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AVALON, Calif. For those who haven’t yet experienced the migration of the majestic California gray whales first hand, Catalina Island’s Hotel Villa Portofino has put a tail spin on its newest whale package.

Through March, when the gray whales are migrating to Mexico and then back to Alaska, Hotel Villa Portofino is offering guests a picture perfect opportunity to experience these amazing mammals in their natural setting amidst crystal clear waters.  Offered on Saturdays, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and Sundays, noon to 2:00 pm, through March 31, 2009, the package includes:

·         Overnight accommodations

·         Transportation from Long Beach or Dana Point via Catalina Express

·         Two hour whale watching excursion with Catalina Ocean Rafting

·         Taxi transfers

·         Continental breakfast

Hotel Villa Portofino’s whale watching package offers guests a smaller, more personalized tour (6 to 12 people) than the much larger tours off the mainland.  And, due to the clear waters surrounding Catalina Island, guests will have an opportunity to actually see the whales underwater in their unspoiled environment.  Passengers will learn of the habits and migration routes of the whales, in addition to the different types of dolphins and marine life that inhabit the local waters.

Rates begin at $192.50 per person/double occupancy, for a Courtyard Queen guest room vibrantly decorated in California seaside colors with plantation shutters and patio opening up onto the scenic courtyard.   Room upgrades and extra nights are available at an additional cost.

For information on Catalina's premier visitor accommodations and services, contact Hotel Villa Portofino, 888-510-0555,; Santa Catalina Island Company, 800-626-4804,; Catalina Express, 800-429-4601,; and Two Harbors Enterprises (310) 510-0303,


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