Explore Alcatraz Island
San Francisco, California, United States of America
Yes it’s touristy, but it’s hard not to be excited as you ride across the choppy waters of San Francisco Bay to Alcatraz Island. Along with a historical prison tour, Alcatraz offers a working lighthouse, tide pools, a fort, gardens and epic city views.
Once home to some of America's most notorious criminals, the federal penitentiary that operated here from 1934 to 1963 brought a dark mystique to the Rock. The presence of infamous inmates like Al "Scarface" Capone and the "Birdman" Robert Stroud helped to establish the island's notoriety. To this day, Alcatraz is best known as one of the world's most legendary prisons.
Alcatraz Tours run every half hour from 9.10am through to 3.50pm (seasonally dependent). Occasional early morning and night tours of the island are available running, with night tours operating after 6pm. The afternoon tours (after 3pm) are the most popular ones to take as you get to experience the many moods of Alcatraz as the sun begins to go down and the tourists disperse. Average time to spend on Alcatraz Island itself is approximately 2 hours, with regular boat shuttles back to San Francisco.
Booking for Alcatraz will open 3 months prior to the date of your visit. Please note that Alcatraz is run by the American National Park Service, therefore you will need to book this with your own credit card as the card holder must be present on the day when collecting your tickets.
For information and ticket purchase visit www.alcatrazcruises.com for more information. There is the option to download a PDF ticket to print off at time of booking or to take your e-receipt and collect your tickets from Pier 33 on the day. Important: Visitors must carry I.D.
Note: San Francisco weather is temperate and has its own micro-climate. Summer can be notoriously foggy in the morning and it burns off by the afternoon. Pack plenty of layers and carry a jumper or wind breaker, particularly for boat trips and Alcatraz.