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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below answers to some of the most common questions that our guests have. We hope you find this information to be helpful!

Cancellation Policy

Sorry, Red and White Fleet® does not offer refunds. All sales are final. However, for your convenience, tickets for the Golden Gate Bay Cruise®, Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise®, Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour, Ride the Ducks, California Academy of Sciences, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and Ride the Ducks are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase, and can be used for any available departure time.

All other tours and events need to be reserved for a specific date and time; should you need to reschedule your cruise with us, you can do so as a one-time courtesy up to 48 hours prior to your scheduled departure by calling (415) 673-2900 or emailing us at sales@redandwhite.com. Additional rescheduling will incur a fee of $15 each time. Should you miss or forego your scheduled departure, your ticket will expire and we unfortunately will be unable to reschedule you for another sailing.

Where do your cruises depart from?

Our San Francisco cruises depart from Pier 43½, located in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf at the end of Taylor Street. You can find us on most GPS devices by entering “Red and White Fleet” as the destination. For directions, click here.

Do you offer parking validation?

 Red and White Fleet® offers one hour of parking validation for cars entering the Triangle Parking lot (located across the street from Pier 43 1/2 cornered by Jefferson, Taylor Street and Little Embarcadero). Validation can be offered to cars that enter the lot between 10am and before the final public cruise of the day departs. Sorry, we can’t validate if you entered the lot before 10am. No parking validation offered during Fleet Week weekend and July 4th due to traffic and street closures along Fisherman’s Wharf. To receive your parking validation, you will need to have your parking ticket stamped by our ticketing team prior to boarding our cruise vessel.

Are your vessels wheel chair accessible?

The enclosed main decks of all our vessels are wheel chair accessible. However, only the Harbor Queen and Harbor Princess have wheelchair accessible restroom facilities.

Important: the ramps leading onto and off the vessels vary in steepness depending on tide levels. While our crew will make every attempt to assist guests, boarding can be difficult particularly during low tide. To view daily tide conditions, please click here. With prior notification we can make arrangements to use our ADA compliant vessel and gangway for boarding and disembarking.

Can children under age 5 come aboard your boats?

Absolutely. Children under age 5 can join our cruises free of charge. When buying tickets on our website or through our call center, simply indicate the number of children under age 5 in your party, as all guests require a ticket to come aboard.

Are baby strollers allowed on Red and WhiteSM Cruises?

All of Red and White Fleet’s cruise vessels are accessible with baby strollers.

When should I be at the departure location?

Please arrive at least 20-30 minutes before the scheduled departure time, as we otherwise can’t guarantee available space and are unable to hold the vessel. Guests scheduled for the 1-hr Golden Gate Bay Cruise® are welcome to simply hop on the next sailing that same day.

For special event cruises and on busy summer weekends, we recommend arriving at least 30 minutes early, as traffic leading to Fisherman’s Wharf can cause delays.

The Golden Gate Bay Cruise® departures between 1:15pm and 3:45pm tend to be the busiest of the day. For a more peaceful experience, we recommend hopping on one of our cruise times before or after that time, or trying out our Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise® instead.

Do I need to make reservations for your cruises?

You don’t have to make reservations for our daytime cruises. We recommend advance bookings of the Golden Gate Bay Cruise® particularly for groups of 15 or passengers. By booking online you can print out your e-ticket at home and go straight to our boarding line, versus our ticket booth.

Advance bookings are highly recommended for the California Sunset Cruise®, Seasonal, and Holiday Cruises as these events often sell out. These events need to be booked for specific dates and times. We can assist with rescheduling a tour up to 48 hours prior to the scheduled time.You can purchase tickets online or by calling (415) 673-2900.

How can I pay for tickets?

 Online and phone reservations can be made with a credit card. At the cruise piers, tickets can be purchased with cash, credit card, and travelers checks. Personal checks are not accepted.

Prices are per person, unless otherwise specified. All transactions are in US Dollars. All prices and availability are subject to change without notice. Tour prices or availability is not confirmed until full payment is received and confirmation provided.

If the authorization on the credit card provided is declined, we will attempt to notify you by email at the email address you provided. The reservation will be cancelled and will need to be rebooked depending on availability.

I booked a Red and White Fleet® cruise through a third party. What do I have to do?

If you booked your Red and White Fleet® cruise through a third party, it is important that you bring your printed or electronic voucher to Pier 43 1/2 to redeem it for cruise tickets. This voucher is your proof of payment. Without this voucher, we will not be able to issue tickets for you.

Do your rates include tips and gratuities?

Yes. Red and White Fleet’s® rates for San Francisco Cruises include all taxes, gratuities, fees, and Personal Audio. Of course, you are welcome to tip staff members for excellent service.

Do you offer tours in foreign languages?

Yes. The Red and White Fleet® offers the only bay cruises in San Francisco with multilingual Personal Audio sets. You can enjoy the Golden Gate Bay Cruise® in 16 languages, including English, Español, Français, Deutsch, Português, japanese FAQs, chinese FAQs, korean FAQs, русский, ภาษาไทย, हिन्दी, Italiano, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Arabic and Bahasa Indonesia.

Can I rent a boat for an event?

Most certainly. The Red and White Fleet® can arrange private and corporate events aboard its cruise vessels, including catering and entertainment. For more information visit our Private Events pages.

What will the weather be like?

For current weather conditions, please visit www.weather.com and search for ZIP code 94133.

Will my tour be cancelled if the weather is bad?

We cruise San Francisco Bay rain or shine. Only on the rarest of occasion do we have to cancel a cruise due to stormy weather conditions.

What clothing should I wear?

San Francisco has many microclimates with frequent weather changes. It can be windy and cold on San Francisco Bay one moment, and hot and sunny the next. So we recommend that you dress in layers and bring a jacket to make sure you are comfortable throughout your tour. In case it rains, don’t worry as all of our boats have heated interiors with big viewing windows.

What is your policy on smoking?

California Law prohibits smoking in vehicles, public buildings, bars and restaurants. Smoking is not permitted on Red and White Fleet’s® tours or while waiting in the boarding line. We kindly request that all passengers comply.

Can we bring food aboard your cruises?

Yes. Red and White Fleet’s® vessels are equipped with cafes, offering hot & cold non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, snacks, and merchandise for sale. You may also bring your own boxed luncheons.

Are your California Sunset Cruise®, California Twilight Cruise® and seasonal event cruise buffets full meals?

The buffets aboard our California Sunset Cruise and seasonal event cruises are hearty and plentiful, but do not include hot food. We like to think of these tours as our picnic on San Francisco Bay! Buffet offerings include turkey, roast beef and vegetable sandwiches, pasta & Cesar salad, assorted antipasti, crudité with dip, fresh fruit, and cookies. Buffets are offered in an informal, picnic-like setting, generally with more food than one could or should eat. Guests serve themselves, and either enjoy their meal seated, or while strolling aboard the vessel. Please be considerate of other guests when serving yourself to not be wasteful.

Do you go to Alcatraz?

No. The Red and White Fleet® does not land at Alcatraz. We do, however, offer cruises around Alcatraz Island. The Golden Gate Bay Cruise® and Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise® slowly sail along Alcatraz Island to provide amazing views and Personal Audio. For evening views of the Rock, come aboard the California SunsetSM & TwilightSM Cruises.

Do you offer ferry service to Sausalito, Tiburon, or Angel Island?

No. For ferry service and transit questions, please call the Bay Area Travel Guide at 511 or visit www.511.org.

Are the Blue and Gold Fleet and Red and White Fleet the same company?

No. The Red and White Fleet® is an independently owned family business and has been a San Francisco institution since 1892. We offer San Francisco’s only multilingual cruise tours and take great pride in sharing the history of our wonderful city through well-researched headphone audio with 12 language options. We also feature more departure times for our sailings than other boat cruise providers in San Francisco, with unique cruise routes and themes, such as the Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise® and California Sunset Cruise®.

What is the origin of Red and White Fleet’s® name?

The Red and White Fleet® originated as a ferry and tug boat company on San Francisco Bay. In the 1940s, the name for the sightseeing business was derived from the red and white painted tug boats that the company had used for so many years. So our company name does not come from any affiliation with our local universities, namely Stanford and UC Berkeley. We love and support both schools!

What are your safety guidelines?

Please read the Red and White Fleet® Safety Guidelines and Policies for Cruising the Bay Safely .