Black Bear in Alaska
Black Bear in Alaska

For most, the concept of Alaska wildlife doesn't extend beyond polar bears and salmon. Those who venture north know there's nothing like the sight of a mammoth 40-ton humpback whale breaking the surface of the water for air, or seeing something stir in the brush as a huge moose rises from rest and wanders off. Moments like this only happen in Alaska — the Great Land.

Alaska’s wildlife is just one of the thrilling aspects of this amazing frontier land. On an Alaska cruise or cruisetour with Princess, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a wide variety of creatures, untamed and in their natural habitats.

Denali Big Five

Bear can be found almost anywhere, from the forests along the Alaska coast to national parks further inland like Denali National Park and Preserve, where a plethora of berries keeps these permanent residents well fed. In addition to bears, Denali is an ideal place to observe the wide-antlered caribou, moose, gray wolves and Dall sheep, the latter identified by its curled horns. Together, these wondrous animals constitute the "Denali Big Five," a sightseer's dream.

Wonders of the Sea

During the summer months, more than 2,000 humpbacks are known to feed in the waters off Alaska, offering plenty of chances to enjoy these magnificent giants. Killer (orca) and beluga whales are equally abundant, as are Pacific white-sided dolphins. In Prince William Sound, harbor seals and sea lions line the shore and sea otters frolic in the water.

Salmon-rich Waters

Another active denizen of the sea is the salmon, famous for its gravity-defying leaps up waterfalls and streams in order to spawn. While this arduous trek only occurs at the end of an adult salmon's life, it never fails to coincide with feeding time for the bears that inhabit the Alaska coastline.

A Birdwatcher's Paradise

Some 40,000 bald eagles reside in Alaska today, most nesting near water for easy fishing. They are one of more than 300 species of birds that can be found here. Other signature birds include the horned and tufted puffins, the docile kittiwake, trumpeter swans and the red-tailed hawk.