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James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27
James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27

James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27

Free admission
Pier 27 The Embarcadero , San Francisco, California, 94133

The Basics

Originally opened in 2014, the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal offers a scenic gateway to San Francisco, presenting views from the Bay Bridge to Telegraph Hill and easy access to the Embarcadero waterfront. The terminal offers an ideal starting point for urban adventure, with many sights within walking distance. Pair a visit with stops at waterfront attractions—including the Exploratorium science museum—and grab dinner at the must-see Pier 39.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The San Francisco waterfront can be windy and brisk, so bring a warm layer of clothing.

  • To rest your feet, take a break in Cruise Terminal Plaza, which offers benches and a lawn for lounging.

  • You can easily travel from the terminal to neighborhoods around San Francisco via MUNI and BART public transit systems.

  • Though you can’t store bags at Pier 27, the California Welcome Center at Pier 39 offers luggage storage.

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How to Get There

Since the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal is on a busy stretch of the Embarcadero, the most convenient way to visit Pier 27 is by public transit. Take Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) from the East Bay or the airport. If you’re traveling within the city, take MUNI light rail. Hop on the E or F streetcars, and get off at the Embarcadero & Sansome Street stop. For drivers, paid parking is available.

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Trip ideas

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When to Get There

Plan to arrive early for a cruise, since it's important to make your shipboard time. Otherwise, there’s no bad time to visit; numerous Embarcadero eateries, shops, and attractions are located within walking distance. You can expect more crowds over the weekends and when ships are in port.

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Shopping at the San Francisco Ferry Building

Located about a 15-minute walk from Pier 27, the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace is a foodie hotspot with everything from local honey to craft beer and handmade ceramics packed under one roof. Sample regional produce at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market—hosted three times per week—and, for a near-perfect alfresco dining experience, buy local baked goods, meats, and veggies in the market, and eat them on Ferry Plaza’s public benches.

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