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San Francisco Bay Cruise or Sunset Cruise? Or should we just take the Ferry?

San Francisco Bay Cruise or Sunset Cruise? Or should we just take the Ferry?

Jun 19th, 2008, 08:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 219
San Francisco Bay Cruise or Sunset Cruise? Or should we just take the Ferry?

We'll be in San Francisco in mid July. It will be hubby, two teenage daughters and myself. Not interested in doing the Alcatraz tour but definately want to get out on the water and see the city from that perspective.

Considering taking a Red & White Fleet Bay Cruise or Sunset Cruise. (Have a buy one, get one coupon) Wondering if anyone has done either of these and is the Sunset Cruise better?

Was also considering just taking the Ferry from the Ferry Building to Sausalito but wondered if the Red & White Fleet Cruises are better...or about the same? Any thoughts or input? Thanks, all.
mwessel is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 10:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Ferry between SF and Sausalito is very inexpensive and you get a nice view of the city from the ferry.

Sausalito has some nice places to eat and is a pleasant place to stroll around for a few hours.
Ceidleh is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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But be aware if you take the ferry and have dinner in Sausalito, I believe the last ferry back to SF is pretty early (before 8:00).
Jun 19th, 2008, 10:43 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
(continuing DMlove's sentence )

so to come back to the city you can take the Golden Gate transit bus, they run late!


I think the bus #10...
FainaAgain is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 05:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I like the fleet cruises because they go out to the Golden Gate. They usually turn around directly below the bridge and when you look straight up from the deck you feel as if you're seeing something that few others generally see.

But check the itinerary to be sure. They probably won't guarantee any specific sights like the GG bridge view I mentioned. In fact one time when we took a daytime cruise it was so choppy and foggy at the Gate that the captain turned around before we reached it.

You won't get nearly as close to the bridge on the Sausalito ferry, but it is much cheaper.
Parrothead is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Parrothead is right about going under the GG - it is pretty awesome - but probably not necessarily a whole lot better than the ferry. We go to tiburon on the ferry and eat at Sam's - outdoors overlooking the bay and the skyline - but usually for brunch or lunch - and then return on the ferry. A twilight hamburger would be fun if you can catch the bus back. You won't really make a wrong choice in any case.
cabovacation is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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I've been on the Sunset Cruise and liked it a lot, with only a minor problem with the food.

They take their time getting you out to the Golden Gate Bridge and back, so you get lots of opportunities to see the various sights from the boat. I didn't feel seasick or troubled by the waves, although you definitely know you're on a boat.

The food wasn't bad, but wasn't as good as you'd get anywhere on shore. I remember it being sort of expensive for this sort of thing.

The staff was pleasant and helpful, no problems there.

I think a better value would be to do as others have said; take the ferry from the Ferry Building to Sausalito, walk around a bit, and then come back. The Ferry Building has a great big farmer's market on weekends, plus you get all the gourmet food stores and restaurants inside the building. If the weather is clear, it's a great way to spend a day.
Wellvis is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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Thanks everyone. Good thoughts here. Only trouble is that we will be at the Ferry Building Saturday morning with the rest of the day planned to see Haight and then the Mission area. Not sure we can still fit all that in if we ride the Ferry to Sausalito in the morning.

Not sure what we'll do now.

mwessel is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 128
There's a blue and gold fleet, I think, that you can purchase tickets for in the Pier 39 area. You can choose to go to Alcatraz or just a scenic tour around the Bay. I believe it goes around Alcatraz without stopping, close to Angel Island, near the GG bridge and back. Less time and more sights. It might fit your schedule better and worthwhile to check out.
libssmfamily is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 12:50 PM
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Posts: 219
Yes, sounds very similar to what the Red & White Fleet offers. Out and around Alcatraz and under the GG Bridge. Since we will be in the Fisherman's wharf area on the day that I was considering the cruise, we may just end up doing that anyway...plus I have that buy one get one coupon, so that helps make it more attractive too.

Thanks for all the thoughts. I must admit, I hadn't considered the possibility that I might feel seasick from a bay cruise. Anyone had this issue?
mwessel is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I normally get carsick when not in the driver seat, but for some odd reason, I do not get seasick. I've been on cruises, bay cruise, lake cruise, ferry boats, ski boats, houseboats on down to a canoe and kayak, yet never once felt the urge to throw up. On the bigger, longer cruise ship I did feel the waves, but it didn't make me nauseated. You could check out the local pharamacy for over the counter meds. I recommend start taking them a week before your boat ride, maybe even a half of the pill, to get used to it. They cause drowsiness. If you start ahead of time, it reduces the drowsiness and still works.
libssmfamily is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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If you go to Fisherman's Wharf you can take a one hour ride out on one of the fishing boats. Costs $10.00 & goes under the GGBridge. Goes around Alcatraz. Way cheaper than the ferries. You have to climb down a ladder attached to the cement wall at the pier but the boat is really a fun ride. You are very close to the water & get sprayed on. Went on a Saturday in March & it was wonderful.
cobbie is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 03:46 PM
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That sounds sooo cool! Where can we find these fishing boats that will do this? Is there a number to call to reserve a ride? How big are the boats? Please tell all the details!
mwessel is offline  
Jun 21st, 2008, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I took one of these trips last year on the solstice. It was the best ten dollars I ever spent. I found the first mate hawking at the marina on Jefferson between Taylor and Al Scoma Way. I think the boat was a 60' Had a cabin where you could sit inside. The best views are outside holding on to a rail. Went out about 7:00 pm back about 8:30

Have Fun
GP is offline  
Jun 21st, 2008, 06:38 AM
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Are you going to be here until July 23rd or later? The Festival of Sail will be going on with Tall Ships. Here's a link: http://www.festivalofsail.org/index.asp
TrvlMaven is offline  
Jun 24th, 2008, 11:49 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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We did the one hour Bay cruise through Red and White (just got back the 22nd of Jun) and it was great. Sailed under the Golden Gate and around Alcatraz. A headphone narration was provided which gave alot of interesting information about the sites we saw along the way. I, nor my wife or son got seasick. The water was a bit rough at times but it just added to the experience.
elvis957 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 32
How about going in the other direction - to the east?? Take the ferry from the Ferry Building to Oakland. It has spectacular views, and going under the Bay Bridge is exciting, especially with the new bridge under construction. The ferry goes along the Oakland port (see the Trojan Horses). If you go on a Sunday morning, there is an excellent farmer's market at Jack London Square (just to the south of the ferry dock) with local/regional produce and also other food goodies to take home...have an elegant Sunday brunch at Scott's Seafood Restaurant or walk six blocks up Broadway to Oakland's Chinatown for dim sum/lunch. Stop for a drink at historic Heinhold's Last Chance Saloon at Jack London Square; this dates back to the late 1880s and Jack London's Alaska shack is also on display there. I think fares are around $5 each way (you can also take the ferry one way and BART the other direction). Fares and schedules can be found on the website. I don't know the URL, but just google "Oakland Alameda Ferry" and it will come up. The views of SF, Oakland and Berkeley hills will be spectacular. Have a great time!
Bobbe is offline  

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