Kodiak island photography expedition August 2021

Professional guided tour August 25 - 31

ALASKA PHOTOGRAPHY EXPEDITION

Your Alaska experience begins with a spectacular flight seeing trip ending in rendezvous with our ship in Katmai National Park. You’ll be flying in Alaska’s most venerable sea plane the De Havilland Beaver to Island C’s location on the Katmai coast. On this flight you will cross over the northernmost part of Kodiak's archipelago offering views of Kodiak in its full radiance as Alaska's emerald isle.

In addition to the stunning landscapes, you will likely see the first whales of your trip on this flight. As you begin across Shelikof Straight, your pilot will turn toward the distant ice fields of the Alaska Peninsula. Here you take in your first views of the Katmai coast. Your plane will touch down in Kukak Bay where we’ll get you oriented to the boat, show you to your stateroom, and take you out in the field on the very first day.

The emphasis on this trip is bears, hence the name. Typically we move to a new location every two days although there are exceptions. Sometimes we stay longer in one place either because the activity is too spectacular to leave behind, or occasionally because weather conditions keep us there. Over a week you will experience the full breadth of this unforgettable coast and watch marine and terrestrial species act out dramatic scenes in this unforgettable landscape.

If you are interested in this tour send our travel lader and guide for this expedition an email on [email protected]

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Dates: August 25 - 31 2021
Duration:
6 nights/7 days

Total price pr. person:    

USD 9 350 pr pax in double cabin

Accommodation in double cabins.

Inclusive: Professional guiding.
All meals during the expedition. Accommodation for 7 nights onboard the vessel. Coffee and tea. Floatplane from "Basin" on Near Island to Island C in Kukak Bay. Pick-up from hotel(Best Western or Compass Suites) to the floatplane.  All necessary permits and permissions.

Exclusive: Any airfares to/from Kodiak Island. Any expenses of personal nature such as telephone calls, laundry, aerated drinks etc. Personal clothing, emergency evacuation and medical insurance. Meals are not included in the cost unless specified in the inclusions. Camera fees to be paid extra directly in monuments/ park if applicable. Tips/ gratuities paid to staff members. Cost incurred in obtaining visa, insurance etc. Cost incurred incase of hospitalization, evacuation etc.


Group size 8 persons:
We keep the group small to give the best possible guidance.

Your Alaska experience begins with a spectacular flight seeing trip ending in rendezvous with our ship in Katmai National Park. You’ll be flying in Alaska’s most venerable sea plane the De Havilland Beaver to Island C’s location on the Katmai coast. On this flight you will cross over the northernmost part of Kodiak's archipelago offering views of Kodiak in its full radiance as Alaska's emerald isle.

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In addition to the stunning landscapes, you will likely see the first whales of your trip on this flight. As you begin across Shelikof Straight, your pilot will turn toward the distant ice fields of the Alaska Peninsula. Here you take in your first views of the Katmai coast. Your plane will touch down in Kukak Bay where we’ll get you oriented to the boat, show you to your stateroom, and take you out in the field on the very first day.

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Welcome to a typical day in Geographic Harbor, Katmai National Park. After our chef serves breakfast, you'll step into your hip waders (provided for you) and step off the drop-bow of our skiff onto tidal flats near the river mouth. Prior to going ashore we will discuss the social behavior of bears and fine-tune our own strategy to minimize the group’s impact as we choose a spot to observe. The spot we choose depends on the state of the tide and the number, maturity level and gender of the bears, and of course the distribution of food, but it may be within mere meters of the bears. As we take our seats, you slowly realize that we’ve removed ourselves from the equation and are spectators to one of nature’s most iconic predator-prey interactions. Hours may pass before we realize our hunger and that restlessness starts to get the better of us. We will return to Island Cfor a much-anticipated lunch. As usual, the Island C's Executive Chef Kurt doesn't disappoint.

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The emphasis on this trip is bears, hence the name. Typically we move to a new location every two days although there are exceptions. Sometimes we stay longer in one place either because the activity is too spectacular to leave behind, or occasionally because weather conditions keep us there. Over a week you will experience the full breadth of this unforgettable coast and watch marine and terrestrial species act out dramatic scenes in this unforgettable landscape.

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Over lunch, we discuss options for the afternoon. Bear viewing ashore is a daily activity, and sometimes choosing the option of a second trip ashore after lunch makes perfect sense. Each afternoon we offer a choice of bear viewing or a location-specific marine activity such as kayaking, small boat excursions and exploring the incredible diversity of the inter-tidal coast. Though the forbidding terrain limits the types of activities we can do ashore, each new location clicks “refresh” on all our activities, as each bay reveals unique terrain features, species, and experiences.

Each night our Executive Chef delivers top-notch cuisine and we pride ourselves in customizing meals to individual desires and dietary needs. Several dinners per week feature locally caught seafood. Beer and wine are allowed onboard (please bring your own) and you're welcome to pair these to the evening's meal.

If we're traveling to a new place, we usually do so in the evening with the goal of arriving at our new anchorage before nightfall. However, on this ship the hum of engines and gentle rocking of the boat can bring on a yawn sooner than expected. Yet this transit time is another wonder filled opportunity for wildlife and coastal views, so you will probably resist the urge to sleep.

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Based on the intelligence we’ve gathered the night before about the bears’ recent travel patterns, we may spend a day in Hallo Bay. At Hallo, the bears fish, dig for clams and even stalk sea otters on Little Ninagiak Island (a poorly understood and only recently discovered behavior). Devil’s Desk and Hallo Glacier loom in the background, with peaks rising abruptly more than a mile high from the sea.

Though it’s hard to take your eyes off the main event, wolves may make a cameo appearance in the bays, and may fish the mouths of the rivers as boldly as any boar. If our bear bucket is full, we’ll take time to putter around the inner part of the bay in kayaks or dinghies. We may see the occasional bruin who opted out of the river, but also white beaches of volcanic ash, towering basalt columns, harbor seals, numerous species of loons, and of course the endlessly entertaining sea otter.

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After breakfast on your final morning onboard, we may get out for a second breakfast but this time it’s the otters and bears that will be doing the eating. Following our morning's excursion, we spend an hour back in the Island C's salon listening for your plane while cutting out our best final photos, contemplating the bittersweet return to cell phone service and eagerly sharing addresses and data with the crew. Our goal in bringing you here is to show you the best of the Katmai coast. We hope it captivates you and brings you back time and time again, as it has done for us.

As a capstone to the trip you get one more aerial view to try and everything in again as you make your way back to Kodiak. Once again everything is taken care of and transport will be waiting to get you out to the State Airport or Hotel.

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Katmai National Park & Preserve map

Genesis of Katmai: Katmai National Monument was established in 1918. Since then, its boundaries have been expanded and modified many times, most recently in 1980. This map shows the genesis of today's Katmai national Park. (Click on the map for a better view).

Click on the map for a bigger view

Other information

This itinerary is very likely to change based on the bear activity at the time we are there. Sometimes we won't visit one of these spots if the intelligence isn't good, or it may be so good somewhere else we elect to stay there longer forgoing another location. Of course, the weather can be the real dictator of our schedule!

We definitely recommend arriving a day early to Kodiak. There is enough to do here and it gives you a good weather buffer. We recommend the Best Western (Kodiak Inn) or the Compass Suites for your stay.

Regarding other wildlife, it is more plentiful on the Kodiak side and that is why we run the other itinerary. We do expect to see plenty on the Katmai side as well, albeit a bit sparser. Hopefully we will see wolves, but they often flee just as we catch a glimpse. We don't expect to see moose, but it is possible. As we pass from bay to bay we may encounter whales and we expect to see sea lions and harbor seals. It’s the tail end of the season for birdlife but opportunities for sightings are often still good. In the water, chum and punk salmon are common at this time of year.

Travel Route

Itinerary

Day 1 - The floatplanes leave from what is called the "Basin" on Near Island, close to your hotel (Best Western or Compass Suites) and accessible by bridge. The floatplane operator will pick you up from your hotel before flying you to Island C stationed in Kukak Bay. This will be followed by orientation, room assignments and the first day in the field. You will be updated with the exact time for when we meet up for the flight.

Day 2 - Kukak Bay or travel to Hallo Bay, weather permitting. In Hallo we will explore the many bends of the river that meanders through the extensive meadows of this iconic location. Hallow Glacier hangs in the background of this amazing gathering place of the Coastal Brown Bear.

Day 3 - Kaflia Bay. Today we’re going to step deep into more remote areas than 98% of visitors to Katmai park ever experience. It won’t be the remotest place we visit on this trip and you’re starting on a journey into a region few will ever take.

Day 4 - Kuliak. This is another seldom visited gem in the park. We hope to see mothers with cubs fishing the waterfall at the back of this bay.

Day 5 - Kinak and Hidden Harbor. Today will be our most remote expedition deep into the park.

Days 6 & 7 - Geographic Harbor. The namesake of our company, Geographic Harbor warrants two days of our time. This is the bay of big boars and close encounters.

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Have any questions?

If you have any questions or are wondering about something,
please feel free and do not hesitate to contact us at any given time.
We might be traveling some but will answer as fast as possible.

Booking Information

Booking Inquiry

Registration:  Send in the completed reservation/booking form together with the deposit payment and your booking will be confirmed. The booking form have to be signed. The second payment of USD 2 000 have to be made within 6 months before departure. Full payment must be made no later than 30 business days prior to departure. You will receive invoices for the last two payments. Private cancellation insurance should be purchased by all participants.

Norwegian bank account: 1503.71.05543

(IBAN: NO15 1503 7105 543 BIC/SWIFT: DNBANOKKXXX)


Bank address:
DNB NOR Bank Stjørdal, Kjøpmannsgata 13, 7500 Stjørdal, Norway

Booking Inquiry

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