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Cruising Ventura on an Island Packer catamarran is a fun summer's nigh diversion

Go up to Ventura earlier in the day and take a side trip to historic Oxnard
Go up to Ventura earlier in the day and take a side trip to historic OxnardRichard Pietschmann

Looking for a quick and refreshing getaway? Head up to Ventura and take a cruise. We're not talking big ship or mega-liner, but rather a comfortable 64-foot Island Packer catamaran that takes you out to sea for some fantastic food, drink and entertainment. The cruises a leave from Ventura/Oxnard Harbors and the Channel Islands National Park & Marine Sanctuary.

Sailing around Ventura Harbor on a summer's night
Sailing around Ventura Harbor on a summer's nightCourtesy Island Packer Cruises

Island Packers offers several wine tasting, beer tasting and dinner cruises with live music and appetizers with selected wineries and brewery’s scheduled. You can enjoy meals from Milano’s Italian Restaurant, The Greek at the Harbor, The Rhumbline Restaurant or Anacapa Brewery and cruise the Ventura Harbor and marina’s. Voyages depart at 7 p.m. and return by 9 p.m. The Fare is $56 adult, $52 senior (55+), $43.00 child (12 and under).

Foodie theme cruises available:

  • June 28 Blues with Blue Stew Trio
  • Asiago Cheese Dip with vegetables & homemade beer bread.
  • Bruschetta chicken breast, rice pilaf & summer vegetables, vinaigrette mixed green salad with pine nuts & gorgonzola cheese and Crème brulee for dessert from Anacapa Brewing Company
  • July 26 Tribute to Johnny Cash with Mighty Cash Cats Band
  • Tri tip and chicken skewers, oven roasted potatoes, steamed carrots, caesar salad, sourdough bread and Baklava cheesecake from the Greek at the Harbor Restaurant
  • August 23 Blues with Blue Stew Trio
  • Shrimp Cocktail, and fresh rock shrimp served south of the Border style,
  • Caesar Salad, BBQ St. Louis Ribs & Chicken, corn on the cob & Macaroni & cheese,
  • and White Chocolate Bread Pudding from Anacapa Brewing Company
  • September 27 Harmony Traditional and Acoustic Rock Music with The Catawailer’s
  • Bacon Wrapped Dates, Chicken Piccata with pasta roma, Venetian baby green salad, foccacia bread, and brownies from Milano’s Italian Restaurant
  • October 18 Acoustic Rock & Blues with Teresa Russell & Stephen Geyer
  • Hummus and pita bread, shrimp & tri tip skewers, rice, sautéed mix vegetables, caesar salad, bread, and baklava cheesecake from the Greek at the Harbor Restaurant

Beer or Wine Tasting Cruises:

  • These include five tastings, appetizers, music, and one complimentary beverage of your choice. Departures are 7 p.m. Tickets cost $42 adult, $38 senior (55+)

July 12 Beer Tastings with Island Brewery, variety of gourmet grill cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and mac n cheese appetizers from 805 Bar & Grill Cheese Acoustic Rock & Blues with Teresa Russell

August 9 Wine Tastings with Boccali’s Vineyard Winery & Milano’s Italian Restaurant catering appetizers (Salmon ceviche, shrimp, chicken skewers, marguerite pizza, bacon wrapped dates, basil caprese, grilled asparagus, artichoke dip and foccacia bread) Classic Jazz, R & B with guitarist Steven Sunnarborg

September 13 Wine Tasting with Herzog Winery & Rhumbline Restaurant providing pepperoni, prosciutto, olives, pepperoncini, mushrooms, cheeses, fruit, nuts and crackers & lemon cheesecake bites. Classic Jazz, R & B with Steven Sunnarborg

October 4 Beer Tasting and appetizers with Anacapa Brewing Company Restaurant providing asiago cheese dip with homemade beer bread, teriyaki chicken skewers, asian slaw, Chicago sausage, mac n cheese and creme brulee. World Class bluegrass fiddler with Phil Salazar

  • Friday, 4th of July Cruises: Departs from Ventura Harbor at 7 p.m., returns at 10 p.m. Boat will cruise the coast to Oxnard Harbor for viewing of fireworks at 9 p.m. Crossing can be rough and not for everyone. Fare is $35 adult, $32 senior (55+), and $24 child (12 & under) and includes one free drink. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase. You may not bring your own booze aboard. Dress is casual but warm and women should leave the high heels home. You might want to leave some time to stroll around Ventura Harbor Village before or after your cruise. Another idea is to go up in the morning and take a sidetrip to historic Oxnard or even spend the night there at the Embassy Suites or other local lodging. For details of all harbor cruises, visit our web site www.islandpackers.com or call 805-642-1393