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Alaska - Into the Wild

Alaska at its finest – an exclusive photographic tour with a renowned professional photographer
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.

August 3 – 17, 2019 (fully booked)

August 6 – 22, 2020

17 days / 16 nights from / to Anchorage

maximum 9 people

Anchorage – Lake Clark NP – Prince William Sound – Matanuska Valley – Knik River Valley – Talkeetna – Denali NP - Anchorage

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, orcas, otters, seals, sea lions, puffins and many more
  • Exclusive helicopter flight and landing at remote 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.

Itinerary 2020

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 4, 2018. 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.

We will be happy to help you with hotel bookings in Anchorage.
Day 2: Onward journey to Lake Clark Nationalpark
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.
Lake Clark Nationalpark
Grizzly Bär am Strand im Lake Clark Nationalpark
Day 3 - 4: Lake Clark Nationalpark
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.
Lake Clark
Grizzly
Day 5: From Lake Clark National Park to Girdwood
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 further to Girdwood. We will travel along Turnagain Arm with many stops along the way for photography.

After arriving to our Bed & Breakfast you will have the afternoon free to do whatever you wish. We'll meet again in the early evening for some photography in the area, hopefully with beautiful evening light. After the dinner there is a possibility to do some more photography, to take part in a Jeff’s tutorial of landscape photography or just enjoy the evening.
Grizzly
Grizzly
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. You will be fascinated by the landscape and the giant glaciers. We will return to cosy Bed & Breakfast in Girdwood for another overnight stay.
Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound
Day 7: On the way to Matanuska Valley
After a delicious breakfast we will drive along the Glenn Highway’ s to Sheep Mountain Lodge. We will have fantastic views along the way, and we will make plenty of stops for photography. One of the highlights is Matanuska Valley and its famous and imposing glacier. If the weather is clear, the region is ideal for star photography.
Lupines in Alaska
Knik River area
Day 8: Matanuska Valley
We will spend the whole day in Matanuska Valley photographing the great scenery that this region has to offer. Idyllic valleys, imposing glacier, rushing streams and an impressive mountain panorama to mention few stunning photo motives.
Day 9: On the way to Palmer
Today the journey continues to Palmer. On the way we stop at different scenic highlights. Depending of the weather, we can also visit Portage Pass. We will make again plenty of stops for photographing at various point along the Turnagain Arm.
Day 10: Enjoy an unforgettable Helicopter adventure
Today you'll experience another highlight of the itinerary: a helicopter flight over a glacier to the shores of a stunning glacial lake far away from the civilization. The lake, the ice bergs, 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 we will spend time with Jeff and our second guide, photographing the glacier, lake, icebergs, wildflowers and much more.

Later in the afternoon we will drive to Talkeetna.
Helicopter Knik River area
Glacier Lake Knik River area
Day 11: Talkeetna
We will spend the whole day in Talkeetna. The program includes photo session, time to relax, or an additional option of flying over the Denali National Park (weather permitting).

The historic and quaint town of Talkeetna has retained much of its early Alaska flair from the gold rush era. Log cabins and single-clad shops facades lines up along unpaved roads. Main street invites to visit its galleries, restaurants and cafés.
Day 12: From Talkeetna to the 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 6-hour drive with our minibus to the lodge through the centre of the national park. The landscape 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.
Wonder Lake
Sunrise with a Moose
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.
Savage River
Savage River
Day 13 - 15: 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 minibus 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 photographic guides, there will be sufficient time to meet the individual needs and wishes of all participants. Our renowned professional photo tour guide Jeff is available for individual coaching. During the entire tour, we will also offer brief, practice-oriented tutorials on relevant photography topics.
Denali and Wonder Lake
Polychrome Mountains
Day 16: From Denali National Park to Talkeetna
After three eventful days in the heart of the Denali National Park, the minibus returns us to the park’s entrance around noon. From this point our private minibus takes us back to Talkeetna. You then have the late afternoon free to do whatever you wish. In the evening we meet for our last dinner of this fantastic photo tour.
Day 17 – Back to Anchorage
Today is the end of our fascinating Photo Alaska trip. After enjoying breakfast together, we will take a leisurely trip in our minibus back to Anchorage, in time for your international flight connection or follow-up itinerary.

Accommodation

Anchorage
The hotel enjoys a beautiful location on the scenic Lake Spenard, approx. 6 km from the city centre and less than 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 take 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 quad bike or on foot.
Girdwood
We spend two nights in a lovely B&B in the heart of Girdwood. The historic B&B is surrounded by an idyllic garden and lies on the edge of a secluded forest.
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.
Palmer
Very nice B&B between Palmer and Wasila with comfortably furnished rooms. All the cabins and rooms have refrigerators, coffee / tea makers, free WiFi and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. The cabins have two rooms sharing a living area. From the accommodation we have wonderful views of the Chugach mountains.
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.

Photo Guide

Take pictures like a pro with Jeff Schultz
Jeff Schultz takes responsibility for leading this scheduled photo tour, or if he is unwell/unavailable, another guide from our team will take over.

Jeff Schultz
Jeff is a passionate photographer whose enthusiasm is truly infectious. He has been living for more than 30 years in Alaska and has become one of the best known and respected professional photographers. He has many years of experience in various disciplines of photography. He has carried out assignments for prestigious companies and made a name for himself as a landscape, outdoor and adventure photographer. His pictures are regularly published in renowned publications such as ALASKA Magazine, Time Magazine, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated and many others.

Jeff has been the official photographer of the legendary Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race since 1982. In 2013 he published a widely acclaimed book on the event.

learn more about Jeff
What will I learn on this photo tour?
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
Who is this photo tour suitable for?
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.

Price

The price includes
  • All aspects of the photography workshop-tour
  • Tutorials and feedback sessions
  • All 16 nights accommodations
  • All meals from the first night dinner, through the last day breakfast, except dinner on Day 11
  • Round trip ground transportation according to the itinerary
  • 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 (3 nights)
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 11
  • Gratuities for guides and pilots
  • Optional transfers and excursions
  • Any visa and/or airport fee
  • Travel insurance/cancellation cover

Book today

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Good to know
  • Participants: 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.
  • Weather: In Alaska, the weather can be changeable. This means than in bad weather, certain activities and/or transfers (e.g. bush plane, helicopter) may be delayed, or unable to take place at all.
  • Clothing: 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.
  • Fitness level: Your physical condition should allow you to board small seaplanes via the steps, to hike up and down mountains via rough, rocky terrain as well as over very soft tundra to reach the photographic highlights.
  • Luggage: Please be aware that your luggage allowance for the seaplanes is limited to 22 kg per person (incl. hand luggage).
  • Insurance: We strongly advise you to purchase insurance for cancellation and return journey costs, which will be needed in the event of a secluded region being evacuated, a local hospital stay or return travel costs to Switzerland in an emergency. Visits to doctors and stays in hospital can be very expensive in the USA.
  • 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
*) 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

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

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

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

Deposit
Upon receipt of the booking confirmation, a deposit of 30% of the total amount must be paid immediately. CHF 500 of this deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE.

Balance
The outstanding balance must be paid on or before 1 March, 2019.

Cancellation Conditions
For cancellations, modifications or rebookings 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).

Terms & Conditions
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.