insights from the ultimate cruising team

The Bear Necessities - Cruise Alaska

The Bear Necessities - Cruise Alaska

Seeing bears in their natural environment is a highlight of any Alaskan cruise.  I don’t know what it is about these big, lumbering creatures, but they will hold you spellbound while they fish for salmon, or bathe in the water or mind their cheeky cubs.

Cruise lines to Alaska will invariably include some sort of bear watching excursion.  They can’t guarantee bear sightings (as is the case with any wildlife excursion) but some areas are more likely to yield better results than others.  July through to September is the best time for seeing bears as they emerge from their dens in early Spring.
Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Seward, Whittier, Sitka and Icy Strait Point are all good places to try your luck spotting black and/or brown bears.  They can also sometimes be seen on the coastlines, especially at dawn or dusk when searching for food. 

This is one of the reasons why we recommend small ship cruising for Alaska.  Small ships can get closer into shore so viewing opportunities are far better.  You’ll also find yourself nosing in under a waterfall and up close to marine life.  Small ships are also more flexible in that, should you come across a pod of whales for example, your captain can decide to pause or detour slightly to make the most of these opportunities. 

Small ships often have experts and lecturers on-board so you can make the most of their knowledge and learn about the flora and fauna you are witnessing.  Fewer passengers on-board also means you have the opportunity to speak with these experts personally and the excursions are often more intimate with more opportunity to go ashore. 

Ultimate Cruising works with several cruise lines operating in Alaska, each with their own unique attributes.  Although cruises to Alaska have been suspended due to the pandemic, bookings for the 2021 season are already strong with many of those people booked on cancelled 2020 sailings moving to 2021.  Due to the uncertainty with travelling, cruise lines are offering special never-seen-before booking options, deposit extensions and more flexible cancellation fees.  These vary from cruise line to cruise line, so feel free to give us a call to find out more.