Alviso Boat Tours

The south San Francisco Bay contains over 30,000 acres of wetland wilderness. Explore this inspiring habitat with park staff aboard a boat and discover its value to all species in our community – including you! 

Choose from the program options listed below.

Where:             Alviso Marina County Park​

When:              May-October. Times and dates vary due to tides.

Cost:                FREE

Registration:   See below


Program on Alviso boat with speaker and audience

Explore the community of animals, plants, and people that call San Francisco Bay home. Discover our region’s natural history and how we have shaped – and protected – our shoreline over time. See available dates via sign-up link.  Minimum age 8. 

Walk-up registration is available if tour is not full or there are no-shows. Arrive 20 minutes in advance to register onsite for walk-up. If space is available five minutes before tour time, you will be able to participate. Best chance of walk-up is weekdays during the day.

Sign up



Alviso boat with students

How do Alviso’s wetlands protect your community from the effects of a changing climate? On this field trip, students will explore the carbon cycle and act as climate scientists while traveling through the tidal marsh environment of Alviso Slough. This program is designed to meet science standards for grades 6 and up. 

Request Reservation 



Floating Classroom program on boat

Local Educators: Lead your own field trip aboard our boat! Park staff will provide an introduction, safety briefing, and conclusion, and you deliver your own, customized content, and lead class investigations on Alviso Slough. We encourage local colleges and universities to apply. 

Request Reservation



Great Egret at Alviso Marina County Park

Book a memorable and educational tour for an organized group of between 20 and 35 people. Group tour times are limited, and must be reserved at least a month in advance. Because of limited available times and the program's popularity, requesting a reservation does not guarantee that you will get a spot. We also give preference to nonprofits and community groups.

Request Reservation


    Participants must be at least 8 years old. Getting on the boat requires walking onto the floating launch ramps, which lack handrails for support and can exhibit instability. All participants will be required to sign a Release of Liability Waiver. Please take a few moments to read, print, and sign the waiver in advance HERE​.  Parents or legal guardians will need to sign on behalf of accompanying minors. ​​​​​​

    Please arrive at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to the tour start time. All unclaimed seats, including reserved seats, will open up to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis FIVE (5) minutes prior to launch. The tour meets at the launch ramp at Alviso Marina County Park, 1195 Hope Street, Alviso, CA 95002.

    The 58 bus stops at Liberty and Taylor, and is about a 0.5 mile walk from Alviso Marina County Park. If arriving via car, there is a large parking lot with plenty of free parking.​​

    Alcohol is NOT permitted on the boat. Dogs are also not allowed, for the safety and comfort of all participants involved, and out of respect for the sanctuary status of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Trained ADA service animals are permitted.

    Small items should be secured on your person or in a small bag/container to be stowed in a small space beneath each bench. Please note that storage is extremely limited. Large, bulky items, such as backpacks, will not fit under the benches and will need to be left onshore in your personal vehicles to ensure aisles and pathways are kept clear of any hazards. We strongly suggest snacking before or after the boat tour to reduce the potential for polluting the waterway.

    Dress comfortably with sturdy shoes, sun protection, and layers to account for variable weather conditions. Please make sure items like sunglasses and hats can be secured so they won't fly off during the boat tour. Again, weather conditions can vary greatly, from extreme cold and wind, to heat, prolonged sun exposure, sea spray, and choppy waters.

    The boat is a pontoon-style catamaran with un-padded bench seating. In order to provide the best possible views on the tour, the boat does not have a roof or a shade structure.​

    pontoon style boat

    Please email [email protected] with any questions

    For school classes from 6th grade through college, see information on "Exploring Our Changing Bay" and "Floating Classroom."

    For other groups, see information on group "Salt Marsh Safari" requests.

    The staff of Santa Clara County Parks makes the safety of our visitors a priority. Any actions or behaviors that the Park Ranger deems unsafe (putting the safety of others at risk or compromising the integrity of the vessel) could warrant exclusion from the tour or even early termination of the tour. The tour may be cancelled due to unforeseen adverse weather conditions the day of the tour. Cancellation due to predicted weather events will usually be communicated at least one day in advance.

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