ultra tour

Alaska land, sea and air photography adventure

This tour is hands down the most unique guided photo adventure in the state of Alaska!  See wildlife and epic landscapes with hikes along beaches and moss covered meadows, vessel based excursions to see whales and other marine wildlife on the sea, below the water by snorkeling with thousands of jellyfish and spending an entire day in the air hooping from mountain to mountain photographing beautiful white goats and bears that seem to defy the need to feed on the buffet of salmon below.

Expect to have the same experience as the Coast Tour but with the added bonus of seeing an entirely different side of wildlife that is rarely seen, much less photographed.  This tour takes you to so many places that are simply out of reach for most photogrpahers and show cases unique opportinities to capture once in a life time shots.  You'll be treated to some of the most iconic and majestic scenery that would even make the most professional shutter bug salivate.  And lets not forget about ice caves.  These caves change year after year and provide breathtaking images that are hard to duplicate from one cave to the next.  And from the air, you'll lose count of numerous un-named waterfalls as they seem to fill your camera's lens in every direction. 

We've partnered with Vertical Solutions (vshelicopters.com) to provide us with the safest and comfortable rides in Prince William Sound!  They operate three new Robinson R44 Raven II Helicopters.  When their not flying for us, they run tours direct from Valdez to nearby glaciers.  Coupled with the remoteness of the lodge and the ability to fly to vast unexplored peaks, the world truly is your oyster, giving you the position to take all Alaska has to offer!  But pack light.  A small backpack is all you'l be able to bring on this trip with key camera gear at the top of the list.

mountains black bear
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ice caves

From atop mountains to sea level, these ice caves formed during the last great ice age.  Be prepared to step into an "otherworldly" atmosphere filled with uniquely carved.  But hurry, you'll want to catch these receding spectacle before they melt away!  Photographers with remote lighting will capture stunning shots in a kaleidoscope of colors.

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tENTATIVE ITinerary

Day 1 - Travel to Anchorage, AK and then onto Valdez, AK (Valdez has a commercial airport, so book tickets all the way to Valdez, AK). We will pick you up at airport with our 12 person passenger van. Then on to the local grocery/liqueur store for last minute items. After that we will head over to the harbor to the water-taxi boat and travel out to lodge and settle in for first night. Water-taxi/sightseeing trip is roughly around 3 hours transit using 46’ vessel and 2 hours with 32’ vessel, to the lodge. Enjoy mountainous scenery and animals such as whales, birds and sea lions.  Arriving in time for dinner. Unpack and get settled in your rooms.  Best Lens - Telephoto

Day 2 - We'll start off in skiffs in search of both black and brown bears at known hot spots where salmon spawning is taking place.  But keep your eye's open, because these bears love to travel the coastline as well and make for expectacular shots when standing on rugged rocky, pine tree covered spits of land.  You'll also be introduced to sea otters and eagles.  We'll be hiking through creeks to get an up front view of bears catching their next salmon meal.  Waterproof boots are best this day.  For large groups, multiple skiffs are used to ensure everyone gets a great spot to shoot from.  Best Lens - Macro & Telephoto

Day 3 - Open ocean in a large vessel in search for whales that include Minke, Grey and Humpback.  We'll also be looking for Orca's that frequent the inlet in search of their next meal.  Dall Porpoise may swing by and ride the boats wake, having fun riding the boats waves as we travel from and to the lodge.  Best Lens - Telephoto

Day 4 - Glaciers, whales and Rookery's!  We'll board the large vessel and head for Bull's Head to see a very large population of sea lions and nesting colony of Puffins.  While in transit, we'll be crossing known hot spots for whale action.  Wrapping up the day at Columbia Glacier.  At the glacier you'll also see harbor seals and sea otters resting on floating ice. Best Lens - Telephoto

Day 5 - This will be the highlight of the trip because this day takes you up and above the clouds.  Your helicopter will be waiting to be borded after breakfast.  We'll be looking for goats and bears that seem to defy gravity at the top of the surrounding mountains.  Landing nearby to capture playful billy goats or bears hiking steep hillsides with glaciers as your backdrop.  We'll also be exploring ice caves and old mining operations that last saw production over 100 years ago.   Best Lens - Telephoto & Wide angle

Day 6 - Another day with bears in the morning.  Then back to the lodge to dawn on wetsuits.  You can opt out of this adventure, but no experience except the ability to swim is needed.  These wetsuits of 7mm and don't allow you to get cold or sink.  We'll start off with a quick dip off the lodge dock and then over to a salmon pool with thousands of fish preparing to make the big migration up stream.  Finishing the day off looking for a massive moon jellyfish bloom to snorkel in.  There are only a hand full of places on earth were such blooms take place and Alaska is one!  Its an amazing experience and don't worry, these jellyfish don't sting.  You'll want some type of underwater gear for this adventure.  Best Lens - GoPro or underwater housing with wide angle lens

Day 7 - After breakfast at the lodge, we will travel back to Valdez. Water-taxi/sightseeing trip is roughly around 2-3 hour's transit to Valdez. Expect to arrive at Valdez around 1pm, so please plan your travel accordingly. Once in Valdez we will take you to the airport via our 12 person passenger van.  Best Lens - Telephoto

**Any day can be switched to focus on a specific animal.  We are very flexible, just let us know the night before and we'll make a plan.

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Make sure to bring multiple memory cards on this trip, once we're air born we'll be gone for the duration of the day.  Lunch is provided on top of a mountain or along a secluded beach.  Warm layed clothing is recommended and one camera bag with your favorite lens.