's piers and city skyline.

    This is a time / money / fun best choice . The team is profesional and ambiance pleasant . Chose best price and extras also . You can realy dance . Good for a event . Also a small gift from them to remeber the trip. In recommand . Look for coupons discount .

  • San Francisco: Waterfront Guided Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

    7. San Francisco: Waterfront Guided Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

    Meet your guide at the north end of Fisherman's Wharf at 9:30 AM 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 it's 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 fr...

    Dara Mihaly, our tour guide was knowledgeable and friendly. She provided a great experience with historical information that was fascinating. I would highly recommend her for any tourists.

  • San Francisco Bay: Adventure Boat Tour

    8. San Francisco Bay: Adventure Boat Tour

    Travel along the San Francisco Bay in a small group on a boat tour. Travel faster and go farther out into the bay than most other boat tours. You will be as close as possible to the sights and wildlife, in a personal setting.  Depart from the world famous Pier 39. You will be outfitted with weather appropriate gear to keep you warm and dry from the occasional splash. 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. This small group boat tour is limited...

    This was a great trip! We got to see the bay and all the sites. Captain Charles was great telling us all the history of the area. I highly recommend this trip.

  • San Francisco: Alcatraz Tickets and Chinatown Walking Tour

    9. San Francisco: Alcatraz Tickets and Chinatown Walking Tour

    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 ...

    I really enjoyed learning about Chinatown, Little Italy and Alcatraz. The tour guid was amazing and very informal.

  • San Francisco: Muir Woods, Sausalito and SF Bay Cruise

    10. San Francisco: Muir Woods, Sausalito and SF Bay Cruise

    Cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and after you motor through the “Rainbow Tunnels” on Hwy. 101, Marin’s unique topography comes into view. Tidal flats along the bay segue into gentle undulating hills as they rise to meet Mt. Tamalpais, Marin’s 2,600-foot landmark. As your tour ascends Mt. Tam, breathtaking views abound at every turn. Descending into the valley toward Muir Woods, you will see a landscape that hasn’t changed since its original inhabitants, the Coast Miwok Indians, lived here centuries ago. You will have 1-1/4 hour to spend in Muir Woods, the most time offered on any sightseeing tour program. There will be ample time to stroll the Nature Trail along picturesque Redwood Creek, and through Cathedral and Bohemian Groves, filled with 500 to 800-year-old redwoods. Be sure to stop at the Visitors Center and Gift Shop. The next s...

    My tour guide was well informed and kept us up on historical events throughout the tour. He was a great driver on a very twisty road. Our bus was more comfortable than others I’ve been on

Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco

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What people are saying about San Francisco

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,705 reviews

The cruise started at 11am. We traveled west along the shore line and the narrator described all the pertinent landmarks including the Presidio, the forts and the Palace of Fine Arts. We passed the Golden Gate Bridge and the view was amazing. On the way back we saw Sausalito, Angel Island, Alcatraz and more of the San Francisco cityscape. This cruise should be a requirement for any first time visitor.

The crew was very helpful getting my husband on and off the boat. He is in a wheelchair. I wish he could have give up too, more to set up there. We enjoyed the audio tour which was broadcast over the ship. I learned a lot about the bridges and the surrounding areas.

This was a great trip! We got to see the bay and all the sites. Captain Charles was great telling us all the history of the area. I highly recommend this trip.

Very nice- the people was very friendly with my mom she walked slowly and then was patient,thanks for everything

the crew was very informative and prepared for our trip, even providing extra jackets if needed