Ferry to Catalina Island


Mar 25th, 2013, 07:28 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 101
Ferry to Catalina Island

We are planning to stay two nights on Catalina in early April. We plan to take the Catalina Express from Long Beach. Do I need to make reservations? How long is the ferry ride? And, is there a lot to park our car in securely while we are gone? Any suggestions? Thanks!!
Debbiekep2 is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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I don't think it is necessary to make reservations but if you know your arrival time it sure wouldn't hurt. You are traveling off season though for the most part.

If you do not make reservations be sure to check the schedule for the returning boats so you know when to be at the dock. Sounds simple enough but I know several mpeople who have inadvertently missed the last boat.

There is a parking garage in front of the aquarium, which is close to where you board the boat. I wouldn't leave any valuables in the car..just like anywhere. The ride is about one hour.
michele_d is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2013, 08:42 PM
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Normally most of us volunteers on Fodors are happy to help with firsthand info and insights not easily obtained.

Your profile says you are from California.

Did you look this up on the internet at all?
1JAR is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2013, 09:24 PM
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Weekends might require a reservation.April is not a very busy month. The trip should take about an hour or so but weather can be a factor and it is sometimes choppy.
1JAR, your response seems a little snippy to me.
logandog is offline  
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Mar 26th, 2013, 02:23 AM
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I'm sorry but every one of these questions can be answered by visiting the website and the OP obviously knew about that website before ever posting here.
Dukey1 is offline  
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Mar 26th, 2013, 07:09 AM
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So is it wrong to ask for more info?
Tomsd is offline  
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Mar 27th, 2013, 08:09 AM
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These are actually very good questions that include questions that cannot be found on the Catalina Express website.

In early April, you will not need a reservation, although if you want to upgrade to the captain's cabin, sometimes that's all reserved. If it's a holiday, (for example 4th of July is Catalina's biggest island holiday), that's the ONLY time I've ever found that a reservation MAY be necessary (often there's cancellations, so it can still be done).

It is no longer a "ferry" ride -- hasn't been for years. It is a boat or a cat, and it takes about an hour.

Parking is relatively secure and next to the terminal. By that I mean, as secure as possible as in any long term parking structure, but there is a notice (as in all parking structures) that limits liability, and urges people not to leave valuables in the car. I've left my car there for several days on numerous occasions and never had a problem. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but like I said, as secure as possible. Lots of signs to direct you to the location, but as I said, easy to see.
Surfergirl is offline  
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Mar 27th, 2013, 11:53 AM
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Thanks for all your help.
I did study the website. But, I could not find the answers to my questions.
The fodor boards are wonderful!
Debbiekep2 is offline  
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Mar 27th, 2013, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Are you going on your birthday? If so, you can ride free!

When I went with my elderly mother a while back, we went on the flying fish tour at night and the Avalon Ballroom tour during the day.

We enjoyed those, but I wish we had also taken a nature tour of the island.

The tile work on Catalina is quite wonderful. I'd also like to visit the Wrigley House and the Zane Grey House.

You can rent golf carts to drive around, and that's another thing I think would be fun.

I didn't find too many great places to eat (I'm a vegetarian so that is limiting as far a fresh fish), but we found cute enough places on the water for burgers, salads, ice cream, pasta, etc.

I have left from Dana Point, and there I did make reservations, and I think that it can't hurt to have them.

Have a wonderful time!
Kailani is online now  
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Mar 27th, 2013, 06:39 PM
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Seriously? You could not find "Reservations" listed on the top of the website? And you couldn't find "Parking" under Long Beach in the Ports section? And you could not find how long the trip is under "Schedules"

ticketsMaking a reservation to sail on board Catalina Express is quick and easy
To make a reservation:
Click here to use the Online Reservation System
or call:
(800) 481-3470
Call Center Agents are available to book reservations from
5:45 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Reservations are recommended as our departure times may sell out.
View Schedules & Fares >
Each port has its own schedule of departures. A reservation agent can give you this information or you can go to schedule to see what is offered

$15.00 daily max per 24 hr period. Overnight parking okay and no parking reservations necessary. Accepted methods of payment are cash, Visa or Mastercard. Vehicles may not park in excess of 30 days without prior written license agreement. Prices are subject to change. Discounts on groups of 20 vehicles or more available during the off peak seasons. Overnight bus parking also available. Check with parking vendor for details. Operated by:
ABM Parking Services – (562) 432-5166 or by email: [email protected]

Long Beach Downtown Landing Schedules
March 22 - June 27, 2013 Schedule
Downtown Landing to Avalon

Downtown Landing/Avalon trips are approximately 1 hour.
1JAR is offline  
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Mar 27th, 2013, 07:01 PM
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if it bothers you so much jar, and puts you out why did you bother? i don't understand the need to be rude to a poster.
nanabee is offline  
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