Catalina Island

Catalina Express Has a Boatful of Giveaways This Summer

The famous ferry company is celebrating a milestone anniversary by giving away dozens of trips over 40 festive days.

Catalina Express

What to Know

  • "40 Trips in 40 Days" is giving Catalina fans the opportunity to try for a free mid-week roundtrip to Avalon
  • Enter at www.catalinaexpress.com/40years for a chance to win
  • Catalina Express has ferried over 33 million passengers since 1981; the giveaways are in celebration of the 40th anniversary

BEELINING FOR AVALON? There are a few ways to get to Catalina Island's magnificent main burg. There's flying, of course, and if you do wing it to the enchanting isle, you'll set down at one of the Golden State's loveliest landing strips, at The Airport in the Sky. You can ride your waterskis over, if you're competing in the world-famous Catalina Water Ski Race (but, yep, you'll turn right around and head back to the mainland, so do consider that first). And swimming beneath the waves? Really, that's a route best left to our dolphin pals, and the other aquatic animals that rock an ocean address. Most people, be they travelers or residents of the island, board the Catalina Express, the service that's been efficiently ferrying adventurers to Avalon, and back, in order to reach the fabled island.

33,000,000 PASSENGERS... have enjoyed a trip on the famous ferries since 1981, and, to celebrate its 40th year, the Catalina Express is hosting a major giveaway event. Enter "40 Trips in 40 Days" now and see if you don't snag passage aboard one of the boats, which will whisk you from the mainland to Avalon. Once there? There's so much to soak in, from the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens, and the Catalina Island Museum. A tour into the interior, lunch at the Descanso Beach Club, or a stay in one of the quaint inns are also high on many lists. But consider this: If you do win one of the mid-week boat trips, you'll have extra funds to have fun with once you're ambling around Avalon.

ANNIVERSARIES APLENTY: The Bombard Family, which founded the Catalina Express, also has long ties to the iconic Miss Catalina speedboats. The six speedboats, designed and constructed by Al Bombard a century ago, spirited passengers out on "joy rides" to "meet the steamer that was the main form of transportation to Catalina" (and, indeed, to pick up passengers who pulled up to Avalon aboard William Wrigley Jr.'s boat). The Bombard family has a long maritime history on, and love of, Catalina Island. "My father, Al, first came to Catalina in 1919 for a weekend getaway and never wanted to leave," shared Doug Bombard, founder of Catalina Express. "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."

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TO LEARN MORE... about this seafaring family, and the Catalina community they helped to build, visit the Catalina Island Museum for information and images. To enter the Catalina Express anniversary giveaway, and perhaps score a complimentary trip to Avalon, ride a wave to this site now.

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