Helpful Tips For Before And During Your Trip
Due to social distancing requirements in the Cellhouse, there may be a lengthy wait for the Cellhouse Audio Tour. Please plan on a 3-hour Alcatraz Island tour experience, including roundtrip boat time. Face coverings are required, regardless of vaccination status, in boarding areas, onboard Alcatraz City Cruises’ vessels, and in all indoor spaces on Alcatraz Island.
Fly Advisory Information
Visitor Advisory – Why are there so many flies on Alcatraz Island and on Alcatraz City Cruises vessels?
During this time of year (August – November), one of the 17 identified species of flies on Alcatraz Island is found in large numbers around the dock area and on Alcatraz City Cruises boats. These flies are commonly referred to as Cormorant flies. They do not pose a health risk. The presence of these flies is an indicator of a healthy population of cormorants on the Island. In the last few years, the cormorant population on the Island was decimated by several natural events. This year, the population is rebounding, so the fly population has temporarily increased. These flies are a very important part of the Island ecosystem and are not caused by any adverse conditions on Alcatraz Island or on Alcatraz City Cruises vessels. We apologize for the annoyance these flies may cause and hope you will enjoy your visit to Alcatraz Island.
Face coverings are required, regardless of vaccination status, in boarding areas, onboard Alcatraz City Cruises’ vessels, and in all indoor spaces on Alcatraz Island.
Advance purchase is highly recommended because of the limited number of visitors allowed on the Island each day. Alcatraz Island tour tickets can sell out several weeks in advance . Plan ahead and choose the day and time convenient for you!
You can stay on Alcatraz Island as long as you like, but allow at 2.5 – 3 hours for cruising to the Island, exploring the Island and returning via ferry to Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing. It is recommended that you line up one half hour prior to your departure time. See our departure and return schedules. Our ferries leave on time and your departure time is shown on your ticket.
Picnicking and consuming food on Alcatraz Island is allowed at the dock area from the picnic tables to the restrooms only. Bottled water is allowed on all areas of the Island.
A government issued photo ID is required for every person who books tickets to Alcatraz Island. Government issued photo ID’s are required when purchasing and picking up tickets at the Alcatraz City Cruises Ticketbooth, and may again be required in the boarding area. Customers purchasing and printing Alcatraz tickets online should arrive at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing with their government issued photo ID. Photo ID’s are not necessary for every person in the party, but are required for the person who purchased the tickets. Photocopies of passports are accepted as valid identification. Please leave your actual passport in a safe place back at your hotel.
The roads and walkways on Alcatraz are steep. The distance from the dock to the Cellhouse is approximately 1/4 mile (.4km) and the elevation change is 130 feet (40 meters), the equivalent of walking up a 13-story building. The roads and walkways are wide with several places to stop along the way to rest and take in the breathtaking views. Comfortable athletic or walking shoes are strongly recommended. If you have mobility concerns, please see the S.E.A.T. Tram information below.
For those that wish to get started mapping your route on Alcatraz Island, please visit the National Park Service website page. There is a directional map of the Island including where your audio tour begins, the restrooms, and buildings including the Cellhouse. For those who wish a more detailed and historical account of the Island and its resources, please visit the National Park Service website page.
Minors under the age of 18 are not allowed to visit Alcatraz Island unless accompanied by an adult, 21 years of age or older. Minors must be supervised at all times while visiting Alcatraz Island, Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing and while onboard Alcatraz City Cruises vessels. Children under age 12 are not accommodated on the Behind The Scenes Tour. No refunds will be given if Adult or Senior tickets are purchased for children under age 12.
There is no storage space for luggage or oversized bags at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing or on Alcatraz Island. Standard backpacks, measuring 16” x 20” maximum, are allowed on Alcatraz City Cruises vessels and while visiting Alcatraz Island.
We regret that we are unable to accommodate suitcases, ice chests, large backpacks or oversized duffel bags at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing or on Alcatraz Island. Additionally, there are no lockers, and luggage or oversized packages and bags cannot be boarded on vessels or stored at Pier 33.
Bags larger than a standard backpack, 16” x 20”, are not allowed on Alcatraz Island. Visitors with luggage or oversized packages and bags will be unable to board Alcatraz City Cruises vessels or visit Alcatraz Island and will receive refunds. There are no exceptions to this regulation. The closest luggage storage facility is at the California Welcome Center, located at PIER 39, approximately ¼ mile north of Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing. Please call the California Welcome Center at PIER 39 at 415.981.1280 for hours and pricing for storage.
NOTE: Backpacks, handbags, parcels and packages are subject to search at any time for security purposes.
Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing is fully accessible. Many areas on Alcatraz Island are also accessible with the use of the S.E.A.T. Tram.
Visitors with limited mobility and unable to make the climb up Alcatraz Island’s steep roads can take advantage of the S.E.A.T. Tram, the accessible shuttle that runs approximately twice an hour from the Alcatraz Island dock to the Cellhouse and approximately twice an hour from the Cellhouse back to the Alcatraz Island dock.
Boarding S.E.A.T is on a first come, first served basis. Anyone with a health condition or physical disability which limits mobility qualifies for a ride on S.E.A.T. The use of S.E.A.T. is limited to those with the physical need only. Family and friends, who are physically able to make the walk, are advised to walk to the designated arrival area to meet S.E.A.T. passengers. One personal attendant is permitted for those who physically cannot board/disembark the tram under their own power or cannot be safely left alone. Common examples of those needing an attendant are visitors who are in wheelchairs and the visually impaired. Children of any age, on foot or in strollers, can only ride if they meet the above qualifications, or if no other friends or family members can walk up the hill with them. Please speak to the driver for further information, or to see if you qualify. See additional information and a schedule for the S.E.A.T. Tram. We are sorry, but due to space limitations, children in strollers are not able to ride S.E.A.T.
Further information regarding accessibility on Alcatraz Island, including tour information in American Sign Language, and use of Assisted Listening Devices can be found in the Accessibility Section.
Bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, skates, “wheelie” shoes and weapons are not allowed on Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing, Alcatraz City Cruises vessels, or on Alcatraz Island. Limited bicycle parking can be found at Pier 33 on a first come, first served basis. Bicycles must be walked to the bike racks upon arrival at Pier 33. Alcatraz City Cruises assumes no responsibility for bicycles parked on premise.