Insider's Guide to San Francisco

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 640 Reviews

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  • Location:San Francisco, California
  • Duration:6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

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Visit Alcatraz Island before most visitors arrive and tour San Francisco on a motorized classic cable car with this combo Viator VIP experience, available nowhere else. You’ll head to Alcatraz early for priority entry to this National Historic Landmark District. Explore the former prison via the award-winning audio guide, and enjoy a sightseeing tour of Chinatown, North Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge on a cable car retrofitted with wheels, so you can see more of the city.


  • Early-bird ferry to Alcatraz and exclusive cable car sightseeing tour
  • Experience San Francisco like a VIP insider with this Viator tour, available nowhere else!
  • Beat the crowds and be the first to Alcatraz for a fascinating award-winning audio tour
  • Admire fantastic city views aboard a cable car bus, a converted cable car with wheels for mobility
  • Snap photos of Chinatown and North Beach, and cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge
  • Enjoy lunch from the famous Boudin Bakery

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

Getting on one of the first ferries out to Alcatraz is the ideal way to explore the infamous prison – it is so quiet out there, and you arrive before the large tour groups. Plus, sightseeing around San Francisco on a converted classic cable car is a really amazing experience!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

See San Francisco's iconic sights by motorized cable car

This exclusive Viator VIP experience in San Francisco combines one of the city’s top attractions, Alcatraz, with a tour of famous neighborhoods and sights. You’ll start in the early morning at Union Square to board your motorized cable car, a converted but still authentic version of this San Francisco icon that allows you to traverse more of the city than the limited cable tracks.

Drive through North Beach and Chinatown, enjoying a light breakfast as you make your way to Pier 33 to board an early ferry to Alcatraz. This priority ferry provides admission to the island prison before most other visitors are allowed, so you can enjoy a more tranquil experience. When you arrive, tour the cellblock and other areas independently using the award-winning audio guide, which includes commentary from former inmates and guards. Learn what life was like inside the jail cells of notorious criminals like Al Capone.

When you return to San Francisco, get back on the cable car with your guide to continue your city tour. You’ll receive a boxed lunch on board from Bodin Bakery, a renowned city eatery known for its sourdough; while you eat, cruise up and down the hills to admire views of Victorian homes and the bay. Then cross the Golden Gate Bridge and make a stop for photos at Vista Point.

End your tour with the ride back to Union Square, where you’ll be dropped off to continue your day at your leisure. 

Customer Reviews

Susan R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Just do it !!
You won't regret it - well organised and fun - a unique way to see the sights of SF.
The lunch is fresh and just enough with ample drinks supplied.
Breakfast is a muesli bar and water so for hungry morning risers have something before getting on the tour. Pick up is central and simple to find . Our guide Atouro loved his job and it reflected in his knowledge and general Atmosphere he imparted on the tour .
Early morning visit to Alcatraz was well worth it as we were first group there so no lines and no one in front of you at most of the audio stops . tip - don't bother with the volunteer guides talk at Alcatraz - you don't have to listen to them - go straight to audio tour !!

Mel S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

What an awesome experience. Loved Alcatraz. The tour was better than everyone expected! The tour tram driver was amazing with a lot of local knowledge. Lunch was really yummy too!

Patrina o

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Absouultly amazing not long enough

Faye T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Awesome...Julie was a wonderful tour guide! She made the day so fun and interesting..Would surely recommend

jewel f

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

This was a great tour ! Highly recommend. The tour guide Altruro (sorry if spelt wrong) - He was great ! Very nice. It was a pleasant day. Went to two great vantage points to get good pics of the Golden Gate Bridge. The early morn access to Alcatraz was great..Was one of the first ppl up there :)

tracyo Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

High praise for this tour! Our guide, Arturo, made the day. He was friendly, answered all questions and was able to provide personal insight to San Francisco and Alcatraz, and had great information. A great day was had.

Denise S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Trust me when I say I'm not a morning person, but getting up early was totally worth this tour! Our guide, Jamie, was amazing. She was so nice and friendly, and really took the extra mile in making sure we all were enjoying ourselves. If you have a little time in SF, this would be the tour to take, because you explore so many spots in the city. You definitely won't feel like you've wasted any time!

Dawn N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Jamie the tour guide was WONDERFUL!! She went above and beyond to make this tour one of the best tours we have ever been on. We will definately be using Viator tours in the future.

Donald N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Had an excellent experience with Jamie leading the way as our guide. Had plenty of time on Alcatraz. Had our own personal trolley and stopped at Fort Point near the Golden Gate Bridge for some unbelievable photo opportunities. Awesome trips through Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown, amongst other areas. People kept asking to join us only to be told sorry, this is a private tour :-. Jaime was extremely personable and basically offered to go anyplace we wanted. Highly recommend, well worth the price of admission.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Highly recommend this tour. Driver Jeanie was amazing and provided a locals insight into San Franciso and made the day very enjoyable. Alcatraz was as expected very interesting. Well done

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Tour code: 2242VIPALCATRAZ


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