The Escape from the Rock Cruise is a 90-minute journey around the bay. The Blue and Gold Ferry Company offers this ride and it leaves from Fisherman's Wharf once a day.
The cruise takes you under the Golden Gate Bridge, along the San Francisco waterfront and past the Palace of Fine Arts. You will also see Angel Island, Sausalito and Alcatraz Island.
The first 60 minutes of the journey mirrors the popular Bay Cruise. Here's a recap of my journey on the Red and White Fleet's Bay Cruise - which is exactly the same for all of the ferry companies.
The only difference is that the Blue and Gold Ferries have overhead audio in English only, where the Red and White Fleet has individual headsets in several languages.
Here are just a few pictures of the first 60 minutes of this cruise.
The difference between this cruise and the standard 60-minute Bay Cruise is the additional 30-minute focus on Alcatraz.
All of the bay cruises ride past this island, but this one spends quite a bit more time here. The audio during this portion also goes into much more detail including information on some of the buildings you can see, facts about some of its most famous prisoners and what it was like living on the island.
Note: This tour does NOT stop on Alcatraz Island for a visit, but rather gives you a great close up view from the water. If you are interested in visiting the island, visit my Alcatraz Prison Tours page for more booking details.
You learn a little more about Al Capone and the reasons why no one is known to have escaped the island. You also learn a little about the Birdman of Alcatraz, Robert Stroud and a few lesser known criminals such as Billy Cook.
The Escape from the Rock Cruise is the only ferry to make a complete loop around the island. This gives you great views from each side. This is also what sets it apart from the standard bay cruise.
After you take a full loop around, you then head back around the north and east sides one more time before heading to your starting point near Pier 39.
This tour runs just once a day at 11:15am. You can buy your tickets online in advance or once you arrive at Fishermans Wharf.
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Tip to Save: During certain times of the year, you can also find these tickets for up to 50% off the full retail price on Goldstar. I love this online ticket company, since you can get tickets for a number of tours, theater productions and other events for a great price. Find tickets today!
Are you not sure which bay cruise is right for you? If not, then take a quick look at my list of the top bay cruises. It offers a quick overview on each one, so you can select the one that is right for you!