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“Whale Tour and a Ferry In One!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Catalina Express

Catalina Express
34675 Golden Lantern St., Dana Point, CA 92629
800-481-3470
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$76*
and up
Ranked #3 of 10 Attractions in Dana Point
Type: Ferries/ Boats, Other
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Catalina Island is just an hour away aboard our fast and sleek boats out of Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. We are committed to offering the most advanced, state-of-the-art watercraft available while maintaining a high level of dedication to safety, customer satisfaction, and quality of service. Today, the fleet consists of 8 high-speed vessels. More than one million passengers set sail to Catalina Island each year on board Catalina Express, and with year round service and up to 30 departures daily, you can easily join them.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Whale Tour and a Ferry In One!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013 via mobile

This is at its roots just a passenger ferry to Catalina Island, but when the captain stops the boat and goes the wrong way to follow a pair of blue whales you score points in my book! Signs say your supposed to sit for the ride, but my wife and I were able to ride the rail the whole trip, and the crew opened up the foredeck for the whale viewing. It's a little pricey to get to and from Catalina, but the whales, dolphins, and customer service made it worth it!

Visited September 2013
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85 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    46
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“DANGEROUS”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

I am an employee on the island and I travel regularly on the Catalina Express. I was recently attacked by a dog while on the boat, and when I defended myself, the owners threatened and assaulted me. The crew handled the incident unprofessionally. An employee allowed the owner to loosen the muzzle, the leash was never tied down, and the dog ran into my aisle and attacked me while I was sitting in my seat. The security cameras on the ship are live and DO NOT have a recording feature. So please be aware that if something bad happens while on board the ship, it will be your word against the Catalina Express.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wilmington
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Fun ride to Catalina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

Took ride after reading reviews, real easy and convenient. Very comfortable vessel, not much rocking, if you can handle wind outside view is real nice. Had some Dolphins following us and the view of the island was great on the approach. Boats left on time and staff was very good.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
verde valley
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“a fast convenient way to visit Catalina”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

i have used catalina-express several times from several locations. i believe the long beach (or San Pedro) is the fastest. its maybe an hour to Avalon.

recently i discovered they go to two-harbors as well. that's a fun trip if you get tired of Avalon. TIP: go to two-harbors first and do the bus ride to Avalon through the interior of the island. its a rough trip on an old school bus, but a bit of an adventure.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Beach, CA
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Happy Cruising!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

We go to Catalina every Thanksgiving and take the Express out of Dana Point.
Going on Thanksgiving day is a problem in itself because of the annual Turkey Trot. If you travel on this day, timing is everything.
The boat is comfortable and quick. It's also not overcrowded due to the more limited capacity than other ships.
Since it is limited, you should make a reservation a few weeks in advance because they do sell out.
The only problem is parking. You have to park about a half mile away, literally, in their reserved overnight lot. Allow plenty of time to buy your parking tag at the dock area, drop off those that don't want to take a long walk, park your car in the designated lot, and walk back to the dock area. Maybe they can offer Valet for those that don't want to walk for 15 minutes.
Happy cruising!

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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