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Lunch, brunch, or dinner on San Francisco Bay; on a ferry, sloop, or 151-foot cruise ship.

Lunch, brunch, or dinner on San Francisco Bay

If having a good meal while boating on San Francisco Bay sounds like fun, then you'll be glad to learn about the growing fleet of boats now offering lunch, brunch, and dinner cruises. Reserve now and you can enjoy the typically sunney weather of autumn.

Depending on the firm and cruise you choose, your maritime feast might include barbecued chicken or steak, croissants and eggs Benedict, or caviar and grilled swordfish. Bands on three boats play dance music on dinner outings; one has Dixieland jazz during the day.

The outings last 1 1/2 to 3 hours. Routes vary according to tides, winds, traffic, and the whim of the captain; you may head out to the Golden Gate, swing by Angel Island, or drop down to the Oakland estuary. On each cruise, you're assured of fine views of city skyline and Bay islands.

Here we list all Coast Guard-approved passenger vessels offering regular dining cruises on the bay. Reservations are usually required at least two weeks in advance. Children are welcome on most excursions, although the dinner outings are intended mainly for adults. Some firms offer special meals for holidays, such as Mother's Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving. Except where noted, cost does not include wine, beer, and other drinks.

Blue & Gold Fleet, Box Z2, Pier 39, San Francisco 94133; (415) 781-7890. On Friday evenings now through October 31, and Saturday evenings through November 1, you can enjoy live music and a barbecued chicken or steak dinner ($27, $15 for children 12 and under). In November and December, holiday meals (ham and turkey) are prepared Friday and Saturday nights ($29). You'll sail on a 90-foot, triple-deck ferryboat (maximum capacity: 200) or a new 90-foot catamaran cruiser (also 200). Boats leave Pier 39's West Marina at 7:30, return at 10:30.

City of San Francisco, Hornblower Yachts, Pier 33, San Francisco 94111; 434-0300. Lunch, brunch, and dining outings are offered year-round. The new 151-foot ship, which resembles a circa-1900 steamer (capacity: 600), has dining and dancing in spacious salons with fresh flowers and china and glassware at your table. After dessert, you can dance, stroll the decks, or visit the wheelhouse and watch the captain navigate along the city waterfront.

Luncheon trips ($24, including buffet, coffee or tea, and dessert) leave at noon and return at 1:30 on Fridays. Saturday and Sunday brunches ($29, including buffet, champagne, coffee or tea, sodas and juices) leave at 11, return at 1. Dinner excursions ($49, including hors d'oeuvres, salad, choice of three entrees, coffee or tea, and dessert), with live music, leave most nights at 7:30, return at 10:30. Ages 12 and under sail for half price.

Red & White Fleet, Pier 41, San Francisco 94133; 546-2803. On Friday nights through October, this ferry offers dinner and live music ($29, $21 for children under 12) with a rotating theme: country-western barbecue, Hawaiian luau, or Mexican fiesta. Ship (capacity: 250) leaves Pier 41 (Fisherman's Wharf) at 8, returns at 10:30.

Ruby, China Basin Charter, 1129 Folsom St., San Francisco 94103; 861-2165. Now through November, the 64-foot sloop (capacity: 30) takes lunch excursions around Alcatraz ($25, deli sandwiches, antipasto), leaving at 12:30 and returning at 2 daily. Dinner trips ($25, focaccia and hors d'oeuvres) sail to the Sausalito waterfront on Fridays and Saturdays at 6, returning at 8:30. Ages 10 and under sail for half price.

You motor from the marina at the China Basin Building, 185 Berry Steet (a block south of the SP train depot), pass under the Third Street drawbridge, then head to open water, where the crew raises the sails. You can dine on deck or in the salon below.

Some charter sailboat and motorboat firms offer unscheduled or holiday dining excursions; for leads, check the yellow pages under Charter Boats.

Photo: Deckside browsers take in sunny weather after champagne brunch. City vistas include Financial District skyscrapers and Bay Bridge

Photo: Dining salon aboard City of San Francisco has complete meal service and a full bar

Photo: Bobbing balloons and black-tie band lend carnival air to Red & White Fleet ferry

Photo: Steel sailing sloop Ruby beats toward the Golden Gate Bridge
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Directory
Date:Sep 1, 1986
Words:703
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