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Transportation to Catalina Island

a boat docked at a dock

Unlike most Southern California getaways, a trip to Catalina Island begins before you even arrive. Trade the traffic-filled commute for a seabreeze-kissed Catalina Island ferry, where the salt spray glistens and wild dolphins often join the trip. Catalina ferry boats offer great views, snacks and libations, allowing you to get your vacation started before you even arrive on the island. Prefer to soar over the waves rather than cruise through them? Scheduled helicopter service is available from two heliports and charter service expands the options even further. Catalina ferry boats take just over an hour and helicopter service to Catalina will last about 15 minutes.

Getting to Catalina Island involves a number of options for departure ports, including four cities and two counties. Catalina Express offers departures from San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point. Catalina Passenger Service, which operates the Catalina Flyer, departs from Balboa Island in Newport Beach. Island Express Helicopter service offers scheduled flights from San Pedro and Long Beach; charter service can be arranged from John Wayne Airport.

Catalina Island also hosts thousands of private vessels, who visit Avalon, Two Harbors and a number of protected coves. The Catalina Island airport, Airport-in-the-Sky, is also a popular destination for Southern California aviators.

a small boat in a large body of water

Catalina ferries are operated by two companies, including Catalina Passenger Service, shown, and Catalina Express.