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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


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Wonderful tour. David was excellent - knowledgeable, witty, fun. How good was it to walk straight on to the ferry to Alcatraz. Would highly recommend.

claire a

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Fantastic tour! Female Solo traveller and safety is very important to me. I felt very relaxed and safe throughout the full day. The tour guide was so passionate about the tour and made the trip even better. Very helpful and went out of his way to make everyone on the trip comfortable and happy


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This was by far the best tour we had during our week in San Francisco. Arturo was our guide for the day. He was very knowledgeable and told us everything we needed to know before we departed on the boat that took us to Alcatraz island. He took his job seriously but with an edge of fun! He took the time to take photos for us getting on our motorized trolley as well as at any stop along our tour of the city.
I would highly recommend this particular early access tour to anyone who wants to see Alcatraz and the best if San Francisco.

vicki b

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Great Tour. Our tour guide was amazing, full of knowledge and Altori loved his job. You get to see a few of the great sights of San Francisco. Highly recommend this tour

Amanda Y

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Best tip we had was to buy pass the Ranger introduction and make straight for the audio area.

Jacques L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Excellent tour. Our guide Dave was excellent and ver knowledgeable. He kept us informed and entertained the entire way.

Joanne M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Fantastic tour. Loved travelling in the cable car and got to see some beautiful sights. Lunch was delicious and Alcatraz tour was brilliant

Boris G USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

The tour was worth it simply for the Alcatraz early access to get there before the crowds. The rest was bonus to us. It was fun to ride in a converted cable car, although a little frightening at times in traffic. Our tour guide was clever and knew everything about San Francisco.

The Alcatraz tour is a self-paced walking tour with audio - for EVERYONE. It is a really high quality tour, and I was VERY glad to do it before it got crowded.

We weren't actually on the FIRST boat to Alcatraz, which I think I read somewhere, but still on a very early one - maybe the second or third. And that was plenty early enough. Alcatraz wasn't really crowded till we were ready to leave. There was plenty of down time while we waited for the boat to Alcatraz, but that time is out of the hands of the tour and guide, since they have to hand us off to the National Park folks for that leg of the tour.

During the cable-car tour, our guide kept things entertaining and informative even when we were getting from one place to another, or were stopped in traffic.

Next to Alcatraz, my favorite stop was Fort Point National Historic Site.

The tour folks did have us arrive at the meeting point way too early. The tour info says the tour departs at 7:30, but to arrive at 7 as I recall. When we called the day before, they said we should arrive BEFORE 7AM. We arrived at 6:45. In fact, we stood on the corner till nearly 7:30 until any official of the tour arrived - in the cable cars. I sort of expected a handler In the meanwhile, the gathering tourists were engaged and entertained by street people as we waited. Still, even after our initial introductions and orientation, well after 7:30, one couple hadn't shown up, and we wound up having to leave without them. So get there on time, but be realistic.

Nancy S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Superb tour!!

Robert J S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Really enjoyed this tour. Alcatraz is a must see if in San Francisco. The audio system is very informative. The cable car sightseeing tour was a great way of seeing all the sights and our driver made it all very enjoyable.

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