Kenai Fjords National Park
Boat Based Photo Tour
July 21-23, 2012 FULL
**Contact us at [email protected] to schedule an exclusive custom charter with dates of your choosing, parties up to 4**
"We had an incredible trip with you on your Kenai Fjords photo tour, a perfect blend of stunning landscapes and a lot of different wildlife which you did an incredible job of spotting for us. Thanks again for such an epic trip." Wayne
"Thanks for the great time we had in Kenai Fjords! We just can't say enough good things about the trip." Scott & Julie
Read more testimonials.
Join Alaskan photographer Ron Niebrugge for this exciting, all inclusive, boat based tour into Kenai Fjords National Park. We will be living aboard a research vessel and staying in some of the most beautiful places in the world! Imagine being anchored up for the night in front of an active tidewater glacier, or in a dramatic cove being visited by Orcas or Humpbacks!
Up until now if you wanted to photograph Kenai Fjords, you were packed on a tour boat with up to 150 other people. You may find outdoor railing space on the port side, but if the whale appears on the starboard side, you are out of luck. Even the higher priced tours geared more towards photography pack 16 people plus crew onto a 43 foot boat. On this tour, it will be myself and three guests, along with our Captain who will also do the cooking, all on a 45 foot boat! We will have all the room in the world to move around.
If that isn't enough, the boat also has a motorized rigid bottom Zodiak skiff, so we can go to shore and walk around, set up tripods, you name it. Try doing that on the other tours!
What will we see? Amazing scenery is a given. We will spend time at active tidewater glaciers, and massive waterfalls; rugged mountains and lush rain forest line the shores of these wonderful fjords. Since we don't have a schedule to keep, we can spend as much time as we like at these sights. Unlike the day tour boats, we don't have to leave before the glacier calves!
In addition, we are going to see lots of wildlife! Sea Otters, Sea Lions, Puffin and Bald Eagles are a given. This is a popular area for whales, and we should be able to spend plenty of time with Orcas and Humpbacks. If I had to pick a highlight, it would have to be the whales.
What is the itinerary? Here is a sample schedule that the Captain and I have discussed. Leave Seward first thing in the morning and make our way to Aialik Bay stopping to photograph whales, otters, and sea lions along the way. That night, we would anchor up within a safe distance ofAialik Glacier, so that we could watch, listen and photograph this wonderful tidewater glacier at sunset and sunrise.
The next day we could make our way back through Aialik Bay, stopping along the way to photograph puffin and other sea birds on the Chiswell Islands, before making our way into the dramatic Northwestern Fjord where we will anchor up in a protected cove for the second night. Maybe this evening we take the skiff to shore for some exploring, hiking and to photograph sunset.
The final day would have us making our way back from Northwestern to Seward, possibly stopping at a Sea Lion haul out, and again, spending time with any whales we may encounter on our way back to town.
Now this is just one possibility of hundreds, and you can't hold me to it. We will adjust depending on wildlife sightings, weather etc. If we hear about a large super pod of orcas in Northwestern the first day, well guess where we are going!
What about the boat and Captain? We will be traveling on a vessel 45' in length and 14' wide with a walk around deck, large back deck and fly bridge. The accommodations aren't luxurious, but are very clean and comfortable. The Captain and I share a small room, while the guests sleeping quarters are bunk style in a common cabin. Passengers share a private bathroom. We could take 4, but I have been on the boat with 3 guests in the past, and I think this is the perfect number. There is a larger gallery with a dining table for 4, this will allow us to all sit at the table during down times and review images, talk photography and Photoshop. So three guests is the limit unless it was a group of friends or family that all agreed in advance.
Our boat and Captain have served most recently as a research vessel for killer whale scientists in the Aleutians and Pribilof Islands - think Deadliest Catch. The summer around here is nothing like that, and for the most part, we will be spending time in protected waters.
Our Captain is one of the most experienced mariners in the Kenai Fjords area with over 30 years boating experience. Not only operating his own boat, our Captian has also spent time running the larger daily tour boats in Kenai Fjords. It is safe to say he knows this area inside and out, including the habits and movements of the wildlife. He also has great relationships with the Captains of the large tour boats, and will be able to communicate with them and share wildlife sightings improving our chances for success. An outstanding naturalist with a wealth of knowledge, our Captain will be a great addition to our trip.
What about Ron? Janine and I have lived in Seward for 18 years, and have spent a ton of time in and around Kenai Fjords. I was hired by the Park Service to photograph Kenai Fjords National Park and accompanied Ken Burns and his film crew during filming in Kenai Fjords National Park. You will find my photos illustrating two books on the area, and numerous publications. I am a full-time stock photographer - and my photography has been our sole source of income for many years now and I regularly sell images to many of the largest magazines in the world. I have the required park service permits and insurance and will be happy to provide additional information on both. You may read more about me here.
What will I learn? I call this a tour instead of a workshop as the emphasis will be on putting you in the best places at the best times and I will be shooting along side my guests. Although there may not be formal classroom type sessions, I will be sharing and teaching as we go. For example, as we leave the harbor and begin looking for whales, I will talk about how I handle exposure and focus for photographing these huge animals. During downtime, we will have time for more in depth discussion, and I can demonstrate how I process images in Photoshop, we can review photos and pretty much dive into anything the group would like. I used to be a teacher and still love to share and teach.
We will leave the Seward Boat Harbor at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25, 2012. All participants should be in Seward by July 24, 2012. We will return to the Seward Boat Harbor in time for dinner on Friday, July 27, 2012.
The trip is $1,995 per person.
Exclusive 3 day charter is available for parties of up to 3 persons $5600.00. If you have a group of 4 people contact us for rates. Check with us for dates.
If you have a group of 3-4 people contact us for scheduling a date that fits your schedule.
Current diesel fuel cost is $3.98. In the event the cost of diesel fuel rises significantly a fuel surcharge may be added.
$500.00 non-refundable deposit due at registration.
Balance of $1495.00 is due by April 30, 2012.
Payment may be made by check or credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Deposits are non-refundable unless we cancel the workshop.
TO REGISTER FOR THE PHOTO TOUR
Call us at (907)224-7280 to reserve your spot.
CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
No refunds will be made for cancellations. All payments and deposits to Niebrugge Images are non-refundable unless the workshop sells out and we are able to fill your spot. If your spot is filled, you will lose your initial deposit only.
We have the right to cancel this workshop for lack of registrants up to 45 days prior to workshop date. In the case that we cancel the workshop your deposit and payments will be returned. However, Niebrugge Images does not assume responsibility for any other costs incurred by customer as a result of the cancellation.
There will be NO REFUNDS for delays or cancellations because of weather, flights, or other reasons before arriving or during the workshop. Niebrugge Images is not responsible for additional costs that may be incurred by such delays.
We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance. One option is: www.insuremytrip.com
WHAT IS INCLUDED
Instruction, the boat and lodging, lunch and dinner the first day, breakfast, lunch and dinner on day two, and breakfast and lunch on day three, along with snacks.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
Transportation to/from your home and Seward. Any alcohol and gratuities. We can not provide alcoholic beverages, but you may bring your own if you would like. We also do not provide any personal gear, you will need to be responsible for bringing your camera gear, clothing, toiletries, outerwear, sleeping bag. I will send registered guests a list of recommended items.
Is not permitted.
SKILL LEVEL AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
All ability levels are welcome. However, a working knowledge of your camera and equipment and a basic understanding of photography is required.
Physical fitness requirements are moderate. You should be able to get in and out of a skiff and be able to handle hikes on rocky beaches carrying your gear.
HOW DO I GET TO SEWARD
There are lots of options, my recommendation is to take the Alaska Railroad down the day before. We will also be sending guests a list of options and places to stay in Seward before and after the tour.
See more photos of Kenai Fjords National Park by Ron Niebrugge.
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