Catalina Island lies in the Pacific Ocean, twenty-two miles west of Los Angeles. The island combines natural beauty with a wide range of amenities and activities. With over fifty miles of shoreline, secluded coves, and dramatic views, this destination has earned a reputation as “the island of romance”.
Day 1 – Home to Long Beach CA
Upon arrival in Los Angeles, we’ll direct you to luggage claim, and then to our luxury motor coach before making it to our home for the night, The Queen Mary. Whether it’s the authentic polished wood paneling, the original 1930’s artwork, the Art Deco style or the operable porthole(s), there’s no question that the Queen Mary Hotel is unlike any other Southern California hotel. Each stateroom is unique with its own personality and offers a real glimpse into what transatlantic travel was like during the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. With an impressive history and tradition of excellence, the Queen Mary Hotel is more than a place to rest one’s head – it’s an entire experience.
You’ll have some time to freshen up before we tour this beautiful ship. You’ve heard the stories, myths, and legends, but now get the straight story about the majestic Queen Mary. Delve into the ship’s expansive past, including her groundbreaking construction, her time as a troopship during WWII and of course, and her glory days as the world’s most luxurious and technologically advanced ocean liner. The Glory Days Historical Tour is full of interesting anecdotes, fun facts, and compelling true-stories about the legendary Queen Mary. Learn the incredible true story of The Queen Mary’s involvement in WWII and how she played a pivotal role in guiding the Allied Forces to victory. Nicknamed the “Grey Ghost” after receiving a hauntingly stark paint job, the ship’s impressive speed and size made it an ideal troop hauler often carrying as many as 16,683 men in a single voyage.
Dinner is at the Chelsea Chowder House on the ship tonight. With subway-tiled walls, tables covered with butcher block paper, and a decorative tin ceiling, Chelsea Chowder House & Bar is a contemporary take on the authentic British chowder house. Enjoy the lively atmosphere while dining on some of the best seafood and steaks around. Queen Mary Hotel, Long Beach, CA (D)
Day 2 – Long Beach, CA to Catalina Island
Enjoy breakfast on board the Queen Mary before we depart for Catalina Island via high speed ferry (the Catalina Express). From adventure to luxury, Catalina Island has it all. From the picturesque town of Avalon to the rustic village of Two Harbors, Avalon is filled with activities on land and sea. Two Harbors is a spectacular remote location with campgrounds and beautiful beaches. Catalina Island is a wonderful getaway!
Enjoy lunch on your own in the quaint town of Avalon with many restaurants, shops, and more! Next we’ll meet up for our Glass Bottom Boat tour; it’s a window into another world! Catalina Island is famous for crystal clear water, so glass bottom boats are a perfect combination for fun and discovery. These large, comfortable vessels bring the undersea world right to you. During the trip you’ll visit Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve where colorful fish and marine plants thrive among the kelp forests. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner at the Avalon Grill, a relaxed upscale atmosphere overlooking the Avalon Bay. The Pavilion Hotel, Avalon, CA (B, D)
Day 3 – Catalina Island – Local Touring
This morning we’ll take the renowned Casino Walking Tour. Take a trip down memory lane to the days when bands were big and movies were just beginning to talk. The Catalina Casino epitomizes everything glamorous about Santa Catalina Island. You’ll see the extraordinary Art Deco murals and a classic 1929 pipe organ inside the Avalon Theatre, which still shows nightly movies on its massive screen. A short film is shown highlighting the history of this iconic building and its Hollywood connection. You’ll then continue up to the beautiful and world-famous Casino Ballroom, a masterpiece of design and a long-standing venue for the world’s best musical performers and big bands. The ballroom’s “Romance Promenade” offers some of the most spectacular views of Avalon and for decades it has been considered the most romantic spot in Avalon. Your afternoon is free to explore on your own or to check out one of the many activities that Catalina is known for.
Tonight we’ll take a Flying Fish Voyage, A Maritime Miracle. It’s true: Catalina’s flying fish really do fly. But you have to see it to believe it. Take a nighttime cruise aboard our classic boat with searchlights that dramatically spotlight these marine aviators gliding across the sea. The fish will soar out of the water and into your memories. This trip is truly one of a kind. The Pavilion Hotel, Avalon, CA (B, D)
Day 4 – Catalina Island – Local Touring
Enjoy breakfast and a leisurely morning before we depart on our Inland Expedition to see the best of the island’s interior. This comprehensive tour takes you 31 miles through the heart of Catalina’s rugged interior. You’ll travel in a comfortable 50’s Flxible Bus, restored to its original streamlined beauty. This memorable journey follows the 1800’s stagecoach route that takes you through Middle Ranch where you will enjoy the Native Plant Nursery and the Bald Eagle habitat. Your journey continues onto the beautiful windward side of the Island for a view of Catalina’s rugged, unspoiled Pacific shoreline for stunning photo opportunities. You will journey to the Airport in the Sky and Conservancy Nature Center, where you will have the opportunity to look for bald eagles, bison, and mule deer on your scenic drive back into the heart of Avalon. Enjoy some time to rest up at the hotel or explore on your own before we head out for another fabulous dinner. The Pavilion Hotel, Avalon, CA (B, D)
Day 5 – Catalina Island to Home
We’ll board the Catalina Express to Long Beach after breakfast. Enjoy some free at Pike Marketplace for lunch and shopping, before we make our way to LAX and home. (B)