Humpback whale breaching.

Wildlife Viewing & Photography

Brown bear fishing for salmon.

Experience Wildlife

The best way to experience a combination of Alaska Brown Bear viewing and photography with Alaska Marine Wildlife is spending a week cruising the waters of the Kodiak Archipelago and along Coastal Katmai National Park.

Our Alaska Wildlife Cruise is More than just Alaska Brown Bear Viewing

In this remote coastal region, you will become enchanted by the narrow fjords, island sea stacks, sandy beaches, and rocky headlands that are teaming with Alaska wildlife. This area is home to Kodiak brown bears, Katmai grizzly bears, red fox, cross fox, wolves (Katmai), deer (Kodiak), river and sea otters, sea lions, bald eagles, seals, humpback whales, fin whales, orca whales, puffins, close to 200 species of birds, dahl porpoise, five species of Pacific salmon, and more. You’ll get to see Alaska Brown bears, but you’ll have the opportunity to see so many more animals than you thought possible. The quantity and variety of wildlife seen with Adventure Kodiak are unsurpassed!

A place where the whales come to you! A humpback breaches.

Get Ready for Your Unique Interaction with Alaska’s Wildlife

At Adventure Kodiak, we work hard to get you close to these amazing mammals and birds than you would imagine possible – with the utmost respect for the safety of humans and wildlife alike. To give you the ultimate experience and personal attention, we limit the number of guests aboard to six people, allowing us to customize every cruise.

Get more from your Alaska Wildlife Cruise with Adventure Kodiak

We have the only Alaska wildlife cruise efficiently combining Kodiak and Katmai bear viewing and Alaska wildlife viewing by eliminating extra travel returning to town each day or having to sleep in a tent. Once you are on our small ship, your “campsite” travels with you. Take a peek out through your staterooms portholes before sleep for a last look at the bears on the beach, then enjoy a cozy and comfortable night’s sleep anchored in a quiet bay. To see a sample of wildlife you may see, check out the Alaska wildlife photos gallery, all taken by our guests and our staff. Hear from our guests about their intimate Alaskan wildlife experiences.

Photography Opportunities

If you’re looking for Alaska wildlife photography tours, Adventure Kodiak will take you to Coastal Katmai National Park and the Kodiak Archipelago to tour the most photogenic place on earth. Your photography tour of Alaska wildlife will give you a chance to create the most exceptional images of most creatures that walk, fly, or swim in remote Alaska. Our guides will give you the up-close opportunity to capture this wildlife while keeping respect for the animals’ space and not making them uncomfortable.

Photograph Remote, Wild Alaska in Style

Our Alaska wildlife photography tours include three main elements:  mobility, comfort, and unique access to wildlife. The Single Star’s mobility and ability to stay on-site increases your time on shore and in the field. You don’t have to sacrifice access to remote Alaska for your own creature comforts while living aboard the Single Star. Our accommodations are comparative with the finest Alaska lodges, so you get the best of both worlds. Wake up at your destination, have breakfast while you watch bears on the beach or opt for some of the many species of birds nearby. Cameras, tripods and other gear are easily transported ashore and ample time is allowed for set up. Every experience is unique, tailored to fit our guests’ interests, follow the wildlife, and take advantage of the good weather.

Timing is Everything When Considering An Alaska Wildlife Photography Tour

Alaska summers are intense, with days that last into the night thanks to the Midnight Sun. The specific wildlife and their activities change rapidly as the days wax and wane. What you see and experience on your Alaskan wildlife adventure depends greatly on when you choose to cruise.

Late May to Late-June

Summer is just beginning in Southwestern Alaska. Days are long and vegetation is greening up the meadows and hillsides. If you are interested in Katmai photography tours to get a chance to see Katmai bears flock to the coast to mate and feast along the tidal flats of the Alaska Peninsula, then this is the time of year for you. This is one of the few places in the world where bears are known to dig and eat clams. Late spring to early summer is mating season for the brown bears. Play, mating, and sparring behaviors are at their peak. What an opportunity for unique photos!

Puffins, black oystercatchers, kittiwakes and more are now predictably sitting on their nests either on the rocky cliffs – high above the water or in the sandy gravel – safely above high tide. Humpback whales and their calves, plus fin whales, have returned and are now aggressively feeding on the abundant schools of feeder fish.

July

For the brown bears, mating season will soon be winding down and the sows with winter’s newborn cubs are more comfortable with being in the meadows and along the shore. This is a great time to catch photos of cubs nursing and playing. The bears are starting to congregate at the mouths of the rivers waiting for the arrival of the first salmon runs beginning late July (exact dates are unpredictable). In late July, eggs of the nesting birds start hatching. Whales are active this time of year. Most outgoing are the humpbacks who breach, slapping their pectoral fins, often with calves in tow. Wildflowers are in full bloom in the meadows and in the cracks of rocky cliffs.

August

August is fishing time for the bears as massive schools of salmon are pushing their way up the streams to be caught in the jaws of the great coastal brown bears, the most iconic image of any Katmai photography tour. By now, the bears no longer appear lean, they are showing their stores of winter fat. Sows are still ever vigilant with their cubs, teaching them how to fish. This is one of our favorite wildlife activities to discretely photograph or video.

Adult puffins and kittiwakes are catching candlefish and flying back to their nests to feed their young. Flocks of seagulls, kittiwakes, and some puffins fly above the whales waiting for a chance to catch the feeder fish. In late August, Puffin young will leave their nests and begin leaving the area.

Transient orcas may be seen hunting other whales or sea mammals, their strong bodies moving deftly through the water to catch their prey.

September

Heavy with August’s feeding, the Brown bears are still actively fishing but are slowing down.

Most of the puffins will have gone back to sea by mid-September. The winter sea ducks have returned. Bald eagles scavenge and hunt along the shorelines or watch from trees for salmon and other small wildlife. Humpbacks are leaving for winter grounds. The vegetation along the coast is giving over to Fall colors, with reds, yellows, and browns dominating the landscape.