This Memorial Day weekend (May 26), Catalina Expeditions, a subsidiary of the Santa Catalina Island Company, is launching a totally new experience for island visitors called the Ultimate Land and Sea Adventure.
The half-day tour takes guests from Avalon around Catalina Island’s wild and rugged coast via rigid-hulled inflatable boat to the beautiful, clear waters of Catalina Harbor. After stopping for lunch in the quaint community of Two Harbors, guests return to Avalon via a scenic coastal route in a bio-fuel convertible H1 Hummer.
“This tour gives visitors an opportunity to experience a side of Catalina Island most people never see,” says Scott Moyse, Director of Sightseeing for Catalina Expeditions. “The tour covers two-thirds of the island’s entire coastline with a nice stop at Two Harbors, which is really an unknown gem. Plus, how often do you have the chance to see both dolphins and buffalo in one trip?”
Tours begin at Avalon’s Pleasure Pier daily at 10 a.m., with one group departing in the Hummer, and a second in a rigid-hulled inflatable boat, which travels at thrilling speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
As the boat slowly rounds the island’s exposed and uninhabited West End, guests have a chance to see dolphin pods at play, sea lions lounging on rocks and, at certain times of year, Blue Whales or California Grey Whales swimming by.
Guests disembark the boat at Catalina Harbor, a sheltered cove on the island’s windward side flanked by dramatic rock cliffs and lush green meadows, and either walk across the Isthmus or take the Hummer to Two Harbors for a one-hour lunch break and free time to explore the charming beach-side village’s shops, then return to Avalon along the Middle Ranch Road, stopping at scenic overlooks along the way.
From the convertible H1 Hummer, guests may spot buffalo herds munching grass, the endemic Catalina Island fox scamper by or American eagles fly overhead. (Half of all tour participants experience the tour in reverse, traveling first by land, then by sea).The once-daily, five-and-a-half-hour tour costs $160 per person (including a choice of boxed lunch served at Two Harbors) and runs annually from mid April through the end of October.
The Ultimate Land and Sea Adventure is the latest tour offered by Catalina Expeditions, which now also offers the popular Zip Line Eco Tour, Night Zip, Behind-the-Scenes Casino Tour, Eco Hummer Tour and many more.
Visit www.visitcatalinaisland.com for more information and reservations.