how-to-get-to-catalina-island

How to Get to Catalina Island

The most common way to get to Catalina Island is via ferry. There are several ferry companies that run regular trips to the island, with five main departure points – Long Beach, San Pedro, Marina Del Rey, Dana Point and Newport Beach. It’s also possible to get to Catalina Island by helicopter or small plane, which we will cover at the end of the page.

Paid public parking is available near each of these departure points, but we suggest you plan it out in advance to avoid stressing out prior to departure. In some locations (like Newport Beach) the parking structure is a little tricky to find – so we suggest checking on Google maps or MapQuest beforehand so you know exactly how to get to the paid parking lot.

The ferry trip to Catalina Island is about 1-1.5 hrs depending on your departure point. You are welcome to travel with sporting equipment, dogs (check ferry regulations on this), music gear, and so on. The ferry operators are very helpful, and used to seeing all manner of items being transported to the island. If you are prone to motion sickness, take a Dramamine before you get on board. If there is any significant swell in the water, the ride can be a bit bumpy, especially if the swell direction is hitting on an angle as the ferry heads into the swells. The best thing to do during a bumpy ride is to focus your eyes on a fixed point on the horizon, rather that any object that is moving with the vessel.

Catalina Island ferry prices average about $70 per adult for a Round trip ticket. Seniors over the age of 55, and children under 12 travel for about $5 less. Infants under 2 yrs are $4. If you are bringing sporting equipment like bikes or surfboards, you will pay an additional fee of $6. Prices vary slightly based on departure point, so these prices are a very close average.

Getting to Catalina Island from Los Angeles

Marina del Rey

From Los Angeles, Marina Del Rey is the closest departure point. Catalina-Marina del Rey Flyer departs from Marina del Rey and services both Avalon and Two Harbors.

Please note that the Catalina – Marina del Rey Flyer runs seasonally from the beginning of June through the end of August. Available departure days are Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Be aware that prices are more expensive on the Catalina – Marina del Rey Flyer. Round trip is $89 for adults, $82 for seniors age 62+, $69 for children aged 2-11, and $5 for infants under 2 yrs old. Sporting like bikes or surfboards are subject to an additional charge of $12, and Kayaks under 11ft are $40. You can also upgrade to the Admiral’s Lounge for an additional $30 (each way).

Call 310-305-7250 or visit www.catalinaferries.com. You can also book online here.

San Pedro

The Catalina Express departs for Avalon and Two Harbors from San Pedro, making the trip in about 1.25 hrs. Schedules vary to accommodate peak travel times throughout the year. Round trip tickets are $69.50 for adults, $63 for seniors 55 yrs+, $54 for children 12 and under, and $4 for infants under 2 yrs of age. Bikes and surfboards are subject to an additional fee of $6. Upgrade to the Commodores Lounge are available for $15 per passenger (each way), and upgrades to the Captains Lounge are available for $60/per passenger (each way).

Call (800) 622-2354 or visit www.catalinaexpress.com for more information. Click here for a complete ferry schedule and to book online.

Downtown Long Beach Landing

There are two option for departure from Long Beach, Long Beach Queen Mary, and downtown Long Beach Landing. The Catalina Express departs for Avalon year-round, although schedules vary to accommodate peak travel times. Round trip tickets are $69.50 for adults, $63 for seniors 55 yrs+, $54 for children 12 and under, and $4 for infants under 2 yrs of age. Bikes and surfboards are subject to an additional fee of $6. Upgrade to the Commodores Lounge are available for $15 per passenger (each way), and upgrades to the Captains Lounge are available for $60/per passenger (each way).

Call (800) 622-2354 or visit www.catalinaexpress.com for more information. Click here for a complete ferry schedule and to book online.

Long Beach Queen Mary

Chances are you will go to either Downtown Long Beach or San Pedro, as the Queen Mary location is used to service youth groups, camps, adventure groups and charters only.

Getting to Catalina Island from San Diego

Dana Point

Dana Point is the closest an most sensible point of departure for residents of San Diego and surrounding areas for getting to Catalina Island. Catalina Express departs from Dana Point for Avalon year-round, although schedules vary to accommodate peak travel times. Round trip tickets are $71.50 for adults, $65 for seniors 55 yrs+, $56 for children 12 and under, and $4 for infants under 2 yrs of age. Bikes and surfboards are subject to an additional fee of $6. Upgrade to the Commodores Lounge are available for $15 per passenger (each way), and upgrades to the Captains Lounge are available for $80/per passenger (each way).

Call (800) 622-2354 or visit www.catalinaexpress.com for more information. Click here for a complete ferry schedule and to book online.

Newport Beach

The Catalina Flyer departs for Avalon year-round, departing at 9:00am and returning at 4:30pm. Schedules vary to accommodate peak travel times. Round trip tickets are $68 for adults, $63 for seniors 60 yrs+, $51 for children 12 and under, and $4 for infants under 2 yrs of age. Bikes and surfboards are subject to an additional fee. Note that round trip tickets are only available from Newport Beach, one-way tickets are available from either Newport Beach or Avalon.

Call (800) 830 7744 or visit www.catalinainfo.com for more information. Click here for a complete ferry schedule and to book online.

Catalina Island Helicopter

Island Express offers helicopter charters to Catalina Island, getting you there in just 15 minutes! Flights are $94 one-way and $180 round trip + tax per person. Up to 6 passengers can be transported at a time depending on passenger weight. Flights operate from 8:00am to sunset daily.

Call (800) 228 2566 or visit www.islandexpress.com for more information. Click here to request a flight. If your requested departure is within 2 days, it is recommended that you call instead to secure your booking.

Flights to Catalina Island

Catalina Island has a single runway landing strip known as the “Airport in the Sky”. The trip from Los Angeles and Orange County takes about 15 minutes, and from San Diego about 30 minutes. All airlines offering flights to the island’s service the mountaintop Airport in the Sky. Flights are limited to daylight hours.

Most require a minimum passenger load; some companies add flights if needed. Charter services listed here specialize in Catalina service.

Allied Air Charter

Call (213) 510-1163 to book flights to Catalina Island. Daily flights from Santa Monica Municipal ($80), Long Beach Municipal ($60), and Orange County’s John Wayne Memorial airports ($70). Charter flights from Los Angles International ($225 for up to six) and San Diego’s Montgomery and Lindbergh fields ($350 for up to six).

Catalina Flying Boats

Call (213) 595-5080 or 510-2530 to book flights to Catalina Island. Seaplanes leave from Martin Aviation at Long Beach Airport for Avalon’s Pebbly Beach terminal; call for a schedule. Cost: $75.

Catalina Vegas Airlines

Call (619) 292-7311 to book flights to Catalina Island. Flights leave San Diego’s Montgomery Field about 10 A.M., 1:30, and 3:30, return about 11:15 A.M., 2:45, and 4:45. Cost: $110. Additional departures are available at slightly greater cost.

Eagle Aviation

Call (213) 426-2118 to book flights to Catalina Island. Charter flights from Long Beach available any time. Cost: $250 for the plane; three-person maximum.

Holiday Airways

Call (714) 261-6616 to book flights to Catalina Island. Charters from Orange County available any time. Cost: $98; six-person minimum.

Helicopter flights between San Pedro or Long Beach and Avalon’s Pebbly Beach terminal take 15 to 18 minutes. Each craft can carry up to six passengers. Most flights require a minimum passenger load.

Helitrans

Call (213) 548-1314 or (800) 262-1472 to book flights to Catalina Island. Daily flights leave San Pedro’s Catalina Terminal on the hour between dawn and dusk; return to the half-hour. Cost: $108.