Top San Francisco Sunset Cruises
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Although there’s no shortage of stunning scenery in San Francisco, one perspective you don’t want to miss is the view from the water at dusk. Here are some options for getting out onto the San Francisco Bay at sunset to experience the city’s sparkling skyline—and more.
Two of San Francisco’s most iconic sights, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, are best seen up close by boat. Sightseeing cruises take in these landmarks and more: Choose from flexible trips on larger vessels that grant an overview of the bay, or a more intimate experience aboard a luxury catamaran or sailboat. If you prefer your sightseeing done on land or by day, you can also opt to simply enjoy the bay at twilight on a relaxing sunset cruise.
San Francisco is world-renowned for its culinary scene, so it seems only natural to combine time on the water with a delicious meal. Twilight tours offer a 2-hour trip across the bay with light appetizers, while dinner and dance cruises up the romance and include a 4-course meal made on board. Many tours include the option to add wine or champagne.
A popular combination tour includes a sunset cruise on the bay alongside a guided visit to Alcatraz, for which it can be very difficult to obtain tickets. If you prefer to see the city from both the water and the air, combine a sunset cruise with a helicopter tour for breathtaking aerial views.
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Sail across San Francisco Bay at twilight to admire the city skyline as it begins to light up for the night. With an experienced captain at the helm, you’ll glide past Alcatraz Island and cruise underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
Come aboard the Privateer for a beautiful sailing journey along the San Francisco Bay where you can enjoy sightseeing at the most beautiful time of day—sunset. Coast along as you spot out Alcatraz, the Sausalito shoreline, and the Golden Gate bridge, all with a drink of choice in your hand.
Bypass the line and head directly to the gate with your prebooked tickets. This sunset cruise takes you across San Francisco Bay with outstanding views of the city skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay Bridge, and Alcatraz Island. Relax while background music sets the tone. Watch the sunset or select a twilight cruise during winter months.
Explore one of California's most iconic settings from the beauty of San Francisco Bay. This narrated Golden Gate Bay cruise journeys alongside Alcatraz and Angel Island State Park, past the shores of Sausalito and beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. You can choose to view the sights from inside your boat or out on deck.
Admire San Francisco and its surrounding sights from the water on a San Francisco Bay sailing cruise. Onboard a catamaran, sail past the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, legendary Alcatraz Island, and the hamlet of Sausalito. Take advantage of great photo ops while you soak up the sea breeze during this scenic tour.
On this San Francisco bridge cruise, get an up-close look at the city’s two engineering marvels—the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge—as you travel across San Francisco Bay. See major city sights like Alcatraz, Coit Tower, and the Ferry Building, and listen to recorded commentary about the city's legendary architecture while you glide under both bridges.
Spend an evening on the San Francisco Bay during this dinner cruise, including a 3-course gourmet meal of fresh, local ingredients prepared on board. After dinner, dance to the DJ's music or enjoy the nighttime views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the city skyline from the exterior deck.
Wander through an ancient coastal redwood forest and explore the artistic bayside enclave of Sausalito on this half-day tour from San Francisco. Travel across the Golden Gate Bridge to visit Muir Woods, home to some of the oldest and tallest trees on Earth. Then, soak up stellar views of the San Francisco skyline and browse art galleries along the Sausalito waterfront. At the end of your tour choose between getting dropped off at Union Square in San Francisco or taking the Sausalito ferry back to San Francisco.
Learn stories behind the Bay Area's most notorious former federal penitentiary on a fascinating 'Escape from the Rock' cruise. Board a boat for a journey through the bay while listening to audio recordings (available in several languages) from ex-prisoners and guards about daily life on 'The Rock.' Learn about the Birdman of Alcatraz and the infamous 1962 'Alcatraz Escape,' and come to know why Alcatraz instilled fear into the hearts of even the worst-of-the-worst criminals. Tours are accessible on any of your own wifi-enabled iPads, smartphones or other devices. This ticket allows you to skip the box office line and go straight to the gate.
Hop on a ‘70s-era VW bus and get to know the hippie past and hipster vibe that make up San Francisco today. Starting and ending at Fisherman’s Wharf, this 2-hour sightseeing tour takes you around the city, including Chinatown, North Beach, the Castro, the Mission, downtown and more. See the homes of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, while listening to ‘60s classics. So settle into a neon-blue seat and dig your shoes into groovy shag carpet. Each bus accommodates up to just six people.
Escape to California’s famous wine country on this full-day tour from San Francisco. Taste regional varietals at multiple wineries in Napa and Sonoma, including both big-name and family-run estates. Learn about the winemaking process during guided tours of vineyards and barrel rooms, and savor the area’s gourmet culture with a stop for lunch in charming Sonoma Square Plaza.
Fly over San Francisco in a helicopter for stunning aerial views, then board a boat on San Francisco Bay for a sunset dinner cruise. This combo tour allows you to see the best of the city from the air and the water, including multiple views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge and Alcatraz. Pickup from select hotels is included.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the best Sunset Cruises in San Francisco?
The best Sunset Cruises in San Francisco according to Viator travelers are:
What Sunset Cruises in San Francisco are taking additional safety precautions?
These San Francisco experiences are providing additional COVID-19 safety measures:
What Sunset Cruises in San Francisco are good for avoiding crowds?
These hidden gems in San Francisco may have limited interaction with crowds:
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Day Trips from San Francisco
- San Francisco to Yosemite National Park
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