We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fabolous Polar Bear Viewing and Photography”
Review of Kaktovik Tours

Kaktovik Tours
Ranked #2 of 2 things to do in Kaktovik
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Kaktovik Tours offer polar bear viewing trips by boat in Kaktovik. The Polar Bear Capital of Alaska.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

Ketil is a great guide, he's also very friendly and has a great boat with a warm cabin. He drove us very safely around the lagoons and also showed us a great number of Bears. He is a great team player and a person with great knowledge and experience. He's also run the Iditarod dog race many times. We saw as many as 20+ Bears during our day trip with him. He picked us up straight from the runway in his boat, in style...we were photographing Polar Bears within 4 minutes after landing in Kaktovik. My wife and I had a great time with him and will go again with him next year to get more time with the Bears. Ketil was nice enough to show us around the village as well and made sure we were comfortable throughout the trip. He has a lot of safety equipment in his cabin cruiser including many life vests, ladder etc. We felt very safe with him and will gladly recommend him for anyone who has to see Polar Bears in the wild.
I will add a few pictures from our trip on this page soon..

Thanks, Ketil !

1  Thank tigerphotog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (20)
There are newer reviews for Kaktovik Tours
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

17 - 20 of 20 reviews

Reviewed September 9, 2013

This has been one of the best trips we've made to Alaska. How many people can say they have seen polar bears in their natural environment.

We recently spent a day tour with Ketil and had a fabulous time. the weather was good and we were able to break our day tour into 3 seperate trips out on his boat. Ketil is one of a few licensed guides to provide this experience in a safe and up close manner. He also has a very interesting backstory of dog sledding across Norway and meeting his wife in Kaktovik. He is also the only person to have completed the the 5 longest dog sled races. There is no lack of conversation topics and learning experiences. Additionally he was as excited to see the bears as we were. That was wonderful because this is something he enjoys, not does day in and day out as routine. He has also guided film crews and will be working with national geographic shortly.

At one point we counted 20 polar bears and saw wonderful bear behaviour. We saw cubs nursing, a mom and 2 cubs exploring the bone pile and then taking off at a run when a huge male came on the scene. Juvenile cubs rough housing and having a great time. One bear found a bag of rocks in the water (used as an anchor for a fish net) and played with it like a kid. And one tense moment of 2 males checking each other out and then deciding to peacefully co-exist.

He also gave us a tour of the town which is quite interesting including heated water and sewer lines which makes sense but who would have thought?

Ketil's goal was to provide an excellent day and everything exceeded anything we had hoped for.

4  Thank Traveler4962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I work in Alaska and travel the entire state. I see and do a lot of different things. I can honestly say this is the most awesome thing I've done. It is REAL. Don't expect anything fancy. Just expect kind and caring and honest people. Ketil is a very personable person and is very accommodating. We tried to get out in the boat to see the bears, but the water was just too rough. Once he realized it was too rough, we turned around. We were all pretty disappointed, but then Ketil piled us in his van and drove us all around to see the bears. They were everywhere. We were fairly close to a couple of them, but still very, very safe. He was very protective of us. I would do this trip again tomorrow if I could! Thank you Ketil!!

Thank TerryReady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

That was the best day of my trip around alaska!!! With his boat Ketil brought us very close the whale bones where we saw many many polar bears eating from them....silence was everywhere..only we could hear the rumors from these wonderful animals eating...it was an absolutely fantastic scene!!!!it was exciting! Bears were everywhere...i think we saw something like 10/15 polar bears..one of them was swimming near us...but they didn't take care of us..everything was safe..
Thank you Ketil, you are a great person!!

4  Thank AndreaSilvia82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Kaktovik Tours also viewed

Been to Kaktovik Tours? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing