Travel

Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Exploring Ketchikan and the trip to Vancouver

On day 6 of our Norwegian Cruise, we decided to not take an excursion and set out to explore the town of Ketchikan.  After a 9 hour excursion the day before, we thought we’d take it easy today and enjoy Ketchikan.

Ketchikan, Alaska Marina

Ketchikan is known as the Salmon Capital of the World.  Ketchikan is a fun place to walk around, shop, and take a few photos. Unlike the other ports we visited, the port is right across the street from the shops and restaurants, making it really convenient to the cruise ship.  The tourist information center and place to book tours is right next to where you exit the ship.  You can pick up a downtown walking map at the information center.

Some photo ops around Ketchikan include:

  • A frontier like town and store fronts
  • Several statues and monuments around town (including the Eagle Park carving)
  • Sea planes taking off and landing (watch for these as you are coming in and leaving port).
  • Fishing boats leaving or returning to the harbor
  • The Ketchikan Marina
  • Cabins and houses in a composition with the mountains

You can also visit the Totem Heritage Center to photograph a collection of totem poles or see a lumberjack show.

Just before we reached Ketchikan, we saw a Humpack Whale breach numerous times.  So make sure you have a long lens at hand as you cruise the inner passage.

Humpback Whale Breaching

The sunset leaving Ketchikan was fantastic.  The sunsets up in Alaska seem to last a long time with color in the sky for a long time.  The sunsets are especially nice if there partly cloudy skies where the clouds can reflect the color.

Day 7 – The Trip to Vancouver

When we woke up on day 7, we were pretty far out at sea so there weren’t a lot of photo opportunities.  This continued until about 4pm when we reached Prince Rupert, British Columbia.  It was a good morning to spend with the family, reading a photography book, and checking out the ships activities.

Once we passed Prince Rupert, we got closer to the shore for better landscapes compositions.  There was also a lighthouses to photograph (at a distance) along the way.  I also saw and photographed several Humpback Whales throughout the day. 

Unfortunately near late afternoon, the weather turned gray, cloudy and started to rain.  So, the light on these scenic landscapes wasn't all that great. 

The photo ops really improved as we approached Malcolm Island.  There was another Lighthouse (closer than the first), a rainbow, a bald eagle flying over the ship, and the Alert Bay Trumpeter.  Unfortunately, this was the time we chose to go to dinner.

Alert Bay Trumpeter, British Columbia

I did get some decent shots of the Alert Bay Trumpeter with my Canon S95 point and shoot from the dinner table.  A YouTube sensation, the Alert Bay Trumpeter drives his boat up to cruise ships and plays the Canadian and US National Anthems.  He has a sign on his boat requesting “Thx on Paypal”… pretty ingenious fellow. 

Related Posts
Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Juneau Excursion
Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Skagway, Yukon and the White Pass Railroad
Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier

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