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Grizzlies of Katmai: A Photo Pro Expedition

A Total Immersion with the Bears of Katmai National Park on a Chartered Small-Ship Adventure
10 Days
8
From $13995 (+internal air)

Our COVID-19 Response

  • We’re further reducing group sizes
  • Now even fewer guests per vehicle
  • Travel even further from the crowds
  • Enhanced sanitation protocols
  • Additional social distancing throughout
  • Revised booking/cancellation policies
  • More options to make your trip private
  • Reduced single supplement fees
Learn more about the steps we are taking to enhance safety in response to COVID-19.
We're not exaggerating when we say this is the ultimate bear photography safari! 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. With seven nights aboard our private chartered ship, the Natural Habitat Ursus, serious photographers have an exclusive opportunity to capture countless images of grizzlies as they fish, forage and lope along the shore. Go ashore with our experienced guide to photograph the bears on foot from a careful distance—your photo Expedition Leader, who is one of Alaska's top bear experts, coaches you on how to safely get incredible shots at close range. 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!

Trip Highlights

  • Get Incredible Bear Close-UpsPhotograph giant 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 AccessA full week of coastal cruising aboard our private expedition ship allows unparalleled proximity for photographing wildlife and magnificent scenery
  • 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 Photo Safari

In the roadless wilderness of Katmai National Park, totally removed from standard cruise ship and tour routes, a select few photographers spend a full week in the bears' midst, with unhurried hours to capture close-up images against a backdrop of snowy 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 fabled brown bears:

  1. The Most Immersive Bear Photography Itinerary You'll Find
    Our itinerary—offered solely by Natural Habitat Adventures—is a singular opportunity to spend a full week in remote brown bear habitat, offered by no other operator we know of. This is an exclusive photo safari that focuses wholly on bears. In fact, you can't even get here by cruise ship or by road: We reach this isolated wilderness by float plane, then transfer to our small ship to explore the uninhabited coastline with the flexibility to follow the bears' movements. It's a genuine, unparalleled wilderness immersion!
  2. A Maximum of Just 8 Guests
    Using a chartered small expedition ship for our exclusive access, with just eight photographer guests, we can comfortably approach bears safely without disturbing them. You won't find a more intimate setting in which to observe and photograph bears.
  3. Our Own Privately Chartered Ship
    The Natural Habitat Ursus offers the optimal way to explore the scenic coastal wilderness of Katmai National Park. Completely retrofitted to provide comfortable, compact accommodations, the Ursus is a converted research vessel with a shallow draft that allows us to cruise near the shoreline, watching bears forage in the meadows and dig clams on the tide flats. Since we sleep aboard, our route can be flexible—we follow the bears!
  4. Photograph Bears at Incredibly Close Range
    It's hard to fathom that we can stand safely on the ground with Alaska's mighty brown bears. Yet that's exactly the amazing photo opportunity this rare adventure affords, in a wild realm where bears have never regarded humans as a threat. With expert coaching from our guide, we remain unobtrusively in the bears' presence, immersed in solitude. You simply won't find such an experience anywhere else.
  5. Your Outstanding Naturalist Guide is a Bear Photography Pro
    Our Expedition Leaders are not only accomplished professional wildlife photographers, they are also trained naturalists who are seasoned experts on bears and bear behavior. In their company, you'll get insight and access to bears you could never get otherwise. We take pride in employing the most qualified, dedicated and passionate photo safari guides, who also receive natural history training from leading WWF scientists. Our Expedition Leaders will facilitate an outstanding photography experience while ensuring your safety and comfort. See Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  6. Perfect Your Shots through Workshops & Editing Sessions 
    Each evening, once we have spent a full day in the field photographing grizzlies and other wildlife, return to the Ursus for a hearty home-cooked gourmet dinner followed by an extended workshop session to review, share and edit your images from the day. Gain insight from our Photo Pro Expedition Leader and your fellow photographers as we explore best practices together. 
  7. A Commitment to Conserving 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 Nat Hab Expedition Leader, professional photographer 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.
  8. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Bear Photography Adventure
    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!
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