The fastest and easiest way to get to Catalina Island.. Overview For those days when you're without a yacht, the Catalina Express is the best way to get to the island. With up to 30 daily departures from San Pedro and Long Beach year-round, you can get to Avalon in comfort in about an hour. If you're departing from Dana Point, there are fewer departures and the trip will take an additional half hour. The fleet of eight high-speed boats (including the faster Jet Cat Express and Starship Express) offer comfortable cabin seating indoors and outside upper deck seats. All boats offer a full bar and light snacks. Facts Reservations are recommended. All passengers must be checked in and ready for boarding 15 minutes prior to departure. Check the website for specific parking instructions, departure schedule and fares.