Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

How Can I Get A Ferry Ride Under Golden Gate Bridge?


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Emera Mcglothlin



The Golden Gate Bridge is undoubtedly one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States. Standing tall and majestic, it spans the entrance to the San Francisco Bay, connecting the city of San Francisco to Marin County. While admiring the bridge from a distance is awe-inspiring, getting up close and personal with this architectural marvel is an experience like no other.


If you’re wondering how to get a ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge, you’re in luck! Not only does it offer a unique perspective of the bridge, but it also allows you to enjoy the stunning views of the San Francisco skyline and the rugged coastline.


The ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge is not just limited to tourists; it’s a popular mode of transportation for commuters and locals as well. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely sightseeing trip or a convenient way to cross the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge ferry is a fantastic option to consider.


In this article, we’ll explore the various types of ferry rides available, provide information on ferry schedules and ticketing, guide you to the ferry terminal, and share tips for a memorable experience. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can embark on that unforgettable ferry ride under the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge!


Understanding the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is an engineering marvel that spans 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) across the Golden Gate Strait, the entrance to the San Francisco Bay. It connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County and has become an iconic symbol of the San Francisco Bay Area.


Constructed in the 1930s, the Golden Gate Bridge features a distinctive international orange color, which not only enhances its beauty but also ensures its visibility in the often foggy and misty conditions of the area. The bridge is supported by two massive towers that reach a height of 746 feet (227 meters) above the water level, making it one of the tallest structures in the region.


The bridge has six lanes for vehicle traffic, with a separate walkway for pedestrians and cyclists. However, the bridge is also accessible by ferry, providing a more leisurely and scenic option to explore this architectural marvel.


It’s worth noting that the Golden Gate Bridge is more than just a means of transportation; it has also become a popular tourist attraction. Annually, millions of visitors flock to the bridge to marvel at its beauty and capture breathtaking photos of the San Francisco skyline.


Understanding the history and significance of the Golden Gate Bridge adds an extra layer of appreciation as you sail beneath it. The bridge’s innovative design and construction techniques were considered groundbreaking at the time, and it is now recognized as one of the wonders of the modern world.


So, as you prepare to embark on your ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge, take a moment to soak in its rich history and the immense engineering marvel that it represents. It will make your experience even more memorable and meaningful.


Types of Ferry Rides Available

When it comes to experiencing the Golden Gate Bridge by ferry, there are a few different options to choose from. Each type of ferry ride offers a unique perspective of the bridge and the surrounding scenery. Here are the different types of ferry rides available:

  1. Golden Gate Ferry Sightseeing Cruises: These cruises are specifically designed for tourists and sightseers. They offer guided tours, informative commentary, and ample opportunities to take stunning photos of the Golden Gate Bridge from various angles. The sightseeing cruises typically operate multiple times a day and provide a leisurely way to explore the bay area’s landmarks.
  2. Golden Gate Ferry Commute: The Golden Gate Ferry also serves as a convenient mode of transportation for commuters traveling between San Francisco and Marin County. If you’re interested in a more practical experience, you can hop on the regular commute ferries that run on a daily schedule. This option allows you to enjoy the sea breeze, picturesque views, and the thrill of crossing the bay alongside locals.
  3. Golden Gate Bay Cruise: While not specifically focused on the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate Bay Cruises provide a comprehensive tour of the San Francisco Bay. These cruises often include visits to other notable landmarks, such as Alcatraz Island, Sausalito, and the Bay Bridge. Although the bridge is not the sole highlight, you’ll still get to sail under and capture incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge on this bay cruise.

Regardless of the type of ferry ride you choose, each offers a distinctive experience. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely sightseeing adventure, a practical mode of transportation, or a comprehensive bay tour, there’s a ferry ride option that suits your preferences.


It’s important to note that the availability and frequency of these ferry rides may vary, so it’s recommended to check the schedule in advance and plan your trip accordingly.


Ferry Schedule and Ticket Information

Before embarking on a ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s essential to be aware of the ferry schedule and ticketing details. Here’s what you need to know:


Ferry Schedule: The Golden Gate Ferry operates on a specific schedule, which can vary depending on the type of ferry ride and the time of year. It’s recommended to visit the Golden Gate Ferry website or contact their customer service to obtain the most up-to-date schedule. This will ensure that you plan your trip accordingly and don’t miss the ferry.


Ticket Information: To secure your spot on the ferry, you’ll need to purchase tickets in advance. The Golden Gate Ferry offers various ticketing options, including single-ride tickets, round-trip tickets, and multi-ride passes. The fares can vary based on factors such as age, destination, and whether you’re purchasing a single or round-trip ticket.


It’s worth noting that fares for sightseeing cruises and bay cruises may differ from regular commuter fares. Additionally, discounts and promotions may be available for children, seniors, or groups, so be sure to inquire about any potential savings when purchasing your tickets.


Tickets can be purchased online through the Golden Gate Ferry website or at the ferry terminal ticket booths. It’s recommended to arrive at the terminal early to avoid last-minute rush and secure your preferred seating, especially during peak seasons or weekends.


Remember to keep your ticket with you during the duration of the ferry ride, as you’ll need it for boarding and disembarking.


Lastly, it’s important to stay updated on any changes to the ferry schedule or ticketing policies, especially during inclement weather or special events. Checking the official Golden Gate Ferry website or contacting their customer service will ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information before your journey.


Finding the Ferry Terminal

Locating the ferry terminal is an important step in planning your ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge. Here’s a guide to help you find the ferry terminal:


San Francisco Ferry Terminal: If you’re departing from San Francisco, the primary ferry terminal is located at the picturesque San Francisco Ferry Building, situated on the Embarcadero waterfront. The Ferry Building is a historic landmark and a hub for various transportation options, including the Golden Gate Ferry. It’s easily accessible by public transportation, such as buses, streetcars, and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).


Marin County Ferry Terminal: If you’re starting your journey from Marin County, the Sausalito Ferry Terminal is the main departure point. Located in the charming town of Sausalito, the terminal is a short distance from downtown and offers beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline. The Sausalito Ferry Terminal can be reached by car, public transportation, or even by biking along the scenic waterfront.


Both the San Francisco Ferry Terminal and the Sausalito Ferry Terminal have clear signage and are easily identifiable. As you approach the terminals, look for signs indicating “Golden Gate Ferry” or “Ferry Terminal” to point you in the right direction.


If you’re unsure about the exact location or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to ask for directions from locals or ferry terminal staff. They are usually friendly and knowledgeable, and will gladly provide guidance to ensure you find your way to the ferry terminal.


Remember to plan your trip accordingly, considering factors such as traffic, parking availability, and transportation options. Arriving early at the ferry terminal will give you ample time to purchase tickets, find your designated boarding area, and explore the surroundings before your ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge.


With these directions in mind, navigating to the ferry terminal should be a breeze, setting the stage for a memorable journey beneath the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge.


Boarding and Exiting the Ferry

Knowing the proper procedures for boarding and exiting the ferry will ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:



  1. Arrive Early: It’s recommended to arrive at the ferry terminal at least 15-30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. This allows you to purchase tickets, find your boarding area, and ensure a stress-free boarding experience.
  2. Ferry Terminal Signage: Follow the signage at the terminal that indicates “Golden Gate Ferry” or your specific destination. These signs will lead you to the correct boarding area.
  3. Tickets: Have your valid ticket ready for inspection. Ensure that you have purchased the correct ticket type (e.g., one-way, round-trip) and that it matches the date and time of your desired ferry ride.
  4. Boarding Process: Wait for the ferry to arrive and the boarding announcement to be made. Follow the instructions of the ferry staff or crew members. They will guide you through the boarding process, which may involve queuing up, presenting your ticket for scanning or validation, and proceeding onto the ferry.
  5. Seating: Once onboard the ferry, choose your preferred seating area. Depending on the ferry and its capacity, you may have a variety of seating options available, including indoor seating with windows or outdoor viewing areas. Find a comfortable spot and settle in as you prepare to embark on your journey.


  1. Listen for Announcements: Pay attention to any announcements made by the ferry crew regarding the upcoming stop or final destination. They will inform you when it’s time to disembark.
  2. Gather Your Belongings: Prior to reaching your destination, gather your personal belongings and ensure you have everything with you. Double-check your seating area and nearby spaces to avoid leaving any items behind.
  3. Follow Instructions: When it’s time to disembark, follow the instructions given by the crew members. They may ask passengers to exit in an orderly manner, starting from specific sections of the ferry. Be patient and wait for your turn to exit.
  4. Exiting the Terminal: Once you have disembarked from the ferry, follow the signs indicating the exit or the specific terminal area. If you need to continue your journey by public transportation or other means, check for nearby transportation options or consult with terminal staff for guidance.

Following these guidelines will ensure a seamless boarding and exiting process, allowing you to fully enjoy your ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge.


Enjoying the Ferry Ride under Golden Gate Bridge

A ferry ride under the majestic Golden Gate Bridge provides a unique opportunity to soak in the beauty of this iconic landmark and the surrounding scenery. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this unforgettable experience:

  1. Position Yourself for the Best Views: As the ferry approaches the Golden Gate Bridge, find a spot that offers unobstructed views. Opt for outdoor viewing areas or open-air sections of the ferry where you can feel the refreshing breeze and have a clear line of sight for capturing stunning photographs.
  2. Observe and Listen: Take the time to observe the incredible architecture and engineering of the Golden Gate Bridge. Listen to any onboard commentary provided by the crew or through audio guides to learn interesting facts and historical insights about the bridge, enriching your understanding of its significance.
  3. Embrace the Surrounding Scenery: While the Golden Gate Bridge is undoubtedly the highlight, don’t forget to appreciate the breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline, the rolling hills of Marin County, and the scenic beauty of the bay. Allow yourself to fully immerse in the natural and urban landscapes that surround you.
  4. Take Photos and Capture Memories: Bring your camera or smartphone to capture the incredible sights and create lasting memories. Experiment with different angles, zoom levels, and compositions to capture unique perspectives of the bridge. Be sure to take a few moments to put the camera down and simply enjoy the view with your own eyes.
  5. Relax and Unwind: Use the ferry ride as an opportunity to unwind and relax. Take a break from the bustling city life and the demands of daily routines. Find a comfortable seat, sit back, and let the gentle rocking of the ferry and the soothing sounds of the water create a tranquil ambiance.
  6. Engage with Fellow Passengers: Strike up conversations with other passengers and share your enthusiasm for the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay area. You might meet fellow travelers with interesting stories or locals willing to offer recommendations for other hidden gems in the region.
  7. Stay Alert to Wildlife Sightings: Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife encounters as you sail underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Dolphins, seals, and various seabirds are often spotted in the bay. Be ready to capture these delightful moments if they happen to appear.
  8. Appreciate the Moment: Above all, savor the experience of being in the presence of this iconic bridge. Feel the excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to witness this marvel of engineering up close. Take a moment to reflect on the significance of the Golden Gate Bridge and the impact it has had on the San Francisco Bay Area.

By embracing these tips, you’ll create lasting memories and fully appreciate the wonder and beauty of your ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge.


Safety Guidelines

Ensuring the safety of yourself and fellow passengers is of utmost importance during your ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge. Here are some essential safety guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Follow Crew Instructions: Pay close attention to any safety instructions or announcements made by the ferry crew. They are there to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for everyone.
  2. Wear a Life Jacket (if provided): Some ferry operators may provide life jackets for passengers, especially during sightseeing cruises or trips that involve open waters. If life jackets are available, it’s advisable to wear them as an additional safety precaution.
  3. Maintain Balance and Hold on to Handrails: While moving around the ferry, be mindful of your balance, especially if the vessel encounters rough waters or sudden movements. Always hold on to handrails or other secure structures to prevent any slips or falls.
  4. Watch for Obstacles: Be cautious of any obstacles or uneven surfaces on the ferry. Watch your step and be aware of objects that may pose a tripping hazard.
  5. Stay Clear of Restricted Areas: Respect any designated restricted areas or off-limits sections of the ferry. These areas are restricted for safety reasons and should be strictly avoided.
  6. Be Aware of Emergency Exits: Take note of the emergency exits and evacuation procedures on the ferry. Familiarize yourself with their locations, as well as the instructions provided in case of an emergency.
  7. Secure Personal Belongings: Ensure that your personal belongings are properly secured and won’t pose a risk to yourself or others if they were to shift or fall during the ferry ride.
  8. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the journey, especially on hot days, to stay hydrated and avoid any potential health issues.
  9. Be Mindful of Motion Sickness: If you’re prone to motion sickness, consider taking preventative measures or medications before boarding the ferry. Sit in an area of the vessel with minimal motion, such as the center, or opt for outdoor seating to help alleviate symptoms.
  10. Report any Safety Concerns: If you notice any safety concerns or hazards during the ferry ride, such as loose handrails or slippery surfaces, inform a crew member or the ferry staff immediately.

Adhering to these safety guidelines will help ensure a secure and enjoyable experience as you sail beneath the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. Your safety and the safety of all passengers should always be a top priority.


Tips for a Memorable Experience

Make your ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge truly unforgettable with these tips:

  1. Plan Ahead: Research the ferry schedule, ticketing options, and any additional information in advance to ensure a smooth experience. Consider factors such as weather conditions, peak times, and potential crowds.
  2. Choose the Right Time: Opt for a timing that suits your preferences. Consider a sunset cruise for breathtaking views or an early morning ride for a quieter experience.
  3. Come Prepared: Bring essentials such as sunscreen, a light jacket, a camera or smartphone for capturing memories, and a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
  4. Engage with the Surroundings: Listen to the soothing sounds of the water, feel the cool breeze, and take in the sights and smells of the bay. Immerse yourself in the experience and be present in the moment.
  5. Connect with the Bridge’s History: Learn about the fascinating history, design, and construction of the Golden Gate Bridge before your trip. This will deepen your appreciation as you sail beneath it.
  6. Explore the Surrounding Areas: If time allows, consider exploring the areas near the ferry terminals. In San Francisco, you can stroll along the Embarcadero or visit the nearby Fisherman’s Wharf. In Marin County, take a walk through Sausalito’s charming streets or enjoy waterfront dining.
  7. Be Patient and Flexible: As with any travel experience, flexibility is key. Understand that there may be unforeseen delays or changes in the schedule. Approach any challenges with patience and a positive attitude.
  8. Disconnect from Technology: Take a break from your phone or other electronic devices and truly immerse yourself in the experience. Allow yourself to disconnect and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings without distractions.
  9. Share and Reflect: Share your experience with friends and loved ones. Reflect on the awe-inspiring moments, the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the memories you have made during the ferry ride.
  10. Express Gratitude: Show appreciation to the ferry crew and staff for their assistance and service. A simple thank you goes a long way.

By following these tips, you’ll create lasting memories and make the most of your memorable ferry ride under the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge.



Embarking on a ferry ride under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is an experience that offers a unique perspective of this architectural marvel. As you sail beneath the towering red towers, you’ll be captivated by the stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, the city skyline, and the rugged coastline.


In this article, we explored the different types of ferry rides available, ranging from sightseeing cruises to commuter options, and bay cruises that showcase multiple landmarks. We learned about the importance of checking the ferry schedule, purchasing tickets in advance, and familiarizing ourselves with the ferry terminal locations.


Understanding the safety guidelines and following the instructions provided by the ferry crew ensures a secure and enjoyable journey. By positioning ourselves strategically, observing the surrounding scenery, taking photos, and embracing the experience, we can fully appreciate the magnificence of the Golden Gate Bridge as we sail beneath it.


Additionally, we discussed tips for planning a memorable experience, from choosing the right time to come prepared with essentials and disconnecting from technology to fully engage with the surroundings. Reflecting on the journey and expressing gratitude to the ferry crew adds a meaningful touch to the overall experience.


So, if you’re looking for a unique and breathtaking adventure, consider embarking on a ferry ride under the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a chance to witness the engineering marvel up close and create unforgettable memories of the San Francisco Bay Area.


Remember to plan ahead, stay safe, appreciate the history and beauty of the bridge, and immerse yourself in the natural and urban landscapes surrounding it. The Golden Gate Bridge and the ferry ride beneath it will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression that will stay with you long after the journey ends.