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Cruising Since 1980

Creating Amazing Experiences From Coast To Coast

About Us


Alcatraz Cruises is a private company started in 2006 operating passenger ferry services between Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing and Alcatraz Island and has the largest fleet of Hybrid passenger ferry vessels in the country. As the Authorized concessioner of the National Park Service, we organize many of the special events that take place on Alcatraz Island. Our sister company, Alcatraz Island Services, provides a number of essential services including potable water, wastewater, fuel, electricity generation and operation of the accessibility tram on Alcatraz. Our fleet provides the delivery of goods and supplies to the Island and to our National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy partners.

We are one of a family of companies owned by Terry MacRae who began Hornblower Cruises & Events as a two-vessel operation on the San Francisco Bay in 1980. Hornblower has grown as the west coast’s largest and most established dining cruise and charter yacht company, with 75 modern and classic vessels in over 10 cities in the United States and Canada.

San Francisco based Hornblower Cruises & Events continues to treat guests to unparalleled experiences on the water from the west coast to the east coast on board Hornblower Cruises & Events, Statue Cruises and Liberty Landing Ferry in New York, Adventures at Sea, Marina Del Rey Waterbus, Hornblower Niagara Cruises, and the newest family members, NYC Ferry by Hornblower and our first land experience, Hornblower Classic Cable Cars.



In 1980, Hornblower was acquired by Terry MacRae. What started as a two-boat, 114-passenger charter yacht company in Berkeley, California has since expanded to a 70+ vessel, multi-million dollar marine hospitality company. And although it has been more than thirty years, MacRae’s mission has not changed: Deliver premier quality dining, entertainment and cruise experiences while emphasizing customer service, safety and teamwork. Today, Hornblower continues to expand, growing its operations throughout North America.


For over 35 years, Hornblower Cruises & Events has been providing guests with unparalleled experiences on the water, including dining cruises, whale-watching cruises, sightseeing cruises, corporate events and weddings. It’s the largest – and most popular – private passenger vessel company in North America, carrying over 16 million passengers on 150,000 voyages in 2012 alone. Hornblower Cruises & Events operates in: San Francisco, Sacramento, Marina Del Rey, Newport Beach, San Diego and New York.


Since 1994, Hornblower Maritime Services was created specifically to help government agencies explore, start and manage ferry transportation systems. There are operations in many US and foreign locations including, California, Washington, Florida, Delaware, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Trinidad, Tobago, Okinawa, etc. HMS focuses exclusively on the operation of ferry vessels and has developed a reputation throughout the maritime industry as a premium operator with extraordinary capabilities. HMS has operated ferry vessels every day of the year, for over 20 years. HMS is unparalleled in the world and is considered the leader in setting up ferry transportation systems for municipalities.


In 2006, Alcatraz Cruises was awarded a U.S. National Park Service concession for the exclusive operation of ticketing and transportation to the infamous Alcatraz Island, California. Today, Alcatraz Cruises provides ticketing and transportation to more than 1.5 million visitors to the island each year. Each excursion is accompanied by an award-winning audio tour of the Cellhouse and a dramatic retelling of the most famous Alcatraz escape attempts. Alcatraz Cruises operates year-round, with the exception of the three days we are closed each year; Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Guests of Alcatraz Cruises also have the luxury of sightseeing aboard the Hornblower Hybrid – the first hybrid passenger ferry vessel in the United States. The 64-metre-long catamaran runs entirely on a combination of solar power, wind power, and low-emission diesel fuel.


Shortly after the launch of Alcatraz Cruises, Hornblower was awarded a second U.S. National Park Service contract and took over the exclusive ferry service to the Statue of Liberty National Monument & Ellis Island Memorial Museum in New York. Visitors are offered the once in a lifetime experience of traveling back in time to experience Ellis Island just as millions of Americans did so long ago.


In 2009, Liberty Landing Ferry began operating ferries from New Jersey to New York City. It is a point-to-point passenger ferry service in the New York Harbor providing transportation across the Hudson River. It is a fast, affordable, efficient alternative across the Hudson, connecting residents of New Jersey with Manhattan.


Since its launch in 2012, Hornblower New York has prided itself on delivering premier dining cruises and private event charters out of Pier 40 in the West Village. In March 2014, due to its increasing popularity and widespread demand, Hornblower New York expanded its service offerings to Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport where it operates happy hour and nighttime entertainment cruises as well as daily New York sightseeing tours.


In 2012, Hornblower Niagara Cruises won a highly competitive bidding process and was awarded the exclusive Canadian contract by the Niagara Parks Commission to operate boat tours to Niagara Falls in the Niagara George. Guests cruise aboard all new, state-of-the-art catamaran with 360 degree tiered viewing decks for unobstructed views and sheltered viewing areas for a full-but dry immersion in the awe of the mighty Niagara Falls. Offering iconic daytime boat tours and all new evening Firework and Illumination cruises, Hornblower Niagara Cruises is offering guests a whole new way to experience Niagara Falls.


Hornblower Cruises and Events ventured onto land in 2015 and purchased Classic Cable Cars, San Francisco’s original cable car tour and charter operator, rebranding the business Hornblower Classic Cable Cars.

Hornblower Classic Cable Cars is committed to operating the world’s largest fleet of motorized Cable Cars in the original tradition of excellence pioneered by Arnold Gridley. Some of our cars are originals dating back to the late 1800/early 1900’s. All of the other vehicles are built from the ground-up using the original cable car blueprints and constructed of solid oak and brass.

In addition to Private Charters, Hornblower Classic Cable Cars operates a wide variety of Public Tours from Fisherman’s Wharf at the corner of Taylor and Jefferson Streets across from the famous Fisherman’s Wharf sign.


Most recently, the New York City Economic Development Corporation awarded Hornblower the exclusive Citywide Ferry Service contract. Hornblower will connect all 5 boroughs of New York City via water for the first time in nearly 100 years. With the plan of carrying over 4.6 million riders on 19 vessels and delivering service to 22 different landing locations, Hornblower will modernize and help expand how and where New Yorkers choose to Work. Live. Play. 

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