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Getting to Catalina ... many choices.

Time was when you could cruise aboard a great, gleaming white steamship to Santa Catalina, California's only offshore island resort (see page 60). That ship no longer runs, but others do, and there are now more ways than ever to get to the island.

Three cruise lines. Through the middle of September and also on warm weekends after that, some ships may sail at capacity; you must reserve ahead. When you call, ask for directions to the terminals. We give one-way fares.

Catalina Cruises: 700-passenger triple-deck boats leave for Avalon from Long Beach daily at 9 and 1:45. Another boat leaves San Pedro for Avalon daily at 9:45. Through Thanksgiving weekend, a boat leaves Long Beach Friday nights at 7:30, stops in Avalon, heads up to Two Harbors, returning to Avalon that night. When you make reservations, check for all return times. Trip time: 2 hours. Fare: $9.45, children 11 and under $5.05. From Los Angeles, call (213) 775-6111; from Long Beach, (213) 514-3838; from Orange County, (714) 527-7111.

Catalina Express: 60- and 150-passenger boats from San Pedro to Avalon and Two Harbors. Through October, daily service to Avalon leaves at 7, 9, and 4:30; to Two Harbors, daily at 11 except Tuesdays and Thursdays; return from Avalon leaves at 9, 11, and 6:30; from Two Harbors, at 1. Trip time: 1 1/2 hours. Fare: $12.50, children 11 and under $7.50. Groups can rent a small lounge for $40 more. Reservations, (213) 519-1212.

Catalina Passenger Service: 400-passenger boat leaves Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach at 9, returns at 4:30, daily through October 28. Trip time: 2 1/2 hours. Fare: $9, children 12 and under $4.50. For reservations, call (714) 673-5245.

Regular airplane service. These flights originate at Long Beach Airport or John Wayne Airport in Orange County. The land planes fly into Catalina's Airport in the Sky. Here visitors can wander through an impressive new open-air nature center with vivid photographs of the island, a 40-foot relief map, and a 1-acre botanical garden of Catalina native plants.

A van leaves the airport for the 10-mile ride to Avalon at 9:30, 11, 1:30, 3, and 5; $5 one way, $8 round trip. Until Labor Day, there is also bus service to Two Harbors. The only car rentals on Catalina are small electric golf buggies in Avalon; see page 63.

For reservations and directions, call the air services a day or more ahead.

Catalina Seaplanes: 17-minute amphibian service, new last summer, leaves Long Beach airport daily at 8, 11, 1, 4, and 5, returns 25 minutes later, through October. Fare: $40, $20 for ages 2 to 10. You fly in a nine-passenger Grumman Goose (pictured on page 63), land on water, taxi to shore, then take a $2.50 shuttle into town. Call (213) 420-8310.

Eagle Aviation flies eight-passenger, twin-engine Cessnas from Long Beach most weekdays at 2:30, returns next day at 10:30. Fare $20. On weekends, if offers a $250 charter for up to eight people. Call (213) 426-2118.

California Seaboard Airlines flies nine-passenger twin-engine Pipers from John Wayne daily at 9 and 4:30, returns 1/2 hour later. Fare: $30, children 12 and under $20; for groups of nine or more, $48 per person round trip. Call (714) 756-1020.

Catalina Commuter flies nine-passenger twin-engine Pipers daily from John Wayne at 8, 11, and 4 (or as demand warrants), returns 1/2 hour later. Fare: $35, children 11 and under $17.50. Call (213) 637-0817 or (714) 261-2444.

Charter your own plane. Some charters operating out of Los Angeles and Orange County airports make frequent runs to Catalina. Here are a few; check for others in the yellow pages under Aircraft Charter. Fares are per person, one way.

Allied Air Charter, Long Beach; (213) 424-8545; $30, two-person minimum.

Eagle Aviation, Long Beach; see above.

Piper Air Center, Long Beach; (213) 420-3500; $35, two-person minimum.

Helicopters. Two firms have flights from three locations:

Helitrans carries up to four passengers from Catalina Terminal in San Pedro to Pebbly Beach, 1 mile from Avalon, at 8, 9, 1, 4, and 5 daily. Fare: $80 per person round trip, including Avalon bus shuttle. Return flights follow arrivals by 5 minutes. Call (800) 262-1472 or (213) 548-1314.

Island Express offers similar service from San Pedro and from the heliport between the Queen Mary and the Hilton Hotel in Long Beach. Flights leave daily on the hour from 8 to 5, return 1/2 hour later. Fare: $44 one way, $80 round trip. Call (213) 597-5111.
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Title Annotation:Santa Catalina Island
Date:Sep 1, 1984
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