Catalina Island cruise ship visits

Catalina Island

For hundreds of thousands of people, their first experience with Catalina Island is as a port stop on a cruise ship.  Los Angeles, with its myriad outlying suburbs and massive population, is a regular port of embarkation for several cruise lines. While California lags far behind Florida when it comes to volume of cruises, the region is still a popular spot for this vacation option.

Each week, Carnival Cruise Lines makes two appearances on the island, with the Inspiration and Imagination each visiting Avalon as part of the cruise line’s four-day Baja, Mexico cruise. In the fall and again after the first of the year, Princess Cruise Lines’ Star Princess will visit Avalon as part of the line’s West Coast Getaway cruises.

With passenger capacity in excess of 2,500 passengers, these port calls are an important part of the Catalina Island economy and have done much to make it economically feasible for many businesses to remain open year around. The massive ships drop anchor just outside of Avalon Harbor and passengers are ferried to shore via large tenders. Island shops, Avalon restaurants and Catalina activities welcome cruise ship passengers – especially in the winter months.