It was built backi in 1922 for automobile ferries between San Francisco and Sausalito. If you visit the pier now, you'll find a few historic vessels that are open to visitors.
We got aboard of the "Eureka" and "C.A. Thayer".
Is a side-wheel ferry built in 1890 and originally used for trains, later served passengers and cars.
Entrance fee: $5
I love travelling on water, whether it's on the sea or a river or in this case a bay (or estuary as our commentary guide on the boat corrected everyone).
San Francisco bay is an area of wonderful natural beauty. I don't think it matters which ferry operator you go with (we used the Blue & Gold ferries) the views of the city, Golden Gate bridge, Angel and Alcatraz Islands are superb.
The highlight of the trip has to be when the ferry takes you under the span of the Golden Gate bridge, an awesome sight.
There is also a great view of the sea lions on Pier 39 as you pass.
One warning take a warm jumper/coat as it can get a bit chilly on the water.
If your time is short in San Francsico then it may be worth your while taking a Bay Area Cruise.
I bought the City Pass which included a one hour cruise.
The cruise gives you good views of the city and takes you under the Golden Gate Bridge and back around Alcatraz Island. There is a running commentry onboard which is interesting, but if you're not interested just walk away from the speakers!
As usual, the night was full of laughter and good times with great friends........all the while cruising our beautiful Bay and listening to the cover band play a lil jazz and old school rock and roll.
With these guys alone, I think we pretty much emptied out the ship's liquor cabinet! ;-)
Our first round of free cocktails was accompanied by a fresh shrimp and cucumber salad. They immediately seat you at your reserved table so you can peruse through their menu and make your entree selection.
The menu included Filet mignon, Rack of Lamb (curry style), salmon, stuffed chicken, even lasagna made the cut.
The cruise was a pretty full house as folks started to wrap around the lines to go on board.
If you're going to take a Hornblower cruise, be sure to have your "Pier Location" correct for where you board your boat.
We saw a few folks stand in line for a long period of time, only to find out once they reach the front that their boat was departing from an entirely different pier!
Check and double check with your confirmation slip before your event takes place!
Also, the reservationists say the dress code is semi-formal or business casual (i.e. NO jeans). However, we saw many folks dressed as if they just finished a canoe trip or just came from a camping trip. Plenty of jeans and many casual dressers.
Not sure how the company can "strictly enforce" the dress code on someone who just paid them $166 !
So wear what you're most comfortable in when you go on the cruise.
Knowing what we had in store for us that evening, we decided to take public transit all throughout the city and leave our cars at home.
We even took a little stroll along the Embarcadero. Can the weather in the city be more perfect than THIS to view the Fireworks Spectacle?
How BLUE art thy skies San Francisco?
The boat we boarded was the California Hornblower.
It was a tri-level boat with a band on each level. The entire meal was a sit down dinner (as opposed to the Buffet dinner which was served on an entirely different boat).
The food wasn't bad, and the service was incredibly attentive and courteous! We were very pleased with our Aussie waitress, Nicole........she was witty enough to endure our guys' "Tom and Nicole" jokes all the way through dinner!
We were even MORE pleased by the unlimited access to the Premiere bar which was included in the total price of the dinner ($166 per person for the 4th of July sit down dinner cruise)
I hadn't had a frozen strawberry daquiri since I was 13 years old (with that fake I.D.!) ...but that evening I was slamming those down like there was no tomorrow. Why?
Because I could.
We were smart enough not to mix drinks (it was a rocky night on the Bay waters!) ......so I stuck to Rhum all night. Rhum and coke, strawberry daquiri, Bacardi and Bacardi.......etc...etc..
To commemorate both the birth of our nation as well as the birth of our dear friend, we get on board the HORNBLOWER boat cruise for some fine dining, UNLIMITED Premiere Bar cocktails (the boat was stocked with so much libations, it wasn't even funny!), and a night cruise to watch the 4th of July Fireworks spectacle.
We're bright and shiny for our 3 hour tour......our 3 hour tour......
A good way to take in the sights and the scenery around San Francisco Bay is by taking a harbour cruise. The ones offered by the Blue and Gold fleet are best; they last about an hour and are narrated. From the boat there ar excellent views over the San Francisco skyline, of the Golden Gate Bridge (the boat passes directly under), the scnic hills of Marin County, and of Alcatraz Island. You can also see the Palace of Fine Arts, the Marina District, and the Presidio. Unfortunately, the fog on the bay is prevalent and usually stays most of the day, so photos taken from the boat can be iffy. The boat ride is also extremely windy and cold, and I'd advise bringing a jacket and long pants. Wearing a hat might not be a good idea, as many blow into the harbour due to the strong winds. The boats leave from Fisherman's Wharf.
Ride a ferry across the Bay
It is windy and may even be a little bit chilly if you sit on top, but the views are magnificent. I caught the ferry to Sausalito which was very nouveau riche and a little boring if you don't like tourist shopping. When we were waiting for the ferry to go back to the city I noticed a lot of people with bicycles so maybe that is the thing to do when you get there. I didn't have enough time but I would have liked to walk up to the Golden Gate Bridge and crossed it to go back to the city. Anyway, this is all not so important - the ferry trip is what counts!!!
Take a boat trip in the bay, going round alcatraz and under the Golden Gate bridge. You can visit Alcatraz, though in my opinion the boat trip around it is enough.
Be aware, its very windy, and a bit wet, so pack the waterproofs!
Being from a land-locked area (Central Texas), I really enjoyed being able to get out on the bay. I definitley recommend taking a boat tour of the bay. We got to see the Golden Gate Bridge and also passed close by Alcatraz. The tour was accompanied by a recorded historical lesson on the city as well as the construction of the bridge and the story of Alcatraz.
I really enjoyed this tour number 1) because the weather was great! It got a little cold because of the wind, but after the 105 degree heat I had left behind in Texas, it was heaven. And number 2) it was an easy way to see the city and put a different perspective on everything.
No trip to San Francisco is complete without a short cruise on the bay. The Blue and Gold Fleet and the Red & White Fleet offer some excellent sight-seeing excursions.
No wonder the guy from the picture in the intro was lost. It is easy in this city. On the ferry In my way to Alcatraz I encounter these lovely fellows....