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Alviso Boat Tours

Published on: 4/14/2020 3:24 PM
Due to COVID-19 and the current shelter-in-place, we will place the Alviso Boat Tours on-hold until further notice.

​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 2020
Cost:                FREE
Registration:   See below!



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. Minimum age 8. Sign up HERE!





 Exploring our changing bay image

Teachers and Students:  
How do Alviso’s wetlands protect your community from the effects of a changing climate? Students will explore the carbon cycle and act as climate scientists while traveling through the tidal marsh environment of Alviso Slough! This program targets grades 6 and up. Sign up HERE! 

Summer time speaker series image

Investigate S.F. Bay marshes with scientists, naturalists, and other local conservationists. This series connects visitors more deeply with wetlands, and to the professionals and organizations that work to protect and restore them. We will announce 2020’s speakers in June. Minimum age 14. Sign up HERE!

Floating classroom image

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! Sign up HERE!


1. What is the minimum age requirement to attend the program? Are there any restrictions?
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. ​​​​​​
2. When and where should I arrive?
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.

3. What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the tour?
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.​​
4. What can I bring into the event?
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.
5. What kind of boat will we be on?
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 image

7. Can I bring a group or class out on the tour?
If you are an educator for grades 6+ and would like to bring your class out on the slough, please review the Education Programs page HERE​.

Public groups can register up to six tickets per person on our Eventbrite​ page. Please reserve only the number of seats you know you can fill. Alviso Boat Tours sell out quickly, and Santa Clara County Parks would like to ensure that everyone has a chance to participate.
8. Anything else?
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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