2017 Alaska Odyssey – 14-day/13 night Photo Tour– August 16-29, 2017

$7,903.00$11,290.00

 

DESCRIPTION

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 a bush plane, a helicopter and during an all-day boat ride, as well as land-based images. 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.

Non-photographer spouses will also have plenty to see and do. In addition to the breath-taking experiences of nature, you can also enjoy activities such as hiking, biking and canoeing.

WHO

Beginners to advanced photographers (maximum 9 participants) fully booked– no spaces available

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.

The trip is designed to ensure that non-photographers also get their money’s worth. For example, in the Denali National Park you will have the opportunity to take part in guided or individual hikes of varying difficulty, canoeing on Wonder Lake and various other activities.

WHEN

August 16-29, 2017, 14 days/13 nights

WHERE

Anchorage, Lake Clark National Park, Talkeetna, Denali National Park, Matanuska Valley, Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage

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. This privilege is available only to the chosen few!
  • The impressive nature and wildlife of the tundra: bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep and many more. And with a bit of luck, by late August the tundra will be shining in its beautiful autumn colors.
  • Exclusive boat tour (for our group only) in the Kenai Fjords National Park with great photo opportunities: vast glaciers, picturesque mountain landscapes, bald eagles, whales, orcas, otters, seals, sea lions, puffins and many more
  • Exclusive helicopter flight and landing at remote glacier-fed lake
  • Helicopter and bush plane flight 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.
  • During our trip, Sunrise is approximately 6:20 am Sunset is approximately 9:40 pm / 21:40

Slideshow

Day 1

Independent travel to Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC) in Anchorage. You should arrive in Anchorage no later than 3 pm on 16 August, 2017. 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, it is advisable to arrive a day early.

Day 2

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 two 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

We spend the whole day 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 4

 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 on north to the quaint village of Talkeetna. Refreshments will be provided in the form of a delicious picnic lunch. Along the way there are countless fantastic photo opportunities.

After arriving at the hotel, you are free to do whatever you wish. Talkeetna is known for its wonderful views towards the mountains. Towards evening, when the light is particularly beautiful, we meet up again to take some photos of the stunning landscapes. After dinner, you can choose between taking some more photos, participating in a tutorial from Jeff about landscape photography, or simply enjoying the evening.

Day 5

Before breakfast, early birds can capture some images of the beautiful scenery in the dawn light. During the morning, you will have the option of flying over the Denali National Park (weather permitting). This is a unique experience, and offers fantastic opportunities to take some birds’ eye view photos.

Afterwards, we drive along the idyllic Parks Highway in the direction of the Denali National Park. The scenery is amazing, and offers great photo opportunities. We spend the night in a luxury lodge near the entrance to the park.

Day 6

Denali National Park is one of North America’s absolute scenic highlights, and is ideal for both landscape and wildlife photography. In the morning, we explore the area around the park entrance and have time to enjoy the Visitor Center to help orient yourself to the massive Denali National Park. Shortly after noon, we drive in a specially made bus to our next lodge at Camp Denali, located in the heart of the park approximately six hours’ drive away. The route is extremely beautiful, and with any luck we will see wildlife such as bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep and much more and stop to photograph them from the bus. Naturally, we will stop off at several points of interest and take time to capture some photos.  We will enjoy a picnic dinner on the way in at a scenic rest stop.

We spend the next 4 nights at this amazing Camp Denali lodge in the heart of the Denali National Park, far from the crowds at the park’s entrance. Spending the nights here is a privilege afforded to very few people. If we are lucky with the weather, you will also enjoy unobstructed views of the highest mountain in North America, Mount Denali. The location of the lodge, surrounded by nature and tranquillity, is balm for the heart and soul.

Visits to the park are strictly regulated. Only the first few miles of the park road is open to private vehicles. Beyond this point, the only form of transportation are shuttle buses with fixed routes and stops. Most visitors are obliged to leave the park when evening falls. This means that only a few people get the chance to take photos in the park at the best times, in the best locations, and with the best light. On this trip, we are privileged to stay in one of the few lodges in the heart of the park. The location is idyllic, offering direct views of Mount Denali. For our Alaskan photo tour, we will have exclusive use of a minibus, which we can use to move around the park as we wish. This exclusive access is granted to very few visitors, and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Day 7-9  

We will spend three full days at Camp Denali  in the Denali National Park, with ample time for landscape and wildlife photography. We will travel to interesting locations in our private minibus and hunt out great photo opportunities. To reach the best spots, there is usually a short hike involved. One morning, we will head to Wonder Lake before sunrise, and with a bit of luck we will be able to shoot Mount Denali reflected in the lake’s surface.

Due to the group’s reduced size and the support provided by two photo guides, there is plenty time to respond to the individual needs and wishes of all participants. Our photo guide, Jeff, is available for individual coaching. Throughout the whole trip, we will be offering short, hands-on tutorials on relevant photographic topics.

Non-photographers can also make the most of the lodge’s activity program, including guided nature and wildlife hikes, slide shows by natural scientists, mountain bike excursions, canoeing, angling etc.

Camp Denali is not for everyone– lodge accommodations are in well-spaced cabins, appointed with traditional cabin amenities including hand-sewn quilts made by our staff, wood stoves and propane lights.  Drinking water comes from a spigot by your door, and may be heated in your cabin for a quiet cup of coffee, tea or for washing up. Camp Denali’s meticulously maintained outhouses offer private, convenient facilities, and each guest cabin enjoys clear views of Denali when it’s out.  The dining hall, lodge, natural history resource collection and a modern bath and shower facility are a three to seven-minute walk from your cabin.  This style of lodge makes your visit to Denali Park Camp a much more serene experience.

Day 10

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 and evening free to do whatever you wish including the opportunity for a participant slide show and critique.

Day 11

After breakfast, we leave Talkeetna and head over the beautifully scenic Hatcher Pass and Talkeetna Mountains into the Matanuska Valley.

The afternoon is reserved for 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. If the weather allows, the doors of the helicopter will be removed. 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. Towards the evening, the helicopter will return to pick us up.

We spend the night in a beautiful lodge on the banks of the Knik River, where we have a 3-course Alaskan dinner and where you can while away the evening reviewing the day’s adventures.

Day 12

The day starts with breakfast and a drive south on the scenic Seward Highway with many stops along the way for photography. We travel along Turnagain Arm and through parts of the Kenai Peninsula, to the seaside town of Seward, which we reach by late afternoon.

Day 13

After the landscapes in Denali and the Matanuska Valley and the bears in the Lake Clark National Park, today we will experience Alaska from another perspective. We will explore the world of the Kenai Fjords National Park from a boat chartered exclusively for our group. We have a very high chance of capturing a variety of marine wildlife and several species of bird on camera: whales, orcas, otters, seals, sea lions, puffins, fish eagles and many more to make the experience even more impressive, the backdrop includes glaciers leading to the sea, rugged mountain peaks and forests.

Day 14

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.

Besides two camera bodies, Jeff brings lenses from 17mm-400mm, flash with off-camera capabilities, tripod, polarizer and split-neutral density filters.

At the very least, please bring:

  • A DSLR camera with two lenses such as a 24-105mm and a 100-400mm would be ideal.
  • Several back up batteries & charger
  • Extra media cards for your camera
  • Tripod

Optional but recommended:

  • Extra camera body
  • Lenses ranging from 17mm-200mm (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/
  • Macro lens
  • Tripod – Jeff uses and recommends Gitzo
  • 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)
  • Flash and off-camera cord
  • Lens shades & cable release
  • Non abrasive cloth
  • Backpack type of carrying case – Jeff uses and recommends Gura Gear
  • Any other easily transported photography gear you like to use. Be sure you can hike for several miles with all your gear.  Do not bring more than you can comfortably carry.

Dress in layers with synthetic type material, not cotton

Bring sturdy hiking boots and rain boots

Headlamp

Bring rain gear

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

Ground Transportation is provided in a comfortable van

The price includes:

  • All aspects of the photography workshop-tour
  • All 13 nights accommodations
  • Round trip ground transportation according to the itinerary
  • All meals from the first night dinner, through the last day breakfast, except dinner on Day 10
  • Helicopter flight* to Glacier
  • Floatplane flight* to Lake Clark
  • One-day boat excursion in Kenai Fjords National Park (private boat)

*All flying is done “weather permitting”. Amazing Views Photo & Adventure Tours 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 per person)
  • Personal expenses
  • Beverages
  • Dinner in Talkeetna on Day 10
  • Gratuities for guides and pilots
  • Optional transfers and excursions
  • Any visa and/or airport fees
  • Travel insurance/cancellation cover

Your safety is ultimately the primary concern.

  • Physical Requirements: Good to excellent condition
  • Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
  • Weather Conditions: Moderate to extreme. Mid -late August temperatures range from 40° F (4° C) to 60° F (15° 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. You will be on the trail 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 may consist of international travellers.
  • Activities: boating in wind, hiking to photographic opportunities on uneven tundra and terrain
  • Photographic Skill Level: Beginner to advanced

Due to the remote nature of this trip we have special deposit and cancellation policies.

Deposits:

Upon receipt of the booking confirmation, a deposit of 30% of the total amount is due at time of booking.  $500 of this deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE.

The balance of the tour price is due March 1, 2017.

Cancellation & Refund Policy:

Excluding the $500 deposit, the subsequent deposits are refundable until 150 days before the departure date.

For cancellations, modifications or rebooking’s 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 days before departure: 100%

 

Refunds for cancellations 90 days before departure might apply in the following case: If we can fill the space with another booking we will refund the payments (minus 15% for re-booking charges with our vendors).

 

In case of cancellation or medical emergencies, we strongly recommend trip insurance.

We suggest one of these two options for insurance:


COST

$11,290 per person, based on double occupancy*.  Includes all 13 nights’ accommodations and meals from arrival day dinner through last day breakfast (except Dinner on Day 10)

Single Supplement: $1200* for all accommodations EXCEPT at Silver Salmon Creek (day 2 & 3) and Camp Denali (day 6-9). * Single rooms: strictly limited and availability must be checked. Because of the limited number of cabins and short season at both Silver Salmon Creek and Camp Denali, it is necessary for participants to share a cabin at these two locations

Attention: This trip is being offered through my Swiss-based partner 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.

 

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