Can anyone recommend a good shore excursion at Icy Strait Point for the last week in May? We wanted to see the bears but only bear excursion on Celebrity website doesn't begin till mid-June. We'll be in port 9 hrs - anyone w/any more bear tour info or anything interesting?
My husband and I are also on the Infinity leaving SF on May 20, so I researched ports with late May in mind also. My research shows that Icy Strait in general is a great area to see humpback whales, so I would suggest a whale-watching tour. As for bears, since the salmon haven't started running yet in late May, guaranteed close-up viewing options are all expensive (since you have to fly to the bears). The best option I found was out of Juneau. We ultimately decided we couldn't afford it, but Alaska Fly'n'Fish Charters has gotten rave reviews from everything I found (including Frommer's guide). They fly you from Juneau airport to Pack Creek (on Admiralty island, which has one of the highest concentrations of brown bears on earth). The tour we were going to take was 3 hours for $395/person, and you could add one 1 hour of glacier flightseeing for another $80 (total $475/person). Their website is www.alaskabyair.com.
For Ketchikan, everyone says Misty Fjords is spectacular. We have reserved space on a flightseeing tour with Island Wings Air service (2 hours for $209/person, with a 30 minute stop on a lake). Website is www.islandwings.com. They also do bear watching trips, but only in July, Aug, and Sept).
Glad to be of help! I'd like someone to get the benefit of the info According to the bear trip people, late May is a good time to see bears at Pack Creek, since they are coming down to the water to eat the new green shoots of emerging plants.
Ladies, when it comes to watching bears, why not do something maybe less adventurous, but more affordable? While in Vancouver, take the beautiful cable- car- ride up to Grouse Mountain with its stunning views over the area. Here you'll find Grinder and Coola, once two orphaned grizzly cubs, now grown up to adults in a natural surrounding. Although raised as Canada's first bear students, Grinder loves people- watching, and Coola love bathing in the pond. Visit them, you'll have fun for sure.