Bon Voyage: Long Beach Boat Excursions

Whether you want to go 26 miles across the sea, learn more about what lives in it or simply would like to glide through the canals of Naples with something to gnosh, Long Beach has a lot of outfits providing a lot of boats for a lot of occasions and destinations. Bon voyage!


Jolly Sailing (421 Shoreline Village Dr.) allows you and your friends/family to enjoy your cruise however you like it: serene and mellow or pumped up with music and a dip in the ocean. Bring your favorite food and drinks and Jolly will supply the rest: blankets, ice chests, Bluetooth speakers, karaoke mic–upon request–and, most importantly, a licensed captain to handle the boat, which accommodates up to six people. Jolly offers two- and three-hour excursions, the latter ideal for those who want to anchor and swim around a bit.

Credit: Jolly Sailing

Whale Watching

Harbor Breeze Cruise’s (100 Aquarium Way, Dock #2) state-of-the-art ships offer stadium seating for exceptional viewing. Their daily 2-to-2 ½ hour cruises are conducted by captains with decades of experience in locating whales, orcas and dolphins, while marine experts from the Aquarium of the Pacific provide information and answers to your questions. Typically, May through October produce Blue Whale sightings, while Humpback, Fin and Minke whales are seen year-round. The company also offers a 45-minute harbor tour that gives you some history with one-of-a-kind views of the Long Beach skyline and Queen Mary.

Duffy Boat Rentals

London Boat Rentals (186 N. Marina Dr. #4601) makes it easy for you to skipper your own boat around Alamitos Bay and through the Naples canals. Their 21-foot Duffy electric vessels accommodate eight people and cruise at a speed of five mph. Easy to navigate, you’ll be given a quick tutorial on using the boat and where to take it. Each boat comes stocked with popcorn and the London website has a list of restaurants that, if called 48 hours prior to your reservation, will deliver food to the dock for your trip.

Visit Catalina

With more than 40 years experience, Catalina Express’s (320 Golden Shore) Long Beach landing, located near Shoreline Village, is home to high-speed vessels that can make the roughly 30 mile channel crossing in about an hour. You have the option of riding inside or outside on the deck as you take the Express to either Avalon, the island’s main town, or to Two Harbors. Both locations are great entry points for all manner of activities including hiking, biking, snorkeling and fishing, along with spa days and just kicking back at a beach club.

Cruise the Coast

The AquaLink, which is part of Long Beach Transit, provides a novel, fun connection between the restaurants and retail of Shoreline Village with the restaurants on Alamitos Bay. Operational Friday through Sunday–11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m–a one-way fare costs $5 (exact change if you’re paying with cash.) AquaLink–available on a first-come basis–is available at Alamitos Bay Landing Berth 3, next to Boathouse on the Bay, or at Dock 4 in Rainbow Harbor next to Aquarium of the Pacific. AquaLink runs daily between Memorial and Labor Days.

About the Author
Steve Lowery