Anan Creek Bear Excursions or Misty Fjords?

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#1
Stockton, CA
117 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
I REALLY want to see the bears hunting and munching on the salmon, but the only company with permits to Anan Creek is Family Air.

My first choice, Island Wings, only has Misty Fjords available.

I havent seen much on Family Air and was wondering which I should chose. Which would you recommend?

Thanks!
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Dawn

Upcoming cruises

Mediterranean & Aegean - Royal Princess September 2016

Previous cruises (since 2000 - cant remember before then):
New Zealand / Australia - Holland America Noordam November 2015
Bahamas - Celebrity Constellation January 2015
Caribbean - Holland America Noordam December 2014
Grand Mediterranean - Regal Princess July 2014
Queensland & Great Barrier Reef - Sea Princess May 2014
Panama Canal Partial Transit - Coral Princess November 2013
South America - Star Princess January 2013
Alaska - Star Princess July 2012
Grand Mediterranean - Ruby Princess July 2010
Northern Europe - Grand Princess July 2007
Alaska - Diamond Princess August 2006
Grand Mediterranean - Golden Princess August 2003
Caribbean - Norwegian November 2002
Alaska - Dawn Princess August 2000
#3
Stockton, CA
117 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by frugaltravel
So have you decided to not try to get your own Anan permits like you said in this thread?

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1582892
Yes, I have applied for my own permits. Tomorrow is the lottery, so fingers crossed.

After I had called all of the providers I found on CC with no luck, I applied for my own permits. Carlin Air also offered to apply for permits for me too. After all of that, I got a call back this evening from Family Air that they did have permits available, which was great news!! My only hesitation is that so many people have spoken about Island Air, I wanted to make sure I am making the best choice.
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Dawn

Upcoming cruises

Mediterranean & Aegean - Royal Princess September 2016

Previous cruises (since 2000 - cant remember before then):
New Zealand / Australia - Holland America Noordam November 2015
Bahamas - Celebrity Constellation January 2015
Caribbean - Holland America Noordam December 2014
Grand Mediterranean - Regal Princess July 2014
Queensland & Great Barrier Reef - Sea Princess May 2014
Panama Canal Partial Transit - Coral Princess November 2013
South America - Star Princess January 2013
Alaska - Star Princess July 2012
Grand Mediterranean - Ruby Princess July 2010
Northern Europe - Grand Princess July 2007
Alaska - Diamond Princess August 2006
Grand Mediterranean - Golden Princess August 2003
Caribbean - Norwegian November 2002
Alaska - Dawn Princess August 2000
#5
4,184 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by dmc511
Yes, I have applied for my own permits. Tomorrow is the lottery, so fingers crossed.

After I had called all of the providers I found on CC with no luck, I applied for my own permits. Carlin Air also offered to apply for permits for me too. After all of that, I got a call back this evening from Family Air that they did have permits available, which was great news!! My only hesitation is that so many people have spoken about Island Air, I wanted to make sure I am making the best choice.
Probably my biggest "gripe" about the Alaska forum is all the touting many of the posters do about certain vendors ("I've used XYZ since I have been coming to Alaska 150 years ago" etc, etc). You can't start a thread touting them, but pretty much every chance they get, they tout this vendor or that vendor, ad nauseum. Do you really think that only one vendor is the only good one in a town that thrives on tourism? I don't.
#6
541 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
I went through something similar last August. Was originally booked with Island Wings and backed out. Eventually we decided to go and they were unavailable so we ended up after checking around going with Carlin Air. I can't say enough good things about them. The owner took us on his plane and it was an absolutely perfect day. We had good weather, smooth flight and saw plenty bears. Had a close and personal encounter with two on the way back. Boy that was an adrenaline rush. I said and still say it has been one of the most exciting things I've done in my life. I talk about it all the time and loved it so much. We had no guide and I was a little concerned but never ever really felt threatened. Just listen to what the rangers tell you and enjoy, enjoy. Again Carlin Air was fantastic.
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#7
Stockton, CA
117 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Thank you everyone for your feedback. We have chosen Carlin Air for the Anan Creek excursion.

We are very excited about this trip. Last time we took the Bear excursion from the ship and didn't see any bears. After our disappointment the tour operator told us they hadn't seen any all season at the spot the took us! That is why I have been so diligent in my research for our third Alaskan cruise.

Thanks again!
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Dawn

Upcoming cruises

Mediterranean & Aegean - Royal Princess September 2016

Previous cruises (since 2000 - cant remember before then):
New Zealand / Australia - Holland America Noordam November 2015
Bahamas - Celebrity Constellation January 2015
Caribbean - Holland America Noordam December 2014
Grand Mediterranean - Regal Princess July 2014
Queensland & Great Barrier Reef - Sea Princess May 2014
Panama Canal Partial Transit - Coral Princess November 2013
South America - Star Princess January 2013
Alaska - Star Princess July 2012
Grand Mediterranean - Ruby Princess July 2010
Northern Europe - Grand Princess July 2007
Alaska - Diamond Princess August 2006
Grand Mediterranean - Golden Princess August 2003
Caribbean - Norwegian November 2002
Alaska - Dawn Princess August 2000
#8
Texas
306 Posts
Joined May 2009
It sounds like you have already made your decision. But we went with Family Air last year in August and had a great time. We did not have a guide but really didn't need one. It was just 3 of us and the pilot on the plane. We lucked out and had a beautiful picture perfect sunny day in Ketchikan. The flight was very smooth and the pilot dropped us off and gave us the time that he would be back to pick us up. We saw so many bears that day it was unbelievable. The only thing I could wish for was more time! It went by so fast. Enjoy your trip!