Travelers wanting to visit Alcatraz — along with other top San Francisco attractions — can have their cake and eat it too when they buy their San Francisco CityPASS ticket booklet through Alcatraz Cruises. Sold exclusively by Alcatraz Cruises, this unique CityPASS booklet features an Alcatraz Island Tour, plus prepaid, discounted admission to 3 tourist attractions and three consecutive days of an unlimited cable car and Muni transportation rides.
The San Francisco CityPASS booklet is a great deal anyway – the savings over regular admissions to the city’s top 5 attractions is a whopping 45%! But the CityPASS booklet sold through Alcatraz Cruises is the only one that includes the scenic boat trip from Pier 33 to the infamous former federal penitentiary known as “The Rock,” where visitors can take a self-guided audio tour (offered in 12 languages) of Alcatraz prison.
But because of the popularity of the Alcatraz cruise and tour (nearly 1.8 million people visit each year), and because start times for the cruises are precisely scheduled, it’s a good idea to phone Alcatraz Cruises at 415.981.7625 or visit www.AlcatrazCruises.com up to 3 months in advance of your trip to reserve your preferred time to board the boat and tour Alcatraz and to order your CityPASS booklets. Then you can request either that your CityPASS booklet be mailed to you or held for you at the Alcatraz Cruises Ticketbooth at Pier 33. If you order the tour online (AlcatrazCruises.com) you can upgrade to the CityPASS booklet before boarding when you stop by the Ticketbooth on your way to Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing.
Besides the Alcatraz Island Tour, the San Francisco CityPASS booklet includes admission tickets to the California Academy of Sciences, Aquarium of the Bay, and a choice of either the Exploratorium (great for kids) or the San Francisco Museum of Art – SFMOMA. As for the free cable car rides and free transportation on Muni buses, light rail trains, and trolleys, the driver or conductor on your first ride will make a note of the day and time on your transit pass, and for the next 3 days, you can ride for free.
By the way, San Francisco’s iconic and historic cable cars ride up and down the hills of the city from 6:00 am to 1:00 am. That’s enough time for a lot of touring by cable car! And besides that, you’ll save a lot of money: without the San Francisco CityPASS, each cable car ride would cost $7 per person.
Be sure to save plenty of time for the California Academy of the Sciences in Golden Gate Park. It’s one of the largest natural history museums in the world. There is a lot to see, including an aquarium with the world’s largest indoor living coral reef, a planetarium with a 75-foot digital dome, and a 4-story rainforest with free-flying birds and butterflies. Your CityPASS booklet also offers a 15% discount in the Academy Store.
At Aquarium of the Bay, at Pier 39 on The Embarcadero, more than 20,000 marine animals can be seen from 300 feet of walk-through tunnels. Touch pools allow hands-on encounters with sharks, rays, and starfish.
The next attraction will probably be decided by whether or not you’re traveling as a family because kids LOVE the Exploratorium! The sprawling building at Pier 15 is full of a variety of galleries where kids can learn, explore and try out different activities.
Adults, on the other hand, will probably choose the second option, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Here you’ll see the finest in contemporary art and, at the Pritzker Center for Photography, the largest museum space in the U.S. that’s permanently dedicated to photography. Here even the public bathrooms are works of art. And for those who are into food as art, the museum’s In Situ restaurant features the food artistry of more than 80 international chefs who have contributed their best recipes. In Situ has earned a prized Michelin star.
All of these attractions, with the exception of the Alcatraz Island Tour, are included in the regular CityPASS booklet for San Francisco. So remember, if you want the Alcatraz Island Tour to be part of your San Francisco experience, pick up your CityPASS booklet only from Alcatraz Cruises, either by scheduling and ordering your cruise online (AlcatrazCruises.com) and then upgrading to the CityPASS booklet in person at Pier 33 after your arrival, or by calling 415.981.7625 and placing your order for the cruise and your San Francisco CityPASS booklet.