The opportunity of a lifetime

It was bold, creative, risky. It was tailor-made for the Bay Area Council.

In early February 2020 the Bay Area Council embarked on an ambitious project to purchase and restore one of the grand vessels that plied the Bay during the first half of the 20th Century and make it our new home.

The Council took possession of the Klamath with the goal of transforming this mighty ferry not only into our headquarters but a floating symbol of our region’s deep connection with the Bay and the powerful spirit of innovation and creative thinking that has long defined the Bay Area.


Before bridges, before freeways..

The Klamath was one of dozens of massive ferryboats that served as the transportation workhorses of the region during much of the first half of the 20 century before bridges existed, before BART, and before freeways. These proud vessels carried millions of automobiles and passengers between all major cities of the Bay Area. They were the lifeblood of the region’s economy.

Of course, times and technology change. The arrival of the Bay Bridge, among other spans, and growing dependence on automobiles would soon spell the demise of the regional ferry system and the Klamath was retired from service in the 1950s after the completion of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

The flagship of design...

Walter Landor, the founder of world-renowned branding pioneer Landor Associates, found the Klamath sitting in mudflats and purchased it for US$12,000. From 1964 until 1987, as Landor's corporate headquarters, The Klamath rapidly became a key destination for visiting celebrities, dignitaries and Landor clients. Author Tom Wolfe once called the Klamath 'the flagship of design'. Famous for its parties, the Klamath attracted the likes of Marshall McLuhan, George C Scott, Andy Warhol and the Grateful Dead during its heyday.

Back, to the future...

After 30 years away in Stockton the Klamath in October 2021 made her triumphant return to the Bay, to Mare Island in Vallejo. She was fully refit and updated for the final leg of her return journey to the San Francisco waterfront at Pier 9 - within view of the very bridge that ended her career as a ferry.

the Klamath begins her next chapter as the Bay Area Council’s headquarters and a valuable public resource. Stunning public spaces, including a grand open-air top deck, leasable office space for other tenants, and jaw-droppingly gorgeous space for corporate and other events, including weddings.


Event Spaces

A unique venue, superbly situated on San Francisco's stunning waterfront. Conference, meeting and social event spaces available for rental.

Meet, work, play, and celebrate on The Historic Klamath

Click here to inquire


Public Access

The Klamath is now open for public access during the following hours:

  • Monday: 9am - 5pm
  • Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
  • Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
  • Thursday: 9am - 5pm
  • Friday: 9am - 5pm
  • Saturday: Open the second Saturday of each month, from 9am - 5pm
  • Sunday: Closed


Would you like to find out more about..

  • The history of the Klamath from 1924 before bridges and freeways?
  • How the Klamath rammed into a submarine in WWII, or why the Rolling Stones and Andy Warhol were on the boat?
  • The golden era of San Francisco ferries in the 1930s?
  • The world-famous advertising brands and packaging that were created on the Klamath?
  • The three-year rebuilding process the Bay Area Council undertook to turn it into what it is today?
  • The future of water transit on San Francisco Bay?

Public Active Tours take place the first Wednesday of each month, with one 10 am morning tour, and another at 3 pm, guided by a Bay Area Council staff member.

No advance booking necessary - just enter the boat through the front entrance and check in with your tour guide a few minutes in advance of the tour.

Contact us now about having your event on The Klamath