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NON-STOP GRIZZLY ACTION AT BROOKS FALLS and HALLO BAY in Katmai National Park

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July 11 - 22, 2020

FIVE SPOTS LEFT!

 
 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Photograph fishing bears to your heart's content during the peak sockeye salmon run at Brooks Falls.
  • Thrill to the float plane experience - not once, but seven times - one of which you ride co-pilot while traversing the lush scenery of Katmai
  • Spend four nights aboard a marine research vessel on the Katmai Coast with daily land excursions to photograph coastal bears fishing and clamming in Hallo Bay, Kukuk Bay and/or Geographic Harbor. Wherever the bears are is where we'll be!
  • Be dumbfounded by Alaska's majestic beauty on the scenic railroad from Anchorage to Seward
  • Marvel at the marine wildlife and dramatic landscape on the Kodiak Coast and Seward's Resurrection Bay
  • Be awestruck by the massive whales and glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Track the flight of eagles, puffins, and local and migratory birds on Kachemak Bay in Homer
  • Be impressed by what goes on Behind-the-Scenes at the Alaska Sealife Center
  • Celebrate the photo knowledge you learned, the places you saw and the friends you made

ITINERARY At a Glance

(with links to Accommodation)

  • July 17, 2020
    Drive from Seward to Homer. Photo barge on Kachemak Bay for eagles.
    LAND'S END RESORT
  • July 18, 2020
    Fly-in to the Island C in Hallo Bay off on Katmai Coast. Land excursions to photograph bears
    ISLAND C (SHIP)
  • July 19, 2020
    Land excursions for fishing bears at Hallo Bay.
    ISLAND C (SHIP)
  • July 20, 2020
    Further exploration of the Katmai Coast, perhaps to Geographic Harbor or Kukak Bay.
    ISLAND C (SHIP)
  • July 21, 2020
    Land excursions for fishing bears. Evening start for Kodiak Island.
    ISLAND C (SHIP)
  • July 22, 2020
    Morning on Kodiak Coast for whales and marine life. Farewell lunch on Kodiak Island. Fly from Kodiak to Anchorage for connecting flight home. Optional extra if wishing to spend another night in Anchorage.
  • July 12, 2020
    Commercial flight to King Salmon. Transfer to Brooks Falls.
    KING SALMON LODGE
  • July 14, 2020
    Bear photography or optional Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Return flight to Anchorage.
    THE LAKEFRONT ANCHORAGE
Over the past few years I have been fortunate to have Rick as my guide while photographing brown bears in Alaska. His professionalism, sense of humor and understanding of animal behavior rank him among the best guides anywhere. The only thing that may outshine his own images is his ability to get the best out of each photographer he guides.
— Andrew C.
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What wildlife photographer doesn't dream of capturing the iconic Mangelson shot of the salmon jumping into the mouth of the hungry brown bear perched above Brooks Falls?  Now's your chance!

Katmai National Park contains the world’s largest protected brown bear population - approximately 2200, and it’s not uncommon to see up to 30 bears at one time fishing the falls during the two sockeye salmon runs, one in July and the other in September. July is the best time to catch fishing bears as they’re hungry and motivated. In September it’s not uncommon to see fat, lazy bears lying at the base of the falls, too overstuffed to make the effort. We should be right at the peak of the July salmon run, and the photo opportunities should be exceptional.

We’ve factored in a bad weather day at the falls ‘just in case’. If, on the third day, the weather remains brilliant, you’ve fulfilled your fishing bear dreams and filled your cards, there is an option for a day excursion to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a scenic photo opportunity to explore the aftermath of, by volume, the largest volcanic eruption in the 20th Century.

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Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

It's always important to book an extra day when shooting wildlife in remote areas as you can't predict the weather or animal behavior. On DAY 3 at Brooks - assuming both the bears and weather have been agreeable - the possibility exists for a Day Excursion to Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a scenic valley caused in 1912 by the largest volcano eruption in the 20th Century.

This is an Optional Extra and costs $135 if interested. Price includes ground transport and a packed lunch. The tour leaves from Brooks.

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We’re seeing the best of Katmai National Park from the inside out. Following our three days on the interior at Brooks Falls, we’ll be returning to Anchorage and then over-landing down the Kenai Peninsula with stops in Seward and Homer for multiple boating excursions. In Seward, we’ll be traversing Resurrection Bay to Kenai Fjords National Park to photograph whales, dolphins and other marine mammals and birdlife. In Homer, we have two outings on Katchemak Bay for eagles, orcas, puffins and sea otters.

From Homer we hop a seaplane to the Katmai Coast where we’ll connect in Kukak Bay with the Island C, a marine research vessel and our home for the next five days. Kukak Bay is one of a myriad of bays and harbors bordering the eastern boundary of Katmai National Park where brown bears actively fish against the backdrop of incredible mountain scenery. Our main thrust will be the bears at Hallo Bay, world-renown for the number of bears and its exceptional beauty. Being boat-based with a land excursion dinghy, we have the versatility of movement dictated by the tides. Whether on land with the bears chasing fish in our direction, or moored in the harbor with the bears giving chase across an incredibly scenic backdrop, we’ll be in the prime position for the best photography.

Based on time allowed and the bear activity, we may explore further afield to Geographic Harbor. We’ll travel aboard the Island C to our final destination, along the Kodiak Coast to Kodiak Island. From Kodiak we return to Anchorage to catch our connecting flights home.

The ISLAND C

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The marine research vessel, The Island C, will be our home for 4 nights/5 days and give us greater flexibility as we explore the Katmai Coastline, home to large numbers of fishing bears against a stunning backdrop. Our quest for bears will take us to Hallo Bay, Kukak Bay and/or Geographic Harbor where land excursions aboard the landing craft (upper left) will give us a front row seat for the bear activity.

There’s nothing Rick doesn’t know about bears! Having been a bear guide at the lodge for many years and being a photographer himself meant we were always safe and put in the best spot possible for photos. Absolutely brilliant experience!
— Lori B.
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THE KENAI PENINSULA

Alaska has so much to offer that it's hard to fit everything into one trip.  In addition to 8 days of shooting bears, we're including 4 days on the Kenai Peninsula shooting whales and glaciers in Seward’s Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay, and eagles and a variety of marine life in Homer's Katchemak Bay.  And if that’s not enough, we're kicking off the Kenai tour with one of National Geographic Travelers 'Top Ten Train Rides in North America'  - the 4-hour scenic train journey from Anchorage to Seward in Goldstar Class featuring the glass-domed observation car and outside viewing decks.

SEWARD

FLOATING WITH WHALES…..

The port town of Seward is gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park. The park is renowned for the glaciers that flow into coastal fjords that are habitat to whale and porpoise.  The scenery is exquisite and we'll be spending two days on Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park exploring the abundant marine life and scenic attractions.

  • Images 2, 3 & 5 above and the one below used under license from Shutterstock.com

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HOMER

…..SOARING WITH EAGLES

Come aboard the GRANITE CAPE for two adventure-packed half-day trips shooting eagles, puffins, kittiwakes, sea otters and stunning landscape in beautiful Katchemak Bay. We'll be overnighting in the swank Land's End Resort at the end of Homer Spit where you'll enjoy views of the bay and further photo ops of mariner life and the local fishing fleet.

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Just wanted to say thanks again for all the attention to detail you spent on making my trip to Alaska one of the best trips of my life.
— Carole M.

INCLUSIONS, EXCLUSIONS & COST

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • 10 full days of photography

  • 7 nights accommodation in 3 & 4-star lodges, cabins and hotels (based on double occupancy)

  • 4 nights accommodation on a marine research vessel on the Katmai Coast

  • All meals and soft drinks, limited wine and beer

  • 4-hour scenic train journey from Anchorage to Seward

  • 10 Flights (including 7 float plane flights)

  • Private boat charters in Seward and Homer and the Katmai Coast

  • All ground transport - one way by private 12-pax van from Seward to Homer

  • Unlimited infield and classroom photography training

  • Taxes and Park Fees

  • All Gratuities

  • Footwear in the form of knee boots and hip waders at Silver Salmon Creek

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Return flights between domicile and Anchorage

  • Excess luggage on internal flights

  • Mandatory travel and health insurance

  • Alcoholic spirit drinks

  • Laundry

  • Optional night in Anchorage on July 10, 2020

COST

11 DAYS | 11 NIGHTS
July 11-22, 2020
All-Inclusive $11,400

(See Terms and Conditions Below)

TERMS and CONDITIONS

*ALL PRICES QUOTED ARE BASED ON SIX PARTICIPANTS AND DOUBLE-OCCUPANCY.  FEWER THAN SIX PARTICIPANTS WILL NECESSITATE A PER PERSON INCREASE IN PRICE. SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.

PRICING IS GUARANTEED AS DESCRIBED AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION. PRICE FLUCTUATION CANNOT BE CONTROLLED SPECIFIC TO PARK FEES, INTERNAL FLIGHTS AND ACCOMMODATIONS. ANY INCREASE IN PRICES, IN THE UNLIKELIHOOD THEY SHOULD OCCUR, WILL BE PASSED THROUGH TO THE CLIENT.

Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer!