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The 7 Best San Francisco Boat Rides [2024 Reviews]

See those famous san francisco landmarks with a boat tour or bay sailing cruise..

Photo of Krysha Thayer

There’s nothing like seeing the island of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and even the unique San Francisco skyline from the bay. A sailing cruise or boat tour can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t want to miss.

San Francisco has a culture all its own and a visit there is well worth it. With trolley cars, the curviest road in the country, and even the unique Fisherman’s Wharf, there’s no lack of things to see and do.

Best San Francisco Bay Boat Tours

One of the most popular activities for those visiting San Francisco is a sailing cruise or boat tour. We’ve reviewed the top choices for you.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated San Francisco Dinner Boat Cruises

  • San Francisco Bay Sail & Jail Boat Cruise & Alcatraz Ticket
  • San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise by Luxury Catamaran
  • California Sunset Cruise in San Francisco
  • San Francisco: Bay Sailing Tour w/ Drinks
  • Luxury Brunch or Dinner Cruise on San Francisco Bay
  • San Francisco Signature Dinner Cruise
  • Straight to the Gate Access: San Francisco Twilight or Sunset Cruise

Whether you would like to take a cruise of San Francisco Bay from the comfort of a catamaran or a large luxury boat, there’s guaranteed to be the perfect cruise or boat tour for you.

San Francisco Bay Boat Tour Reviews

1. san francisco bay: sail & jail boat cruise & alcatraz ticket.

 San Francisco Bay: Sail & Jail Boat Cruise & Alcatraz Ticket

  • Departure Point : Pier 39, Gate J
  • Departure Time : 11:00 AM
  • Duration : 4 hours (approx.)
  • Includes : Catamaran tour of San Francisco Bay, ferry ticket to Alcatraz Island, admission to Alcatraz Prison

During this combination catamaran cruise and visit to Alcatraz, you’ll be able to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and see Alcatraz from the bay waters. You may even catch a glimpse of the sea lions that call the bay their home.

A handy navigation guide will help you locate many of the landmarks you will see from the luxury catamaran. If you have any questions about them, be sure to ask the captain and crew. During the 1.5-hour sailing adventure, you may even be able to take control of the sails yourself, with guidance from the crew.

There are beverages available for purchase while on the catamaran, from water and sodas to wine and beer. You can take in the sights from a viewing area with comfortable seating or even experience the waves in a whole new way by relaxing on the trampoline nets.

After your catamaran sailing adventure in San Francisco Bay, you’ll receive the ferry ticket as well as your admission ticket to Alcatraz Island. Find Pier 33 and head out to the most infamous prison in American history, and even take the 45-minute audio tour with commentary from both prisoners and guards.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience, other experiences you may enjoy:, 2. san francisco bay sunset cruise by luxury catamaran.

 San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise by Luxury Catamaran

  • Departure Time : 7:00 PM
  • Duration : 1 hour, 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Includes : Catamaran cruise, hors d’oeuvres, 2 complimentary beverages

The San Francisco sunsets are not to be missed. If you find yourself in the City by the Bay, you will definitely want to catch one while on a bay cruise.

You’ll be able to take in the sights of Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, the friendly sea lions, and the unique city skyline. For a full 90 minutes, you will be able to experience San Francisco from a luxury catamaran.

While aboard the catamaran, you can take advantage of comfortable seating from the protected viewing area. If you’d like to experience the salty waves, you can always view the San Francisco sunset from the two trampoline nets.

A toast at sunset, to another fantastic day in this beautiful and unique city, can be shared by all on board. You will have your choice of two complimentary beverages as well as access to the light hors d’oeuvres that are served.

3. California Sunset Cruise in San Francisco

 San Francisco: California Sunset Boat Cruise

  • Departure Point : Pier 43 1/2, right behind the crab sign at Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Duration : 2 hours (approx.)
  • Includes : Cruise, appetizer buffet, live music onboard, a complimentary drink and access to the full bar

Before sunset, your cruise will take you past many iconic San Franciscan landmarks such as the Transamerica Pyramid and Coit Tower. Be sure to take plenty of pictures while enjoying free appetizers served buffet-style.

You’ll also cruise past Alcatraz and Angel Island before heading due west toward the Golden Gate Bridge to view the sun setting behind it and sinking into the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

While aboard, you will have live entertainment in the form of a guitar player or band. Toast to the beauty of another day in paradise with a complimentary drink. Additional beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are available at the bar.

If you’d like to purchase a souvenir while on your cruise to commemorate both the trip and the memorable sunset, merchandise is available for purchase as are snacks.

4. San Francisco: Bay Sailing Tour w/ Drinks

 San Francisco: Bay Sailing Tour with Drinks

  • Departure Point : Pier 39, Dock F
  • Departure Time : 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM, 4:30 PM
  • Duration : 1 hour, 30 minutes to 2 hours (approx.)
  • Includes : sailing experience on the Bay, full crew, 2 complimentary beverages

When you meet the First Mate of the Privateer at Pier 39, Dock F, he will walk you to the magnificent double-masted sailboat. Be sure to ask either before or after your cruise to have a crew member or other passenger take a picture of you and your party in front of her.

After motoring out into open water, the crew will raise the sails and you’ll be traveling San Francisco Bay by power of the wind. The first landmarks you will see are Alcatraz Prison and Angel Island along with the Bay Bridge. But that’s not all.

The beauty of the city of Sausalito can be seen back on shore as you head toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Your talented captain will navigate along the length of the bridge to give you plenty of time to take pictures of the bridge as well as of you and your party with the bridge in the background.

During the adventure, a member of the crew will be around to serve you two complimentary beverages of your choice. Soda and water are available, as are beer and wine. The crew can also answer any questions you have about the sailing vessel or the landmarks you see.

5. Luxury Brunch or Dinner Cruise on San Francisco Bay

Luxury Brunch or Dinner Cruise on San Francisco Bay

  • Departure Point : Pier 3 on the Embarcadero at Washington Street
  • Departure Time : Variety available
  • Duration : 2 – 2.5 hours
  • Includes : Brunch or dinner (depending on option selected) , musical entertainment , unlimited mimosas and sparkling wine

This cruise offers the option of a brunch with unlimited mimosas and sparkling wine or a dinner cruise where you can watch the sunset and enjoy a nice meal while listening to the live musical entertainment.

Your captain and guides will be able to point out those famous San Francisco landmarks. Most can also answer any questions you have about these landmarks or the city itself.

You will meet at the famous  Pier 3 on the Embarcadero to board your cruise vessel. This 2 to 2.5 hour cruise of the Bay will take you past many famous landmarks, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and even around Alcatraz Island. When you return back to the Wharf, be sure to enjoy a drink and enjoy the street entertainment.

6. San Francisco Signature Dinner Cruise

san francisco bay cruise review

  • Duration : 3 hours
  • Departure : Pier 3, Hornblower Landing, San Francisco, CA 94111
  • Includes : 3-hour yacht cruise, dinner, local DJs playing great music, soda, coffee, tea, water, scenic views of the bay, alcoholic beverages available for purchase

San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and undoubtedly the best way to appreciate its beauty is by boat. When the sun starts to set over the bay, the golden sun seems to illuminate everything, making it that much more magical.

With the San Francisco Signature Dinner Cruise Tour , you’ll get to see it all for yourself while enjoying a delicious meal with great company! This 3-hour event is the perfect opportunity to get dressed up and enjoy a special occasion, celebration, or simply enjoy life!

I actually discovered this tour because I was looking for a romantic restaurant, but I luckily found this tour and it really beat out any restaurant out there. It’s not too crowded, the service is top-notch, and the vibes were impeccable.

Right when we boarded our boat, we were escorted to our table where we were able to relax and enjoy the full 360 views of the gorgeous San Francisco Bay. The staff was more than willing to accommodate us and answer any questions we had, while bringing us plenty of drinks while we waited to set off.

Shortly after, dinner was served, which offered plenty of tasty American dishes as well as many international dishes that I really enjoyed. After having our fill, we got out on the dancefloor and danced to the live DJ who played plenty of songs we all knew.

It was a great time being able to dance with the one most special to me, as well as singing some party anthems with new friends we met onboard. Overall, if you’re looking to have a good time while enjoying SF’s beauty, it’s hard to beat this tour!

7. Straight to the Gate Access: San Francisco Twilight or Sunset Cruise

san francisco bay cruise review

  • Duration : 1.5 hours
  • Departure : Pier 43 ½ San Francisco, CA 94133
  • Departure Time : 5:30 PM
  • Includes : Sunset cruise or twilight cruise (depending on time of year), “straight to the gate” access

The first time I saw San Francisco as an adult, I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to see it up-close. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, as I knew that many of the boats didn’t get that close and driving on it didn’t allow for me to fully appreciate its grandeur.

The Straight to the Gate Access: San Francisco Twilight or Sunset Cruise seemed to be the answer to my question, though! Lasting 1.5 hours, it’s one of the easiest tours of its kind to fit into even the busiest of schedules.

Simply select the time that works best for you, and head over to the pier down at Fisherman’s Wharf and get ready to board. The Wharf has tons of things to do, so make sure after the tour you enjoy some carnival games, a bowl of clam chowder soup, or just stroll around and enjoy the energy of this special place.

Once boarded, your captain will be there to answer any questions you may have and ensure everyone is safe and comfortable. I found there to be plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the impeccable views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge.

We passed by notable sites, but the Golden Gate Bridge as the sun set definitely had my attention. Going under the bridge and witnessing the phenomenal construction was truly mind-blowing, and hard to believe I was actually able to partake in this experience.

Our guide regaled us with countless stories of events, including the famous Alcatraz and the prison escapes that happened here. I also feel that this is one of the best San Francisco skyline views, so make sure to get those smartphones out to snap some photos!

FAQs About San Francisco Bay Boat Rides and Tours

Best San Francisco Bay Cruises

What will I see on a San Francisco boat ride?

The Golden Gate Bridge : This is the most well known landmark of San Francisco. This suspension bridge spans 1.7 miles across the strait.

Alcatraz Island : This infamous prison has housed some of the most notorious criminals such as Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. You will see it’s silhouette guard towers and the cell blocks from the water. For a tour, take a ferry to visit for a guided tour.

Angel Island : The largest island in San Francisco Bay. This state park has hiking, biking, camping and tours. You can take a ferry to visit the island for a guided tour.

The Bay Bridge: This bridge connects San Francisco and Oakland and consists of two sections along with a tunnel. You can also drive or bike across it for a close up view.

The Skyline : You will see the stunning San Francisco’s downtown area skyline, with it’s skyscrapers, landmark, and hills. From the water you will see its architecture and its scenic beauty.

What are the most popular San Francisco cruise combos?

There are a variety of combination boat rides:

Muir Woods & Sausalito Half-Day Tour : With this combination tour you explore the redwood forest of Muir Woods National Monument and the charming town of Sausalito.

Alcatraz with Muir Woods and Sausalito Tour : This ultimate combination tour you see three of the Bay Area’s top attractions in one day. You get a tour of Alcatraz , walk through the giant redwood forest of Muir Woods and check out the Sausalito shops.

How long is a San Francisco boat ride?

Boat rides around San Francisco bay last between one hour for a short tour to three hourse for a dinner cruise.

Are there San Francisco boat rides with dinner?

Yes, there are a variety of boat rides that serve dinner from a casual buffet to a white linen, three course dinner.

What is the best time to go on a boat ride in San Francisco?

San Francisco is of course known for its foggy, cool weather, especially in the summer. The fog will obscure the views of the landmarks and the bay. In addition to the fog, the wind can make the boat ride uncomfortably cold. September and October are the sunniest and warmest months with mostly clear skies and mild temperatures.

Tour Guides

The San Francisco Bay Sail & Jail Boat Cruise & Alcatraz Ticket is our Editor's Choice for the best San Francisco Bay cruise.

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Krysha Thayer

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  • Bay Cruises

San Francisco Bay Tours: My 10 Favorite Boat Cruises on the SF Bay

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler   •

Updated: February 12, 2024

There are so many great San Francisco bay tours and boat cruises that it can be hard to find the perfect one.

I've been on almost all of them and have a few thoughts on all of them.

I hope it will help you decide which one is right for you.

Some of the most popular picks by visitors include the standard 60-minute bay cruise as well as some of our sunset cruises.

If you are looking for something a little fancier, you will find a wonderful Dinner Dance Cruise offered by Hornblower. 

You can also head out past the Golden Gate Bridge to get in some whale watching while you are here or take a special cruise to watch the fireworks on Fourth of July or New Year's Eve.

San Francisco Bay Tours

Disclaimer : I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

3 Top Rated Bay Cruises

  • Golden Gate Bay Cruise : Most popular, runs often, 60 minutes
  • Premier Brunch Cruise : 2 hours, buffet brunch, unlimited mimosas and sparkling wine, great views!
  • Twilight/Sunset Cruise : Head out on the water in the evening as the sun sets, 90 minutes

1. Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Tour Length: 60 minutes

Tickets : Book your tickets

As I mentioned in my intro, this is by far the most popular cruise and a go to for many first-time visitors.

It offers a great overview of the SF Bay both from a sightseeing and history perspective. 

These San Francisco boat cruises leave from Fisherman's Wharf several times a day.

It's another reason why they are so popular--because they run the most often.

San Francisco Bay Boat Tours

These San Francisco bay tours are offered by both the Gold and Blue Fleet and the Red and White Fleet.

I've been on the water with both companies several times and they both offer great service.

The only difference is that the Gold and Blue Fleet provides their narration over loudspeakers on the boat while Red and White Fleet hands out individual headsets. 

One benefit to the headsets with Red and White is that they offer narration in several languages, so this is something to consider if English is your second language.

Both SF cruise companies follow almost the same route.

The boat cruise leaves from Fisherman's Wharf and starts out along the northern waterfront.

You head west past several SF sights including Fort Mason , the Marina District and the Palace of Fine Arts .

You will then ride by Fort Point National Historic Site as you head to the main attraction - the Golden Gate Bridge .

After you float under the Golden Gate Bridge, you turn around for a second time under the bridge.

You will head to the northern side of the bay. You'll pass Sausalito , Angel Island and take some time cruising past Alcatraz Island . 

Red and White Fleet Boat Tours

You can catch one of these San Francisco bay tours several times a day.

In the summer, each company offers about a dozen boat cruises. In the winter, it's about 7 to 9 (more on the weekends). 

Your ticket is good for any cruise for that day. When you arrive, you will line up for the cruise and those in front will board first.

However, don't stress too much (unless it's a really busy holiday weekend) as they don't often fill up all the way.

People also move around the boat quite a bit, so you don't really need to be first in line.

You can buy tickets for these cruises either online or in person.

>> Find tickets for this cruise on GetYourGuide

If you want a full write up of what to expect on this tour, you can also visit this page . It's my overview with more pictures and what to expect. In this case, I reviewed my time with the Red and White Fleet.

2. San Francisco Bridge to Bridge Cruise

Tour Length : 90 minutes

Tickets: Book your tickets for this cruise today ! 

My second recommend for San Francisco bay tours is the Bridge to Bridge Cruise.

This one is run by the Red and White Fleet. It's a popular option, but only runs a few times a day. 

They are also usually flexible with timing too on which San Francisco boat tour you can board unless it's a really busy day.

You can stop by their dock at any time to confirm which tour you can go on for the day of your ticket.

Red & White Cruising Under the Golden Gate Bridge

It's slightly different from the SF Bay Cruise as this one offers 30 additional minutes on the water. It will follow the same route as above.

However, instead of heading back after circling Alcatraz, you will head on for a trip under the Bay Bridge.

You will also cruise past Treasure Island and the Ferry Building . So, it offers a little more fun on the water for just a few more bucks per ticket.

As with the Bay Cruise, the narration for the Bridge to Bridge Cruise is on personal headsets. You can choose from one of 16 languages on their headsets too.

>> Find tickets

3. San Francisco Champagne Brunch Cruise

Champagne Cruise SF

Tour Length: 2 hours

The San Francisco Champagne Brunch Cruise is a great option from Hornblower.

What makes this one of my favorite San Francisco bay tours is the combination of the food/champagne and the cruise around the bay in the morning.

The buffet varies a bit throughout the year to allow for seasonal changes.

Some of the items you will find include fresh baked breads, a variety of salads, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries, herb crusted beef, ham with country mustards, and SO much more.

And, of course, their house champagne (as well as coffee, tea, water and soda). 

You will cruise along a similar route to what was mentioned in the descriptions above including heading under the Golden Gate Bridge, near Alcatraz, near the Bay Bridge and past other top sights along the water. 

This is a really fun cruise and worth the extra money for a delightful experience.

This San Francisco boat cruise also picks up at Pier 3, which is NOT in Fisherman's Wharf, but instead close to the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero.

>>  Find tickets for all cruises on Viator

4. Twilight OR Sunset Cruise (Depending on the Season)

Tour Length : 2 hours

The Twilight or Sunset Cruise is offered by the Red and White Fleet. The difference between the two cruises is the time of year. 

The Twilight Cruise is offered during the winter months (roughly early November through mid-March). It's called a Twilight Cruise since the sun will already be down by the time the cruise is underway.

However, you do get amazing views of the lights on the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, San Francisco, and all around the SF Bay.

Sunset Twilight Cruise Route

The Sunset Cruise is offered the rest of the year (roughly from mid-March through early November). They change the time this San Francisco boat cruise leaves in order to have you on the water during the sunset.

You will get some great views of the sunset as long as the fog has not decided to make its way into the bay before the sun goes down.

Both cruises follow the same route. They first head along the northern shoreline, then under the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz, past Treasure Island, under the Bay Bridge and then back to Fisherman's Wharf.

These cruises only leave once a day (and only Thursday through Sunday during the winter months), so your ticket will be for a specific time.

I love this evening cruise as they also serve a nice buffet of appetizers. You can also enjoy a drink or two on board (available for purchase at the bar). There is also a musician on board playing some light music in the background. 

It makes for a really nice evening on the water with family, friends or your romantic partner.

>> Find tickets for this fun cruise

5. Escape from the Rock

Tour Length: 90-minute tour

The Escape from the Rock cruise follows the same path as the SF Bay Cruises for the first 60 minutes. The difference with this one is that it offers an additional loop around Alcatraz as well as more stories about this famous island and its inmates.

In addition to hearing about SF's history, you will also hear more about Al Capone, Robert Stroud "The Birdman of Alcatraz," and those who tried to escape.

Escape from the Rock Cruise

This one is very popular, but it only runs a couple of times a day.

Some people get confused by the name and think that it will stop on Alcatraz for a visit.

It does not.

It simply cruises around the island a couple of times, so you get some great views and photos.

This one is a good one if you missed your chance to get tickets to Alcatraz or if you want to see it closer up from the water.

If the timing of this cruise works for you, I would select this one over the standard 60-minute bay cruise as it gives you some great insight into Alcatraz.

6. Wine Tasting on the Bay

Tour Length : 90 Minutes

This awesome cruise is aboard Wine Therapy. This floating wine bar is a blast and allows you to sip on your local wine as you soak in the views from around the SF Bay.

The boat is a 45-foot classic yacht with seating both indoors and out. 

Your cruise starts and ends at Pier 39. You'll then head toward the Golden Gate Bridge, circle close to Alcatraz, enjoy the downtown San Francisco skyline, and then head back to where it all began.

The cruise is 90 minutes. The wine is by the glass and is not included in the price of the cruise.

>> Find out more and check for availability

7. Dinner Dance Cruise

Length: 2.5 to 3 hours

The Dinner Dance Cruise is the first on my list from Hornblower. This company features San Francisco boat tours that I would consider are more for special occasions.

They have larger boats in order to accommodate tables for their dinner dance cruises and they also have a higher price tag because so much more is included with this ticket.

The Dinner Dance Cruise is one of their most popular cruises and it runs a few nights a week (usually around the weekends in the winter and most nights in the summer).

It features a four-course seated meal with a choice of options within some of the courses.

After dinner, you can head outside for views of the SF Bay, enjoy a little dancing on one of their upper decks, or just sit back to listen to the music.

As for drinks, tea, coffee, water, and soda are included with your ticket. Their bar is open the entire tour and you can buy beer, wine and cocktails here.

What I love about these San Francisco boat cruises is that you get some decent views of the bay from almost all of the seats in the dining room. 

The other thing to note about these bay cruises is they do require that you dress up a little bit. No jeans are allowed, and they require business casual dress. 

It's the perfect pick for a romantic date night or upscale dinner.

One of the things to keep in mind with the Hornblower cruises is that they pick up at Pier 3, which is closer to the Ferry Building and NOT near Fisherman's Wharf.

There usually aren't discounts for these San Francisco bay tours, but I do highly recommend booking your tickets early.

They do sell out during the busier travel seasons and holidays. 

>> Visit GetYourGuide for more details and to check for ticket availability

8. Whale Watching

Whale Watching SF

Tour Length : Varies from about 2.5 hours to around 6 hours

The next on my list of the 10 top San Francisco bay tours is our fun whale watching tours .

I'm cheating a little by adding it to this list because most of the time you will be on the Pacific Ocean for this boat tour.

However, you will cruise through the bay to get to and from the ocean.

I also wanted to add this one because these are some of my favorite San Francisco boat tours.

The waters right outside the bay are very active all year long with migrating whales, dolphins, dozens of birds and other sea animals.

These boat cruises are so much fun that it would be a shame to miss your chance to head out for some whale watching.

The Golden Gate Whale Watching tour runs from late April to October. This is the standard summer whale watching tour and leaves from Pier 39 up to 4 times a day.

In 2.5 hours, you will keep an eye out for whale activity and sightings. 

In the winter months, gray whales are migrating through this area and there is a special Gray Whale Sightseeing Cruise. This one runs December - March.

It only heads out once a day and only a few days a week. Even though there are fewer people around at this time, I find this one of my favorite times to head out whale watching. 

The great thing is all of the boat companies work together (you will hear them on the radio) to ensure passengers on all of the boats get the chance to see whales during the cruise.

9. Sunset Catamaran

Tour Length: 90 minutes

This is the second sunset boat cruise on my list of the 10 best San Francisco Bay Tours.

I offer this one as an alternative to the Twilight/Sunset Cruise for a couple of reasons.

First, this bay cruise is smaller and offers a more intimate experience. This one is better if you are looking for a more romantic evening on the water.

There are also fewer people on this boat, so you can get to know people a little better.

Second, this one is more casual.

They do offer a drink which is included in your ticket price.

The catamaran is smaller, but still has plenty of space.

They also have both indoor and outdoor seating. Soft-soled shoes are also recommended so you can easily walk around the catamaran. 

If you love the water and want to spend a relaxing evening cruising around the bay, then this is the tour for you! 

It follows the typical path with two trips under the Golden Gate Bridge, a cruise around Alcatraz, and a chance to see all of the wonderful sights along the water. 

It only runs once a night and the time changes by season to give you the best chance to catch the sunset.

The tour does runs from early March to the end of November.

>> Find tickets to this fun catamaran tour

>> Find some additional night tours on both land and on the water

10. Special Event Cruises

Tour Length : Varies

My final entry for my list of the best San Francisco bay tours is all of the special event cruises. There are several throughout the year for holidays, but three dates offer an extra special experience.

The first two are cruises for our amazing fireworks shows.

On New Year's Eve and Fourth of July, dozens of San Francisco boat tours head out on the water to watch the fireworks shows.

Some of them offer dinner and dancing, while others head out just for the show.

If you are around on either of these dates, I highly recommend one of these cruises.

Fourth of July

Find out more about the NYE Cruises here and more on Fourth of July on this page.

Fleet Week is another time of the year when you will find some special San Francisco cruises. They head out on the water for the very popular airshow that features the Blue Angels.

They offer cruises usually on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the shows and some also offer cruises during the Blue Angels practice runs. 

Learn more about Fleet Week on this page . 

Bay Cruises Pin

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San Francisco Bay Cruises and Boat Tours

san francisco bay cruise review

This post compares and reviews the many different San Francisco Bay cruises, boat tours and dinner cruises available to you to help you decide which is best for you. 

  • 9 Best Cruises
  • Cruise Discounts
  • Alcatraz Island Cruises

Disclosure:  While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the  full text .

9 BEST CRUISES IN SAN FRANCISCO

Most of these bay tours take guests under the Golden Gate Bridge and then circle around Alcatraz, though some include longer small group tour and half-day tour with more sites.

It's important to note, however, that though many boat cruises by and discuss Alcatraz, only one company, Alcatraz Cruises, is allowed to drop guests off on the island.

Most of the choices may be included as part of the San Francisco City Pass or Go City San Francisco Card.

Read our guide on whether a tourist discount pass is a good fit for you .

1. SAN FRANCISCO BAY CRUISE

There are currently two different companies offering this type of cruise, and as the name implies, you can expect to enjoy excellent views of the San Francisco Bay.

Some of the landmarks you can expect to see are of course the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, although there are actually other cruises that focus more directly on these locations.

Blue and Gold Fleet San Francisco Boat

If you're looking for a general overview of the Bay Area and you want to see as much as possible, consider one of these cruises:

Blue and Gold Fleet

SF Bay Cruise Adventure

  • $35.99 - Adult | $26.99 - Child
  • Dates: Daily
  • Hours: 10 am - 4 pm
  • Purchase tickets here .

Red and White Fleet

Golden Gate Bay Cruise

  • $38 - Adult (18+) | $29 - Youth (5-17)
  • Free for kids under 5
  • Hours: 11 am - 5:40 pm  

More info and to book .

Blue & Gold Fleet is included for free with the purchase of the San Francisco CityPASS and the Explorer Pass - all three are tourist attraction discount passes.

2. ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ CRUISE

This cruise will take you as close to Alcatraz as possible without landing there. As with other cruises in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can also expect to see other notable sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge.

There are also ferries that will take you directly to the island, but tickets can sell out for weeks in advance. If you miss out on the opportunity to actually visit Alcatraz, this is the next best option.

  • $46 - Adult | $27 - Child
  • Hours: 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm
  • Purchase tickets here

This cruise is offered by Blue and Gold Fleet, and it's included with the purchase of both a San Francisco CityPASS and an Explorer Pass .

3. BRIDGE 2 BRIDGE CRUISE

This is similar to the San Francisco Bay Cruise, but it will take you from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oakland Bay Bridge. In addition to seeing Alcatraz, you can also expect to catch glimpses of Sausalito!

If you're looking for a cruise that covers the widest range of the Bay Area possible, this is going to be one of the best services on our list.

  • $48 - Adult (18+) | $36 - Youth (5-17)
  • Hours: 11:40 am - 4:20 pm  

4. CALIFORNIA SUNSET CRUISE

If you're interested in seeing the San Francisco Bay at sunset, this sightseeing cruise is an excellent option.

There are also dinner cruises that tend to start at sunset, but we'll cover those a bit later on this list.

The Bay Area looks magical during sunset, and this is a great way to experience the city skyline as the sun is going down.

  • $50 - Adult (18+)| $38 - Youth (5-17)
  • Availability: Mar 27th - Nov 5th
  • Hours: 7 pm

This outing turns into the California Twilight Cruise during the winter months as a result of changing daylight hours.

This is essentially the same as the Sunset Cruise, but this outing takes place after dark due to the sun going down earlier, giving the crew an opportunity to see the city lights after the sun goes down.

5. ALCATRAZ ISLAND CRUISE

For those set on visiting Alcatraz Island , Alcatraz Cruises is your only option.

Tours are available in the mornings, afternoons and at night, and each includes a visit to the island and ferry building.

The night tour is the only one that is personally guided; the rest rely on an audio tour.

However, during the busy season, tickets for all tours can sell out weeks, if not months, in advance, but there are ways to get standby and last minute tickets.

Check out our post on visiting Alcatraz to learn more about how to get tickets and what to expect.

6. SPEED BOAT CRUISE

This 90-minute speedboat ride is always a hit with kids and adults!

You’ll pass many popular sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz with classic rock playing in the background. Expect to get wet!

If you’re looking for a more exciting experience out on the San Francisco Bay, you can’t go wrong with a trip on a speed boat.

This is one of the fastest boats in the bay area, and it will take you on a speedy trip that you’ll never forget.

ADVENTURE BOAT  (by Bay Voyager)

Ticket Prices

  • $99 - Adults
  • $89 - Seniors (65+)
  • $69 - Child (5-11)
  • Purchase tickets or learn more .
  • 11 am, 1:30 pm, and 4 pm

7. ADVENTURE CAT SAILING CHARTERS

Adventure Cat is one of the most popular sailing companies. In addition to their typical charters, they also offer special combo excursions that include hikes, a visit to Alcatraz, and more.

If you want to experience the San Francisco Bay from a sailboat, they offer daily sailing options at a more than fair rate.

They have earned a 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. Very few passengers have reported having any issues with this company.

Adventure Cat Bay Sail

  • $60 for Adults
  • $30 for Children
  • Children under 5 sail for free
  • Daily at 2 PM and 4:30 PM

Adventure Cat Sunset Sail

  • $75 for Adults and Children
  • Daily at 7 pm from Mar - Oct

8. DINNER CRUISES

HORNBLOWER CRUISES

This company offers four-course dinner cruises around the Bay Area.

Alcohol is not included in the price of a ticket, but there is a cash bar on board. They also offer lunch and brunch cruises for a slightly lower rate.

Whether dining with a close partner or a business associate, Hornblower Cruises provides fantastic service at a decent price.

This dining cruise company also provides private charters for corporate events and weddings.

Hornblower has earned a 4 ½ out of 5 stars rating on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide ( see the reviews ), indicating that they provide pretty good service.

Most negative reviews include complaints about the quality of the food, but this is an entirely subjective experience.

Other passengers took issue with how crowded their boat was, which can be easily resolved with appropriate scheduling.

Despite the negative comments, most passengers report that this service is absolutely excellent.

San Francisco Lunch Cruise

  • $112 for Adults | $85 for Children
  • Boards at 11:30 AM
  • Cruises from 12 PM - 2 PM
  • Not currently available as of February 2023.

San Francisco Brunch Cruise

  • $135 for Adults | $108 for Children
  • Boards at 11 AM
  • Cruises from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

San Francisco Dinner Cruise

  • $209 - $230 per person
  • Boards at 7 PM
  • Cruises from 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM

9. FERRIES AND WATER TAXIS

There are 2 different types of water taxi rides available in the San Francisco Bay. The first is a typical ferry cruise run by Blue & Gold Fleet and the second is a water taxi.

Below we have listed both options to help you determine which works best for you.

Blue & Gold Fleet Ferries  

In addition to their sightseeing cruises, Blue & Gold Fleet also highlights ferry services between San Francisco and Sausalito, Tiburon, and Angel Island.

Each route runs regularly at a specific time between approximately 9 am and 5 pm where you can experience a panoramic view of the San Francisco bridge and the San Francisco skyline.

There is no guided commentary or narration. However, they do offer great views of the area for a very affordable price.

From San Francisco: Ferry Service to Sausalito or Tiburon

  • A 1-hour ferry that operates from 9:40 am - 5:20 pm
  • Round Trip - $27.50/adult | $16/child/senior
  • One Way - $13.75/adult | $8/child/senior

From San Francisco to Angel Island 

  • Operates from 9 am - 5 pm
  • Round Trip - $19.50/adult | $11/Children and Seniors
  • Not Currently Available.
  • Included with both the Go City San Francisco Pass and Explorer Pass .

The Water Taxi functions very much like a normal taxi; guests can book a ride either online or by phone, and the service can then drop guests at a number of different public or private ports around the Bay Area.

On the weekends they run the Bay in a Day loop, which stops near Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon, The Trident in Sausalito, Pier 1.5, or Hyde Street Pier near Fisherman’s Wharf and Jack London Square in East Bay.

Finally, they also run a special water taxi service for fans after Giant’s games, which is a great alternative to fighting the crowds and traffic!

If you are traveling out of Pier 1.5, you may be close enough to consider combining this service with our Market Street walking tour .

This tour will take you on a historical trip down one of the most notable streets in San Francisco.

Tideline Water Taxi has a 4 ½ star rating on Yelp with very few negative reviews.

Most of the reviews were positively glowing, some saying that this company has provided memories that will not soon be forgotten.

BUS/BOAT TOUR COMBO

One of the many benefits of purchasing the San Francisco Go Card or City Pass is the ability to pair together different tours and attractions at a discounted rate.

Check out our post on choosing a tourist attraction discount pass to learn more! 

SKYLINE SIGHTSEEING (FORMERLY CITY SIGHTSEEING) 

Skyline Sightseeing also offers bus/boat combo deals for those looking to save on touring around San Francisco by both Crissy field and San Franciso's historic waterfront, which gives you 24-hour access to their hop-on-hop-off bus service in the city. The best option to experience the great views of the city skyline.

Bus & Boat Adventure (1 Day Pass) 

  • Adults - $79.99
  • Children - $64.99
  • Purchase the deal here .

BIG BUS ALCATRAZ COMBO

Big Bus offers an interesting package that combines a ticket to Alcatraz Island (operated by Alcatraz Cruises) with a hop-on-hop-off bus service in San Francisco.  

NOTE: During the high tourist season, tickets to Alcatraz Island may be booked out a few weeks in advance.

  • 48 Hours of  hop-on/hop-off
  • 3 walking tours of Chinatown, North Beach, & Barbary Coast
  • Panoramic Night Tour
  • Sausalito Tour
  • Aquarium of the Bay admission
  • 1-hour bike rental (with 1-hour purchase)
  • Voucher for Players Arcade and Grill
  • Purchase here .

TOWER TOURS

Alcatraz + Grand City Tour

This is an excellent opportunity to discover Alcatraz after going on a highly rated bus tour. Discover the bay area to have more intimate experience in style and explore this island prison at a discounted rate.

All you have to do is select more than one attraction in order to start saving money! 

This boat tour package is offered through Tower Tours.

They have a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor and are generally considered to be one of the better bus tour companies in the bay area.

Many report that the Grand City Tour is both educational and entertaining. The Alcatraz tour is offered through Alcatraz Cruises, which is also a highly rated service. 

  • $150 for Adults
  • $115 for Children
  • Tours begin at 9 AM when available
  • Expect to spend 7 hours total on both tours

ADVENTURE CAT SAILBOAT

Sail and Jail: Alcatraz Island Tour Package

  • $85 for Adults and Children
  • Daily at 11 AM during Summer
  • Daily at 1 PM during Spring/Fall/Winter
  • Not currently available.

RELATED POSTS

  • Which Bus Tour in San Francisco is Best?
  • Things to Do in San Francisco
  • How to Visit Alcatraz

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san francisco bay cruise review

Stephen Pickhardt

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Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco Bay Cruise Adventure in San Francisco, California

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Bay Cruise + Museum of 3D Illusions

Museum of 3D Illusions in San Francisco, California

If you want to capture San Francisco’s picturesque views, landscapes, and sights with your camera, then you have to go on the San Francisco Bay Cruise Adventure. Perfect for photographers, families looking to create memories, and travel junkies, this cruise shows you everything the beautiful San Francisco Bay has to offer — from Pier 39 to the gorgeous skyline. up to 1 hrs

Good To Know

  • Bring your camera for unparalleled photo opportunities.
  • Cruise duration: approximately 60 minutes long.
  • Cruises operate daily, rain or shine.
  • Masks are required.
  • Currently running at 25% capacity to allow for social distancing.
  • Indoor seating is temporarily closed.
  • Dress warmly as the later cruises can be chilly.

Description

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco Bay Cruise Adventure in San Francisco, California

San Francisco Bay Cruise Reviews

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San Francisco Bay Cruise is located at Blue & Gold Fleet • Pier 39 • San Francisco , CA 94133

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Nearby Things to Do

  • Escape From the Rock Cruise
  • Sausalito Ferry Tickets to/from San Francisco
  • 7D Experience San Francisco
  • The FLYER San Francisco
  • Bay Sail on San Francisco Bay

Nearby Hotels & Lodging

  • Hotel Zephyr San Francisco
  • The Wharf Inn
  • Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf
  • Kimpton Alton Hotel, an IHG Hotel
  • The Fairmont Heritage Place Ghirardelli Square

Frequently Asked Questions about San Francisco Bay Cruise

Where does the san francisco bay cruise depart.

The cruise departs from Pier 39, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133. If you are using GPS navigation, input Pier 41, San Francisco, CA 94133.

When should I arrive for my tour?

It is recommended that passengers arrive 30 minutes prior to cruise departure.

Is the cruise rain or shine?

The cruises depart in most weather conditions, including rain. Blue and Gold Fleet reserves the right to cancel or delay cruises in the case of inclement or severe weather conditions.

Are there restrooms on the boat?

Yes, all boats have restrooms.

Are dogs allowed on the boats?

Dogs and other animals are welcome on the Blue & Gold Fleet vessels and must be kept on a leash or in an approved carrier at all times while on board. Dog owners remain wholly responsible for their animal. Failure of the owner to control an animal is grounds for removal of the animal and passenger responsible for the animal.

Are the boats wheelchair accessible?

Blue & Gold Fleet's vessels are wheelchair accessible and have assessable restrooms. However, wheelchairs can only access the main deck which houses the bar, the restrooms and wide open interior deck and viewing spaces. The upper decks can only be accessed by stairs thus wheelchairs cannot access the upper exterior decks.

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Call and Book Your Next Trip Today!

1-800-590-8125.

We accept a variety of payment methods for your convenience:

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We are here to help:

Don’t take any chances with your trip. Whether you need assistance booking, helpful details for you to be prepared, or need to make a change, our knowledgeable and helpful customer support team is prepared to assist you.

Red and White Fleet Logo

Experience A Piece of San Francisco History

Create the best memories of san francisco .

Memories are what we create when we travel. 

At Red and White , w e believe the friendliness of our staff, the quality of our vessels,

the rich content of our narration and the local food and drinks we serve

all help create the best memory of your time on the Bay.   

As a family-owned and operated business for over 130 years,

we take pride in being res ponsible stewards of San Francisco Bay.

  So come aboard an d  create the best memories of your time in San Franc isco.

Red and White Fleet Harbor Princess

Golden Gate Bay Cruise

The original classic. A jaw-dropping one-hour nonstop adventure for your senses. Not to mention the most famous bridge in the world, and an equally infamous island prison.

$38 Adult (18+)

$29 Youth (5-17)

Ages 4 and Under Free

San Francisco Bridge to Bridge Cruise

Our 90 minute San Francisco Bridge to Bridge Cruise gives you unbeatable views of the San Francisco skyline and world famous Bay Bridge, as well as all the most popular sights on San Francisco Bay and finishes with a trip under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

$48 Adult (18+)

$36 Youth (5-17)

California Sunset Cruise

Our two-hour sunset cruise is the perfect way to cap off a day in San Francisco. Ever wanted to see the California sun drop slowly into the Pacific Ocean, framed by the majestic Golden Gate, from the middle of San Francisco Bay? This is your cruise. Yes, people propose on this cruise. A lot.

$58 Adult (18+)

$38 Youth (5-17)

Fleet Week_edited_edited.jpg

Specialty Cruises

Fireworks

4th of July Fireworks Cruise

Marvel at the breathtaking 4th of July fireworks show against the iconic San Francisco skyline from the best vantage point – right on the water! It's a sight you won't soon forget.

Take advantage of early bird pricing for discounted tickets, but act fast – they won't last!

Happiest Hour on the Bay

Join us on our 5:30pm Golden Gate Bay Cruise for a 60-minute sightseeing tour of San Francisco Bay and enjoy happy hour pricing on cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks.

Benicia Historic Sightseeing Cruises

We are bringing the historic Harbor Princess to Benicia for a limited run of sightseeing cruises May 18 and 19, to coincide with the Harold Bray Monument Dedication Weekend.

Land Tours and Local Attractions

A Big Bus hop on hop off bus in front of the iconic Fisherman's Wharf crab wheel.

Golden Gate Bay Cruise + Big Bus Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

Fancy a little bus ride with your Bay Cruise?  Discover the most iconic sights of San Francisco on a hop-on, hop-off tour. Sit back and relax in the comfort of one of our open-top buses, as an entertaining audio guide tells you about the city’s unique history.

What Makes Us Different

1906 photo of two men in front of a tall ship in San Francisco Bay

Family Owned and Operated for over 130 years

Locally owned and operated for more than 130 years in San Francisco, Red and White Fleet is an authentic, original piece of San Francisco History and a proud certified San Francisco Legacy Business.

Hybrid Electric Vessel, Enhydra on San Francisco Bay

Clean, Safe, High Quality Vessels

We take A LOT of pride in our vessels, keeping them clean, safe and in top operating condition at all times. Come see for yourself. 

Red and White Fleet crew welcoming guests onboard Enhydra

The Best People Provide the Best Experience

Our staff is the best on the Bay. Yeah, we're biased. But EVERYONE on our team is focused on giving you the best experience when you sail with us. 

California Green Business Logo

We Walk the Sustainability Talk

We are pioneers in adopting hybrid electric technology on the water. We've been running bio-diesel for years. All our silverware and paper are biodegradeable. And we're proud to be a certified San Francisco Green Business. 

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Award-winning, Multilingual Audio Tour

The only cruise with award winning, complimentary multilingual headphone audio in 16 languages. 

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No Service Fees

The price on our website is the price you pay. No murky "service fees" or additional charges

Founded in 1892, the historic Red and White is legendary for its premiere San Francisco cruises. As a local, family owned business Red and White is committed to the environmental sustainability of San Francisco Bay and community education.

In 1892, seventeen-year-old Thomas Crowley launched the first of many companies which would one day be a fixture of the San Francisco Bay. Using $80 he had saved, he purchased a used Whitehall rowboat, and started a business supplying the ships at anchor in the Bay. His inaugural boat was just eighteen feet long and  five feet wide, and he rowed it alone through the waters of the Bay transporting both goods and passengers at a time when no bridges connected the city to the other parts of the Bay.

A 1939 harbor cruise in front of the San Francisco bay bridge.

What our customers are saying...
We are proud to be a part of the following organizations:

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san francisco bay cruise review

San Francisco's Top Tours

Come & enjoy a one of a kind experience.

san francisco bay cruise review

  • Ferry service to Sausalito, as well as cruise and sightseeing tickets can be purchased directly from this site and at the Box Office at PIER 39. Tickets to Harbor Bay, Main Street Alameda, Oakland, Richmond, Seaplane Lagoon, South San Francisco, Vallejo, Oracle Park and Chase Center can also be accessed on this site. General information is also available by calling 415-705-8200.
  • Multi-language audio tours on the San Francisco Bay Cruise and Escape From the Rock Cruise around Alcatraz Island, are available in nine languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, German & Taiwanese. Please bring your Wi-Fi enabled device to access the audio tour.
  • Boat tours are offered daily and there are special seasonal events and charter boats available for your private event or celebration. For charter information and custom tour services, please call 415-705-8203.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • San Francisco Cocktail Cruise

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  • Private Boat Charters in SF
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Which landmarks and famous sights can you see on a San Francisco cruise?

Water & boat attractions in san francisco.

Signature Lunch Cruise | Premier Brunch Cruise | Signature Dinner Cruise | Premier Dinner Cruise | Fleet Week Air Show Lunch aboard the San Francisco Belle | Rock the Yacht Cruise | San Francisco Belle Premier Dinner Cruise | Alcatraz Day Tour | Premier Dinner Cruise | Alcatraz Behind the Scenes Tour | Bay Discovery Cruise | Alcatraz Night Tour

Things to do near San Francisco

Things to do in Sacramento | Things to do in Berkeley | Things to do in Long Beach | Things to do in Marina del Rey | Things to do in San Diego | Things to do in Newport Beach

Recommended for San Francisco

Big Bus – Classic Tour | Muir Woods Redwood Forest and Sausalito Tour | Redwoods and California Wine Country Tour | Yosemite and Giant Sequoias One Day Tour | Monterey and Carmel One Day Tour

Trending Attractions

San Diego: USS Midway | Premier Dinner Cruise | Alcatraz Behind the Scenes Tour | Bay Discovery Cruise | Long Beach: Aquarium of the Pacific Admission Ticket | Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventure | San Diego Maritime Museum Admission | CODZILLA Thrill-boat Ride | Chicago Seadog River & Lake Architectural Tour | New England Aquarium Whale Watch Cruise | Toronto Sightseeing Harbour Tour | Chicago Seadog Lakefront Speedboat Tour | New England Aquarium Whale Watch Cruise | Depths & Discovery of the 1000 Islands Cruise | 1000 Islands Boldt Castle Stopover Cruise | Voyage to Niagara Falls Boat Tour

Holiday Experiences in San Francisco

4th of July Premier Brunch Cruise | 4th of July Premier Dinner Cruise | New Year’s Day Premier Brunch Cruise | Valentine’s Brunch Cruise | Mother’s Day Premier Brunch Cruise on the San Francisco Belle | Labor Day Lunch Cruise | Christmas Day Dinner Cruise | New Year’s Eve Premier Brunch Cruise | Holiday Signature Dinner Cruise | Mother’s Day Premier Dinner Cruise | Belle of the Ball Holiday Dinner Cruises | Thanksgiving Premier Dinner Cruise | Christmas Day Premier Dinner Cruise | Easter Signature Brunch Cruise | Father’s Day Premier Dinner Cruise

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Music | Review: Meet the most underrated band in Bay…

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Music | Review: Meet the most underrated band in Bay Area rock music history

Pablo cruise is way more than just the radio hits.

Pablo Cruise keyboardist Cory Lerios, left, and guitarist and vocalist, David Jenkins, perform in concert at the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, Calif., on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Pablo Cruise is the most underrated band in Bay Area music history.

The Sausalito-born group proved to be the complete package during its approximately 90-minute set at the lovely Menlo Park venue, solidly delivering 14 songs that appealed to listeners in various ways. There were the concise, hook-driven hits as well as other shiny pop-rock nuggets that should have been a.m. radio smashes back in the ’70s. There were also folksy numbers, jammed-out rockers and plenty of mesmerizing instrumental interludes.

And all of it was delivered by a band of first-rate players — founding members Cory Lerios on keyboards and David Jenkins on vocals and guitar as well as bassist Larry Antonino, drummer Sergio Gonzalez and vocalist Robbie Wyckoff.

Yet, the band rarely gets the credit for those kinds of things. Instead, many think of the group as a late ’70s flash in the pan with two, maybe three, songs you might want to hear and a career that was resurrected in large part due to Will Ferrell wearing a Pablo Cruise shirt in the 2008 comedy “Step Brothers.”

And none of that could be further from the truth (well, except for the Ferrell part). The band actually has a strong and deep songbook, built from seven albums that were released from 1975 to 1983.

Following a well-received opening set from Palo Alto bluesman AJ Crawdaddy (who once was a member of Pablo Cruise), the lights dimmed and a fun seven-minute video — covering the career arch of Pablo Cruise — was shown to the audience. (FYI: The video did touch upon the Ferrell factor.)

Then the five-piece outfit took the stage and opened with a charged-up version of “Worlds Away,” the title track to Pablo Cruise’s platinum-plus-selling fourth album from 1978. It was straight-up pop-rock joy — the kind that Journey and Toto fans would certainly appreciate — and performed with both great flare and meticulous care.

It was the first of many times in the evening when Jenkins would cause jaws to drop with his mighty guitar work. His playing, which has always provided the teeth to Pablo Cruise’s soft-rock hits and other recordings, has even more bite in concert than in the studio.

Pablo Cruise guitarist and vocalist, David Jenkins, performs in concert at the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, Calif., on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

From there, the band peddled some fine yacht rock — the genre that championed smooth a.m. radio hits of the ’70s and early ’80s — as it sailed on with a pair of gorgeous ballads, “Cool Love” (from 1981’s “Reflector”) and “Raging Fire” (from 1977’s platinum-selling smash “A Place in the Sun”).

The latter was highlighted by incredible harmony vocal work and was so beautiful that it could have been a Crosby, Stills & Nash number. And if it had indeed been a CSN tune, it would have made it on their greatest hits album.

Next up was “Atlanta June,” which, believe it or not, was the original A-side to the single that gave the band it’s huge “Whatcha Gonna Do?” hit. And while that song failed to make it on the charts, it was one of the absolute highlights of this concert as it nicely showcased the powerful vocals of Wyckoff (who spent years singing with Roger Waters on tour).

Turning the calendar on “Atlanta June,” four-fifths of the band left the stage and Jenkins performed “Livin’ Inside of Your Love,” a mesmerizing solo acoustic folk-pop offering, filled with crafty and endearing lyrics, which was deeply reminiscent of the late-great John Prine. (And that’s about as big a compliment as we can give any folk-pop tune.)

Then Lerios — who grew up in Palo Alto, a stone’s throw (or so) away from the Guild  — took the stage and offered up a funny counterpoint to Jenkin’s softly romantic number with his own “I Get Tired Just Thinking of You.”

Pablo Cruise keyboardist Cory Lerios cheers with fans as the band performs in concert at the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, Calif., on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Humor was a huge part of the night, as Lerios and Jenkins playfully bickered and joked throughout the evening. The person sitting next to me compared the duo to the Smothers Brothers, a reference that probably says a lot about the age of both the band and their audience.

Lerios, for example, would draw big laughs when he discussed why he split ways with Jenkins in the ’80s, leading to the band’s breakup.

“We weren’t getting along very well,” he said, before adding with solid deadpan delivery and a sideways glance at Jenkins. “We still don’t.”

There was also a fun self-effacing zinger that came during the band member introductions, after Wyckoff explained how, before he got the call to join Pablo Cruise, he used to fly in private jets around the globe while touring with Roger Waters.

“After that phone call, I had to ask Robby, ‘Have you ever flown Southwest?'” Lerios joked of Pablo Cruise’s apparent means of air travel these days.

Lerios, however, probably isn’t hurting for money one bit. After all, he went on to have a very successful career in composing for TV and film after Pablo Cruise called it quits in the ’80s. His most notable work in that realm came when he landed the gig to do the music for “Baywatch” — and, as a reminder of such to fans, the band performed that TV show’s theme during the Guild concert.

The show reached another high point with the incredible jam through “Zero to Sixty in Five,” a standout from 1976’s “Lifeline” album that thoroughly reminded us of the great instrumental numbers that the group has recorded through the years. (I actually wish the band had played more instrumental songs — especially “El Verano” from “A Place in the Sun” and the 12-minute-plus “Ocean Breeze” from the first album.)

From there, it was hit city as Pablo cruised through the favorites “Don’t Want to Live Without It,” “I Go to Rio” and, of course, the dual smashes “Love Will Find a Way” and “Whatcha Gonna Do?”

It was a superb showing by a group that should be mentioned way more frequently whenever the topic of best Bay Area bands comes up.

Pablo Cruise plays tonight (Friday, May 10) at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma. For more information, visit pablocruise.com/shows .

Pablo Cruise performs in concert at the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, Calif., on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

1. “Worlds Away” 2. “Cool Love” 3. “Raging Fire” 4. “Atlanta June” 5. “Livin’ Inside of Your Love” 6. “I Get Tired Just Thinking of You” 7. “A Place in the Sun” 8. “Will You, Won’t You” 9. “Baywatch” theme 10. “Zero to Sixty in Five” 11. “Don’t Want to Live Without It” 12. “I Go to Rio” 13. “Love Will Find a Way” 14. “Whatcha Gonna Do?”

Pablo Cruise keyboardist Cory Lerios, left, and guitarist and vocalist, David Jenkins, perform in concert at the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, Calif., on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

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