Transportation to Catalina Island

Commercial Transportation to Catalina Island

Two commercial ferry services and one helicopter service provide transportation between the California coastline and Catalina Island. All of them provide service to the tourist destination of Avalon. However, service is less regular to the mid-island community of Two Harbors, where the Wrigley Marine Science Center is located.

If you are working with a ticket agent to arrange transportation from the mainland to the Wrigley Marine Science Center, be sure to confirm that your reservation is for travel to Two Harbors and not to Avalon. It is possible to reach Two Harbors from Avalon by land, but the two communities are about 25 miles apart and travel between them can be time consuming.

Getting to Catalina Island by ferry

Catalina Express serves both Avalon and Two Harbors from the following ports:

  • San Pedro
  • Long Beach at the Downtown Catalina Landing
  • Dana Point at Dana Wharf Sportfishing.

For more information, call (800) 481-3470.

The Catalina Flyer serves Avalon from the Balboa Pavilion at 400 Main Street in Balboa (near Newport Beach). For more information, call (949) 673-5245.

Getting to Catalina Island by helicopter

Island Express Helicopter Service serves Avalon from heliports at 1175 Queens Highway in Long Beach and at Berth 95 in San Pedro.The company serves Two Harbors with charter flights for up to five people. Charter flights to Two Harbors can be scheduled from either Long Beach or San Pedro between 8 a.m. and sunset. (The helicopter service does not fly after dark.) For more information, call (800) 228-2566.

Getting around Catalina Island by bus

The Santa Catalina Island Company operates the Safari Bus which links the City of Avalon with the village of Two Harbors. The Safari Bus runs daily throughout the summer months. For more information, call (310) 510-2800.


For researchers and USC faculty, students and staff

USC provides regular boat transportation on weekdays to the Wrigley Marine Science Center for people who are using the center for research or education or other mission-related projects. For complete details, see this transportation link.

Please note:

  • This boat service is limited to visitors who have "official business" with USC and with the Wrigley Institute and its programs. This transportation service is governed by USC policies and regulations of the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Advance reservations are required. The vessel has a maximum capacity of 45 passengers.
  • The boat departs from the Southern California Marine Institute on Terminal Island in San Pedro (south of Los Angeles, north of Long Beach).
  • The boat service is offered daily from Monday through Thursday (and with a slightly different schedule and shorter turnaround time on Friday) but this schedule can be subject to change.
  • For service Monday through Thursday, the typical times of departure are 7:30 a.m. for the trip from San Pedro to the Wrigley Marine Science Center and 3:30 p.m. for the return trip from the science center to San Pedro. For the morning trip to Catalina Island, please arrive at SCMI in San Pedro by 7:00 a.m. to allow ample boarding time.
  • For service on Friday, the typical times of departure are 8:00 a.m. for the trip from San Pedro to the Wrigley Marine Science Center and 12:30 p.m. for the return trip from the science center to San Pedro. For the morning trip to Catalina Island on Friday, please arrive at SCMI in San Pedro by 7:30 a.m. to allow ample boarding time.
  • Travel time is roughly 90 minutes one way.
  • Advance reservations are required. (The vessel has a maximum capacity of 45 passengers.)
  • The boat leaves on time, with or without all passengers listed on the vessel's manifest. Please plan on boarding 30 minutes before the scheduled departure.
  • Closed-toed shoes are mandatory for all passengers aboard USC vessels. Anyone wearing open-toed footwear, such as sandals, will not be permitted to board.
  • Smoking and consumption of alcohol are prohibited aboard USC vessels.

Reservations must be made by 3:00 p.m. the day prior to travel. To arrange for transportation, please send a message by email to: wiesboat@usc.edu.

For other information regarding the USC boat service, call the main office at the Wrigley Marine Science Center at (310) 510-0811.

For more information about schedules, check the transportation section of the online calendar for the Wrigley Marine Science Center.


  • USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies
  • 3616 Trousdale Parkway, AHF 410
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0371