Go Metro to the Long Beach water taxis

View of Shoreline Village from the Aquabus. Of course it was cloudy the day I visited. Of course it was. Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

For a few years now, I’ve been meaning to hit Long Beach during the summer and give the Aquabus and Aqualink a try because it’s an excuse to ride a boat, honestly. Various things kept getting in the way, but this summer I was determined to make this trip happen. So finally, at long last, here’s my review of the Aquabus and Aqualink.

First, a little basic info. Long Beach Transit operates the Aquabus and Aqualink water taxis. Weekend service starts around April and runs through October. Seven-day service runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Boats depart approximately every half hour.

The Aquabus is smaller and circles Rainbow Harbor between the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Queen Mary. The cost of a one-way ride is $1. The Aqualink is larger and and travels between the Aquarium, the Queen Mary and Alamitos Bay Landing, where you can easily walk to Seal Beach and enjoy its quaint, small-town beachfront-ness. The cost of a one-way ride is $5. You’ll need exact change in cash for both.


To get to the water taxis via Metro, take the Blue Line to Downtown Long Beach Station. From there, you could walk to the Aquarium of the Pacific or Shoreline Village — it’s mostly downhill and fairly pleasant and takes about 20 minutes. Or you could take the free Passport bus to the docks. If you choose to start your trip from the Aquarium of the Pacific, use Dock 4.

On the day I visited, I had planned to make the trip out to Seal Beach via the Aqualink, but sadly I was more pressed for time than I thought, so I went for a spin on the Aquabus instead. The trip is not super fast but it was still fun. Even though I could have reached Shoreline Village or the Queen Mary for free via the Passport bus, I didn’t mind ponying up the two bucks for a cruise around the harbor.

The Aqualink has an outdoor deck. Even though it’s more expensive to ride, I also think it’s worth it, especially if you’re looking for a unique way to visit Seal Beach. If you’re setting out for a cruise (lucky you!) and have some luggage to transport, the Aqualink might be an option for you since it docks near the Carnival Cruises Terminal.

Duarte Senior Center On the Move Riders enjoying a sunny ride on the Aqualink.

So there you have it. I’ve finally managed to ride a water taxi in Long Beach. And I’d ride it again, too. In the meantime, let me know if you’ve ridden one of the water taxis. How was your experience? Do you think it’s gimmicky or a fun summertime activity? If you haven’t tried the Aquabus or Aqualink, would you like to?

6 replies

  1. Hi Anna, my husband & I took a ride on the AquaLink this past weekend (thanks to me reading your post Friday!) We cannot believe we have never used this form of transportation from our beloved Long Beach before! Such a nice time on a hot day! We sat outside in the rear of the craft to enjoy the view and watch folks enjoying jet skis & sail boats.Thanks for bringing this to my attention! We spent a lovely afternoon in Alamitos Bay, enjoyed happy hour at Malarkey’s Grill {ending 8pm even on the weekend!) then watched the sun set! Riding back at night was just as enjoyable, this time we were at the front of the craft enjoying the beautiful night view & sea breeze! It was a great day! We will take visitors on this little get-a-way in future. Next time we gonna rent the water bikes in Alamitos Bay!

    Helen 🙂

    • Hi Helen,

      Thank you for the wonderful comment! I’m glad you had a great trip. 🙂

      Have a lovely summer!

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

    • Hi Ron,

      Thanks, the map has been updated!

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  2. Nice write up! I live in LB and I always forget to do this for the out-of-towners that come by. Great way to get an experience to LB.

  3. In Oslo (Norway), the water taxis/ ferries in the harbor also honour the day pass for the transit system. Would be nice if those in the LBC also took TAP.