4.5 star rating: Recommended 554 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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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 October 2015

Great time would not have asked for more

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Arturo was our driver, and he was great! Very knowledgeable, kind and friendly. He offered to take our photos for us a few times. Alcatraz was amazing, highly recommend going. After that, Arturo picked us up and we went to Fishermans Warf and ate lunch, which was provided by Boudin, the local bread company that makes sourdough bread fresh daily, really good btw. Then Arturo drove us across the Golden Gate Bridge, we took pictures, then drove back across and took more photos. Really great experience overall, would highly recommend!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Excellent tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This was one of the best trips that we made during our visit. Very informative. Everything was on time and it made for a very pleasant day.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

A terrific excursion! Very interesting and thought provocative, Very well organized with the audio headphone directing you through out the various buildings. A gift shop offers a nice selection of 'all things Alcatraz'. You won't be disappointed choosing this tour, and needless to say, a short boat ride is nice too.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The tour driver, Arturo, was brilliant. He was extremely informative, while being very kind and friendly. He did his best to ensure we all enjoyed the trip. This trip is a very interesting way to see San Francisco and lots of people tried to join us!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great trip had a great day out .Alcatraz was amazing , tour guide was excellent very informative . Would highly recommend

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This is a great deal. The tour guides are knowledgeable and have great conversations with all of the guests. You get to see all of the great sights of San Francisco and learn about its history.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Overall trip was great. Driver was fun, courteous, and easy going. Only snafu was a mix up on lunch orders. There were two trolleys that departed at 7:30 a.m. and somehow Boudin's only made one lunch order. Our trolley ended up sitting for almost 45 minutes waiting for lunch. I think we still saw everything we were supposed to but....... it could have been smoother. Not sure where the disconnect happened. Tour of San Francisco was great - saw areas the Hop On Hop Off buses did not go. Early entry to Alcatraz was priceless!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great tour of the city included in the trip to Alcatraz, unfortunately unable to cross the Golden Gate Bridge due to heavy traffic so our guide took us to the base of the Bridge which enabled us to take photos of it.

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Tour code: 2242VIPALCATRAZ


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