Tag Archives: Catalina Express

Free Birthday Ride on the Catalina Express

IMG_8972My birthday was last week. What better way to spend it then with a free ferry ride to Catalina Island? More specifically Avalon, one of the two ports on the island.

The Catalina Express offers a free ride to Catalina on your birthday, coming back any time within the following 30 days. I booked my ferry ride a few days ahead of time and since I had work the following day I planned to make the most of it, leaving at the earliest ferry and coming back the same day on the latest ferry. I filled out their form, got a registration code in an email and then used that to book my ride. As it got closer I asked a few friends to join me. Most were busy with work since it was midweek, but one was able to join me.

I awoke on my birthday and was super excited for my birthday adventure. My friend had slept over the night before so we packed our bags and drove down to the Long Beach port early in the morning. We got our tickets and I was given a little Happy Birthday pin to wear. We grabbed a muffin from the little shop and some motion sickness pills, which we didn’t end up taking, and headed to board the ferry. I was wished Happy Birthday about 3 times as I boarded the ferry and were on our way to Catalina Island by 6:15am!

We started in the seats on the main level, but before the boat pushed away from the docks we made our way up top and outside. We stayed there for the rest of the journey. How mesmerizing the waves were. I could just sit and watch them all day. I absolutely love being on a boat. I just feel so calm and tranquil. We saw the beautiful sunrise and playful seals, dolphins, and birds glide across the ocean surface. As we got farther from Long Beach and away from the smog we watched the clouds burn off around the island. The view was amazing.


As we got closer to the island I got my first glimpse of Avalon. It looked just like all the pictures I had seen. A little oceanside town. So fun, playful, and alive. I couldn’t wait to explore the island and see as much as I could in the day.