4.5 star rating: Recommended 470 Reviews

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

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Beat the crowds to Alcatraz and experience San Francisco aboard an authentic cable car with a modern twist. This exclusive tour puts you on one of the first ferries to Alcatraz Island for priority entrance to this famous historic attraction, and includes the award-winning audio tour. Then, on a city sightseeing tour, explore Chinatown and North Beach and go over the Golden Gate Bridge while riding a converted cable car. This wheeled vehicle lets you be part of a historic age-old tradition while enjoying the mobility of a modern vehicle, so you can see more of the city. This exclusive Viator tour can’t be booked anywhere else!


  • 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

Get a head start on your day to enjoy more of your San Francisco sightseeing! Departing at 7:15am from Union Square (corner of Geary and Powell streets), hop aboard a one-of-a-kind cable car bus. Converted from an authentic San Francisco cable car, this wheeled vehicle exudes the old-world charm of a classic cable car but gives you the freedom go anywhere and everywhere, not just along the tracks.

Explore Chinatown and North Beach on your way to Pier 33 and enjoy a light breakfast on board. When you arrive, you’ll be escorted onto one of the first ferries to Alcatraz. The early-bird ferry to Alcatraz is not sold anywhere else, so you get priority entrance to this world-renowned historic attraction!

Leaving the hassle of big crowds behind, explore the prison grounds independently while enjoying the award-winning audio tour, which leads you on an immersive journey into the prison’s intriguing past. Featuring life-like sound effects and real interviews from former inmates and cell guards, this tour lets you discover what life was like here for history’s most notorious criminals, such as Machine Gun Kelly and Al Capone.

After your tour, hop back on the cable car bus with your guide and nosh on a boxed lunch from Boudin Bakery, a famous San Francisco-based bakery and restaurant. Enjoy unobstructed views of iconic neighborhoods, Victorian houses and stunning San Francisco Bay as you cruise up and down the city’s many hills. Because your wheeled cable car is unrestricted by wires and tracks, you'll get to cross the Golden Gate Bridge! Feel the wind in your hair as you travel along this world-renowned landmark, stopping for 15 minutes to capture great photos of this iconic landmark at Vista Point.

Then, enjoy a scenic ride back to Union Square, arriving around 2:30pm.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Fantastic - really enjoyable trip saw do much more than I expected - Dave the guide was superb - if your coming from the UK the perfect trip to book on day 1

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

The five stars are completely owed to Jamie, our guide for the day. Her enthusiasm for San Francisco and her fun job are highly contagious. She smiled all day long and kept us all highly entertained. We assumed because we had scheduled the early bird tour there would be a lot less people sharing the Alcatraz experience. All this does is get you on the first ferry - which is still OK. Just as another reviewer advised, when you get off the ferry skip the park ranger with the bullhorn. Make your way up the hills and start the audio tour. You'll have the place practically to yourself and will be able to wander the outside grounds or hop on an early ferry back to the wharf. Once everyone is back on the cable car and lunch eaten you'll spend the remainder of the afternoon driving around San Francisco. Highlights include the bridge, Presidio and Vista Point. You'll even get to see the underside of the bridge. Jamie is full of all kinds of interesting information and is happy to answer all your SF questions. Where to go, where not to go... All in all it was a great day. FYI - the light breakfast snack is a protein bar so you might want to get breakfast before heading out.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This tour was great although expensive. We paid 250 Australian dollars while the people we met on the tour from the U.S. Had paid 150US. Even with the poor exchange rate this doesn't quite add up. We did not get on to the first ferry to Alcatraz but got the next one 25 minutes later. Arturo, our guide certainly made up for any timing delays with a really fabulous tour. We did feel quite special in the cable car and had lots of people approach during the day wanting to join us and/or take our photo. Would definitely recommend this one.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Very knowledgeable and funny tour guide. He made the tour a lot more fun and took us places that were not even on the tour. Alcatraz is a must for anyone.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

A MUST do tour, we had perfect weather and our tour guide The Cat in The Hat was great, you see and go to pretty much every place in San Fran that you'll want to see and more.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This was my wife's and my first time to San Francisco over the years we had heard many stories of Alcatrez. This is a must see when visiting San Francisco. The your was great and I recommend it for all.

United States of America

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

The sightseeing tour was very enjoyable! We loved our guide Jaimie. She knew all of the sights that tourist would be interested in visiting. Especially loved riding around in a cable car, even with the wet weather. And don't miss the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the fort.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Fascinating tour of Alcatraz, then wonderful tour of the city with Jeff, who was able to give us alternate picture spots of the GBB because of very heavy traffic. Jeff aka Billy Bob is very knowlegeable about the city history and answered all our questions with humor and grace. Thank you very much!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Awesome trip. When you land, bypass the man on the mic. and go straight for the audio tour. You'll get to enjoy the prison while it's not so crowded.

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Tour code: 2242VIPALCATRAZ


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