#SFGuide: Sailing the San Francisco Bay

Sun setting over the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.

After a long, cold winter summer, San Francisco’s “not-really-an-Indian-Summer” Indian Summer is finally here. And nothing says Indian Summer in the Bay Area more than setting sail on the San Francisco Bay.

Sailing the San Francisco Bay with SF Sailing Co. Photo: Justin Wong, 49Miles.com.
Sailing the San Francisco Bay with SF Sailing Co. Photo: Justin Wong, 49Miles.com.

So, we did just that, joining our friends at the San Francisco Sailing Company for a two-hour sunset cruise on the 41-foot Islander named The Privateer. (Sunset charters cost $60 per person with San Francisco Sailing Company. Continue reading about our experience for a 20% off promo code. Click here to book a charter.)

The Privateer's first mate, Caleb. Photo: Justin Wong, 49Miles.com.
The Privateer’s first mate, Caleb. Photo: Justin Wong, 49Miles.com.

When you sail with San Francisco Sailing Company, you’ll be greeted by the captain and first mate at the dock. We hope you’ll meet Caleb, The Privateer‘s charismatic first mate, on your excursion. (Fun fact about Caleb: He saved the life of an old fisherman who was involuntarily pushed into the Bay by pulling him aboard. The man who pushed him in was later apprehended.) Caleb greeted each of the boat’s 25 guests, offering complimentary beverages — including wine and beer. He was full of information and fun facts, making our trip an educational one. Did you know the average depth of the Bay is 15-17 feet? We didn’t either!

San Francisco's transforming skyline from the Bay. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.
San Francisco’s transforming skyline from the Bay. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.
Alcatraz as seen from the Bay. Photo: Justin Wong, 49Miles.com.
Alcatraz as seen from the Bay. Photo: Justin Wong, 49Miles.com.
One of the few views of the Palace of Fine Arts unobstructed by tourists. Photo: Justin Wong, 49Miles.com.
One of the few views of the Palace of Fine Arts unobstructed by tourists. Photo: Justin Wong, 49Miles.com.
Keep your eyes peeled for the parrots of Telegraph Hill flying above Coit Tower. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.
Keep your eyes peeled for the parrots of Telegraph Hill flying above Coit Tower. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.
With San Francisco Sailing Company, you'll encounter both of San Francisco's iconic bridges. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.
With San Francisco Sailing Company, you’ll encounter both of San Francisco’s iconic bridges. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.
Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.
Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.

On the sunset charter, you’ll encounter essential San Francisco landmarks and enjoy unobstructed panoramic views of Downtown (and the rising Salesforce Tower and 181 Fremont), Coit Tower, Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, Sausalito and the Tiburon Peninsula, and of course, the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you want to sail through the Golden Gate, you'll have to book a Golden Gate and Champagne tour with San Francisco Sailing Company. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.
If you want to sail through the Golden Gate, you’ll have to book a Golden Gate and Champagne tour with San Francisco Sailing Company. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.

While the sunset charter does not sail under the Golden Gate Bridge, you can get that experience aboard a two-hour Golden Gate Bridge Champagne sail (weekends) or private yacht charter with San Francisco Sailing Company.

Returning to the iconic Port of San Francisco. Photo: Justin Wong, 49Miles.com.
Returning to the iconic Port of San Francisco. Photo: Justin Wong, 49Miles.com.

With a maximum of 28 people allowed on board The Privateer, you’ll be able to enjoy your sunset excursion with an intimate group of people. Passengers have taken advantage of this in the past by using the sunset cruise as the setting for proposals, corporate team building, birthday parties, and even small weddings.

Being a sailboat, you won’t hear the constantly whirring motors experienced on other sunset cruises. Within minutes, Caleb hoisted the sails up the mast and shut off the boat’s engine, allowing us to sit back, relax, soak in views, sunshine, and some good wine.

The Privateer's new sailcloth. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.
The Privateer’s new sailcloth. Photo: Kyle Legg, 49Miles.com.

San Francisco Sailing Company’s sunset cruises run on weekends in February, and daily March through November. You can also book a 90-minute sail ($45 per person), which depart at multiple times throughout the day, every day. On Saturdays and Sundays you can catch the Golden Gate Bridge Champagne and Mimosa Sail ($60 per person) from 10:00AM–12:00PM.

Take advantage of the Indian Summer and book a sailing excursion with San Francisco Sailing Company. Use promo code 49MILES for 20% off!

Don’t want to share the boat? You can charter a private sail by calling 415-378-4887 or emailing sailing@sailsf.com.

If you’re looking to take up a new activity, sign up for a lesson with their American Sailing Association certified facility, the San Francisco Sailing School. Learn to become crew or a skipper, and charter your own boat either in the San Francisco Bay or internationally. They can even teach you how to race!

To learn more about the San Francisco Sailing Company, click here.

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