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Learn More 8 Days / From $8,495 (800) 543-8917 for Availability Share

Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour

A Private Ship-Based Photography Adventure into WIld Brown Bear Habitat
Day 1: Kodiak, Alaska
For those who arrive early, an NHA representative will accompany you to explore Kodiak’s Native and Russian heritage. Destinations may include the National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, St. Paul Harbor, Baranov Museum, Alutiiq Museum, Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Cathedral and Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park where guns were readied to defend against an invasion during World War II. Meet your fellow travelers this evening at an informal orientation dinner.

Day 2: Kodiak Island
Today we explore Kodiak’s coastal waters and rocky shorelines on a private boat trip. Cruising to Kodiak’s protected inner island, we find rich tidal pools and offshore kittiwake rookeries amid abundant marine life: have your cameras ready to capture shots of sea lions, otters, puffins, bald eagles and occasionally whales. Kodiak Island 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 – depending on our timing – visits to the Alutiiq Museum, Fort Abercrombie, Russian Orthodox church, a local fish hatchery, fisheries research center, aquarium, microbrewery, and/or a drive up Pillar Mountain for fantastic views over the shoreline and sea.

Day 3: Kodiak / Hallo Bay
Our day begins with a photography workshop led by one of Kodiak's most admired local photographers. Then, exciting aerial photo opportunities as we fly by floatplane from Kodiak to Kukak Bay to meet our ship. 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 bear viewing begins in earnest as we cruise slowly along the shore toward Hallo Bay. In this area we commonly find coastal grizzlies—known as brown bears—foraging for food, and the opportunities to capture impressive close-up photos is simply remarkable! As we are mobile, we can cruise to wherever the bears are, following them from bay to bay. Bring double the memory capacity you think you'll need, as you won't believe the shots you will get.

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 often dot the shoreline. We go ashore by skiff for an even closer view, exploring the beaches on foot. It’s not uncommon to find the massive bears in large numbers; on previous trips we've seen as many as 30 to 40 of them at once. And far from dozing lethargically, the bears often 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. With cameras poised, we watch in awe as they fight to capture salmon in their jaws, swiping out at a slippery fish with talons as long as a man’s fingers. Sometimes they dig for clams in the sand or browse on sedge grass. Depending on the time of our visit, we may even see bears mating or cubs gallivanting on the shore. On other trips we watch brown bears from viewing platforms or vehicles. Not here. In coastal Katmai we are on foot, carefully wandering the area under the cautious oversight of our Expedition Leader. In addition, it is not uncommon to see wolves and to observe their interesting interaction with the bears. Suffice it to say this trip offers wildlife photo opportunities that will thrill you beyond expectation! We return to Kodiak by floatplane on Day 7.

Day 8: Kodiak / Home
Fly home today from Kodiak. We recommend booking an afternoon flight out of Kodiak today, in case inclement weather prevents us from flying back to Kodiak on Day 7 as planned.

Please note: Exact times of our flights between Kodiak and our Grizzly ship vary according to weather and other logistical factors beyond our control.

+ Interested in adding a few days to your trip? Click here to view our Extension Options.


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