Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group

The Great Alaskan Grizzly Encounter (8 days)

Natural Habitat Adventures

Kodiak Island, AK, United States To Kodiak Island, AK, United States

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Kodiak Island, AK United States
Kodiak Inn Dinner

Kodiak, Alaska

On arrival in Kodiak, you are met and transferred to our hotel. Depending on your timing, you may be able to explore some of the island's Native and Russian history on your own this afternoon. Options include the National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, St. Paul Harbor, Baranov Museum, Alutiiq Museum and Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Our grizzly adventure officially begins this evening, when you meet your fellow travelers and our local guide for an informal welcome dinner and orientation.

Day 2
Kodiak Island, AK United States
Kodiak Inn Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Kodiak Island

Today we explore Kodiak’s coastal waters and rocky shorelines on a half-day private boat trip. A cruise up a fjord to Kodiak’s protected inner realm, past tidal pools and kittiwake rookeries, may reveal sea lions, otters, puffins, bald eagles and occasionally whales. Kodiak is remote, not often visited by travelers to Alaska, and our sense of a unique encounter with nature is palpable as we glide through the rockbound coves. We'll also spend a half-day touring historic Kodiak, with a mix of activities that may include visits to Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, a local fish hatchery, aquarium, and/or a drive up Pillar Mountain for sweeping views over the shoreline and sea.

Day 3
Kukak Bay, AK United States
Natural Habitat Ursus Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Kodiak / Katmai—Board Natural Habitat Ursus

Our day begins with a classically Alaskan pursuit: a floatplane flight from Kodiak to Katmai to meet our private chartered ship, the Natural Habitat Ursus. The plane pulls up nearby, and we disembark to board the vessel that will be our floating home for the next several days. The 73-foot Ursus originally gained fame as a crab fishing boat called Time Bandit, which plied the storm-tossed waters of the Bering Sea and was featured in the Discovery Channel TV series "The Deadliest Catch." The vessel was later transitioned for research use by the National Park Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Since retrofitted for custom tourism charters, this veteran of wild Alaskan waters now offers our guests comfortable wilderness accommodations. The Ursus (which, of course, means "bear" in Latin) cruises slowly along the coast, where we commonly find coastal grizzlies, or brown bears, foraging for food. Since we are mobile, we can cruise to wherever the bears are, following them from bay to bay.
Day 4
Kukak Bay, AK United States
Natural Habitat Ursus Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Days 4–7: Coastal Katmai

While we’ve all seen footage in nature documentaries of Alaskan brown bears in the wild, nothing prepares us for the drama of an actual encounter with these magnificent beasts, just yards away. They are North America’s largest land predators, and an adult male can weigh 900 pounds. As we cruise just off the coast, bears dot the shoreline. We go ashore by skiff for an even closer view, exploring the beaches on foot. It’s not uncommon to find massive grizzlies in great numbers; our previous trips have seen as many as a dozen of at once. And far from dozing lethargically, these bears put on quite a show in their efforts to fill up on enough protein-rich food to prepare them for a long winter in hibernation. We watch as they fight to capture salmon in their jaws, trying to seize spawning fish making their way up the streams that flow into the tidal area. As omnivores, they also dig for clams in the sand and browse on sedge grass. Depending on the time of our visit, we may even see bears mating or cubs gallivanting on the shore. On our other Alaska trips, we watch grizzlies from viewing platforms or vehicles. Not here. In coastal Katmai we are on foot, carefully wandering the area in our small group under the cautious guidance of our Expedition Leader. In addition, it is not uncommon for our groups to frequently see wolves and observe their interesting interactions with the bears. As a result, this trip offers a wildlife encounter that will thrill you beyond expectation.
Day 5
Kukak Bay, AK United States
Natural Habitat Ursus Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

In coastal Katmai we are on foot, carefully wandering the area in our small group under the cautious guidance of our Expedition Leader. In addition, it is not uncommon for our groups to frequently see wolves and observe their interesting interactions with the bears. As a result, this trip offers a wildlife encounter that will thrill you beyond expectation.

Day 6
Kukak Bay, AK United States
Natural Habitat Ursus Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

In coastal Katmai we are on foot, carefully wandering the area in our small group under the cautious guidance of our Expedition Leader. In addition, it is not uncommon for our groups to frequently see wolves and observe their interesting interactions with the bears. As a result, this trip offers a wildlife encounter that will thrill you beyond expectation.

Day 7
Kukak Bay, AK United States
Natural Habitat Ursus Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

In coastal Katmai we are on foot, carefully wandering the area in our small group under the cautious guidance of our Expedition Leader. In addition, it is not uncommon for our groups to frequently see wolves and observe their interesting interactions with the bears. As a result, this trip offers a wildlife encounter that will thrill you beyond expectation.

Day 8
Kodiak Island, AK United States
Natural Habitat Ursus Breakfast, Lunch, Snack

Kodiak / Depart

Our Alaska wildlife cruise comes to a close today as we depart from Kodiak. We recommend that travelers book an afternoon flight out in case inclement weather prevents us from flying back to Kodiak on Day 7 as planned. Please note: Most floatplane flights will depart Kodiak to meet the Ursus in late morning and return to Kodiak by mid-afternoon. The exact times will vary according to weather and other logistical factors.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Adventure
  • Wildlife & Nature

Description

Meet the Mighty Brown Bears of Katmai Up Close from Our Private Small Ship

Nature puts on few displays as arresting as Alaskan brown bears feeding on summer’s bounty. These bears—the largest coastal grizzlies in the world—gorge on spawning salmon as the fish swim up the rivers that pour onto these wild beaches. Our private chartered boat, the Natural Habitat Ursus, is ideally designed for our Alaska adventure cruise, offering an exclusive opportunity to follow the bears along the shoreline as they fish, dig for clams and amble along the beach. Ashore, we have an even closer vantage point as we watch on foot with our guide from a careful distance. The bears could not be more nonchalant about our presence! Here in Katmai National Park, experience this rarest of encounters with Ursus arctos in all its untamed majesty.

Trip Highlights

- You won't believe how close you'll get to giant brown bears—the world's biggest coastal grizzlies—in a wilder setting than anywhere else on Earth...safely on foot!

- Cruising just offshore aboard our private chartered ship allows unparalleled access for bear watching, in the most intimate of contexts

- View bears foraging on the beach as we walk ashore in the careful company of our naturalist Expedition Leader, whose bear expertise adds immeasurably to your experience

About Us

Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel & ecotourism since 1985. From our world-class polar bear tours in Churchill to our small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, our professional guides reveal the world’s most extraordinary nature sites. As Conservation Travel Partner to World Wildlife Fund and the world's first 100% carbon neutral travel company, we offer eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between!

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Please visit our website: http://www.nathab.com/traveler-resources/terms-and-conditions/



The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Natural Habitat Adventures

100%

of 12
guests
recommend


Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by

HIghly recommended

By: wh


Reviewed on: 12 Oct 2013

Fabulous, fabulous trip to the Galapagos. Every detail perfect. Guides exceptional. A trip we will never forget.
Travel Advisor:  Barbara Fallon

Belize

By: Bobbie


Reviewed on: 08 Mar 2014

We had a wonderful trip to Belize with NatHab.  We stayed in gorgeous places and had the best guide anyone could hope to have. We would definitely go with NatHab again.  Everyone in our group of 10 had been on many trips with them.  This was our first, but definitely not our last.
Travel Advisor:  Michelle Bemis

Well run operation!

By: CTAH


Reviewed on: 16 Nov 2015

We were very impressed at how NatHab ran the trip. All details were covered and everything went like clockwork. Our guide, Brad, was very knowledgeable and helpful to all. He made sure everyone was well taken care of and all needs were met. We would definitely recommend NatHab!
Travel Advisor:  Debbie Kellogg

Incredible Trip & Organization

By: Torie


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2016

Both hotels we stayed in were great. I have some allergy restrictions and all of the food provided was outstanding and they took such great care of me. My expedition leader was fantastic. He was so passionate about his job, he was friendly and funny and always went out of his way to make sure everyone was happy and safe. The most important part, the trip itself, was everything I wanted it to be. Even though it was much warmer than it was suppose to be, between the 3 days on the rover, we saw 35 bears. We even saw 3 different kinds of fox and some snowy owls. It was quite the magical experience, especially for a Floridian. The lectures after each day were also very nice. The trip was organized and fun and I'd recommend it to everyone.
Travel Advisor:  Doria Gomez

Tanzania safari

By: Franz


Reviewed on: 18 Feb 2017

Actually we worked with East African Safari Ventures which was fantastic!
Travel Advisor:  Janie Bullard

Natural Habitat Adventure

By: Carla


Reviewed on: 28 Aug 2017

This is my 2nd or 3rd trip with NatHab and there will be many more. Professional staff, kind, knowledgeable and always there to please everyone on the trip. A great group.
Travel Advisor:  Barbi Lazarow

Greenland

By: Tammy


Reviewed on: 14 Sep 2017

I can't even begin to explain how amazing this trip was. Our guides were so knowledgeable, caring and fun. I loved the staff too! It's incredible that a basecamp was set up in such a remote area. Words can't describe the experience. All I can say is, "wow"!
Travel Advisor:  Honey Mistry

NatHab is top-notch at a reasonable price.

By: Al S


Reviewed on: 21 Sep 2017

Excellent. This was my eighth NatHab tour, and i have enjoyed them all. they carefully represent the physical level required, describe the food and accommodations accurately, all the while finding the best wildlife viewing opportunities.
Travel Advisor:  Anne Johnson

Greenland

By: greenland


Reviewed on: 21 Sep 2017

Excellent! I felt very taken care of.
Travel Advisor:  Terri Netzel

Polar Bears, Churchill Manitoba.

By: Vicki & Malcolm


Reviewed on: 13 Nov 2017

Amazing, above and beyond what we'd dreamed of or expected. Tour Guide Teresa Whipple, driver Lindsay and Rover driver Michael....excellent staff for NatHab. They all are people persons, and full of knowledge, caring and great fun.
Travel Advisor:  Coleen Noble

Exceptional tour

By: rb


Reviewed on: 28 Dec 2017

The tour leader was conscientious, thorough, pleasant to deal with, and provided a great tour experience.
Travel Advisor:  Paula Kay Eastham

Secluded Botswana

By: Cathey


Reviewed on: 28 May 2018

We were very pleased with Natural Habitat Adventures ( Nat Hab). We were met at the airport in Johannesburg. From that time on we were always met and ushered through each country's system. Our accommodations met or exceeded our expectations. The meals were very good. Our expedition leader Francis was very knowledgeable about both birds and animals. He could track wild life from the vehicle while driving along, and then go off road to find it. He was friendly and helpful. Our tour coordinator Olivia was wonderful. Her cheerfulness, helpfulness and kindness were greatly enjoyed. We saw lots of animals including everything we expected to see. It was great trip.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Hough