Travel

Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Skagway, Yukon and the White Pass Railroad

At 7am on day 5 of the Norwegian Sun Alaskan cruise, we docked at Skagway, Alaska.  Today we went on the 8 hour long, White Pass Railroad and Yukon Expedition.  The price for today's tour was $199 per person.

Yukon Mountain Reflection

The first stage of our excursion was a 3 hour bus ride into the Yukon Territory of Canada from Skagway.  This turned out to be more of a tourist excursion and less for photography.  The very full bus tour did do quick stops at 3 pull offs for scenic views. 

Driving up to the Yukon, try to sit on the right side of the bus when facing the front.  The best views were on the right side.  You do have to be careful about the glare in the windows, but I did get several good mountain reflection photos from that side of the bus.

Caribou Crossing Yukon - Goat Pulling a Rope

Caribou Crossing, Yukon is a bit of a tourist trap.  Here a goat pulls a rope to get food they sell the tourists to feed the goats.

We were then taken to a "Tourist Town" called Caribou Crossing for an average BBQ chicken lunch with about 12 other tour buses. We had an hour and 15 minutes at Caribou Crossing which turned out to be too much time.  It was just too tourist-like for me.

On the way back to Frazier, we had about 20 minutes to walk around the town of Carcross, Yukon.  This was a nice stop with several areas to photograph including an old white church, shops painted with local Indian Art, and Totem Poles.

We caught the White Pass Railroad at Frazier which is the location of Canadian Customs.  Heading back to Skagway, sit on the right side of the train.  All of the views of the deep gorge and railroad bridges are on that side of the train. 

Once again, you need to be aware of the glare in the windows. You'll need to train your eye to look for the glare in the viewfinder.  You will need to adjust your angle to try and avoid the glare. You can also stand on the platforms between the cars to take photos but these are popular spots.

Tormented Valley, British Columbia

Tormented Valley, British Columbia

If I had to do it again, I probably wouldn't take this excursion again.  There were smaller tour busses that were stopping at more of the pull offs.  It may also be worth it to rent a car and drive the road yourself so you can take your time and stop where you want.  But don't be late.  We were a 1/2 hour late coming back, but the ship waited for us since we were on one of their excursions.

The White Pass Railroad is worth riding if you haven't been on it.  The train runs along the side of the mountain at precarious heights with a deep, but scenic gorge down below.

Tomorrow we are off to Ketchikan.

Related Posts
Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Juneau Excursion
Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Hubbard Glacier
Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier

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