Ketchikan Neets Bay Bear Adventure Floatplane Tour

Your excursion begins as you board your motorcoach for a short drive to the float deck. Upon arriving, you'll board a DeHavilland Beaver or DeHavilland Otter floatplane with a guaranteed window seat for a 25-minute flight.

You'll fly over Revillagigedo Island en route to Neets Bay in Tongass National Forest. A fully guided nature walk along a quarter-mile trail through old growth forest takes you to Neets Bay Creek, a remote site where the annual gathering of fish is a huge draw for the region's most plentiful concentration of black bears. Along the way, you'll witness Neets Bay Salmon Hatchery, where summer and fall chum, fall coho and chinook salmon are produced to keep the supply plentiful.

From a viewing platform, you'll be watching black bears fishing for and feeding on salmon heading upstream to spawn, and eagles perch in surrounding trees waiting for scraps. Although wildlife sightings are not guaranteed, keep your camera ready for a myriad of photo opportunities.

Your excursion concludes with a 25-minute return flight back to the float deck, and a relaxing drive back to the pier.

NOTES: Guests should wear comfortable, sturdy footwear and dress appropriately for weather conditions. Participants must be able to walk 1/4 mile on uneven gravel trail and stand for duration of the tour at Neets Bay. There is an additional surcharge of $150 for any passenger whose weight is 250lb or more.

Duration: 3 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal. Flight time: 50 minutes. Bear Viewing time: 45 minutes.)

Inclusions:

  • Noise canceling digital headset to listen to the pilot's narration
  • Route map
  • Coffe, tea and bottled water

Requirements:

  • Guests must be able to walk a quarter mile on uneven gravel trail and stand for duration of the tour at Neets Bay.
  • Passenger names and weights are required by the FAA for passenger safety and comfort, as well as weight and balance calculations for flight manifesting. Any passenger whose weight is 250 pounds (113 kilograms) or more fully clothed at the time of departure must pay an additional surcharge of $150 on the day-of at the floatplane base.

Recommendation:

  • Comfortable hiking footwear, layered clothing and rain gear

Duration: 3 hours. Tour times below are approximate:

  • 15 minutes transfer to floatplane base
  • 15 minutes bathroom break and loading
  • 25 minutes flightseeing to Neets Bay
  • 70 minutes including 1/4 mile hike to and from bear viewing platform and bear viewing at Hatchery
  • 25 minutes flightseeing back to base 
  • 15 minutes bathroom break and shopping
  • 15 minutes tranfer back to town  

Meeting Instructions:

  • This tour meets at the Liquid Sunshine Rain Gauge. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.

ADA Accessibility of Tour:

  • This tour is limited mobility accessible. Guests must be able to get in and out of the planes with little assistance. Guests who have a wheelchair will not be able to take the wheelchair on the plane with them.There is a golf cart that can take guest to and from the plane once at the base. Please note that there is a 1/4 mile walk to and from the bear viewing site at Neets Bay. The pace of the walk is set by the slowest guest. Please leave a comment during checkout if accommodations for golf cart will be required on tour.

Can I bring a backpack?

A no-bag policy applies. All bags brought to the base will be stored until you return from your flight.

Can I fly if I am over 250lbs? 

Yes. However, any passenger whose weight is 250 pounds (113 kilograms) or more fully clothed at the time of departure must pay an additional surcharge of 0 on the day-of at the floatplane base.

How many passengers ride in the floatplane together?

There is a maximum of either 6 or 9 passengers per floatplane. If there are more than 9 passengers, multiple planes will fly at the same time for the tour to accommodate the additional guests.

What is the temperature in the floatplane?

The temperature during flight is roughly similar to the ground temperature, and each plane is equiped with heaters if necessary.

Will I get a window seat on the plane?

Yes, all seats on the floatplane have a window view.

What type of bears might I see on this tour?

At Neets Bay, black bears are the most dominant species and brown bear sightings should not be expected.

Are there any age restrictions for children?

There are no age restrictions for this tour.

Can I bring my own food or drink?

Outside foor and drink are not allowed on tour.

Are food and drink included?

Bottled water is included.

Are there any physical requirements for this tour?

Guests must be to walk ½ mile on uneven gravel trail and stand for duration of the tour at Neets Bay.

What type of clothing should I wear?

Guests should wear comfortable, sturdy footwear and dress appropriately for weather conditions. 

Not seeing answers to your questions?

Check out other frequently asked questions here!

Customer Reviews
Sep 2019 - David M.

Loved the float plane experience! Would have loved to see more bears - only saw 2 (one as we were heading to the plane to leave). Staff very knowledgeable and friendly

Sep 2019 - Sharon S.

My husband and I were met by a representative at the designated meeting spot and driven to their base in the harbour to catch a floatplane to Neets Bay. Within a short time we were in the air with our pilot, Chuck and the scenery was spectacular over Ketchikan. It was about a 20 minute flight to Neets Bay where we were met by Joshua and Morgan who are the two resident Bear Guides. We began our walk around the Bay with Joshua pointing out several dens where the bears sleep and markings on trees. It wasn't long before we came upon the salmon hatchery and a stream with viewing platforms for us to wait and observe any bears should they come down the mountain to fish. Our time was almost up when we sighted our first black bear who quickly grabbed a salmon and took it up behind a tree. He came back shortly to get another fish, then further along the bank appeared two more bears. It was absolutely wonderful to see them in the wild and so close to us. It was a wonderful afternoon all round and a highlight of our trip. Thank you.

Sep 2019 - Brian P.

Amazing trip. After a short bus trip to the airport we were aboard the floatplane. It was a nice plane that held ten passengers. The pilot was awesome, and the views were even better. Everyone enjoyed the flight. Once on ground out guide walked us to a creek where after a few minutes we saw a black bear catch a fish. We took a short walk to the salmon hatchery to look for more bears. There were not any there, but we did see another one before we boarded the plane again. The guide was informative and enjoyable. This was a great excursion.

Sep 2019 - Kurt B.

Saw a dozen bears including a mother bear with two cubs. The float plane ride was great.

Sep 2019 - Catherine H.

This was a fantastic experience. The people involved were not just professional but friendly and nice all round. The tour itself was fabulous and better than we expected, but really didn't know what to expect. Cathy

Aug 2019 - Katharine K.

This was our best excursion while on our Alaskan cruise! We were there mid-morning in mid-August and there were tons of Salmon and at least 8-10 different black bears, often 5-6 in view at one time. Very interesting to learn about the hatchery too, but spent most of the time watching the bears feast on salmon and also got to experience the group dynamics between the older and younger bears. The pilot was great as well, pointed out interesting landmarks along the way.

Jul 2019 - Catherine F.

Slightly too early in the season so didn't see any bears but floatplane experience was great.

Sep 2018 - Hui Chung H.

Great. We saw bear catching salmons.

Aug 2018 - Grace B.

Excellent excursion. Both our float plane pilot and park guide exceeded our expectations. Once in a lifetime experience

Aug 2018 - Birdie E.

This is an awesome excursion. Our float plane pilot, Adam, was super knowledgeable about the area and made sure that we saw some amazing sights along the way to and from Neets Bay. At Neets Bay we say numerous eagles, 8 bears including one that our Guide, Mike, said they have named Roscoe. He is an older bear and a little on the mean side. We watched him take a salmon from another bear. I had watched a you tube video of Neets Bay where a bear came out of the woods and wondered down into the stream and caught a fish and ate it. We saw that numerous times. We also saw the salmon hatchery. Highly recommend booking this excursion!!!

Aug 2018 - Liza S.

Wonderful excursion! The floatplane was exciting. Adam, our pilot was super informative and very knowledgeable. At Neets Bay we saw bears, eagles and salmon! The salmon hatchery was interesting. Highly recommend this excursion.

Aug 2018 - Erica R.

The flight was just as good as the bear adventure! Loved the scenic flying and the salmon hatchery/bear viewing was lovely. Great time & price beat out everyone.

Aug 2018 - VICTORIA K.

We had the most amazing experience on our excursion. The pilots, Ed and Forrest (Taquan Air) and our guide, Joshua, were all absolutely outstanding professionals. We had a thoroughly memorable time and saw 10+ bears in the wild. Unbelievable!! Many thanks, Yvonne and Victoria Kennedy

Aug 2018 - Doreen R.

If your goal is to see bears, then you will really love this excursion. They tell you that you may see bears when you get off the floodplain, but I think that is just to cover some rare occurrence where they aren't there. We saw six pairs at once. There are also bald eagles there and I happened to capture a picture of a bald eagle flying by a bear. Pretty cool! The tour guide was very friendly and informative. Even though he didn't act like he expected to tip and I don't think anybody else tipped, I did tip him because I felt his services were over and above. Same with the pilot. The older gentleman that Sheryl does back-and-forth from the ship was very kind as well.

Jul 2018 - Katharina S.

The trip was very good organized and the flight was very nice.We would only suggest to plan this trip at a time of a year when the salmons are around so the bears would really come out to eat.Everything else was perfect.

Oct 2017 - Robert O.

One of the best! Who knew bears (big, heavy bears!) climb and sleep in trees???? Good value for money, experienced pleasant people.

Aug 2017 - Simone S.

An amazing trip. Float plane trip was very special with incredible scenery. We also saw orcas and a humpback just for measure! Bears galore at Neets Bay including cubs in their natural environment swimming and catching salmon. Unbelievable experience and we'd highly recommend it.

Aug 2017 - Martin W.

Efficiently run . Exciting . Knowledgeable staff. Loved seeing bears in their natural habitat, but only 2 co-operated!

BEST PRICE Guarantee!

$389.00

BEST PRICE Guarantee!

Duration: 3 hours


Number of Passengers *

Adult: $389.00

Child (2-11): $389.00

Infant (0-2): $0.00

Total
$0.00

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