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San Francisco

Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended San Francisco Cruises & Boat Tours

San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

1. 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: Yosemite National Park & Giant Sequoias Hike

2. San Francisco: Yosemite National Park & Giant Sequoias Hike

Experience both the Yosemite Valley and the Giant Sequoia Walk on this day tour. See why artists and poets have been inspired for generations by the breathtaking sceneries at the national park. Since 1890, the beautiful Yosemite National Park has been the jewel of America's National Parks, possessing some of the best-known landmarks in the world, such as the tallest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls. Have 5 to 6 hours to explore the stunning national park, and take in the majestic natural wonders, accompanied by a complimentary audio-guided tour. See the spectacular Half Dome and El Capitan, two of the most frequently climbed cliffs in the world. It is also home to several groves of stunning Giant Sequoia trees, the largest trees on earth. The Giant Sequoia Walk is along 1 mile (1.5 km) of paved trail with a 400 ft (120 m) incline, snow depth permitting. On a group tour, view stunning panoramas, go on walks, and even hike a little, before returning to San Francisco. Or if you prefer, upgrade to a private tour for your group only.

From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

3. From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

Indulge yourself in luxury on this full-day tour of California’s wine regions from San Francisco. Visit 3 different wineries for tasting and a tour, and enjoy a stop at historic Downtown Sonoma Square. Take in panoramic views of California on the way toward Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, 2 of Northern California’s famous wine regions. Enjoy the services as a professional guide for a tour featuring wine tastings at 3 of the local partner's favorite wineries. At each winery, learn about wine-making techniques on a tour of the estate, and enjoy extraordinary wines at your tastings. In addition to visiting wineries, your professional guide will take you to see other famous sites in California’s wine country, including a lunch stop at the historic Downtown Sonoma Square. Here, enjoy eclectic dining options and boutique shopping during your lunch break. You also have the option to book this trip to include lunch at a local restaurant in the middle of the historic Square in Downtown Sonoma. Enjoy items from a variety of Californian-inspired dishes with appetizer, entree, beverage, tax, and gratuities all included.

San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

4. 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.

Silicon Valley Private Tour

5. Silicon Valley Private Tour

In just 4 hours you will see Facebook, Apple, Google, and any other company you wish to see. Besides the famous high-tech companies you will also have the opportunity to visit Stanford University. Traveling by private car, enjoy the comfort of seeing the places you want to see without worrying about your departure or arrival times. Learn more about the famous landmarks with a reliable service, offering maximum security and, most of all, the best level of hospitality in the industry. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in San Francisco (pick-ups in other cities in the Bay Area are available on arrangement), get recommendations on the best places to stop to take pictures or explore further - you decide where you want to go.

From San Francisco: Muir Woods & Sausalito Group Tour

6. From San Francisco: Muir Woods & Sausalito Group Tour

Starting from San Francisco, this guided tour takes you to Muir Woods National Monument and Sausalito. Discover the mystery of 300-feet tall redwood and sequoia trees at Muir Woods before stopping in Sausalito to sightsee, shop, and more. After pickup, start your tour with a scenic and informative drive to the Golden Gate Bridge through several of the best San Francisco neighborhoods as well as the presidio, a former military area of great beauty. Crossing the GG Bridge, stop at the northern vista point for stunning views of the bay and the bridge. Scenic views continue as the tour passes above the town of Sausalito and through portions of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Mount Tamalpais State Park, which merge with Muir Woods. Arriving in Muir Woods National Monument, your guide will inform you of the best way to experience the grove and where the oldest trees are located. An approximately 1 hour and 15 minute stay gives you time to see much of the grove and to explore the gift shop, café, and visitor center. Included in the tour is a stop in Sausalito to enjoy the art galleries, shops, cafes, restaurants, and yacht marinas. Views from Sausalito include the Bay Bridge, parts of the east bay, and San Francisco. After about an hour in Sausalito, you’ll get driven back to your hotel. Alternatively, if you want more time in Sausalito, a ferry boat, taxi, Lyft, or Uber service back to San Francisco can be arranged at your own expense.

San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

7. 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.

San Francisco: Muir Woods Redwoods and Wine Country Tour

8. San Francisco: Muir Woods Redwoods and Wine Country Tour

See the giant sequoia trees at Muir Woods National Monument and discover California's Wine Country on this San Francisco day trip with pickup. Walk in the shadows of the world's tallest trees before enjoying wine tastings at 3 wineries in the Sonoma and Napa valleys. Begin your morning with a convenient pickup at most San Francisco hotels. Take the the scenic drive to California's premier wine country as the tour crosses the Golden Gate Bridge on its way to a unique experience. Walk under and admire giant sequoia trees at Muir Woods National Park. Enjoy a comfortable ride to your first winery experience. Witness the golden scenery as your tour guide shares stories from the region's early winemaking history and prepares you for day that includes touring, tasting, and relaxing at three boutique wineries with characters representative of Napa and Sonoma valleys. Visit three wineries that have been carefully selected to include welcoming presentations by winemakers and educators about their vineyard, winemaking process, and unique features of their wines - most of which are only available for purchase at the winery. At midday, enjoy a generous lunch break and explore the boutique shops, history, and restaurants that surround the charming Sonoma Plaza. Finish the trip together with a memory making photo stop at the Golden Gate Bridge before being dropped off at your San Francisco hotel.

From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

9. From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

Discover the wine-making traditions of Napa and Sonoma on a full-day scenic tour from San Francisco. Enjoy panoramic views along the coast and stop at 3 wineries for tasting. Traveling in small groups, drive to the Golden Gate Bridge - stopping for a photo opportunity - and continue to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, home to acclaimed Californian wines and artisanal cheeses. Following magnificent views of San Francisco Bay and the Marin Headlands, journey through the rolling hills of Napa and Sonoma. Stop at 3 different wineries to taste several different types of wine, and learn about the area and its wine production history. During the day, you will also make a lunch stop at the gourmet Oxbow Public Market in Napa, where plenty of delicious food options await, along with the chance to try more wines for the true afficionado.

San Francisco: Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods, & Sausalito Tour

10. San Francisco: Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods, & Sausalito Tour

See the giant redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument and stroll through the picturesque city of Sausalito on a guided tour from San Francisco. Choose to extend your time in Sausalito and return by ferry, or rent a bike to explore on 2 wheels. Meet your guide in San Francisco and board the bus to begin your experience. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge as you leave the city, and pass through the Rainbow Tunnels on Highway 101. Admire the views of tidal flats and rolling hills, with Mount Tamalpais in the distance. Arrive at Muir Woods National Monument, where you’ll spend 1 hour and 15 minutes exploring. Stroll through the landscape of giant sequoia trees, unchanged since the Coast Miwok Native American tribe lived here centuries ago. Follow the Nature Trail along Redwood Creek, passing 500- to 800-year-old redwoods. Wander through Cathedral and Bohemian Groves. Be sure to stop at the Visitor Center and the gift shop for more gems. Continue onto Sausalito, a coastal community filled with elegant homes that face the bay. Enjoy a 1-hour stop to explore the city, which has unrivaled views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline. See the unique colony of floating homes moored along the waterfront. Walk through the downtown area — a National Historic Landmark District —  passing quaint boutique shops, galleries, and restaurants. Select the option including the Sausalito ferry, to enjoy a scenic 1-way ferry trip back to San Francisco. Upgrade your activity with a 4-hour bike rental to extend your time in Fisherman's Wharf. With this option, you can explore at your own pace and return to San Francisco at your leisure.

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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 freedom to explore was wonderful (albeit short) - we had a good group that was reliable for each return, which motivated everyone. The driver Rob was absolutely amazing and engaging with us. (Though please provide improved equipment. The microphone in the bus was really bad and people in the back had difficulties to understand half of what was said. A lot of the 'Audio guide experience' was lost because of it. This was a bit unfortunate. But since it was a technical aspect, the driver had no influence on said technical difficulties)

Cynthia was a great tour guide! We easily made friends with her and she facilitated a friendly rapport among the group! She knew a lot of history about the neighborhood and all its Italian restaurants. We never would have learned all their back stories had we just been walking around ourselves. Very enjoyable! We recommend whole heartedly!

Loved Muir woods, so peaceful to explore. Nice way to reset by enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the woods. Sausalito was a good spot for lunch. The tour guide Joe taught us lots about San Francisco. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole day.

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.

Very good tour & strongly recommend . Guide - Fred was brilliant, he was very courteous & professional.