The ‘Free Ride to Catalina on Your Birthday’ Offer Has a New Wrinkle for 2017

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Regular readers of this blog are probably already familiar with the free birthday rides offered by the Catalina Express to Catalina Island. Some 350,000 people have ridden to the island for free on their birthdays since the program began in 2011, but this year the deal is being tweaked to encourage passengers to bring a friend.

Last week the Catalina Express announced the inception of the ‘Share Your Birthday Ride Promotion‘ whereby any passenger booking a departing trip on the day of their birthday will be able to bring a friend free of charge. Simply put, it’s two for the price of one.


With a general seating fare costing $36.75, any birthday passenger buying two adult ride tickets would save $73.50 on the round trip. The offer is valid for departures/returns from all of Catalina Express’ mainland or island ports, and a return trip must be completed within 30 days.

Avalon Catalina Island
Overlooking Avalon on Catalina Island. Credit: Mark Roland via flickr cc

Now, a few logistics…

If you’re thinking about taking advantage of the offer on your b-day in 2017, then here are few rules and restrictions you probably want to keep in mind:

  • You need to pre-register online at the Catalina Express website.
  • Once you get a registration code you can lock down your boat reservation online, or by calling 800.995.4386
  • Make sure to bring a valid photo ID to verify your birthday at the point of departure.
  • The reservation must be made for two regular priced adult passengers (even if you’re traveling with a child).
  • The two-for-one birthday offer is effective now through December 31, 2017, subject to availability.

Keep in mind birthday visitors to the island can also redeem a recently revamped list of birthday deals, discounts and freebies. The offers include 15% off stays at the Avalon Hotel, a 2-for-1 climbing wall offer, complimentary admission to the the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden, 20% off food tours, and lots more. In total there are close to 50 birthday specials to try out, all of which can be viewed by downloading this PDF from the Catalina Express website.

Oh, and if you’re planning to spend a full day (or more) on the island anytime soon, make sure to read up on what you can do there via this handy list of things to do on Catalina.



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