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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 Alcatraz Cafe

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 Alcatraz Cafe; 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

Brian N B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Great tour with good guide. Lots of useful tips and info. Lunch only OK. Recommended.

William Tanoto T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This is a San Francisco 101 in my opinion You'll get to see almost all the sights there is to see in San Francisco. The early access to Alcatraz meant that there isn't as many people on the island as there would be normally.

The stops made at Golden Gate Bridge, especially Fort Point and Vista Point gave us a breathtaking view of the bridge itself. The good weather definitely helps. Arturo our tour guide was very friendly, engaging without being too restrictive. Good fun!

Suzanne M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

What an awesome tour! From our collection point to the time we were dropped off, we were educated, entertained and enthralled. Our tour guide was amazing. If you haven't booked your Alcatraz tour before getting to San Fran, you may miss out. All tours were booked for 3 weeks in advance when we were there, so we were glad we'd booked in advance.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

The tour was wonderful and the tour guide was terrific and gave us some great advice to make a day flow even better. Thank you very much.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Great tour, well organised and good timekeeping. Well worth the extra cost for the early-bird access to Alcatraz. When we were leaving there were several parties of school children arriving so we got to see everything at a leisurely pace and avoid the crowds. The audio tour of the prison is extremely informative and eye-opening. Great idea to do the sightseeing tour on a modified cable car. Good fun going over the Golden Gate Bridge. Very informative and helpful tour guide/driver who doubled as a photographer - no need for selfies, he was always there to suggest good photo shots. This is the perfect tour for seeing all the major sights and experiencing life on the rock .

Miss LLP United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This is the only way to make the most of Alcatraz. It is definitely worth doing, and avoids most the crowds for a little while at least. We were picked up from Union Square just a block away from our hotel in the converted cable car bus. We then went on a little tour on the way to the Alcatraz departing pier. Our tour guide made sure we were confident in where we checked in and which boat to get back before leaving us to go to the island independently. After a short boat journey we walked up to the main cell block and got our audio tour equipment. It is worthwhile having the audio tour! It is not like cheap and nasty ones I've experienced in other places - its is really, really good. The narrators of the audio tour are former prison officers and former prisoners. When we arrived back at the pier in SF, our tour guide drove along the Embarcadero slightly and we stopped for lunch. After lunch, we then went to the Golden Gate bridge, all I can say about that is wow!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Our guide Arturo provided interesting and informative commentary as we drove around the sights of San Fran, bringing the neighbourhoods to life. There are many high points on the tour - the opportunity to experience Alcatraz before it gets really busy is brilliant as is the drive across Golden Gate Bridge. One word of warning - it can get very breezy on the Bridge so bring a jacket/coat/jumper.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

great tour. amazing Tour Guide.

johan h

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

great tour, small group, alcatraz when it is not crowded yet.

Tracy E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Really good. Guide very informative and helpful.

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