If you are planning a holiday in San Francisco (or are already in the Fog City!), you must be aware of Alcatraz combo tours.
If not, don’t worry.
In this article, we tell you why Alcatraz combination tours are popular among the tourists.
We also list out the ten best Alcatraz combo tours out there.
Why are Alcatraz Combo tours popular?
All tour travel operators in San Francisco will try and sell you Alcatraz combination tours.
And not without reason.
After all, tourists love the Alcatraz combination tours and keep asking for more.
Why tour operators in SFO recommend combo tours
Alcatraz is the most popular attraction in San Francisco. Tour operators use it to upsell the other local attractions.
Alcatraz Cruises website, from where you can buy Alcatraz tour tickets, ends up selling all the tickets 75-90 days in advance.
However, a limited set of Alcatraz tour tickets are allotted to the tour operators to be sold as Alcatraz combo tours.
Why tourists love Alcatraz combo tours
A full adult Alcatraz tour ticket costs USD 38 for day tour and USD 45 for the night tour.
This is a costly ticket for a tour which lasts only three hours.
Combining it with a whole lot of other San Francisco attractions or other experiences provides more value for money.
Also, once all the tour tickets are sold on the Alcatraz Cruises website, the only way to visit America’s most dangerous prison is by booking an Alcatraz combo tour packages.
Are Alcatraz combo tours reliable?
Yes, these combo tours are authentic and reliable.
As mentioned earlier, Alcatraz Cruises allots a fixed number of Alcatraz tour tickets to other tour operators.
They allow these tour operators to sell Alcatraz tour tickets under two conditions –
1. The operators must club these Alcatraz tours with other tours in San Francisco.
2. They should sell the allotted Alcatraz Island tour tickets and pass on the names of the tourists at least four days before the day of the tour.
This is why when all the Alcatraz tour tickets get sold out, your best option for the last minute Alcatraz ticket is a combo tour.
This is a reliable option because these companies have bought the tickets in bulk from Alcatraz Cruises.
Best Alcatraz combo tours
Since there is so much to see in San Francisco city, there are numerous combinations possible.
We have hand-picked the best ten combo tours, which also include a visit to the Alcatraz island.
1. Alcatraz and Big Bus 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off tour
This is a very economical combo tour.
It includes one day of San Francisco sightseeing on Hop-On Hop-Off bus, Alcatraz Island tour, and a Panoramic night tour of San Francisco.
The Hop-On-Hop-off bus service runs every 10 minutes during the peak season. During the normal season, the frequency drops to every 30 minutes.
Cost: USD 110 per person
Duration: 1 day
2. 72-hour Hop-on Hop-off bus tour and Alcatraz ticket
With this combo tour ticket, you can hop onto any of the CitySightseeing buses at any designated stop along 3 city loops.
You are free to get down anytime you want and explore further.
One 2-hour night tour of the San Francisco city is also included in this combo tour.
This combo package also includes a trip to Alcatraz Island. The departure time for your Alcatraz tour will be provided on the first day of the tour when you pick up your tickets.
Cost: USD 129.99
Duration: 72 hours
3. Seaplane flight over Alcatraz + Alcatraz tour
With this combo tour, you get a double dose of Alcatraz.
In the morning, you take off in a seaplane from the lovely bayside village of Sausalito just across the Golden Gate Bridge.
The duration of this flight is around 30 minutes, during which you will fly over the city of San Francisco. You will also get an aerial view of Alcatraz.
After the fight is over, a complimentary shuttle will get you back to the city.
You have your lunch around the Pier 33 area, after which you line up to redeem your voucher for you official Alcatraz Tickets.
You get onto the ferry at 3:20 pm (mostly!) and start your Alcatraz tour.
Cost: USD 227
Duration: 4 hours
4. Guided tour of San Francisco + Alcatraz tour
This is one of the finest Alcatraz combination tours available.
It is perfect for tourists who have less time on hand.
The tour starts in the morning and a knowledgeable guide shows you highlights of San Francisco.
Later in the day, you head to Pier 33 to board your Alcatraz ferry and start your tour of the dread prison.
This Alcatraz combo package also includes a complimentary dining voucher for a San Francisco staple restaurant. You can use it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Cost: USD 125.50
Duration: 7 hours
5. Helicopter tour of San Francisco + Alcatraz tour
If you can afford it, we recommend this Alcatraz combination tour.
Your tour will begin with a 20-minute helicopter flight over San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area.
As the expert pilot of the Bell Jet helicopter takes over the narration, you also fly over and under the Golden Gate Bridge (weather permitting).
After your flight is over, you head over to Alcatraz Landing at Pier 33 to catch a ferry to the notorious prison island.
Cost: USD 243
Duration: 6 hours
6. San Francisco city tour with a visit to Alcatraz Island
If you want a quick tour of San Francisco city and want to visit Alcatraz on the same day, this is a perfect combo tour for you.
Pick up from your hotel is part of the package.
The first part of this Alcatraz combination tour is the 3.5 hours of SFO sightseeing.
Start with a walk to admire the picturesque Golden Gate Bridge. Then, visit the Beaux Arts-style Civic Center and the famous SFO Opera House.
From there, take in great views of the Twin Peaks, the highest points in the city and check out Alamo square, a residential district best known for its Postcard Row.
The best part of this tour is saved for the last.
You get dropped off at Pier 33, where you pick up your Alcatraz Island ferry tickets at the Prepaid Ticket booth.
Depending on the departure time printed on your ticket, you board the ferry and start your Alcatraz tour.
Cost: USD 160
Duration: 7 hours
7. Three hours’ bicycle ride at sunset + Alcatraz tour
This is a very interesting Alcatraz combo package.
It is spread over two days – the day you book this ticket for is your Alcatraz tour day.
Your 12-mile-long (19.3 Kms) bike tour is automatically booked for the day before your Alcatraz excursion. However, you may change your bike tour booking date and time as you wish up until 72 hours.
On day one, you go on a guided bike ride along a coastal route.
You ride along the famous piers of San Francisco, by Crissy Field, and past Fort Point to the breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge. See the city in its best light, at sunset.
You ride across the Golden Gate Bridge on the west/ocean side, along the path that opens at 3 pm strictly for cyclists.
Then you turn back and see the incredible sight of the San Francisco skyline at dusk.
The next day, you line up at Alcatraz Landing to start your tour of the notorious prison.
Cost: USD 95.75
Duration: 7 hours
8. Segway tour of San Francisco + Alcatraz tour
The Alcatraz combo package tour includes a fully guided tour of San Francisco’s most memorable sites, including North Beach and the San Francisco Waterfront.
All on a Segway.
You will get a full briefing on how to operate the self-balancing vehicles.
Your small group (of around 8 tourists) will also visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Russian Hill and Fisherman’s Wharf.
The best part will be when you Scoot down the legendary “Crookedest Street” in the World. Yes, it exists in San Francisco.
After the city tour is over, you will get your Alcatraz tickets.
All you must do is head to Alcatraz Landing at Pier 33 and get onto a ferry to start your Alcatraz Island tour.
Cost: USD 150
Duration: 7 hours
9. Alcatraz tour + 2 hours exploring SFO in GoCar
If you are a couple, there is no better Alcatraz combo package than this.
You start your day with a visit to Alcatraz island at 9.30 am.
After your Alcatraz tour, you pick up your lunch voucher at the GoCar’s Fisherman’s Wharf office and enjoy a fantastic lunch for 2 from Get Fresh SF (this is located near the office).
After lunch, you get back to GoCar office and pick up your GoCar – the iconic yellow storytelling car.
Just in case you didn’t know a GoCar is a storytelling car. They are great for exploring new places.
They have GPS so you won’t get lost and they also keep sharing location specific trivia as a human guide would.
The GoCar can take you on an exciting loop of San Francisco in just 2 hours.
Note: This combo tour is priced for two.
Cost: USD 245.88
Duration: 5 hours
10. Half day Catamaran cruise + Alcatraz Island tour
If you love water, this Alcatraz combo tour is an opportunity to get onto the water twice.
You start the tour with a 90 minutes long catamaran cruise. You sail by the Alcatraz Island and then from under the Golden Gate Bridge.
During the cruise, a trained guide provides information about San Francisco’s landmarks that you sail past.
If you chance the adventure, you can even take the helm from the captain for a chance to steer the boat yourself.
Once you are back on the mainland, you line up for the ferry ride for the Alcatraz island tour.
Once on the Island, you will head for the Cellhouse and take the award-winning 45-minute cell-house audio tour.
In 3 hours time, you will be back on the mainland.
Cost: USD 95
Duration: 5 hours
Can’t afford so much? No problem. Try this tour wherein you cruise around Alcatraz Island for 90 minutes. It costs only USD 39 per person.