To enhance your enjoyment, you can hear three excellent audio commentaries, in 12 different languages, on the headphones provided. The topics are:
• Architecture: Learn about the extraordinary mix of architecture for which San Francisco is famous. Building styles range from Victorian, through elegant art deco to the thoroughly modern.
• Natural History: With its sand dunes, salt marsh, rocky islands, open water and beaches, San Francisco Bay is a haven for many fascinating wild plants and animals. The natural history narration will tell you more.
• Native American Culture: Find out about the Ohlone or Costanoan Native Americans, who lived around the Bay before the Spaniards arrived in 1776. Spanish colonization all but wiped them out, but descendents of the survivors are actively revitalizing their culture.
As your cruise departs, the audio commentary synchronizes with the sights and landmarks on the way. You can stick to one commentary or switch between them.
On the way out, you will pass the forbidding island of Alcatraz, once a federal penitentiary. Isolated by dangerous currents, this was a prison from which no one could successfully escape, although many tried. Notorious inmates included Al Capone and Robert Franklin Stroud, the ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’.
Sailing along, you may see brown pelicans, with their huge 6 ½ foot wing span, diving for fish. You will cruise past the man-made Treasure Island, and the natural outcrop of Yerba Buena, and sail under the massive Oakland Bay Bridge. This 8.5 mile long combination suspension / cantilever structure links the cities of Oakland and San Francisco.
On your return to Fisherman’s Wharf you may hear the barking sea lions at Pier 39.
Your enjoyable cruise ends at the starting point.