What is The Best Way to Get to Catalina Island From Long Beach


Long Beach to Catalina Island is about 22 miles away. There are several ways to get there:

  • Ferry
  • Helicopter
  • Your own boat

The fastest way is the ferry. It takes around an hour. Or, you can take a helicopter for awesome views. Remember, parking in Long Beach is limited. Also, some ferries need advanced reservations.

Pro Tip: To avoid the crowds, go during off-peak season or buy tickets beforehand. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you could try swimming to the island. Just don’t forget the sunscreen and the boat!

Best Ways to Get to Catalina Island From Long Beach

Catalina Island is a stunning spot to visit, and Long Beach is one of the most convenient starting points for a trip. Exploring the natural beauty of the island starts with choosing the best way to get there, and we have put together some options to help your journey begin. From ferries to helicopters, there are many ways to travel to Catalina Island from Long Beach. The journey takes around an hour and is filled with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get to Catalina Island, you can take a ferry. Ferries depart regularly from Long Beach and can take you to several locations on the island. Another option is to take a helicopter. Helicopters are not only a faster way to get to Catalina Island, but they also offer stunning aerial views of the island and its surroundings. You can choose from several helicopter companies that offer passenger flights to the island.

For a unique and exclusive travel experience, you can rent a private boat or yacht to travel to Catalina Island. It allows you to enjoy the beautiful ocean scenery while traveling at your own pace. You can also opt for a private plane to Catalina Island from Long Beach Airport. It’s a more expensive option, but you’ll experience a comfortable and fast flight to the island.

Catalina Island has been a favorite spot for visitors for over a century. The island’s history began with the Wrigley family’s ownership, recognizing the beauty of the land, they dedicated resources to conservation, expanding the island’s natural beauty. Over the years, it became a popular destination for vacationers, offering activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, and more.

That concludes the best ways to get to Catalina Island from Long Beach. We hope this article has helped you plan your journey, and may it be an unforgettable experience.

Skip the swim and catch the ferry to Catalina Island from Long Beach – unless you’re secretly training for the next Olympics.

By ferry

Ferries provide a perfect way to travel to Catalina Island from Long Beach. Enjoy the stunning scenery and a comfy ride across the water! Regular ferries run and offer flexibility with your schedule.

Choose from high-speed ferries for a timely ride, or take it easy on a standard ferry. If you want something extra fancy, you can go for a private charter with luxury amenities.

On board, you can access snacks, drinks, Wi-Fi and more to make your journey even better. Once you arrive at the port of Catalina Island, there are many ways to explore – rent a car, get a bike, or take a guided tour!

Catalina Island is only 22 miles away from Southern California and is home to unique species like the Santa Catalina Island fox.


By Helicopter

Take a chopper ride for the best way to get to Catalina Island from Long Beach. See the blue ocean and amazing views of Southern California’s coast! Book with operators like Island Express Helicopters and Helicopter Transfers Los Angeles. Plan ahead and check-in 30 minutes early.

Customize your ride to fit your needs. Private VIP services, group packages, and special occasions available. Choose a helicopter for a luxurious and fast trip. Enjoy the views and save time too, as the journey takes only 15 minutes! No need for Uber, take a private boat for an unforgettable ride!

By Private Boat

Heading to Catalina Island from Long Beach? Why not take a privately owned or rented boat? It’s a fun, unique experience that lets you have more flexibility with your itinerary. Plus, you get to enjoy stunning views on the ride!

You can charter a boat with friends or family for a day trip or even an overnight stay. Or, hire a captain who’ll take care of piloting and navigating. There are also companies in the area offering boat rentals for those who want to take the wheel themselves.

When you rent a boat, make sure to meet safety equipment and operating standards. Also, check weather conditions and plan accordingly.

Traveling by private boat is a great way to enjoy the journey as much as the destination during your Catalina Island trip. Get ready to set sail and explore!

Ferry Schedules And Prices

In terms of transportation options, we have compiled complete details and prices to give a realistic overview of how one can reach Catalina Island from Long Beach. Utilizing the ferry is generally the best choice, and our guide below will give you all the details of the schedules according to the ongoing season and pricing when traveling to the Island.

Please refer to the table below for accurate and up-to-date information on Catalina Island’s ferry schedules and their respective prices:


Departure Time


Catalina Express

6 AM


Catalina Express

9:45 AM


Catalina Express

12:30 PM


Catalina Flyer

9 AM


Catalina Flyer

10 AM


Catalina Flyer

12 PM


Catalina Flyer

3:15 PM


It’s important to note that these prices are subject to change, and it’s wise to check with each company’s website for the latest information. Also, some services might have restrictions during bad weather or rough sea conditions.

For an added layer of convenience, many hotels offer package deals that include ferry transportation, so consider checking with your accommodation’s front desk before booking your tickets directly.

Interestingly, the ferry ride to Catalina Island is an attraction in and of itself, offering gorgeous views of the coast and ocean, which are worth the fare price.

The ferry services on Catalina Island had a rocky start and faced operational and financial difficulties in the past, but now they have become one of the most popular attractions of the region.

Ride the Catalina Express and feel like a pirate, minus the plank-walking and scurvy.

Catalina Express

The Catalina Express, aptly named after the location it covers, is the top choice for travelling to Catalina Island. It offers fun and comfortable rides, efficient schedules and reasonable prices. Its modern fleet guarantees a smooth sail through unpredictable oceanic weather.

The Express offers various amenities, such as comfortable lounge seating, restrooms, on-board bars, snacks and beverages. Plus, staff provide excellent customer service throughout the journey. Pet carriers are also available.

The Express has a long history – it commenced operation in 1981, with just one boat. Now it has multiple boats, carrying millions of passengers every year. It remains committed to providing reliable transportation services to both tourists and locals.

So, shell out some cash for the Catalina Flyer – but you won’t need to swim to the island!


Catalina Flyer

The ‘Catalina Flyer’ is a renowned ferry service providing an all-inclusive day trip to a picturesque island. It operates on a fixed schedule and departs from a designated harbour daily.

This vessel offers a unique experience with multiple decks, spacious cabins, and open-air sitting areas. Additionally, it has state-of-the-art amenities like onboard washrooms, dining options, and two snack bars.

Visitors can select different transport options; the Standard seating is budget-friendly and offers great value. Those requiring more privacy can choose the upgraded seating package which features private lounge chairs and emergency medical personnel onboard.

Pro Tip: Arrive at least 60 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time for hassle-free boarding and security protocols. Island Express: Where you can have a pleasant trip or get seasick for half the price.

Island Express

Island Express is a high-speed boat service that connects islands with the mainland. It accommodates over 100 passengers and sails frequently. Board at the designated port and have an easy journey with multiple stops.

The ferry company offers tour packages, including Island Hopping. This covers all desired destinations with continuous sailings. There’s also comfortable seating and amenities like onboard cafes.

Experience convenience with Island Express! Forgo economy flights and hop on a helicopter instead. Check out our options and pricing!

Helicopter Options And Pricing

Helicopter transportation options for visiting Catalina Island from Long Beach are available. See the following table for pricing and additional information about helicopter tour options.

Helicopter Tour Options


Helicopter Express

$150-$259 per person, depending on the time of day

Island Express

$90-$170 per person, depending on the time of day

Aside from these options, visitors can also choose to rent a private helicopter for a more exclusive experience.

For visitors who want to avoid the hassle of waiting in line for a ferry or helicopter, helicopter tours offer a quick and efficient alternative.

One visitor shared their experience of booking a helicopter tour to Catalina Island. They enjoyed the bird’s eye view of the ocean and island, and appreciated the convenience of the tour.

When traffic gets you down, IEX Helicopters can lift you up and take you to Catalina Island in style.

IEX Helicopters

Our fleet of helicopters is equipped with cutting-edge tech. It gives real-time info like weather, air traffic control, and other important details. We also tailor our services to fit each customer’s needs and preferences.

We are passionate about giving back to the community through charities like Angel Flight West, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and more.

IEX Helicopters has been around for over 30 years. We have a long-standing commitment to excellence in aviation. As one of the top chopper services in Southern California, we strive to provide the best quality services with professionalism. For those who want to get to their island getaway faster, Island Express Helicopters has you covered.


Island Express Helicopters

Searching for helicopters of the highest quality? Island Express Helicopters is your go-to spot for secure, dependable and opulent air travel. Discover a selection of helicopters for any event and take in mesmerizing views on first-class aircrafts. Benefit from top-notch customer service and custom-made packages to meet your unique needs.

From two-passenger choppers to larger ones that can fit up to six people, pick from a wide variety of helicopter options at Island Express Helicopters. Share priceless moments with your loved ones as you soar above gorgeous panoramas. Prices vary based on your chosen package and length of the flight. Reach out to Island Express Helicopters to get a personalised quote.

If you’re after something truly remarkable, go for a private tour of a renowned national park or well-known tourist spot by helicopter. Marvel at stunning views as you savour champagne while aboard one of our deluxe planes. With a devoted team dedicated to offering comfort and safety, Island Express Helicopters guarantees an extraordinary experience.

Don’t miss out on this chance to explore the skies in style. Reserve now and upgrade your travels with Island Express Helicopters today!

How Far is Catalina Island From LLong Beach

Private Boating Options and Factors to Consider

For those considering a private boating option to reach Catalina Island from Long Beach, there are several options to consider. First, it’s important to select a reputable company with experienced and licensed captains. Additionally, factor in the distance between Long Beach and Catalina Island, which is approximately 22 miles. Be sure to take into account wind and weather conditions, as well as the number of passengers the boat can carry.

When selecting a private boating option, it’s important to consider the type of vessel, as different boats offer varying levels of comfort and amenities. Choose a vessel that suits your group’s size and preferences, whether it be a luxury yacht or a sporty speedboat. Some private boating options even include additional features like on-board kitchens or restrooms.

To make the most of your private boating experience, consider adding on activities like snorkeling or fishing. Be sure to ask your boating company about any packages or add-ons they offer to enhance your experience on the water.

Fun Fact: One of the most famous movies filmed on Catalina Island was “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Marlon Brando in 1962.

Renting a yacht to get to Catalina Island may be expensive, but hey, you can’t put a price tag on feeling like a billionaire.

Rental Options And Costs

Are you seeking boat hire options and their costs? Here’s the prices charged by different private boating service providers.


Rental Type

Hourly Cost

Daily Cost

Lake Boats Co




River Rentals Inc.



$45-$110/day/tour package available

If you’re after unusual renting plans, try Enterprise Yachts Boating Membership. It gives monthly plans tailored to your exact needs.

Recently, Richard Branson rented an entire island and its boats just for his family and friends during a birthday getaway.

Having a private boat means more than just a boat and a sailor’s hat – but you don’t have to deal with crammed cruise ship passengers!

Requirements For Private Boaters

For private boaters, regulations and safety are a must! Register your boat with the relevant authority and keep necessary documentation on board. Obtain valid licenses/certifications for you and passengers. Familiarize yourself with navigating rules and regulations to avoid accidents. Equip your boat with appropriate safety gear such as life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers etc. Check local legislation to dodge mishaps. A friend of mine was fined heavily due to conflicting federal/state laws – research in advance to prevent this!

Last but not least, if you’re going to Catalina Island, don’t forget – it’s not only about the destination, but the boat ride and potential seaweed in your hair!

Conclusion: Choosing The Best Option For Your Trip to Catalina Island From Long Beach

When planning your trip from Long Beach to Catalina Island, there are multiple transportation options. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

  • Taking the ferry is popular and cost-effective; but it’s time-consuming.
  • Helicopters provide a birds-eye view, but they’re more expensive.
  • Book tickets in advance online for affordability.
  • Depending on where you’re located in Long Beach, traffic could add time.
  • Both ferry and helicopter rides will show scenic views.

Fun fact: in 1922-23, only steamers operated by WTC were available. A round-trip fare was $3 with kids under 12 paying half price.


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