San Francisco: Waterfront Guided Tour and Alcatraz Ticket
- Duration: 4 hours
Want to discover all there is to do in Alcatraz? Click here for a full list.
Were in San Fran for only two days so we tried to cram as much as possible into those days. First issue was you have to physically go to the place the day before and get your ticket (even though you've already paid online)! We had to raced into town the day before they closed! Next day we took the ferry to Alcatraz (that was great) & did the red bus for all the other. The driver kept popping his gum and slamming on the brakes at every stop! We thought he was going to hit another car or pedestrian!!! The brakes kept squealing!!! The guide was above us in the open portion of the bus. He was very nice and knowledgeable BUT he had a VERY thick accent and we couldn't understand much of what he was saying. 2nd issue I had was that although we were given earplugs to let us hear what the guide said from above, there was also a running commentary recording that told of all the places, but they weren't saying the same thing as the guide, so it was really confusing and not well thought out...
Alcatraz tour: Very interesting and stayed longer than anticipated. (Take your own antibacterial wipes for the headsets that are used for the audio tour.) Big Bus hip-on hop-off tour of San Francisco: We intentionally got off one bus several stops from where we got on, as we didn’t care for the commentary by the tour guide. We found the pre-recorded tour information to be much more informative and the next bus we caught was just using that. Leave plenty of time for this tour, especially if you plan to “hop-off” and walk around. Also, take layers (including a hat/hoodie) as is was really cold.
Our bus commentator (not on every bus) was hilarious and informative. When we were on a bus without the live person, the recorded info was great to listen to as well. Doing the combo tour let us see alcatraz when tickets were sold out everywhere! Alcatraz was also a welcome surprise. So much cooler than anticipated. We listened to the audio and hopped back on the boat. Took about 1 hour. We were cramming our days so didn't have much more time to spend than that, but definitely worthwhile!
The Alcatraz tour was really well organised and very interesting especially the audio tour of the prison. The ticket for the bus was definitely worth the money as we got to see lots of the city and Sausalito. The guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining. The only criticism was the occasional long waits to get on the bus as they were very busy but the operators did their best to get everyone on as quickly as they could. I would recommend this tour.
All you need to get the San Francisco experience. Great that the big bus tour can run over three days ( three tours on that package and you do not have to do them at the same time as the hop on hop off bus. ( wish I’d known before as was in San Francisco only for 3 days and couldn’t do the Salsalito tour. Tour guides knowledgable professional and interactive. Very good