Neets Bay Bear Watch & Flightseeing

  • Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing
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    You’ll be thankful for your guaranteed window seat as you pass over Revillagigedo island and other gorgeous temperate rainforest!
  • Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing
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    The DeHavilland floatplanes you’ll be using are an iconic Alaskan presence!
  • Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing
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    Thanks to the high concentration of summer salmon at Neets Bay Creek, black bears return year after year to feast!
  • Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing
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    Neets Bay is without a doubt one of the best spots in Alaska for watching black bears feed.
  • Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing
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    Many thousand salmon fry begin their journey out to the ocean each year at the Neets Bay Hatchery
  • Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing
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    Keep your camera ready for sprawling muskeg bogs, granite walls, and lush old-growth woods!
  • Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing
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    Besides providing unparalleled bear-viewing access, Neets Bay Flightseeing is spectacular in its own right!
  • Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing
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    They may look intimidating, but your naturalist guide will help make sure your group stays safe in the presence of these beautiful beasts!
  • Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing
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    The exhilarating water landing is sure to be a highlight on the Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing Adventure!
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    Nice catch! Each year salmon return to their Neets Bay birthplace to mate (and likely to feed a hungry bear!).
The Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing adventure, which grants visitors exclusive access to one of the most famous black bear habitats in Alaska, is one of the very best tours in Ketchikan (or anywhere in the state!) for encountering Alaska’s scenic beauty first-hand. This limited-availability adventure and one of the most exclusive Ketchikan cruise excursions begins with an incredible flightseeing adventure above awe-inspiring wilderness, followed by a short hike through lush, ancient rainforest toward Neets Bay Creek, home to a pack of black bears that fish for salmon in the crystal-clear waters. If you’re a wildlife-lover with an interest in scenic flightseeing, this standout tour is a hard-to-beat opportunity for experiencing Alaska’s massive mammalian life up close!

What to expect and what not to expect with this Ketchikan shore excursion

As is the case for other Ketchikan cruise excursions, our Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing tour starts with pick-up right at the cruise docks. Then you’ll hop on an iconic DeHavilland floatplane for a stunning flight up over the Tongass Rainforest and wild Revillagigedo Island. The planes are equipped with wide, picture-friendly windows, as you’ll want to snap lots of photos of the granite domes and tumbling waterfalls that dominate the area! Hang on tight for a thrilling water landing! Then it’s off through the old-growth Alaska woods with your expert naturalist guide for a quarter-mile jaunt past the Neets Bay Salmon Hatchery, the annual birthplace of many thousand Alaskan salmon fry! Soon you’ll find yourself alongside Neets Bay Creek, where you’ll see for yourself what makes this one of the best tours in Ketchikan Alaska: with luck, you’ll behold hulking black bears swatting for salmon and feasting on the bountiful summer harvest.

  • 3 hours duration (including transport)
  • Stunning view high above gorgeous wilderness
  • Fully narrated by expert naturalist guide
  • Quarter-mile hike through temperate rainforest
  • Bear sightings highly likely, but not guaranteed
  • Exciting floatplane water landing

Talk about an exhilarating encounter! Once you’ve gotten all the photos you can handle, it’s time for an additional exciting flight back to port. With its truly memorable aerial panoramas and a high likelihood of encountering Alaskan wildlife in its natural habitat, it’s fair to say that the Neets Bay Bear Watch is among the very best wildlife tours in Ketchikan Alaska for creating unforgettable memories!

For a bear viewing tour that doesn't include a floatplane ride, check out the Black Bear & Wildlife Exploration.

There's even more bear viewing adventures to be had! Take a look at the Admiralty Island Fortress of the Bears Kayak in Juneau & the Wildlife Safari & Bear Viewing in Skagway!

Minimum Ages, Cancellations, Accessibility, Etc.

KETCHIKAN TOUR DETAILS:

  • Restrictions: There is no charge for lap children under 24-months old on this tour, but their parent or guardian must be able to carry and hold them for the entirety of the flight and hike.
  • Accessibility: This tour is rated ‘Moderate’ in regards to activity level. Guests should be able to hike a quarter-mile to Neets Bay Creek (and back) along a fairly flat, well-maintained trail. They should also be able to stand for roughly an hour on-site, as there are no facilities for sitting.
  • Cancellation Policy: In the event your cruise ship is late, delayed, or doesn't make it into port we will issue a refund. Changes or cancellations are allowed up to 14 days prior to the tour departure. Any cancellations made within 14 days of the tour departure are non-refundable.
  • What to Wear: We recommend hoping for sunshine but preparing for rain for all of our tours. Drizzles are common in this area so we recommend bringing a waterproof jacket and dressing in layers. We recommend long pants and closed-toed shoes for comfort. And don't forget your camera!
For availability and timing, complete the information on the sidebar
  • Passenger Rate: $399 (there is no child rate for this tour)
  • Infant Rate: Free (lap children under 24 months)
  • + 6.5% sales tax
You've got questions, we've got answers
Q:Do the tours ever get canceled due to weather?
The Neets Bay Bear Watch and Flightseeing trip is rarely canceled for weather, though in some cases high winds may prevent planes from flying. However, if a tour is canceled completely due to weather circumstances, you will receive a refund.
Q:What if our cruise ship's schedule is canceled or delayed?
We will try our best to work with you to reschedule the tour to a later time. If that is not a possibility or your ship doesn't make it into port, then you will receive a refund.
Q:What should we wear and bring?
For comfort, we typically recommend long pants, closed-toed shoes, and a light jacket, as the temperature is usually a bit cool in the air. Always bring a rain jacket, just in case!
Q:Can you see wildlife from the plane?
If you have sharp eyes, it's certainly possible to see wildlife on the mountains below. The plane flies low enough to distinguish individual animals, but of course the pilots have to respect local wildlife so it's not an objective of the flight seeing portion of this tour.
Q:Are we guaranteed to see bears?
Although most guests do, indeed, see bears at the salmon spawning grounds, we can never be entirely certain how the animals will be behaving that day, so we can’t fully guarantee sightings.
Q:What's the best time of year for spotting bears?
The salmon spawn typically peaks in mid- to late-July, meaning bear concentrations tend to be especially high at this time. Black bears, however, make a home of this area for much of the late summer, so sightings are likely well into August and September.
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