San Francisco Amtrak Connections For Cruising

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by niemi24s, Jan 11, 2019.

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  1. Jan 11, 2019 #1

    niemi24s

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    niemi24s

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    In an effort to familiarize myself with the locations of Thruway bus stops and Cruise Terminals I annotated a map showing the layouts of the three remaining bus stops and the two piers used as cruise terminals.  Others not familiar with the area may find it useful:

    SFO Thruway Bus Stops.jpg

    Pier 27 seems to be the one most suitable for cruises according a Google search.

    Please let me know of any errors or omissions.

    [Edit: Note:  Original image modified to show the the best way to get to Pier 27 based on subsequent responses.]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2019
  2. Jan 11, 2019 #2

    BCL

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    Sounds about right.  I've seen some rather massive cruise ships docked there.  This is what it looks like now:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jan 11, 2019 #3

    niemi24s

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    As big as that one (the Star Princess) seems, it's actually a small to medium-sized cruise ship for about 2600 passengers and 951' long.  On April 30th the Norwegian Cruise line ship Bliss is scheduled to pay a visit there and it's 80%  15% longer at 1,716' 1094" and can carry 4,000 passengers.  But back to the map.

    I had initially thought the map below (showing city bus routes) would be more useful to forum members cruising in or out of San Francisco,  but then had second thoughts.  I think most folks going on a cruise usually have at least one huge suitcase in tow and a city bus might not be the best choice to get from a Thruway bus stop to the cruise terminal.  But then again, maybe the buses that do Routes E and F are like the big  intra-city buses with cavernous luggage compartments at ground level.  But never having been to San Francisco, I've no real idea.

    And not knowing whether buses E & F enter the terminal area so as to drop passengers off right at the terminal (as opposed to dropping them off outside the terminal area at street side) perhaps a taxi from the SFW Thruway stop might be the best way to do it.

    Map San Francisco Bus Routes.jpg

    Q:   Anybody know if the buses on Routes  E & F have street-level luggage compartments?  Or if they drop off passengers right at the terminal building on the pier?

    [edit]  Just stumbled across this that shows the bus going right to the terminal building.  But I wonder if it really does.  https://moovitapp.com/?from=Beach St. %26 The Embarcadero&to=Pier 27&fll=37.808383_-122.40968&tll=37.804618_-122.401383&customerId=4908&metroId=22&lang=en&ref=1
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2019
  4. Jan 11, 2019 #4

    The Journalist

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    The E and F are rail lines run with antique streetcars, not buses, and they tend to be quite crowded. The stop at the cruise terminal is in the median of the Embarcadero. Carrying luggage on is certainly doable but not particularly pleasant-the streetcars are high-floored and have stairs. It is likely to be faster to walk than take the E/F between the P39 Thruway stop and the cruise terminal-it's about half a mile, and to get to the streetcar you'd have to backtrack a block, cross the street, and then cross back at the cruise terminal stop. 
     
  5. Jan 11, 2019 #5

    desertflyer

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    The E and F both stop right in front of the Cruise Terminal. These lines are run by historic streetcars with the occasional bus substitution, but they're not really designed for people with large luggage. These streetcars have no extra space for luggage and there are at least a couple of good steps up into the streetcars (especially the Italian streetcars sometimes in use). They're also often packed to the gills. Here's an example of one:

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Jan 11, 2019 #6

    niemi24s

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    Thanks for all the info.  Looks like the best choice for link between a cruise and Amtrak either way is some combination of Thruway stop SFW and a taxi of some sort.  I'll modify the image in the first post to show that.
     
  7. Jan 11, 2019 #7

    desertflyer

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    There are tons of cabs hanging out in the taxi rank immediately adjacent to Pier 39, which is where the SFW stop is, should you want to hail one. Uber and Lyft are also quite plentiful throughout the Bay Area if you'd prefer.

    In this Google Streetview, the BigBus is stopped at the Amtrak Bus Stop SFW and you can see the taxis at the rank in front of it.

    [​IMG]

    Having said that, cruises leaving from Pier 35 are so close that it wouldn't be worth taking a cab even if you have a lot of luggage. Pier 27 is also very walkable, but if you have mobility issues or can't move all of your luggage in one go, it could be worth using a cab.
     
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  8. Jan 11, 2019 #8

    jebr

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    It's about a ten-minute walk from the SFW stop to Pier 27, and there doesn't appear to be a need to cross Embarcadero to do so. If someone can walk relatively easily and doesn't have an ornerous amount of luggage, walking to the dock seems to be the best way to go. I'd imagine you'd spend almost as long hailing a taxi, loading the luggage, driving down to Pier 27, and then unloading the luggage and paying the cab as you would making the walk.
     
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  9. Jan 11, 2019 #9

    jamess

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    I agree, walking is best. It is flat, the sidewalk is wide, and weather in SF is always suitable.
     
  10. Jan 11, 2019 #10

    niemi24s

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    It might be best for you, but many folks taking cruises have mobility or other health issues.  A 950 yard walk for an octagenarian with COPD and a bad hip dragging a big 50 pound suitcase is not something to look forward to.

    Just sayin"
     
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  11. Jan 11, 2019 #11

    desertflyer

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    It's about to start pouring here right now and I wouldn't blame someone taking a cab in those conditions.
     
  12. Jan 12, 2019 #12

    BCL

    BCL

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    Definitely been on one of the buses.

    [​IMG]

    The worst part is that they're riding down that center space where there are cobblestones.  The streetcars don't have to contend with it, but the buses encounter different types of stones.  This photo doesn't look as rough as other areas where there are larger stones that stick out more.

    Not sure what's up with this photo since there seem to be private cars behind the bus in what's normally restricted to MUNI vehicles.  I see cones, so it could be the Embarcadero main roadway was closed and traffic rerouted to the restricted median lanes.
     
  13. Jan 12, 2019 #13

    niemi24s

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    Pier 35, in the background of your image, is listed as one of the two cruise terminals on the Vacations To Go website, and from the 2019 schedule... ttps://sfport.com/sites/default/files/Cruises/Docs/2019.pdf ...it appears to be used only when there are too many ships for Pier 27 to handle.  Of the 88 dockings this year, Pier 35 is used for for only 12.

    But the entry door to Pier 35 is only about 375 yards from Thruway bus stop SFW.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2019
  14. Jan 12, 2019 #14

    BCL

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    I've been on Pier 35 waiting to get onto a ship during San Francisco Fleet Week.  It's really more like a big warehouse space with a dock.
     
  15. Jan 13, 2019 #15

    railiner

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    The Bliss is big all right, but not quite that big....it's length is 1,094 feet.
     
  16. Jan 13, 2019 #16

    niemi24s

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    Thanks for that correction.  Not sure how I got its crew size mixed up with its length. <blush>
     
  17. Jan 13, 2019 #17

    cpotisch

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    1,716 feet would be pretty massive. The longest cruise ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas, is still "only" 1,188.1 feet. Even the longest ship ever, Seawise Giant, a supertanker, is 1,504.10 feet, and its scale was simply jaw dropping.

    From Wikipedia:

     
  18. Jan 15, 2019 #18

    chakk

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    Except Wednesday, 17 January 2019, when heavy rain and wind gusts exceeding 50 mph are forecast.
     
  19. Jan 15, 2019 #19

    jamess

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    I believe cruises only call on SF during the late spring to early fall period
     
  20. Jan 15, 2019 #20

    BCL

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    Here's a full schedule for 2019:

    [​IMG]

    https://sfport.com/sites/default/files/Cruises/Docs/2019.pdf

    Jan 17 will be a Thursday, and the Grand Princess will be at Pier 27.  And the schedule is pretty evenly spread out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2019
  21. Jan 16, 2019 #21

    jamess

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