Disclosure: I received two complimentary tickets to Catalina Express on behalf of this review. I did pay the tax on the two tickets. All opinions are my own.
One thing I honestly love about Catalina Express is that it’s easily accessible, and right in the town I live in, San Pedro. So, we just walked a few blocks away before boarding on the Catalina Express. But, if you don’t live in San Pedro, Long Beach or Dana Point, have no fear, they have overnight parking available for 12 dollars a day.
Therefore, on our walk over, we enjoyed walking through our favorite part of town along the waterfront. And of course underneath the Vincent Thomas Bridge.
If you arrive hungry to the Catalina Express station, have no fear, as there is a new Cafe ready to serve you.
Boarding starts about 20 minutes before the departure time, but once the line starts moving it goes pretty fast. One of the Catalina Express ships has an upper portion for you to sit atop of for your ride to Catalina Island.
And, leaving out of San Pedro, it’s also the best spot for catching those iconic San Pedro places along the way:
The ride lasts a little over a hour, but it’s a pretty smooth ride where you can just sit back and enjoy the view. The Catalina Express also has a bar area where you purchase snacks and beverages along the way. Many people were taking pictures while on the boat that day, but just keep in mind, it is a moving boat so be sure to hold onto something.
This year, Catalina Island is celebrating their Centennial Anniversary, and Catalina Express is joining in during the festivities. Through 2013, you are able to ride FREE on your birthday. And they’ve also launched the Avalon Centennial Planner filled with 100 dollars of savings that can be used any day of the year, birthday or not. New deals and savings come out every quarter and you can keep an eye on these deals through their website, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tripadvisor.
Just a sampling of some deals happening throughout the summer:
April 1st through June 30th:
- CATALINA ISLAND VACATION RENTALS — Join countless stars who have stayed with CIVR and receive your complimentary Hollywood Swag Bag filled with goodies. As an added bonus and for a limited time only, the Swag Bag will include CIVR’s Loyalty Card with great special offers to use throughout your stay. Value $250. (855) 890-3436 • www.
- CATALINA ADVENTURE TOURS – Tour the City — Buy one get one FREE*. Tour begins along the Island’s only coastline road, climbs to an elevation of 400 feet, and continues through Avalon Canyon. See the Catalina Golf Course and the site where the Chicago Cubs held spring training for 30 years. *Taxes and fees not included (877) 510-2888 • www.
- CITY CELEBRATIONS – The week of June 20, the City of Avalon will host a series of events, from a community fish fry, Xceptional Music Concert to Catalina movie night on the beach of movies filmed on Catalina and more. www.catalinachamber.com/
July 1st through September 30th, 2013:
- CASA MARIQUITA “CENTENNIAL PACKAGE” COME TO WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM — includes one night stay Sunday – Thursday, round-trip boat transportation, continental breakfast, Skyline Drive Tour to see “where the Buffalo Roam.” Starts at $450.68 for two-people/one night, represents a 15 percent savings. (800)545-1192 • www.casamariquitahotel.com
ISLAND WATER CHARTERS PARASAIL — Buy a tandem flight and get a FREE upgrade from the 600′ flight to the 800′ flight. (310) 510-9280
CATALINA ADVENTURE TOURS GLASS BOTTOM BOAT TOUR — Buy one, get one FREE*! Aboard the Sea View glass bottom boat; feed the fish through specially designed food drop tubes, while guides help identify ocean inhabitants. (877) 510-2888 • www.CatalinaAdventureTours.
com *Taxes and fees not included
- BOTANIC GARDEN — Take the Garden to “Sky Hike” starting at the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden for a view of both sides of the Island. Buy one regular admission to the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden and get the second admission free. (310) 510-2897 • www.
October 1st through December 31st, 2013:
- VILLA PORTOFINO FALL JAZZ ROMANCE PACKAGE — Twenty percent discount, rates starting at $169 per person; includes round-trip boat transportation, taxi transfers, continental breakfast, romantic CD, champagne; 15% discount shopping coupon for Island Threadz & Island Style. (888) 510-0555 • www.
- A TOUCH OF HEAVEN SPA — Couples “Sweet Thai” Massage, this combination of Swedish and Thai massage uses ancient techniques of stretching and modern Swedish elements, set in a relaxing, candlelit environment. Present the centennial certificate to get $40 OFF this massage (regularly $220 per couple, $180 w/ this certificate). (310) 510-1633 • www.
- JAZZTRAX FESTIVAL — Buy a Sunday Night Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival ticket and use the certificate to get one FREE Sunday Afternoon Session Ticket for Weekend 1. *Come to the JazzTrax Festival and the certificate will get you a Free Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival Poster. 866 872-9849 • www.jazztrax.com
ZIP LINE ECO TOUR: Get a complimentary Zip Line with the purchase of 3 Zip Line tickets. Good for all four to Zip Line together. Propel down 5 separate zips, dropping from 500’ to 60’ above sea level at heart pounding speeds. www.visitcatalinaisland.com
This is the perfect year to come to Catalina Island for a vacation getaway. The catalina express has ports in San Pedro, Long Beach, and Dana Point.
For more information be sure to check out their website here.
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary tickets on behalf of this post. I did pay the taxes and fees associated with the tickets.