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Cruising San Francisco Bay

Take a ferry from Fisherman's Wharf and view both familiar and unusual sights on San Francisco Bay.

couple aboard a Red and White Fleet ferry looking at San Francisco, image
Photo caption
A couple takes in a sweeping view of San Francisco from the deck of a Red and White Fleet ferry.

The Red and White Fleet’s ferries sail the San Francisco Bay from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Golden Gate’s turbulent edge, offering water views of sights both familiar and surprising. On the hour-long Golden Gate Bay Cruise, narrated in 12 languages, you’ll see the Transamerica Pyramid, Coit Tower, and an ominous old sign on Alcatraz that warns against helping escapees. You get an up close, jaw-dropping look at the underside of the famous bridge—the view that inspired Red and White’s original owner to turn his commercial ferries into sightseeing boats back in 1939.

Save $4 per ticket on Bridge 2 Bridge, California Sunset & Twilight, and Golden Gate Bay cruises. Use the code AAA at

Photography by Melissa Barnes

This article was first published in January 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.