Catalina Island, California

Santa Catalina Island has drawn Southern Californians for since the mid-1820s. That's when the Pimungan tribe settled there, attracted by the island's rich marine life. But Catalina's true popularity dates from 1919, the year Chicago chewing gum tycoon William Wrigley purchased the island development. Overnight Catalina secured its reputation as a playground for wealthy magnates and movie stars.

Since 1975, the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy has held most of Catalina in trust. Buffalo, imported for a 1924 movie, roam the island's sere uplands. Offshore kelp beds shelter brightly colored Garibaldi fish, sea lions and seals. Gray whales pass on their annual migration, and dolphins are a frequent sight. It's no wonder the island - home to America's oldest fishing club - continues to woo weekend yachtsmen, deep-sea fishermen and divers as well as casual visitors content to explore Avalon's quaint lanes.

Note: Your ship will anchor in Avalon and use launches to transport all passengers ashore.

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Points of Interest

  • Avalon
  • Catalina Casino
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Island Interior
  • Marine Wildlife
  • Descanso Beach
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More about Catalina Island, California Points of Interest

  • Avalon

    With its Mediterranean climate, palm trees, fountains, charming shops and plentiful outdoor activities, this harbor village is equal parts small town island community, quality cultural resort and model ecological town.

  • Catalina Casino

    The epitome of glamour of a bygone era, this beautiful Casino overlooking the Avalon Harbor features art deco murals, a classic 1929 pipe organ and a world-famous Casino ballroom.

  • Botanical Gardens

    Built in 1935, this stunning botanical garden show casing plants from all over the world, features a memorial to Avalon developer William Wrigley, Jr. and commanding views of the bay.

  • Island Interior

    The perfect adventure destination, Catalina's ruggedly beautiful interior is home to broad valleys, isolated coves, pristine beaches, two-thousand foot peaks and countless species of unique native plants and animals.

  • Marine Wildlife

    The blue waters surrounding Catalina feature undersea kelp gardens teeming with marine wildlife including garibaldi, Kelp Bass, Leopard sharks, bat rays, moray eels sardines.

  • Descanso Beach

13 EXCURSIONS

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Avalon Casino

1 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-380
  • Avalon
  • Catalina Casino

Step back in time to an era when bands were big and movies were just beginning to talk during this one-hour, guided walking tour of Catalina's breathtaking casino built by William Wrigley, Jr. in 1929! Tour the casino's 1250 seat movie theater featuring a classic 1929 pipe and extraordinary Art Deco murals by artist John Gabriel (best known for his work at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood). Learn about the theater's marvelous acoustics. Take in the magnificence of the Casino Ballroom, a long-standing venue for the world's best musical performers. Marvel at the massive dance floor that can accommodate over 6,000 dancers! Take in sweeping vistas of Avalon, Descanso Beach and the harbor from the ballroom's Promenade Balcony. Peruse the Catalina Island Museum and Art Gallery located on the ground floor (admission is included in your tour!) View Indian artifacts, historical photographs and local artwork.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$19.95

Avalon Casino Behind the Scenes

1.5 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-385
  • Avalon
  • Catalina Casino

Step back in time to an era when bands were big and movies were just beginning to talk during this 90-minute, guided walking tour of Catalina's breathtaking casino built by William Wrigley, Jr. in 1929! Tour the backstage of the casino's 1250 seat movie theater featuring a classic 1929 pipe organ and extraordinary Art Deco murals by artist John Gabriel (best known for his work at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood). Learn about the theater's marvelous acoustics. Visit the "green" rooms used by Errol Flynn and Cary Grant, walk across the stage where Benny Goodman played before thousands of adoring fans, and see the editing room where Cecil B. DeMille viewed the "rushes" of the day's movie shoot. Take in the magnificence of the Casino Ballroom, a long-standing venue for the world's best musical performers. Marvel at the massive dance floor that can accommodate over 6,000 dancers! Take in sweeping vistas of Avalon, Descanso Beach and the harbor from the ballroom's Promenade Balcony. Peruse the Catalina Island Museum and Art Gallery located on the ground floor (admission is included in your tour!) View Indian artifacts, historical photographs and local artwork.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$29.95

Easy Catalina Island

.75 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-205
  • Avalon

Acquaint yourself with California's only island resort city during this 50-minute, guided tour. Enjoy a picturesque drive through Avalon as your guide entertains you with personal insights and history of this harbor village as you journey. Learn how Avalon was developed by Chicago chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr. in 1919. Travel along a winding coastal road. Enjoy vistas of the glistening Avalon Harbor. See Mount Ada, the hilltop Georgian colonial mansion that was the original Wrigley estate. Drive along rustic Avalon Canyon past the Catalina Golf Course and the former spring training site (for 30 years) of the Chicago Cubs! Take in majestic views of the Catalina Casino, an art deco masterpiece that dominates the Avalon landscape from its regal perch along the harbor.

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Easy Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$39.95

Catalina Semi-Sub

.75 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-610
  • Marine Wildlife

Embark on a 45-minute, narrated cruise to explore Catalina's dazzling marine life aboard a state-of-the-art, semi-submersible vessel! Board the bright-yellow Nautilus featuring a roomy interior, high-tech gadgets and large flat screen monitors that display local marine life. Take a seat at one of the many circular windows (well beneath the surface of the water) that offer optimal viewing. Have your cameras at the ready as you journey to a California protected marine preserve that teems with colorful marine life. View breathtaking kelp forests that sway in a graceful underwater ballet. Your guide will point out the unique and colorful marine including garibaldi, Kelp Bass, Leopard sharks, bat rays, moray eels, sardines, and, yes, even the occasional great white shark. Feed the fish from your own seat through a unique feeding system with torpedo buttons. (Cost of the fish food is extra).

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Easy Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$49.95

Catalina & Botanical Gardens

1.75 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-110
  • Avalon
  • Botanical Gardens

Explore the natural beauty and history of Catalina during this 1-hour 45-minute, guided tour via minibus to the Catalina Botanical Gardens. Winding coastal roads and rolling hills beckon you as you climb to an elevation of 400 feet. Pass Mount Ada, the original estate of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, who developed Catalina as a resort in 1919. Continue through rustic Avalon Canyon past the Catalina Golf Course and the former spring training site of the Chicago Cubs! Visit the 37.85-acre Catalina Botanical Gardens, built in 1935 by Wrigley's wife, Ada. Stroll along sun-dappled pathways featuring plants from around the world. Bask in the commanding views of the bay dotted with sailboats and yachts. Marvel at the garden's centerpiece – the Wrigley Memorial - completed in 1934 as a tribute to William Wrigley, whose vision and love for the island fashioned and preserved Catalina for generations to come.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$54.95

Catalina Kayak Expedition

2.5 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-770
  • Marine Wildlife
  • Avalon

Experience firsthand the rugged beauty and breathtaking wildlife of Catalina Island during this two-and-a-half-hour guided kayak expedition! Travel to Descanso Beach where you will gear up and board your modern, easy to maneuver and stable sit-on-top kayak for two! Your instructor/guide will teach you the basics of paddling. Then set off on a kayak tour along coastline that is inaccessible by foot. Learn about the island's history as you glide over breathtaking kelp forests teeming with unique and colorful marine life. Look to the skies for sightings of bald eagles and hawks that ride the wind currents in search of prey. Keep a keen eye out for playful harbor seals and California sea lions that frolic amongst the rocks. Enjoy a stop at Frog Rock Beach to relax, sunbathe or swim. Indulge in a tasty snack and bottled water prior to leisurely paddling back to your starting point.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$59.95

Dolphin Runner Adventure

1 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-640
  • Marine Wildlife

All aboard for an exhilarating half-day exploration off the shores of Catalina Island. Climb aboard a rigid inflatable boat--or RIB for short --a fast, fun and exciting way to tour the unspoiled northern coast of Catalina and view the spectacular array of wildlife and marine creatures that make Catalina unique. Take a short walk from the pier, engage in a safety briefing, then off you go on this approximately 60-minute thrilling cruise! As your captain speeds through the water, he'll provide commentary on the natural landscape and local history. The seating aboard the RIB is 'saddle style' to maximize views of all of the wildlife you may see along the way. Your cruise journeys to the Seal Rookery for the opportunity to see pups frolicking in the waters. Dolphins might also come out to say hello! Return to port at the conclusion of this exciting day.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$59.95

Wildlife & Coastal Cruise

2 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-740
  • Marine Wildlife

Take to the glittering waters of the Pacific and discover the breathtaking wildlife and rugged beauty of Catalina Island's coastline during this two-hour, narrated excursion aboard a large power boat. Bask in the sun and revel in the sea breeze as you cruise 10 miles up the unspoiled northern coast of Catalina. As you travel, learn about the history and geology of the island from your knowledgeable Captain. Cruise past Long Point, Italian Gardens, Goat Harbor and Rippers Cove to see harbor seals and California Sea Lions. Look to the skies for sightings of majestic bald eagles and red tail hawks. Travel out to open sea in search of dolphins! During migratory season look for sightings of gray whales that breech and spout as they travel from Alaska to Baja and back. En route back to Avalon, contemplate the natural wonders you have witnessed during your thrilling eco-adventure.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$79.95

Taste of Catalina

3.25 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-305
  • Avalon
  • Catalina Casino

Enjoy a three-hour culinary journey along Avalon's palm-lined streets tasting a variety of critically acclaimed entrees, desserts, and beverages from some of the city's finest dining establishments and specialty shops. As you partake ample samples a friendly and knowledgeable guide will share island history and culture as you walk along the less than one-mile long route. Learn how founder William Wrigley Jr. purchased the island in 1919 and ten years later built the iconic Catalina Casino, which boasts the world's largest circular ballroom. Hear tales of Catalina's role in motion pictures, documentaries, television programs, and commercials. But the main attraction, of course, is the delectable food. You'll spend about 20 to 30 minutes at each establishment eating and meeting the shop owners or chefs before moving on. Once you've completed your epicurean journey, you'll walk back down to the pier, board your shore boat and return to your ship.

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Wheelchair Accessible, Easy Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$89.95

Catalina's Interior & "Airport In The Sky"

3.5 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-125
  • Island Interior

Experience Catalina's ruggedly beautiful interior during this half-day, guided excursion via air-conditioned mini-bus. Enjoy a scenic drive along winding roads with views of broad valleys, isolated coves, pristine beaches and unique native plants and animals (such as wild bison, eagles and foxes). Enjoy a breathtaking photo stop at an overlook with vistas of the island's rolling hills, glistening ocean and tiny Santa Barbara Island in the distance. Travel to Catalina's "Airport In The Sky" located stop 1,602-foot-tall mountaintop at the island's center. View a three-dimensional diorama of the island and an exhibit about various island inhabitants. Grab a bite at a restaurant famous for its buffalo burgers and browse the airport gift shop for souvenirs.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$99.95

Canyon Drive & Glassbottom Boat

3 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-120
  • Marine Wildlife
  • Island Interior

Bask in the beauty of Catalina's on and offshore wonders during this half-day, guided island adventure via air-conditioned motorcoach and glass-bottom boat! Enjoy a scenic drive to the island's rugged interior to see isolated coves, pristine beaches, and broad valleys. View native plant life and animals including wild bison and boar, black crows, bald eagles and the Channel Island fox. Visit the island's summit, site of Catalina's "Airport In The Sky" to take in stunning island vistas. Enjoy a few minutes to shop, snack and view exhibits. Embark on a state-of-the art Glass Bottom Boat cruise to a California protected marine preserve. Marvel at graceful underwater kelp forests teeming with exquisite marine life including garibaldi, Kelp Bass, Leopard sharks, bat rays, moray eels and sardines. Feed the fish if you choose. Cruise back across the glistening waters to your harbor, contemplating the natural wonders that Catalina Island has offered.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$99.95

Zipline Eco Tour

2.25 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-400
  • Descanso Beach

Take adventure to the max with a two-hour zip-lining excursion. From the pier it's a short drive to the Zip Line Eco-Tour base camp, perched atop Descanso Canyon. Once you arrive you'll meet your guides for a safety and equipment orientation. Then, you'll suit up, buckle in, latch on and fly away! Soak up the fresh air and beautiful views as you glide through a course of five distinctive zip lines that stretch out three-quarters of a mile. Swoosh over the treetops of native Santa Catalina ironwood evergreen trees, and over canyons full of chaparral and coastal sage scrub. From this sky-high perspective you may see a bald eagle, raven or swallows. After your exhilarating experience, you'll return to base camp to swap stories with your fellow riders, Then, it's time to return to the comfort of your transportation and a relaxing ride back to your ship.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$139.95

Bald Eagle Habitat, Airport-in-the Sky & Cape Canyon

4 hours | Catalina Island | AVX-115
  • Island Interior

Venture far from the quiet, resort atmosphere of Avalon Harbor during this four-hour, guided adventure into the island's rugged interior - in an open-air jeep! Your guide narrates as you travel along winding roads past isolated coves, pristine beaches, rolling hillsides and broad valleys dotted with wild bison and boar. Visit Middle Ranch, headquarters of the Catalina Island Conservancy and Catalina's Bald Eagle and Catalina Fox Habitat! Keep a keen eye out for the endangered Catalina Island fox and majestic bald eagles that circle overhead. Enjoy a breathtaking photo stop between two of the island's highest points at Cape Canyon. Tour Catalina's "Airport In The Sky" located atop a 1,602-foot-tall mountain. View a three-dimensional diorama of the island and an historical exhibit about the island's various inhabitants. Enjoy a delicious lunch on your own at the airport restaurant and shop for souvenirs prior to your scenic drive back to your ship.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$159.95