San Francisco Golden Gate Whale-Watching Tour

Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours in San Francisco
Image by Viator

Information from Viator

Tour description

Take a sightseeing cruise across San Francisco Bay and glide under the Golden Gate Bridge on this 2.5-hour whale-watching tour. Search for humpback and gray whales along with more abundant porpoises, dolphins, and harbor seals while learning about the unique history and geology of the area from a professional naturalist on board. Cruise past iconic landmarks aboard a Coast Guard–certified eco-friendly vessel with abundant cabin space and comfortable sun deck. 

Start your whale-watching tour from Pier 39 in San Francisco. A member of the crew will welcome you aboard the eco-friendly catamaran. With its hull design and superior engineering, the vessel offers a smooth ride across San Francisco Bay. Following a safety orientation to familiarize yourself with the boat, take in the views of Angel Island and nearby Alcatraz. Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and head out to sea, venturing 3 to 8 miles (4 to 12 km) in search of marine life. In addition to humpback and gray whales, the Bay Ares is frequented by numerous porpoises, dolphins, sharks, sea lions, and various bird populations, as explained by the onboard naturalist.Dramatic cliffs and imposing rocky shorelines create a dramatic backdrop while you relax inside the heated cabin or watch for whales from the spacious deck. Learn local trivia and brush up on regional history about Native Americans, Spanish explorers, or Gold Rush immigrants. Returning to Pier 39, you'll find numerous eateries where you can purchase clam chowder or the famous sourdough bread of Fisherman’s Wharf.  

What's included

  • Professional guide
  • Coast guard–certified vessel with professional captain and crew
  • Live commentary on board

What's not included

  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off


  • Choice of several departures throughout the day
  • Family friendly
  • See native wildlife in their natural environment
  • Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
  • Travel by boat and see the sights from the water