Circumnavigate Catalina Island on a Rare Boat Trip

Head "'Round the Island" with the Catalina Museum for Art & History and hear stories, history, and a little lore, too.

Raquel Lonas

What to Know

  • Tuesday, April 19, 11:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.; the boat leaves from Avalon
  • The "rare" chance to circumnavigate Catalina Island is presented by the Catalina Museum for Art & History (which is the beneficiary of the day)
  • 'Round the Island: Shipwreck Edition is $200 for one person, $350 for two people joining the tour together

Cruising up to Avalon or Two Harbors, all to spend a day adventuring around the interior or charming towns of Catalina Island?

So many Southern California mainlanders do that on the regular, as do visitors from further afield, people who've heard about the quaint and quirky offerings of the fabled isle, a place beloved for its glass-bottomed boats, flying fish, surprising and stately herd of American bison, and oh-so-grand Casino building.

But that whole "cruising up to Avalon or Two Harbors" is how most people approach the island, and if they're not on a boat? They're landing at the amazing Airport in the Sky, yet another picturesque part of a picturesque place.

Which is all to say this: Circumnavigating Catalina Island is something few people ever get to do, unless they sign up for a special tour, the sort of infrequent outing that only ever pops up in the most occasional way.

But such an intriguing opportunity is heading out to sea, to see some fascinating local sights, on Tuesday, April 19 (NOW RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 4, due to high winds), and the event's name should stoke the imaginations of all circumnavigators: 'Round the Island Cruise.

The Catalina Museum for Art & History is helming this on-the-ocean adventure. And the theme of the upcoming happening? It's been dubbed the "Shipwreck Edition."

"With a host of local experts sharing their knowledge and insider stories, passengers will learn about the island while enjoying miles of rugged coastline and secluded coves," shares the museum.

The vessel you'll enjoy as you hug the Catalina coastline? Why it's the Catalina Express, yet another iconic element of an iconic destination.

A box lunch is part of your admission, which is $200 per person, or $300 for a pair traveling together. Beverages, both alcohol and non-alcohol? They'll be available for purchase.

And here's yet another quaint and memorable Catalina tradition: Once you circumnavigate the island, you'll be a "Shellback" for life. (If you've already spun around the spot, your title moves to "Trusty Shellback.")

Selling out? This tour definitely will, so aspiring Shellbacks should book their spots as quickly as a foamy wave breaks on Descanso Beach, a flying fish breaks the ocean's surface, and the lights of the Casino building begin to glow, gloriously, at sunset.

Contact Us