North America Alaska Cruise

The Great Alaskan Grizzly Encounter

Many travelers come to Alaska expecting to see Alaska’s enormous brown bears lumbering over tidal flats, feasting on salmon and tending to their frisky cubs. But the fact is, very few will. This 8-day Great Alaskan Grizzly Encounter is aptly named because small groups of only 8 passengers journey by floatplane and aboard the small ship Ursus into the truly bear-rich wilderness of Katmai National Park.

First, a quick Alaska bear primer: grizzly bears and brown bears are the same species (Ursus arctos), but brown bears are generally considered as those who have access to coastal food resources like salmon, while grizzly bears live farther inland and typically do not have access to such marine-derived cuisine.

The brown bears—or coastal grizzlies as they’re often called—encountered on this Alaska cruise are the largest in the world, living in the remote reaches of Katmai National Park, far from any cruise ship or tour bus route. And these are the months they will be feeding on summer’s bounty of spawning salmon. This is as up close and personal as you’ll ever safely get with wild bears! Knowledgeable guides and an extremely small group size allow guests to approach the bears without disturbing them.

Home base is the converted research ship Ursus, ideal for exploring the scenic wilderness waterways of Katmai National Park. And sleeping aboard each night allows the route to be flexible, following the bears from bay to bay. Go truly remote: you can’t get here by road or traditional cruise ship!