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Alcatraz

  • San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)

  • https://www.nps.gov
  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 18 March, 2024

A mile-and-a-half offshore in the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz – or ‘The Rock’ as its residents affectionately dubbed it – was one of America’s highest-security prisons until it shut down in 1963 (the razor-sharp cliffs and frigid waters were enough to deter most escape plans).

Nowadays, visitors can hop on the ferry at Perry 33 and tour the accommodations once occupied by Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Luckily, overnight visitors are no longer accepted.

Logistics

Price from: £35
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The only way to reach the Rock is by catching Alcatraz Cruise’s Alcatraz Ferry at Pier 33. During high season, ferries leave almost every half-hour between 9am and 7pm.

Alcatraz tickets often sell out, and booking ahead is essential.

Different tours are available depending on your desired departure time, and ticket prices include both the ferry roundtrip and guided tour. Tours (2.5 hours including return journey) include a ranger tour and a 45-minute audio presentation. It’s also possible to do a longer 5.5 hour tour combining visits to Alcatraz and Angel Island, where guests are taken on a one-hour narrated tram tour.

When to do it

Tours run all year round, daily. During high season, ferries leave almost every half-hour between 9am and 7pm.

Night tours, leaving pre-dusk, are the most comprehensive, and have a decidedly spooky feel. As a bonus, you can enjoy the lovely sight of the sun setting over San Francisco.

Early Bird and Day Tours use audio tour, and are less intimate and interesting than the guided Night Tours. Early Bird Tours are the least crowded, departing 8.45am.

Who to go with: organised tours

10

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • San Francisco

You get to see everything in one day! All the main sites in San Francisco, a lunch break in Sausalito, and a walk around Muir Woods. If you have selected the Alcatraz option, you will take a ferry ride to Alcatraz Island in the afternoon for the Official Alcatraz Tour. 8am – Depart Fisherman’s Wharf 8-9:30am – Explore San Francisco’s BEST neighborhoods! You will be treated to entertaining stories about the neighborhoods and several photo stops. 9:30-11am – Explore Muir Woods You will have 75 minutes among some of the last remaining coastal redwoods in the world! 11am-12pm – Lunch in Sausalito Enjoy lunch in the quaint town of Sausalito where you can shop and explore! 1:30pm - If you have selected the Alcatraz option, you will be dropped off at Pier 33 for the Official Alcatraz Tour! For those not going to Alcatraz, you will be dropped off at the same location as your meeting point.

Price $109

Min age 0

Rating 4.84 / 5 [841 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • San Francisco

Combine inside Alcatraz with an assigned time same day visit to Muir Woods with Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy a hybrid of light driver narration with bridge history and Alcatraz Escape presentations. This tour includes: Assigned By Us: Muir Wood Van departure time (70+ minute) Assigned By Us: Alcatraz Island Admission Time Slot (2.5+ hours) Golden Gate Bridge stop (15+ minutes) We will assign your time in advance. We will assign a random time slot as early as 6:45am or as late as 5pm in peak times. VIP James Woods Road Trip Upgrade: Our full Muir Woods Express plus bonus time in Sausalito with brunch credit. Guests will be returned to Wharf by van or scheduled Sausalito ferry. Some dates will start by ferry in Sausalito then Muir Woods and Golden Gate. We will advise. 645am Early Bird: Get there before the crowds do! Enjoy nature as it was intended with silence! We are often the first tour group there! Enjoy $10 Brunch credit after Muir Woods at our chosen vendor.

Price $128

Min age 0

Rating 4.78 / 5 [242 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • San Francisco

Why Choose Us? Because we are unconditionally committed to excellence in all we do We offer new custom tours and exclusive outdoor adventures We specialize in private tours and provide high quality travel services Certified local business and hundreds of five–star reviews Reliable, passionate, professional and multilingual tour guides Complimentary services and all-inclusive tour packages Luxury 4WD SUVs and top-of-the-line vehicles Go where you want to go, travel your way and at your pace Quality products, great values and no hidden fees All applicable taxes and entrance fees included Luxury excursions and VIP travel services à la carte Refreshments and breakfast or champagne included (Balloon rides) Expert photographers and hiking tour leaders available Family-friendly tour operator, you will not be disappointed!

Price $393

Min age 0

Rating 4.95 / 5 [234 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • San Francisco

This urban adventure in San Francisco takes you around the city in a safari-style open-air vehicle, then drops you off at the ferry to Alcatraz Island for the cellhouse audio tour. On this uniquely crafted sightseeing tour limited to 12 people, you will see renowned landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and hear quirky stories about the city as an entertaining guide drives your custom vehicle through SF's distinctive neighborhoods. After the four hour city tour, your tour guide will drop you off at Pier 33 where you will catch the ferry to Alcatraz Island. Most guests spend two to three hours at their leisure enjoying the audio walking tour of the former federal penitentiary known as ‘the Rock’. Hotel pickup is included.

Price $180

Min age 0

Rating 4.92 / 5 [209 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • San Francisco

Combining Muir Woods and Alcatraz affords the client the opportunity to experience and see 3 major destination points. * Golden Gate Bridge * Muir Woods National Monument * Alcatraz Island The first leg of the tour will start with a guided bus tour over the Golden Gate Bridge. We make our way to Muir Woods National Monument. The the route taken affords the client beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco skyline, and the surrounding bay. After Muir Woods, the tour will return to San Francisco and drop the clients off at Pier 33 "Alcatraz Landing". Here the clients will catch their scheduled ferry to Alcatraz Island. The Ferry ride is approximately 30 minutes in length. The unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco SkyLine, the Bay Bridge as well as all the geographical phenomena unique to the "Bay" make for prime photo opportunities.

Price $141

Min age 1

Rating 4.56 / 5 [175 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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