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Book with Confidence

Our new flexible booking conditions include a 7-day refund guarantee and free trip changes.


1 day
Day Trip

Tour Highlights

  • 'Escape' from the world's most notorious prison

  • Navigate the challenging and choppy cross currents

  • Detailed briefing that unlocks the secrets of this iconic swim

  • One-of-a-kind sea-level views of the majestic Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco skyline

  • The swim that many still believe is impossible to complete

Alcatraz! The very name conjures up visions of sharks, frigid waters, Al Capone and the barren, fog-enshrouded "rock". It closed as a federal prison in 1963 and is now a desolate outpost just 10 miles off San Francisco's Presidio Park.

We are pleased to be able to offer this one-off swimming holiday in Alcatraz (San Francisco) to anybody who has ever wanted to make this iconic 'escape'!

Unlike our other swimming tours, this is an individually tailored swimming trip because you book out an agreed period of time on a specific day between May and October. These are individual, escorted swims and are designed for between one and four swimmers. This means that you can either attempt the escape by yourself, or share the experience with friends.

This trip can also be offered as tailor-made experience. The date of travel and itinerary can be adjusted to suit you. For more information contact us on with the dates you'd like and number of people taking part. We'll be in touch to chat about putting together your dream swimming experience.

What's included

  • Escort boat and a local guide
  • A chance to swim the 'Impossible Swim'

What's not included

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Wetsuit hire if required

How to book

Simply contact the SwimTrek team via the 'Availability' tab on this page. Let us know a few dates that suit you, and we'll plan your escape depending on our local guides' and boat pilots' availability and the tides at your preferred time.

If you have any questions at all about the above pricing structure, please contact the SwimTrek office.

Related Trips

The Alcatraz Swim

Trip Duration: 2-3 hours

You meet your guide, Warren, on the San Francisco shore, straight across from the imposing fortress island of Alcatraz. Depending on your location, it may also be possible to arrange for Warren to meet you at your hotel.

During the briefing, Warren will explain to you the currents that you can expect on your swim, the landmarks that you need to look out for and any safety issues that you need to be aware of. You will then be taken by boat to Alcatraz where you will begin your swim.

Trip Schedule

Swim Duration: 2 - 3 hours

Swimming Information

Equipment to bring along with you

In addition to 'normal' daily clothes, you will need to bring the following:

  • Swimming Costume
  • 2 x Swimming Goggles*
  • Sun Hat and Sunglasses
  • Waterproof Sun Cream
  • Towel
  • Small Day pack
  • Sweater / Fleece / Waterproof Jacket

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

Swimming Distance

Alcatraz - Aquatic Park, San Francisco 2½km (1½ miles)


Month Water Temp (°C) Air Temp (°C)
Jan - Feb 10 14
March - April 12 16
May - June 14 19
July - August 15 19
Sept - Oct 16 21
Nov - Dec 12 15

*These temperatures are indicative only and can change on a daily/weekly basis

Swimming Caveat

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience but you need to be aware that certain marine life such as jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis please consult the office prior to booking.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Group Size

These are individual escorted swims and are designed for between one and four swimmers.

Getting There

San Francisco is served by a number of American and international airlines. Please contact your travel agent for further details on getting there. You might also want to look at a price comparison site such as Skyscanner.

Practical Information


No accommodation is included in the tour cost. If you are staying within San Francisco, Warren may pick you up from your accommodation.


No meals are included in the tour cost

Local Currency

The local currency is US Dollars.

Passports and Visas

Non-US citizens require a full passport which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. It is also advisable to check if you require a visa to enter the United States. Up-to-date visa information can be found here.


There are no essential vaccination requirements for the United States, but you should check again eight weeks prior to travel. You should also ensure that your immunity to tetanus and polio are up-to-date.

  • Great City, Great Guide, Fantastic Swim!

    Benjamin M
  • What a truly amazing opportunity! Thank you SwimTrek this has always been on my bucket list!

    Barbi Coombs
  • I wanted to do something I would remember for my birthday & I can now say I escaped Alcatraz when I was 50.

    Brad Chan
  • There is no better adventure swim in my eyes!

    John West

Book with Confidence

Our new flexible booking conditions include a 7-day refund guarantee and free trip changes.

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