Alcatraz Cruises in San Francisco, CA

Pier 33, Alcatraz LandingSan Francisco, CA 94111
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Overview

Walk the legendary halls of Alcatraz, where notorious criminals including Al “Scarface” Capone, and “Birdman” Robert Stroud once did time for their iconic crimes. See how inmates lived day-to-day in the mysterious prison while learning about famous escape attempts, the prison’s history, and the backstories of the criminals who called Alcatraz home.

Description

from Alcatraz Cruises
Visit San Francisco's most notorious site: Alcatraz.
The rich history of Alcatraz Island means there is always something new to discover. See the first lighthouse on the West Coast, learn about Alcatraz as a Civil War fort, hear voices from the past on the cellhouse audio tour, find out about the 19-month occupation of Alcatraz by Indians of all tribes, and explore the natural side of the Rock with beautiful gardens, bird colonies, and breathtaking views.

All tickets include roundtrip ferry transportation, all regularly scheduled Ranger-led or docent guided tours, and a captivating audio tour in the prison cellhouse with actual interviews of former guards and inmates who lived on the island during the infamous Federal Penitentiary era (available in 11 languages - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Dutch, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian).
Alcatraz Island is truly an inescapable experience.

Alcatraz and history go hand in hand. Once home to some of America's most notorious criminals, the federal penitentiary that operated here from 1934 to 1963 brought a dark mystique to the Rock. The presence of infamous inmates like Al "Scarface" Capone, and the "Birdman" Robert Stroud helped to establish the island's notoriety. To this day, Alcatraz is best known as one of the world's most legendary prisons.

Many people, though, are unaware of the wealth of other stories to be learned on the island. Alcatraz is now home to rare flowers and plants, marine wildlife, and thousands of roosting and nesting sea birds. Civil War-era buildings dotting the island give insight into the 19th century when the island served as both a harbor defense fort and a military prison. You can also see visible reminders of the American Indian Occupation that started in 1969 after the prison closed, highlighting an important milestone in the American Indian rights movement.

Come experience the beauty, history and infamy of Alcatraz on the San Francisco Bay. You'll be astounded by what you learn and see.

Government Issued Photo ID are REQUIRED for ALL Adults (18+ yrs) to pick up tickets.

Tripster Customer Reviews

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Bookworm3000
"Been waiting on a refund for 3 months"
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed June 01, 2020 NEW
I am so heartbroken because I love Alcatraz, but I spent 120 dollars on tickets in March and that money still hasn’t been refunded. I have emailed them and live chatted, and I’ve been given the copy and pasted response that I’m “in the queue” for a refund. Meanwhile, their site says they’re selling tickets again for June. You shouldn’t be selling tickets until you refund everyone else’s money. This company is handling this terribly.
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Pamela483
Glasgow, United Kingdom
"Avoid Avoid Avoid - STILL NO REFUND!"
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed May 26, 2020 NEW
Covid19 is a difficult time for everyone, but this doesn't give any company reason to lie, provide atrocious customer service, or to put it plainly LIE. I contacted them on 13 March to cancel when it became clear that I would not be able to travel to San Franciso. I processed by cancellation and nearly 10 weeks later I still don't have my refund. What's worse, they are stilll taking bookings and there's no information on the website (that's helpful). I did get an email saying my request was in a queue to be processed and it would take up to 6 weeks so WHERE'S MY MONEY?
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LucyCGreenhill
Stanstead Abbotts, United Kingdom
"Avoid booking with these scammers at all costs!"
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed May 13, 2020 NEW
Avoid booking with this company, worst customer service I have ever experienced! Sadly we had to cancel our trip due to COVID, promised a refund over 9 weeks ago, said I would receive within 14 days, still no sign of it and when contacting customer service they have no clue when I will see my money. Highly disappointed with this company and would not recommend!
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603rs
Birmingham, United Kingdom
"Terrible. Still awaiting refund"
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed May 06, 2020 NEW
Our trip was cancelled when the U.K. travel ban began. Refund requested on 9th March. I was told it would be paid on the 27th March. Still awaiting. Terrible service, they aren’t even responding to emails.
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Jdog1245
"STILL WAITING FOR REFUND "
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed April 29, 2020
We were the very first group to be cancelled, we were actually in the queue to get on the boat when the parks authority shut it down on 14/3. I went to the kiosk and they processed my refund there and then (along with everyone else). The money has never appeared back onto my credit card. Rubbish excuses from the company and I am very disappointed. Alcatraz cruises are the only company from our trip that have not refunded our money.
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Alcatraz Cruises is located at Pier 33, Alcatraz LandingSan Francisco, CA 94111
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Frequently Asked Questions about Alcatraz Cruises

How long is the experience?
Allow about 3 hours for the entire experience including sailing to and from the island.

What should I wear?
The weather on Alcatraz is unpredictable and liable to change unexpectedly, so be prepared by bringing along a light jacket or sweater. The best recommendation is always to dress in layers. Wear rain gear during wet winter months. Wear comfortable walking shoes with grip-type soles. Avoid wearing sandals, leather-soled shoes, high heels and open-toe shoes.

Is Alcatraz Island accessible?
Much of Alcatraz is steep and hilly, so be prepared for walking long distances uphill. The distance from the dock to the prison at the top of the island is about 1/4 mile and the elevation change is 130 feet. This is equivalent to climbing a thirteen story building. Please be prepared for this walk by wearing comfortable walking shoes.

Visitors unable to make the climb up Alcatraz's roads may take advantage of SEAT  –Sustainable Easy Access Transport, an electric shuttle that meets each scheduled arrival at the Alcatraz dock and transports visitors requiring mobility assistance from the dock to the prison building. SEAT returns visitors requiring mobility assistance from the prison building back to the dock at regular intervals throughout the day. Visitors requiring mobility assistance may be accompanied by one attendant in their party if space is available. Families with small children and strollers cannot be accommodated on SEAT. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

The following areas are entirely wheelchair accessible:

  • Alcatraz dock area
  • Prison building main floor
  • All bookstores
  • Museum displays
  • Island theater
  • Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing
  • All Alcatraz Cruises vessels

Is parking available?
There is no parking on Pier 33. However, there is plenty of parking around the pier. There are fifteen commercial lots with a five-block radius of Alcatraz Landing at Pier 33, with a total of more than 3,000 parking spaces. The closest and most convenient lot is at 80 Francisco at Kearny, just one block away, across the Embarcadero from Alcatraz Landing.

Do note that metered parking is available around Fisherman’s Wharf but can be difficult to find and acquire.

Can children participate in the tour?
Yes. However, minors under the age of 18 are not allowed to tour Alcatraz Island without the accompaniment of an adult. An adult must be with them at all times while on their tour of Alcatraz Island.

Can I bring luggage/coolers/oversized backpacks or packages to Alcatraz Island?
No. Luggage, coolers, oversized backpacks or packages are not allowed on Alcatraz Island due to safety concerns. In addition, there are no storage facilities in the Pier 33 area. Alcatraz Cruises does not store luggage for ticketed passengers. Please make arrangements for the storage of luggage and oversized items prior to arriving at Alcatraz Landing. Ticketed passengers arriving at Alcatraz Landing with luggage, coolers, oversized backpacks and packages may not be able to visit Alcatraz Island.

What time do we come back from the Island?
You can stay on Alcatraz Island as long as you like, multiple ferries depart the Island each day. The ride from Alcatraz Island to Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing is approximately 12-15 minutes. Boats are loaded on a first-come-first-serve basis.

What is the best time of year to visit the Island?
To avoid crowds, schedule your visit during the first two weeks of November, the first two weeks of December, and anytime during the winter months of January through March.

To experience the nicest weather, plan your Alcatraz visit for April-May or September-October. (Surprisingly, summer actually brings cold and foggy weather to San Francisco and the Island.)