RED AND WHITE FLEET CRUISES 2011
Whether one visits the city by the bay for the first time or the fifth time, the waters of the San Francisco Bay beckon. Alcatraz to the Golden Gate and the Bay Bridge, harbor seals and seagulls, there is something magical about this particular body of water that makes one want to get on a boat with about 40 to 60 other people to explore. Anchored at Fisherman’s Wharf are two major cruise companies, identified for their distinctive color schemes - the Blue and Gold fleet and the Red and White Fleet. They both offer similar adventures, though if you want to go to Alcatraz you have to take the blue and gold boat. The Red and White fleet which launches from just in front of the Franciscan Restaurant (see Franciscan Crab Restaurant) is the older of the two and carries the most passengers on the bay with the most cruises.
The Red and White Fleet began its first Golden Gate Bay Cruise first, during the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939. Since then, millions of locals and visitors alike have enjoyed the tour of the San Francisco Bay’s landmarks, under the steel work of the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island, then still a military prison. The one hour cruise includes headphone audio guides in 12 languages and a cash bar for drinks, snacks and merchandise. Tours last an hour and a half to two hours, with photo opportunities and close encounters with the wildlife of the bay - seagulls, pelicans, sea lions and maybe even dolphins. The Golden Gate Cruise tour is offered with 8 to 14 departures a day from Pier 43 ½, the first starting at 10AM. Prices Adults (over 18) $24; Youth (5-17) $16; and Children under five are free.
New Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise for 2011
For 2011 the Red and White Fleet is adding a new featured cruise to its list of excursions the Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise, the only harbor tour to cruise under both the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge, with a 1½ hour loop passing entire bay waterfront of San Francisco. This seasonal cruise is available beginning May 25 until Sept 5 departing at 3:30pm daily.
and White Fleet Theme Cruises
is a new “Bollywood” inspired version of the sunset
harbor cruise the Indian Dinner and Dance Cruise with
a more limited schedule. The California Twilight Cruise is pretty much
as the sunset
cruise, but departing a bit later. The Red and White Fleet offers special
occasion holiday theme cruises for Valentines Day, Mothers
gay weekend and for Fleet Week in October when
the Navy shows off its colors and the Blue Angels buzz the bay. For the
theme cruise it’s
a good idea to reserve a spot ahead of time. For the regular cruises
just show up at the ticket window. Oh, and one tip, dress in layers. © Bargain
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