Catalina Island: more ferries, anniversaries, events, new dining, hotel packages and more


SAN PEDRO, Calif.  – There is so much to celebrate this summer as travelers are venturing out to enjoy their favorite vacation destinations again. Just in time for the season, Catalina Express expands its schedule to the most robust since 2019 with nearly 30 daily departures from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. It also celebrates its 40th anniversary with a 40 Trips in 40 Days giveaway, starting July 15, 2021. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Bombard family’s maritime business, when Al Bombard, grandfather of Greg Bombard, president and CEO of Catalina Express, designed and built the Miss Catalina Speedboats.

Summer 2021 is the season to visit or revisit Catalina Island, just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, and known for providing visitors an experience that has been compared to the Mediterranean.  With new restaurants, beachside dinner dining, outdoor activities and events, renovated hotels, transportation, and more, there’s no better time to explore to the island.

Events provide timely reasons to visit all summer long, including, outdoor movies on the beach, First Friday films at Catalina Island Museum, live music at the Metropole Market Place and the beloved return of the Catalina Wine Mixer at Descanso Beach Club.

Catalina Express has expanded its schedule to nearly 30 ferry departures daily for the summer and just released a robust fall schedule. Visitors can plan their stay on the island with a variety of boat and hotel packages featuring round-trip transportation on Catalina Express and including the newest and most sought-after accommodations on the island, including:

  • Bellanca Hotel
    •  Newly renovated boutique hotel accommodations with a choice of guest rooms
    • Round-trip travel for two aboard Catalina Express
    • On-site restaurant, Naughty Fox
    • Ocean view rooftop deck
    • Round-trip taxi transfer from boat landing to hotel
    • Rates start at $275 plus tax, based on availability and double occupancy
  • Catalina Island Inn
    • Newly renovated hotel accommodations 
    • Round-trip travel for two aboard Catalina Express 
    • Rates starting at $399, offered Sunday – Thursday, based on double occupancy and availability 
    • Rates may vary by date and room type. Call 310.510.1623 to book.
  • Hotel Atwater
    • Accommodations at the newly renovated Hotel Atwater
    • Round-trip travel for two aboard Catalina Express
    • Two splits of sparkling wine on arrival day
    •  15% off Catalina Island Company activities and tours
    • 15% off spa treatments and day passes at Island Spa Catalina
    • $20 credit per day for Catalina Island Company restaurants
    • Rates starting at $482, excluding taxes and fees, based on double occupancy and availability 
  • Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel
    • Round-trip travel for two aboard Catalina Express
    • Complimentary shuttle to and from Ferry and Hotel
    • Shuttle to city drop-off point on availability
    • Valid through December 31, 2021. Rates starting at $440; based on double occupancy and availability, may vary by dates and room type

40th Anniversary: Win Round-trip tickets from the 40 Trips in 40 Days Giveaway

Catalina Express has transported over 33 million passengers to and from the island since 1981 with ferries custom designed and built for comfort, safety and speed. Starting July 15, consumers can enter to win a trip for two to Catalina Island. For 40 days, one winner will be randomly selected to win a pair of mid-week tickets aboard Catalina Express. 

Visit to learn more about the giveaway as well as read about the company’s history and find out from the team what it is like to work at Catalina Express. 

100th Anniversary of Miss Catalina Speedboats

The Bombard family has a long maritime history on, and love of, Catalina Island. Doug Bombard, founder of Catalina Express shares, “My father, Al, first came to Catalina in 1919 for a weekend getaway and never wanted to leave. After his trip to the island, he decided to pack everything up and move to Catalina where he saw a future for him and our family.”

In 1921, Al Bombard designed and built six Miss Catalina speedboats to provide joy rides to visitors to meet the steamer that was the main form of transportation to Catalina, as well as entertain passengers who were arriving to the island on William Wrigley Jr.’s ferries. Al even ferried a then unknown Ronald Reagan, who was the radio sports announcer during the Chicago Cubs training camps on the island, to the mainland for a screen test. Catalina Island Museum’s permanent exhibit of Catalina Island’s history includes the Miss Catalina Speedboats and the Bombard’s role in the growth of the island.

Throughout the years, the family continued to become part of the Catalina Island community and found ways to grow tourism for this premier destination they called home. Greg Bombard said, “We are so grateful to provide our passengers the opportunity to visit Catalina Island, the perfect getaway for more than a century. Whether visitors are looking for the idyllic, fun, action-packed or relaxing and rejuvenating day or overnight stay, we are excited to reward and give island fans even more reasons to visit.”

Media Contacts: Karen Gee-McAuley|Relevance PR|