Kaktovik Polar Bear Expedition
Kaktovik Day Trip from Fairbanks
- 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.
- Take a walking tour of the whaling village with an Eskimo tour guide.
- View the bears resting on sand spits and feasting on whale meat.
- Visit the Inupiat Eskimo village of Kaktovik.
© Images courtesy of Jan DeNapoli Cosmutto.
Kaktovik Polar Bear Expedition
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. Our comfortable cabin cruiser is your best opportunity to see and photograph the polar bears in their environment in a safe and responsible way. Seeing the bears from a bus is more limited. You can only go to one side of the the whale bone pile with a bus. The bears are usually there when is not much light. In a boat you can see the bone pile from many different directions, and you can see polar bears at the barrier islands where they usually are during the day.
Kaktovik Polar Bear Adventure Tour Itinerary - 7 Days
Day 1: 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 only ten minutes from the downtown area. We will stay at a deluxe waterfront lodge overlooking the Chena River. The property features spacious rooms with river view, steam room and sauna to help you unwind from your long flight up to Alaska. The lobby filled with original Alaskan art, slate floor and a two story fireplace. Tonight we will have a welcome dinner at Pikes Landing.
Day 2: Fairbanks & Kaktovik: Flight from Fairbanks to Barter Island. Once we arrive in the small Eskimo village of Kaktovik, we will have a couple hours to get settled before our afternoon/evening polar bear viewing adventure. Your guide will give instructions on bear viewing and proper bear etiquette. This will be a boat tour to observe and photograph Polar Bears on Barter Island. Lunch & Dinner in Kaktovik. (B)
Day 3: Kaktovik: All day boat tour in Kaktovik to observe and photograph the Polar Bears. You will have plenty of opportunity to get photos of these majestic animals. Later this evening, weather permitting we will try and see if we can see the northern lights. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Kaktovik to Fairbanks: Today we will spend a half day Polar Bear watching from land. Later this afternoon we will take a flight back to Fairbanks. Overnight in Fairbanks. (B,L)
Day 5: Fairbanks: This morning we will have breakfast at the hotel. We will visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum. Situated on a ridge overlooking Fairbanks and the Alaska Range, UAF has the best view in town! Here you will marvel at the natural and cultural history of Alaska, the science behind the Northern Lights, view a 36,000 year old Steppe bison mummy, see the state’s largest gold display, and also learn about the trans-Alaska pipeline. The afternoon is free to wander and explore this city. Tonight, we will go to the University of Alaska to scan the sky for the Northern Lights. (B,L)
Day 6: Fairbanks & Chena Hot Springs: Today, we will travel approximately 90 miles outside of Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs. Here you can experience the healing waters of Chena Hot Springs which has been compared to mineral waters found in hot springs famous all over Europe. On this day trip visit you will also see the Ice Museum and enjoy a soak in the natural hot springs. make sure to bring your bathing suit. Later this evening we will have our Farewell Dinner at the famous Pumphouse Restaurant in Fairbanks. Later this evening, weather permitting, we will go out and scan the skies for the northern lights. (B)
Day 7: Fairbanks: Today, depart Fairbanks. Included is a transfer to Fairbanks airport for flight home. (B)
2017 Tour Dates, Cost & Other Information
TOUR DATES: SOLD-OUT
(Late August - Mid September) CALL FOR OTHER 2018 AVAILABLE DATES
TOUR COST: $6,550 per person. (from Fairbanks) For this tour a 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 four 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.
WHAT IS INCLUDED & WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Accommodations & air transportation between Fairbanks and Kaktovik; meals as listed on the itinerary are included. Prices subject to change without notice. Not included: 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 we are traveling in a remote region, we 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 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 yours 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.
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.
POLAR BEAR GUARANTEE POLICY: You have selected this experience because you are highly motivated to see polar bears in their natural habitat. For this reason, if we have reports there are no polar bears in Kaktovik prior to our departure from Fairbanks we will cancel the tour and provide a full refund.
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.