Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group

The Great Alaskan Grizzly Encounter (8 days)

Natural Habitat Adventures

Homer, AK, United States To Homer, AK, United States

Valid for Departures: 22 Aug 2018 - 18 Sep 2018


Day 1
Homer, AK United States
Land's End Resort Dinner

Homer, Alaska

Arrive in Homer, a scenic town of 5,000 located near the bottom of the Kenai Peninsula, and transfer to our hotel. Known as “the end of the road,” Homer is the most southerly point on Alaska’s contiguous highway system. Depending on your arrival time, you may have a chance to explore a few of Homer's highlights on your own this afternoon. Options include the Pratt Museum showcasing the natural and cultural history of the Kachemak Bay region or the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Homer’s key geographic feature is the Homer Spit, a 4.5-mile-long gravel bar that extends into the bay. Visitors to the town harbor frequently see fishing boats unloading their catch—Homer is heralded as the Halibut Capital of the World. This evening, meet your local guide for an orientation and welcome dinner.
Day 2
Homer, AK United States
Land's End Resort Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Kachemak Bay Cruise

Homer sits on Kachemak Bay, a 40-mile-long arm of Cook Inlet, which we explore on a full-day private boat cruise. Much of the bay environs are part of Kachemak Bay Wilderness State Park, accessible only by boat or floatplane. The park, which contains wild, rockbound beaches, dense mountain forests, glaciers and ice fields, has been designated a Critical Habitat Area due to the important biodiversity it harbors, and we expect to see plenty of wildlife from on deck. Marine mammals frequently spotted include whales, harbor porpoise, sea otters and Steller sea lions, while on shore we may glimpse moose, coyote and black bear. The bay also encompasses the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, a fertile marine environment that’s home to prolific waterfowl and shorebirds. We return to Homer for dinner and overnight.

Day 3
Kukak Bay, AK United States
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Homer / Katmai—Board Natural Habitat Ursus

Take a float plane from Homer to Katmai National Park to meet our private chartered ship, the Natural Habitat Ursus. The plane pulls up right alongside, and we disembark to board the vessel that will be our floating home for the next several days. The Ursus cruises slowly along the coast, where we commonly find coastal grizzlies, or brown bears, foraging for food. As we are mobile, we can cruise to wherever the bears are, following them from bay to bay.

Day 4
Kukak Bay, AK United States
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Days 4–7: Bear Viewing in 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 them 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 as they make 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 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. On Day 7, we plan to return to Homer by float plane.

Day 5
Kukak Bay, AK United States
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

See Day 4 for itinerary.

Day 6
Kukak Bay, AK United States
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

See Day 4 for itinerary.

Day 7
Kukak Bay, AK United States
Land's End Resort Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

See Day 4 for itinerary.

Day 8
Homer, AK United States
None Breakfast

Homer / Depart

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

Tour Features


  • Adventure
  • Sightseeing
  • Wildlife & Nature


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

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.

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.

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Reviews and Recommendations for Natural Habitat Adventures


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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


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!


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


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


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