California Sunset – Sailing San Francisco Bay


The problem with my San Francisco bucket list is that every time I tick something off, I seem to add something new… And this trip is no exception.

I’m totally in love with the  Golden Gate Bridge – it never fails to make me feel warm and fuzzy and I never get tired of the view. So when we asked David’s friend, Joel, a San Francisco native about the best things to see and do, he said a sunset cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge should be top of the list. Joel knows what’s what.

Now I must confess, I am not a very hardy traveller. I am not great at flying, I don’t enjoy travelling by car, I still haven’t mastered the art of bike riding and I don’t have sea legs by any stretch of the imagination. However, a sunset cruise across the bay is something even I can totally get on board with.

So that’s how we find ourselves at Pier 39 (conveniently right next to my favourite sea lions) waiting to board the Adventure Cat Sunset Sail.  There are a number of options  for sunset cruises, but if we’re going to sail the bay, we figure we might as well do it on a boat with sails.

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A catamaran offers not just safety and stability but combines amazing views both from the deck and the covered cabin. Another bonus is that there’s a limited number of passengers and a small but perfectly formed crew,  making it a more intimate and personal experience.

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We follow the instructions to the letter and arrive with jackets, soft soled shoes and have our cameras at the ready. In our excitement, we head straight to the front of the boat and we don’t budge even when the crew warn us we might get wet! It only takes one big wave to wet us enough and have us running for the cover and comfort of the cabin. Not before I get my Alcatraz shot though!

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Talking of the cabin, there’s plenty of seating, great views, a bar and hors d’oeuvres. The cruise includes two complimentary drinks (soft drink, beer or wine,) and the snack selection is on point, with something for everyone.


It’s a little bit bumpy to begin with and I hide out in the cabin while David heads out on the deck to start snapping. Whether you’re outside or in, watching the sunset over the bay is just sublime.

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My FOMO is real so it’s not too long before I am out on the deck and enjoying the view. I’m even feeling confident enough to have a go at sailing the boat! Kind of!

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It’s feeling decidedly chilly even with our hoodies but those peeps at Adventure Cat have thought of everything and there are wind jackets available if you need some extra insulation!

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There’s a really laid back vibe on the boat and the friendly crew really get amongst it, making everyone feel welcome and relaxed and they are more than happy to take pictures. They sure know how to get the perfect shot!

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photo credit: Michael

This is a cruise not a tour  so there’s no commentary because the scenery speaks for itself. If you’re of an inquisitive disposition and have any questions about the bay, the friendly crew will be more than happy to answer them.

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Watching the city light up as the Golden Gate Bridge glows in the disappearing sunlight is just the most magical experience and one I’ll never forget.

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It’s a spectacular 90 minute ride cruising the bay but all good things come to an end, even sunset sails. It’s been the best way to experience the beauty of the bay and as no sunset is ever the same, I can’t wait for an action replay next time I’m in town.

Do you have a travel bucket list? Have you got sea legs? Would you love to go on a catamaran?

Know before you go – Adventure Cat Sunset Sail

1.5 hour cruise – $60

Price includes 2 drinks and hors d’oeuvres

Sails daily (times vary)

Book your place on board here

David and I enjoyed our sunset sail as guests of Adventure Cat Sailing Charters. As always all opinions are honest and my own.

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