Congratulations on winning a 2017 permit for the McNeil River Bear Sanctuary!
We are based out of Homer, Alaska – a beautiful cosmic hamlet by the sea on the Kenai Peninsula. Homer is accessible from Anchorage by plane or car. If we are able, we would be happy to pick you up at the Homer airport if you fly in. If you drive, you are welcome to leave your vehicle in our lot while you are at camp. We request that you be at our offices 2 hours before our scheduled departure time to McNeil.
Here are our rates and a bit of information about the services we provide:
1. Our rate of $750.00/person is for a ROUNDTRIP seat fare. A seat fare is defined as a seat available on an existing flight for that permit group (see more explanation below). As of January 1st, 2015 we are required to charge a Federal Excise tax on this seat fare of 7.5%, which means the total cost of transportation is $750.00 + $56.25 =$806.05. We are only able to offer a seat fare with confirmed groups of 3 passengers or more.
If a seat fare arrangement does not work with your party or you desire more flexibility (as our schedule allows) on drop off and pickup dates, we are happy to introduce a 10% discount on our custom charter rate for McNeil Customers in 2017. Typical flight time to/from camp both directions is 4 hours: $750.00 – 10% = $675.00/hr x 4 hours = $2700.00 total (no Federal Excise tax required on charter fares). The airplane can hold up to 1200 lbs total weight.
2. We determine the seat fare dates for each permit block based on tides, available daylight, and combining outbound and incoming guests. We always try to do what is most fair for each block with the given conditions. Usually we are able to fly you OUT the evening before your permit begins and bring you home the evening your permit ends. We work with the ADF&G staff to make sure that this last day in camp will be one you get an opportunity to view bears. If you would like custom dates, check to see if our plane is available at a discounted hourly charter rate.
3. We allow each passenger 300 TOTAL pounds of weight – personal body and gear together. It is CRUCIAL you contact us PRIOR to your flight if you are not within this weight allowance. We are weight-limited for very important safety reasons. Please call us with your concerns and we’ll go over some options. With four available seats on each flight, there is a possibility that we may have extra weight available if the flight isn’t full.
4. We utilize the HIGH TIDE to get in and out of McNeil river. This means we are weather, light, and tide dependent. We are in contact with the camp and receive daily weather reports from the crew on the ground. Transit to and from camp is only done during safe weather conditions, and solely at the pilot’s discretion. The flight time is one hour across Cook Inlet – get ready for some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see! You will fly right past Alaska’s unique and still active volcano, Mt. Augustine and perhaps see commercial fishing boats casting drift nets for salmon.
5. You will have resources available to you at McNeil Camp – Drinking water is available so you only need to bring filters. Fuel and stoves are available at the cook shack as well, so please don’t bring fuel to fly with. If you are in need of camping gear or do not want to fly with it from out-of-state, we can provide a “McNeil Package” through our sister company, Kachemak Outfitters.
Our plane has 4 seats available per trip, so we encourage you to reserve as soon as possible. Your place will be held as soon as we receive your 50% deposit for your entire party. We are happy to take a check or credit card, but we do charge a 3% fee on all credit card transactions. Another option for deposits and international customers is a Wire Transfer, which is a flat $16.00 fee.
For specific permit block tides and timeframes, contact us by phone or email.
We look forward to seeing you this summer!