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“Bear Country & Wildlife Expedition at Ketchikan” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary

Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary
Book In Advance
More Info
USD 79.00*
and up
Ketchikan Shore Excursion: Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary Walking Tour
Ranked #19 of 56 things to do in Ketchikan
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Level Contributor
95 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Bear Country & Wildlife Expedition at Ketchikan”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2011

We paid $229 each for the the Bear Country Expedition in the Rainforest. We were very dissapointed! We were expecting to be in the rainforest for 3 hrs. After being in the rainforest for about 20 min. we saw 3 bears come to the stream for a meal of salmon. As soon as the bears came, our guide rushed us to finish the rest of the tour. We didn't have time to get many pictures and enjoy the rainforest. We were running to catch up wth our guide- then we all ended up in the gift shop-waiting an hour for our bus back to the ship. This was not worth the $458 my husband and I paid for this trip. We wrote a complaint to the cruise line for selling such a rip off but no one has reponded. This rainforest would be nice to visit on your own pace-so you can get pictures of the wildlife and scenery.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
13 Thank Barbara G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KetchikanLocal, Director of Sales at Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this review, 12 October 2011
Thank you for taking the time to express the concerns about your experience. We take concerns such as yours very seriously and are dissapointed that you did not have the experience we intended for you. Feedback like what you have provided will help improve our operation and ultimatley guest satisfaction. Thank you again and we hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Alaska.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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294 reviews from our community

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Beds
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A rip off and felt short changed”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2011

We booked this trip from our cruise ship, Zuiderdam, only because we had a few hours ashore and wanted to see bears. We knew the operator would get us back to the ship in time before it sailed. It was very expensive, $199.00 per person. Holland America said bear sightings were guaranteed and partial refund given if not a single person saw a bear.

Ketchikan has the highest rainfall in Alaska and it was pouring with rain when we arrived. Our group was split into two parties, ours bringing up the rear. I had to throw away a banana from my bag before we set off in case a bear smelt it. We were told to be very quiet and the guides were speaking in whispers. Meanwhile screams and laughter rang out overhead from a zipline which seemed to run the length of the forest - do the bears really want this? Our young guide only gave us basic information about the forest and bears as we moved along the boardwalk. No bear sightings and we were becoming hopeful for a refund.

It was only when we reached Eagle Creek at the edge of the forest that we saw a mother and baby bear eating berries in a garden on the opposite side of the creek. As advertised, we saw reindeer in a pen, a bald eagle and owl in a cage and a crafter carving his totem. We were the last visit of the day and it was obvious they were waiting to pack up. There was no snack at the General Store and we finished the visit about half an hour earlier than advertised.

The coach driver commented that we were early going back, so drove up a hill to show us the view from the local school - we would have preferred to have longer looking for bears, which was what we paid for.

All in all a disappointing trip. It was new to the Zuiderdam and it's a pity they had not done more research before including it on their excursion list.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
12 Thank WindyRidgeBeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KetchikanLocal, Director of Sales at Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this review, 12 October 2011
Thank you for taking the time to describe your experience with us. We share in your dissapointment since we intend for every guest to recieve a high level of satisfcation. Both our company and Holland America work closely together, striving for this high level of satisfaction. This would not be possible without feedback from guests like you. Thank you again and we hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Alaska!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Saw eight bears!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2011

The cruise ships seem to offer two excursions at this location—ziplining through the canopy and a walking tour through the forest. I took the walking tour (at $79), which was just under three hours long and included a ticket to the Alaska Discovery Center back in town. Our tour guide, Woody, was a year-round resident of Ketchikan who was knowledgeable about the area and prepared us appropriately for possible bear encounters. It was salmon spawning season in Eagle Creek, and indeed there were bears. We saw eight of them, all very interested in the salmon and not the least bit interested in us. We learned a lot about the rainforest and its wildlife, took advantage of some great photo ops, and felt as if we understood Southeastern Alaska better. The defunct lumber mill had a good story to go with it, and the totem pole carver was interesting to meet, though we were reluctant to keep him from his work. We did indeed see a rescued bald eagle and a horned owl close up, and we fed lettuce to some resident but non-native reindeer. This tour has an informal, folksy feel to it, a nice contrast to the cruiseline-sponsored shopping promotion in town.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
8 Thank ImpulsiveTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KetchikanLocal, Director of Sales at Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this review, 12 October 2011
Thank you for taking the time to post your awesome wildlife experience on our property. We appreciate all the feedback, good or bad, but are always pleased to hear about multiple bear sightings! Thanks again and glad we could add to your Alaska experience!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Port Townsend, Washington
Level Contributor
78 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“This was an expensive, boring waste of time.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2011

This was our last excursion on the Silversea AK tour, and we were all excited at the prospect of seeing bears in the wild. Forget it. Our first clue that we were NOT in the wilderness was the whooping overhead -- zipline enthusiasts! At the same time, our guide was warning us to speak softly so as not to spook the bears. Yes, there were a couple of small bears rustling around in the undergrowth, but we were high overhead on a suspension bridge and no one was able to see them clearly or get any photos. That "sighting" occurred in the first 20 minutes, and the next three hours, we saw only the guide, some domesticated reindeer, a captive bald eagle, and a native carver who couldn't wait for us to leave. Plenty of time was allowed for us to shop for tacky AK souvenirs. We couldn't wait to get back to the Silver Shadow.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
11 Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
california
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Rain Forest in Alaska on an Alaskan Cruise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2011

This was a wonderful excursion into a part of Alaska not experienced by many. It was a wonderful ride on a zodiac to the rain forest, then a hike into the forest with rare plants and life pointed out. Worth the trip. We were on the Alaskan cruise ship Radiance of the Sea and it was a wonderful cruise in the inside passage. Not a cruiser type but this was special. All the side excursions to such places as the Mendenhall Glacier and Yukon Territory worth the cost of the trip. The cruise was wonderful....

Visited June 2011
Helpful?
9 Thank Tp136
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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