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We can pick you up anywhere within 90 minutes’ drive of San Francisco—at your home, hotel, ship's terminal, or the airport!

The Fine Print

All about Tasting Fees, Getting Picked up at the Airport, our Cancellation Policy, Etcetera

chateautivoliTasting Fees: Most wineries open to the public (in Napa, Sonoma, Russian River...other nearby wine valleys) charge $5 to $25 per-person for a wine tasting—which, depending on your choices/preferences, includes 3-6 pourings of about 2 oz. of wine—about a third of a glass. (Wineries that sell higher-priced wines may charge more.) Most tasting rooms allow couples or two friends to share a tasting. Since nearly every winery has a website, you can look up their fees on-line. Nevertheless, we do not recommend choosing a winery based on how inexpensive its tastings are…you're going to the Wine Country to experience it fully, which may require indulging in unexpected pleasures. Tasting fees are not included in the fee for our Wine Country tours: you pay them directly to the tasting room staff.

Getting Picked up at the Airport:

For pick-up at SFO (San Francisco International), we add $40 to your overall fee.

For pick-up and drop-off at San Jose's airport or in the Silicon Valley/South Bay area, we add $120-180 (not per-person). For pick-up only or drop-off only, add $120. Most clients avoid this fee by meeting us at the Caltrain station at 4th & King in San Francisco. Caltrain begins in Gilroy and picks up at most towns in central Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties. (This fee does not apply if from San Francisco or Silicon Valley/San Jose we're traveling south to the Monterey Peninsula or Big Sur.)

Still not clear about what you'll pay for a tour? Don't hesitate to ask us via e-mail (info@toursanfranciscobay.com) or by calling us at 800-960-8099.

Planning and Budgeting: When planning and budgeting for a day tour, you may consider the following—the basic fee for the tour, plus costs paid directly to vendors:

  • tasting fees at wineries
  • meal(s), snacks, bottled water
  • entrance fees to museums, the aquarium, gardens… where applicable, they're often insubstantial
  • miscellaneous transit fares (for example, for a one-way ride on a cable car)
  • Pickup: at SFO (San Francisco airport)= $40; at OAK (Oakland airport)= $0; at SJC (San Jose Mineta airport)= $120 (if itinerary is primarily north of San Francisco)
  • Pickup outside San Francisco or Oakland may require an additional charge (depending on your destination and itinerary).

We prefer to have you know what to expect than have you unpleasantly surprised. No matter which tour company you choose or whether you rent your own vehicle, you will be making some/most of these expenditures. We prefer to have you understand and plan for them up front.

Safety: The entire traveling party's safety is of paramount concern. For example, when you consider consuming alcoholic beverages over the course of a day, riding on cable cars, ferries or trams, walking up and down stairs, crossing busy streets, etc., avoiding mishaps will be an interaction between you recognizing and articulating your limitations and concerns, and our clarity about challenges and risks. Any condition that may require special medical attention or other accommodation must be reported at the time of your reservation.

We have been free of accidents so far and would like to keep you safe and our record clean.

Responsibility Clause: A Friend in Town assumes no responsibility or liability for any act, error or omission, or for any injury, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of any defect in any train, bus, cable car or other carrier, or through neglect or default of any subcontractor or other third party, which may be used wholly or in part in the performance of their duty to the participants. Nor will A Friend in Town be responsible for loss, injury, damages or expenses to persons or property, due to illness, weather, strikes, local laws, hostilities, terrorist acts, acts of nature or other such causes beyond our reasonable control. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the participant at all times. We do, however, attempt to keep all your valuables safe, and have not so far (early 2012) had any problems in this regard.

Reality Check: Tour itineraries may vary as we experience them, as influenced by: weather (e.g. thick fog or heavy rainfall may make particular views problematic); available daylight hours; traffic congestion; unforeseen news events; and your choices re: time spent taking pictures, buying souvenirs, or lingering over meals, etc. We are committed to executing your itinerary as precisely as is logistically possible and prudent.

Deposit for Tour Confirmation...Balance Due: A deposit is usually required to secure Tour reservations. When paying your balance due in cash, remind us of our 3% discount. If requested some non-profit organizations may also get special pricing for group tours.

Cancellations: Should you cancel following e-mailed confirmation of your tour, we will likely charge you a $60-$200 administrative fee (depending on what time we've spent making arrangements/itineraries for your tour). If we must refuse a request for a tour from another potential client because we're holding that date for you, we may request 2/3rds of the estimated total cost of your tour as the deposit: if following that you need to cancel, your entire deposit may be forfeited. For groups of more than 7 and multi-day itineraries, we will spell out in detail our cancellation policy (for groups) and its consequences at the time of confirmation. In the cases (2?  in more than 12 years) where one of our tours has been cancelled, it's usually been due to extraordinarily bad weather in the client's home region; if the weather's so bad that the principal objectives of your itinerary will be compromised, we'll discuss a fair resolution.

Providing Live Translation: If requested with adequate time before the tour date (usually 10 days or more), we may be able to provide an interpreter for most international languages, at cost.

"Private" v. "Open" Tours: Occasionally A Friend in Town receives more requests for tours on a single day than we can accommodate. Consequently, unless you've requested a private tour, we may add other persons to your tour. Once we've confirmed your tour date and itinerary, if another party requests the same tour date and we determine that second party to appear compatible with you, we reserve the right to combine parties, informing both as far in advance as is feasible. We will assess compatibility by looking at your stated goals for the tour, its likely pace, mobility concerns and other relevant factors. We will not add more people than would be physically comfortable in our 8-passenger minivan—usually no more than five adults plus the driver/guide.

If you're open to having 1-3 others join you, and they do join you, following our suggested itinerary closely, then we will offer you a 20%-30% discount on your total fee. However, if you need to return a couple of hours early, thereby abbreviating our usual itinerary and making it difficult for us to match you with others, we will in most cases treat your tour as "private," with our usual fee. We may also designate your tour as "private" if you contact us during our high-demand season looking to take a tour within a day or 3, again making it difficult with us to match you with others.

Call: 510-619-3619Reserve Your Tour