We offer two bear viewing tours!

Bears of the Misty Fjords | Prince of Wales Island Black Bear Viewing Tour

Brown and black bears are technically the same animal, but they’ve adapted to different conditions. Brown bears are also known as grizzly bears, and our brown bear population lives mostly in the fjords. They’re bigger than black bears and live in more mountainous terrain, within walking range of salmon. Our local black bears (which our opinionated pilots believe to be much more handsome animals) are most densely populated on Princes of Wales Island.

Click on an image for a larger view.


Ketchikan Bear Viewing: Bears of the Misty Fjords

None of us knew exactly what we were going to experience when we took off in the seaplane from Ketchikan…and none of us can still believe how cool that was.

It’s just hard to imagine yourself paddling on a floatplane within 50 yards of three brown bears digging for clams and playing in the grass.

We wanted to thank Alaska Seaplane Tours for making these memories for us!

Mark Calvely

It is our pleasure to offer the ultimate bear-viewing experience throughout this amazing coastal habitat.

Your two-hour expedition starts as you depart Ketchikan harbor by seaplane into the Misty Fjords National Monument. During this scenic flight, your pilot will share some facts and stories about this incredible land; as you listen, keep your eyes peeled for the marine mammals that migrate through the area. It is possible to see whales, sea lions and porpoise.

We’ll fly to a quiet watershed where bears dig for clams, graze on shore grasses, and (seasonally) fish for spawning salmon, which serve as a summer staple for all Alaskan mammals.

The Bears of the Fjords Tour is a chance to view both black and brown bear in Alaska. Though bears are our main objective, it’s not uncommon to see deer, eagles, kingfishers, and maybe even a wolf.

Your plane will land on the water, and you’ll have a chance to disembark  and step onto the floats. Your pilot will share his knowledge of bear habitat and point out any signs of bear. For photos, he will position your floatplane quietly alongside wildlife.

  • Although bear sightings are common, they are not guaranteed; nor can we guarantee how close the animals will be to you. Bears are wild, with keen hearing and smelling abilities; loud noises, fragrant perfumes, and smoking reduce your chances of sightings.
  • Shoreline excursions are not permitted by the USFS within the National Monument, so all wildlife photos during this tour are taken from the floatplane platform.

Tours Available May 15th – October 5th

PRICE:
$289.00 per person (two-person minimum; solo travellers welcome).
$239.00 children 12 and under
Tour time: two hours
Tour times are estimated and may vary slightly according to wind, weather, and wildlife viewing conditions.


Alaska Bear Viewing: Prince of Wales Island Black Bear Viewing Tour

I just wanted to say thank you for the great time we had on our “bear watch” trip. All of us loved it – we couldn’t believe the bear, salmon, and eagles – it was truly an incredible place you took us to and an incredible sight to see. We enjoyed getting to know you, and your staff – all were wonderful. Thank you again for helping to make our trip to Alaska truly awesome and something we will always remember.

Margie Young

No cruise to Southeast Alaska is complete without seeing some of our resident black bear! Some black bears have been spotted from cruise ships, and even in the town of Ketchikan, AK, but it’s unlikely you’ll see much of these sly creatures unless you travel on one of our wildlife tours.

bigoldbear2

Bear-viewing heaven

Prince of Wales Island (“POW” for short) has the biggest black bear population in North America, . After a 20-minute breathtaking flight from Ketchikan, you’ll be able to go ashore to see and photograph bears feeding in their intertidal marine habitat. On this trip, we often spot humpback and orca (killer) whales, bald eagle, sea otter, Harlequin ducks, and deer.

On most of our trips to POW, guests have the opportunity to disembark and take a walk along the shoreline.

POW is not yet a popular destination, and we are one of the only tour operators permitted by the US Forest Service to operate in this area, so this is a very special opportunity. The country’s overgrown logging areas and many salmon streams are exactly the habitat bears require to flourish.

It is always a pleasure to fly out to this wild island where black bears walk confidently. We have put all the odds in our black-bear viewing favor to create the ultimate day tour, designed especially to accommodate our cruise-ship visitors.

  • Although bear sightings are common, they are not guaranteed; nor can we guarantee how close the animals will be to you. Bears are wild, with keen hearing and smelling abilities; loud noises, fragrant perfumes, and smoking reduce your chances of sightings.

Tours Available May 15th – October 5th

PRICE:
$339.00 per person (two-person minimum; solo travellers welcome too).
$289.00 children 12 and under
Trip time: 
two hours, including 45 minutes in the air with over one hour ground viewing
Tour times are estimated and may vary slightly according to wind, weather and wildlife viewing conditions.