Fleet Week San Francisco 2021: Events, Blue Angels Shows & Pictures

September 29, 2021

Fleet Week San Francisco is an annual event that draws thousands of people into the city. It’s a free event in the Fisherman’s Wharf district that features the Blue Angels, a full air show over the SF Bay, and ship tours all weekend long.

This year, Fleet Week is October 3 – 11, 2021. Most activities and the large air show are over the weekend of October 8 – 10. You will find additional ship tours throughout the week. 

It began in 1981 to honor the US Armed Forces and to educate civilians and military personnel about best practices in humanitarian assistance. It’s held every year in San Francisco on the first or second weekend in October.

The US Navy Blue Angels are set to perform on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (October 8, 9, & 10) afternoon from 3pm to 4pm. They will usually do some practice runs on Thursday also.

Other air show performers include the Navy Leap Frogs, Team Oracle, United Airlines, RCAF, USCG, Lucas Oil Air Shows, Air Force F16, and the Canadian Snowbirds. 

You can also enjoy the Parade of Ships on Friday or head out on a cruise to watch the Blue Angels perform from the water.

San Francisco Fleet Week Schedule

Almost all of the Fleet Week San Francisco activities are along the northern waterfront district of Fisherman’s Wharf. This week’s schedule of events includes the airshow featuring the Blue Angels, ship tours, live music and other entertainment all weekend long. 

Here is the current schedule for 2021. 

Wednesday, October 6

Thursday, October 7

Friday, October 8

  • 10 am (opening time): Humanitarian Assistance Village at the Marina Green 
  • 10am (opening time): STEM Center at the Marina Green
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm: Parade of Ships
  • 12pm – 4pm: Air Show (Blue Angels: 3 pm – 4 pm)

Saturday, October 9

  • 10 am: Humanitarian Assistance Village at the Marina Green 
  • 10am (opening time): STEM Center at the Marina Green
  • 10 am to 4 pm: Ship Tours (learn more about this year’s ship tours)
  • 11 am: K9 Heroes at Duboce Park
  • 12pm – 4pm: Air Show (Blue Angels: 3 pm – 4 pm)

Sunday, October 10

  • 10 am: Humanitarian Assistance Village at the Marina Green 
  • 10am (opening time): STEM Center at the Marina Green
  • 10 am to 4 pm: Ship Tours (learn more about this year’s ship tours)
  • 12pm – 4pm: Air Show (Blue Angels: 3 pm – 4 pm)

Monday, October 11 

Cruises During Fleet Week San Francisco

One of the best ways to watch the Blue Angels fly over the San Francisco Bay is from a special Fleet Week cruise. These sell out quickly, so I recommend booking your cruise as soon as you have your plans finalized.

Fleet Week Lunch Cruise on the SF Belle

Dates: Saturday – Sunday 

Time: Boarding at 1:30 pm, cruising from 2:30-4:30 pm 

Boarding Location: Pier 3 Hornblower Landing


  • 2-hour lunch cruise on the SF Bay
  • Buffet includes entrees, salads, and desserts
  • Free flowing sparkling wine, coffee, orange juice, water, and soft drinks
  • Purchase wine, beer, and cocktails throughout the cruise
  • DJ during the cruise
  • Proof of full vaccination required for all guests 12 and older
  • Visit their site for tickets


Red & White Fleet 2.5-Hour Fleet Week Cruise

  • 2-hour afternoon cruise to see the Blue Angels over San Francisco
  • Offered Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Fleet Week
  • Cruise leaves at 2 pm (please arrive at least 30 minutes before departure)
  • Outdoor decks with incredible views of the performance
  • Two drinks with every ticket, more drinks available for purchase on board
  • Leaves from Pier 43 1/2 in Fisherman’s Wharf
  • $100 for Adults (18+), $80 for Youth (3-17), free for those 2 and under, but they must have tickets to manage capacity on the boat
  • Visit their site for ticketing details 
    Cruise on the SS Jeremiah O’Brien
  • Saturday, October 9 and Sunday, October 10 from 10am to 5pm (boards at 9am)
  • Cruise around the bay in the morning and get front row seats for the air show in the afternoon
  • Catch the air show from 12:30pm to 4pm (with the Blue Angels performing from 3pm to 4pm)
  • Complimentary food and drink
  • Proof of vaccination is required, masks required in indoor spaces
  • Tickets are $150 for adults (age 17+) and $90 for children (age 5-16)
  • There is also a $400 family group option for up to 2 adults and 2 youth
  • Visit their site for ticketing details

 Blue & Gold 2-Hour Cruise

  • Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 4pm (please arrive at least 45 minutes in advance)
  • Two drinks per ticket for beer, wine cocktails, and other non-alcoholic drinks
  • One boat per day leaving at 1:30 pm and returning at 4pm, boarding time starts at 12:45 pm
  • Tickets start at $110 for adults and $75 for children
  • Visit their site for tickets 

Best Places to Watch the Air Show & the Blue Angels

The northern side of San Francisco along the bay is CROWDED during the air show. If you want to sit down, you will need to arrive at least an hour before the Blue Angels perform.

Most of the Air Show takes place over the bay, around Fisherman’s Wharf and Fort Mason

Here are a few places to watch the Air Show with some additional notes to think about for each option:

Pier 39: You will be close to the action, but it gets really crowded here. However, it’s a great place to see most of the show. Try to find a spot with a clear view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Aquatic Park: There is a small stadium here with seats facing out over the bay. You will get a great view of the Fleet Week San Francisco Air Show from here, although the maneuvers over the Golden Gate Bridge will be harder to see.

Crissy Field: There will be fewer people on this side, which makes it a nicer viewing area. This is a great place to see the Blue Angels maneuvers near the bridge. It is a little further away from the main action though, so the trees may block out a little bit of the show. 

Marina Green: Just to the east of Crissy Field is the Marina Green. This large green space offers a great look at the air show. You can also buy premium tickets for this area so you don’t have to fight for a place to watch the fun. Tickets for the premium section are already on sale. You will find them on the official Fleet Week website.

Here are a few places to see the Blue Angels at this year’s Fleet Week San Francisco. You won’t get great views of the entire airshow, but you will get some great views of the Blue Angels over San Francisco and the Bay. 

Golden Gate Bridge Walkways: You can also see the airshow from the walkways of the Golden Gate Bridge. The eastern walkways are open during the airshow, but they fill up early. I would arrive at least a couple of hours in advance of the start of the airshow in order to get a good spot to see the entire show.

Twin Peaks: You can also see the Blue Angels during Fleet Week San Francisco from Twin Peaks. You won’t get a close up view, but some good views of the Blue Angels.

Marin Headlands: Another great place is the Marin Headlands. You will see the airshow, but the biggest benefit to this location is being able to see the Blue Angels near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Again, these are not the best spots for the Fleet Week San Francisco airshow, but some alternative to watching it from the shore along Fisherman’s Wharf.