Photograph the Brown Bears of Katmai National Park on a Private Small-Ship Expedition
Nature puts on few displays as arresting as Alaskan brown bears feeding on summer’s bounty. These bears—the world's largest coastal grizzlies—feast on clams, mussels, sedges and spawning salmon as the fish swim up the streams that pour onto these wild beaches. Our private chartered ship, the Natural Habitat Ursus, offers an exclusive opportunity to follow and photograph bears as they fish, forage and lope along the shore. We get even closer as we go ashore with our experienced guide, photographing the bears on foot from a careful distance in the watchful company of our Expedition Leader, who is one of Alaska's top bear experts. We may view lone males, mothers with playful cubs, or even a wolf interacting with bears along the river. Here in Katmai National Park, experience this rarest of encounters with Ursus arctos in all its untamed majesty!
- Get Incredible Close-UpsPhotograph giant Alaskan brown bears—the world's largest coastal grizzlies—at very close range, in a truly wild and remote setting that's inaccessible by road or air
- Exclusive Marine-Based AccessCoastal cruising aboard our private expedition ship allows unparalleled proximity for photographing wildlife and the magnificent natural landscapes of Katmai
- Shoot with an Expert Photo GuideView bears foraging on the beach as we walk on shore with our Expedition Leader, who offers tips for getting unbelievable photos from just feet away!
Katmai National Park
A Day in the Life of an Alaska Grizzly Guide
The Ultimate Bear Photography Safari—Here's Why!
Images of Alaskan brown bears are among the most iconic wildlife photos on Earth. And capturing incredible close-ups of these giant coastal grizzlies is our primary mission on this exclusive bear-intensive itinerary. In the roadless wilderness of Katmai National Park, far from
standard cruise ship and tour bus routes, a select few travelers spend days in the bears' midst, with unhurried hours to 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. Here's why this is the ultimate opportunity to photograph Alaska's brown bears:
- A Maximum of Just 8 Travelers
We charter a small ship for our exclusive use, for just eight guests. In such a small group, we can comfortably approach bears safely without disturbing them. You won't find a more intimate setting in which to photograph bears, nor will you find a better guide-to-guest ratio on any Alaskan tour.
- An Exclusive Itinerary into the Heart of Brown Bear Habitat
Our 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 small expedition ship to explore the uninhabited coastline. No standard Alaska tour package can provide these exceptional wildlife photography opportunities.
- Our Own Privately Chartered Ship
Our chartered boat—the Natural Habitat Ursus—offers an ideal way to explore the scenic coastal wilderness of Katmai National Park. Completely retrofitted to provide comfortable guest accommodations, the Ursus is a converted research vessel with a shallow draft that allows us to cruise along the shoreline, watching bears forage in the meadows and dig clams on the
tide flats. And since we sleep aboard, our route can be flexible—we follow the bears!
- Photograph Bears on Foot—Just Yards Away!
It's hard to fathom that we can stand on the ground with Alaska's mighty brown bears at close range. Yet that's exactly the amazing photo opportunity this rare adventure affords. We're immersed in solitude, and the bears are completely nonchalant about our presence. You won't find such an experience anywhere else!
- Explore Kodiak Island by Chartered Boat
Remote Kodiak Island isn't typically featured on Alaska tour itineraries. But its scenic shores offer rich photography opportunities, with abundant wildlife in rockbound coves and tidal
pools. During a private daycruise, we're likely to see sea lions, otters, puffins and bald eagles, and we often see whales. Look, too, for a chance to photograph less frequently seen moose or black bears on shore.
- Outstanding Naturalist Guides are Photography Pros
Our Expedition Leaders are top naturalist guides as well as accomplished wildlife photographers 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 training from leading WWF scientists. Our Expedition Leaders regale guests with their in-depth knowledge while ensuring your safety and comfort. See Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
- A Commitment to Bears & Other Wildlife
In support of our commitment to conserving 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!