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SAN FRANCISCO’s BEST ●Attractions●Tours


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Alcatraz Cruises
operates boat tours of Alcatraz Island.

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image courtesy of venue
Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Tours  Departs from Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf.  Fee.  This 1-hour narrated cruise of the bay goes out under the world’s most beautiful bridge--the Golden Gate--and also passes close to Alcatraz Island.  Other boat tours include Angel Island, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Sausalito, and Tiburon.

Hornblower Cruises and The San Francisco Spirit operate scenic dining cruises.

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image courtesy of venue
Red and White Fleet  Departs from Pier 43, at Fisherman's Wharf.  Fee.  In operation since 1892, this historic family-owned fleet provides a variety of multilingual bay cruises.  Among the choices are a short 1-hour cruise that goes under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island and a 2-hour sunset cruise with live guitar music and hearty appetizers. 

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image courtesy of venue
RocketBoat  Departs from Pier 39.  Fee.  May-Oct.  Hang on tight for this 30-minute speedboat tour of the city's historic waterfront. You’ll sail past the sea lions, zoom to the Bay Bridge, fly down to AT&T Park, scream past Treasure Island, and breeze by Alcatraz.  There are several pauses so you can catch your breath and snap a few photos.

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image courtesy of venue
Ruby Sailing Yacht  At foot of Mariposa St./near 3rd St.  Reservations required.  Fee.  Captain Joshua Pryor built the 64-foot steel sloop Ruby himself in 1979.  He also sails her himself.  A 2-hour lunch cruise circles Alcatraz, and guests can dine on deli sandwiches either on the deck or below in the salon.  An evening trip sails to Sausalito and includes hors d’oeuvres.  Beer and wine are available at additional charge. 

Whale-Watching Tours  Departs from Fort Mason Center, Marina District.  Must be 10 or older.  Reservations required.  Fee.  Sponsored by the non-profit Oceanic Society Expeditions, these all-day trips have a professional naturalist on board to instruct about the whales and interpret their behavior. Half-day trips depart from Princeton-by-the-Sea. 
          Farallon Islands Nature Cruises take participants 25 miles across the Pacific Ocean from the Golden Gate Bridge to this National Wildlife Refuge.  These islands support the largest seabird rookery in the eastern Pacific south of Alaska and are the habitat of 200,000 nesting sea birds--including tufted puffins, loons, and auklets—as well as sea lions and seals.

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Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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