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Unlocking Alcatraz: A Deep Dive into the Four Essential Tours

Hey there, explorers! 🌏 If you’re planning to visit San Francisco, you’ve got to add Alcatraz to your must-see list. No, seriously—this infamous island isn’t just a pile of crumbling concrete and steel bars. There’s so much history to unpack! I’ve rounded up all the details about the four types of tours you can take to ‘The Rock’. From day tours for first-timers to exclusive behind-the-scenes tours, there’s something for everyone. Grab your notepads because here comes the full scoop.

ALCATRAZ DAY TOUR: Your Intro to ‘The Rock’


If you’re new to Alcatraz, the Day Tour is the perfect primer. You get a taste of everything—history, natural beauty, and of course, the eerie vibes of the Cellhouse.

  • Price: Starting at $45.25
  • Duration: A few hours
  • Ideal for: First-timers, history buffs, and families

What’s Included?

  • Round-trip ferry service: No need to swim across, folks!
  • Admission to the Alcatraz Cellhouse: Where the notorious were notorious.
  • Outdoor Historic Spaces: Wander around Eagle Plaza, the Recreation Yard, and more.
  • New Industries Building: Learn about the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz in 1969.
  • “Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cellhouse Tour”: Award-winning audio tour, need I say more?
  • “The Big Lockup” exhibit: A deep dive into mass incarceration in the U.S.

Heads Up! You can get a refund for the audio tour if you decide to opt-out. Just ask a Park Ranger or a Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy employee.

Alcatraz Day Tour Tickets and More information 



Want to see Alcatraz in a different light—literally? The Night Tour is both captivating and slightly creepy. Enjoy sunset views and exclusive nighttime activities.

  • Price: Starting at $56.30
  • Duration: A few hours
  • Ideal for: Adventurous souls, couples, and night owls

What’s Included?

  • Round-trip ferry ride: With on-board audio narration to set the mood.
  • Cellhouse Audio Tour: It’s even more haunting at night.
  • Optional programs and exhibits: Make the most out of your evening.
  • Docent-guided tours and talks: Exclusive to the Night Tour.

Note: This tour has limited availability, so book ASAP if you’re keen.

Alcatraz Night Tour Tickets and Information


BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR: For the Uber-Curious


Think you’ve seen it all? Nah, not until you’ve gone Behind the Scenes. This exclusive tour dives into areas typically off-limits to the public.

  • Price: Starting at $101.30
  • Duration: 4 – 5 hours
  • Ideal for: Superfans of history, limited to 30 people per tour
  • Age Requirement: Sorry kiddos, you have to be 12 or older.

What’s Included?

  • All of the Night Tour perks: Because yes, this tour includes the Night Tour.
  • Personally guided tour: With a National Park Ranger or expert.
  • Access to restricted areas: Explore hidden corners most people never see.

Booking Tip: You’ll want to book this one way in advance. It fills up faster than a gold rush saloon.

Behind the Scenes Alcatraz Tour Tickets and Reservations 



Who says you can’t have it all? The Alcatraz and Angel Island Tour is your two-in-one special that covers both the infamous penitentiary and the often-overlooked Angel Island.

  • Price: Varied
  • Duration: Full day
  • Ideal for: Those who want a comprehensive Bay Area experience

What’s Included?

  • Double the fun: Tours of both Alcatraz and Angel Island.
  • Round-trip ferry rides: To both islands, naturally.
  • Guided Tours: To maximize your understanding and enjoyment.

Plan Ahead: This tour takes up most of the day, so plan your itinerary accordingly.


The Alcatraz / Angel Island Combo Currently Not Operating


There you have it! Four epic ways to explore Alcatraz. Whether you’re a history nerd or just looking for a unique Bay Area experience, one of these tours will surely rock your boat.


Alcatraz Cruises is the Official Tour and Ferry Operator for Alcatraz Island. Alcatraz City Cruises offers in-depth visits to Alcatraz. Your visit will include round-trip transportation to the Island.


Learn More and Plan a Trip to Alcatraz


Want to explore San Francisco on a private small group tour? 

San Francisco Jeep Tours is the ideal tour activity in San Francisco onboard their private tours. The customized city tour routes and entertaining tour guides cover lots of information on the “not to miss” attractions including Alcatraz.

Book a San Francisco Jeep City TourSunset and City Lights San Francisco Jeep Tours, or the Full Day Combo City and Muir Woods tour to travel to many of the bucket list and off-the-beaten-track locations in and around San Francisco.

Check out the San Francisco Jeep Tours website for more information on exploring the city by the bay.

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