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Alcatraz Island on a foggy morning


Cancellation Policy

If you have purchased a ticket for one of our San Francisco cruises, please be aware of our policies. Our tickets are non-refundable. Should your plans be disrupted, kindly contact us to explore potential alternatives. Rest assured, we aim to accommodate your needs.

Certain cruises, such as the Golden Gate Bay Cruise®, San Francisco Bridge to Bridge Cruise® and California Sunset Cruise® offer flexibility, allowing you to board at any time within the same year. However, for our seasonal events and specialty cruises, it is essential to adhere to the designated timing to avoid missing the departure. If rescheduling becomes necessary, one adjustment is allowed without charge. Subsequent changes will incur a fee of twenty dollars each.

Where do your cruises depart from?

Our San Francisco Bay 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?

No, we don’t offer parking validation. We recommend using SpotHero.

SpotHero: Book convenient and affordable parking in advance through SpotHero, the nation’s leading parking reservation app.  To reserve your parking spot, visit the Red and White SpotHero Parking Page and book a spot with rates up to 50% off drive-up.  New to SpotHero? Click here to download the SpotHero app.

Are your vessels wheel chair accessible?

The enclosed main decks of all our vessels are wheelchair accessible. For additional information, please call (415) 673-2900.

Important: the ramps leading on to 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.

Can children under age 5 come aboard your boats?

Absolutely. Children under age 5 can join our San Francisco harbor cruises free of charge. When buying tickets on our website or through our box office, 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 White Fleet's Cruises of San Francisco Bay?

All of Red and White’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. If you miss your departure, guests scheduled for the one-hour Golden Gate Bay Cruise® or the 90-minute San Francisco Bridge to Bridge Cruise are welcome to simply hop on the next departure 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 San Francisco Bridge to 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 our San Francisco sunset cruises, including the California Sunset CruiseCity Lights Twilight Cruise, and Seasonal and Holiday Cruises as they 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 San Francisco Bay Cruise through a third party. What do I have to do?

If you booked your Red and White Fleet boat tour of San Francisco 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’s rates for San Francisco Bay cruises include all taxes, gratuities, fees, and personal audio tour. Of course, you are certainly welcome to tip staff members for excellent service.

Do you offer tours in foreign languages?

Yes. The Red and White offers the only bay cruises in San Francisco with multilingual Personal Audio sets. You can enjoy the Golden Gate Bay Cruise® and San Francisco Bridge to Bridge Cruise® in 16 languages, including English, Español, Français, Deutsch, Português, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, русский, ภาษาไทย, हिन्दी, Italiano, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Bahasa Indonesian. Just pick up a headphone and radio when boarding the vessel, select your language channel provided from the helpful signs located throughout each vessel, and tune in to learn about the best things to do in San Francisco!

Can I rent a boat for an event?

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

What will the weather be like?

For current weather conditions, please visit 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 occasions do we 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’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’s vessels are equipped with cafes, offering hot & cold non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, snacks, and merchandise for sale. Bar purchases can be made with cash, credit or debit cards. You may also bring your own boxed luncheons.

Do you go to Alcatraz?

Red and White does not land at Alcatraz Island. We cruise right up to and around Alcatraz Island, and our award winning narration features interviews with former inmates and tons of info on the history of the island. Both our Golden Gate Bay Cruise and San Francisco Bridge to Bridge Cruise slowly sail along Alcatraz Island to provide amazing up-close views. For evening views of the Rock, come aboard the California Sunset Cruise, California Twilight Cruise.

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

No. For ferry service and transit questions, please call 511 or visit

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

No. The Red and White 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 16 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 San Francisco Bridge to Bridge Cruise and California Sunset Cruise. As a family-owned operation we take great pride in our vessels and in being certified as a San Francisco Green Business. We are proud to be the oldest operator of San Francisco Bay cruises. In addition to our San Francisco Bay tours, we also partner with Big Bus San Francisco to offer Hop On Hop Off San Francisco bus tours, Muir Woods tours, Napa and Sonoma Wine Country tours, and also Yosemite Tours from San Francisco.

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

The Red and White 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 used for so many years. Contrary to popular belief our company name does not derive from any affiliation with the local Bay Area rival universities, Stanford and UC Berkeley.

What are your safety guidelines?

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

What is your animal/pet policy?

We are pet friendly. Service animals and other dogs are allowed as long as they are leashed and well-behaved. 

What’s to eat around Pier 43 ½?

Red and White Fleet’s departure point, Pier 43 ½ is in the heart of old Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco. Within a 3-block radius you will find many traditional Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco restaurants, including the Franciscan Crab Restaurant, Boudin Bistro, Scomas, and Cioppino’s, which is named after a famous San Francisco seafood stew. Speaking of typical Fisherman’s Wharf food, be sure to try the clam chowder that’s served in sourdough bread bowls! Some of our crew's favorite spots to eat include Darren’s Café for Vietnamese Pho and vermicelli bowls, the Hollywood Café for breakfast, Surisan for Korean, and the Chennai Kings for South-Indian fare. You won’t go hungry!


What other San Francisco activities are near Pier 43 ½?

Pier 43 ½, the departure point for our San Francisco boat tours, also is the entrance point to Pier 45, where you can find Musee Mechanique, a colorful arcade of historic games. The pier also allows for tours of the USS Pampanito, a World War II submarine. Across the street you will find Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a multistory attraction filled with curiosities. Pier 43 ½ also is a pick-up point for the Big bus Hop on Hop off bus San Francisco, which will take you to many other San Francisco neighborhoods, such as San Francisco Downtown, Chinatown San Francisco, the 1960’s hippie commune of Haight Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, and Union Square San Francisco. You can buy tickets for the hop on hop off tour directly on our website or at our pier.  Also San Francisco Pier 39 is just a short walk from Pier 43 ½, where  the Pier 39 sea lions and the Aquarium of the Bay can be visited, alongside other sights.

Where to stay in San Francisco?

San Francisco is a very walkable city with a great public transportation network. So it’s easy to get around the city and come to the Red and White Fleet at Pier 43 ½. The neighborhoods with the highest density of hotels will be Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Moscone Convention Center, and the Financial District. Red and White Fleet is quite easily accessed from most of them, with Fisherman’s Wharf being the closest to our site.


There are numerous San Francisco hotels within a short walk of Pier 43 ½ Fisherman’s Wharf, the home of Red and White Fleet. Here are some of the closest hotels with the walking distance shown in minutes:

  • The Wharf Inn – 3 minutes

  • Hote Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf – 5 minutes

  • Zephyr San Francisco – 5 minutes

  • Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco – 5 minutes

  • Holiday Inn Express – 5 minutes

  • Hotel Zoe San Francisco – 6 minutes

  • Argonaut Hotel – 7 minutes

  • San Francisco Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf – 8 minutes


The Union Square area offers many additional hotels in San Francisco, including the Westin St Francis, Handlery Union Square Hotel, Grand Hyatt San Francisco, Hotel Nikko, and San Francisco Marriott Union Square. To get to Red and White Fleet, hop aboard one of the historic San Francisco cable cars at Union Square and get off at the Taylor Street final stop. From there it’s just a 6-minute walk to Red and White Fleet. By the way - did you know that San Francisco’s cable cars are the only moving national historic landmark in the USA?


From hotels in San Francisco’s Financial District and the Moscone Center areas, you can reach the Red and White Fleet by hopping on the F-Line street cars along Market Street and taking them along the Embarcadero to the Fisherman’s Wharf stop, which is one block from Pier 43 ½.

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