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Need Hogs expert info on Alaska trip
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May 14, 2019 16:57:58   #
larrycain
 
This is Larry. I would like to plan a trip to Alaska. Lots of questions: I am a 77 young person! Would like to know best time to go, is there a certain cruise line better than others? I would be leaving from Phx. One suggestion was to fly to Vancover and depart from there. All suggestions welcome! An email is Arizonacain@q.com. Thanks!!!

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May 14, 2019 17:06:38   #
PixelStan77 (a regular here)
 
larrycain wrote:
This is Larry. I would like to plan a trip to Alaska. Lots of questions: I am a 77 young person! Would like to know best time to go, is there a certain cruise line better than others? I would be leaving from Phx. One suggestion was to fly to Vancover and depart from there. All suggestions welcome! An email is Arizonacain@q.com. Thanks!!!


I agree with the Vancouver route. That is when I went. I went in July and many cloudy drizzly days. Need a raincoat for camera and lens.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/891383-REG/ruggard_rc_p18_18_plastic_rain_cover.html?sts=pi

Dress in Layers.

Bring a tele for Eagles.

Do a Bear eating Salmon Tour

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May 14, 2019 19:51:44   #
toxdoc42
 
We took a smallish ship, on Oceania. I would go back in a heartbeat! Be prepared with thin but warm gloves. When we went outside at the glacier my hands got too cold to really get great photos. Going on a whale watching trip was also great, but very cold. Also, bring 2 walking sticks if you plan to hike, the ground gets slippery.

There are plastic baggy like thingees for your camera.

We left from Seattle, came back from Vancouver. Most cruises go back and forth that way.

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May 14, 2019 19:56:39   #
cascoly
 
either seattle or Vancouver work fine -- most 7 day trips go up the inside passage with ports for 4-5 days, then a quick return. most cruises dont go past Juneau or Skagway -- the ports are pretty touristy -- if you're a hiker you can google some great trails that start right from the ports. you might also look at longer one way cruises, with additional days in Denali, then fly home.

save the bear/salmon for another trip since it's a long ways off from any cruises.

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May 14, 2019 21:12:27   #
Wingpilot (a regular here)
 
I can't speak to any of the cruise lines, but June is one of the best times to come up here. The weather is generally the nicest then. July is sort of a swing month, so the weather can vary on a day to day basis. August is a crap shoot, weather-wise. One day it can be in the 40's, cold, windy and raining, and then it'll clear up and can be sunny and 80 degrees.

In any case, do bring some rain gear and warm clothes. Always good to be prepared. I don't know what kind of camera you plan on bringing, but good lenses to consider include a 24-70, a 70-200, and possibly a long zoom, like one of the 150-600's. Not necessarily all of them, though. Some degree of wide angle is good, particularly when shooting some of the glaciers, and the 24-70 is a good choice. Those are for a DSLR. If you are bringing a mirrorless camera, your lens choices will be a little different. One other lens to consider, if you have a Nikon DX camera is the Nikon 18-140 zoom. It's a very good lens and should cover a lot of what you'll want to shoot. A monopod is a good idea, but a tripod, not so much.

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May 15, 2019 06:32:12   #
par4fore
 
larrycain wrote:
This is Larry. I would like to plan a trip to Alaska. Lots of questions: I am a 77 young person! Would like to know best time to go, is there a certain cruise line better than others? I would be leaving from Phx. One suggestion was to fly to Vancover and depart from there. All suggestions welcome! An email is Arizonacain@q.com. Thanks!!!


At 77 years old go with Royal Caribbean!!!!

Land and Sea is the BEST!!

Here is one example:
https://secure.royalcaribbean.com/cruises/?destinationRegionCode_ALCAN=true&durationCode_12plus=true&durationCode_9to11=true&itineraryPanel=RD11FAI-1542183288
11 Night Alaska Glaciers Cruise From Vancouver ... - Royal Caribbean

VISITING:
Seward, Alaska | Hubbard Glacier (Cruising), Alaska | Juneau, Alaska | Skagway, Alaska | Icy Strait Point, Alaska | Ketchikan, Alaska | Inside Passage (Cruising), Canada | Vancouver, British Columbia

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May 15, 2019 06:36:30   #
george19
 
Agree with lens choices from 24 to 200, although sometimes you want that longer reach for birds and bears.

I did a small ship cruise in BC in 2006, end of May into June, carried 24-85 and 70-300. Even at 300, sometimes not enough reach.

General rule is that the longer lens works better on the boat (whales, and even broad scenery), and the shorter lens is better ashore...but be prepared with that long lens.

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May 15, 2019 06:42:13   #
iactxh
 
Did the trip with my grandson three years ago from Anchorage to Vancouver on Silversea. They are a small ship line and are now running adventure cruises with special teams of naturalist guides. I recommend them highly. Go after August 15. Avoid families with children. Take 3 good zooms, c 18-55, a long lens with tele extender and something in the middle.

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May 15, 2019 07:33:04   #
kybob
 
We went on the Coral Princess a small ship by today’s standards out of Vancouver the last week of May and first of June for a 7 day cruise and then turned around and came back to Vancouver on another 7 day cruise. For two reasons increase our chances of good weather in each port and everything I read, heard and found out after the fact was the land portion was a lot of riding on buses for long hours, getting up very early to catch said bus, with a lot of moving around not really enjoying just taking it in. Also the chance of seeing Denali is like 30% so not my idea of fun.

This also allowed me to pack more gear since i would not be doing the land portion where they also limit how much you can carry on the bus/ train with you. So I took the kitchen sink 5 Camera’s 6 Lens mono pod. Took over 8000 shots. If when I got back the usage was as follows; 24-70 highest percentage, 200-500 second with it zoomed out to 500mm for all but like 10 shots (I since have dumped it in favor of a 500mm fixed lens easier to hold) 28-300, and last with about 2-3% only a 14-24. I found doing piano shots with either the 24-70 or 70-200 gave me more up close of what I wanted the 14-24 was a lot of water and sky and a line on he horizon of the land. Out of all the cameras 3 DSLR, 1 high res point and shoot, and GoPro. Used them all was glad I had 2 full frame bodies out on deck at the glaciers and whale watch, did not have to worry with changing lens. Had a smaller DSLR for about town and walking tours. Used the point and shoot in the ship, and water related tours (rafting, high speed banana boat). I also took a water proof bag to put things in was the envy of all. Water resistant bags will not resist water long in Alaska.

Go and have fun. Also recommend staying at the hotel right above the cruise terminal was like super convenient bellman took our bags right to the bag drop off for the ship.

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May 15, 2019 08:24:09   #
Dr. Dan
 
I am also 77 years old. I have done Alaska twice, once a Holland America Cruise/Land Tour, and once on my own. I flew into Fairbanks, then drove to Denali. We spent 4 nights at North Face Lodge 78 miles into the park. For 3 days they took us on guided trips deep in the park, wildlife photography was great. Then drove to Seward with a overnight stop in Talkeetna. In Seward took an all day boat trip through Kenai Fjords National Park, amazing marine wildlife and tide water glacier photography. Then on way back to Anchorage stayed in Whittier and took an all day boat tour through Prince William Sound, again great marine wildlife, Bald Eagle, and tide water glacier photography. Then fly home from Anchorage. I found that for photography purposes my land trip with small boat tours for marine life was far superior to a large cruise ship tour.

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May 15, 2019 08:31:23   #
edhjr
 
Suggest you look at National Geographic/Lindblad. Small ships (100) guests. 24/7 about nature. On Board trained photo instructor and Naturalist experts. We have done many of their trips like Galapagos, Amazon, Panama Canal--- always about seeing nature up close.
We are going on one of their Alaska trips in two weeks.
The other exciting news is that my camera shop called yesterday to tell me my Nikon 500pf lens finally shipped on Monday eight months after I ordered it and I will have it for the trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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May 15, 2019 08:41:45   #
bikerguy
 
edhjr wrote:
Suggest you look at National Geographic/Lindblad. Small ships (100) guests. 24/7 about nature. On Board trained photo instructor and Naturalist experts. We have done many of their trips like Galapagos, Amazon, Panama Canal--- always about seeing nature up close.
We are going on one of their Alaska trips in two weeks.
The other exciting news is that my camera shop called yesterday to tell me my Nikon 500pf lens finally shipped on Monday eight months after I ordered it and I will have it for the trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Suggest you look at National Geographic/Lindblad. ... (show quote)


We have traveled extensively with Lindblad (10th trip begins May 31). Highly recommend using them. They are not inexpensive, but worth every penny. The naturalists and photographers are terrific and very helpful. We went with them to Alaska twice.

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May 15, 2019 08:55:50   #
bamfordr
 
edhjr wrote:
Suggest you look at National Geographic/Lindblad. Small ships (100) guests. 24/7 about nature. On Board trained photo instructor and Naturalist experts. We have done many of their trips like Galapagos, Amazon, Panama Canal--- always about seeing nature up close.
We are going on one of their Alaska trips in two weeks.
The other exciting news is that my camera shop called yesterday to tell me my Nikon 500pf lens finally shipped on Monday eight months after I ordered it and I will have it for the trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Suggest you look at National Geographic/Lindblad. ... (show quote)


Ditto for Lindblad! And for June. There were actually 2 days out of 14 where we could skip thermal underwear. Gloves that allow you to handle the camera are a necessity.

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May 15, 2019 09:25:36   #
Akron Roger
 
I have been to Alaska twice, once with Princess Lines (on a sister ship of the "Love Boat"), which was a good
trip. The second time was on our own, going to the Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park for the salmon run. This was an experience of a lifetime! The window for reservations begins Jan. 1 with the Park Service and is usually sold out by Jan 2 or 3. I cannot recommend this trip too highly. Also, Lindblad /Nat. Geographic does excellent trips around the world.

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May 15, 2019 09:37:13   #
toxdoc42
 
One suggestion, check your insurance! Equipment can fall, get lost or stolen.

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