Nothings Sacred Nothings Safe: Catalinas Avalon Faces Financial Crisis As Cruise Ships Visitors Steer Clear
In early July, when tourists normally descend on Catalina Island in droves for the Fourth of July weekend, it looked like Avalon was slowly coming to life again.
Just that week, Gov. Gavin Newsom had abruptly ordered restaurants to cease all inside dining. But that didnt keep visitors from enjoying a hearty breakfast outside Original Jacks Country Kitchen on Catalina Avenue or digging into some enchiladas at Maggies Mexican Blue Rose, sitting at tables set up on the beach in front of the restaurant.
For the city of Avalon, transit occupancy and sales tax revenues generated by visitors are a major source of funding. Many of those visitors come to the island on cruise ships, which have been shuttered since March.
While the holiday crowds were a step in the right direction for the city, financially, it wont make up for the months of lost revenue Avalon has already experienced due to the pandemic-induced lockdownand may continue to see as California struggles to gain control of the outbreak.
The city of Avalon is somewhat unique, in that were dependent on visitor-generated taxes, said Matthew Baker, the citys financial director. Of Avalons unrestricted funds, 75% come from visitor spending.
As a result, the city is facing a significant budget shortfall that will likely affect programs and services for years to come.
From a financial perspective, its put us in a tough spot, Baker said.
I miss the cruise ships, Baker said.
Santa Catalina Island Ca Cruise Terminal
Cruise ships to Santa Catalina Island California anchor at sea near Avalon – port town on the southeastern coast. Between the anchored ship and the port , passengers are transported via the ship’s tender boats.
Port Santa Catalina Island CA cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port’s schedule lists all ships with cruises going to or leaving from Santa Catalina Island CA, Avalon, California. To see the full itineraries and their lowest rates just follow the corresponding ship-link.
Santa Barbara California announced its continued suspension of cruise ship calls on Monday, August 30.According to Waterfront Director Mike…
September 1, 2021
HAL-Holland America Line is expected to restart cruising from Port San Diego California beginning with cruises to Hawaii, Mexico, and along the…
June 23, 2021
RCI-Royal Caribbean International announced it will once again call Hollywood home from June 2022, casting its Navigator of the Seas as a…
March 18, 2021
Purchasingclose To The Catalina Island Cruise Port
Nativeretailers and boutiques showcase the artisanal skills of residents, from customizedfurnishings and antiques to handmade clothes and kitschy island souvenirs. Many retailers are insidestrolling distance of the cruise port.
For many who are focused on bringing againa bit of the islands historical past, head to the Catalina Island PresentStore. SunKissed is an area boutique specializing in beachwear and colorfuljewelry.
NativeForeign money& Tipping Customs
California makes use of the U.S. greenbackbecause of the official forex of the state. ATMs are generallyout there on Catalina Island, and bank cards are accepted at most eating places and retailers.
Tipping on Catalina Island is similar to most locationswithin the U.S. Tip a minimum of 10% to 15% on your taxi driver and 15% to 20% at bars and eating places for good service.
What to do within the port of Avalon
To begin with, the island is very small, so its simple to stroll alongside the water entrance, store, and dine.
A self-guided strolling tour is an actuality for people who need to discover the Avalon Harbor space between the Descanso Beach Club and Lovers Cove .
Most cruise ship excursions will be bought independently from tour operators on Catalina.
Nonetheless, for the reason that port of name is a young spot, cruise guests are on the mercy of the cruise line relating to disembarkation instances to fulfill up with excursions.
High experiences for cruise ship guests
Join with Nature
Lease a Golf Cart
Recommended Reading: What Cruise Lines Leave From Mobile Alabama
Local Holidays Events & Festivals
Local festivals and events taking place in Avalon and Catalina Island in 2019:
Sailing Catalina Island Dinner Cruises
If you prefer something a little less formal, why not consider taking a two or three-day Blue Dolfin sailing cruise to Catalina Island from San Pedro Channel? After dinner, there is time to relax on deck and enjoy the beauty of the night before being lulled to sleep by the ocean as you rest in your cabin. The cruise, one with real sails and no engine to make any noise, departs on Saturday and returns Sunday. The cost is $310 for two people. Casual clothing is recommended.
Also Check: Use Marriott Points For Merchandise
Eating Cafeteria Overlooking The Water
There are a ton of abundant restaurants appropriate abutting to the baptize that offers admirable angle of your cruise address and adorable locally fabricated food.
A lot of the excursions on Catalina Island are alone a few hours giving you time to aberrate into the burghal if you appetite to. One affair to accumulate in apperception if you are attractive at booking a snorkeling or water-based circuit is the time of year you are cruising. The baptize may be absolutely cold!
Cruise Ships And The Catalina Economy
About 280,000 visitors are expected to arrive on Catalina Islands shores via cruise ship this year. Far and away, the largest carrier of those visitors is Carnival Cruise Lines which typically calls on the port of Avalon twice per week with up to 2,600 passengers per visit.
Once onshore, the cruise ship visitors to the Island embark on a variety of activities that enrich our local economy to the tune of an estimated $23 million per year. The top five activities they enjoy are shopping , Dining , sightseeing , going to the beach and renting a golf cart for a scenic drive . All of these activities are revenue generating to our local businesses and the transactions are mostly taxable too. Of course, 100 percent of those visitors use a tender to bring them ashore, so wharfage is also generated. In 2017 wharfage from Cruise ship visitors generated just under $603,000 for the city of Avalon.
The top states of origin among Cruise ship visitors coming to Catalina Island are California, Arizona and Utah. Among the Californians on board , the majority of visiting passengers reside in the greater Los Angeles area, followed by San Francisco Bay area and San Diego. Since they are regionally sourced, they should have a great propensity for making a return visit to the island. In fact, 48.9 percent stated in a 2016 survey by Lauren Schlau Consulting, that they were extremely likely to return to the island in the near future.
You May Like: What Cruise Ships Sail Out Of Mobile Alabama
Things To Apperceive For Visiting Catalina Island
The cruise ships use a breakable to ability Catalina Island. Plan to accompany all of your things for the day with you to abstain activity aback and alternating to the ship.
Wear adequate walking shoes to analyze the port!
It is about a 5-minute airing from the breakable breadth to the capital allotment of Avalon the capital burghal on Catalina Island. Best of the shops and restaurants are on Bow-shaped Access the capital street.
We achievement that this Catalina Island by Cruise Adviser helped you plan your day on Catalina Island. There absolutely is a ton to see and do while visiting this admirable island off the bank of California. I was amazing at how beautiful the burghal of Avalon was. I could calmly absorb a continued weekend abnormality about the island and exploring. Avalon is the absolute aggregate of Southern California acclimate with a Mediterranean feel.
Things To Do On Catalina Island
There are so many things to see and do on Catalina Island! The options seem endless. If you can’t fit everything in on your cruise to Catalina Island, come back again, stay longer and experience everything that we have have to offer.
Land ToursSee Avalon on an Avalon Scenic Tour. Get into the Catalina’s vast interior on a hummer, jeep or bus tour. Catalina’s interior is home to the Catalina Fox, American Bald Eagles and our famous Bison.
Boat ToursGet out on the water. Tour Lover’s Cove Marine Sanctuary and see what’s under the sea on a Glass Bottom Boat or Semi-Submersible Submarine Tour. Seek out wildlife like dolphins or sea lions and even sometimes whales on a high speed Ribcraft or just cruise around the bay or coastline on a charter.
Food ToursExplore Catalina Island food scene on a Food Tour. Sample tasty bites and exciting cocktails at several Avalon eating establishments.
Historical ToursCatalina Island’s history dates back to the 1500s. Explore aspects of the island history at the Catalina Island Museum or the Catalina Dive Museum. William Wrigley purchased Catalina in 1919. Tour his former mansion or explore the iconic Catalina Casino with it’s art deco theatre and beautiful circular ballroom.
Golf Cart TourFull size cars are scarce on Catalina Island. There are no car ferries here. Most residents get around by golf cart. Renting a golf cart and following the self guided tour of Avalon is a great way to get a feel for our beautiful city.
Also Check: Celebrity Aqua Class Benefits
Fast Facts: Avalon & Catalina Island
Santa Catalina Island is one of the eight Channel Islands located off the Southern California coast. With a year-round population of only 3,500 people–the vast majority of whom live in Avalon–the island’s population swells to over 10,000 people a day in tourist season.
The island has an interesting contemporary history. William Wrigley Jr., the chewing gum magnate, purchased the island in 1919. To make the investment pay off, his Santa Catalina Island Company focused on attracting tourists from Southern California to the island. He built the Avalon Casino in 1928-9, and his Chicago Cubs played spring training games in Avalon from 1931 to 1951.
In 1972, members of the Wrigley family established the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and preservation of Santa Catalina Island. Today, the Conservancy owns chunks of Avalon, most of Catalina’s interior and 48 miles of its coastline.
The mainstay of Catalina’s economy is tourism.
Catalina enjoys a moderate marine climate, with average summer temperatures in the 70s F . The sun shines 267 days a year in Avalon.
Cruise Ship Port Of Call
Many of the major cruise lines stop for a day at Catalina Island. Carnival Cruises, P& O Cruises, Costa Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises and many more. Check your itinerary and see if you are scheduled for a Catalina Island Visit. As I said before, the larger cruise ships moor offshore and ferry passenger into the center of town for the day. Catalina has a lot to offer and is a great stop on your route.
Read Also: How Much Does An Alaska Cruise Cost
Catalina Island Cruise Terminal
Most cruise ships to Catalina Island dock at La Romana – port city located on the mainland’s east-southern coast.
The cruise terminal is a casual facility located between the La Romana city and the Casa de Campo resort. The shipping line usually provides free of charge shuttle bus transportation between the dock and the resort, which is at approx 15-min drive distance. Taxis at the terminal are the other alternative for going to the beach resort .
The island is an occasional destination for cruise ships on Caribbean itineraries. Costa Cruises has a private beach on the isle. Their ships anchor offshore and transport guests to shore via tender.
Port Catalina Island cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port’s schedule lists all ships with cruises going to or leaving from Catalina Island, Dominicana. To see the full itineraries and their lowest rates just follow the corresponding ship-link.
Top Things To Do In Catalina Island
Take a Glass-Bottom Boat Tour
Hop on a glass-bottom boat for a tour of the Catalina Island Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Area. At this wildlife refuge, peer into the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific and see entire schools and habitats of a healthy, well-maintained local marine life. Youll be amazed by the bright colors of fish youll see.
Enjoy an Eco Tour
Local naturalists host a fascinating eco-tour of Catalina Island, complete with an island ride in a Jeep thats ready for the elements. Youll head off on roads unknown and unpaved to experience Catalina Island off-the-beaten path. Its a must-do experience for adventurous travelers who dont mind bumps in the road.
Catalina Island Conservancy
The Catalina Island Conservancy protects much of the square footage of the island, and also offers relaxing gardens to stroll through, a nature center, and much more. Since the 1970s, the conservancy was founded to protect the islands ecosystem, including its animal and plant species, for hundreds of years to come.
Recommended Reading: Is There A Cruise From California To Hawaii
Walk Through The Wrigley Memorial
William Wrigley, Jr. was the one responsible for developing beautiful Catalina, so why not spend the afternoon paying tribute to him? Hike up about 30 minutes from the beach to the Botanical Gardens and Wrigley Memorial, where you can stroll through 37 acres of Californian plants and admire the 130-foot tower that was built to honor the man who brought life to the island.
What To Do On A Catalina Island Cruise Ship Visit
Only 22 miles from the cruise terminals at Long Beach and San Pedro, Catalina Island is a popular stop for cruise ships traveling to Mexico and Pacific Coastal cruises. With a combination of natural beauty popular with divers and natural beauty to explore on land as well as quaint shops, restaurants, and historic gardens, this is a cruise destination that you won’t want to miss.
Catalina Island does not have docking facilities for large cruise ships and so all but the smallest expedition cruises must tender just outside of Catalina Island’s main town of Avalon. The tender ride takes 10-15 minutes and brings visitors to the center of town where they can explore shops, restaurants, and spas. One of the most popular activities here is to rent a golf cart and explore the area on your own. Watch out though, Catalina Island’s roads are narrow, steep, and in some instances have sharp drop-offs so be careful!
Read Also: Cost Alaskan Cruise
Royal Caribbean Will Cruise From California For The First Time In A Decade
Royal Caribbean will base a cruise ship in California after a 10-year-long hiatus.
At a webinar on Wednesday, the line announced that recently refurbished Navigator of the Seas will homeport in Los Angeles, beginning next year, offering a series of Mexico sailings.
The voyages will vary in length, featuring three- and four-nighters with calls on Ensenada and Catalina Island five-night cruises visiting Cabo San Lucas and seven-night sailings with stops at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.
“We are going back to the West Coast,” said Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean’s senior vice president of sales and trade support & service. “Los Angeles, here we come….”
This will be the first time the line has based a ship in the Golden State since back in 2011 due to violence in Mexico and dwindling profits.
Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean Blog speculated that the move was coming after spotting the ship listed on the Port of Los Angeles’ website. Navigator of the Seas was also blatantly missing from Royal Caribbean’s list of upcoming itinerary offerings.
Oddly, the port’s website lists Navigator of the Seas’ sailings beginning as early as September 2021, but Royal Caribbean has said they will run from summer 2022 through spring of 2023.
Hooked first debuted on Symphony of the Seas, and Navigator of the Seas is now the only other ship in the fleet on which it’s located.
Booking A Catalina Island Cruise
Catalina Classic Cruises depart from Long Beach. Contact Catalina Classic Cruises 800-641-1004.
Catalina Express departs from Long Beach, San Pedro, and Dana Point. Contact Catalina Express 800-481-3470.
The Catalina Flyer departing from Newport Beach to Catalina Island. Call Catalina Express 949-673-5245.
The Catalina Explorer departures from Long Beach. Call 877-432-6276 for reservations and more information.
Catalina Ferries depart form Marina del Rey. Call 310-305-7250 for more information and reservations.
Check our Catalina Island Ferries page for more specific info on schedules, departure locations and pricing.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does An Alaskan Cruise Cost
Shopping Near The Catalina Island Cruise Port
Local shops and boutiques showcase the artisanal talents of residents, from custom furniture and antiques to handmade clothing and kitschy island souvenirs. Many shops are within walking distance of the cruise port. For those who are interested in bringing back a piece of the islands history, head to the Catalina Island Gift Shop. SunKissed is a local boutique specializing in beachwear and colorful jewelry.
What Not To Absence On Catalina Island
You can calmly absorb the day abnormality about the shops in Avalon, adequate a bottle of wine as the sunsets over the baptize and demography in the activity of actuality on the island.
One affair I didnt apperceive is a heard of bison accept been abnormality the hills of the island back 1924. It is believed that they were brought to the island for a cine and accept been there anytime since. Catalina Island became acclaimed for actuality a Hollywood Break in the 1930s. Acclaimed actors and actresses that airy on the island accommodate Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, and Clark Gable.
You May Like: New York Norwegian Cruise Port