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
A Private Ship-Based Photography Expedition with the Wild Brown Bears of Katmai National Park
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!
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 hereto 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:
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Outstanding Naturalist Guides Who are Also Photography Pros
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.
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!
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!
A small-group photography adventure to the best wildlife locales in the Last Frontier, including Denali, Kenai Fjords and the brown bears of Brooks Falls! 14 Days / Jun - Sep, From $12395
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Photo Safari
While superlatives strive to convey the grandeur of Alaska, they never quite manage to capture the reality. Our “Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari ” trip gets you deeper into the remote parts of Alaska far from the tourist areas that dominate other trips. We position you and your camera to capture the grandeur of a calving glacier; or at river’s edge, freezing time with your camera to capture a salmon leaping from the water and into the mouth of a patiently waiting brown bear. This is Alaska “less discovered”: bigger, wilder and more amazing than you’ve imagined. You’ve got to see it for yourself.