Alcatraz Behind the Scenes Tour
The most complete tour of Alcatraz available.
Discover the many eras and secrets of American history in areas not generally available to the public!
Join a group of 30 or fewer on a personally guided adventure to explore and discover clues to the Island’s fascinating past and hear lesser known stories of Alcatraz. Then complete your comprehensive Alcatraz experience by taking the Cellhouse Audio Tour and participating in the full Alcatraz Night Tour experience, all with a single ticket.
*Face coverings are required at all times in boarding areas, onboard vessels and in all indoor spaces on Alcatraz Island. Please bring your face mask with you or you may purchase one at the ticket booth. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed on this tour. If you purchase tickets for someone who is under the age of 12, they will not be allowed to board the boat and refunds will not be provided.
Rates - including tax
Tour / Activity Details
This tour does not include hotel pick up. Alcatraz ticket confirmations are sent 10 to 30 days prior to your tour. If you order is less than 10 days prior, we will make every effort to send your ticket confirmation within 72 hours from receipt of your order. Alcatraz tickets must be picked up by the cardholder. If you are purchasing tickets as a gift, please note that in the Comments section. Alcatraz asks that you arrive one hour prior to your departure time. call to order or for more information.
There is a $6.95 USD processing fee per order. This is a flat fee regardless of the number of tickets or tours purchased on an order. There is a service charge per ticket. This charge will be reflected on your summary before you checkout. The total shown at checkout includes any fuel surcharges, service charges and tax. There are no additional charges, unless otherwise specified.
Tour / Activity Policies
Cancellation Policy: There is no refund on Alcatraz tickets or tours. All sales are final. There is no refund if you cancel this reservation or if you fail to show up at the designated time for the tour.
Change Fee Policy: If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can only be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.
Tour / Activity Description
- Face coverings are required at all times in boarding areas, onboard vessels and in all indoor spaces on Alcatraz Island. Please bring your face mask with you or you may purchase one at the ticket booth.
Today Alcatraz swarms with tourists -- about a million a year -- but for 30 years it was the most infamous prison in the country. It housed prisoners too notorious or dangerous to be held elsewhere. Its inhabitants included Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly, and Robert Franklin Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz. In 1933, the Federal Bureau of Prisons used the facility as a maximum security prison. It was closed in 1963 due to its expense.
Your trip to Alcatraz departs on a ferry from Pier 33. The ferry across the San Francisco Bay takes about 10 minutes. Alcatraz Island is a 25-acre island located just 1 1/4-miles from San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. Upon arrival, a National Park Ranger will provide a brief welcome and orientation. You are then free to explore the island and the prison at your own pace. We recommend that you stop at the theatre to see the Alcatraz video following the orientation. The video provides an excellent overview of what you will see. The 35-minute audio headset tour of the Alcatraz cell block is a real highlight. This tour is available in six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. During the tour, you will hear stories from former inmates and prison guards as you walk through the cellblock. After the Cell Block tour, there is time to see all the sites around the island and visit the Alcatraz museum and bookshop.
To reach the Cell House, you walk from the wharf up the steep hill on the old service road. The Cell House is at the top of the island. Along the way, you can stop and visit exhibits, see a variety of buildings that were used for various prison uses, and enjoy the views. Access: SEAT (Sustainable Easy Access Transport), is available for wheelchair users and visitors with a mobility need who are unable to walk up the quarter mile, 12% grade hill. Another option is to walk along the Agave Trail. The trail begins near the ferryboat landing on the east side of Alcatraz Island and continues to the southern tip of the island. The Agave Trail passes through a protected bird sanctuary and features beautiful plants and flowers. This trail offers fabulous views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Be sure to bring a camera because you will definitely want to remember your tour to the Rock!
Important Alcatraz Tour Information
This tour does not offer hotel pick-up or drop-off. The Alcatraz ferry departs from Pier 33.
Please note that we will be sold out of Alcatraz tickets many days this year. Order your Alcatraz Tickets today to avoid missing out on the opportunity to see the most popular tourist attraction in San Francisco.
Alcatraz Schedule Information
Departure Times Available for Day Trips to Alcatraz from Pier 33:
- Ferries depart & return approximately every half hour continuously throughout the day. You may return on any ferry you choose, so stay as long as you like.
***Please check availability calendar for the complete list of available times for each month. Alcatraz tour times are subject to change. If times change you will be rescheduled on the nearest scheduled time closest to your preferred time.
Other Alcatraz Tours Available
We have several different tours that include a tour to Alcatraz. For more information, please click on one of the following links:
- Alcatraz Tour & San Francisco City Tour
- Alcatraz Tour & Muir Woods - Sausalito Tour
- Alcatraz Night Tour
- Alcatraz Ticket & Souvenir Package
The weather in San Francisco and at Alcatraz can change suddenly. It can be cold and foggy one morning and sunny that afternoon. Be prepared, and dress in layers. Fog is common from June through September; temperatures may range from 38 degrees F (3 degress C) to 75 degrees G (24 degrees C).
On-street parking can be difficult to find, and parking spaces usually have a two-hour maximum time limit, which doesn't work for this tour. There are numerous commercial lots. Please arrive early to find a parking space, exchange your E-Ticket Receipt for the boarding tickets, and wait in line for boarding.
What to Wear
Be prepared, and dress in layers. We suggest comfortable walking shoes with grip-type soles. It is an outdoor, uphill walk to the prison. Sunglasses and sun screen are recommended.
Food and Beverage
There is no food service on Alcatraz. Eating is restricted to the dock area. Snacks are sold on the ferries. Drinking fountains are located at the island dock and near the lighthouse.
Alcatraz Tour Cancellation Policy & Terms
- Your order does not guarantee availability of tickets. Alcatraz tickets are often sold out for specific dates and times. Your order is not confirmed until you receive a second email from us advising that the order has been placed and confirmed. You will receive two emails from us; the first will confirm that your order was placed and your credit card was charged. It is the second email that will confirm the availability of the tickets and that the tickets were secured for you.
- Alcatraz tickets sell out very quickly and often far in advance. If tickets for the date and/or time you need are not available, your order will automatically be canceled and your money refunded.
- No Refunds or Changes:
- There are absolutely no refunds on Alcatraz tickets, unless tickets are not available for the date and time you requested.
- There are no exchanges or refunds after a ticket has been purchased or for lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed tickets. So once you buy a ticket, that's it -- no changes at all.
- There can be no changes on Alcatraz tickets. Once you have purchased the tickets, that's it. You have tickets for that date and time, and we are unable to change the date or the time.
- Tickets shall be null and void and of no value unless utilized by the customer on the date and time on the tickets.
- Maximum Order:
- Ticket sales for Alcatraz are limited to 8 tickets per household within any 30 day period. If you order more than 8 tickets, we may need to contact you to obtain an additional name, address, and credit card per each 8 tickets to comply with this National Park policy.
- Online Orders Only - No Phone Orders: Tickets may be ordered online only. We do not take telephone orders for Alcatraz tickets only.
- Resale of tickets is strictly prohibited.
- To the extent permitted by law, the management reserves the right to refund the purchase price of the ticket and to revoke the rights granted herein.
- Other Terms:
IMPORTANT ORDERING INFORMATION
- Please read this information BEFORE ordering Alcatraz tickets. By purchasing, you are indicating that you have read and agree to the following.
- Your Alcatraz Tickets:
- We provide a booking service for purchasing Alcatraz tickets. The price includes our per-ticket booking fee and processing fee of $6 to $10. Your order authorizes us to purchase the tickets in your name.
- TICKETS MUST BE PICKED UP BY THE CARDHOLDER. If you are using your credit card to purchase Alcatraz Tickets, you must be present to pick up the tickets. You will pick up your tickets at the Will Call Window at Pier 33. You will need the credit card used to order the tickets as your identification, valid photo ID (driver's license or passport) and your confirmation. Tickets may not be picked up prior to the tour date.
- There is a $6.95 USD processing fee per order. This is a flat fee regardless of the number of tickets or tours purchased on an order.
- Your credit card statement will show two charges - one for City Info Experts and one from City Experiences.
- Attention Debit Card Users
Please be aware that an attempted purchase of Alcatraz tickets with a bank debit card, even if the purchase is declined, will result in a temporary deduction from the account associated with the debit card. This deduction will be credited back to the account within several days of the attempted transaction. The timeframe of the charge being reversed is determined by the bank or institution issuing the debit card. Customers with duplicate charges on their debit card must contact their bank or institution with questions about the status of these charges. City Info Experts is not responsible for duplicate charges to any account associated with a debit card. In order to avoid duplicate charges please only click on process order once.
This tour does not include hotel pick up. Alcatraz ticket confirmations are sent 10 to 30 days prior to your tour. If you order is less than 10 days prior, we will make every effort to send your ticket confirmation within 72 hours from receipt of your order. Alcatraz tour times are subject to change. If times change you will be rescheduled on the nearest scheduled time closest to your preferred time. Alcatraz asks that you arrive one hour prior to your departure time. call to order or for more information.