Operating out of both the Channel Islands & Ventura Harbors, Island Packers, despite COVID-19 restrictions, continues to keep the “The Islands” accessible. Providing multiple trips daily out of both harbors, they are operating their boats at 40% capacity, and by limiting the number of people on board, passengers can practice physical distancing. This is great news for visitors and locals alike who choose to take advantage of this world-class experience.
Founded in 1968 by Bill and Liz Connally, Island Packers is the largest local concessionaire, providing a diverse selection of excursions to the Channel Islands National Park. But as extraordinary of an experience as it is to visit the islands, these trips are the definition of the journey being as exciting as the destination.
Over 20,000 dolphins inhabit the Santa Barbara Channel, meaning it is unlikely that any venture outside of the harbor wouldn’t include coming across pods of 100’s or sometimes even 1000’s of them playing or feeding along the way. And though whale watching excursions are year-round here, the highlight is between late December and early May, when an estimated 28,000 Pacific Gray Whales will make their migration between Alaska and Baja California.
Once you do arrive at your island destination, it will not disappoint. For us, it’s a feeling of being transported into a parallel universe, even as we make our final approach. Being a wildlife preserve, the options for snorkeling, diving, cave kayaking, hiking, camping or simply cruising the perimeter of an island are almost endless, and Island Packers provides trips dedicated to all of these activities.
These excursions are educational as well as exciting. You’ll always be kept informed of what you are experiencing by a well-informed crew that clearly enjoys their work. And the pricing is surprisingly reasonable. So, if you are looking for some exciting fun that is as safe from COVID as anything outside of a quarantine, an Island Packers trip should be on your shortlist. To make these trips possible, masks are mandatory, and the crew will be sanitizing periodically throughout the trip to keep the boat as safe as possible. The upside is the smaller groups providing more opportunity to distance.
So again, if you would like a world-class experience at a reasonable price, that will provide life long memories, check out Island Packers.