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Travel with Luana

Travel with Luana Rubin

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Natural Habitat's Alaska Bear Camp -
Aug 19-24, 2023

Classic Polar Bear Adventury

Dear Adventure Traveler,

Scroll down for Itinerary and trip details.

Nat Hab's Alaska Bear Camp - Aug 19-24, 2023

Natural Habitat Overview & Itinerary On This Page.

You can find photos from my Sept 2021 Katmai Brown Bear trip, on this page.

Please contact our NatHab specialist Aly Jacobsen directly to secure your spot.
Call the direct line – 800-543-8917
Email: [email protected]

If you decide to go on a different date with a different group, call Aly and she will take extra special care of you as a Friend of eQuilter!  All eQuilter friends who sign up through Aly will receive a special Northwoods/Bear fabric packet gift from me as well.

If you have questions for me, send them through Deandra at: [email protected]

You will receive some NorthWoods and Bear fabrics in your Traveler Welcome Package prior to the trip, but if you just can’t wait, check out our current stock of NorthWoods & Bear fabrics here.

Space for this special trip is VERY LIMITED so please understand that to guarantee your place on this tour on this date with Luana, you need to call our eQuilter agent Aly at NatHab to give a $500 down payment.
(Yes, payment plans are available!)

I will arrive in Homer Alaska one day early on Augustt 18, so we can meet for lunch on Aug 19 and a walkabout Homer, if you also come in a day early.  Aly can arrange an extra night at the hotel in Homer.

Thank you for your interest, and I hope to see you in August 2023!
Best wishes, Luana

Natural Habitat

Please do contact Aly directly at NatHab, for extra special treatment as an eQuilter friend/customer.
Call the direct line – 800-543-8917
or Email: [email protected]

Classic Polar Bear Adventury

Classic Polar Bear Adventury

August 19-24, 2023

Daily Itinerary

We highly recommend arriving a day early in case of inclement weather delays.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Aug 19: Homer, Alaska
Arrive in Homer, a scenic fishing town of 5,500 on Kachemak Bay located near the bottom of the Kenai Peninsula. Known as “the end of the road,” Homer is the most southerly point on Alaska’s contiguous highway system. Surrounded by 280 acres of protected state land, this critical wildlife habitat sustains more than 100 bird species and a large local moose population. Homer’s key geographic feature is the Homer Spit, a 4.5-mile-long gravel bar that extends into the bay. Visitors to the town harbor frequently see fishing boats unloading their catch—Homer is heralded as the Halibut Capital of the World. This evening, gather with our Expedition Leader for a welcome dinner and orientation to the incredible bear adventures that lie ahead.

Day 2 - Aug 20: Nat Hab's Alaska Bear Camp—Bear Viewing
Leave Homer on a private flight across Cook Inlet to Nat Hab's Alaska Bear Camp. The view from our chartered bush plane is staggering as we pass snow-clad volcanoes and jagged glaciers pouring down from icefields on high. The terrain below us, where the Aleutian and Alaska ranges meet, comprises Lake Clark National Park, some of the world's most critical brown bear habitat. Look for bears in the meadows and along the shoreline as we come in for a landing, taxiing down the beach. The exact timing of our arrival is dependent on the tides. Bear Camp is located on a historic homestead, a private inholding of coastal land surrounded by the roadless wilderness of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. These 4 million protected acres are the ancestral homelands of the Dena'ina people, preserving an intact ecosystem at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. Accessible only by plane or boat, Bear Camp is ours alone for an unparalleled immersion in pristine brown bear habitat.

Once we are settled in to our weatherproof tent cabins, we gather for an orientation and safety talk. Then...it's time to meet the bears! Here at Bear Camp, we have some of the best, most consistent viewing anywhere in Alaska, due to the season-long availability of food. In the spring, sedge grass awaits the bears as they emerge from their dens, protein-rich food that supports rapid growth. Bears also dig clams from the beach as they await their late summer feast: by late July or early August, the region's salmon runs help provide the fat that enables the bears to survive a long winter. All season long, nature serves a steady bounty to these omnivores. And since the bears are sated by this abundance, they see us humans merely as part of the scenery, allowing us to move safely in their midst on guided outings, at times observing them from just a few yards away. Two viewing platforms, one elevated for a territorial view, enable us to see bears nearby and at a distance. And we often watch them right from camp, which is surrounded by electrified wires, ensuring our safety on site. After an exhilarating day, gather in the dining tent for dinner—you'll be surprised at the outstanding meals our resident chef is able to prepare in such a remote location. Fresh local fare is always on the menu, including abundant Alaskan seafood.

Days 3 & 4 - Aug 21-22: Alaska Brown Bear Experience 
Prior to this rare opportunity, most of us will have seen bears only in zoos or nature documentaries. Yet there's nothing that comes close to this immersive experience, being among them in their wild home. Against a backdrop of sheer-sided peaks rising above the green valley floor, the bears are sometimes near enough that we can hear them chewing their food and communicating with one another in woofs, purrs and growls. Alaska's mighty brown bears—the coastal version of the interior grizzly bear (which is the same species, Ursus arctos)—are the largest land predators in North America. Adult males can weigh up to 1,500 pounds!

While the bear activity we witness will vary according to the season, weather conditions and timing of the salmon runs, and we can never predict exactly what bear behavior we'll witness, there's always something riveting going on. Earlier in the season, we might see mating activity. Later on, we could catch a sighting of mothers with playful cubs. Once the salmon start running by mid- to late summer, we may see bears fishing in streams. And while bears are usually plentiful right in the vicinity of camp, we also go into adjacent Lake Clark National Park for added variety. At every turn, we explore the area in the careful company of our Expedition Leaders, seasoned bear naturalists who offer thorough coaching in respectful "bear etiquette" to ensure your safety. Our low-impact presence ensures that we never disturb the bears, and they in turn grant us comfortable access to watch them go about their daily routines.

Day 5 - Aug 23: Bear Viewing / Fly to Homer 
Few travelers ever have such an encounter with solitude and wilderness on the scale that surrounds us here. The size of the landscape, the raw beauty, the profound silence—these things alone would make for a life-transforming experience. But the chance to watch Alaskan brown bears, these incomparable icons of the wild, on their turf, their terms...it's a wonder to have bears welcome us into their world. We have one last chance this morning to marvel at them, admiring their majesty and whimsy alike. And one thing is certain: no one leaves here unmoved by the bears' plight, intensely aware of the threats from mining, climate change and other potential impacts to the health of this vital ecosystem on which the bears rely. 

All too soon, it's time to leave Alaska Bear Camp behind. Boarding our small bush plane, we taxi down the beach, bound again for Homer. We depart as ambassadors for the bears, our time among them leaving an indelible mark on us, inspiring us to do all we can to protect them. Time and weather permitting, there may be a chance to explore more of Homer this afternoon. Tonight we celebrate our adventures at a festive farewell dinner in Homer.

Day 6 - Aug 24: Homer / Depart
Our Bear Camp adventure comes to a close today as we transfer to the Homer airport for homeward flights.

Since our adventures focus on wildlife, we make every effort to plan itineraries where wildlife is known to inhabit. However, since wild animals live and roam freely, we cannot fully predict or control their movements (nor would we want to). In an attempt to locate wildlife that may have deviated from its normal patterns, or in the interest of traveler comfort or safety, or due to other factors beyond our control, we must occasionally make reasonable changes to itineraries. The very definition of adventure—”an exciting or remarkable undertaking involving the unknown”—requires that we recognize the above itinerary as a general approximation of what we hope to encounter, but it may change. Your guide will determine your final routing and activities in the best interest of the safety of the group and the success of the trip.

 Classic Polar Bear Adventure

Classic Polar Bear Adventure

Adventure Information

ADVENTURE FEE & DEPOSIT

Alaska Bear Camp Adventure –

  • Trip Price 
    $6395 (+internal air)

Internal Air Cost: $996 per person (this will be listed separately on our invoicing).
Single Occupancy: For a single room add $1195. If requested, we can also match you with a roommate. If we are unable to find you a match, you will not be charged for a single room.
Deposit: $500 per person (nonrefundable)
Trip Insurance: 10% of cost - highly encouraged. Or purchase from your own travel insurance provider...in case of your last minute cancellation.

This is a Habitat Club Departure Date (NatHab Loyalty Program), so if you have traveled with Luana on a NatHab trip before, you will be eligible for a discount. Be sure to tell Aly about your previous NatHab trip(s).

We welcome guests traveling solo. Over the years, we’ve found that matching solo guests works out very well. Most of our guests have a lot in common, with similar interests in conservation, wildlife, and in this case quilting! Some even meet new friends to travel with again down the road.

A $500 per person deposit is required to confirm your space on this trip.
Final balance will be due 120 days prior to the trip’s start date – by June 19th.

Please call Aly Jacobsen at 800-543-9817 to make a booking.
You may also email Aly with questions at [email protected].

To guarantee your spot book early because spaces are limited and the trip will SELL OUT!

For all trip payments, we accept Visa, Master Card, Discover and American Express.
Payment plans can be arranged with Aly at NatHab!


I
NCLUDED IN YOUR ADVENTURE COST

  • Trip price includes: Accommodations, services of Nat Hab's professional Expedition Leader(s), local guides and camp staff, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on final day, most gratuities, airport transfers on Day 1 and final day, all activities and entrance fees, all taxes, permits and service fees.
  • Internal air cost includes: Chartered flights to and from Bear Camp (this will be listed separately on our invoicing).

NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR ADVENTURE COST

Travel to and from the start and end point of your trip, alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees (if any), optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry and internet, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes (if any), required medical evacuation insurance, optional travel protection insurance, and optional activities with Luana Rubin.

Physical Requirements
Easy to Moderate
Nat Hab's Alaska Bear Camp adventure is a remote wilderness experience in the heart of wild brown bear habitat. Our deluxe safari-style camp is accessed exclusively via privately chartered small planes, which make beach landings as weather and tides permit. Good health and overall fitness are a must, as we are far from medical facilities in this roadless region—it may take several hours or potentially a full day or more to evacuate to a medical facility should health problems arise. 

General mobility, including the ability to climb into and out of small planes, is essential. Trip participants must be able to walk at least 1 mile without assistance to join this adventure. Most of our time is spent standing out in the elements viewing bears for hours at a time, both from viewing platforms and on guided walks. Once we reach our bear-viewing site for each outing, we may spend several hours in essentially one spot with little movement. The closest bear viewing platform is 300 feet from camp, while the farthest is a 1.5 mile walk one way, but we do have vehicle support to facilitate getting to the more distant platforms if necessary. Bear viewing can also be done right from camp, but to get the full experience, guests must be able to walk at least 1 mile unassisted. While it isn't possible to take longer walks or hikes during our time at camp, our bear-viewing location may vary each day, and we access the sites by walking on wooden boardwalks, dirt paths or uneven natural terrain, which may include sections of shallow water. You must be able to carry all your own gear, including daypacks and camera equipment. We stress that travelers are not required to participate in every activity, but all guests must be in general good health. Guests must also come prepared with a positive attitude and the ability to be flexible in a wild and remote setting where weather conditions are highly changeable.

Important Information About This Trip
Our Bear Camp adventure offers a rare opportunity for an immersive encounter with one of the world's bear viewing locations, while luxury camping allows guests to stay in complete comfort. Since this trip takes place way off the grid and a 45-minute flight from the nearest town, guests must be prepared for all the vagaries that come with travel to such an isolated destination. These include inclement weather and limited operational materials, all of which makes a journey to our exclusive Alaska Bear Camp an adventure in the truest sense. At times, flights may be canceled or delayed due to poor weather, and some amenities may become unavailable until a new shipment arrives. But the adventure is part of the excitement, and we will use our decades of operating experience in Alaska to make the best of even substantial itinerary changes, should they occur.

Please understand that the hearty and tasty meals at camp are specially planned and prepared for well in advance. Dietary requirements due to serious medical conditions or strict personal restrictions can be met, with ample notice, but must be adhered to during the trip. If you have a very restricted diet, we recommend bringing some of your preferred snacks along, with the appreciation that certain foods are limited in this remote part of the world and there might not be many options.


Getting There & Getting Home
Arrive in Homer, Alaska by 4:30 pm on Day 1 of the program in order to attend a 6 pm orientation followed by a 7 pm welcome dinner. You are free to depart Homer any time on the final day. 

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