SeaWind Aviation is a family operation committed to providing the finest of Alaska, including flightseeing in the Misty Fjords, viewing wildlife on a bear viewing tour, fishing or enjoying crab feasts, or simply embarking on an air charter in the Southeast Alaska panhandle.
Our Alaska-based business was founded on experience and knowledge that dates back through generations of seaplane and floatplane adventures. Seawind Aviation has been a top-rated tour operator since its inception and we invite you to experience the difference between our airline in Ketchikan.
What makes a SeaWind Aviation tour different from the tours offered on our cruise ship or by the larger operators?
Our tours are much more personal. You don’t have to compete with large groups of cruise ship passengers for available seats and where you’re called aboard by number.
Owner and pilot, Steve Kamm and his crew of pilots have over 50 years of flying experience in Southeast Alaska. Unlike the larger operations, we don’t have seasonal pilots that migrate up to Ketchikan Alaska in the summer with little experience or are getting first-time experience flying in the Southeast panhandle.
We pick you up in our van on the dock where your ship moors and drive you 3-5 minutes directly to our dock. Your van ride is complimentary and not part of your tour price – others may charge or leave it up to you entirely.
Your tour is longer with us. Unlike many other flightseeing operations in Ketchikan Alaska, your tour starts when you depart on the plane and NOT when you get in our van. We don’t understand it either.
Each flight is unique. We do go to the shoreline on our Misty Fjords flights and let you out on land to walk a bit, take pictures and breathe in the fresh air. There are exceptions when we have the opportunity to see wildlife up close, especially bears or whales. If we do, feel free to step out onto the floats for some great pictures!
What we'll do
Let SeaWind Aviation takes you westward out of Ketchikan by seaplane towards Prince of Wales Island, the third-largest island in the United States. On the 20-minute flight, you will see the islands and waterways that make up this portion of the Inside Passage and your pilot will narrate along the way. After you touch down in Polk Inlet, a long finger of saltwater where Dog Salmon Creek meets the sea, you will meet your personal Alaska Bear Guide. Your guide will drive you about one mile down a United States Forest Service (USFS) road to a trailhead. You will be safely escorted down the trail (approximately 250 yards) to the Dog Salmon Creek Bear Viewing platform. It is in this creek that four species of salmon come to spawn and drives the bears to the area. Along the trail, your guide will point out the flora, fauna, berries, and trees as well as any wildlife you encounter.
The Dog Salmon Creek Bear Viewing observatory is maintained by the USFS whose policy allows bear tours from late July into mid-September. We operate our bear viewing tours from the beginning of August through early September in order to maximize the peak of the bear viewing season. To protect this delicate habitat, only a small number of visitors are allowed on the platform at one time and there is a restriction for the total number of visitors per day. As a result, you are guaranteed an intimate and awe-inspiring experience. An opportunity to visit this location is an opportunity not to be missed! It is advised to book this tour as early as possible due to this strict availability.
Upon arrival to the platform, you will be at a prime vantage point to see Alaska’s REAL fisherman! First, watch the true champions of nature – the 4 species of salmon battling in the last part of their life, to arrive upstream to spawn. They are fighting not just the swift current but also the bears. See the black bears that are fattening up for winter, plunge into the rushing water, jaws wide to eat the wild salmon. Besides bears feeding, you are also likely to see Bald Eagles and Ravens feeding on salmon scraps left over by the bears. Your naturalist/guide will answer any questions you have about the local wildlife, flora, and fauna.
What to expect / what's provided
* Duration: 3 Hours
* Visit a USFS bear viewing facility on Prince of Wales Island.
* There is a high likelihood of seeing wildlife.
* Enjoy a nature walk of approximately ¼ mile round trip.
* An experienced Alaska Bear Guide will accompany you.
* The trip includes a round trip flight over the Inside Passage.
* Personalized narration only – no recorded tracks.
* Headsets have interactive two-way communication during the flight.
- What kind of aircraft will I fly in?
You will fly in either a legendary Dehavilland Beaver (DHC-2) or a Cessna-185. All DeHavilland Beavers & Otters were built in the late ’40s to early ’60s in Toronto, Canada.
- How many passengers can fly on a tour?
Our aircraft seats up to 6-7 passengers on any Alaska flightseeing tour with each passenger having a window seat. You can also reserve our aircraft just for your party. Please email or call for private group rates.
- How is transportation arranged to your dock?
We personally pick you up in our van on the dock in front of the Ketchikan Visitor Center where your ship moors, 30 minutes prior to your flight time, and drive you to our dock just 3-5 minutes away. Your van ride is complimentary and not part of your tour time.
- What is your pilot’s experience?
Born and raised in Ketchikan, Steve Kamm starting flying commercially here in Ketchikan in 1988 and has logged over 21,000 hours. His 30 years of commercial flight experience includes charters and scheduled service all over Southeast Alaska and parts of Canada, hunting trips, lake trips, Misty Fjords tours & bear tours. Aircraft flown includes Cessna C-185, C-206, DeHavilland Beavers, Otters, and Twin Otters. Steve still shares a passion for flying in this area and living in Ketchikan.
- Do you accommodate larger people?
Yes, we do. The Dehavilland Beaver is quite comfortable and roomy. There may be an additional fee added if your weight exceeds 250lbs, but you will not have to pay an additional fare. Please call us to discuss.
- Can I speak with the pilot during my Alaska flightseeing tour?
Yes, our noise reduction and voice-activated headsets allow you to speak with the pilot and fellow guests during the flight. All passengers on every flight have the ability to talk, whereas that is not a feature all airlines in Ketchikan can provide on their tours.
- Are flights available for handicapped passengers?
Yes, but please keep in mind that every situation is different and the safety of our passengers is the most important thing. If you or a member of your party is handicapped or has special needs, please email us at [email protected]
, so we can get more information to determine if it is safe to take the passenger. We do strive to make it possible for everyone to enjoy our flightseeing tours and we can often help provide passengers with the assistance needed to board the plane.
We require a 30-day cancellation notice. Cancellations with 30 days prior notice are fully refundable less a $25.00 per person processing fee. Cancellation fees are waived for flights that are delayed or canceled due to cruise ship delays or bad weather. Cancellations made less than 30 days prior to your flight and no-shows are non-refundable.