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Alaska Safaris

Home to some of the largest bears on the planet, national parks the size of nations, and glaciers equally as big as some North American states, superlatives may strive to convey the grandeur of Alaska, but they will never quite manage to capture the reality. The call of the wild is real here, as brown bears snatch leaping salmon out of thundering rivers and plenty of wild characters such as musk oxen, grey wolves, moose, and caribou, continuously show how pure, raw, and unforgiving America’s largest state is.

Geographically, Alaska is broadly separated into Far North, Interior, Southwest, Southcentral and Inside Passage, each area varying greatly in composition and wildlife. The landscapes of Alaska are those of towering snow-capped peaks, dramatic plunging valleys, fjords, glaciers, forests and perpetual tundra. Rocky shorelines contrast with rolling hillsides and soaring mountains and horizons stretch as far as the eye can see. Such scale can seem daunting, especially for a state whose size is the equivalent of one fifth of the remaining 48 states further south. Indeed much of the area is inaccessible by road, but we have a combination of ship and road itineraries on offer to ensure you see the best bits.

With countless experiences and adventures, the hardest part about planning a trip here is knowing what to do. If you’re looking for inspiration, our selection of Alaskan itineraries celebrate everything from magical pine forests to frigid Arctic tundra. Take a look and discover for yourself why Alaska is fondly named The Last Frontier.

Why NWS for your Alaska safari?

Our fascination for bears originally started over 10 years ago with our niche company named World Bear Safaris. Our CEO and Founder Will Bolsover spent many years alongside our specialists locating the best bear haunts in the midst of Alaskan wilderness. As a leading specialist operator, we have specifically chosen lodges that are in some of the most remote areas in the heart of bear country, where it is possible to experience incredible close encounters with grizzly bears and other fascinating North American wildlife. Our team of specialists have extensive on-the-ground knowledge of Alaska’s wilderness, allowing them to design your journey around you, at the right place at the right time.

Some of the regions of Alaska are often difficult to access and distances are great between them, and for this reason we tend to concentrate primarily on set departures within some of the regions that offer the best of the natural world and bear viewing, as this offers better value for money and ensures that you benefit from the expertise of our specialist guides.

How much does Alaska Cost?

Typically, expect to budget around £12000 per person for a 13-day safari in Alaska. This will generally include food and beverages, excursions and six camps in different locations. For a shorter 6-day experience staying at one camp, expect to budget £6000 per person. Experiencing some of the world’s best wildlife-viewing opportunities, you will be staying in intimate camps and lodges directly within pure Alaskan wilderness.

ALA St Alaska Fishing Grizzly Bear Shutterstock Galyna Andrushko

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The Alaska Safari Experience

Rugged, vast and wild, Alaska is easily dominated by wildlife, leaving humans as a second thought. Often compared with, Alaska is far less populated and its outstanding landscapes aren’t so well-trodden by tourists — it’s often easy to forget that you’re in America here. Much of the Alaskan wilderness is widely inaccessible by road, however, our range of small ships and planes will ensure you reach each location safely.

  • Explore Untouched Glaciers: Set foot on glaciers that are as yet untouched by humans
  • Flying Safaris: Explore the vast landscapes via biplane for an aerial view and access to untouched areas
  • Remote Adventures: Stay in some of the most remote locations in the world for some of the most authentic wilderness explorations possible
  • Walk with Grizzlies: Walk among the largest grizzly bears in the world, the Kodiak bear
  • Wildlife Encounters: Encounter puffins, sea lions, orcas and humpback whales, as well as moose, wolves, bears, bald eagles and more
  • Kayak: Enjoy kayaking in salmon-rich rivers and vast tranquil lakes

Where to stay in Alaska?

With a wide range of accommodation options from small lodges nestled in the heart of the woods to converted tugboats that offer incredibly close wildlife viewing, our Alaska lodges and camps all share one common trait: they have the most desirable setting to give the best access to the wildlife and natural scenery of the surrounding area. If you have a particular accommodation option that you would like to stay in that is not listed below in our selection, please contact our specialists who will do their utmost to build this into your itinerary. Read more about where to stay in Alaska.

When to go to Alaska?

The best time to visit Alaska is between May and September. As the largest of the US states, the climate in Alaska varies dramatically according to where you are, but as a general rule it is a summer destination, with long hot days and verdant landscape, whilst the winters are dark and cold. Average temperatures hit a pleasant 12-18ºC or 54-64ºF and the further inland you head the higher this reaches, to a maximum of 26ºC or 79ºF around the Fairbanks area. Read more about when to go to Alaska.

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Alaska Safaris FAQs

When can you see the northern lights in Alaska?

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, can be observed in Alaska from September to April, with the peak months generally being from late September to late March. During this period, the long nights and dark skies provide optimal conditions for sightings. Popular locations like Fairbanks, Anchorage, Denali National Park, and the Arctic Circle offer opportunities to witness this natural spectacle, though clear skies and minimal light pollution are crucial for the best experience. Plan your trip during these months and monitor aurora forecasts for the best chances of seeing the mesmerising Northern Lights.

How likely are grizzly bear sightings?

The likelihood of grizzly bear sightings in Alaska varies based on factors like the region and time of year. National parks such as Denali and Katmai, along with designated bear viewing areas like Brooks Falls, offer better chances during the summer salmon runs. Guided bear viewing tours with experienced guides can enhance your opportunities, especially in remote locations. While sightings are more likely during the active summer season, encounters with grizzly bears should be approached with caution, adhering to safety guidelines, and respecting the animals' wild nature.

Is Alaska family friendly?

Yes, Alaska is a family-friendly destination with a wide range of activities and attractions suitable for travellers of all ages. The state offers a unique opportunity for families to experience nature, wildlife, and outdoor adventures together.

What should I pack for my Alaskan trip?

Pack appropriately for your Alaska trip with layered clothing, including thermal wear, sweaters, and a waterproof jacket. Bring warm accessories like gloves, a hat, scarf, and insulated, waterproof boots. Don't forget moisture-wicking socks, rain gear, and swimwear for hot springs or saunas. Protect against sun glare with sunglasses and sunscreen, and have a small daypack for essentials. Binoculars, a camera, chargers, and travel adapters are handy, along with medications, a first aid kit, and insect repellent. Carry travel documents, cash, and cards, and equip yourself with guidebooks, maps, snacks, and a water bottle for a comfortable and enjoyable Alaskan adventure.

What will the weather be like in Alaska?

Alaska's weather varies widely: summers (June to August) are milder, ranging from around 50°F to 80°F (10°C to 30°C) depending on the region; fall (September to October) brings cooler temperatures and fall foliage; winters (November to February) are cold, with coastal areas around 20°F to 40°F (-6°C to 4°C) and interior regions much colder; spring (March to May) sees a gradual warming, with coastal areas reaching the 30s to 50s°F (0°C to 15°C). Weather can change rapidly, so packing layers and checking local forecasts is advisable for any outdoor activities.

More information on when to go to Alaska.