© Images courtesy of Jan DeNapoli Cosmutto.


Kaktovik Trip from Fairbanks

Trip Highlights

  • Fly over the Arctic Circle.

  • Safely view and photograph polar bears, in a rare and special wildlife encounter with a local bear guide from a small boat.

  • Observe Polar Bears in their natural habitat along the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Take a walk on the wild side and see polar bears in their natural habitat.

  • View the bears resting on sand spits and feasting on whale meat.

  • Visit the Inupiat Eskimo village of Kaktovik.

  • Learn about Inupiat Native culture while visiting this native village.

  • All meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner while in Kaktovik)



Polar bears area amongst the largest land mammals in North America. Ranging from 900 to 1,600 lbs, a full-grown bear can measure up to 8 feet tall. The current overall estimate of wild polar bear population is approximately 20,000 – 25,000 worldwide.

Viewing polar bears in the wild is one of the most unique experiences in the world. Take a walk on the wild side and see polar bears in their natural habitat before they are gone. Safely view and photograph polar bears, in a rare and special wildlife encounter. Visit the Inupiat Eskimo village of Kaktovik, which is located along the coast of the Arctic Ocean on Barter Island and is the only village within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Kaktovik is the best place for viewing the polar bears, this fascination King of the Arctic. Viewing polar bears from a boat is your best opportunity to see and photograph the polar bears in their environment in a safe and responsible way. 

Kaktovik Map.jpg


Day 1: Arrive in Fairbanks: Arrive in Fairbanks and transfer to hotel via courtesy shuttle. The rest of the day is free to wander around and explore this pleasant city. The hotel is located close to the downtown area. The property features spacious rooms with river view. This property is located within walking distance to some of Fairbanks best restaurants. Overnight in Fairbanks.

Day 2: Fairbanks to Kaktovik: Morning flight from Fairbanks to Kaktovik an Inupiat village of about 200 located on Barter Island. Once you arrive in the small Eskimo village of Kaktovik, you will have a couple hours to get settled in before your afternoon/evening polar bear viewing adventure. When you arrive on Barter Island we will transfer from the airstrip to the Marsh Creek Inn Hotel. Once there, we’ll check in and have lunch, as well as a brief orientation for the tour. After lunch at the Marsh Creek Inn, guests will find their way to the harbor, where rustic planks lead down to open-air boats that hold a maximum of six passengers each. Here you will meet your local guide that will give instructions on bear viewing and proper bear etiquette and then set out on his boat to see the bears. This will be a boat tour to observe and photograph Polar Bears on Barter Island. Lunch & Dinner is included in Kaktovik. Overnight in Kaktovik at the Marsh Creek Inn.  (B, L, D)

Day 3 & 4: Kaktovik: All day boat tour in Kaktovik to observe and photograph the Polar Bears. You will have a 3-hour morning session and 3-hour afternoon session boat ride for these two days with additional time spent on land photographing bears or searching for arctic foxes and snowy owls. There is a lunch break in between the two viewing sessions. You will have plenty of opportunity to get photos of these majestic animals. Conditions permitting we will look for and photograph northern lights in the evenings. Overnight in Kaktovik. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Kaktovik to Fairbanks: Today you will spend a half day Polar Bear watching from your boat. Later this afternoon you will take a flight back to Fairbanks. Overnight in Fairbanks. (B,L)

Day 6: Departure from Fairbanks: Today, depart Fairbanks. Included is a transfer to Fairbanks airport for flight home. (B)

NOTE: There is a 5-day tour option available which gives you 2 days in Kaktovik instead of the 3 days shown above. See pricing below.


WHAT IS INCLUDED & WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Accommodations, all meals while in Kaktovik; air transportation between Fairbanks and Kaktovik; motor boat transportation services by an authorized & permitted operator; other meals as listed on the itinerary are included. Prices are subject to change without notice. Not included: Alaska taxes; airfare to and from Fairbanks. Please be aware that the town of Kaktovik is very remote and a subsistence lifestyle is part of their culture. Because you are traveling in a remote region, you do not have many choices when it comes to lodging. The accommodations in Kaktovik are very basic to rustic Alaskan and cannot be considered to be 5-stars by any means. In return you are rewarded experiencing the northern culture of the Inupiat people along with some of the best Polar Bear viewing in Alaska, something that few people are privileged to experience in their lifetime. Weather in the Arctic can be very unpredictable and flights in and out of Kaktovik are weather dependent. Lodging in Kaktovik is shared accommodations (2-per room). This tour is not operated or guided by Planet Earth Adventures. Tour will be guided by local Kaktovik guide, authorized and permitted to travel in the bear habitat.

THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART: Tour participants must understand and willing to accept that weather can affect the planned itinerary. In Alaska, travel plans can change in the blink of an eye, and catching a flight is all part of the adventure, no matter your destination. Weather conditions delay or cancel about one in four scheduled flights to certain remote parts of the state. Most rural communities are served by just one regularly scheduled commercial air service, many just a few days a week. When wind, rain, snow or fog delays flights, there is nothing to do except sit back and enjoy your stay. Any additional costs which occur due to weather related issues, delays, extra nights lodging or unforeseen circumstances, the tour participant will be responsible for these expenses. You should plan to have some "buffer" days in your itinerary. Planet Earth Adventures will not be responsible for any missed flights or connections. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. The number of bears a group sees varies greatly, but most visitors see at least one bear if not more. Please note, bear sightings are not guaranteed. This is wild Alaska!

MINIMUM NUMBERS: This tour does require a minimum of 4 to go. If we do not have the minimum number 2 weeks out we will notify you of this situation. Guests will receive a full refund if we do not meet the minimum numbers. Maximum group size is 6 participants.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: We strongly suggest purchasing trip cancellation/interruption insurance to protect your travel investment at the time you sign up for one of our trips. This coverage will offset cancellation charges in the event of illness before or during your trip. Trip cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance is available at a supplemental cost. Click Here to purchase travel protection.





    NOTE: * September 8 departure is a 5-day tour with 2-days in Kaktovik. September 10 & 13 are 6-day tours. These tours begin and end in Fairbanks.






NOTE: * September 8 & 14 departure are 5-day tours with 2-days in Kaktovik. September 11 & 14 are 6-day tours. These tours begin and end in Fairbanks.

TOUR COST:  $6,450 per person for the 6-day tour. Price for the 5-day tour is $5,600/person. For this tour a non-refundable deposit of 50% per person is due at the time of booking. Balance of tour fee is due 90 days prior to the tour date. For more information or to make a reservation contact us. This tour does require a minimum of (4) guests to depart. If we do not have the minimum number two weeks out we will notify you of this situation. Guests will receive a full refund if we do not meet the minimum numbers.


  • 5* nights of lodging (2 in Fairbanks and 3 in Kaktovik)

  • Breakfast in Fairbanks

  • All meals while in Kaktovik (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

  • Air Transportation between Fairbanks and Kaktovik

  • All transportation by local guide during the tour

  • 3* full days boat excursion with local guide to view polar bears

  • Boat with an enclosed warm cabin

  • Polar bear viewing from land

*Lodging of (5) nights and 3 full-day bear viewing applies to the 6-day tour.