Over the past 50 years, Golden Gate Ferry has hosted memorable onboard events, and has acted as a primary mode of transportation to Bay Area festivals and sporting events. Walk with us down memory lane as we recount our more notable services and events.
1906 Commemorative Ferry Ride
On April 18, 1979, survivors and their families participated in the first annual 1906 earthquake ferry ride to commemorate the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. The ferry ride was part of the annual commemoration ceremony that takes place at Lotta’s Fountain. In 2002, the San Francisco History Association bestowed the Ron Ross Founder’s Award to Golden Gate Ferry for the operation of the annual ferry ride. This special event service ran annually until 2005.
In December 1983, Golden Gate Ferry inaugurated Merry Ferry, which continued annually through 2005, offering onboard holiday surprises during the holiday season. Shuttles to and from San Francisco's Union Square were an added bonus for weary shoppers. As part of Merry Ferry, children from local schools decorated the ferries while enjoying a trip across the Bay. Although Merry Ferry ended in 2005, the tradition of decorating the ferries continues to this day. Sue Spry, a teacher at Rancho Elementary School in Novato, described the event as an “educationally exciting experience.” She explained, “We’re able to teach California history and geography, plus get the benefit of doing community service.” For many children, the field trip is their first experience on a ferry.
Lunch for the Office Bunch
Lunch for the Office Bunch launched in 1984 and it quickly became a favorite of San Francisco Financial District workers. Celebrants enjoyed lunch, live music, and dancing on board. The annual event continued through 2007.
Bay to Breakers Ferry
In 1992, Larkspur Ferry added early morning service for the annual Bay to Breakers footrace in San Francisco. It remains the easiest and most relaxing way to get to the event, which starts just a few blocks
from the San Francisco Ferry Terminal.
When the San Francisco Giants moved from Candlestick Park to their new downtown ballpark in 2000, Golden Gate Ferry began providing fans with direct service from Larkspur to home games, arriving steps away from the center field entrance. Dubbed the “Giants Ferry,” the one-hour scenic ride across the Bay has been a fan favorite ever since! During the Giants' three World Series championships, ridership surged. And when Bay Area baseball fans welcomed home the 2012 World Champion San Francisco Giants with a special parade and celebration held in San Francisco, Golden Gate Ferry fans made their enthusiasm known—with record-breaking ridership reaching 14,099 for the day. It continues to be the highest single ridership day on the Golden Gate Larkspur Ferry route.
America's Cup fans from the North Bay were rewarded in 2013, when the 34th America’s Cup was held on San Francisco Bay. Fans rode Golden Gate Ferry to San Francisco to watch the United States bring home the America's Cup. The America’s Cup’s race sequence was the longest ever, both by number of days and races. The two waterfront venues—the America's Cup Village at Marina Green and the America's Cup Park at Piers 27 and 29—were the perfect settings to experience this oldest international sporting event.
Super Bowl 50
In 2016, in the lead up to Super Bowl 50, Golden Gate Ferry added both midday and evening trips to/from Larkspur for the "Super Bowl City" and "NFL Experience" events in downtown San Francisco. The big game was played at Levi’s Stadium in nearby Santa Clara—home of the San Francisco 49ers.
Chase Center Service
In 2019, when the new Chase Center in the Mission Bay section of San Francisco opened, Golden Gate Ferry began operating direct service from Larkspur to Golden State Warriors games, special events, and concerts.
In addition, GGF has provided special ferry service for the Pride Parade (ridership surged in 2008, in support of same-sex marriage), St. Patrick's Day Parade, concerts at Oracle (and formerly AT&T) Park, the Sausalito Art Festival, Opera in the Park, the Women's March, and other civic events.
Over the years, Golden Gate Ferry has helped create many happy memories for Bay Area residents and tourists. We look forward to seeing you onboard the ferry again soon!