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Brad Josephs: Brown bears, wet bear, bear fishing, photographers in fireweed, mother and cub, The Natural Habitat Ursus
Marion Owen: Photographer, sea lions
Fungai Katsande: Boat in bay
Suzanne Kiser: Katmai National Park, Alaska
Colin McNulty: Bear in grass
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8 Days / From $8,995 (800) 543-8917 for Availability
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Home Photo Tours Alaska & North Photo Tours Alaska's Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour

Alaska's Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour

A Private Ship-Based Photography Adventure into Wild Brown Bear Habitat
Nature puts on few displays as arresting as Alaskan brown bears feeding on summer’s bounty. The bears of this area—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 ship, the Natural Habitat Ursus, offers an exclusive opportunity to follow and photograph the bears along the shoreline as they fish, dig for clams and lope along the beach. Ashore, as we walk with our experienced guide, we have an even closer vantage point as we watch from a careful distance. Here in Katmai National Park, experience this rarest of encounters with Ursus arctos in all its untamed majesty!

Trip Highlights

  • Photograph giant Alaskan brown bears—the world's largest coastal grizzlies—at very close range, in a truly wild and remote setting 
  • Coastal cruising aboard our private small ship allows unparalleled personal access for photographing bears, as well as magnificent natural landscapes
  • View bears foraging on the beach as we walk on shore in the careful company of our Expedition Leader, and get amazing photos from just feet away!

The Ultimate Bear Photography Safari—Here's Why!
Images of Alaska’s enormous brown bears are among the most iconic wildlife photos on Earth. There's no more exciting travel photography experience in Alaska than the chance to capture incredible close-ups of the largest coastal grizzlies on the planet—our primary mission on this special bear-focused itinerary. Here in the remote reaches of Katmai National Park, far from standard cruise ship and tour bus routes, a select few travelers have the chance to spend days in the bears' midst, with unhurried hours to safely capture close-up images of them against a backdrop of snowcapped peaks and saltwater inlets. Click here to read about the seasonal "ebbs and flows" of grizzly bear season, to determine what you're likely to see and experience in terms of the bears' behavior. If you're looking for the ultimate opportunity to photograph Alaska's brown bears, you simply must choose this exclusive adventure with Nat Hab. Here's why:

  1. A Maximum of Just 8 Travelers
    We charter a small ship for our private use, for a maximum group size of just eight guests. Because we travel with so few people, we can comfortably approach the bears safely without disturbing them. You won't find a more intimate or exciting setting in which to photograph bears, nor will you find a better guide-to-guest ratio on any Alaskan tour.
  2. An Exclusive Itinerary into the Heart of Brown Bear Habitat
    Our special itinerary—offered solely by Natural Habitat Adventures—focuses on nature and bears, wasting no time in cruise ship ports and tourist towns. In fact, you can't get even here by cruise ship or by road: We reach this remote wilderness by float plane, then transfer to our private small ship to explore the uninhabited coastline. No standard Alaska tour package can provide these exceptional wildlife photography opportunities.
  3. Our Own Privately Chartered Ship
    We travel aboard a chartered vessel—the Natural Habitat Ursus—that offers an ideal way to explore the scenic coastal wilderness of Katmai National Park. Our boat, completely retrofitted to provide comfortable accommodations aboard, is a converted research tug with a shallow draft, which allows us to cruise along the shoreline, watching bears forage in the meadows and digging clams on the tideflats. And since we sleep aboard, our route can be flexible—we follow the bears!
  4. Photograph Bears on Foot—Just Yards Away!
    It's hard to fathom that we can stand at close range on the ground with Alaska's mighty brown bears. Yet that's exactly the amazing photo opportunity this rare adventure affords. We are the only humans around, and the bears are completely nonchalant about our presence. You won't find such an experience anywhere else!
  5. Explore Kodiak Island or Kachemak Bay by Chartered Boat
    Kodiak and Homer are both remote locations, not typically featured on an Alaska tour itinerary. Depending on which departure you select, your itinerary will include a private boat tour from Kodiak Island or Kachemak Bay off Homer. Kodiak's scenic shores offer rich photography opportunities, with abundant wildlife in its rockbound coves, tidal pools and offshore seabird rookeries. On our private dayboat cruise, we're likely to see sea lions, otters, puffins and bald eagles, and we often see whales, too. Our skippers are also fabulous cooks, and we enjoy a home-cooked gourmet lunch aboard. The Kachemak Bay boat cruise is likewise an opportunity to photograph abundant marine life that will likely include whales, porpoises, sea otters and sea lions, and we may capture images of moose, black bears or coyotes on shore.
  6. The World's Finest Naturalist Guides
    Our Expedition Leaders are among Alaska's premier naturalist guides, as well as superlative wildlife photographers who are gifted at sharing photography tips and guidance with guests. We take pride in employing the most qualified, dedicated and passionate natural history guides, who also receive additional training from leading WWF scientists. Our Expedition Leaders regale guests with their in-depth knowledge while remaining close at hand to ensure safety and comfort in every respect. See Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  7. A Commitment to Bears & Other Wildlife
    In support of our commitment to the conservation of Alaska's brown bears and other wildlife, we've created a special website, Bears & Beyond, managed and edited by NHA Expedition Leader and bear expert Brad Josephs. The site is a showcase for photos and stories about bears and other wild animals, including wolves. Take a look, and share the link with your friends, too!
  8. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Alaska Bear Encounter
    Natural Habitat Adventures offers an exclusive guarantee, which clearly states that we will meet the lofty expectations established in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
  9. Feel Good About the Way You Travel 
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100-percent offset—Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company.
  10. Natural Habitat is WWF's Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our adventures. World Wildlife Fund— the planet's leading environmental conservation organization—has named Natural Habitat as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
Reading List
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Adventure travel books for this trip.

Other Trips You May Enjoy

New Itinerary!

Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari

Avoid the crowds on an intimate small-group adventure to Alaska's best wildlife spots, including the brown bears of Katmai, Kenai Fjords and the backcountry wilderness of Denali National Park.
13 Days / Jun - Aug, From $10,295

Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari

New Itinerary

Alaska's Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour

From our private small ship, step ashore for amazing close-ups of enormous Alaskan brown bears as they forage and fish for salmon on the beach.
8 Days / June - Sep, From $8,995

Alaska's Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour

Nature puts on few displays as arresting as Alaskan brown bears feeding on late-summer’s bounty. The bears of Kodiak Island—the largest grizzlies in the world—gorge on spawning salmon as they swim up the rivers that pour onto these wild beaches. Our private chartered boat offers an exclusive opportunity to follow and photogragh the bears along the shoreline as they fish, dig for clams and lope along the beach. Ashore, as we walk with our experienced guide, we have an even closer vantage point as we watch from a careful distance. Here in Katmai National Park, experience this rarest of encounters with Ursus arctos in all its untamed majesty!

2016 Wildlife Webinars

Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month.

See the Full Schedule Here

Voted Best of Travel 2015

Our Base Camp Greenland trip is named Best Splurge by Outside magazine!

In the News

CNN recently joined Natural Habitat’s Polar Bear Photo Tour! Click here to watch.
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