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“Simply amazing”

Alaska Bear Adventures
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Flightseeing Tour and Wilderness Bear Viewing in an Alaska National Park
Ranked #1 of 55 Tours in Homer
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Bears Are Our Passion! At Alaska Bear Adventures with K-BAY AIR we focus all our considerable knowledge and experience EXCLUSIVELY on Your Alaska Bear Adventure. Others offer Bear Viewing as a sideline.... As a family operated business, we "live" Bear Viewing 24 hours a day from mid-May to early September. We fly bush planes to the best places in the world for Guided Wilderness Bear Viewing.Fly safely, View Safely.Please read our reviews.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Simply amazing”
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Quite simply one of the coolest things I've ever done. We saw a large male actively hunting salmon, another grazing on grass, a sow with 2 spring cubs, and another spooning with a yearling. We got closer than I ever imagined, but still felt completely comfortable and safe. It was expensive, but worth every penny and then some. Don't skip out on this opportunity if you can swing it.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank SoniaandJamie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
364 reviews
129 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

This is our second trip with K Bay Air. Our pilot was Martin with whom we were incredibly impressed. He is a very safe pilot with thousands of hours of experience, our beach landing was very smooth and he knew the bears well. The other tours went off in a different direction but Martin took us straight to a mother with a cub who we got to see digging for clams and then the cub had lunch from MOM. The other groups missed this. Then we went over to a river and watched the bears catch salmon as the tide came in-- again he had to call the other groups who at that point went to see the mother and cub. I loved this tour. It was moderately athletic with wading thru tidal streams coming in and over boggy land--- it's true you do have to be in fairly good shape to do the group tour. Totally worth it. I am sure the other groups saw wonderful things but I appreciate Martin's sense of really knowing the bears..

Visited July 2014
Thank LaurettaYoung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntsville, Alabama
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Wife and I flew with owner (Michael) for an 11 hour trip on July 24th to Douglas River and Hallo bay. This was the hilite of any vacation we have ever taken. K-Bay is extremely safe, very customer focused, and highly experienced in their pursuit to get you in front of the bears. We saw amazing action, including a sow nursing her twin cubs, bears catching salmon and small halibut in the shallow outflow streams of the glacier. and young males "sparring". I think we saw 12 different bears that day. We walked approximately 6-7 miles to be in the optimum viewing spots. Michael also flew us over the lake formed inside an extinct volcano and over a glacier.

Visited July 2014
Thank Larry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Did Not Meet Expectations”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We just returned from a wonderful 10 days in Alaska, and we expected our trip with Alaska Bear Adventures with K Bay Air to be THE highlight. Surprisingly, it didn't even rank in the top 3 highlights (our group ranked a Seward fishing charter, a McKinley flight with glacier landing and a Prince William Sound sightseeing charter all as better than our bear viewing trip).

When you are spending $600 (approx. $100/hour, or $200/hour on the ground) per person, expectations are rightfully very high. We had our 4 children with us, so the cost for our family was a staggering $3600.

We were disappointed for two simple reasons: (1) we saw few bears and did not observe much variation in the activity of the bears we saw, and (2) we were surprised by the general lack of hospitality offered by Alaska Bear Adventures.

(1) During our 3 hours on the ground, we saw 4 bears total. A male, and a female with her two cubs. We saw very little of the male. The female either laid around or ate grass the entire visit. The cubs were cute and did engage in some play, but we watched the same 3 bears do the same thing in the same place for several hours and then left. Even our kids (ages 10 - 16) got bored in the last hour. I expected to see many more bears, I expected to see some fishing, clamming, interaction, etc., and I expected to move around. Several others overheard the guides discussing the possibility of moving the group or even taking off again and re-landing to find more bears, but apparently they decided against it. I think we may have just have gotten a bum trip - obviously the company can't control the bears, but they are paid to know where the bears are.

(2) We didn't find Dee or her staff to be friendly, warm or hospitable. We received lots of warnings from the company both before and on the day of the trip in terms of the multiple reasons they could refuse to fly us and retain our deposit/payment, and in terms of the behavior they expected from us... I get that there is a need for some of this, especially in regard to safety, but there was no offsetting sense of graciousness, fun or warmth. Also, they make it clear that you are responsible for your own comfort - if you want a sandwich or a snack, bring it; if you want a bottle of water, bring it; toilet paper, bring it. They provide uncomfortable, poor fitting wading boots (that ultimately were not needed at all, but which they insist you wear) and a set of cheap earplugs - that's it. I expected more for a $3600 6-7 hour trip. They insist that you come to their office the day before for a weigh in... never had to do that on another chartered flight. With 4 kids, we decided to get to the hangar early only to find a locked gate which was opened only 30 minutes prior to the flight. As a result we felt rushed as we prepared for the flight (inexplicably having to fill out paperwork... seems like something that could have been done at the required check-in the day before). The planes were the only charter flights on this trip or any other that I've taken without headphones for the passengers... only way to communicate with the pilot/guide was yelling. I guess what I'm trying to say is that they made us feel that we should just be grateful for the privilege to be their customers, not the other way around as it should be.

To be fair, the guide for our group was extremely kind and informative and seemed very qualified.

If the trip were half the price we paid, I could give it 4 stars and would have left satisfied, but our bear viewing, the service level and our overall experience did not justify the price tag. Maybe I just let my expectations get too high...

Visited July 2014
4 Thank Z7563IJstevenh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Trip of a lifetime!”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

What a wonderful adventure. The flight to and from Katmai was breathtaking. It was so cool to be that close to bears and yet feel completely safe. We saw several bears while there, watched them snorkel, fish and play. I would recommend this trip to anyone! Totally worth the money!!

Visited July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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