Do You Provide American Sign Language Interpreters
You can request Assistive Listening Devices at the ticket booth on Pier 33.Assistive Listening Devices may be used on all Ranger Led tours but remember, you will need to request a device at the Pier 33 ticket booth. ASL interpreters are available on request.To request a Sign Language Interpreter we must be given at least five days advancednotice in order to guarantee that an interpreter will be available.To make a request please call the Accessibility Program Manager at 561-4958 or click here to email.http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/american-sign-language-interpretation.htmIndividuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf/blind or have speechdisabilities may utilize the following Federal Relay Service numbers: 877-8339 Federal Relay Service 877-6280 VCO 877-8982 Speech to Speech 845-6136 Spanish 893-8340 TeleBraille
Wear Layers And Comfortable Shoes
Youll be walking up steep hills and old steps, so wear flat-soled shoes. I wore tennis shoes that were nicely cushioned, which turned out to be perfect for the somewhat uneven paths and worn stairways.
San Francisco can be chilly even in the summer, and fog and rain are common. A windbreaker jacket is a good idea at any time of year. Dress in layers if the weather is iffy.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Alcatraz
What is the best time of year to visit the island? To avoid crowds, schedule your visit during the first two weeks of November, the first two weeks of December and anytime during the winter months of January through March. To experience the nicest weather, plan your Alcatraz visit for April-May or September-October.
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You Can Experience A Jail Cell
At Alcatraz, you can go inside a few of the cells and get a good feel for life behind bars. Look out at your fellow tourists wandering the hallways at leisure and envy them.
When I first visited Alcatraz, a guide would shut the door of the solitary confinement cell, leaving you in total silence and darkness. Thats no longer an option Im guessing it was too frightening! But its still a remarkable experience to stand in the place where prisoners spent months and years and imagine their lives.
Things To Know Before Visiting Alcatraz
Where is Alcatraz?
Alcatraz Island is in San Francisco Bay, about 1.25 miles off the shore of San Francisco. The island is about 225 acres of jagged, rocky terrain, and is surrounded by choppy, icy-cold waters that made the penitentiary next to impossible to escape.
How do you get to Alcatraz?
Alcatraz is only reachable by ferry, and only one ferry company has permission to bring tourists to and from the island. The Alcatraz ferry departs from Pier 33, a quick walk from Fishermans Wharf.
What is the history of Alcatraz?
The history of Alcatraz is a long and varied one.
How much time does it take to visit Alcatraz?
You should budget for about 2.5 to 3 hours when visiting Alcatraz. Each ferry ride takes 15 minutes, and the overall trip takes 2-3 hours for the average visitor.
When should you arrive for your Alcatraz tour?
When visiting Alcatraz, you should arrive at Pier 33 earlier than you think. Budget at least an extra 30 minutes once you get to Pier 33 for grabbing your tickets, going to the bathroom, and viewing the 3D replica of the island as a functional prison. And if you need to find parking, allow even more time.
Good news if you are visiting Alcatraz through Dylans Tours, you dont need to worry about parking and timing! We will get you to Pier 33 with no worry of being late or rushed.
How much does it cost to visit Alcatraz?
Can I buy discounted Alcatraz tickets?
When is the best time of year/day to visit Alcatraz?
What are the hours of Alcatraz?
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What To Know Before You Visit Alcatraz Island
How accessible is Alcatraz?
Much of Alcatraz is steep and hilly, so be prepared for walking long distances uphill. The distance from the dock to the prison at the top of the Island is about 1/4 mile and the elevation change is 130 feet . This is equivalent to climbing a thirteen-story building.
Visitors unable to make the climb up Alcatrazâs roads may take advantage of S.E.A.T. Tram â an electric shuttle that meets each scheduled arrival at the Alcatraz dock and transports visitors requiring mobility assistance from the dock to the prison building. S.E.A.T. returns visitors requiring mobility assistance from the prison building back to the dock at regular intervals throughout the day. Visitors requiring mobility assistance may be accompanied by one attendant in their party if space is available. Families with small children and strollers cannot be accommodated on S.E.A.T. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. The S.E.A.T. schedule is listed on the Accessibility page.The following areas are completely wheelchair accessible:
- Alcatraz dock area
How are the tours different?
How much time should I allow for my visit?
If you choose the Night Tour, your total experience is only 2 -3 hours.
If you choose the Behind The Scenes Tour, the guided tour lasts 2 hours. If you choose to stay afterwards for the Night Tour program, the complete experience including round trip boat ride, lasts 4 â 5 hours.
Where do I pick up my tickets?
Book The Alcatraz Night Tour
If youve got a choice, definitely opt for the Alcatraz Night Tour. Its slightly more expensive but a hell of a lot creepier which really adds to the prison tour experience! You might not get the same views of San Francisco on the ferry over but you do get to see San Francisco lit up at night, which is equally incredible.
If youre lucky, you might even find that youre on the island when the sun sets and theres a fantastic viewing platform as part of the prison tour from which you can view this.
When I was on the island there were two extra talks about the lives of two lesser-known prisoners, which were given in complete darkness. The tour guide used his torch to light up a select number of pictures hed printed off and the whole thing was made more chilling by the torchlight. The Alcatraz Night Tour really is a must!
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The Island Has Its Own Lighthouse
After hearing the stories of the prisoners and guards and wandering up and down the cell blocks, youll emerge from the main prison building, and right in front of you youll see a tall lighthouse. Built in 1854 at the tip of the island, the lighthouse burned in 1970, but most of it survived, and it is operational today.
The shell of a large house next to the lighthouse, with its prime view of the city, once housed the warden and his family. It also burned in 1970, but in its heyday it was a mansion surrounded by ornamental gardens.
The Tour Of The Prison Is A Self
There is an introductory tour of the island as soon as you arrive on Alcatraz, which lasts about thirty minutes. However, once you are in the main prison building, you are left to take yourself around the prison with an audio guide.
This self-guided tour of Alcatraz means you can go as fast or as slow as you like. There are lots of different chapters so take your time to really explore each part of the prison before moving onto the next part.
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Where You Can Park Nearby
Here are a few of the top parking options near the ferries to Alcatraz.
80 Francisco Street: Large garage with more than 500 spaces, it’s just a couple of blocks away and an easy walk to Pier 33.
1603 Montgomery St: Just two blocks away from Pier 33, between Chestnut St. and Lombard St. and it has about 100 spaces.
Here is a map showing Pier 33, the streetcar drop off point and some of the parking available. The blue “P”s on the map mark a few of the popular parking areas. The red “F”s on the map mark the stops for the F streetcar.
Behind The Scenes Tour Of Alcatraz
The Behind The Scenes tour of Alcatraz is a bit pricier than the other options, but for good reason. This tour only takes groups of less than 20 people! You get an incredibly intimate experience and insider look at the island with seasoned guides and zero crowds to dodge. If you have a bigger budget and want an exclusive tour, the Behind The Scenes tour is a great option.
Hours: This tour is available on Thursday at 2 pm and Friday-Monday at 1:35 pm. Timing may vary, so make sure to check the Alcatraz City Cruises site for the most up-to-date hours. Because it only leaves once per day with less than 20 people, you should book this tour far in advance!
Price: $93 for adults and $87 for juniors 12-17.
Length: About 3 hours.
What is included in the tour: The ferry transportation, a 2-hour guided tour around behind-the-scenes areas with a National Parks Ranger or historian, the Cellhouse audio tour, and exploring zones that are off-limits to the general public.
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Is Alcatraz Island Accessible
Alcatraz Island is steep and hilly. You should be prepared for long walks uphill. Visitors unable to make the climb around Alcatraz can use SEAT – Sustainable Easy Access Transport, an electric shuttle that transports visitors from the docks to the prison. The SEAT runs on a regularly schedule each day. Families with small children and strollers cannot use SEAT. Seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. The following areas are wheelchair accessible: Alcatraz Dock Area, Prison Building Main Floor, All Bookstores, Museum Displays, and the Island Theater.
Can You Buy Alcatraz Tickets On The Day
Alcatraz Cruises releases around 100 tickets per day, so if you get there and see 200 people in line, you might as well walk away. Their passes are sold on a first come, first serve basis and you can only buy one ticket per person. You will also need a Government-issued photo ID to buy your Alcatraz passes.
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How Much Does The Alcatraz Ferry Cost
Consequently, how much does it cost to go to Alcatraz?
Ticket Prices:Adult $39.90. Junior $39.90 Senior $37.65.
One may also ask, where do you buy tickets for Alcatraz? Alcatraz Island tickets can be purchased online, over the phone or at the Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing Ticketbooth. The easiest and quickest way to book is through this official and authorized concessioner website, by simply choosing the ticket quantity and clicking on the BUY TICKETS button above.
Additionally, does Alcatraz ticket include ferry?
Alcatraz tickets are all inclusive. The ticket price includes the ferry transportation service provided by Alcatraz Cruises, the cellhouse audio tour provided by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act fee.
Can you buy tickets to Alcatraz on the day?
If you do not have tickets for alcatraz it is possible to purchase tickets for the same day if you turn up at around 5am and wait in line till the ticket opens at 7.30 am. Around 100 tickets are sold then , usually for the first ferry at 8.45am, on a first come first served basis!
Can You See Alcatraz From San Francisco
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People also ask, how do you get to Alcatraz from San Francisco?
How to Visit Alcatraz
Secondly, where is the best view of Alcatraz? The best view of Alcatraz!– Pier 39
- United States.
- San Francisco – Things to Do.
- Pier 39.
People also ask, can you see Alcatraz from Golden Gate Bridge?
While it’s a major route for Bay Area commuters, the famous landmark attracts visitors from around the world with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Marin headlands, Alcatraz, and San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge is free to walk and bike across, with a protected, shared walkway for pedestrians and cyclists.
Is Alcatraz worth seeing?
The short answer: Yes, the tour of Alcatraz is worth it. We would even visit again. It was creepy, educational, historic, and eye-opening all in one. The ticket price of $38 is a little steep but considering you need a boat to get there and get a high quality audio tour, it’s worth it.
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How To Visit Alcatraz
The only way to visit Alcatraz is to take one of the ferries operated by the Hornblower company. Other Bay cruises may include a trip past or around Alcatraz, but they don’t let you get off on the island .
The boats leave from Pier 33 on the San Francisco Embarcadero, the waterfront boulevard running from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Ferry Building. Pier 33 is also called Alcatraz Landing. See maps below.
What To Expect At Alcatraz
Alcatraz Island tour ferries depart from and return to Pier 33, also known as Alcatraz Landing.
Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing is along San Franciscos northern waterfront promenade, also known as The Embarcadero.
Pier 33 is near the intersections of Sansome Street and The Embarcadero, and Bay Street and The Embarcadero.
It is just 400 meters from Fishermans Wharf.
The Alcatraz Landing area at Pier 33 includes the Ticketbooth, waiting, and boarding areas.
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Bring Layers No Matter The Weather
Even if youre visiting in the summer months, youll need to bring some layers for your visit to Alcatraz. The ferry from San Franciscos Pier 33 to the island takes around 10-15 minutes but that is more than enough time for you to get very, very chilly.
If you thought the winds of San Francisco bay were frosty then wait until you get onto that ferry! As an island, Alcatraz can get very windy and very cold, despite the sun, so make sure to wrap up warm. Doubly so if youve booked onto the Night Tour!
Coming From Fisherman’s Wharf
Take the “F-Line” Trolley along the Embarcadero and get off at the Bay Street stop at Pier 35, and walk a short distance further to Pier 33. If you want to take the trolley, get on at the first stop on Jones Street and Jefferson Street. It gets really full and for later stops you probably won’t get a seat and sometimes can’t get on at all.
Or walk the whole way . There are also pedicabs that go from Fisherman’s Wharf down the Embarcadero.
Enjoy your visit to Alcatraz!
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Be Sure To Book Ahead
If you postpone making a tour reservation until the week you are visiting San Francisco, you may be disappointed. Book at least a few weeks in advance, if possible you can order tickets up to three months in advance. Only one company, Alcatraz Cruises, sells tickets for island tours. Go online and choose a day tour, night tour, or behind-the-scenes tour. Your ticket will be for a specific time. Boats depart until mid-afternoon, so even the last boat of the day will allow for plenty of time to tour Alcatraz.
Some sites sell bay cruise tickets that include seeing Alcatraz from the boat, but not landing there. Be sure to book through the official site if you want to do more than a sail-by.
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Wednesday 27th of November 2019
Wow, I thought it was very interesting that you said that because the tour is narrated by ex-guards, you can learn who their favorite prisoners were. My sister and I are trying to plana new sister’s trip for this upcoming year, and we think that visiting prisons could be really interesting. We should figure out if there are night tours offered in Alcatraz that could help us get more in the mood.
Friday 1st of November 2019
My wife and I are thinking of going to Alcatraz while we are visiting San Francisco this summer. It is interesting that you can get a narrated guide with accounts from guards that actually worked there. We may pay for a professional tour so we don’t miss anything.
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What Other Changes Should I Be Aware Of
- To allow ample time for screening, it is strongly recommend that you arrive at Alcatraz Landing at least 45 minutes prior to your departure time.
- Due to social distancing requirements in the Cellhouse, there may be a lengthy wait for the Cellhouse Audio Tour.
- Food and beverage service is not available at Alcatraz Landing, onboard the ferries, or on Alcatraz Island.
- Disposable masks and hand sanitizer will be available for purchase.
- Hand washing stations are located throughout Alcatraz Landing.
- Hand sanitizer is located onboard the ferries and on the island.
Which Alcatraz Tour Is Best
18 Best Alcatraz Island Tours Which One to Choose?
- 1 Jail and Sail: Alcatraz Tour and Sunset or Twilight Bay Cruise.
- 2 Alcatraz and Big Bus Premium 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off.
- 3 Alcatraz Island Tour.
- 4 San Francisco VIP Segway Tour and Alcatraz Ticket Combo.
- 5 Combo Tour: Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Grand City Tour.
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The Audio Guide Is Narrated By Ex
What makes the audio guide really exciting is that it is narrated by ex Alcatraz guards. The guide is peppered with first-hand accounts from guards and they offer some truly fascinating insights into their lives of the prisoners on the island, as well as their own.
As I mentioned, these guards had to live on the island along with their families and the prisoners!
Youll learn who their favourite prisoners were, what the prisoners were like on the inside and whether they lived up to their reputations as the worst criminals in the American system.