2019 Alaska Into the Wild - 15-day/14-night photo tour - August 3-17, 2019

Exclusive photo tour with renowned Alaska photographer Jeff Schultz

Over the course of two weeks, this tour takes you to see selected Alaskan highlights. Impressive mountain scenery, vast glaciers, cascading waterfalls, and idyllic valleys await. In addition to photographing Alaska’s impressive landscapes, you will also capture a diverse range of wildlife: bears, moose, eagles, whales, caribou and many more.

This exclusive photo tour of Alaska cannot be compared to other Alaskan photo tours. We take you to unique locations, far from the tourist crowds. You will get the chance to take photos from bush planes, helicopters and boats, amongst others. Your main photographic guide, professional photographer Jeff Schultz, has lived in Alaska for over 35 years and has been the official photographer of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race since 1982. A second photo guide will also be on hand.

Partners who are not engaged in photography, will also enjoy this unique natural experience and the possibility to observe bears in their natural environment.

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Who

This Alaskan photo tour is perfect for both beginners and advanced photographers. Due to the group’s reduced size and the support provided by two guides, the individual needs of each participant can be given proper attention.

Spouses who are not engaged in photography, will also enjoy this unique natural experience and the possibility to observe bears & other wildlife in their natural environment.

When

AUGUST 3 - 17, 2019 15-DAYS/14 NIGHTS

Where

Anchorage – Lake Clark NP – Kenai Peninsula – Matanuska Valley – Talkeetna – Denali NP – Anchorage

Highlights

This Alaska photo tour offers an extraordinary number of photographic highlights!

  • Brown bears in the remote natural paradise of Lake Clark National Park
  • Four days in the heart of the Denali National Park, far from the hustle and bustle at the park’s entrance. Enjoy a unique experience in a small, remote lodge with unparalleled views.
  • The impressive nature and wildlife of the tundra: bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep and many more. And with a bit of luck, by mid-August the tundra will show a first glimpse of autumn colors.
  • Exclusive boat tour (for our group only) in Prince William Sound with great photo opportunities: vast glaciers, picturesque mountain landscapes, bald eagles, whales, otters, seals, sea lions, puffins and many more
  • Exclusive helicopter flight and landing at remote ice-berg filled and glacier-fed lake
  • Helicopter and bush plane flights for spectacular aerial shots
  • Typical, rustic Alaskan lodges - some of which are very remote, and thus close to photographic highlights
  • Personal support and assistance from renowned Alaskan professional photographer: Jeff Schultz (Jeff will be supported by another photographic guide). Throughout the whole trip, we will be offering short, hands-on tutorials on relevant photographic topics.

Cost

USD $13,550.-

  • Alaska Into the Wild Photo Tour 2019
  • per person, based on double occupancy
  • from / to Anchorage
  • Includes all 14 nights’ accommodations

Single supplement USD 1,200.*- (without Denali & Lake Clark)

*Single rooms: strictly limited and availability must be checked. Because of the limited number of cabins and short season in Denali NP and Lake Clark NP, it is necessary for participants to share a cabin (twin beds)

DAY 1: Arrival in Anchorage

Independent travel to Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC) in Anchorage. You should arrive in Anchorage no later than 3 pm on August 3, 2019. From the airport, the hotel’s free shuttle service will deliver you to your accommodation with the minimum of fuss.

Later in the afternoon, you will meet the other tour participants, your photography guide, Jeff Schultz, and a further guide from Amazing Views. Jeff will give you an introduction to wildlife and landscape photography and the details on your upcoming trip. Then we all head off for dinner together. To help you get over the jetlag, we STRONGLY urge you to arrive a day or two early. We will be happy to help you with hotel bookings in Anchorage.

DAY 2: Onward journey to Lake Clark National Park

After breakfast, we take a quick shuttle to the Lake Hood seaplane base near the hotel. This is the busiest take-off and landing point for seaplanes in the world. A typical Alaskan float plane takes us directly to our lodge in Lake Clark National Park.

After a flight of just under an hour, we land on the sandy beach next to the lodge where we will spend the next three nights. Each guest cabin and lodge room is unique, modern, spacious and very comfortable with a combination of queen and twin beds, full baths, sitting areas, individual heat sources, and electricity. The fully furnished cabins have one, two or three bedrooms and all have private decks with views of the tidal flats and Cook Inlet.

Upon arrival, we will head to look for bears, accompanied by two highly trained guides who are responsible for your safety. To allow us to move through the area rapidly, transport from one location to the next will make use of ATVs/quad bikes.

With any luck, we’ll capture our first images of the impressive bears. After a break for dinner, we will set out to look for bears again, taking the time to observe them and take photos as long as the light permits.

DAY 3 – 4: Lake Clark National Park

We spend two whole days in the Lake Clark National Park, following bear tracks, and with plenty of time to observe and take photos. In this region, it is common to see bears digging up mussels on the beach or catching salmon in the rivers and streams that flow to the sea. We will return to the lodge for lunch and breaks.

DAY 5: From Lake Clark to Prince William Sound

After breakfast, we have more time for bear watching and photography. Around noon, we are picked up by bush plane for the return journey to Anchorage.

Our own private minibus then takes us to Prince William Sound with many stops along the way for photography. We travel along Turnagain Arm to the seaside town of Whittier.

You then have the afternoon free to do whatever you wish including the opportunity for a participant slide show and critique. We'll meet again late afternoon, early evening for some photography in the area and / or some classroom and critique sessions with Jeff.

DAY 6: Prince William Sound

Today you’ll enjoy a full-day boat trip, photographing eagles and whales in the Prince William Sound. We board a boat which is exclusively chartered for our group. We will spend the entire day at sea at the Prince William Sound. With some luck, we will get an opportunity to observe whales, sea otters, sea lions and sea birds. The landscape and the giant glaciers will fascinate you. We will return to idyllic Whittier for another overnight stay.

DAY 7: Turnagain Arm & Knik River Area

After breakfast, we leave Whittier and head to the Turnagain Arm and Knik River Area. If weather permits we'll explore the beautiful Portage Pass area as well.

DAY 8: Enjoy an unforgettable Helicopter adventure

Today we'll head to the scenic Knik River area. During our stay at Knik River you'll experience another highlight of the itinerary: a helicopter flight over a glacier to the shores of a stunning glacial lake.

The lake, the icebergs, the glacier and the mountain range in the background offer truly unique scenery. This will enable you to get the best birds’ eye view pictures. After landing, the helicopter flies off and you will spend time with Jeff and our second guide, photographing the glacier, lake, icebergs, wildflowers and much more.

Then you’ll leave the area and head along the Glenn Highway into the Matanuska Valley. This idyllic valley is famous for its impressive Matanuska glacier. Evening photography in the area.

DAY 9: Hatcher Pass & Talkeetna

Morning photo session in the Matanuska area. After breakfast, we leave the Matanuska valley and head over the beautifully scenic Hatcher Pass and Talkeetna Mountains to Talkeetna.

After arriving at the hotel, you are free to do whatever you wish. You will have the option of flying over the Denali National Park (weather permitting).

DAY 10: From Talkeetna to Denali National Park

Before breakfast, early birds can capture some images of the beautiful scenery in the dawn light. After breakfast, we drive along the idyllic Parks Highway in the direction of the Denali National Park.

The Denali National Park is one of the absolute highlights of North America and provides the ideal conditions for landscape and wildlife photography. Shortly after noon, we start on a 7-hour drive by bus to the lodge through the centre of the national park. The countryside along the route is incredibly beautiful and with some luck, you will see wildlife, such as bears, moose, caribous, dall sheep and much more. We will stop at particularly beautiful viewpoints to give you the opportunity to capture the panorama on your camera.

The next 4 nights will be spent exclusively in a small, remote lodge in the middle of the Denali National Park, far from the hustle and bustle of the park entrance. Enjoy a unique experience with in the center of Denali National Park. During appropriate weather conditions, you can enjoy a direct view of North America´s highest mountain, Mount Denali. The peaceful location in the midst of nature, is balm for the heart and soul.

Essential information about our accommodations in Denali National Park

Note: This lodge is not for everyone. It is not a luxurious resort. It does not have internet connection, cell service, T.V. (no other Denali lodges do either) or even unlimited electricity. Instead, creative handwork, attention to detail, and careful stewardship of the land create a simple elegance that does not detract from the wildlands you come to explore. Long-standing family ownership is committed to preserving and refining these fundamental elements. The experience of staying at Camp Denali is a unique blend of camaraderie among fellow adventurers and staff in a wilderness setting without parallel. Your private cabin may be up to a 5-minute walk to the main lodge where the dining room, shared modern shower facility and library are located. Each cabin has a short path to a private, meticulously maintained outhouse, and sink basin. Drinking water comes from a spigot just outside your door and may be heated on your cabin’s propane hotplate.

The visit to the park is highly regulated by the National Park Service. Only the first 14 miles of the 90-mile park route can be accessed by private vehicles. Only official park vehicles, buses, equipment and other special transports are allowed beyond Mile 14. Subsequently, only shuttle buses are available, with fixed routes and stops to explore Denali National Park. Most visitors must leave the park in the evening. This implies that only a few will have the opportunity to take photographs during the best lighting conditions and at the best time of the day in the park.

During this tour, you will stay overnight at one of the few lodges at the heart of the national park. Its idyllic location offers a direct view of Mount Denali. With the lodge's own minibus, we have the possibility to explore the park individually and to photograph at the heart of the national park. This is a unique experience you’ll never forget.

DAY 11 - 13: Denali National Park

During the 3 full days of your tour of the Denali National Park, you will have ample opportunity for landscape- and wildlife photography. The lodge bus will take us to interesting sites, at which we can discover beautiful photo motifs. Various short hikes will be arranged, during which you will be able to access the best spots. On one morning, we will drive to the Wonder Lake before sunrise and with a bit of luck, we will get a chance to photograph the Mount Denali, which is reflected in the lake.

Due to the reduced size of the group and the accompaniment by two photo tour guides, there will be sufficient time to meet the individual needs and wishes of all participants. Our photo tour guide Jeff is available for individual coaching. As during the entire tour, we will also offer brief, practice-oriented tutorials on relevant photography topics.

DAY 14: From Denali National Park to Talkeetna

After three eventful days in the heart of the Denali National Park, our minibus returns us to the park’s entrance around noon. At this point our private tour van takes us back to Talkeetna. You then have the late afternoon free to do whatever you wish including the opportunity for a participant slide show and critique. In the evening we meet for our last dinner on this fantastic photo tour.

DAY 15: Back to Anchorage

Today is the end of our fascinating Photo Alaska trip. After enjoying breakfast together, we take a leisurely trip in our minibus back to Anchorage in time for your late-afternoon flight or follow-up itinerary.

At each of the workshop classroom sessions, Jeff will discuss his methods for shooting stellar wildlife and landscape images as is appropriate for the group. During each days’ outings, Jeff will also talk through his methods for making the best image at the current location with the subject at hand. He is NOT there to photograph his own images; he is there to help you take your photography to the next level. Jeff will also cover the following:

  • 10 Tips to making better images no matter where you are
  • Composition: Do’s, Don’ts, and New Ideas
  • What makes a compelling image
  • Use of various types of filters
  • Combining shutter speeds and f-stops… and the effects of each
  • Equipment: What You Really Need, Would Like, & Don’t Need at All

Besides two Canon camera bodies, Jeff brings lenses from 14mm-400mm and flash with off-camera capabilities, tripod, polarizer and split-neutral density filters.

ESSENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT:

*At the very least, please bring:
1. A DSLR camera with two lenses such as a 24-105mm and a 100-400mm would be ideal.
2. Several back up batteries & charger
3. Extra media cards for your camera
4. Tripod

Ideally, if possible, please also bring:

  • Extra camera body
  • Lenses ranging from 17mm-400mm
    (If you’d like to rent equipment while you are visiting Alaska, we recommend our friends at Stewart’s Photo Shop in downtown Anchorage. Visit them online at: http://stewartsphoto.com/rentals/)
  • A long telephoto: 400-500mm is ideal.
  • A macro lens or extension tubes
  • Polarizing Filter - Jeff uses and recommends Singh-Ray
  • Graduated Neutral Density Filters:
    Jeff carries a 2 and a 3 stop “soft” and "hard" Galen Rowell graduated filters by Singh-Ray. Get a 10% discount on your purchase of any Singh-Ray filters using this discount code: Schultz10 at this address: http://www.singh-ray.com/
  • Flash and off-camera cord
  • Lens shades & cable release
  • Non abrasive, absorbent cloth
  • Laptop computer with image editing/processing software - Jeff uses and recommends BreezeBrowser & Lightroom
  • Backpack type of carrying case - Jeff uses and recommends Mindshift. Get free shipping and free gear using this link: http://www.mindshiftgear.com?rfsn=507780.a01562
  • Any other easily transported photography gear you like to use

In August, the weather in Alaska can already turn cool, perhaps even with frost overnight. You should be prepared for sun, wind, rain and even sometimes snow. We therefore recommend the appropriate functional clothing, applying the principle of layers.

  • Dress in layers with synthetic type material, not cotton
  • Bring sturdy hiking boots and rain boots.
  • Bring rain gear.
  • headlamp with red lens for night-time vision
  • Your own personal, refillable water bottle or bladder

A complete list of necessary clothing will be sent closer to the workshop date.

Ground Transportation is provided in a 15-passenger luxury van.

The price includes

  • All aspects of the photography workshop-tour
  • Tutorials and feedback sessions
  • All 14 nights accommodations
  • All meals from the first night dinner, through the last day breakfast, except dinner on Day 9
  • Round-trip ground transportation according to the itinerary
  • Floatplane flight* to Lake Clark
  • Helicopter flight* to Glacier
  • One-day boat excursion in Prince William Sound (private boat)
  • Activities in the heart of Denali National Park (4 nights)
    Activities & bear viewing in Lake Clark National Park (2 nights)

Please be aware that your luggage allowance for the seaplanes is limited to 50 lbs (22 kg) per person (incl. hand luggage). Additional luggage can be stored in Anchorage.

* All flying is done “weather permitting”. In Alaska, the weather can be changeable. This means that in bad weather, certain activities and/or transfers (e.g. bush plane, helicopter) may be delayed, or unable to take place at all. In these cases, we will adjust the adventure to do what we can for the weather we have. Jeff Schultz Photography, Amazing Views and our lodge vendor is not responsible for flights that are cancelled due to weather and/or weather delays.

What’s not included

  • Air transportation from your home to and from Anchorage, Alaska
  • Any personal gear. You must bring your own photography gear, clothing, toiletries and outerwear. There are weight restrictions on gear for the flights (maximum of 50 lbs / 22 kg per person)
  • Personal expenses
  • Beverages
  • Dinner in Talkeetna on Day 9
  • Gratuities for lodge guides and pilots
  • Optional transfers and excursions
  • Any visa and/or airport fee
  • Travel insurance/cancellation cover

Accomodations

Anchorage

The hotel enjoys a beautiful location on the scenic Lake Spenard, approx. 3 miles (6 km) from the city centre and less than ½ mile (1 km) from Ted Stevens International Airport and the Lake Hood seaplane landing site.

The hotel has a good restaurant with a terrace and great views, lobby with fireplace, bar and fitness centre. Rooms are equipped with bath/shower, toilet, hairdryer, TV, Internet, coffee machine and refrigerator.

Lake Clark National Park

Our remote lodge can only be reached via a spectacular flight along the Cook Inlet. The flight takes you past three active volcanoes, and several rivers and glaciers. The plane lands right on the sandy beach on the coast. Thanks to the open grassland along the coast, the area surrounding the lodge is ideal for bear watching.

This beautiful, family-run lodge is located within the Lake Clark National Park, and offers a lounge, dining room, and outdoor decking area with breathtaking views of the Cook Inlet. The lodge is well known for its delicious food.

The cabins and lodge rooms are spacious and lovingly decorated, and feature comfortable beds, bath/shower and heating.

Accompanied by our experienced guides, you will go bear watching by ATV four-wheeler and on foot.

Whittier

Comfortable and charming hotel directly at Whittier harbour. Spacious rooms. Free Wifi

Matanuska Valley

You will spend a night in a comfortable lodge on the Glenn Highway, not far from the Matanuska Glacier. The lodge features 11 cabins, restaurant, bar, whirlpool and sauna. The restaurant in the lodge is known for its excellent cuisine. All cabins have showers, WC and a private terrace.

Knik River

This lodge and its 25 pretty cabins that offer stunning views of the Knik River and the imposing backdrop of the Talkeetna mountains. Here, we get to discover the Knik glacier up close in an unforgettable helicopter ride!

The lodge’s cabins are equipped with a private terrace, shower/toilet, hairdryer, coffee maker, mini refrigerator and microwave.

Talkeetna

Top-class lodge located just outside Talkeetna. On clear days, it offers stunning views towards the Alaska Range and Mount Denali.

The lodge is built in typical Alaskan style, and has a spacious lobby with fireplace, restaurant, cafe and bar. Rooms are equipped with bath/shower, toilet, hairdryer, TV, telephone, Internet, radio and coffee machine.

In the heart of the Denali National Park

Located 90 miles within Denali National Park in the shadow of Denali, our lodge is a unique wilderness retreat for those seeking an in-depth experience in the sub-arctic. Founded in 1951, the lodge is Alaska’s original wilderness vacation lodge, which strives to help visitors gain knowledge and appreciation for the natural history of Denali National Park.

Lodging at this lodge is in individual cabins with handcrafted quilts, a wood burning stove and unparalleled views of Denali. There is an outdoor water spigot with cold running water. A short path leads to a private, meticulously maintained outhouse.

Delicious, wholesome meals made with fresh, local ingredients are featured in the dining room. Daily activities have a strong natural history focus including wildlife observations and hikes led by staff naturalists. Canoeing, fishing and biking are also available. Nightly programs focus on various aspects of Denali’s natural and cultural history, including birds, mammals, wildflowers, tundra ecology, geology, mountaineering, wilderness, and land management.

The dining hall, lodge, natural history resource collection and a modern bath and shower facility (hot water showers) are a three to seven-minute walk from your cabin. This style of lodge makes your visit to Denali Park a much more serene experience.

This remote lodge may not be for everyone, but if you desire an experience away from the fast pace of urban life and you enjoy the camaraderie of kindred spirits, you will not be disappointed.

Your safety is ultimately the primary concern.
Physical Requirements: Good to excellent condition

  • Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
  • Weather Conditions: Moderate to extreme. August temperatures range from 40° F (4° C) to 65° F (17° C). May experience rain, wind or sun
  • Agility: Good to excellent (ability to climb steps into small float plane, up and downhill hiking and traveling on uneven, rocky terrain and spongy tundra)
  • Mental Requirements: A flexible and positive attitude is essential
  • Activities: boating, riding in trailer of 4-wheeler, hiking to photographic opportunities on uneven tundra and terrain

You will be on this adventure with like-minded people who love photography and the great outdoors as well as expanding their knowledge of the art of taking pictures. The group will consist of international travellers.

Due to the high demand for, and limited number of places on thIS Alaskan photo tour, the following payment conditions apply:

Deposit

Upon receipt of the booking confirmation, a deposit of 50% of the total amount must be paid immediately. $500 of this deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE for any reason.

Balance

The outstanding balance is due on or before March 1, 2019.

Cancellation Conditions

For cancellations, modifications or re-bookings later than 150 days before the departure date, the following cancellation fees apply:

Expressed as a percentage of the total package price
150 - 91 days before departure: 50%
90 – 0 Tage days before departure: 100%

Refunds for cancellations 90 days before departure are not guaranteed. If we can fill the space with another booking we will refund the payments (minus 15% for re-booking charges with our vendors). For this reason, and for medical emergencies, we strongly recommend trip insurance.
We suggest one of these two options for insurance:

Terms & Conditions

Attention: This trip is being offered through my Swiss-based partner photo tour operator, Amazing Views Photo and Adventure Tours (www.amazingviews.ch)  By reserving a spot on this photography workshop, you agree to the booking and cancellation policies as listed and the Release of Liability specified by Amazing Views.
The Terms and Conditions of Amazing Views Photo & Adventure Tours apply, as well as all other conditions which are listed in the descriptions for the respective trips.

USA entry regulations: Your passport must be valid for a least 1 day longer than your return date. Upon entering the USA/Alaska, travellers must be able to prove their date of departure (onward or return flight). Please note that you can only enter the USA without a visa (for a stay of up to 90 days) if you have the new Swiss biometric passport (Passport 06). With all other passports, you require a visa.

In addition, ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) approval under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is mandatory for all Swiss nationals and all other nationalities. The VWP allows a visa-free stay of up to 90 days in the USA/Alaska for tourism or business purposes. ESTA applications (fee as of November 2013 USD 14) can be submitted at any time prior to travel, and are valid for up to two years (with the same passport). Even if you are entering the USA/Alaska overland, the ESTA is mandatory. Questions must be answered in English. The US Department for Homeland Security requires that ESTA applications must be made at least 72 hours before the start of your trip. Register with the ESTA at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

We reserve the right to change prices (especially due to exchange rate fluctuations)

BOOK YOUR TRIP NOW

Contact us directly if you have questions about the workshop/tour or would like to book directly.

After booking What’s Next? Upon booking we will contact you to confirm your space and see if you have any specific questions we can answer at that time. Then, several months before the workshop, we will e-mail you a list of other essential personal gear, any specialized photography gear we feel will enhance your experience, and more detailed information on where and when to meet for the first day. We will also ask for emergency contact information and medical information.

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