Real-Time Ship Positions on San Francisco Bay

Instructions for use

  • To view information about a particular ship, point to it on the chart. (Tip: Click Pause to make it easier to select a ship.)
  • Click the Rewind button to start over.
  • Move the Speed slider to adjust the playback speed.
  • To choose a single ship, click the Choose Ship checkbox and select a ship from the pop-up menu.
  • To view current positions, click the Real-Time button.

Ship behavior to observe

Outside the Golden Gate, you often can see the pilot boat (purple) waiting for ships coming in and briefly converging with each ship to transfer the pilot. You can also see pilot boats taking pilots off of ships that are heading to sea.

South of the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco General Anchorage is usually full of tankers (red) and cargo ships (orange). You'll see more cargo ships at the Port of Oakland and in Richmond, and tankers at the oil company pier north-west of Richmond's harbor.

In the central bay, ferries and tour boats (yellow) dominate. You can see the ships poking just out the Golden Gate and then heading back in, turning tightly around Alcatraz on their way back to San Francisco. The ferries to Larkspur and Vallejo are the fastest commercial ships on the bay.

There's tugs (blue) all over the Bay, escorting ships through the central bay, guiding them into docks in Oakland and Richmond, working on the bridges, and hauling barges.

AIS Vessel Tracking

List of Ships

For a complete list of all the ships our AIS receiver has logged (since April 2006), sliced and sequenced on request, visit the San Francisco Bay Ships page.