Our Trips

Polar Bear Tours

Polar Bear Tours

African Safaris

African Safaris

Galapagos Cruises & Tours

Galapagos Cruises & Tours

Alaska & Northern Adventures

Alaska & Northern Adventures

U.S. National Parks Tours

U.S. National Parks Tours

Asia & Pacific Adventures

Asia & Pacific Adventures

Mexico & Central America Tours

Mexico & Central America Tours

South America Adventures

South America Adventures

Europe Adventures

Europe Adventures

Antarctica & Arctic Journeys

Antarctica & Arctic Journeys

Adventure Cruises

Adventure Cruises

Photo Adventures

Photo Adventures

Family Adventures

Family Adventures

New Adventures

New Adventures

Get eNews Updates

Privacy Policy

Questions? Call 800-543-8917

Get the Catalog

A Closer Look at the M/V Natural Habitat Ursus

Location
Katmai National Park, Alaska

The M/V Natural Habitat Ursus, our privately chartered ship, is the ideal vessel for exploring the Katmai coast and viewing Alaska’s giant brown bears at exceptionally close range. A former fishing and research vessel reconfigured for small-group wildlife encounters, the Ursus is ideally designed for safely navigating the remote coastal waters of Katmai. Daily excursions take us ashore among some of Alaska’s most stunning scenery.


© Megan Schwartz / WWF

Our ship is ideally designed for our wilderness adventure, offering an exclusive opportunity to follow the bears along the shoreline as they fish, dig for clams and amble along the beach. The Ursus explores wild shorelines and intimate bays that are wholly inaccessible to cruise ships, allowing you to step ashore to observe the world's largest coastal grizzlies from just feet away.


© Brad Josephs

The sturdy ship was built in 1984 and dubbed the Time Bandit, navigating the stormy Bering Sea as a crab fishing boat before transitioning into a research vessel for the National Park Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Changing its name to Ursus (which means bear in Latin), the ship has since been retrofitted and comfortably appointed for grizzly bear adventures, and has also outfitted international filmmaking projects such as the BBC/Discovery Channel documentary Great Bear Stakeout. The 73-foot long ship has an exceptionally seaworthy design with a high bow, horseshoe-shaped stern and deep displacement hull, along with state-of-the-art safety and navigation equipment.


© Corrin LaCombe

Enjoy friendly conversation and outstanding meals in the large gallery and spacious dining area. Each day, our onboard chef prepares gourmet fare that frequently features fresh Alaskan seafood such as salmon, halibut and Kodiak scallops. There is also a library and DVD player with a selection of regional documentaries for your leisure.


© Brad Josephs

Comfortable accommodations are provided for just eight guests in four double cabins with upper and lower berths. Each cabin has its own washbasin, while two bathrooms with showers and toilets are shared between the four rooms.



If you want to encounter Alaskan brown bears in solitude, on foot, in the Katmai wilderness, there is no better way than by traveling aboard the Natural Habitat Ursus. Cruising just offshore aboard our private chartered ship allows unparalleled access for bear watching, in the most intimate of contexts! 


Header Credit: Justin Gibson
Experience the Natural Habitat Ursus on These Trips
Repeater Layout : vertical-2up
The Great Alaskan Grizzly Encounter

The Great Alaskan Grizzly Encounter

An exclusive small-ship adventure to view the world's largest coastal grizzlies up close! Walk the shores as enormous brown bears dig for clams, forage for grasses and pursue salmon in tidal pools.

  Photo departures available
8 Days / Jun – Sep, From $8995 (+air)
Know Before You Go

Get Weekly Updates

Our weekly eNewsletter highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more.
Privacy Policy
We're Proud of the Reputation We’ve Earned
Outside
Voted "World's Best Travel
Company"
by Outside Magazine
Outside
Natural Habitat Adventures Ranked
“Best Outfitter”
NatGeo
Voted Best Winter Trip: Natural Habitat Adventures' Monarch Butterfly Migration, Mexico
VIEW MORE AWARDS
Natural Habitat Adventures 2019 Catalog
GET THE CATALOG
Natural Habitat & WWF – Discovering Our Planet Together
WWF Logo
Get Weekly Updates
Our weekly eNewsletter highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more.
Privacy Policy
/know-before-you-go/alaska-northern-adventures/alaska/ursus-grizzly-ship/
Physical Requirements