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janfred 11-18-2009 04:23 PM

We took our first cruise to Alaska in 98. We really did not see any animals than. So, my question is, to see a lot of Bear or Moose etc I am thinking it is not so much the time of year as it is picking the right excursion. If I am correct does anyone have some input on the best Cruise line that would have some of these excursions to see some great wildlife? We are thinking of doing this one again.

f-mattox 11-18-2009 04:47 PM

My experience has been that you can't predict when or where you will see wildlife any more than you can predict the weather or the seas. Sometimes you will see it . . .sometimes you won't. No cruiseline or tour operator has a lock on the wildlife.

Dave 11-18-2009 05:09 PM

They all do the same tours. The only way to increase the probability of seeing wildlife in Alaska is to extend your time there, which means doing a combination land and sea tour. And when it comes to those, I think Princess has the most experience and best accommodations.

gdjoslin 11-18-2009 07:14 PM

I think it is a combo of timing and the right excursion. I took the photo safari in Juneau. Since it was an excursion looking for wildlife to photograph, he varied the tour and places. He knew where to find the whales, and Eagles. We caught a fading images of bear, but as he had told us, bear would be hard to see.

janfred 11-19-2009 03:08 AM

Thank you all for taking the time to help me. Back when I went we had no safari excursion in Juneau. This is what we are looking for, Gary did you use Princess and was the safari from the land piece of the trip? We do want to do the land and sea this time to get the best change of seeing some wildlife. Gary with your eye for taking fab pictures you need to take an African Safari, what a photo shot that is

Nadine 11-19-2009 01:37 PM

Janfred, we took a Princess land/sea cruisetour in May 2008. We saw the most wildlife when we took the Tundra Wilderness tour at Denali Lodge. It was part of the cruisetour and did not cost extra.

We had been told that we probably wouldn't see bears thatearly in the season, but we saw a mother bear and two cubs. We also saw moose, caribou, and a large number of small animals and birds.

We saw a bear and also moose on the train ride to and from Denali. You have to really keep watching all the time because you just never know when an animal will appear. We even saw a bear along the shoreline at Glacier Bay.

Good luck!


Kraftsinc 11-19-2009 03:34 PM

Just to let you know from our experience, we saw more wildlife in late August than in early July. We've been on two Alaskan cruises and we did see a two bears on the shore line as our ship was passing by northern British Columbia, when we went the first time in July.

But when we went a couple years later in late August we saw a mother bear feeding her twin cubs salmon, just off the walkway at the Mendenhall glacier in Juneau. It was awesome. She was partly hidden behind some bushes but every once in a while you could see her and the little ones. The salmon are so thick in the streams in August.

As others have said, the tours do offer the best chances at seeing the animals.

janfred 11-20-2009 02:58 AM

Great information, thank you everyone.

gdjoslin 11-20-2009 09:49 AM

We were on a 7 day HAL cruise out of Vancouver. We booked on the ship, but I am sure all ships have the same excursion. If you Google Photo Safari by land and sea you will get it. I started to book direct, and found out it was about $10.00 higher.
They also have a great tour out of Skagway, we plan to do it on our next cruise to Alaska. It is an all day excursion, you take a small book to to Haines. I was told by a Gentleman that was on that excursion that Bear, and other wildlife were plentiful.
I have seen wildlife on many excursions, but getting a photo of them is different. Most people do not want to see a photo of a dark dot that you are calling a bear.
Even if you take an excursion that looks for wild life, you might need a telephoto lens to capture a good shoot. I had my 70-300, next time I will have at least a 500mm.
Africa sounds great!! We are looking at Australia in 2012. Maybe taking a cruise out of there, and doing a few weeks on land by ourselves.
We are doing Yellowstone, Grand Tetons next summer. One of my Uncles is wanting me to join him on a WWII Pacific Vacation, that might also happen.

janfred 11-24-2009 02:44 PM

WOW, Gary,
You sure so have some very nice vacations to look forward too! My husband and I both being in the Military would love the WWII Pacific Vacation. We talk about going to Normandy on one of the River Cruises that would be very nice !

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