If you want to experience an Arctic safari, you don’t need to travel very far, spend thousands of dollars, or freeze yourself in subzero temperatures. So many wild Alaska attractions are easily accessible in the summer, and the abundance of cheap flight deals just make it that much easier to get to the state without breaking the bank. You also don’t need a lot of time; you’re guaranteed to see plenty of animals in just a week if you carefully plan your trip and go with an informed guide.

Spot Moose from the Sky

Alaska - Taku glacier from air (1)

Image by Sucheta Rawal/ goeatgive.com

Take a private and customized aerial tour with Extra Tough Aviation, based out of Juneau, Alaska. On the 2-3 hour flight, travel from downtown Juneau, down Gastineau Channel, through picturesque lakes and glaciers. There’s a good chance you’ll spot mountain goats and brown bears walking on ice-covered mountains, as well as moose having a drink from the glacial streams.

Hop on a Yacht for Humpbacks and Orcas

Water rolls off the upraised tail of a diving humback whale in the waters off the coast of Alaska

Alaska Luxury Tours guarantees you will see whales on one of their luxurious yacht tours, accompanied by a naturalist to identify exactly what kind of whale you’re looking at (they’re named and are identifiable by the markings on their tails). The experienced captain knows exactly where to spot humpback whales and orca pods for the best viewing. You won’t believe how close the whales come up to you, as you sit back in the yacht with a glass of champagne and appetizers.

Looking to get close to nature on your next trip? These cheap flight deals can help you get there for less!

Kayak with Sea Lions and Whales

Alaska-Kayaking with whales (1)

Image by Sucheta Rawal/ goeatgive.com

For an active adventure, take a kayaking tour from Juneau with Above and Beyond Alaska up the Inside Passage to the richest humpback whale feeding grounds in Alaska. Here, you’ll get a chance to paddle alongside Steller sea lions, harbor seals, whales, river otters, porpoise, eagles, and many others.

Walk on a Bear Island

Cub and Adult female of Brown Bear in the forest at summer time.

If flying on a seaplane to a remote island that’s home to 2,000 brown bears gives you an adrenaline rush, book yourself a bear viewing tour with Pack Creek Bear Tours. Guided by a bear specialist, only 4 adventurers are flown out and dropped off at Admiralty Island for 3-4 hours. Walk in silence on the beach; keep a safe distance; and observe the bears fishing, playing and running with their young.

Cruise the Tundra

Alaska-Glacier National Park catamaran (2)

Image by Sucheta Rawal/ goeatgive.com

Stay at the Glacier Bay Lodge located inside Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, a World Heritage Site, and take a day tour on a high-speed catamaran that departs from Bartlett Cove, which is right in front of the lodge. This comfortable 8-hour-long cruise will take you through a variety of ecosystems, from rain forests and rocky mountains to tidewater glaciers and snow-covered peaks. Keep your camera ready at all times as you’re likely to spot whales, sea lions, puffins, and bears from the water!

Ride a Train to a Conservation Center

Alaska - Glacier Discovery Train (1)

Image by Sucheta Rawal/ goeatgive.com

The Alaskan Railroad Glacier Discovery Train travels slowly from downtown Anchorage, through the Chugach National Forest, to Spencer Glacier. Large windows and heated interiors offer a comfortable space to soak in the views and spot Dall sheep, moose, and beluga whales. Get off at the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) or pre-book a guided half-day shuttle trip through Salmon Berry Tours to get up close to rescued, injured, or orphaned Arctic animals, such as black and brown bears, caribou, elk, muskox, wood bison, foxes, wolves, and reindeer. For $30, you can even adopt an animal at the AWCC.

Coach into Denali

Denali (Mount McKinley) national park, Alaska, United States

Travel 62 miles through Denali National Park aboard a motor coach (there’s limited access in the park for private vehicles). The narrated Tundra Wilderness Tour allows you to listen to stories about the park’s history, geography, and native animals. There’s a good chance of spotting Dall sheep, moose, caribou, wolves, and bears in their natural habitats, as well great close-up views of the famous Mount Denali.

Seeing much of these untamed, natural Alaska attractions can all be done in just a week, with some careful planning, of course. So, once you’ve snagged cheap flight deals to “The Last Frontier”, make sure to plan for a combination of flying, cruising, and driving to have the ideal vacation and spot some amazing wildlife in a short amount of time.

 

Have you visited Alaska for its wildlife and natural beauty? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

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Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer who has traveled to 70+ countries and is on a mission to see the entire world. She is also the founder of the nonprofit organization, Go Eat Give, which promotes cultural awareness through food, travel and volunteering. Sucheta is the author of a series of children's books on travel, "Beato Goes To" that teach kids about different countries and cultures.