Twenty-six miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is awaitin' for me . . . well, it's actually more than 30 miles, but you can now take a regular passenger boat from south Orange County to the Island of Romance.
Catalina Express, a 17-year-old shuttle to Santa Catalina Island from San Pedro and Long Beach, is adding service from Dana Point. Trips to Avalon begin June 25 on Catalina Express' 56-foot Channel Express. The boat, which carries 50 passengers, will make two daily round trips Monday through Friday and three on Saturdays and Sundays.
The trip will take an hour and 45 minutes, with the same fares as from San Pedro and Long Beach: $18 one way for adults, $13.50 for children 2 through 11, $16.25 for those 55 and older, and $1 for infants. Bikes and surfboards are $3 extra.
Dana Point Sportfishing will handle on-site ticket sales and passenger boarding.
Catalina Express operates seven vessels on Catalina-mainland runs, including a triple-decked catamaran that carries 350 passengers out of San Pedro, where the company is based.
In the past, the only Orange County-to-Catalina service has been operated by a competitor, Catalina Passenger Service, which has a daily departure from Newport Beach to the island.
E. Scott Reckard covers tourism for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7407 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.