Transportation to Catalina Island comes in many forms. For most travelers, getting to the island involves a ride with one of two Catalina Island ferry companies. With an array of daily round trips from San Pedro, Long Beach or Dana Point, Catalina Express brings most travelers to the island. Catalina Passenger Services, which operates from Newport Beach, offers a daily trip in the summer season aboard the Newport Flyer. While Catalina ferries are the most popular mode of transportation, they are far from the only way to get to the island. Island Express operates scheduled helicopter service to Catalina from San Pedro and Long Beach and their services can be chartered from other area airports. Private planes offer an option for flights to Catalina Island and hundreds of thousands arrive on the island via private boat.
For tens of thousands of Catalina Island travelers their first visit to Catalina Island is aboard a cruise ship. Each week, Carnival Cruise Lines visits Avalon on Mondays and Tuesdays, bringing more than 2,000 visitors each day. In the spring and fall, additional lines bring their passengers to the island as part of repositioning cruises. For many of those passengers, their Catalina port visit becomes love at first site and marks the first of many Catalina Island vacations.