Traveling across water, unlike traveling underwater, bypasses traffic-clogging schools of fish and prevents the disintegration of water-soluble passports. Take a comfortably dry trip with today's Groupon: for $34, you get a roundtrip ticket to Catalina Island from Newport Beach on the Catalina Flyer cruise liner (a $69 value). The Catalina Flyer leaves Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach at 9 a.m. and departs from Avalon on Catalina Island at 4:30 p.m.; passengers must arrive at 8 a.m. on the day of departure, and reservations well in advance are strongly recommended. Catalina Island charges visitors a $5 tax that is not included in the value of this Groupon.
The Catalina Flyer comfortably transports passengers to and from the scenic setting of Catalina Island, which is also rife with entertainment possibilities. Each jaunt across the water lasts approximately 75 minutes, during which guests can gaze through large windows or feed pet houseplants on the light-dappled sun decks. The ship's seafaring staff keeps their charges contented with an assortment of snacks and cocktails available for purchase. Passengers can depart and return on the same day or on different days, facilitating overnight stays as well as ultracondensed spring breaks. Each passenger can bring along up to two carry-on bags.
On the island, guests can dive into activities (not included in the value of this Groupon) such as ziplines, tours, snorkeling, golf, and giant squid rides. A large selection of dining and shopping destinations keep islanders comfortable and well-stocked throughout visits.
The Catalina Flyer
Catalina Island may reside a mere 75 minutes from Newport Beach, but that's no reason why visitors shouldn't travel there in style. The Catalina Flyer allows them to do just that, accommodating as many as 600 passengers who spend their speedy journey relaxing on the sun decks, enjoying a drink in one of two full-service cocktail lounges, or gazing out the viewing windows and watching for migrating schools of sushi rice.
After disembarking in Avalon, visitors are encouraged to take advantage of Catalina Island's many shopping, dining, and recreational opportunities, which include everything from golf, ziplines, undersea tours, and even buffalo watching. Hotel accommodations facilitate overnight stays, ensuring that weekenders have ample time to enjoy the island before taking the afternoon voyage back to the mainland.