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“Fast, but expensive”
Review of Catalina Express

Catalina Express
Book In Advance
More Info
$75.50*
and up
Round-trip Ferry Service from Dana Point to Catalina Island
Ranked #5 of 36 things to do in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Montreal, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Fast, but expensive”
Reviewed March 11, 2014

We decided to go to Catalina one day, so there are a few options: a private boat, helicopter or the Catalina Express. The first two options weren't realistic, so the last one it was. The ferry isn't cheap at $38/person one way. For a family of 5 that's $76X5=$380 just to get over to the island. I looked for special rates on Groupon and Living Social but came up empty. On your birthday you get to travel for free, but other than that there were no deals.
However, the ferry itself was clean and on-time and very comfortable. We left from Dana Point which is 22 miles from the island, the trip took 1 hour and 20 minutes. We went in low season so the ferry was empty. We saw lots of dolphins on the way over, especially just off the island.
The ferry home was also on time, so don't be a straggler!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Kate0206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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202 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Rochester, mn
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Convenient ride”
Reviewed February 18, 2014

First come first served as to boarding. Nice ride to island. No problem. Only issues are that parking is 10 minutes away ($12 a day) and bar and refreshments exorbitant and mediocre. Not long enough of a trip over to be a problem though.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Dan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level 6 Contributor
85 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Fun Voyage to Santa Catalina Island”
Reviewed February 8, 2014

This is a great way to take a boat ride over some beautiful water and visit the beautiful Island of Santa Catalina. The boat is well maintained and manage by a professional crew who are kind and considerate while performing their duties. Others have commented on the 12 parking fee, which must be added to the cost of the trip. On the other hand, the island is worth the voyage for an day and even longer. Linda and I traveled during the off-season when it was kind of dead and the trip to the Wrigley Monument was a bit of a snoozer, but island is great and the transportation to and from Dana Point is topnotch.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank WritersChoice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Book your hotel along with your trip”
Reviewed January 31, 2014

I would agree with the rest of the comments by the other reviewers, the Catalina Express was clean and fast, the service was excellent (some of the crew circulated to talk if you wished), the long-term parking was $12 a day. However, I wanted to mention that, if you wanted to stay on the island for more than one day, you can book your hotel also through Catalina Express. They have 'deals' with hotels on the island and we got a hotel/transportation for way less than it would have cost had we purchased each separately.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Nancy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Would use a again”
Reviewed November 20, 2013

Catalina express was a pleasant experience for travel to Avalon. The craft was clean and comfortable. The staff were pleasant and professional. The price seemed appropriate. No complaints and would definitely use the again

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank George B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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