Skip to Main Content
Whale's tail breaching in the icy waters of Alaska

How To Find The Best Alaska Wildlife Tours

Experience the world’s most fascinating wildlife on Alaska wildlife tours. Learn about whale watching cruises, bear tours, and the best times to view wildlife.

A bear scoops a slippery fish with its giant paw. Mama moose emerges from the forest with a calf in tow. A humpback whale rockets from the surface and performs an acrobatic twist. Every visitor to Alaska wants to encounter wildlife, but nature is unpredictable. Alaska wildlife tours offer the best opportunity to spy on Alaska’s wild residents from the safety of a vehicle or boat with an experienced guide. Here are frequently asked questions about Alaska wildlife tours.

What Animals Can You See On Alaska Wildlife Tours?

You can see many animals on Alaska wildlife tours. If you want to cross a bunch of critters off your bucket list, take both a land and water wildlife tour as part of your cruise to Alaska.

Alaska wildlife tours on the water showcase Alaska’s top 5 marine animals, such as majestic humpback whales and orcas, roaring steller sea lions, fluffy otters, and the splashy Dall’s porpoise. Naturalists know the best spots for wildlife viewing and give you all kinds of interesting trivia on the ride.

The wild frontier is filled with North America’s most impressive fauna, known as the Alaska Big Five: grizzly bears, Alaskan moose, caribou, Dall sheep, and the elusive gray wolf. If you’re headed to Denali on an Alaska Cruisetour, the Tundra Wilderness excursion takes you into the heart of Denali where you’re treated to sweeping views of the Great One and if luck is in your favor, some of Alaska’s marquee animals.

Bring binoculars and a camera with a telephoto lens on Alaska wildlife tours.

Where Is The Best Whale Watching In Alaska?

It depends. Determine the type of whale or porpoise that intrigues you most. A whale watching tour is recommended, though whales are sometimes spotted from shore.

Humpback whales are found almost everywhere along Alaska’s coast in summer. Orcas, both residents and transients live in Alaska’s bays and inlets year-round. Your chance of seeing either one is high, especially if you go whale watching in JuneauSeward, or Sitka. Kenai Fjords whale watching (near Seward) rarely disappoints as it is by the open seas, which means more feeding opportunities for the cetaceans. Beluga whales like to snack in the brackish waters of the Turnagain Arm.

What Is Alaska Whale Watching Season?

Alaska’s best whale watching season is summer and coincides nicely with the cruise season. Some whales, like humpbacks are migratory and commonly spotted in June and July in Alaska’s Inside Passage. Blue whales hang out in the eastern and northern Gulf of Alaska in summer.

What Bears Can You See On Alaska Bear Tours?

Bears are one of the most entertaining creatures, whether they’re playing with their cuddly cubs or scratching their backs on trees. Brown bears (grizzlies), and black bears populate the state in high numbers. Alaska bear tours take you by flight or bus to their feeding grounds. These Alaska shore excursions are a bit pricey, but well-worth it as you can channel your inner nature documentarian and photograph the bears as they fish. Many Alaska bear tours guarantee bear sightings.

Polar bears are more difficult to see on tours. As polar bears cannot tolerate higher temperatures, they are found in the far north on the ice. Kaktovik, an Inupiat village on Alaska’s North Slope gives polar bear tours, as the bears often come into the town to feast on bone piles leftover from bowhead whale hunts.

Glacier bear sightings are rare.

What Are The Best Places To See Alaska Moose?

Anchorage is one of the best places to gaze upon a majestic moose. These city slickers wander through yards and fields or on the city’s Coastal Trail and Kincaid Park. They love their fresh greenery, so look out around ponds and grass lands. Always give a moose plenty of space; they are big, but they are fast. Alaskan bull moose can be aggressive, especially during mating season in autumn and winter.

The world record Alaskan moose weighed in at 1,806 pounds!

What Raptors And Birds Can You See On Wildlife Tours?

More than half of North America’s total population of bald eagles calls Alaska home. Your chance of an eagle sighting is good. Look high in the sky, especially around coastal waters. They love to catch fish and nest in high trees near water. On Alaska wildlife tours, you may also spot golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls and puffins, kittiwakes, auklets and many others.

Alaska Raptor Center

Get an up-close look at some of Alaska’s most awe-inspiring birds, such as bald eagles, at the Alaska Raptor Center. Primarily a rehabilitation facility, the center sits on 17 acres in Sitka. Visitors are welcome to meet the raptors in residence (birds that couldn’t be released into the wild), and to watch raptors get their wings back in the flight-training aviary.

Connect with nature in a deeper, richer way on Alaska wildlife tours. Cruise to Alaska and meet the locals.