Inaugural call on March 31 commemorated with a plaque exchange ceremony

AVALON, CALIF. – Catalina Island welcomed Disney Wonder to the port of Avalon for the first time on Thursday, March 31. In accordance with maritime tradition, the inaugural call was celebrated with a plaque exchange ceremony featuring local officials, community leaders and shipboard staff.

Held on the rooftop patio of the Catalina Island Conservancy’s Trailhead center, the location offered sweeping views of Avalon harbor. The ceremony was celebrated by a group of dignitaries, including Avalon Mayor Anni Marshall, Mayor ProTem Cinde Cassidy, City Councilmembers Lisa Lavelle and Michael Ponce, Love Catalina Island Tourism Authority President and CEO Jim Luttjohann, Harbormaster Orne Carstarphen, Avalon City Manager David Maistros, and more.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Disney Wonder to Catalina,” said Love Catalina Island Tourism Authority President and CEO Jim Luttjohann. “Following a difficult two years for tourism due to the pandemic, we’re thrilled to see this partnership finally come to fruition. Among the city revenues hit hardest in the pandemic, were harbor fees due to the cessation of cruise ships calling on us.  From ziplining and hiking to wildlife and submarine tours, the island offers so much for families to explore while onshore, and we are looking forward to welcoming Disney cruisers for many years to come.” 

Long Time Catalina Island Cruise Liaison, David Creigh added “today’s inaugural visit culminates a conversation started 18 years ago in Miami at the Seatrade Conference. Some things just take time but are worth the wait.”

The 2,713 passenger Disney Wonder ship will sail from Catalina to Ensenada.

Catalina Island has become a regular port of call for cruise ships from around the world. To view the complete cruise ship schedule, please visit the website here. For more information about Love Catalina, please visit   

About Love Catalina:

Love Catalina serves as the official Tourism Authority for Catalina Island. Originally founded in 1949, the nonprofit is comprised of approximately 230 member organizations, working closely with city officials, local businesses and the community at large to attract visitors and support the local economy. Love Catalina Island is governed by an elected board of directors and is funded in part through the collection of Transient Occupancy Taxes. For more information, please visit can also join the conversation on Facebook ( Instagram (@LoveCatalinaIsland) and Twitter (@LoveCatalina_).

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