Wild Alaska

July 25th - 31st 2019 SOLD OUT Aug 3rd - 9th 2019

A new EXCLUSIVE Photography tour!

Alaskan Wildlife Adventure!

Brown Bears, Eagles, and Whales
Kodiak Island and Katmai Expedition
PRIVATE CHARTERED SHIP ALLOWING US UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS!
 

Exclusive Opportunity for ONLY 8 people! 

August 3rd-9th, 2019

Spots are LIMITED and going fast!
July 25-31 tour sold out in one day! 
 

A Photographic excursion for ALL LEVELS

Including Beginner through Advanced!

We have VERY LIMITED space on this tour.

This will be a VERY SMALL group of ONLY 8 photographers and
2 instructors!

Spots are LIMITED and going fast!
 

The Adventure:

Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime?  Join us and a SMALL group of only 8 photographers as we travel via our PRIVATELY chartered vessel throughout some of the most pristine waters and locations in the world to photograph INCREDIBLE wildlife in Alaska including Brown Bears, Eagles, and Whales of all types! All, up close and personal but in a very safe environment with our private guide, chef, and Captain!

These expeditions originate in Kodiak and proceed through beautiful fjords and bays to the Katmai Coast.  This diverse expedition combines the spectacular bear viewing experiences of Katmai with the abundant marine wildlife you can only get in Kodiak.  

We will be aboard the Island C which holds the Coast Guard’s official Oceanographic Research Vessel (ORV) designation, and the highest safety rating available to commercial vessels of her class. This allows us to hidden gems and amazing locations and wildlife that not everybody can go to or see. In fact, we will be in locations very few have ever seen. Plus, as the ship has been chartered by us exclusively, we can stay as long as we want in any area OR move as we need to for the best wildlife opportunities! 

These expeditions originate in Kodiak and proceed through beautiful fjords and bays to the Katmai Coast. Each day will offer bear viewing and also offer whales, eagles, puffins and more to photograph! 

Click Here to Register Now!

THE DETAILS:

  • Dates: August 3rd – 9th,  2019
  • Price: $8995  (based on shared cabins-no single space available)  You will be paired in a room of the same sex. See ship and accommodation description below. We have a chartered vessel and exclusive opportunities that are being made available to us! 
  • Payment plan over 10 months available! 
  • Register with the link provided and we will be in contact to collect payment information
  • Airport: Arrive/Depart – Kodiak, AK  Information, and travel tips will be sent to all attendees- We recommend arriving a day early and will provide hotel information. 

Included during tour dates:

  • All Photographic Instruction
  • All meals on board with our private chef! 
  • Park Permits and Fees
  • Private Ship transportation 
  • Private Guide, Captain, Chef

NOT included:

  • Transportation to and from Kodiak, Alaska
  • Trip Insurance 
  • Personal Expenses 
  • Alcohol
  • Staff Gratuities

Register Here!

Refund Policies

 

 

 

Day 1:
After embarking passengers in the late morning and getting settled and oriented on board, we depart Kodiak for Cape Chiniak, then Long Island via Inner Humpback Rock with opportunities to see humpback whales, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, eagles, black oystercatchers, and maybe rhinoceros auklets. As we transit Ouzinkie Narrows, we tuck inside Eider Island keeping an eye open for harbor seals, parakeet auklets, tufted puffins or sea otters.  Weather and time permitting, we’ll run north to the Triplets, a gem of the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge, to see tufted puffins by the thousands. That evening, parakeet auklets, kittiwakes, horned and tufted puffins, land otters, harbor seals, mew gulls are on parade as we anchor at one of our favorite locations, Anton Larsen Bay. All this on just the first day!Day 2:
From Anton Larsen Bay we motor towards Port Bailey via Whale Passage, a narrow gap between the deep Gulf of Alaska and the comparatively shallow, fast flowing Shelikof Strait. To equalize the difference in sea level between these two water bodies, tidal currents here typically run in excess of 5 knots. Fin whale, minke whale, humpback whale, and orca sightings are all possible on this day, and it is not uncommon to see three species feeding at the same time. These currents are conveyor belts of food, and upwards of a thousand kittiwakes may be visible near the waterfalls at Whale Island. Along the way, we’ll pass the tiny, treeless island of Koniuji where up to 100 otters may be found in a single raft. Red and silver foxes and the hybrid cross fox might be found in the vast intertidal habitats near Little Raspberry Island.Days 3:
Uganik and Viekoda bays, both part of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, are rich grounds for humpback, minke and fin whales. Two tidal lagoons at Uganik Island invite exploration, with abundant waterfowl, sea otters, and black tail deer in their upper reaches. Sea lions traditionally haul out on the rocky ledges of Cape Uganik. On this and every night, our chef, Kurt, delivers a top-notch cuisine, and we pride ourselves in customizing to individual needs and dietary restrictions. At dinner, we raise our glasses to Kodiak and point the bow toward the North American continent. Katmai National Park awaits. At least two of the dinners feature locally caught seafood. We typically ask guests in advance what their drinking habits are if any, and pair wines and beers to the evening meal as appropriate.Day 4:
We arrive at Geographic Harbor, Katmai National Park, under cover of darkness, and wake up to one of the most awe-inspiring and least-visited national parks in the United States.  After breakfast, step into your hip waders (provided for you) and step off the drop-bow of our skiff onto tidal flat near the river mouth. Prior to going ashore, in the comfort of the Island C salon, we’ve discussed the social behavior of bears and fine-tuned our own strategy to minimize the group’s impact as we choose a spot to observe. The spot we choose depends on the state of the tide and the number, maturity level and gender of the bears, and of course the distribution of food, but it may be within mere meters of the bears. As we take our seats, you slowly realize that we’ve removed ourselves from the equation and are spectators to one of nature’s most iconic predator-prey interactions.Day 5:
Based on the intelligence we’ve gathered about the recent travel patterns of the bears between bays, we may choose to investigate Hallo Bay about 30 miles to the northwest, or Kukak Bay, comfortably nestled in between. At Hallo, the bears fish, dig for clams and even stalk sea otters on Little Ninagiak Island (a poorly understood and only recently discovered behavior). Devil’s Desk and Hallo Glacier loom in the background, with peaks rising abruptly from sea level to more than a mile high. Each of these bays is reasonably well-protected and provide excellent kayaking. All are renowned for their salmon runs and the bears who seek them out.Day 6:
Though it’s hard to take your eyes off the main event, in any of these bays wolves may appear, and may fish the mouths of the rivers as boldly as any boar. If our bear bucket is full, we’ll take time today to putter around the inner part of the bay in kayaks or dinghies. We see the occasional bruin who opted out of the river, but also white beaches of volcanic ash, towering basalt columns, harbor seals, numerous species of loons, and of course the endlessly entertaining sea otter. We point Katmai off the stern as we cross the Shelikof Strait on our last night onboard the Island C as darkness blankets the sea and the mountains of Kodiak in the distance.Day 7:
We cruise back to the busy fishing port of Kodiak mid- to late-morning, capturing final photos, realizing how bittersweet it is to return to cell phone service, and eagerly sharing addresses and data. Chef Kurt prepares a final breakfast onboard, guests disembark and we say our goodbyes — at least for now. Our goal in this seven-day journey is to show you and photograph the best of coastal Alaska and the wildlife it has to offer!

About the ship

The Kodiak Island and Katmai Alaskan wildlife tour is a very special opportunity to be aboard one of the only approved vessels in Alaska allowed to go to locations most cannot. The Island C is an 80-foot charter vessel specializing in research and marine conservation throughout coastal Alaska. The Coast Guard uses this vessel as well for research and conservation.

This is a very special situation and is based on being able to get the best wildlife photographs and opportunities possible in the area. 
Because this tour is so special and affording us the opportunity to go to places for the most optimum wildlife viewing and photography in Alaska, we must go with a vessel that is able to do so and have worked directly with the guide and ship’s captain to make this happen for McKay Photography Academy as an exclusively chartered ship for us! 

This means we are not at the mercy of a set schedule. We can go or stay based on the wildlife and conditions. Truly epic.

With that said, we will be living in close quarters for the week. Although a very comfortable ship, this is not a “cruise” ship. We will have to be flexible with each other, understand that rooming will be tight and some people will have to be ok with a top bunk in their rooms and also shared bathroom facilities.

We will have access to locations most will never dream of seeing. Wildlife will be in the prime season for Brown Bears going after Salmon, Whales, and Eagles! The ship is very comfortable, but I wanted to clarify the rooms. This is tour is based on the best possible photography opportunities available and having the ability to capture it. 

I am confident that this is going to be one of the most epic tours we have ever done and we are super excited  Ahead of time, we will also be able to chat about any dietary needs you may have. This will allow the chef to prepare for us. Oh….and hopefully you like freshly caught fish right off the boat!

Here is a video of the ship!

David

 

 

REGISTER HERE!