Getting to Catalina Island by Air or Sea
Island travel is always different than what you might expect from normal California travel. There is no bridge, and you can’t bring your own car to the island—though it’s only a few miles out of your way. Getting to Catalina Island is easy from Southern California. For starters, focus on the two main attractions here: Avalon and Two Harbors. Regardless of your method of transportation, it is important to make reservations.
Travelers who are in a hurry can fly to and from the island in around 15 minutes. There is a helicopter port that meets with Pebbly Beach, and also charter flights to the “Airport in the Sky”. Otherwise, your method of transportation will be boat lines and takes about an hour. Boat lines depart from major island locations like Newport Beach, Long Beach and San Pedro. Companies like Catalina Express and the Catalina Flyer can help you travel from the mainland.
Travel by plane, helicopter or ferry to beautiful Catalina Island
Let’s review the departure points and method of travel for getting to Catalina Island:
By Sea – Ferry
From San Pedro: Here we have the Air-Sea Terminal. This terminal goes from San Pedro to BOTH Avalon and Two Harbors and is serviced by Catalina Express.
From Long Beach: This is the Catalina Terminal, which goes from Long Beach to Avalon serviced by Catalina Express.
From Newport Beach: Here we have the Newport Boat Terminal, which goes from Newport to Avalon and is serviced by the Catalina Flyer.
From Dana Point: This is the southernmost launch point emanating from the Dana Point Harbor with service to Avalon by Catalina Express.
By Air – Helicopter
From Long Beach: This is the most popular helicopter service operating from the Queen Mary Heliport in Long Beach to Avalon. It is serviced by IEX Helicopters.
From Other Locations: You can also book helicopter flights from San Pedro, Santa Ana, and Burbank which are also serviced by IEX Helicopters.
By Air – Private Plane
From Local Airports: Private charter air service is available from places such as the John Wayne Airport, which goes from Orange County to Avalon. There is also the Long Beach Municipal Airport, which goes from Long Beach to Avalon. Obviously, there are other departure points depending on your resources and budget.
As you can see, there are a few transportation companies to consult. Catalina Express boats are popular choices and take about one hour. Their seats are airline-quality and they provide drinks and snacks. Catalina Express operates from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. Catalina Classic Cruises operates six different passenger vessels of various sizes including the 550-passenger Catalina King. They cater to all sorts of events and depart from Queen Mary Landing in Long Beach. Their vessels are privately chartered and can accommodate birthday parties, family reunions, harbor cruises and corporate events and meetings.
IEX Helicopters offers flights coming from Long Beach, San Pedro, Santa Ana, as well as from Burbank. You will have a fun 15-minute flight to with picturesque panoramic views of Catalina Island on your way to paradise.
Naturally, Avalon is the main entry point when getting to Catalina Island, though a few services go directly to Two Harbors. Moorings around the island include Little Harbor, Catalina Harbor, Parson’s Landing, Emerald Bay, Howlands and Fourth of July. There are also numerous coves around the region, such as Big Geiger, Cherry, Big Fisherman’s and Ripper’s.
Imagine getting to Catalina Island and taking a beautiful and exotic island vacation. It can be less than a half a day away from home! You don’t even have to fly if you are afraid of planes. This is one of the easiest vacations to take, but it’s far from ordinary.