More than one million passengers set sail to Catalina Island each year on board Catalina Express. Catalina Express offers year round service and up to 30 departures daily from ports in Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point.
30 Years of Service
In 2012, Catalina Express celebrated its 30th year of service to Catalina Island. Started with only one boat and one phone, Catalina Express has emerged as the leader of marine transportation to Catalina Island. Each year, more than one million passengers set sail to Catalina Island on board Catalina Express.
“It’s amazing to see how much the business has grown and changed over the past 30 years. I believe the success of Catalina Express has been made possible because of our loyal customers and employees,” says President, Greg Bombard.
Catalina Express began in 1981 when three Catalina Island residents realized the need for fast, reliable transportation to and from the island. Doug Bombard, his son Greg Bombard and long time colleague, Tom Rutter, worked tirelessly to make the vision a reality. Since then more than 17 million passengers have set sail to Catalina Island on board Catalina Express.
In its first year of service Catalina Express operated with one, 60-passenger vessel. The founders worked closely with boat builders to design vessels with innovative features like full ride control systems for stability, modern navigational systems, airline-style cabin seating, panoramic viewing windows, and on-deck seating, which won immediate acceptance from passengers.
Today and Looking To The Future
Today, the fleet consists of eight high-speed vessels including four catamarans. The largest vessel in operation, the Catalina Jet has the capacity to carry nearly 500 passengers across the channel. Catalina Express offers up to 30 round trips daily and operates from four different ports.
Concern for passenger safety and comfort have always been high priorities for the owners, and they are constantly studying the most progressive technology in watercraft transportation. President, Greg Bombard is affiliated with several different associations including the Passenger Vessel Association, and his recent role as President of the Interferry Association.
Bombard credits the company’s friendly service as another key factor to its success. “From the reservations agent to the captain and his crew, our goal is to offer passengers more than a boat ride, but a memorable vacation experience,” says Bombard.