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San Francisco Bay

Audio guides

Our most recommended San Francisco Bay Audio Guides

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

1. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Cruise around the Golden Gate Bay on a boat tour. Enjoy informative commentary, see sights like Alcatraz Island, and purchase food and drink from the onboard bar. 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 Fisherman's Wharf, 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 Golden Gate Bridge. Steam back into the Bay, traveling past the wildlife reserves of the Marin Headlands, and the legendary town of Sausalito, once home to the 1960s’ flower generation. With Angel Island State Park to your left, cruise around the infamous Alcatraz. After a full hour of exciting sights, the barking sea lions at Pier 39 welcome you back to Pier 43 1/2. A full bar with drinks, snacks, and merchandise, including logo wear, is available at reasonable prices on board the iconic red and blue sea vessels.

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 non-stop 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. See sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the iconic San Francisco skyline as you go. Whether it’s your first time to San Francisco, or your 10th visit, the Bay Cruise is something you should 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 with food and drink available to purchase.

San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

3. 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: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

4. San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Hop aboard a sightseeing bus for a tour of the City by the Bay and delve into the fascinating history of San Francisco and its legendary landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf. The hop-on-hop-off route stops at the main points of interest all around San Francisco.  Experience the diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and picturesque views from the top of an open-air sightseeing bus. Hop off anytime and create your customized itinerary at your leisure. Explore 3 routes depending on your ticket purchase. San Francisco City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Sit back and enjoy the ride as you cruise through the city on an open-top bus. Learn about the unique history of San Fransisco while passing through Chinatown, Union Square, Civic Center, and the Alamo Square.  Panoramic Night Tour Board the night bus to explore the dazzling city of San Francisco at nighttime. Climb the historic Nob Hill for a stunning close-up view of the magnificent Grace Cathedral. Then, make your way across the grand Bay Bridge for picturesque views of the city skyline from Treasure Island, the World Fair site in 1939. After heading back to the city, continue along the Embarcadero to view the glittering lights of the Port of San Francisco.

San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

5. San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

See both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on a single boat tour 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 round trip 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 Francisco by the sea.

SF: Alcatraz Ticket w/ 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Night Tour

6. SF: Alcatraz Ticket w/ 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Night Tour

See the best of San Francisco with this combined hop-on-hop-off ticket and Alcatraz Island visit. Explore the island of Alcatraz and enjoy 2 days of sightseeing with insightful commentary from a live guide. Tour the famous prison that has played a role in jailhouse folklore and the historic evolution of the West Coast. Learn more about the 14 unsuccessful escape attempts by over 30 prisoners and their fates. Your Premium Big Bus hop-on-hop-off pass is a great way to see the sights of San Francisco. Listen to commentary by live English-speaking guides, or enjoy pre-recorded audio commentary in 10 languages. Your 2-day ticket includes a full day of unlimited hop-on-hop-off and a 1-hour panoramic night tour. Explore one of San Francisco's most fascinating neighborhoods on a fun and informative walking tour of Chinatown. The tours are offered daily, and you can ask an agent for locations and time schedules. Also included are a bonus 1-hour bike rental (with the purchase of a 1-hour rental) and Players Arcade Drink and Game Tokens. Hop-on, hop-off tour stops include: Stop 1: Corner of Jefferson & Mason StreetStop 2: Holiday Inn Northpoint b/w Jones & ColumbusStop 3: Washington Square - Columbus & Union StreetsStop 4: Embarcadero Center - Corner Clay & Battery StreetsStop 5: Ferry Building - Market St b/w Stuart & Spear StreetsStop 6: Union Square South - Geary St across from Macy’sStop 7: Hilton Hotel - Corner Mason & Ellis StreetsStop 8: Civic Center - Fulton St b/w Larkin & Hyde StreetsStop 9: Alamo Square - Corner Fell & Pierce StreetsStop 10: Haight Ashbury - Haight & Shrader StreetsStop 11: Golden Gate Park - Music Concourse Drive Golden Gate ParkStop 12: Golden Gate Bridge- North Vista PointStop 13: Palace of Fine Arts - Richardson & Francisco StreetStop 14: Marina Neighborhood - Lombard & Fillmore StreetsStop 15: Lombard Street Corridor - Lombard & Gough StreetsStop 16: Union Square North - Post & Powell StreetsStop 17: Chinatown Gate - Grant and Bush StreetsStop 18: Portsmouth Square - Kearny & Clay StreetsStop 19: Pier 35 Cruise Terminal - The EmbarcaderoStop 20: Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf (then return to Stop 1)

San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise by Luxury Catamaran

7. San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise by Luxury Catamaran

Take a relaxing 90-minute round trip boat trip onboard a luxury catamaran. See sea lions, famous sights, and sunset views of San Francisco as the sun dips below the Bay. Sail by Alcatraz Island, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and past Sausalito. Search for the famous Pier 39 sea lions and other kinds of sea life playing in the ocean. Cruise along the shore, gazing on the city skyline as you watch the magnificent sunset. Relax with a complimentary drink on board 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 sights in the bracing open air.

San Francisco: Muir Woods Redwood Forest and Sausalito Tour

8. San Francisco: Muir Woods Redwood Forest and Sausalito Tour

This half-day tour begins with a pick-up from either, Hilton Union Square or Hotel Zephyr in Fisherman's Wharf. You’ll travel across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Muir Woods, where you will have up to 1.5 hours to explore the Muir Woods National Monument. Enjoy the tranquility of the forest and admire the world’s tallest redwoods. Afterwards, you’ll continue on to Sausalito where you’ll have time for lunch and to browse the boutiques and art galleries of this upscale seaside town. Stay in Sausalito as long as you like and then take a 25-minute ferry ride (fare included) from Sausalito back to San Francisco. Enjoy stunning views of the city from the ferry on San Francisco Bay. You’ll make your way back to your hotel when you arrive back in San Francisco.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge Cruise and Alcatraz Tour

9. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge Cruise and Alcatraz Tour

Discover the beauty of San Francisco Bay on a catamaran cruise. Take in the views of the city’s skyline as you sail by Alcatraz Island and under the Golden Gate Bridge. Feel the sea breeze in your hair, and keep a look out for sea lions. Admire your surroundings from a protected viewing area, or 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 that you sail past. Complete the trip by taking the helm from the captain for a chance to steer the boat yourself. 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 or thirsty, there are snacks, soda, beer, and wine available at the snack bar. See San Francisco's skyline like never before on this incredible sailing adventure. The second part of your half-day combination package is a ferry ride and a stop to visit the notorious Alcatraz Prison, which served as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963, housing criminals such as Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the Birdman. Take the award-winning 45-minute cell-house audio tour, and hear the tales of those who lived there. This tour brings history to life through the recounting of stories from correctional officers and prisoners. Please note that the catamaran cruise does not stop at Alcatraz Island. You will receive a separate ticket for the ferry from San Francisco's Pier 33 to Alcatraz Island. You will receive a final confirmation with the exact time of your departure for Alcatraz 4 days prior to your trip by e-mail.

San Francisco: City Tour and Alcatraz Entrance Ticket Combo

10. San Francisco: City Tour and Alcatraz Entrance Ticket Combo

Explore San Francisco on a bus tour to sights like Twin Peaks, the Fisherman's Wharf, and Chinatown. Uncover the city's chilling past with entry tickets and an award-winning audio tour of Alcatraz island.  Hop aboard an airconditioned coach for a 4-hour guided tour of San Francisco. Have the chance to get off the bus and experience the sights for yourself at each stop along the way. See San Francisco as you’ve never seen it before with the tour commentary. Head to key locations, enjoy great views, and visit famous attractions, including the Golden Gate Bridge. Stop at Twin Peaks for breathtaking, 360-degree views of the city from 1000 feet above sea level. Go to iconic districts like Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown. Board the ferry and sail to the notorious Alcatraz island. Download the audio tour to your smartphone and be immersed in stories about prisoners like Capone.

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Frequently asked questions about San Francisco Bay Audio Guides

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco Bay

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What people are saying about San Francisco Bay

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,489 reviews

We loved every minute of this cruise. The crew were so down to earth and easy to get along with. It was fun being able to sit in the captain's chair and have them take some pictures of us. The first drink was included and the crew came around and took our order. It is much more fun being on a cruise with a smaller number of guests, which allows the crew to be much more personal. The cruise takes you right up and under the Golden Gate Bridge. We got fantastic photos and were lucky the weather was great and the skies were clear and free of fog.

Hans, Bryan and all the crew on the adventure cat were outstanding. Welcoming, friendly, and super fun! We had an amazing time sailing on the bay. It gets cold! But that’s what open air sailing is all about. 10/10 would recommend - one of our absolute favorite things we did in San Francisco.

Amazing cruise and very informative tour about the Bay Area and near by places. Would definitely recommend this tour. Remember to carry a hoodie as it gets cold on the upper deck.

This cruise was a great value for the money. The audio was great and the views were amazing. I highly suggest this cruise to see see a different view of the city.

Great way to learn more about San Fran with great views