San Francisco Golden Gate Whale-Watching Tour
Take a sightseeing cruise across San Francisco Bay and glide under the Golden Gate Bridge on this 2.5-hour whale-watching tour. Search for humpback and gray whales along with more abundant porpoises, dolphins, and harbor seals while learning about the unique history and geology of the area from a professional naturalist on board. Cruise past iconic landmarks aboard a Coast Guard–certified eco-friendly vessel with abundant cabin space and comfortable sun deck.
- Choice of several departures throughout the day
- Family friendly
- See native wildlife in their natural environment
- Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
- Travel by boat and see the sights from the water
This is a typical itinerary for this product
Stop At: Pier 39, Beach Street & The Embarcadero Parking area, San Francisco, CA 94133
Start your whale-watching tour from Pier 39 in San Francisco. A member of the crew will welcome you aboard the eco-friendly catamaran. With its hull design and superior engineering, the vessel offers a smooth ride across San Francisco Bay.
Duration: 5 minutes
Pass By: Angel Island State Park, Pier 41, San Francisco, CA 94109
Following a safety orientation to familiarize yourself with the boat, take in the views of Angel Island and nearby Alcatraz.
Pass By: Golden Gate Bridge, US-101, San Francisco, CA 94129
Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and head out to sea, venturing 3 to 8 miles (4 to 12 km) in search of marine life. In addition to humpback and gray whales, the Bay Ares is frequented by numerous porpoises, dolphins, sharks, sea lions, and various bird populations, as explained by the onboard naturalist.
Stop At: San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, CA
Dramatic cliffs and imposing rocky shorelines create a dramatic backdrop while you relax inside the heated cabin or watch for whales from the spacious deck. Learn local trivia and brush up on regional history about Native Americans, Spanish explorers, or Gold Rush immigrants.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Stop At: Fisherman's Wharf, Jefferson Street Between Hyde and Powell Streets, San Francisco, CA 94133
Returning to Pier 39, you'll find numerous eateries where you can purchase clam chowder or the famous sourdough bread of Fisherman’s Wharf.
Duration: 1 minute
- Reservations are REQUIRED for all bookings
- Book Your Package On-Line and Receive Your Confirmation
- Departure point: Pier 39, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
- Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (Approx.)
- Return Details: Returns to original departure point
- Professional guide
- Coast guard–certified vessel with professional captain and crew
- Live commentary on board
- Food and drinks
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
What To Bring
- Confirmation Voucher (printed or mobile)
- Any required or suggested items listed on your confirmation email.
- A Smile!
- Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers
- Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
- Children must be accompanied by an adult
- This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
- This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
Average 4.49 out of 5 stars based on 117 verified reviews from Cool Destinations and TripAdvisor.
We had a great time on a misty day looking for whales. The crew of the ship was excellent and Michael was great at explaining what we were seeing. We went out into the ocean and as we were about to turn back we saw a whale and it was great to see this beautiful creature in the ocean. We also saw so much other wildlife along the way. If you do suffer from seasickness be aware that you do go out quite a way, but the crew hands out ginger candy and offers lots of advice to help you.
Great trip, smaller group size, spectacular views, 3 humpbacks... wow! Every question we had was answered. amazing morning out.
We didn't really see much for quite some time until towards the end of the trip but the crew was very enthusiastic and informative. It was overall a really fun experience.
We left on time and our guides and captain were fantastic! From what I had read in the reviews, I knew to wear a hooded sweatshirt and bring along a rain jacket with a hood! I was glad for both! Do take along a water bottle filled with water as well as a camera and a pair of binoculars. Wear a pair of shoes that won't slip. You may also need some anti-motion sickness pills such as "Dromadine". Most of all----- HAVE FUN!
The boat ride by itself was wonderful. It would have been even better if our trip was able to sight a whale - unfortunately not this time. Still a beautiful way to see San Francisco from the ocean.
Not a tourist thing, this is a research vessel educating people. Whale sightings did happen, crew was professional, vessel was nice. Limited indoor seating, nonetheless a wonderful time.
Still have questions?
We’re here to help. Call (800) 814-2665 to speak with a Destination Specialist.
Product code: COOL-5311P3
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