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“Twice the price for what??”

Rust's Flying Service
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Take a flight our float planes to the real Alaska whether flight seeing glaciers and mountains, bear viewing at remote lodges and national parks or fly in fishing. We've been flying people to Alaska's wilderness since 1963; located at Lake Hood in Anchorage, Alaska.
Cabot, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
53 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Twice the price for what??”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Through Princess Cruises this is advertised as Redoubt Bay Lodge Beari Viewing and is not worth the money! My wife got stuck as the 9th passenger in the "cargo seat" of a DeHaviland Beaver and it amounted to canvas with a metal rod running perpindicular to the seat! (like the old C-124 Cargo Planes) The so called "lodge restroom facilites" were outhouses atop some rocks that for most people in our group amounted to a falling hazard. (especially the middle outhouse) We got in a motor boat and traveled to a Salmon Spawning stream, watched, waited and made small talk for almost 3 hours, watching fisherman come and go, and no bears. Upon arrival back at the lodge we were served an adequate lunch and we left.
I guess what erkes me the most that for $1198.00 we should have more for our money especially when compared to the Taku Lodge Feast and Glacier Discovery out of Juneau for $678.00 and we saw plenty of bears!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank rmorris9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Miami
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Experience of a lifetime! Must do!”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

This is one of those things that you remember for the rest of your life. The seaplane was surprisingly smooth. I'm a business traveler, and I felt that it was smoother than most jets I've been on. Our pilot Justin was friendly and very knowledgeable. He's a local, and shared some personal stories of what it was like to grow up in Alaska, which he didn't have to do, but we were fortunate to hear. He was also attentive to our needs, stopping when we needed a bathroom break (even in the middle of nowhere), preparing a wonderful lunch along with snacks for the road, and turning the plane around to catch glimpses of wildlife. He showed us bears, seals, beluga whales, and moose.

Visiting Katmai Island was the true highlight of our Alaska experience. The number of bears, their proximity to us and the environment made us feel like we were truly in the wilderness where nature has been undisturbed.

Excellent, excellent adventure!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank traveler2679
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zionsville, Indiana, United States
Level Contributor
112 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“One of the best days of my life... Really!”
Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

We did the day trip to Redoubt Bay Lodge for bear viewing and it was incredible. The float plane was comfortable and we always felt safe.. Even with two young kids (3 and 5) we had a great experience and a very safe bear viewing experience. Our pilot pointed out wildlife along the way including beluga whales. It was a once on a lifetime trip for us and we'll worth every penny. Thank you Rust's and Redoubt Bay Lodge!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Allison W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DLHAlaska, Director of Sales at Rust's Flying Service, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Thanks for writing; the Redoubt Bay bear viewing is an exceptional experience. the area is a bear nursery where mother bears teach their cubs to fish. In addition to the bear viewing, I find that the experience of the scenic flight seeing trip, being in a wilderness lodge and eating a good meal in the beautiful setting a super combination. We do warn people that bears are wild animals and do move around; peak season is July with good bear viewing from mid June to mid August. Glad that you had a great time with Rust's and Redoubt Bay Lodge.
Deborah
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Exceptional Experience”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We viewed the bears at Katmai. Our pilot was John. Not only was he a very good pilot, he was knowledgable about the geography and history of the state. The actual bear viewing was phenomenal, but the flight-seeing portion of the trip was spectacular as well. Rusts runs a great operation and I would recommend them to everyone!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Leslie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trumbull, Connecticut
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Bear Viewing in Katmai. Thanks Rust's! (Wish the plane had a toilet.)”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Viewing the brown bears (coastal grizzlies) at Katmai National Park is a Bucket List experience but first you have to get there. Rust's did a great job for my wife and I. Our pilot was Paul and he is a great guy with lots of flying time under his belt and it shows. Being a pilot myself from New England, I felt very comfortable with Paul at the controls.

It's not cheap but keep in mind, it's a long way from Anchorage to Katmai and at crusing speed of just over 100 knots, it's close to 2 hours of flying time each way so it's going to be a bit expensive for all that plane and pilot time.

Rust's provided a good box lunch which we enjoyed when we got to Katmai.

There's not much negative to say other than if the plane is loaded with tall people with long legs, some will undoubtedly get the short straw with some closely crammed seats. One person sits to the right of the pilot and there's plenty of room up front there. And the back two seats just behind the entrance/exit doors have got LOTS of legroom. But the middle seats are tight and even short people sit with their legs angled and this is uncomfortable when you are flying for hours up and back.

Also, if you are a middle aged guy with an active prostate, there is no toilet on board. You're going to have to hold it in until you get to Katmai. If this is a real problem for you, maybe you should consider driving to Soldotna or Homer and departing from there. Once in the Park, it's awesome.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank JTaol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DLHAlaska, Director of Sales at Rust's Flying Service, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thanks for writing about the Katmai trip. It is an excellent trip with a beautiful, but long flightsee to get there. Just this morning we were talking abut how most people focus on getting there bu the flightseeing on the way is superlative. We do have other bearviewing trip that do not have as long a flight- Redoubt Bay Lodge for half day trips and Redoubt Mountain Lodge for August and September bear viewing. Thanks for writing!
Deborah
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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