PORT OF LONG BEACH TERMINAL TO AVALON ON CATALINA EXPRESS
This is the ferry's most popular route.
Catalina Island Express times are plentiful, even in the off-season.
The terminal has plenty of seating, educational displays, restrooms and a water filling station.
Can you park at the Catalina Island Express Terminal in Long Beach, California?
Yes! Parking is approx. $22 per day and you pay when you depart the ferry terminal after your return trip from Catalina Island.
We Ubered to the ferry from Venice Beach, and it was very simple for our driver to pull up to the terminal and let us out curbside.
How early should you arrive for the Catalina Island Express?
We arrived 50 minutes before the departure time on our tickets.
We had made a reservation in advance so upon arrival, we followed the signs to the check-in desk, which is right in front of you when you walk through the terminal doors.
ONBOARD THE CATALINA EXPRESS: YOUR RIDE TO CATALINA ISLAND
The vessel is lovely and comfy. The floors are carpeted and the seats are cushioned.
There is minimal noise indoors and the air conditioning starts pumping through the indoor spaces once the ship's engines are turned on and it's ready to depart.
Snacks – like chips and beef jerky – are available to purchase along with drinks.
Guests can purchase non-alcoholic beverages and alcoholic beverages.
If you’re in the Commodore Lounge, the first drink is included and additional beverages can be purchased.
Catalina Express has two restrooms on the ship.
There is a restroom for the Commodore Lounge (which is designated a “private area” onboard that you have to have tickets for) and there is another for the general boarding area.
The seats are comfy! They reminded us of seats on a coach bus.
The Commodore Lounge seats have pull-down trays on the back of them so you can use them as a table for your drink, Kindle, or whatever else.
It takes a little while for the boat to empty out. The benefit of the Commodore Lounge is that you have a little exclusivity and early boarding (and a free beverage, to boot).
But the downside is that the bottom of the ferry disembarks first, and you have to wait a bit longer for your turn to exit the ship.
Catalina Express also travels to Two Harbors on Catalina Island.
This area is most appealing to people who want to camp, though there are limited lodges on the west side of the island and a few restaurants.