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Once in a lifetime experience

Seeing bears was a dream and it came true thanks to Emerald air service ! After a beautiful... read more

Reviewed September 3, 2018
San Francisco, California
via mobile
Once in a lifetime

Saw the most beautiful bears. Didn’t want to go home..... Our 10 years old boy had the time of his... read more

Reviewed September 3, 2018
via mobile
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Reviewed July 16, 2013

We went with Sarah and Craig on a float plane to the Katmai Peninsula mid-June 2013. It was a small group, with 6 tourists plus the Elgs. The plane ride itself was smooth (about 1 1/4 hr each way) and we were lucky enough to see orcas on the return. The best part was getting "up close and personal" with the bears, of course. Sarah was very knowledgeable and we were confident in her ability to approach the bears safely. We were fortunate enough to see two sows with two cubs each, as well as numerous other bears (some mating). Because it was two weeks before the salmon run on the Katmai, we didn't see bears fishing, but instead observed them grazing in fields of sedge. While I would have enjoyed seeing the bears catching salmon, seeing the small cubs more than compensated. Thanks Sarah and Craig!

1  Thank Swanepop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Had a wonderful trip with Emerald Air in Katmai Park. Spotted a lot of bears and even a mother with 3 cubs.
Worth every penny, if I ever go back to Alaska, this trip is definitely again on the list.

Thanx to Emerald Air for the nice ride with plane and guideness.

Thank MM-alaska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

We had a highly memorable experience flying to Katmai National Park and following Grizzly bears in beautiful Kukak Bay (south of Hallo Bay) on June 16, 2013. The flight was 1.5 hours. Craig Elg is a very experienced pilot and the flight with his DeHaveland Beaver seaplane was very smooth. The views of the glaciers, the bays and the Katmai coast from the seaplane were spectacular. We were first flew over Hallo Bay and then dropped off at Kukak Bay as Kukak Bay appeared to have more bears than Hallo Bay on that day. Following our knowledgeable guide Sarah Elg, we walked in the water to the shore in our hip high boots waders. We walked through pretty green meadows, streams and marsh and soon encountered our first Grizzly bear walking and eating grass. Overall we have seen and followed 6 different Grizzly bears over the 4.5 hours we spent in Kukak Bay. One giant male Grizzly bear came as close as 5 yards from us at some point, eating grass and minding his own business. We watched bears digging for clams crossing streams, resting in the water, and interacting with other bears. One of the highlights was watching a giant male Grizzly bear following a female bear for over an hour, making “let’s hook up” sounds, as it was mating season, but the female was not in the mood, kept moving away and at some point confronted him. The giant male bear did not force himself on her, respecting her wishes, yet kept following her. Sarah shared with us her knowledge of the bears’ habits and behavior, she knew how to come close to the bears without intimidating them, and we felt very safe at all times. The landscape with the snowy mountains in the background, the lush meadows, streams and Grizzly bears roaming so close to us was spectacular. It was just us and the bears. Overall a wonderful experience. I highly recommend Sarah and Craig Elg, Emerald Air Service. We stayed the night before and after at Homer Floatplane Lodge Cabins as it is very convenient, being right by the seaplane dock and owned by Sarah and Craig.

1  Thank MTD-Travel-Reviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

We really wanted to include a bear viewing trip as part of our visit to Alaska. We were going early in the season slightly before prime bear viewing times. This was compounded by late winter Alaska was having. When we arrived at the dock, Sara was very honest and forthcoming that there were few bears on the meadows yet, and gave us a chance to back out. I thought that this demonstrated the quality of service that Sara and Craig provide. After a short deliberation, we as well as another couple elected to go on the trip. Man, were we glad that we went.

Craig flew us out from Homer to Halo Bay in Katmai NP. Their plane is well-maintained and clean, and Craig is an exceptional pilot. On the way, we saw some beautiful scenery, and groups of sea otters rafting together. Once in Katmai, Sara led us on a bear path into the meadows. Sara was an excellent guide. She knows the area and the temperament of the individual bears well, and kept us safe while giving us a close view of the bears. We got to see the bears digging for clams and eating sedge grass. The bears really had no fear of people, and would often walk to within 20 feet of us. The highlight of the trip was three large male bears getting in a fight over a female. We had a wonderful time, and highly recommend Emerald Air Service.

2  Thank Kankushok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Emerald air (Sara and Craig ) flew our party of seven over to Katmai from Homer(lake Beluga). And allowed us to experience a once in a lifetime encounter with the Brown Bears that reside there. Sara guided us through the beautiful meadows and marshes and allowed us to see the Bears in their natural environment. Frequently identifying the bears by temperament and history, Sara kept us safe and allowed us to have encounters as close as 5-10 meters from some very curious bears. Sara was incredibly informed and competent and answered all our questions and kept us safe at all times.Craig has over 3o thousand hours of flying experience and his safety record is flawless. They are a wonderful team and have given me a memory I will always cherish.

Thank Marty L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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