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First Time Alaska Cruise Inner Passage

Discussion in 'Special Sessions, Events, and Tour Announcements' started by cvansickler, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. cvansickler


    May 17, 2008
    Going on a cruise through alaska. Below is my itenerary does anyone have any recommendations on where to shoot, what to shoot. Never been to the area and dont want to miss any crucial areas to photo.


    1 Seattle, Washington 12:00 AM 4:00 PM
    2 At Sea
    3 Juneau, Alaska 12:00 PM 10:00 PM
    4 Skagway, Alaska 6:00 AM 8:15 PM
    5 Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska (Scenic Cruising)8:00 AM 1:00 PM
    6 Ketchikan, Alaska 6:00 AM 12:30 PM
    7 Victoria, British Columbia 7:00 PM 11:59 PM
    8 Seattle, Washington 7:00 AM
  2. We were in Alaska in 2004 and in the Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver area in 2006, but on a much smaller ship (60 passengers). You might want to look at our photos to get an idea of what you might encounter.

    The first 15 shots in this gallery were taken in Tracy Arm
    Note: I'm not sure the big ships can get all the way up to the two glaciers at the head of the fjord. I'm sure they don't put you out in zodiacs to go into the ice!:rolleyes: 

    Some photos from Victoria are here:
    It looks like you might be too late in the day to visit Butchart Gardens, but it is a good stop if you get a chance.

    If you have any time in Seattle before or after your cruise, you might want to look at Pike Place Market or the Tacoma Museum of Glass

    Bob & Nan
  3. 2. At sea ~ depending on the route you take can really offer some great photo opportunities of the Inside Passage.

    Do you have the route and transiting times (hard to take pictures of the scenery at night.)
  4. jaikdee


    Feb 25, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    When are you traveling? This sounds like the cruise we are doing Sept 14 - 21. I'll be watching the thread for photo ideas.
  5. TheKO


    May 3, 2005
    Tampa, FL
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  6. Firelarz


    Feb 26, 2006
    Chandler, AZ
    I took a similar cruise August 2006.

    Katchikan, do the bear excursion. I did the one where you need to take a sea plane over. Worth the money ($300+).
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Juneau, I recommend the whale watch tour. Again worth it even if it is raining. Stick it out!
    I got this shot in the rain after over an hour outside. I was soaked.

    View attachment 221968

    And in Skagway, there are so many eagles. I did a river raft trip. We saw a bunch of eagles and it was beautiful, but a bit cold and it is hard to shoot from a moving raft, don't know if I would do that again. I would like to have had a stationary location to shoot some eagles.

    On the inner passage, you should see harbor seals and sea lions, be ready. I always brough my camera to dinner and usually left part way through when I saw something out the window. LOL.

    Have fun and take care, Larz
  7. We were on the Glacier cruise in 2003. My shots are with an Olympus C4040Z which I thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread at the time. But it is a decent tutorial on what you need. My wide and mid level shots are OK and fun. Anything longer suffers. A lot of these make me cringe but it gives an idea of a low budget, out of the box cruise. I suspect it is heresy here but if you want a simple light weight package take the 18-200 :smile:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2008
  8. Just got back from our cruise

    We just returned from an Alaska cruise/tour package. We flew to Fairbanks and spent a few days in the Fairbanks area including Denali NP. We then cruised back to Vancouver.

    From my experience, if your photographic intent is primarily wildlife, take the longest lens you have and get used to the fact that it will not be long enough. On the shore excursions you can get TO the wildlife (if the critters cooperate that day) but you rarely get CLOSE TO the wildlife.

    I have about 1500 images to review, prune and PP so it will be a little while before I have any example images to post. Most of those 1500 images were taken with the Nikkor 80-400 and most of those at 400mm.

    The overall cruise experience was great (if fattening.... lots of food). However, IMHO if great wildlife shots are your goal, a photo safari type trip or a purpose-built hands on "road-trip" type workshop with one of the better known wildlife photographers will get you better access and better success getting close to the animals.
  9. I asked my wife where she thought I'd stored the pictures of our trip to Alaska... I haven't been able to find ANY of the files on ANY of my computers.

    She reminded me that we didn't have a digital camera in '97. Ouch! :redface:

    So... somewhere around here is an 11 year old roll of undeveloped film with the only photographic record of our harrowing trip North with our 34' trawler, Arwetheryet.

    If I were to take that same trip today I would no doubt have thousands of images.

    I love digital.
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