The Bridge to Bridge cruises in San Francisco are ninety-minute tours on the SF Bay. On this boat tour, you will get the chance to cruise under both the Golden Gate and the Bay Bridge.
You'll also get the chance to pass by Alcatraz Island, the Ferry Building and the Palace of Fine Arts. The cruise offers open seating, so you can roam around the boat and catch the views from all sides.
The tickets for this SF bay cruise are valid for up to 365 days after purchase. This means you can buy your ticket in advance, but then select later which day you want to enjoy this cruise.
After you board the boat, you will pick up your audio tour. The entire 90 minutes includes narration through these audio players.
You can find narration in 12 languages including English, Spanish, French and Italian. Other languages include Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
After everyone boards, the boat departs Fisherman's Wharf. The first 60 minutes of the cruise follows along exactly with the Golden Gate Bay Cruise (learn more about this cruise).
There is no need to take both the Golden Gate Bay Cruise and the Bridge to Bridge cruise, since the first part is exactly the same. If you want to take two cruises, check out this list for some other great options.
From Fisherman's Wharf, you will head west along the San Francisco waterfront. You will pass the Hyde Street Pier, Fort Mason and the Marina Green.
A look back at the Fort Mason Center with the city skyline in the background
You will then continue along the waterfront on your way to the Golden Gate Bridge. On your way, you will get a great view of the Palace of Fine Arts (learn more).
You will then start to get a clear view of the Fort Point National Historic Site (learn more). The plans for the Golden Gate Bridge were redesigned in order to save this historic military building.
You will then continue on to the main attraction - the Golden Gate Bridge. Here are a few photos as we approach it and cruise underneath.
After you cruise under it, your tour turns, heads back under the bridge and makes its way to Alcatraz Island. On the way, you will see the seaside town of Sausalito and Angel Island (learn more).
On these Bridge to Bridge cruises San Francisco, you are taken really close to Alcatraz Island. It takes you almost all the way around the island too, so you can take a look at it from a few different angles.
You'll approach from the west. The big building on the top of the island is the main cell house.
You'll then head past the northern side of the island.
You'll also pass by the eastern side - where you can get a great view of the Alcatraz Island lighthouse.
From here, you will continue south, past both Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands.
Yerba Buena is the larger hill in the water on the right. Treasure Island is long, but flat and is on the left side of the picture.
You will then get the chance to cruise under the Bay Bridge. The audio portion at this point is really interesting as it talks about the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge which is currently under construction.
Here are a few photos of this attraction.
After you pass under it, you make a turn and head back under a second time. From here, you will cruise close to the SF waterfront past both the Ferry Building (learn more) and Coit Tower (learn more).
The clock tower in the middle is the Ferry Building
The tall skinny building on the top of the hill is Coit Tower
After you pass these two SF landmarks, you will arrive back at Pier 43 1/2 in Fisherman's Wharf. Here is a map of the route for all of the Bridge to Bridge San Francisco cruises. The star on the map is Pier 43 1/2 - the start and end point for your cruise.
This cruise runs several times a day in the busy summer and fall months. It runs just a few times a week during the cooler winter months. Here is the typical schedule.
Are you ready to book this cruise? When you book your tickets online, you will need to select a specific date. However, as I mentioned above, you can use the ticket for any of these tours for 365 days after you purchase it.
Discounted Tickets: Another place I like to look for tickets is Goldstar. They offer discounted tickets for dozens of SF tours and activities. When I took this tour, I found my ticket here for almost 50% off the full retail value. Search for discounted tickets today!
Waterfront Segway Tour: In my opinion, one of the best ways to get a great overview of Fisherman's Wharf and North Beach is on the Waterfront Segway Tour. On this three hour tour, your expert guide will tell you all about these two famous neighborhoods. You'll cruise past the spot where Joe DiMaggio learned how to play baseball, head out to the end of one of the piers for amazing photos of the Golden Gate Bridge and have a blast riding around on your Segway.
Movie Tour: If you love movies, you must go on this movie tour of the city. This well-timed adventure drives you past the spots used in famous movies. You will see where scenes from movies such as The Rock, Vertigo and The Princess Diaries were filmed.
The Magic Bus Tour: Step back in time on the Magic Bus Tour. This part theater, part city tour gives you a unique look back at San Francisco in the 1960s. You will drive past hot spots from this era and see movie clips about important events that took place in the city. It's a great way to learn more about what really happened during this time in SF.