Frequently Asked Questions

Everybody else is out of tickets and you are not.  Why?

As an Alcatraz Cruises Partner, we are allocated a certain amount of Alcatraz tickets per month.  We purchase them months in advance.  So, during high demand, we may still have tickets when the main stream is sold out.

Does your Tour actually land on the Island?

Yes it does.  It is the only Alcatraz Tour we offer.  No gimmick !
It takes 30 minutes to reach the island by boat and about 1.5 hours to visit the prison and its amenities.  Nothing Left Behind!  You take a ship back to the main land when you are done with your jail time…
Alcatraz is a National Park administered by the National Park Rangers.  They will welcome you upon arrival and give you an orientation before you head to the Cell House.
Alcatraz Cruises only provides the maritime transportation to this national park and back.

Are the tickets shown as available guaranteed?

Yes they are.  Our booking system is solid and accurate.  No overbooking.  If the system lets you purchase tickets, they are available.  If not, it means we do not have them in the quantity requested.

Can I bike on my own instead of taking the Guided Tour in July-August?

Yes you can.  You have the bike from 8am to 8pm.  Just come to the shop and you’ll be on your way. The price of the package remains the same though.

What do I need to know before I book my Alcatraz Now Tour?

Visiting Alcatraz Island is truly a unique experience and a highlight of any trip to San Francisco. However, it is also one of the most popularly visited landmarks in the Bay Area and tickets are limited. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that visitors who wish to visit the Alcatraz Island book their reservations in advance. Typically, the summer season and holidays fill up quickly, so it is recommended to book Alcatraz tickets a few weeks in advance in order to secure tickets during these times. Bookings for Alcatraz are made available 90 days in advance.

What are the departure times for Alcatraz Island?

Though the departures to Alcatraz Island generally leave around every 30 minutes from 9am, the Alcatraz ferry schedule varies slightly with each season. There are also Alcatraz Evening Tours and Alcatraz Tours combining a visit to Angel Island (Alcatraz-Angel Island Tours) that are available seasonally. It is important to note that Alcatraz Island is closed for tours on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

How do I purchase “Alcatraz Now” Tickets?

Alcatraz Tour Tickets are limited and we strongly recommend that you purchase them in advance. Tickets can be purchased directly at our store located at 2011 Mason street in San Francisco [415-561-9999] or securely online.  We do not accept payments over the phone.

Our Alcatraz ticket is comprehensive and includes the ferry transportation service to and from Alcatraz Island, the jailhouse audio tour, and full access to all the island’s amenities.  It also includes the bicycle tour across the golden gate bridge all year round.

What kind of weather can I expect for my Alcatraz Tour?

Alcatraz Island weather can be unpredictable and is subject to change unexpectedly.  Therefore, we recommend always bringing a light jacket or sweater with you on your trip to Alcatraz Island.  A general San Francisco advice is to dress in two or three layers and to wear rain attire for rainy days, which tend to be more during the winter season. We also recommend wearing closed-toed walking/tennis shoes with some sort of grip pattern on the bottom for walking around Alcatraz Island.

How do I get to the Alcatraz Ferry Landing?

The Alcatraz Ferry Landing is located at Pier 33 in San Francisco.  We recommend public transportation using the San Francisco transit system, known as MUNI. Destination to enter is : Pier 33
Click here: MUNI

If you plan on driving, please see next paragraph.

Where do I park for my “Alcatraz Now” Tour?

a] For the Alcatraz part of the Tour:
The only way to get to Alcatraz Island is by ferryboat, therefore there is no parking on the Island. However, there are a variety of options when it comes to parking a vehicle or motorcycle near the Alcatraz Ferry Landing at Pier 33 in San Francisco. With regards to parking lots, there are a total of fifteen commercial parking lots within five blocks of the Alcatraz Landing at Pier 33. Please note that prices from these lots can vary from $10 to $40+ per day. The nearest parking lot is located at 80 Francisco street (one block from Pier 33). For those driving with individuals with disabilities or special needs, the Alcatraz Ferry Landing has an “Accessibility Drop-Off Zone” that can be used to unload passengers going on the Alcatraz Island Tour. On-street parking in the Fisherman’s Wharf area is not recommended because spaces are hard to find and equipped with time-limited meters that are unlikely to allow enough time for a full Alcatraz Island visit. If at all possible, we recommend arriving by public transportation.

b] For the Golden Gate Bridge Bike Ride part of the Tour:
Columbus Cyclery is located at 2011 Mason street (@Columbus Ave. #801).  Parking is free on Sundays and not too hard to find in the morning.  On the other days of the week, we recommend parking at 1636 Powell street.  Between $10 and $15 all day, and about 3 blocks from our store.  Additionally, bus line 30 has a stop across the avenue from our shop, and the Cable Car has also a stop across the street.

What accessibility services are available at Alcatraz Island?

The Accessible Features of the Alcatraz Tour include:
– Accessible Parking at Alcatraz Landing
– Accessible Restroom Facilities
– Accessible Tram (S.E.A.T)
– Assistive Listening Devices
– Audio Described Tour
– Braille Transcript of Cell House Tour
– Open Captioning

The Alcatraz Landing at Pier 33 is fully accessible and has limited accessible parking, available on a first-come, first-served basis. To use accessible handicap parking, drivers must display a permanent or temporary disabled placard at the entry of Pier 33.

An accessible restroom is available at the dock, once arriving on Alcatraz Island and an accessible tram (S.E.A.T) is available to the left for transportation to the Cell House. Inside the Cell House, there is an elevator that can be used to access the second story of the building, where an audio-described or Braille transcript of the Alcatraz Island Tour can be acquired. Next door to this building is a second accessible restroom on the island.

Note: Most of the walking paths and paved routes on the island have sharp inclines and may also have uneven surfaces. If you would like to access the videos and exhibits in Building 64, before getting onto the S.E.A.T vehicle at the dock, you will need to head uphill approximately 100 feet from the dock to access the entry ramp. This route is extremely steep, so please proceed with caution. An accessible ramp is also available to reach the New Industries Building. The path to the Check Station has sharp inclines as well, including an eight-inch step to enter the building, and the stairway between the Cell House and the Prison Yard contains 45 steps. The space in front of the Morgue Building also has varying degrees of level ground.

The National Park Service is striving to get the Alcatraz Island Tour as accessible as possible. You may leave comments and suggestions for the National Park Service by calling +1 (415) 561-4700.

What is the pet policy for Alcatraz Island?

Pets are not allowed to board the Alcatraz ferry or to be on Alcatraz Island. Only trained service animals, which does not include “emotional support animals”, are permitted since they are specifically trained to perform a task in support of an individual with a disability.