Company Logo - Home Link

Red & White Fleet San Francisco

Updated: May 19, 2024

This post covers cruise options with the Red & White Fleet in San Francisco, including tour descriptions, tickets, and available discounts.


The Red & White Fleet, a family-owned business and a piece of San Francisco's history was established in the heart of Fisherman's Wharf, near the Embarcadero.

Founded to provide transportation, it has evolved into a great tour provider, offering relaxing bay cruises since the summer months of 1892.

Their fun cruises include open-air experiences, allowing passengers to enjoy breathtaking waterfront views and local wildlife, such as whales and pelicans.

The fleet's journey through time reflects the city's colorful history, including resilience through earthquakes.

This certified San Francisco green business has become synonymous with quality sightseeing in San Francisco Bay, embodying the harbor's essence and the native American culture that enriches the region.

Over the years, they have expanded their services to include a full bar, snacks, reservation systems, and other amenities, making every cruise an award-winning experience.

Red & White Fleet offer several different cruises around the San Francisco Bay.

They range in length from 1-2 hours, and anywhere from $30-$64 per adult depending on the type and length of the tour.

Each tour features views of several different sites, including Alcatraz, Sausalito, AT&T Park, and the Golden Gate Bridge, among other attractions.

Where does Red and White Fleet depart?

The Red and White Fleet departs from San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, near Pier 43½ and Hyde Street Pier, offering great views of the majestic Golden Gate Bridge and local marine life.

Highlights include architecture, vessels, live music, and sea lions, providing an award-winning, open-air cruise that connects with the city's colorful history.


The Red and White Fleet offer 4 different cruises to choose from. 

Don’t forget to check our discount section for more details about how to save money on these outings.

Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Their original 1-hour San Francisco Bay tour with views of the San Francisco waterfront, the Golden Gate Bridge, and notorious Alcatraz Island.

Departs 8-12 times daily. Read reviews here.

Ticket Prices:

Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise

A 90-minute audio tour covering the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the Ferry Building, Bay Bridge, and AT&T Park.

Departs 4 times daily and is available in 16 different languages. Read reviews here.

Ticket Prices:

California Sunset Cruise

A 2-hour sunset cruise around the Bay to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island, and Alcatraz at sunset.

Operates from late March through early November. Read reviews here.

During the winter months, this cruise transitions into the Twilight Cruise (listed below) as a result of changing daylight hours. 

Ticket Prices:

California Twilight Cruise

A 2-hour evening cruise around the Bay to see the illuminated skyline. Operates from early November through late March.

Ticket Prices:

NOTE: Both the California Sunset Cruise and the California Twilight Cruise are great activities to enjoy after dark.

For more nighttime attractions, check our post covering things to do at night in San Francisco.


Several of Red and White's cruises are included for free or at a discount on several tourist attraction discount passes as well as promo sites such as Groupon.

Tourist Attraction Discount Passes

There aren't currently any tourist passes that cover the cost of Red and White Fleet cruises. That said, these boat tours have been included with many discount passes in the past.

These services typically include a variety of different attractions to choose from for a discounted price, and you could save 60% or more off general admission prices.

You can also use these discount cards to get skip-the-line tickets for several activities in San Francisco.

For more details, make sure to read our full post covering San Francisco tourist passes.

Go City San Francisco Card

This all-inclusive pass allows you to enjoy over 25 different attractions in the city for one low price, potentially saving more than 60% on general admission.

Passes are available in increments of 1, 2, 3 or 5 days.

San Francisco Explorer Pass

This discount pass lets you pick only the activities you want from a list of more than 25 and pay one flat price for a set number of attractions.

You can choose 3, 4 or 5 different services and save up to 45% off regular ticket prices.

Discount Sites

Don’t forget to check discount sites and apps such as Groupon and Living Social.

Both services often work with companies like Red & White Fleet to provide great deals.

In addition to the discounts they already offer, these sites also usually have promotions which allow you to save even more money.

You’ll usually find these deals listed at the top of the front page.

NOTE: Unfortunately, there are currently no AAA, student, or military discounts on tickets.


Both of these tour services offer very similar cruises, but there are a few differences to note.

That said, we’ll start off this comparison with a list of things each company has in common.

Blue and Gold Fleet San Francisco Boat


Both are highly respected cruise companies with outstanding reputations.

Though there are other companies offering boat tours around San Francisco Bay, Blue & Gold and Red & White are by far the most popular.

Both offer standard cruises around San Francisco Bay, highlighting Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, AT&T Park, and Sausalito, amongst other sites.

All cruises (with the exception of Blue & Gold’s Rocket Boat) are accompanied by an audio guide that comes in several different languages.

Both are relatively affordable, costing between $30-$40 per adult for a 1-hour cruise.


Red & White Fleet offers 4 different standard cruises of the Bay (1 evening, 1 sunset, and 2 different day-time cruises).

Whereas Blue & White Fleet only has 1 standard cruise, in addition to a specialty cruise and speed boat cruise.

Alcatraz Island

Blue & Gold Fleet does have a specialty Alcatraz cruise that circles the island and focuses on the prison.

With that said, most of Red & White Fleet’s cruises also pass by the island close enough for good views.

Red & White Fleet offers cruises in both the daytime and evening so guests can enjoy the city skyline at various times throughout the day.

Red & White Fleet has a slightly better rating on TripAdvisor, with 4.5 stars as opposed to 4 stars for Blue and Gold.

Blue & Gold Fleet also offers ferry services to Sausalito, Tiburon and Angel Island. Read and White does not.

NOTE: Neither of these companies offers a cruise to Alcatraz. If you want to visit this historic location, make sure to read our post about Alcatraz tours and tickets.


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: May 19th, 2024
Back to Top