Catalina Express

The Catalina Express

Relax. Sit Back and Enjoy the Ride

company story

Over 30 Years of Service

In 2012, Catalina Express celebrated its 30th year of service to Catalina Island. Starting with only one boat and one phone, Catalina Express has emerged as the leader of marine transportation to Catalina Island. Each year, more than one million passengers set sail to Catalina Island on board Catalina Express.

"It’s amazing to see how much the business has grown and changed over the past 30 years. I believe the success of Catalina Express has been made possible because of our loyal customers and employees”
- Greg Bombard, President

Catalina Express began in 1981 when three Catalina Island residents realized the need for fast, reliable transportation to and from the island. Doug Bombard, his son Greg Bombard and long time colleague, Tom Rutter, worked tirelessly to make the vision a reality. Since then more than 25 million passengers have set sail to Catalina Island on board Catalina Express.

In its first year of service Catalina Express operated with one, 60-passenger vessel. The founders worked closely with boat builders to design vessels with innovative features like full ride control systems for stability, modern navigational systems, airline-style cabin seating, panoramic viewing windows, and on-deck seating, which won immediate acceptance from passengers.

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Travel Information

Catalina Jet
Starship Express
Jet Cat Express
Cat Express
Islander & Catalina Express
Avalon & Super Express

Catalina Express whisks passengers to Catalina Island in about an hour.

The fleet consists of eight high-speed vessels including four large catamarans. Known for its sleek lines, the Catalina Express fleet has an unparalleled track record of reliability and safety in taking passengers to and from Catalina Island. All eight vessels have high speed ride control systems operated by on board computers for a fast smooth ride.

Each vessel offers inside cabin seating, outside upper deck seating, full bar, refreshments, snacks and wheelchair accessibility. For an additional fare some offer private lounges, Commodore or Captain’s, which can be pre-booked and where passengers enjoy increased privacy, a complimentary beverage and priority check-in and boarding. Catalina Express' fleet boasts environmentally sensitive engines which reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and diesel particulate and are quieter and more fuel efficient. The Catalina Express team work 365 days a year to keep the fleet at top performance. “Passenger comfort, reliable service and environmental sensitivity are hallmarks of the Catalina Express vessel program. We work hard to provide that," says President - Greg Bombard.

Catalina Jet

CatJet2The Catalina Jet, a high-speed catamaran has three passenger decks with spacious inside airline-style seating on two decks and open-air outdoor seating on the top deck, upgraded Commodore Lounge seating on the second deck, air-conditioned cabins, cabin attendant service, two snack bars, restroom facilities (one handicapped accessible) and in-cabin flat screen monitors displaying selected programming or the GPS vessel route plotter. The all aluminum, high-speed catamaran joined the Catalina Express fleet under lease in spring 2004 and the vessel was acquired by Catalina Express in 2005. This fast catamaran is a 450-passenger vessel that travels at a speed of 35-knots and makes the crossing to Catalina Island in one hour.

The interior of the Catalina Jet was completely refurbished in 2006. The first deck offers in-cabin seating with airline style seats designed by Beurteaux of Australia and wide ceiling to seat level windows provide lots of light and great viewing. The main deck also features bar service, a snack station, restrooms (one handicapped accessible) and a large storage room for passenger luggage. The second deck has been upgraded to included a Commodore Lounge as well as a selection of individual exterior open-air seating.

For a $15 upgrade over the normal one way fare, Commodore Lounge passengers receive priority check-in/boarding and a complimentary beverage with packaged snack served at their seats by cabin attendants. The Commodore Lounge features leather trimmed headrests and seats that are wider and recline for comfort. A “reverse wind screen” has been added to the top deck, where all seating is open-air. In fall of 2007, the Catalina Jet received low emission engines and updated water jets.



Catalina Jet Commodore Lounge Virtual Tour

cat jet2
CatALINA JET - Specifications
Passengers 450
Length 144'
Cruising Speed 35 knots
Top Speed 37 knots
Crossing Time One Hour
Engines Four Caterpillar 3512C, rated at 2365 Horsepower
Propulsion Four Hamilton 721 Waterjets
Ride Control MDI T-foil computerized ride control system
Launch Date 1999
Boat Builder Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island, WA
Designer Incat Designs, Australia
 
Starship Express

StarshipExpressThe Starship Express, a high speed catamaran, has two passenger decks with spacious airline-style seating, outdoor individual open air seating, upgraded Commodore Lounge seating on the upper deck, air conditioned cabins, cabin attendant service, two bars and snack stations, restroom facilities (one handicapped accessible), and in-cabin flat screen monitors displaying selected programming or the GPS vessel route plotter. Catalina Express introduced into service its high-speed catamaran, the Starship Express in August of 1999. The 300-passenger Starship cruises at speeds of up to 35-knots and makes the crossing to Catalina Island in under an hour.

In addition to speed, the Starship Express was designed for passenger comfort. It offers airline-style seating, manufactured by Eknes Industrier of Norway. Seats are arranged in groupings of three and four seats separated by wide aisles for easy access. Wide, ceiling-to-seat level windows provide lots of light and great viewing. The main deck also features bar service, a snack station, five restrooms (one handicapped accessible), a large storage room for passenger luggage and overhead storage bins to accommodate carry-on bags. With the inauguration of the Starship Express, Catalina Express introduced a new level of service to Catalina Island with its 50-seat Commodore Lounge on the vessel’s upper deck. For a $15 upgrade over the normal one-way fare, Commodore Lounge passengers receive priority check-in/boarding and a complimentary beverage with packaged snack served at their seats by cabin attendants. The Commodore Lounge features leather-trimmed headrests and seats that are wider and recline for comfort.

For passengers who prefer sea breezes to air-conditioned comfort, the Starship Express offers covered deck seating on comfortable individual seats manufactured by Beurteaux of Australia on the rear deck of the upper level. The Starship Express was built by Pequot River Shipworks of New London Connecticut and designed specifically for Catalina Express by one of the world’s top designers of fast ferries, FBM Design of Cowes in the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom. Its sleek torpedo bows and full computer-controlled ride systems deliver a smooth channel crossing. At 134-feet in length with a 34-foot beam, the fast catamaran with bulbous bows is powered by two MTU/Detroit 16V 4000 diesel engines. Each engine drives a Kamewa Water Jet and has 3110 horsepower. The catamaran offers several environmental improvements including a low wash or reduced wake as the vessel travels across the water, and new state-of-the-art engines feature a computer controlled electronic injection system that promises very low levels of emission.



Commodore Lounge Virtual Tour

starship
STARSHIP EXPRESS - Specifications
Passengers 300
Length 134'
Cruising Speed 35 knots
Top Speed 37 knots
Crossing Time One Hour
Engines Two low emission MTU/Detroit Diesel 16v4000 M70, rated at 3,110 Horsepower each
Propulsion Kamewa, Model 71 Water Jets
Ride Control MDI T-foil with computerized ride control system
Launch Date 1999
Boat Builder Pequot River Shipworks of New London, CT
Designer FBM Design of Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
 
Jet Cat Express

JetCatExpressThe Jet Cat Express, a high-speed catamaran, has two passenger decks with spacious in-cabin airline-style seating, individual open-air outdoor seating, upgraded Commodore Lounge seating on the upper deck, air-conditioned cabins, cabin attendant service, two bars and snack stations, restroom facilities (one handicapped accessible), and in-cabin flat screen monitors displaying selected programming or GPS vessel route plotter.

In May, 2004, Catalina Express introduced the Jet Cat Express into service. The vessel is 145-feet in length with a 36-foot beam. It is powered by four MTU/Detroit 12V 4000 diesel engines each driving Hamilton Water Jets and carries 381-passengers. The boat was constructed by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island, Washington and designed by the internationally acknowledged leader in fast ferry design, Incat Designs of Australia.

The Jet Cat Express, a new generation of high speed catamaran cruises at 37-knots (43 mph) and makes the 22-mile trip between Avalon and the mainland in one hour. The vessel has two passenger decks offering full bar service, snack stations, restrooms, wide ceiling to seat level windows with lots of light and great viewing and overhead bins to accommodate carry-on bags.

The main deck offers inside seating for 201 passengers along with 14-seats outside and large storage room for passenger luggage. On the second deck, there are 86 additional outside seats plus 80 seats located in the Commodore Lounge. All seats for Jet Cat Express were manufactured by Beurteaux of Australia. Seats in the Commodore Lounge recline for comfort and offer individual tray tables and leather-trimmed headrests and seats. For a $15 upgrade over the normal one-way fare, Commodore Lounge passengers receive priority check-in/boarding and a complimentary beverage with packaged snack served at their seats.

The all-aluminum catamaran features a sleek, twin-hull design and T-Foils supported by a fully computerized ride control system to dampen pitch and roll for a smoother channel crossing. According to Catalina Express C.E.O. Doug Bombard, “The addition of this vessel enables us to better serve travelers to Catalina by offering reduced travel times and a higher frequency of service.”



Commodore Lounge Virtual Tour

jet cat tour
JET CAT EXPRESS - Specifications
Passengers 381
Length 145'
Cruising Speed 37 knots
Top Speed 42 knots
Crossing Time One Hour
Engines Four low emission MTU 12V Detroit diesel 4000M70 Rated at 2335 Horsepower each
Propulsion Four Hamilton HM651 Waterjets
Ride Control MDI T-foil computerized ride control systemMDI T-foil computerized ride control system
Launch Date 2001
Boat Builder Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island, WA
Designer Incat Designs, Australia
 
Cat Express

CatExpressCat Express, the all aluminum high speed catamaran, has three passenger decks, spacious seating inside with tables and benches grouped around windows, outdoor seating, air-conditioned cabins, two bars and snack stations, five restroom facilities, and in-cabin television monitors displaying selected programming. The all aluminum, high-speed catamaran, joined the Catalina Express service on Memorial Day weekend in 1991. At 97 feet in length and a beam of 36 feet, Cat Express carries up to 360-passengers at speeds of 26-knots and makes the trip between the mainland and Catalina Island in about an hour. The boat features three passenger decks including a top deck for open-air seating and two enclosed decks, restroom facilities and snack bars.

Designed by Incat of Australia, the world renown designer of fast ferries and built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in the state of Washington in 1987, the boat was upgraded with new interior enhancements in 2005. The vessel is outfitted with a state-of-the-art full ride control system for passenger comfort and safety.

The Cat Express provides a number of enhanced passenger services and facilities. Among them are spacious seating configurations with tables and benches grouped around windows, one completely open-air deck, two snack bars for refreshment service, in-cabin air conditioning and television monitors displaying selected programing. The vessel carries five to six crew members including a deck assistant to help passengers with storing of carry-on baggage. The boat can be chartered for large groups and is an ideal venue for special events and day trips to Catalina Island.



Cat Express - Specifications
Passengers 360
Length 97'
Cruising Speed 26 knots
Top Speed 28 knots
Crossing Time One Hour
Engines Two low emission, 3512C Caterpillar Diesel rated at 2,250 Horsepower
Propulsion Lips Propellers, 3 Blade
Ride Control MDI computerized ride control with aft flaps
Launch Date 1987
Boat Builder Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island, WA
Designer Incat Designs, Australia
 
Islander & Catalina Express

Islander2The Islander Express and the Catalina Express are high-speed monohulls of sandwiched fiberglass and Arex core construction, each with two passenger decks, comfortable airline style seating, in-cabin and open-air outdoor seating, Captain’s Lounge for up to eight passengers, bar and snack station and restroom facilities (one handicapped accessible). In 1994, Catalina Express built and launched these two “sister ships”. Built two weeks apart these, 150 passenger, high speed monohulls have sleek clean lines, are powered by low emission engines, and stabilized with Maritime Dynamics Computer operated ride control systems and aft flaps.

The 97’ vessels have a 22’ beam and are powered by two low emission MTU 12v4000M70 with a combined 4670 horsepower. These vessels have two passenger decks. The main deck is outfitted with comfortable airline style seats constructed by Eknes of Norway and offers cabin service, a snack station and full bar. The second deck offers outdoor open-air seating and the Captain’s Lounge.

The Captain’s Lounge is available for private parties and passengers can reserve this room at an additional cost to the round trip fares. The Lounge is semi-private (crew members do have access) and is supplied with complimentary beverages for up to four passengers and priority check-in and boarding. Catering is also available in Long Beach and San Pedro with advanced notice.



Captain's Lounge Virtual Tour

Island Cat xPress
Islander & Catalina Express - Specifications
Passengers 150
Length 97'
Cruising Speed 30 knots
Top Speed 32 knots
Crossing Time One Hour
Engines Two low emission MTU 12v4000M70 rated at 2,335 Horsepower each
Propulsion Marine Propellers, 5 Blade
Ride Control Maritime Dynamics computer operated ride control
Launch Date 1994
Boat Builder Westport Shipyard, Grays Harbor, WA
Designer Jack Sarin Naval Architect Bainbridge, WA
 
Avalon & Super Express

fleet avalonThe Super Express and Avalon Express are high-speed monohulls of sandwiched fiberglass with Arex core construction, two passenger decks, airline-style seating in-cabin and open-air outdoor seating, Captain’s Lounge for up to eight passengers, bar and snack station, restroom facilities. The Super Express and the Avalon Express, launched one year apart, are sister ships built for Catalina Express by Westport Shipyard in Washington State. Each 150-passenger high speed monohull has sleek, clean lines, is powered by low emission engines, and stabilized with Maritime Dynamics computer operated ride control systems. Designed by Jack Sarin, the Westport 95’ has a beam of 22’, a fiberglass hull and Arex core construction, two low emission MTU 12v4000 engines with a combined 4500 horsepower and hydraulic bow thrusters. These monohulls provide steady reliable service. Catalina Express updated these vessels with all new seating and interior enhancements in 2005.

These vessels have two passenger decks. The main deck is outfitted with comfortable airline-style seats constructed by Beurteaux of Australia, and offers cabin service, complete bar and snack station and restroom. The second deck offers outdoor open-air seating and the Captain’s Lounge. The Captain’s Lounge is available for private parties and passengers can reserve this room at an additional cost to the round trip fares. The lounge is semi-private (crew members do have access) and is supplied with complimentary beverages for up to four passengers and priority check-in and boarding. Catering is also available in Long Beach and San Pedro with advance notice.



Captain's Lounge Virtual Tour

view Avalon3
Avalon & Super Express - Specifications
Passengers 149
Length 95’
Cruising Speed 28 knots
Top Speed 32 knots
Crossing Time One Hour
Engines Two low emission MTU/Detroit Diesel 12v4000 Rated at 2,250 Horsepower
Propulsion ZF Marine Propellers, 5 Blade
Ride Control Maritime Dynamics computer operated ride control
Launch Date 1989 Super Express 1990 Avalon Express
Boat Builder Westport Shipyard, Gray’s Harbor, WA
Designer Jack Sarin Naval Architect, Bainbridge, WA
 
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Daily Boat Trips To Catalina Island

Discover paradise on Catalina Island with daily boat trips to and from the island. With its year round Mediterranean climate, and plenty of activities to enjoy, it’s no wonder more than one million travelers choose Catalina Island as their getaway each year. Catalina Express' large fleet of boats make the trip in about an hour and operate every day, year round from three mainland ports.

Escape To Catalina Island

Leave the hustle and bustle of the “mainland”, Catalina Island is the perfect place to take a break from the demands of daily life. With so many activities to choose from, your visit to Catalina Island can be adventure-packed or filled with rest and relaxation. With its year round Mediterranean climate, it’s the ideal place to enjoy ocean air and sunshine.

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