Skip the box office line and go straight to the gate to board your boat at San Francisco’s Pier 39. Then, check out the barking sea lions and San Francisco’s historic waterfront as the cruise gets underway. Log on to your WiFi-enabled personal device for an audio tour and learn about ‘The Rock,’ as Alcatraz was once known, and the infamous prisoners it once housed: Al Capone, Robert Stroud—AKA ‘The Birdman of Alcatraz’—and Frank Morris, one of three inmates to escape the island and never be found.
Snap pictures of the west’s most iconic bridge as you journey beneath it and admire the zig-zagging hills of Angel Island, the former checkpoint that processed hundreds of thousands of mostly Chinese immigrants. The island—the Bay’s largest—is now a state park and wildlife preserve popular with hikers and boaters. If desired, purchase food and drink on board.