Helpful tips for getting the most from your Alcatraz visit

In order to ensure visitors get the most out of their Alcatraz experience, Alcatraz Cruises and the National Park Service provide the following guidance:

Tour Length

You can stay on Alcatraz as long as you like, but allow at least 2 ½ hours for sailing to the island, taking the Cellhouse audio tour, exploring the rest of the island and its historic exhibits, and returning to the mainland. Departures back to Pier 33, Alcatraz Landing are listed on the schedule page.

Photo ID Requirements

A photo ID is required for every person who books tickets to Alcatraz Island. Photo ID’s are required when purchasing and picking up tickets at the Alcatraz Cruises ticket booth and are also required at boarding. Customers purchasing and printing Alcatraz tickets on the web should arrive at Pier 33, Alcatraz Landing, with their photo ID. Photo ID’s are not necessary for every person in the party, but are required for the person who purchased the tickets.

Luggage & Backpacks

We regret that we are unable to accommodate suitcases, large backpacks or oversized duffel bags at Pier 33 or on Alcatraz Island. Additionally, we regret that oversized luggage or packages cannot be boarded on vessels or stored at Pier 33. Bags larger than a standard backpack, 16” x 20”, are not allowed on Alcatraz Island. Visitors with luggage or oversized backpacks will be unable to board Alcatraz Cruises vessels or visit Alcatraz Island and will receive refunds. There are no exceptions to this regulation.

Bicycles, Skateboards, Roller Blades, Skates, “Wheelie” Shoes, Weapons

Bicycles, skateboards, roller blades or skates, “wheelie” shoes and weapons are not allowed on Alcatraz Landing or on Alcatraz Island. Limited bicycle parking can be found at Pier 33 on a first come, first served basis. Bicycles must be walked to the bike racks upon arrival at Pier 33. Alcatraz Cruises assumes no responsibility for bicycles parked on premises.

Minors Visiting Alcatraz

Minors under the age of 18 are not allowed to visit Alcatraz Island, unless accompanied by an adult. Minors must be supervised at all times while visiting Alcatraz Island, Alcatraz Landing and while onboard Alcatraz Cruises vessels.

Service Animals

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. These service animals are allowed on Alcatraz Island and on Alcatraz Landing, Pier 33. Pets or companion animals are not allowed in either location.

Food & Beverage

Picnicking and consuming food on Alcatraz Island is allowed at the dock area from the picnic tables to the restrooms only. Bottled water is allowed on all areas of the Island. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase only on boats departing Alcatraz Island for Pier 33. Alcoholic beverages are not offered for sale on Alcatraz Cruises vessels bound for Alcatraz Island.

Walking Alcatraz

The roads and walkways on Alcatraz are steep. The distance from the dock to the cell house is approximately 1/4 mile (.4km) and the elevation change is 130 feet (40 meters), the equivalent of walking up a 13 story building. The roads and walkways are wide with several places to stop along the way to rest and take in the breathtaking views, and are shared with the S.E.A.T. vehicle. For more information on S.E.A.T. see below. Comfortable shoes are a must. Athletic or walking shoes are strongly recommended.

Sustainable Easy Access Transport (S.E.A.T.)

Visitors unable to make the climb up Alcatraz's steep roads can take advantage of the S.E.A.T. - Sustainable Easy Access Transport – vehicle, an accessible shuttle that runs twice an hour from the dock to the prison building and twice an hour from the drop off location back to the dock. Boarding SEAT is on a first come, first served basis. Please check the Accessibility tab on the right side of the Alcatraz Cruises website for S.E.A.T. schedule information.

We hope this information is helpful in planning your visit to Alcatraz Island with Alcatraz Cruises. These are some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Alcatraz Island. For more detailed information please visit the various sections of our website, outlined on the far right side of the home page. We look forward to welcoming you to Alcatraz soon.

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Alcatraz tickets can sell out several weeks in advance. Save Time! Buy your Tickets Online Now! Helpful Tips: Getting the most from your Alcatraz visit What's with the flies on Alcatraz Indigenous People's Sunrise Gathering, October 10, 2016 & November 24, 2016. Get more information Alcatraz Behind the Scenes Alcatraz Making the Irrational Rational Tickets now available 90 days in advance

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