Alaska’s Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai

from £7161
excluding flights *
7 nights Aug-Sep, Jun-Jul

Overview

Specially designed for wildlife lovers, this small group holiday focuses on exceptional bear viewing in two of Alaska's prime grizzly locations. Far off the beaten track, spend time on Kodiak Island before cruising the coastline of Katmai National Park for truly close encounters with the world's largest coastal grizzly bears.

Highlights

  • Chance to see wolves, whales, sea lions, otters and bald eagles - and of course, grizzly bears!
  • Very small group size and a remote setting allows for exclusive and personal wildlife encounters
  • Boat-based exploration ensures flexibility to maximize bear viewing opportunities

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom at Kodiak Inn
  • 4 nights in cabins aboard The Ursus with shared bathroom
  • All meals
  • Return flights from Kodiak to Kukak Bay

Full description

This unique holiday offers one of the most intimate bear-viewing experiences in North America. Travelling in a small group of just 8 people, accompanied by a renowned and highly experienced naturalist guide, you will fly from little-visited Kodiak Island to the remote Katmai coast. Cruising the coastline you will not see any viewing platforms, cruise ships or buses filled with day-trippers, but instead will find wild and isolated beaches that you will share only with the grizzlies.

These Alaskan brown bears – the largest coastal grizzlies in the world – can be spotted feasting on spawning salmon as the fish swim upriver, digging for clams or munching on sedge grass at the water's edge. You may see them playing, mating or interacting with wolves, or simply ambling along the beach.

Your home for 4 nights is the converted research vessel Natural Habitat Ursus, providing a comfortable base that is ideally suited to exploring the scenic waterways of Katmai National Park. With a flexible itinerary you can cruise to where the bears are, navigating shallow water close to shore to watch bears foraging on the tideflats. Heading ashore by zodiac, you will walk along the beaches of Katmai - your small group size offers the opportunity for closer encounters with the bears without disturbing them.

You will also spend 3 nights on beautiful Kodiak Island – known as Alaska's 'Emerald Isle' for its lush valleys. In addition to discovering the island's fascinating history and strong Russian influences, you will also cruise its rocky bays in search of sea lions, otters, puffins, bald eagles and whales.

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Prices & Dates *

Airfares start from around £1,000 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom

Departure Duration Itinerary Twin Price (pp)
01 Aug 2018 7 nights Kodiak £7,161
03 Aug 2018 7 nights Homer £7,161
05 Aug 2018 7 nights Kodiak £7,161
07 Aug 2018 7 nights Homer £7,161
09 Aug 2018 7 nights Kodiak £7,161
11 Aug 2018 7 nights Homer £7,161
13 Aug 2018 7 nights Kodiak £7,161
22 Aug 2018 7 nights Homer £7,161
26 Aug 2018 7 nights Homer £7,161
30 Aug 2018 7 nights Homer £7,161
03 Sep 2018 7 nights Homer £7,161
07 Sep 2018 7 nights Homer £7,161
11 Sep 2018 7 nights Homer £7,161

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom at Kodiak Inn
  • 4 nights in cabins aboard The Ursus with shared bathroom
  • All meals (from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 7)
  • Drinking water
  • Services of Expedition Leader, boat crew and local staff
  • Return flights from Kodiak to Kukak Bay
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure, Kodiak Island
  • Hip waders for shore excursions (please advise shoe size)
  • Permits and entrance fees
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Kodiak

Arrive in Kodiak, gateway to Kodiak Island. Time permitting you may wish to explore independently, before meeting your fellow travellers this evening for an informal orientation dinner.

Day 2: Kodiak

Today you will explore Kodiak Island's coastal waters and rocky shorelines on a private boat trip. A cruise to Kodiak's protected inner islands, past tidal pools and offshore kittiwake rookeries, may reveal sea lions, otters, puffins, bald eagles and occasionally whales. You will also explore the historic town of Kodiak, with a mix of activities that may include visits to the Alutiiq Museum, Fort Abercrombie, Russian Orthodox Church, fish hatchery and research centre, aquarium, local microbrewery and a drive up Pillar Mountain for fantastic views over the shoreline and sea.

Day 3: Kodiak - Kukak Bay - Hallo Bay

Take a floatplane (weather permitting) from Kodiak to Kukak Bay. The plane will pull up right alongside 'the grizzly ship' – the Natural Habitat Ursus, your floating home for the next few days. Cruise slowly along the coast towards Hallo Bay, where coastal grizzlies, or brown bears, are commonly found foraging for food. Travelling by boat offers the flexibility to cruise to wherever the bears can be seen, following them from bay to bay.

Days 4-6: Coastal Katmai

Over the next couple of days you will explore the wild coastline of Katmai National Park, in search of close encounters with Alaska's grizzlies. These are North America's largest land predators, with adult males weighing up to 900 pounds. As you cruise just off the coast, you may spot bears dotted along the shoreline. Board the Zodiacs for a closer look or go ashore to explore on foot. It's not uncommon to find grizzlies in large numbers; previous trips have encountered as many as 30 to 40 bears at once.

The bears are likely to be very active too as they strive to fill up on enough protein-rich food to prepare them for a long winter in hibernation. Watch as they fight to capture salmon in their jaws, trying to seize spawning fish as they make their way up the streams that flow into the tidal area. As omnivores, they also dig for clams in the sand and browse on sedge grass at the water's edge. Depending on the time of season, you may even see bears mating or cubs gallivanting on the shore, as well as other wildlife such as wolves and birds.

Day 7: Katmai - Kodiak

After an unforgettable cruise you will return to Kodiak by floatplane for a final overnight stay at Kodiak Inn.

Day 8: Kodiak

Your wildlife adventure ends after breakfast today.

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