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Best Cheap Bay Cruise San Francisco 2005 -

Local Commuter Ferries

Golden Gate Ferry, 923-2000, www.goldengateferry.org

Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry, 435-2131, www.angelislandferry.com

Alameda/Oakland Ferry, (510) 749-5837, www.eastbayferry.com

There's no shortage of fancy vessels willing to take you out on a little water trip, but it'll cost you: A real cruise generally runs around $35 per person. But should you schedule a trip on one of the local commuter ferries -- which are, after all, intended to be used as general transportation rather than as pleasure cruises -- you'll find that these smaller, slightly shabbier ships offer the same magnificent views and bracing sea breezes for a heck of a lot less. Round-trip fares to spots like Sausalito and Larkspur run a mere $10 to $12, and many of the commuter ships have on-board lounges/snack bars at which you can pick up a cocktail and some nibbles to take out onto the deck and enjoy as you watch the world go by. And hey, you don't have to tell a soul you're not really on your way home from work.

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