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2020 - SOLD OUT
2021 - SOLD OUT
2022 - sold out  

Absolute Alaska: Epic Wildlife Photography Safari 

2022 Highlights

 

  • 4 Centre Alaska Widlife Photography Safari

  • Optimum access to all of Alaska's summer wildlife highlights including bears, whales, sea otters, sea lions, horned puffins, bald eagles and more by small boat and on foot

  • Individual Photography & Videography Tuition from award-winning BBC presenter, photographer, film maker and travel writer Trai Anfield
     

  • Supporting the Raincoast Conservation Foundation*

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This trip has been our most requested over the last year, so how could we resist?!

  

You've asked us for a true wilderness experience, taking in some of the world's most majestic scenery that's home to bear, wolf and moose;  skies hosting hawks, eagles and owls;  waters shared by sea otter, whales, charismatic seabirds and majestic glaciers.   Add in the experience of seeing some of these wonderful animals on foot and even bicycle, as well as by boat, and it's truly an irresistible adventure - and one that partners of photographers will really appreciate too!  

 

Trai Anfield

Tour Director & Tutor

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Alaska: North America’s Last Wild Frontier

Wildlife still exists here in abundance, amidst diverse habitats ranging from temperate rainforest and taiga forest, to alpine and arctic tundra, and this diversity is reflected in its terrestrial wildlife, which includes the largest Brown Bears on the continent (if not the planet), the resourceful Black Bear, Wolf, Red Fox, Moose, Caribou, and Mountain Goats.  

 

Alaska's coastal waters are also incredibly rich and home to Sea Otters, Seals, Sea Lions, Walrus and Orca. They also play host to visiting giants including Fin, Bowhead Minke & Humpback Whales, as well as charismatic birds such as the Tufted and Horned Puffin and Bald Eagle.

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Our Alaska Highlights

  • 3 centre safari - photograph individual bears and family groups in a range of habitats

  • Close up photography by boat and on foot

  • Opportunities to photograph other iconic Alaskan wildlife including sea otter, eagles, whales, orca

  • Daily photography briefings and tutorials with award-winning photographer and tutor Trai Anfield 

  • Daily (subject to weather conditions) bear and other wildlife photography accompanied by tutor and specialist guides

  • Optimum access to wildlife and landscapes

  • Accommodation in authentic rustic wilderness lodges in prime bear viewing country

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Kodiak and Fraser Island

Kodiak, Alaska's "Emerald Isle", is a legendary bear destination. Genetically isolated for at least 10,000 years, Kodiak's Brown Bears evolved into the largest subspecies of the Great Northern Bear found anywhere in the world, and the chance to come face to face with this near mythical creature is a powerful draw.  Our usual viewing area here frequently draws mothers with cubs as it is situated by a salmon bottleneck at the foot of a fish ladder, so family groups or younger bears will be our main focus here.

Katmai National Park

At the base of the Alaska Peninsula, KNP is home to the largest protected population of Brown Bears in the world, and for the past 2 decades it has been the subject of a hugely successful and innovative approach to organised bear viewing, where small groups of photographers (maximum 6 people) can encounter the bears on foot in the company of an expert guide. 

 

Accessible by floatplane the Katmai Coast is every aspiring bear watcher's dream ticket where giant Coastal Brown Bears can be observed catching salmon where river meets ocean in summer. Nowhere else on the planet will you see more and bigger bears, up close and personal, than you will in Katmai where the bear viewing experience is all about being on the ground with these magnificent animals, with very few people around.  Access this amazing brown bear habitat by small boat/skiff and disembark to walk to locations where bears are feeding. Experience full days of bear viewing with packed lunches taken in the field.  Here we will seek large males in particular.

 

Anchorage

Anchorage has developed into Alaska's major cultural hub, and a visit to ‘The First Peoples of Alaska’ permanent exhibition at the Anchorage Museum is an excellent way to learn more about the cultural heritage of the region, through more than 600 objects selected and interpreted with help from Alaska Native advisers.

 

Despite rapid growth, Anchorage still has wildlife on its doorstep in abundance.  A gentle bike ride out of town along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail offers the possibility to see Beluga Whales in Cook Inlet if the tide is in, and encounter moose, black bear and other wildlife along the trail

Local specialities including king crab and locally brewed ale come highly recommended by Trai!

Seward

Seward offers us the chance to take to the open water once again.  On our last visit we were lucky enough to witness a 'super pod' of over 70 orca meeting up, exuberantly greeting each other with breaching and tail slapping, and even mating.  We also sail to the spectacular front of a calving glacier, and along the way see sea lions, sea otter, tufted puffin, horned puffin, bald eagle and of course always keep a keen look out for whales.  A wonderful end to a truly epic trip! 

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2022 Itinerary

Alaska Epic Bears Photography tour 2022, visiting Anchorage, Kodiak, Katmai & Seward

Aug 2: On arrival at Anchorage airport you will take the free shuttle bus to the ‘Comfort Suites Hotel’ for your overnight accommodation. 

Aug 3: When appropriate take a flight from Anchorage to Kodiak. On arrival take the free shuttle to the ‘Best Western Kodiak’ - we will try for an early check-in if required - for your overnight accommodation.  Depending on flight arrival times it may be possible to offer the additional option of kayaking or a photographic walk with Trai on this afternoon.

Aug 4: About 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time of your fly-in bear viewing tour, you will be collected from your hotel by Kingfisher Aviation who will transfer you to the nearby Floatplane facility where you will check-in. Weather permitting you will then be flown by floatplane to Frazer Lake in Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge where giant Kodiak bears gather to feed on spawning salmon (a location in Katmai National Park on the adjacent mainland may be substituted if the salmon run has already ended on Kodiak). All viewing will be conducted on foot in the company of an experienced guide. On returning to Kodiak, you will be dropped off at the Best Western Kodiak. These tours last about half a day in total.  Opportunity to review and edit your first batch of bear images with Trai.

Aug 5: Around 10:30AM you will be collected from your hotel and at 11:30AM (weather permitting) you will be transferred by floatplane to Katmai Wilderness Lodge. The flight is spectacularly scenic and may offer the opportunitiy to view pods of whales from the air.

 

Settle into your cabin, enjoy lunch and then embark on your first afternoon bear viewing excursion.

A covered skiff will be used to access the various bays in the area where Coastal Brown Bears gather to graze on estuarine sedge grasses; or catch salmon as they enter the spawning streams.  

 

Depending on tides and terrain, viewing will be conducted from the skiff, or the group will put ashore and photograph bears on foot.  Dinner and overnight accommodation back at the lodge 

Aug 6-8: Three full days of morning and afternoon bear viewing sessions. There will be opportunities to view marine wildlife including Sea Otters, Seals, Bald Eagles, Horned Puffins, and any Whales or Orca that may be in the area.  All meals and overnight accommodation at the lodge. 

Aug 9: Morning bear viewing session followed by an early lunch and a midday floatplane transfer back to Kodiak, which may offer opportunities to view pods of Whales from the air.

 

On returning to Kodiak you will be dropped off at the airport to connect with your flight AA 40 to Anchorage, departs 16:56 and arrives at 17:53 (approx. timings). There will be a minibus there, to take you to the ‘Susitna Place B&B’ for your overnight accommodation. 

Aug 10: Free day for your own activities in Anchorage. We recommend renting a bicycle and cycling the 10 mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail from downtown Anchorage from which offers the possibility to see Beluga Whales in Cook Inlet if the tide is in, and encounter moose and other wildlife along the trail.  An alternative is to take a leisurely walk from your B&B to the Anchorage Museum and explore the wonderful ‘The First peoples of Alaska’ exhibition – which is on permanent display in this eye catching modern building. Overnight at the same B&B. 

Aug 11: A fun day of travel starts with a very early start and short minibus bus ride down to Anchorage station to catch the ‘Coastal Classic Train’, departs at 06:45 and arrives into Seward at 11:05. You will be met on arrival and transferred to the ‘Harbor 360 hotel’ (Harborview rooms). Your rooms may not be available on arrival, but your luggage can be stored. The main Seward harbour is just a few 100M away and it is possible to see Sea Otters from the walkways as they follow the fishing boats. Enjoy a gentle afternoon exploring Seward and photographing any resident marine wildlife.

Aug 12: After an early breakfast you will walk 200M down to the harbour dock and board your private boat charter for a glacier and wildlife cruise. The trip will last around 8 hours and can be tailored to our wildlife aims; subject to seasonality and what is being seen at that time. We would hope to see Humpbacks, Orcas, Sea Otters and Puffins. Lunch, snacks, bottled water, soft drinks, coffee, hot tea, and hot cocoa included. Overnight again at the Harbor 360.

 

Aug 13: Day at leisure to enjoy some of Seward's many nature-based activities before being transferred back to the station to catch the return train to Anchorage, departs 18:00 and arrives at 22:15. On arrival you will be met and transferred to the ‘Comfort Suites Hotel’ for your overnight accommodation.

Aug 14: When appropriate you will take the free shuttle bus back to the airport to connect with your onward international flight.

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2022 - SOLD OUT

2022 RATES:  £5,750 PER PERSON 

Based on two people sharing a double/twin room throughout.  

 

INCLUDES: including a fly-in bear photography tour to Fraser Island, floatplane transfers between Kodiak and Katmai Wilderness Lodge, all photographic tuition, specialist guides, accommodation, boat safaris, walking activities, meals as described

and *£100 per person donation to Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

 

 

 

EXCLUDES: **international flights to Kodiak via Anchorage though we are happy to quote on request; optional extra kayaking/cycling/museum activities; gratuities, personal insurances.

**Allow approximately £1200 per person for flights from the UK - we are happy to assist with booking flights and quote on request.

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Additional Photo Credits On This Page: Katmai Wilderness Lodge - thanks guys!

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