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Alaska -1st time cruisers - Bears


Brownbear19
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We are travelling from Australia for our first ever cruise.   We are on Celebrity Eclipse sailing 11th September.  Hope this is not a stupid question but when we are in port  do we need to be concerned regarding bears.  Is bear spray required when walking on trails?   

Thanks

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I never saw a single bear on my Alaska cruise; I saw more around my house at the time.  Don't recall ever thinking about taking bear spray.  I guess it depends where you are hiking.  

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You do not need to be concerned about bears in ports or anywhere you might normally hike to. 
 

Side note: you can tell the op is from a land where every time you step outside there are a dozen different animals that could kill you 🙂

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3 hours ago, wcook said:

You do not need to be concerned about bears in ports or anywhere you might normally hike to. 
 

Side note: you can tell the op is from a land where every time you step outside there are a dozen different animals that could kill you 🙂

 

You might check out the "Come to Australia" song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5_RuzHlPo8

 

DON

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8 hours ago, Brownbear19 said:

We are travelling from Australia for our first ever cruise.   We are on Celebrity Eclipse sailing 11th September.  Hope this is not a stupid question but when we are in port  do we need to be concerned regarding bears.  Is bear spray required when walking on trails?   

Thanks

Only time I would be concerned is if you hike secluded areas. We did a bear excursion a couple of years ago and had a guide and two gentlemen with shotguns along. 

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Posted (edited)

There's no guarantee that you would even see a bear in the woods, let alone in a busy  port town full of tourists.  If you will be doing remote hiking on your own, then having bear spray might be a good idea; HOWEVER don't even think about bringing it on board. It would be in the same category as Mace, on the banned list.  

 

Better to avoid a bear encounter in the first place, and common measures are easily found online. There's one https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=livingwithbears.bearcountry

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I agree with others that it is unlikely you would encounter a bear unless you were hiking a remote area. If you want to safely see brown and black bears, go to Fortress of the Bear during your stop in Sitka

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3 hours ago, JT1962 said:

I agree with others that it is unlikely you would encounter a bear unless you were hiking a remote area. If you want to safely see brown and black bears, go to Fortress of the Bear during your stop in Sitka

 

If you want to see bears in a wild environment going to Anan or Brooks Falls

 

(https://explore.org/livecams/brown-bears/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls?gclid=Cj0KCQjwz96WBhC8ARIsAATR252NSnUeMB8nLFEqeC3JTB0aJLrm6I07L05UPot706nveb_2Y0wEyFwaAm-4EALw_wcB

 

would be better. 

 

The brown and black bear enclosures at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage (https://www.alaskawildlife.org/animals/) have a more natural feel than Fortress.  You also get to see many other Alaskan species at this place.

 

DON

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40 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

If you want to see bears in a wild environment going to Anan or Brooks Falls

 

(https://explore.org/livecams/brown-bears/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls?gclid=Cj0KCQjwz96WBhC8ARIsAATR252NSnUeMB8nLFEqeC3JTB0aJLrm6I07L05UPot706nveb_2Y0wEyFwaAm-4EALw_wcB

 

would be better. 

 

The brown and black bear enclosures at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage (https://www.alaskawildlife.org/animals/) have a more natural feel than Fortress.  You also get to see many other Alaskan species at this place.

 

DON


I agree those are much better, but likely aren’t doable on their roundtrip itinerary from Seattle on Eclipse. The only option would possibly be Anan from Ketchikan, but it is likely the limited permits are gone for the date they would be there. The $ 450 - $ 700 (approx) cost per person is also prohibitive for many.

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One can and may encounter bears during port stops.  We encountered a sow and her babies at the Mendenhall Glacier in the last week of June.  We were walking the Steep Creek Trail.  There were a couple of rangers there who directed us around the animals.  It was quite an unexpected treat!  But they did close the trail after we left in order to minimize any potential issues.

 

You can check in at the ranger station at any park to see if there have been any wildlife sightings on the day of your visit.

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I bet those are the same cubs that we were told about that were going up to people and tapping them on the leg. We were on the June 29 carnival spirit cruise and the shuttle driver told us the mother had released the cubs and they were creating some havoc in the park. We didn’t see them, although that would have been memorable. He also told us a large male was following the mama around. 
 

we saw 3 on our cruise, one was on a bear/wildlife excursion so YAY, but we did have a person with a gun with us, one was along the road, and one was during our Tracey arm fjord boat excursion. They all say bears don’t want to be around people, make noise, wear bells, whatever. 

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Thanks for the replies to my question.   I was mainly concerned about the top of the gondola at Icy Strait Point walking on some of the  hikes mentioned.  Obviously no real issue but we will keep our eyes open.

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We were at Icy Strait Point in June and when at the top you were required to wait at a point until there were 10 people together to walk down due to bear activity. At that time you were not allowed to walk all the way down and there were rangers with rifles. 

 

You do need to watch out for Alaskan Drop Bears though 😂

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All good advice here.  The only bear attack I heard about when I was going to Alaska was a fisherman out at Nikiski on the Kenai peninsula, who had his salmon catch on the bank next to him, and the bear felt it was the Golden Corral buffet.  So, remote areas, alone, and having a food source nearby are the big threats.

 

On 7/21/2022 at 12:58 AM, kona_wahine said:

He also told us a large male was following the mama around. 

That boar was not really following the sow around, but the cubs.  As long as a sow has cubs, she won't go into heat, so boar bears have a nasty habit of killing cubs so the sow goes into heat.

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