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Neets Bay Bear Encounter by Land & Sea

5 reviews

Excursion Overview

Delight in an enchanting day trip from Ketchikan, Alaska

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 to 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 hopefully be observing. Bear and Wildlife sightings are never guaranteed as this excursion takes place in the wild, bears are not captive for viewing 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.


Things You Need to Know


  • 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 (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal.)

  • 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 the 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 wheelchair or limited mobility accessible.

Refund Policy:

  • You may cancel for any reason up to seven (7) days prior to the date of the tour for a full refund.
  • Please see our Refund Policy Page for complete details.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The boat charter is a 36-passenger vessel.

The observatory is uniquely designed to allow guests to see bears from a safe enclosure. Guests are at a safe distance but please note, that bear and wildlife sightings are never guaranteed. This excursion takes place in the wild, bears are not captive for viewing.

Bottled water and a light snack are available.

There are bathrooms available at the beginning of the tour, on the boat, and also at Neets Bay.


Guest Reviews


5 total


Ta-Chung C

On Aug 2023

We very much enjoyed this tour, saw six black bears during our trip. Some, relatively close.

Rhonda H

On Aug 2023

By far my fav part of my visit to Alaska! Well organized from beginning to end. Our van driver, Micah was friendly and knowledgeable. Loved taking the boat to the remote side of Ketchikan to see the bears and fish hatchery. Our tour guide was friendly and good natured. The walk thru the rain forest was so beautiful and our guide to the bear stands was excellent! And we did get to see bears!!! So exciting!

Kim G

On Aug 2023

The tour was well organized and the guide friendly and knowledgeable. We saw one bear feeding on thousands of salmon, which was a surprise. You'd think there would be a lot of bears partaking of the feast. One of the most interesting parts of the tour was watching how the hatchery worked. I would recommend this tour.

Pamela F

On Aug 2023

Wonderful excursion.

Martine B

On Jul 2023

That was an interesting tour. But we were unfortunate and did not see any bear. We saw couple bald eagles but that's it. Guide was very helpful and they new what they were talking about. But wildlife being wildlife you never know what can happen. But still it was interesting.


Best Price Guarantee!


Duration: 4.5-5 hours

Best Price Guarantee!

Duration: 4.5-5 hours

Ages: 13+

Adult: $399.00

Child (12 and under): $299.00

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