Travel Tips

The Complete Sausalito Ferry Guide: The Best Way to Visit Sausalito

While planning your visit to Sausalito, you’ve undoubtedly heard that there’s a really cool way to get here: the Sausalito ferry! As a waterfront community along the San Francisco Bay, Sausalito is connected to San Francisco by boat. This makes for a really unique experience for visitors – and for lucky commuters who use the boats each day to reach their jobs in the “big city” on the other side of the Golden Gate.

Actually, there are two Sausalito ferries, which can make for a lot of confusion and uncertainty… How are they different? Which one should you take? Where do they depart from and how much do they cost?

Sausalito Ferry Hero

These are all questions I’ll be answering in this post, which is focused on giving you essential information about the Sausalito ferry – er, ferries – and how to use them during your visit to Sausalito. If you’re a traveler in search of knowledge, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re a local curious about commuting, you’ll also find what you need here. Ready to set sail? All aboard! (They actually don’t announce that on the Sausalito ferries, sadly!)

Note: This post was updated to reflect the ferry schedule as of September 1, 2023, and I try to update it quarterly. If you see an error in the schedule, please let me know in the comments below.

Sausalito is the traditional lands of the Graton Rancheria, Miwok, and Me-Wuk (Coast Miwok) peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation to the past and present stewards of these lands. To learn more, I invite you to explore Native Land.

This post was originally published in May 2022, and was updated most recently in September 2023.

Sausalito Ferry Terminals

There are three terminals from where you can catch the Sausalito ferry. Below are your options with a short description, so you know where to find them. 

  • San Francisco Ferry Building: The historic Ferry Building in San Francisco sits on the Embarcadero Promenade, near downtown SF. For yet another reference, the building sits at the foot of Market St.
  • San Francisco Pier 41: You’ll find Pier 41 east of Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco’s popular neighborhood on the northern side of the city. It sits to the west of the famed Pier 39.
  • Sausalito Ferry Terminal: Located in Gabrielson Park, the Sausalito Ferry Terminal sits on the northern side of downtown.

As you can tell, this means you can catch a ferry from San Francisco to Sausalito in two places – the Ferry Building or Pier 41 – and both ferries drop off at the same place, the Sausalito Ferry Terminal.

Sausalito Ferry Options 

Sausalito Ferry

In San Francisco, two companies operate a ferry to Sausalito. Below, I’ve briefly described each one and listed their website so you can check fares, schedules, and routes. 

Golden Gate Ferry

Golden Gate Ferry services run from the historic Ferry Building in San Francisco to Sausalito, Tiburon, and Larkspur in Marin County. They offer rides seven days a week and you can catch the ferry to Sausalito and other destinations at Gate B. Check their website to learn about their current schedule and fares. 

Blue & Gold Fleet

Blue & Gold Fleet is the largest ferry operator on San Francisco Bay. They primarily operate excursion services to Sausalito, Tiburon, and Angel Island. All their ferries depart from Pier 41 in San Francisco. Their ticket offices are at Pier 39. Check their website for the latest rates, routes, and schedules. 

Golden Gate Ferry Sausalito Schedule

Golden Gate Ferry is a popular option for commuters, especially those traveling from Sausalito to San Francisco for work. As such, the schedule for their ferries is heavy on morning transfers and less frequent the rest of the day. Additionally, the last ferry run is quite early, making it less optimal for San Francisco visitors to Sausalito who want to stay for dinner in our lovely town.

As of September 1, 2023, here is the schedule for the Golden Gate Ferry on weekends:

Depart SausalitoArrive San FranciscoDepart San Francisco
Arrive Sausalito
10:35am (C)11:05am
11:20am11:50am12:05pm (C)12:35pm
1:20pm1:50pm2:10pm (B)2:40pm
3:20pm3:50pm4:10pm (B)4:40pm
5:15pm5:45pm6:50pm (B)7:20pm

There’s also a more extensive weekday schedule with more options throughout the day, so if you’re not visiting on Saturday or Sunday, be sure to check that. Golden Gate Ferries depart from Gate B or Gate C at the San Francisco Ferry Building, as indicated above.

Blue & Gold Fleet Sausalito Schedule

Blue & Gold Fleet has a slightly different approach to their Sausalito ferry service. It’s a bit more aimed at visitors rather than commuters, with no meaningful morning schedule. Instead, you can catch the ferry out for lunch and back after dinner.

Here’s the weekend schedule for Blue & Gold Fleet:

Depart San FranciscoArrive SausalitoDepart SausalitoArrive San Francisco

The next Blue & Gold Ferry schedule will be released on October 8, and I’ll update this post after that is released.

As you can see, there are fewer options but they work better if you want to stay in Sausalito for dinner.

Sausalito Ferry Holidays

While the above schedules are true every day or weekend day (depending on the ferry company), there are a few days neither Sausalito ferry is running. There is no ferry service on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, or New Year’s Day. There’s also a holiday schedule for Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and President’s Day. This is usually posted on the corresponding website so be sure to double-check the schedule before you plan your whole day or make any dinner reservations.

Sausalito Ferry Pricing & Cost

Generally, the Sausalito ferry prices vary depending on the company you choose and your age.

As of July 1, 2023, Golden Gate Ferries charges adults $14.00 ($28.00 round trip) for a single ride and children and seniors $7.50 ($14.00 round trip). With a Clipper Card, adults can save half the ticket price, paying $7.75 ($15.50 round trip). (Clipper Cards are typically used by locals, so if you’ll be in San Francisco for a while, I recommend getting one.)

The Blue and Gold Sausalito Ferry is a little bit more expensive. An adult ticket to the ferry costs $14.25 each way ($28.50 round trip). Children and senior tickets cost $8.50 ($17.00 round trip). There are no Clipper Card discounts on the Blue and Gold Ferry. 

Tips for Riding the Sausalito Ferry

Sausalito Ferry

I’ve compiled a quick list of the tips you should follow to ensure you have a Sausalito ferry ride to remember for the days to come. Keep on reading to discover them!

  1. There’s no cover in the waiting area of the Sausalito Ferry Terminal, so you’ll be exposed to whatever weather conditions take place. Make sure you bring an umbrella, windbreaker, or suitable clothing for the weather.
  2. Despite being the “Sausalito Ferry Terminal,” there’s no ferry building by that name in Sausalito. You’ll just find a dock next to a parking lot in downtown Sausalito.
  3. Stand on the correct line. There is one line for passengers with a bike and one line for those walking on without a bike. If you don’t have a bike, don’t stand on the bike line, as the bikers will be annoyed and tell you to move, and you’ll have to go to the back of the walk-on line.
  4. Don’t confuse the line for the ticket machines with the lines for people waiting to board. Ticket machines are where the ferry dock meets the parking lot. 
  5. Arrive early! Late afternoon sailings during summer and on holiday weekends tend to sell out no matter your destination. You’ll have to wait for the next ferry if this happens to you.
  6. There is no late-night service. The last ferry service to Sausalito from San Francisco typically leaves at either 7:20pm (Golden Gate Ferries) or 8:00pm (Blue & Gold Fleet) on weekends – so don’t miss it!

The Best Way to Take the Ferry to Sausalito

Having now seen both schedules, you might wonder: what’s the best way to ride the ferry to Sausalito?

Here’s what I would do: if you’re visiting on a weekend, I would catch the 10:35am Golden Gate Ferry ($14) from the San Francisco Ferry Terminal to arrive in Sausalito for brunch. I would then take the latest Blue & Gold Fleet ferry ($14.50) at 8:00pm back to San Francisco after dinner.

This gives you time to spend as much of the day as possible in Sausalito; if you need tips for your Sausalito day trip, I’ve got ’em!

Have any other questions about riding the Sausalito ferry to visit this little city by the bay? Let me know in the comments!

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Valerie fell in love with Sausalito after her very first visit; she and her husband then moved there in 2019. It's one of her favorite places in the Bay Area and she's excited to show you the best parts of her city.


  • Peggy Chancellor

    We are considering staying in Sausalito for a few days and taking the ferry into San Francisco rather than driving. Would this be a good idea?

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      Valerie & Jacob

      I think that’s actually a great idea, Peggy. Sausalito has a different vibe and is a fun base for striking out into San Francisco.

  • Dee Smith

    Valerie, my gal friend & I will be on the Emerald Princess, celebrating my 60th birthday. It’s encouraging to hear that you loved it so much, that you moved there! Could you please tell me how we can get to where the ferry docs? Neither of us have been there & any info that you can give newbies would be great. Thank you so much for your time and help!!!!! Dee Smith

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      Hi, Dee! Which dock will you be arriving to? The easiest option is probably to just grab a cab and ask them to take you to the Sausalito ferry up at the SF Ferry building. Otherwise it will be a little bit of a walk up the Embarcadero to reach the Ferry Building from where your ship lets you off.

  • Shannen

    Hi Valerie, this has been very helpful – thank you. Just one q…on a Saturday night, what time would we need to start lining up for the last ferry back to San Francisco? Does everyone make it on the ferry or is there a chance we’d be stranded? Keen to have an early dinner in Sausalito and get the 7:30pm or 8pm ferry back.

  • thomas c white

    I plan on staying in Sausalito in September and would like to go to Alcatraz for a tour what are my best options for getting there and back outside of driving my own vehicle? Does the ferry bring you to the pier for the tours?

  • Mel

    Hi there! Is there another way to get to Sausalito from San Francisco? My group is hoping to take a boat instead of the ferry. Wondering if you happen to know of any tours or private boats that can take us there. Thank you!

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      Sorry, I’m not aware of any boats that do a tour that will actually allow you to get on land in Sausalito. You’d need to take the ferry if you actually want to visit the town.

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