In early June, we set sail on an Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Sun. We took the southbound cruise from Whittier to Vancouver with an extra day and a half in Vancouver. This southbound Alaskan Cruise stopped at Icy Straight Point, Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. We also explored the Hubbard and Sawyer Glaciers. I'll be blogging about our experience and the photo ops at each destination as well as other topics such as what photo gear to bring.
Anchored at Icy Straight Point
In this blog, I'll be discussing my thoughts on the cruise and tips for non photography topics such as what to bring on the cruise, Internet connectivity, and what to wear on an Alaskan Cruise. The next blog post in this Alaskan cruise blog series will focus on tips on photography for an Alaskan Cruise.
Overall, an Alaskan Cruise can be a great trip for photographers, especially for photographers trying to balance their photography with a family vacation. There is plenty of landscapes and some wildlife to photograph right from the cruise ship. We enjoyed the smaller sized excursions more than ones with crowded tour buses. They seemed to allot more time for photography than a 5 minute stop. Also, a Humpback Whale watching excursion is highly recommended.
- Dress in Layers. There were times when it was 70 degrees and other times when I needed 3 layers of clothing. My typical attire for outdoor excursions, especially boat excursions was a warm base shirt, pullover fleece, and a waterproof windbreaker. I was comfortable in this attire even while on the front of a boat during whale watching. Of course, you'll need to adjust to your own tolerance to cold.
- Connectivity. We didn't purchase the Internet package from the ship since it was expensive ($55 for 100 minutes) and we wanted to get away. We have AT&T cellular service. Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan all have 4G connectivity with AT&T. Wittier and Icy Straight Point have AT&T Edge with slow / no data connectivity. Make sure you turn off data roaming while in Canada and out at sea to avoid large data roaming charges.
- Power Outlets. Bring a small power strip. There were only two 110v outlets in our cabin and one was for the TV.
- Binoculars. In addition to photo gear, bring along a set of binoculars. These can be useful for spotting marine life from the cruise ship. Watch for seals on the icebergs around the glaciers.
- Attire. The attire on a Norwegian Alaskan cruise was casual. One of the dining rooms and some specialty restaurants require cruise casual attire including a collared shirt for men. However, from what I saw this was not enforced. I wore jeans for the entire cruise.