4.5 star rating: Recommended 505 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 August 2015

Had a great time tour guide was great as was lunch not enough time at Alcatraz but as it was a packed fun day didnt mind too much, would recommend anyone to take the tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

An amazing tour well worth the money! Arturo, our guide was excellent, a real passion and knowledge of the bay area.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Arturo our guide for the day was brilliant, Alcataz was what we expected, very good. The Tram ride with Arturo was very good, his friendly approach and local knowledge was brilliant, great day.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

The tour was excellent, and our guide was fantastic. Thank you.

Adrian L
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Worth all 5 stars.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

enjoyed the cable car ride- guide Jamie took us everywhere and an extra I believe as traffic permitted.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Early access. Only way to go! Be prepared to line up at ferry. That is the only negative. Enjoyed the self paced audio tour at Alcatraz. Sneaky Pete our trolley driver was fantastic. Great commentary, very entertaining and a bit cheeky!! Lunch from Boudins Bakery was delicious. Best sandwiches we have a had for while. Can recommend the vegetarian and the ham. Saw some interesting sights on trolley tour and it was great going across Golden Gate Bridge. Thoroughly recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Amazing...thanks we had a wonderful time. Worth every penny purchasing a VIP .
Thanks again.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

I feel really lucky to have found this tour of San Francisco on a motorized cable car, and we had a brilliant guide. First stop is Alcatraz, followed by lunch, then the Golden Gate bridge etc. This was a great day out and I would definitely recommend as a unique way to see the sights of San Francisco.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

This tour was great - tour guide was brilliant and the audio tour at Alcatraz was the best we have ever had. Thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Great day out!

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Tour code: 2242VIPALCATRAZ


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