Skip to main content
Hornblower Hybrid

The Hornblower Hybrid made its official debut in December 2008. The 64-foot hybrid, carrying up to 149 passengers, is the largest of any hybrid ferryboat in the world, making it a prototype that others in the ferry transportation industry can follow. It uses two ten-foot-tall 1,500-Watt wind turbines and a 1.5 KW solar array to power all house loads. The 400hp electric motors are powered by a 320 KW generator and a 380V battery pack that supplements the clean Tier 2 marine diesel engines. Combining these technologies we are able to greatly reduce our fuel consumption and overall emissions.

Energy and fuel savings
  • We built the Hornblower Hybrid by reusing another boat. In doing so, we saved  more than 735,000 KWh of electricity in the construction and retrofit of the vessel. That is the equivalent of taking more than 60 U.S. homes off the grid for an entire year!
  • Instead of idling at the dock or burning diesel to keep the lights on (a standard practice in the industry) the Hornblower Hybrid switches from diesel power to battery mode to save fuel and reduce emissions. The Hornblower Hybrid by itself reduces our annual diesel consumption by more than 29,000 gallons! That is equivalent to taking 58 cars off the road permanently or planting 90 acres of trees. The hybrid boat uses approximately six gallons of diesel fuel per hour, compared to 30 gallons per hour used by a conventional ferryboat.
Green Interior
  • Carpet - contains Everset Fibers made from post-consumer recycled material and is also recyclable.
  • Countertops - indoor and outdoor bars are made from pieces of recycled glass by Vetrazzo, Inc.
  • Lights - the boat is fully equipped with an LED lighting system.
  • Interior signage - printed on Plyboo, a Forest Service certified product made from 100% renewable materials.
  • All interior modifications meet the United States Green Building Council’s LEED criteria for recycled content
Hybrid Ferry in the News!
  • Sustainable Industries
  • WorkBoat Magazine (PDF)
  • Marine Log
  • Market Watch: Hybrids Take to Water
  • The City Star
  • Wired: Hornblower hybrid leads the way to greener boats
Discover The Bay

Join Aquarium of the Bay and Alcatraz Cruises for a unique, hands-on educational experience. Our new Discover the Bay program combines the experience of learning about San Francisco Bay onboard the Hornblower Hybrid, the nation’s first hybrid ferry, with a guided tour of Aquarium of the Bay’s exhibits with more than 20,000 local marine animals. Lead by the Aquarium’s team of expert naturalists, this experience provides an immersive learning experience with San Francisco Bay from above and below the water. During this 5 hour program, your students will learn about the ecology of San Francisco Bay, the history of these waters and the surrounding Golden Gate National Recreation Area, impacts of climate change to this region, innovative energy saving technologies, and personal actions everyone can do to protect this vital resource. The Discover the Bay program is aligned with California State Science Standards for 6th grade – and is appropriate for students in 5th through 8th grade. Alcatraz Cruises is pleased to partner with Aquarium of the Bay, a local non-profit dedicated to creating experiences that inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed.

Learning stations aboard the boat include:
  • Hands-on, Educational Activities
  • Bay Food Web & Plankton Exploration
  • Water Chemistry
  • Hybrid Technology & Climate Change
  • Bay Wetlands & Ecology
Program package includes:
  • 2 1/2 Hour Interactive Hybrid Ferry Cruise
  • Lunch aboard the Hornblower Hybrid (lunch not provided)
  • 1 Hour Aquarium Guided Tour
For more information please send an email to [email protected]
Take Your Class On An Environmental Field Trip!

Early education and experiences help shape children's values, perspectives, and their understanding of the natural environment and how to interact with it. As growing environmental challenges loom on the horizon for generations to come, it is absolutely crucial to integrate environmental education into early childhood experiences

Learn More

We RESPECT OUR PLANET and will protect and conserve the natural resources and ecosystems on which our business depends. We are committed to preventing pollution, reducing waste, conserving water and energy, and educating our visitors and employees on environmental stewardship. We will seek opportunities to innovate and partner with stakeholders that support our commitment to the environment as well as vendors with green procurement standards and packaging.

Health and Safety

We RESPECT our crew and visitors because their health and safety is our first priority. We expect every member of our crew to perform their tasks with a "safety first" attitude. We provide safe, healthy facilities and services for the enjoyment of our visitors and a healthy, safe work environment for all crew. We provide crew training and resources to ensure that safety is never compromised in our work activities.


We RESPECT our visitors because we want them to be 100% satisfied 100% of the time. Since our business success relies upon visitor satisfaction, we dedicate ourselves to creating amazing experiences for our visitors in all business practices. We will ask for crew and visitor feedback, as a result we shall take prompt action to resolve issues.

Continual Improvements

We will truly RESPECT OUR PLANET by incorporating best management practices into our operations and seek to continuously improve in our management approach. We will continually improve our Respect Management System to enhance environmental, health & safety and quality performance. In doing so, we will also RESPECT our business and the livelihoods of our crew and stakeholders by ensuring the continued economic success of our company.

We RESPECT all applicable laws, regulations and industry standards under which we operate and, as an ethical and socially responsible company, we are committed to full compliance with these requirements. We will verify our compliance and performance through third-party audits and will promptly correct shortcomings.


At Hornblower, we consider ourselves to be advocates of the environment. Hornblower companies are committed to cleaner air, cleaner water, and a cleaner future. Our internal practices mirror these commitments. We strive to reduce our impact on the environment through a process of continual improvement. This includes resource tracking, reducing our energy and water consumption, utilizing advancements in transportation technology, waste management practices and green purchasing.

Check out the Hornblower Hybrid Commercial

Imagine the impact if each one of us were to make more environmentally conscious decisions. Collectively we can do so much to foster change; this starts with individual actions that can be adopted within homes, in communities, across nations, and throughout the world.

There are many ways a person can reduce his or her impact on the environment and it begins with small changes in our daily habits. Start with one of our suggestions at your home or business. Talk to your family, friends, and colleagues about ways to contribute to a cleaner and healthier world.


At Hornblower San Diego, we aim to educate our visitors and community about local environmental projects. Our Green Harbor Tours in San Diego teach passenger�s about the Port of San Diego's environmental efforts as well as promoting top attractions on the Bay.

At Alcatraz Cruises, we promote environmental awareness and encourage others to "buy green" by taking an active role in our community. Our Environmental Days program in San Francisco invites local green businesses to spend a day with us at Alcatraz Landing to showcase and promote their eco-friendly goods and services to visitors. Through our community involvement, Hornblower helps everyday people make everyday green decisions.

Educate our children

Respect Our Planet offers Educational Bay Cruises to school groups in the San Francisco Bay Area. These cruises are designed to showcase the unique environment of the bay and wetlands, encourage the conservation of natural resources and teach the importance of boat safety.

For more information on our Educational Bay Cruises or Environmental Days please email [email protected]

Hornblower also provides online tools to help teach and inspire children to become environmental stewards and advocates. In addition to the discussions we host in various online forums, here are some of our other favorite online resources to help kids discover, learn and connect on environmental issues:

The Green Squad: This NRDC website shows how to identify and solve environmental problems. Explore a colorful virtual school, room by room and use the mouse to locate potential hazards. This site offers a wide range of fact sheets and other environmental resources.

EPA Student Center: This site offers information on a wide range of environmental issues and also includes a section on environmental careers. Click "Fun Activities" to play environmental games.

EekoWorld: A new PBS website teaches kids ages 6 to 9 about how they can help take care of the earth. Animated characters use games and activities to present facts about ecosystems and pollution. Children can build their own "EekoCreature" and help guide it to overcome environmental problems.

Kids Saving Energy: This site, published by the US Department of Energy, features games, tips, and other information to help kids learn how to save energy.