Parade of Ships and Ship Tours
Fleet Week SF 2017

Fleet Week: October 2-9, 2017

Parade of Ships: Friday, October 6, 2017, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Ship Tours: dates to be announced. See below for what we know so far about the ships.

Parade of Ships 2017

To kick off Fleet Week in San Francisco, the Navy sends a line of ships sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge and past the waterfront area.

The Parade of Ships in 1981

The parade begins at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 6, 2017, with the first ship passing under the bridge, followed by the remaining ships.

The list of all the ships hasn't been released yet.

The procession usually continues for an hour or two.

Best Places to Watch

There is a good view of the ships anywhere along the waterfront from the bridge itself to the Ferry Building at the end of Market Street.

Fleet Week Ship Tours for 2017

Only two of the ships coming for the Fleet Week tours have been named as yet: the HMCS Winnipeg (Canadian Navy frigate) and the US Coast Guard Cutter Midgett.

Locations: it looks like the ship tours for 2017 will be at Piers 15/17, 30/32 and 35.

The line-up so far...

  • Pier 15/17: the HMCS Winnipeg frigate.
  • Pier 30/32: a US Navy amphibious assault ship.
  • Pier 35: the US Coast Guard Midgett cutter.
  • Pier 35: a US Navy guided-missile destroyer.
  • Pier 35: a US Navy minesweeper.

The schedule for the ship tours for 2017 hasn't been announced yet, but last year they were held on the Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Fleet Week.

Go Onboard the Ships

Typically, five of the Navy ships have open houses each year. The public is invited to go aboard, meet the sailors and explore the war ships: pretty cool.

Advice for every year: this is very popular, so go early if you can. Expect some serious lines. Ship tours are free.

deck of uss stockdale, fleet week sf
On the Deck of the USS Stockdale, 2015
Guided Missile Destroyer

Piers with Ship Open Houses for 2017:

See full screen

Piers 15/17 house the Exploratorium. There's an expensive parking lot across the street.

embarcadero parking lot at pier 15
Parking Lot at Pier 15

Piers 30 and 32 are at the end of Bryant Street, on the Embarcadero. There is a parking lot across the street here also.

entrance to piers 30 and 32
Entrance to Piers 30/32

Pier 35 is used to handle the overflow cruise ships when the Cruise Ship Terminal at Pier 27 is in use. It's not far from Pier 39 and Pier 33 (Alcatraz Landing) so parking is challenging.

See my page on San Francisco Piers for maps of the piers and what's located at each one.

Parking ideas...

For information on parking in the area, see my tips on Embarcadero Parking.

Another parking option is to book a parking spot in advance through one of the parking apps. I've been using them more and more; you can try Spot Hero or Parking Panda for the best possibilities.

The Ships on Tour for 2017

HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338)

HMCS Winnipeg

The Winnipeg is a Canadian Navy war ship that operates mainly in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans for the defense of Canada.

The frigate has participated in missions in the Middle East in connection with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been involved in efforts to stop drug trafficking in the waters off Central America.

In 2009, the Winnipeg rescued a Norwegian tanker being attacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. The pirates were captured, but then released because of the limitations of Canadian law allowing their prosecution. The frigate was in the area protecting ships delivering food and medicine to East Africa.

USCGC Midgett (WHEC-726)

USCGC Midgett

The Midgett is a high-endurance Coast Guard Cutter, designed for being at sea for long periods.

The Midgett is currently based in Seattle and patrols the West Coast, including Alaska and Central America. Her missions are varied and include Homeland Security, enforcing maritime and fishing laws, stopping drug smugglers, and conducting rescue operations.

The ship is named after Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer John Allen Midgett, who won nation's highest medal for life-saving when he rescued the crew of a burning, torpedoed oil tanker in World War I.

The Midgett family from Virginia has an amazing record. Five other family members have also won that high honor, and there are 130 members of the family still alive that have served with the U.S. Coast Guard (and over 30 now on active duty).

The remaining Fleet Week ships haven't been named yet. Stay tuned!

More to explore...

> Parade of Ships

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