FAQ : Alcatraz Night Tour with Bay Cruise

Tour Information and Logistics

How long can I spend on Alcatraz Island?

You can spend as long as you wish as long as it fits your schedule. While you will be booked on a specific departure time to Alcatraz Island, you may take any ferry back to Pier 33 after you’ve finished your visit until the last available ferry. The last available ferry for the nighttime tour is at 9:25pm.

How long is the San Francisco Bay Cruise?

The Bay Cruise (separate from the Alcatraz cruise) lasts 1 hour.

Are your tours guided/narrated?

Your Alcatraz tour will be self-guided, but you will have an award-winning cellhouse audio guide to lead you through the various parts of the prison. The languages offered are: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Guiding is not allowed on Alcatraz, but the audio guide is excellent, filled with history and stories of the inmates and we think it’s even better than a live guide!

Your Bay Cruise tour will also have narration in English. You may also request an audio guide in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, German and Taiwanese. Please bring your Wi-Fi enabled device to access the tour.

Does your Alcatraz tour include an audio guide? If so, which languages are offered?

Yes! Included in your ticket is the award-winning cellhouse audio guide, offered in multiple languages. The languages offered are: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Meeting Point and Drop-Off Information

What is the meeting point and start time of this tour?

The time that you book is the departure time for your Alcatraz tour. Your Alcatraz tour departs from Alcatraz Landing at Pier 33. Your Bay Cruise departs from Pier 39. You may take the Bay Cruise anytime you wish and you will be emailed a schedule prior to your tour. Note that these are two separate tours.

What vehicle should I be looking for at the meeting point?

For Alcatraz and Bay Cruise tours, there is no pick-up. You will board the boat directly at the meeting point.

How far in advance should I arrive at the meeting point?

For both the Alcatraz and the Bay Cruise tours, please arrive at least 30 minutes in advance of your departure time.

How do I get to the meeting point with public transportation?

We recommend using Google Maps to plan your route with public transportation as it depends on where you’re coming from. Pier 33 and Pier 39 are accessible by the F Line Muni train.

Is there parking at the meeting point?

Parking in San Francisco can be a challenge, so we recommend taking public transportation or a taxi/ride share service. However there are parking garages in Fisherman’s Wharf.

  • For Pier 33 the closest parking garages in Fisherman’s Wharf are located at 55 Francisco Street and 80 Francisco Street.
  • For Pier 39 the closest parking garage is the Pier 39 garage, located at the intersection of Beach Street and Stockton Street.

Ticket Information

How far in advance should I book my tickets?

We always recommend booking as early as possible to guarantee a spot on our tours. Alcatraz is one of the most popular destinations and can even sell out months in advance, so we highly recommend booking as early as you can.

When will I receive my Alcatraz and Bay Cruise tickets and how can I redeem them?

You will receive your Alcatraz tickets with a QR code the day before your tour. Once you arrive at Pier 33, simply go to the boarding line with your ticket to board the boat. You will receive your Bay Cruise voucher the day before your tour along with a list of scheduled departure times. You may choose any time that suits your schedule. Exchange your voucher for your ticket at the Pier 39 ticket booth.

Do I need a printed voucher for my tours?

You do not need to print your tickets as long as you can access them on a mobile device, such as your iPhone or Android.

Can I use my National Parks Pass for Alcatraz?

The Alcatraz tour is not included with the National Parks Pass.

What to Bring

What should I wear and bring on your tours?

While the weather is mild in San Francisco, we are known for our foggy mornings and evenings and it can be especially cold on the Bay. Muir Woods can also be quite chilly especially in the mornings. We recommend bringing layers and a jacket, as well as comfortable walking shoes. Always check the weather before your tour and you should be warm and comfortable!

Do I need to bring lunch or will there be opportunities to purchase food?

There is no food allowed on Alcatraz Island so you should eat before or after your Alcatraz tour. There are snacks and drinks for purchase on the Alcatraz ferry and the 1-hour Bay Cruise boats.

Are strollers, luggage, backpacks, coolers etc. allowed on your tours?

Alcatraz only allows small backpacks, but does not allow any large luggage items, coolers, or strollers. The maximum acceptable size for a backpack is 16” x 20”. For securtity large items are not allowed.

Do I need to bring a government ID?

No, you don’t need to bring an ID on our tours.

Are pets allowed on your tours?

Muir Woods and Alcatraz do not allow pets except for service animals. Please give us advance notice if you plan to bring a service animal on the tour.


Are your tours wheelchair accessible?

The Alcatraz and Bay Cruises are wheelchair accessible, however on Alcatraz Island there are some hilly areas that will not be possible to access by wheelchair. Many areas on Alcatraz Island are accessbile with the use of the S.E.A.T. (Sustainable Easy Access Transport) Tram.

Traveling with Children

I’m traveling with a child. Do I need to bring a car seat?

For the Alcatraz tour and Bay Cruise, your child does not need a car seat.

Does my child need a ticket for your tours?

For the Alcatraz and Bay Cruise package only, children under the age of 5 do not require a ticket and are free of charge. For all other tour, children are required to have a ticket.

Can minors book your tours without being accompanied by an adult?

All guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult on our tours.

Cancellations and Rescheduling

What happens if my plans change and I need to cancel or amend my booking? What is your cancellation policy?

We understand that plans can change and we do our best to accommodate our guests whenever possible. However, all Alcatraz tours and packages are non-refundable.

Will tours be canceled due to weather?

The weather in San Francisco is quite mild year-round so generally our tours will run rain or shine. Only in cases of an extreme weather event will our tours be canceled, however in this rare event, we will of course provide a refund.

General Information

What is the weather like in San Francisco?

The weather in San Francisco is typically mild and doesn’t change too much between seasons. However we do have colder summers than visitors might expect due to our famous fog, whose name is Karl. The main rule is to always check the weather and wear layers and a light jacket.

Am I expected to tip my guide? What is the standard tipping amount?

In general we recommend tipping your guide 15-20% of your ticket price if you feel they did a great job. It’s a nice way to say thank you and to show your appreciation for the work they do.

Are there vaccine/mask requirements?

As our Covid-19 cases have dropped significantly, we no longer have vaccine or mask requirements, however we recommend taking any precaution you feel comfortable with as we understand everyone has different circumstances.

Book Now