Here’s a video of a brown bear sighting in Ford’s Terror, in the Endicott Arm fjord/Tracy Arm-Ford’s Terror Wilderness area of southeast Alaska. Guests of the Fantasy Cruises’ small ship cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage saw several brown bears; our captain and the ship’s naturalist seemed to have a gift for finding them. Perhaps it’s not as hard as it seems to find a brown bear in southeast Alaska; after all, 95% of the United States’ brown bear population live in Alaska. But there sure aren’t any brown bears in Los Angeles, so each time a brown bear was seen, it was very exciting for this Vacation Gal. Because our Alaska vacation was on a small cruise ship, it was easy for the captain to change course, cut the engine, and let us happy Alaska travel fans pile into one of the skiffs to get a closer look.
Brown bears are typically nocturnal, but it was early morning in Ford’s Terror when I shot this video. The Fantasy Cruises naturalist told us that these were a mother bear and her cub, though the cub is around two years old. They come down to the shore most summer mornings to eat the mussels growing along the intertidal zone. Because this was a mama bear, we had to be extra careful to appear unthreatening — brown bears prefer to be left alone, but a protective mother bear can be especially intolerant of perceived threats. We were completely silent (except for the taking of photos, if you listen carefully you can hear shutters snapping open and closed) and stayed a respectful distance away. The silence we had to maintain was worth it, though; rather than being horrible North American tourists jabbering away, guests of this Alaska small cruise ship vacation experience were able to be quiet witnesses to a lovely wilderness scene.
Thank you to Fantasy Cruises for hosting this Alaska Inside Passage cruise travel vacation.