Reviewer: Nicole & Andrew
This small group tour gave us an excellent chance to get up close with the bears. The guide knew the area very well, and had a series of vantage points lined up for optimum sighting opportunities. Our first bear sighting was from a bridge overlook, which allowed the group to safely obtain numerous close up photos and video footage, while feeling completely secure around the wildlife. We also hiked down to the river's edge for an opportunity for a more intimate bear encounter. The guide was very conscientious and safety-oriented, which was reassuring considering the unpredictability of these large bears. Wouldn't hesitate to book this again on the next visit!
Reviewer: Dating Liu
THE TRIP WAS EXCITING. WE SAW A BEAR IN A SHORT DISTANCE!
Reviewer: Chuck Evans
The driver spent 4-1/2 hours taking us all over the area. We saw some great country, some tracks and scat but no bears. He did his best but is wasn’t our day.
Reviewer: Don Gibson
While we only saw one bear on this tour, our guide was so knowledgeable and was full of interesting information about the way of life they lead. Our guide truly made this enjoyable.
Reviewer: Jean-Michel Langlois
This was a wonderful excursion. The guide told us we had a 50% chance to see a bear, so we were prepared to be unlucky. We didn't see any bears for 2/3 of the tour, but the guide kept us well entertained about bears, the village, nature and his own story. He was great. Then, we saw a huge bear in a river; and then a cub at the bottom of a bridge. And finally, going back to town, we saw a bear just walking down the road! He didn't seem to mind we were behind him. It was an amazing experience. My only recommendation: the guide should tell people that if they see a bear, they should not move and be quiet. The first bear ran away because one lady started running and screaming "there's a bear!!!". I'm sure she meant well but it kind of ruined the experience for others. Other than that, great tour!
Reviewer: Tara Batson
This tour was great. We saw 6 bears, eagles, deer. Our guide Luke was very informative and fun. I highly recommend. Also recommend Fisherman's Daughter to eat.
Reviewer: Thomas King
Our guide Luke did his best but the lack of rain in this whole area of Alaska has meant the salmon streams are too low and the salmon are waiting to go upstream ... no salmon means very few bears at the prime viewing points ... a long drive through the bush with no photos ... an earlier group in the early morning saw the bears before they went back into the bush.
Reviewer: Allen Harris
So, we never did see a bear … lots of evidence of bear activity, but no actual bears. Now, that being said … our guide was a local with a LOT of information, and we did get to see a lot of Hoonah (Icy Strait). And, he did his best … talking and coordinating with other drivers, but NO ONE was seeing bears that day. It was also warmer than normal, and that could have been a factor. We would take this tour again.
Reviewer: Kathy Mattison
Our tour guide Levi was excellent. He kept us entertained with stories about the area and the wildlife. We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon with him. We saw some beautiful scenery and lots of bald eagles, unfortunately no bear but we did see "evidence" of bears. We would do this tour again any time.
Reviewer: Louis Wisniewski
Our guide(Hot shot) did a great job and worked very hard to finally find us a bear. Along the way we enjoyed his descriptions of the terrain and the abundance of salmon berries he found for us. We would definitely do it again.
Reviewer: james reardon
Never saw a bear but did see black tailed deer and eagles. Spent over 4 hours riding through woods. The native tour guide was outstanding.
Reviewer: Sita Khufu
Learned a great deal about plants, animals, and Native American traditions in Hoonah. Learned what kinds of trail bears leave in the woods, and along the side of the road. I wished I had known to bring a lunch along to eat as we explored Icy Strait Point! I also wish there had been more than 1 bathroom stop in 5 hours!
Reviewer: Mary Bagshaw
Well organized, more enjoyable as it was a small group; driver was in constant contact with other vehicles regarding sightings and stayed out longer to ensure we had sight of a bear. I was able to sit in the front seat of the vehicle which meant when we did finally see a bear, I had an awesome view of it resulting in great pictures. Highly recommended! guide was well informed but would have been helpful to have more information from the guide about the bears
Reviewer: Barry Dennington
Mike was an excellent guide. He had all kinds of stories and information regarding plants, wildlife and native customs to share with us. We saw bears on 2 separate occasions, albeit they were about 400 yards away, and also saw a deer from about 50 feet at one point. I would recommend this tour.
Reviewer: Neal and Suzanne Applegate
Yes, we really did see bears! They were from a distance, but we could easily recognize them. Toward the end of our tour, there was on right at the edge of the road. Wow!
Reviewer: Elizabeth Frost
Our lovely guide,Mike ,with help from his brother and nephew, was able to locate 5 bears for us to observe in their natural habitat. We sat in his van for 30 minutes, watching 2 ,2yr old siblings eating only 10 metres away! We also saw a very big male bear, running down the road in front of the van, chasing a female. Mike's local knowledge also taught us lot's about the flora and diets of the indigenous people. I would highly recommend this trip.
Reviewer: Symphony OKeefe
We had a wonderful time on this small group shore excursion. There were 6 of us in a range vehicle with our driver/guide, who was very knowledgeable . We saw several bears in their natural habitat, and learned the cues to watch them .
Reviewer: Debbie G
Our guide had fully prepared us in how to stay safe when we reached our first stop. Our group adhered to all of his instructions and we were always the first van to arrive. We saw several bears and he got us close enough to get some really great photos. Recommend this tour to everyone!
Reviewer: Dianne Bourne
What a great outing!!! Our guide, Mike knew where to find bears and taught us not only about bears but also Alaska. He has lived in and raised a family in Alaska. We saw 2 male brown bears as well as a female brown bear with her two cubs. We watched and photographed them for a long time. We also saw Eagles. Definitely a top choice for excursions.
Our guide Mike was very knowledgeable. We saw six bears total great day. Loved the small group.
Reviewer: Larry Edaward Winterton
"Mike" was our tour guide and local resident of Hoonah this was a wonderful tour, a total of 5 bears were seen,one feeding on salmon in a creek the others down by a river we walked down to and saw a mother and 2 cubs and another large male. Fantastic tour !!
Reviewer: Earl Bernard
Our tour guide Luke was extraordinary!! His ability to locate where the bears would be active was exceptional! I especially appreciated that the tour group was not a large group of people on a bus. Luke was able to caterer to our needs and wants given the size of our group! I would HIGHLY recommend this excursion to anyone that wants to see bears up close. However, we were always safe and secure.
Loved the flexibility and guide for our small group. He went to where the bears had been spotted so we saw lots of bears, and learned a lot about them and the island. I'm so glad we did this tour instead of the big bus cruise line tour that only goes to pre-determined viewpoints. Got some great photos
Reviewer: Ron Tincher
Our guide Mike did a great job and made our day. The bears were not as plentiful due to a late salmon run but he found us one. We saw other wildlife and also saw salmon spooning. After hearing from others on the ship that had taken the Princess excursion we were very glad we chose this one.
Reviewer: suzanne roxburgh
We enjoyed the trip and saw adult and "teenage" bears foraging or fishing. The youngster provided great movie material, with his inexperience at catching fish. The sample of home smoked salmon provided by the guide was really tasty.
Reviewer: Barbara Trombley
Our guide Mike was great. He shared a great deal of knowledge with us. We were lucky enough to see a mother bear and her two cubs. We were briefed on safety procedures and we felt safe with the knowledge that our guide displayed.
Excellent tour. We found three bears. We are a small group of five people. The guide is very friendly and tried his best to find the bears. All of us on the vehicle like him. Highly recommend!
Reviewer: Lara Zolton
Luke was our guide and he was great. He was very knowledgeable about the area and entertaining with his stories. We first went to a bridge where they had been seeing bears, when we didn't see any our group piled into the cab and went hiking. Luke, armed with a gun for our protection, took us to a trail up river where we hiked then to a stream. A mother and her two cubs came wandering up, they were 30 feet from us. Highlight of our trip.
Reviewer: Kelly murphy
Our guide Jeff was extremely knowledgeable about the area and we were able to see 8 bears. The water levels were low and the salmon were not as plentiful so we did not see as many bears as I had hoped, but we were able to get some amazing photos of a Mom and her cub.
Reviewer: Kelly Murphy
Our small group of 6 was led by Jeff and did not disappoint!!! Stopped in several locations and was fortunate to see Bears each time!! Very knowledgeable guide about local culture and history. Please stop by his shop in Icy Strait to experience his totem carving skills and his wife Lisa’s beautiful artwork!!
It was easy to find our guide and he was excellent in providing information about Icy Strait Point and the flora and fauna of the area. Our small group was great and we enjoyed our time on the tour. However the excursion was described as being "moderate" and the dress suggestion recommended sensible hiking or walking shoes and to dress in layers. I thought that we would be mostly walking, but it turned out that we rode in the van for about 3.5 hours and walked maybe 100 yards during our restroom break. You could have worn flip flops and shorts and t-shirts and been fine. We did see one bear, a few eagles and lots of wild flowers. If you want to hike, this excursion is not for you, but if you want to ride in a van, then this is for you.
Our tour guide, Luke, was very personable. I loved that we were a small group rather than a giant coach bus. This allowed us to move a bit more quickly and visit more of the island. There were several hunters (guests) in our bus who were able to keep eyes peeled in search of bears. We were able to watch a few. These animals are huge! We were a few weeks early for salmon season so probably no where near the excitement as during that time of year, but still a very worthwhile sidetrip!
Reviewer: Lisa Pensa
This tour was absolutely fantastic. Not only did we enjoy very up close viewing of a sow and her 2 cubs, but our amazing guide gave us a wonderful sense of life on the island, with extensive looks and information on a vast array of animals and plant life. Do not miss this tour!
Reviewer: Michael Molina
Great time and friendly people.
Reviewer: Keith Gonzalez
This was one of the best paid excursion that I have been on. The group was a perfect size (10) and the tour leader was extremely knowledgeable and an integral part of the community. He knew everybody we passed and exactly where to go find the bears. I would definitely recommend this small excursion group rather than a large bus cruise excursion. We were able to get up close with the bears and had good narration of the life of bears and the entire area/residents of Icy Point/Hoonah. He really made this Port stop an excellent time.
Reviewer: K&J Gonzalez
Our tour guide Mike knew exactly where to go to see bears. We spent about 40-45 minutes watching a mother bear and her 2 one year old cubs from a distance of about 4-12 feet (from inside a vehicle, of course). This tour far exceeded our expectations!
Reviewer: Richard Geraghty
As the salmon run hadn’t started wasn’t expecting to see bears. Our excellent guide had other ideas! We saw 2 groups of mother and 2 cubs and spent over an hour watching at close range. An incredible experience - the highlight of the cruise holiday
Reviewer: Dianne Luna
Really enjoyed this and would recommend it to others
Reviewer: Carol Currie
Great excursion, small group, personal touch. Didn't think we would find any bears; early in the year before the salmon run. But we were having a great time so didn't care. Finding mother and two cubs eventually made a fun day even more memorable!!!
Wow...Alaska...first thing we saw a mama bear and her 3 cubs....what a sight! And it continued from there, 6 bears all together...one of them only 8ft away eating another bear that was killed the night before. Our guide was super, full of information and allowed us to experience it all in it's true state but was also cautious. A little scary but at the same time we felt safe with our guide since he carried a rifle the whole time. Our group was only 8 adults. An experience that we will never forget!
Reviewer: Elizabeth Baxt
My husband and I boarded a small van with around 6 others, and went looking for bear. Our excellent native guide found a family of bears for us to view, as well as deer, and other bears and variousI wildlife to view. Our guide was fantastic, he made the tour well worth the money. He had so much information to share.
Reviewer: Donna Schramm
Local tour guide with much knowledge. At first just a couple deer & after driving a long way got a I could have dreamed for. Got out of vehicle & across the stream was a mother bear with her 2 cubs with the with her 3 year old cub straggling behind. We could stay a long as we wanted taking great pictures & video's.
Reviewer: M Tillis
it was good, we saw bears. didn't care that we were racing around with other vans - and the vans weren't too comfortable.
Reviewer: Garry Leschyshyn
super excursion we loved it
Reviewer: Joel Weddig
It may have been happenstance, but it was a pleasant day. The driver was very nice and we covered a lot of territory. Did see a large eagle's nest with a young one. Saw the salmon jumping out of the water, seeking their origin stream. Also how the tidal areas filled with water. Only one bear, walking up the road ahead of our vehicle for a bit. Driver did provide insights and information on the area and the history. Ride could have been shorter.
Reviewer: James Elliott
We saw several bear and dear. So we got some great pictures, even got exciting when the bear came up on the road, our guide handled the situation very professionally.
Reviewer: Mary Jo Diefenthaler
Our driver Luke made the trip awesome. The first thing we did was stop on the side of the road and watch 6 whales swim by. Then he told us all about his island and drove us to all the places that the bears have been spotted. We saw many signs of bears and a couple up the stream but blocked by trees and Luke just stayed out there with us way past the time of the excursion. Finally, this big bear just walked down the river right to us, went under the bridge and then on the other side, jumped on a salmon and took it into the woods to eat it. It would have been a wonderful day just being in the beautiful Alaskan wilderness, but that just topped it all off. We were all so happy for Luke, too, because he worked so hard to give us this outstanding day. Then we all went to lunch together and had a great time. We went on many great excursions during our 10 days in Alaska, but this was the best by far and mostly because Luke made it so much fun.
Reviewer: Lynn Dettman
Our guide, Luke, was determined to show us live wild brown bear and he came through. We saw 4 bear. One large 500 lb brown bear came in to a creek we were at watching the salmon run and we watched the bear catch and eat salmon. So cool to see. That was my nat geo moment. This excursion was a highlight of my trip to Alaska. Thank you Luke.
Our guide, Luke, who lives on the island made the difference. He worked very hard to show us bears, eventually we saw a grizzly. He also educated us on plants, local lifestyle and saw bald eagles.
Reviewer: Matt B. Cincinnati
A 10 minute walk from the ship at 7:00AM, we met Luke, our guide and driver. Luke did a fine job of telling us what to expect, and spotting bears along the way. There were eight of us in a van that could hold ten people. We rode on gravel roads to the other side of the island. Along the way, we sighted a total of nine bears. The bears feed on vegetation in the woods and on the side of the road. They pretty much ignored us. We were able to get out of the van at times and take pictures as long as a reasonable distance was maintained. Luke took a "guide rifle" (short barrel 45 caliber), every time we got out of the van, just in case.The highlight of our trip was bear#9, who was so close to the van that my wife was able to shoot several portrait shots of him. I would say this excursion surpassed our expectations. Luke said that they usually spot five or six bears.
Reviewer: Mike Mahon
Our tour was better than one could expect. we saw 14 different bear doing everything from catching and eating salmon in the streams to blueberries in the thickets, We saw one guy resting on a hillside. We even had them walk in front of us on the road. Our guide Lucas Meyers made the excursion. So knowledgeable of the bears and their habitat.
Reviewer: Nigel & Liane
Setting aside the confusion created by our cruise line switching the order of port visits, we had a good excursion. Ironically, the fine weather let us down: it was too warm for the bears! We were lucky - Luke eventually found us two down in a shaded gorge (not ideal for catching that photo of a life-time). Others never saw a single bear on their tours. Luke was entertaining, informative and careful to maintain a high standard of safety at all times. He was great company and a good source of stories and information. Hearing a brown bear crunching on salmon is not something we will forget and the same goes for him looking directly at us across the water. At least the fine weather made for excellent scenery appreciation: the drive across the island was beautiful. A very enjoyable excursion, rounded off with a couple of beers (not bears) at the ISP brewery! But next time maybe we will book a few more clouds to keep the bears cool and encourage them out into the open...
Reviewer: Robert P Weissburg
We fully enjoyed this trip. We started by following a pod of whales along the shore from our ship to town and then crossed the peninsula to the Pacific coast looking for wildlife. We watched a large bear fishing for 20 minutes, or so, and saw salmon spawning inseveral streams. It's beautiful country, but our guide Luc was the best part. Great guy. We had lunch back in town with Luc, which was very nice and then he took us back.
Reviewer: Sally Ryan
Our guide provided good information about the island, the lifestyles of the people who live there, and the nature around us. We didn't hit the high time for bears - saw 3, but learned about the salmon they crave and saw some spawning sites.
We drove around for quite a while, but did get to see some bear--salmon interactions. Enjoyed having a native guide.
Reviewer: Teri Hubert
Our driver was very good---it was a long way to ride--but we did finally see bear! Great scenery--enjoyed it. Only concern, was that the time to meet wasn't correct--and we were there over an hour early for the tour--Setting a definite time would have worked better...
Reviewer: Meeta Kohli
Most enjoyable offshore excursion of the cruise! Our guide, Luke showed us bears in 3 different places. Vehicle was well kept and route was comfortable. Very scenic and relaxing tour!! Recommended to friends, to reserve this tour when planning an Alaska cruise. Thank you!
Reviewer: Rod Berlin
Our first time to Icy Strait Point and it was a great and very interesting stop. The shore excursion with our small group was exceptional. Great guide was well informed and interesting. We saw a number of bears which was really cool and the beauty of the land was awesome. Thanks.
Had a great time driving around looking for bears unfortunately we did not see one. Everything else was ok nothing flash Worth a go
Reviewer: NANCY POLAND
This was a good trip. The guide worked really hard to find us some bears.
Guide very knowledgable, bears are not that easy to find, guide spent longer with us than advertised so we could get pictures of a bear. Saw a humpback a few feet off the beach, which was a bonus. Felt safe with guide even when on foot. A great experience
Our guide had our safety as top priority but definitely did everything he could so that we were able to see some bears.
Our guide Bill was great, a true story teller full of tales and experiences, taught us a lot about the Bears and growing up around the Bears on Icy Straights. We saw three bears at two different bridge stops, where one bear walked right under the bridge we stopped at. He caught salmon from the river and munched on it only 25 feet from us on the bridge safely above. We also saw Eagles perched fairly close to the road and a deer. It was quit a bit of driving but Bill was determined to find us at least one bear! Bears are not guaranteed but the earlier you start your search the better chance you have. We definitely got our money's worth.
Our guide, Jacob, was persistence in his attempts to find a bear for us. It was a very bad day for bear sighting and we heard from other groups that they were not having any luck seeing any bear. We finally get to see a juvenile bear going down the river catching salmon with his paw. We video the whole thing!!! What also was wonderful to see was the relief and shine on Jacob's face. He was truly happy for us.
The guide was born and raised in the area and had great stories of the local scene. We were lucky - that's all there is to it - to se Bears. But once we found them, we hung around and enjoyed the experience for 45 minutes. All of us had a great time!
Reviewer: lou the explorer
Well worth the time and expense.
Reviewer: Alaska revisitor
good wildlife friendly and knowledgable tour guide
A great excursion! So informative, so beautiful. Saw bears!!
Reviewer: oldtimers on a bear hunt
our guide was very nice - he worked like crazy to find us bears - they just weren't there until the very end of the tour and then only a mom and her baby. rooney took his time and extended our tour so he could expand the search. did see some beautiful scenery off the beaten path.
Knowledgeable guide, beautiful scenery, exciting stories from our guide.
Reviewer: Matt and Pat
Misty was a great guide. I think we were the only van on the entire ship that actually saw a brown bear, and sitka black tail dear. It was too early for the salmon run so it was lucky that we saw what we did. She had great information and gave a great insight into life on the island. As soon as you get in the van and see the 45-70 rifle you know you are going backwoods. Thanks
The guides tried very hard to find bears, providing a lots of info during the travel on a gravel roads through the forest.
Our tour guide Phil was great. We went at the end of May when the fish were not running so the bears were scarce but Phil was great and we finally saw a brown bear with her cub. Phil was friendly, knowledgable and just fun while we ""women"" gave him a hard time (just for fun)!
Reviewer: Just me Denette
Phil was the best guy...he loves the area...and his love for what he does shows!!!