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Ketchikan Alaskan Bear Encounter by Land & Sea

Southeast Alaska's pristine wilderness makes for an enchanting day trip in Ketchikan. The day begins with a fully narrated motor coach ride from downtown Ketchikan. Your guide will share the unique history of this special part of the world.

Arrive at Clover Pass Resort where your 36-passenger boat charter awaits. Your experienced Captain and crew will set to the sea for an hour-long adventure toward Neets Bay Observatory. This expansive wilderness area is limited to a small number of visitors each year and you will have the golden ticket. The sights and sounds of the Tongass National Forest will leave you breathless. Photo opportunities will be ever-present as you sail toward Neets Bay. Stay alert for the abundant Alaskan wildlife throughout the journey. You may see whales, eagles, sea lions, and more.

Southeast Alaska is home to thousands of bears, and they stake their claim near salmon spawning streams that feed into the Pacific Ocean. Upon arrival at Neets Bay, near the base of the stream, you will be debriefed on the habitat you are about to explore and the bears you will be observing. Enjoy the serenity of this lush forest and the chance to see smaller woodland creatures as you walk along a well-maintained forest trail while making your way to the viewing platform.

Your guides will be on hand to answer all your questions about these majestic mammals and to share their knowledge of the surrounding forest and the importance of the hatcheries to enhance salmon production in Southeast Alaska. Photography is a must as you will not want to forget a single moment of this experience as you co-exist with these incredible creatures within their own habitat. You may see them teaching their young to fish or relaxing after a big meal of fresh salmon, but nothing will compare to simply being near these beautiful creatures in the wild.


Duration: 4.5-5 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal. Bear Viewing time: 45 minutes at Neets Bay Observatory. )


  • Roundtrip transportation
  • Bottled water 
  • Light snack


  • Guests must be comfortable walking up to 1/3 mile on sometimes uneven terrain. 

Duration: 4.5-5 hours. Tour times below are approximate:

  • 15-30 minutes (dependent on ship location) - coach to Clover Pass Resort
  • 15 minutes -  guests board the boat
  • 1 hour and 5 minutes - fully narrated boat excursion en route to Neets Bay
  • 20 minutes - fully guided rainforest walk
  • 45 minutes - Neets Bay Bear Observatory
  • 20 minutes - fully guided rainforest walk
  • 1 hour and 5 minutes: boat returns to Clover Pass
  • 15 minutes: board coach, shopping time available
  • 15-30 minutes (depending on ship location) - coach returns to ship

Meeting Instructions:

  • This tour meets at the Liquid Sunshine Rain Gauge. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.  Guests docking at Ward Cove will be picked up at the Ward Cove welcome center. 

ADA Accessibility of Tour:

  • This tour is not limited mobility accessible. 

What should I wear?

Closed-toed, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.  Dress weather-appropriate - layers, jacket, etc. 

How many passengers can join this excursion?

The boat charter is a 36-passenger vessel. 

How close will we be to bears?

The observatory is uniquely designed to allow guests to see bears from a safe enclosure.  While you will be a safe distance away, bears are clearly visible. 

Are food and drinks available?

Bottled water and a light snack are available. 

Not seeing answers to your questions?

Check out other frequently asked questions here!

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Duration: 4.5-5 hours

Number of Passengers *

Ages: 13+

Adult: $245.00

Child (12 and under): $145.00

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