31.10.-06.11.20
Tour 1
14.11.–20.11.20
Tour 2
7 days
Duration
Whitehorse
from / to
4–8
Group size

Bald Eagle Photography Tour

Yukon and Alaska

Accompany us along the St. Elias Mountains (second highest coastal mountain range in the world) to Haines (Alaska/USA) to the Chilkat River. From the end of October until November, the waters of northern Canada and Alaska freeze. Only in this one remote valley, under the influence of the warm coastal climate, the thousands of eagles living in North America on their way to the south have the last chance to eat their fill of the spawning salmon in the river. It’s the world’s largest gathering of eagles. In the right weather conditions, this completely unique natural phenomenon will pair up with the colorful and intense northern lights at the same time. The fulminant, unique and magical impressions are unforgettable and will enchant you.

During the trip and the special photography workshops you will be looked after by professional photographer Beat Glanzmann and his business partner Eva Riedwyl. Beat and Eva have been living in their log cabin resort in the Yukon Wilderness since 1995, just two hours from the eagle area, and are known as open-minded, warm and experienced hosts. Both like to share their enthusiasm for nature and their local knowledge. Beats photographs are published worldwide. He is one of the most experienced photographers in the field of animal and landscape photography and has been passionately photographing eagles for over 20 years. You will have the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of the long-time wilderness guides and the professional experience in eagle photography and will be guaranteed to travel home with hundreds of spectacular eagle and landscape pictures!

No matter whether they’re a beginner or a professional, Beat Glanzmann supports the participants with his experience and detailed instructions to make every picture absolutely perfect. The planning of the eagle travels is perfectly coordinated with the spawning process of the salmon. Beat has been leading the bald eagle photography trips for over 20 years and will take you to selected places to shoot the most spectacular photos. He can assess the exact lighting conditions and support you in creating unique images. You will be able to observe and photograph hundreds of bald eagles in trees, on sandbanks, during their majestic flight and in aerial battles and experience unforgettable moments. All eagles are photographed in their natural environment and without being fed.

Our eagle photo journey not only offers animal photographers, but also lovers of landscape and the northern lights excellent possibilities for various motives. Your stay will be rounded off daily with informative photography workshops (see detailed program). The group size is a maximum of 8 people and therefore allows unlimited space for an individual choice of subject as well as the possibility of spreading out far across the landscape.

Requirements

The tour does not require a high level of fitness. However, you should be in good physical condition in order to be able to hike in the partially freezing cold at negative temperatures, at a leisurely pace and on good paths (about an hour).

  • Observing and photographing bald eagles, the world’s largest collection with up to 3500 animals.
  • Expansion of photographic knowledge in photography workshops with the the topics flight and action shots of eagles, stars and winter landscapes
  • Magical northern light experiences in the quiet of the wilderness
  • Romantic log cabins with crackling wood-burning fire and sauna under an open, starry sky
  • Observing and photographing wild dall sheep during their rutting fights
  • Photographing ice structures and formations on short winter hikes across frozen lakes and along snow-covered landscapes

THIS ITINERARY IS in REVIEW there might be changes

Day 1:

Individual arrival in Whitehorse, Yukon/Canada. Transfer by shuttle bus or taxi to the hotel reserved for you with overnight stay in Whitehorse (transfer is not included in the tour price).

Day 2:

You will be greeted at the reception area of the hotel at 12.00 p.m. (detailed information about the hotel will be given to you by us before your departure). We will accompany you on a short city tour, followed by a visit to a supermarket where you will have the opportunity to buy your personal snacks and drinks (not included in the tour price). Afterwards, an approximately three-hour drive to the GlanzmannTours-Lodge at Kluane National Park awaits us, with scheduled photo stops. Along the Alaska Highway and the Takhini River you can often see wild animals like elk, moose, foxes or ptarmigans. Impressively beautiful mountain and lake landscapes offer extraordinary motives for photographs in the late afternoon, with good lighting conditions. Finally, we reach the GlanzmannTours-Lodge with its romantic log cabins, which is directly adjacent to the nature park. Our 14 huskies are looking forward to your arrival and will welcome you enthusiastically. The individual, hand-built log cabins are spread over 8 hectares of forest with an unobstructed view of an overwhelming mountain backdrop. An indescribable silence and pure wild nature await you here. After dinner together at the lodge we will discuss the course of the following day according to the detailed itinerary.

Day 3:

A ten-minute drive brings us to Kathleen Lake in Kluane National Park. Along the shores of the lake we can expect exciting photo motifs formed by the advancing icing of the water surface. Thanks to the use of grey filters, fascinating long-term exposures are produced due to the movements of the water trapped in the ice floes. In the evening there will be an introductory photo workshop on the topic of “eagle photography”. The probability of admiring and photographing northern lights is high during the whole trip. An optional sauna session awaits you before dinner and provides an opportunity for relaxation and soothing body care.

Day 4:

After breakfast we start the two-hour drive over the Haines Pass to the “Valley of the Eagles” in Alaska/USA. The route with the glaciated mountains of the St. Elias massif is considered one of the most beautiful in northern Canada. The further we approach the eagle sanctuary, the more amazed you will be at the photogenic landscape. Once we’ve arrived in the valley of the eagles, the great natural spectacle awaits us. Up to twenty eagles often sit on trees and the valley is filled with the fascinating wilderness calls of hundreds of bald eagles, which feed on the spawning salmon. It is an absolutely unique natural phenomenon. The eagles fly across the river delta, fight for the fish and offer spectacular flights. They eat on the sandbanks or sit in the trees to digest, with a majestic mountain scenery in the background. The “eagle fever” breaks out, fascinated it draws each of us into the spell – it finally begins! During our visit, we will photograph the eagles spread out over four different time frames, in order to make the best use of the varying light and weather conditions. We are very careful to take pictures of the majestic and impressive flight acrobats at close range (up to approximately 16 feet), without besetting them by our presence. At dusk we drive to Haines (Alaska/USA) to the best and most comfortable hotel this romantic fishing village by the sea has to offer. After moving into the rooms, we enjoy a dinner in the restaurant.

Day 5:

Breakfast at the nearby coffee shop (a kind of bakery). We use the whole day for the unique photo experience. In order to capture the first light on the glaciated mountains and to make the most of the most active time of the eagles, we drive to the protected area before dawn in the early morning darkness. Beat tirelessly searches for the best possible locations, adapted to the weather conditions, to give you perfect photo conditions. It is up to you whether you want to take pictures in a group or individually (within eye-shot) in search of motifs. Your guides will take you to the best spots and help you transport your photographic equipment. In the late afternoon you will have plenty of time to relax at the hotel and explore the fishing village, coast and fishing port before dinner.

The photo seminars and workshops take place in the evening at the hotel and are optional. They offer you the opportunity to improve your photographic techniques and creative aspects, regardless of your experience and skills. You will be amazed how much of a positive effect these workshops have on the quality of your pictures! Every evening, some of the images taken on the same day are projected onto the screen, evaluated and analyzed. In a critical approach, Beat explains the most proven techniques for action and portrait shots of the eagles. Other topics include exposure, image design and image planning for editing. You have the opportunity to present your best pictures of the day, which we will discuss in a relaxed atmosphere and thus analyze why good pictures are “good” or what can be improved.

Day 6:

Breakfast at the nearby coffee shop. Today we visit the neighboring valley of the Chilkat River. The trip leads along the beautiful fjord to the mystical Chilkoot Lake. A great scenic contrast awaits us with coastal forests, mossy landscapes and extensive ferns. Here you can also see eagles and, with a bit of luck, some seals and the big coastal brown bears (grizzlies). The return journey once more leads us along the open Chilkat valley, where we photograph the eagles one final time up until the afternoon. The further away we travel from the coast over the pass road, the more barren the landscape becomes, until we finally reach the pass summit at 1300 meters. Here in the open tundra plateau we look out for moose, foxes and ptarmigans. In the evening we reach the GlanzmannTours-Lodge and end the evening with a warm meal and a cozy get-together.

Day 7:

After breakfast we return to Whitehorse, where the photography tour will end around lunch time. Individual return or onward journey from Whitehorse. If you like to fly on the same day, please book your flight not before 2PM that day.

Further information

All routes and times described in the itinerary may vary depending on weather conditions.

Overnight stays

Log cabin romance in the GlanzmannTours-Lodge, in the middle of the silence of the wilderness. Details and photos of the accommodation can be found under “Log cabins”.

The man-made, cozy guest log cabins heat you with wood. We count on the cooperation of our guests to heat the Swedish ovens. For the lighting in the cabins we use LED lanterns and candlesticks, which create a cozy atmosphere with the crackling wood stove. Each log cabin has a cooking area, sink, water canister and kitchen utensils. You will be supplied with the best drinking water from your own well. Next to each hut there is an “outhouse”, an external toilet house.

Couples live in their own log cabin.
Two to max. three single travelers share a log cabin.
On request we can reserve two single or two double rooms for you.

A sauna, in an especially built log cabin with a simple shower, invites you to relax.

Any hut work, such as heating the wood stove, washing the dishes and preparing breakfast, is carried out by the tour participants together. We’ll cook for you in the evening.

It is possible to recharge batteries for cameras, tablets and mobile phones during the day in the GlanzmannTours-Lodge at the solar power supply.

Food

For the shared meals (breakfast and dinner) all participants meet in the largest log cabin. Both breakfast and dinner are included during all overnight stays in the log cabin lodge. Breakfast is provided in the form of a buffet; dinner is cooked for you. The group then helps to wash the dishes together.

Breakfast and dinner eaten in restaurants during our stays in Whitehorse and Haines (Alaska/USA) are not included in the price.

Included services

  • All trips according to the itinerary from/to Whitehorse
  • Transport to the respective photo locations
  • Photographer and guide Beat Glanzmann for the supervision of the shooting technique and image editing workshops
  • Experienced, licensed, English / German speaking guide
  • 3 nights hotels (Whitehorse & Haines, double room)
  • 3 nights in our log cabins
  • 2 x half board (breakfast and dinner);
  • Sauna

Not included in the tour price

  • Individual arrival and departure to/from Whitehorse
  • Transfers between airport and hotel on arrival and departure (by shuttle bus or taxi)
  • Breakfast and dinner in restaurants during stays in Whitehorse and Haines
  • Single room surcharge (3 hotel nights in Whitehorse & Haines CAD 290.00)
  • Snacks (can be bought locally in Whitehorse and Haines)
  • Drinks and alcohol
  • Tips
  • Personal equipment (see equipment list)
  • Travel cancellation and health insurance
  • eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) for entering Canada (CAD 14.00)
  • ESTA permit for entry into the USA (14 US$), as well as the fees for the border crossing to Alaska/USA (10 US$)

Clothing and personal material

  • Luggage
  • Casual trousers
  • Warm trousers
  • T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, pullovers
  • Underwear
  • Warm winter socks
  • 2-3 pairs of gloves (2 pairs of thin gloves and 1 pair of warm mittens)
  • 1 pair of winter boots (best with removable inner shoe, can be rented with prior notification)
  • 1 pair of warm house shoes or bivouac boots (for cabins)
  • Goretex jacket (this should be wide enough for you to put on enough layers underneath)
  • Goretex trousers (under which you can put on long thermal underwear and/or fleece trousers)
  • Warm jacket or sweater and enough warm clothing
  • Down jacket (very comfortable to photograph)
  • 1 set thermal underwear
  • Warm hat with ear protection
  • Neck warmer “Buff”
  • 2 towels for the sauna
  • Toiletries
  • Wet wipes (optional)
  • Earplugs
  • Eyeglasses and replacement eyeglasses for those who need them (we recommend contact lenses additionally because of condensation/icing hazard of the lenses)
  • Headlamp (including spare batteries)
  • Thermos (min. 750 ml)
  • Pocket knife (carry it with you in your checked baggage for the flights!)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Wristwatch or mobile phone with alarm function (or travel alarm clock)
  • Rucksack (about 20 liters for spare clothes and snacks on the way; lunches can be bought locally)
  • Rain cover for the rucksack or waterproof bag in the rucksack to protect documents, photo equipment etc. from moisture
  • Personal medication (carry in hand luggage for flights)
  • Headphones for the flight (can be bought in the plane)

For December to April trips you need to bring

  • Sunglasses and Ski goggles
  • Sunscreen
  • Balaclava with face protection

What can be rented additionally

  • Baffin or Sorel winter boots (guaranteed warm during cold days) CA$ 40.00 per week (please reserve in advance)
  • Towel for sauna CAD 5.00 (washing fee)

Documents

  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the return date)
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for entry into Canada. NEW, this type of pre-authorization is mandatory to fly into Canada (arrivals by ship or land do not need eTA). This affects nationalities that do not normally require a tourist visa for Canada. So, for Swiss and EU citizens also. The permit must be obtained online before entry and costs CAD 14.00.
  • ESTA permit for entry into the USA (14 US$). Please also note the current entry regulations of the USA, as this trip leads by land to Alaska/USA. To cross the border, you need 10 US$ in cash.
  • Address of your accident, rescue and health insurance, as well as travel cancellation and liability insurance
  • Airline tickets
  • Credit card
  • Vaccination certificate or copy
  • Cash in CAD and US$

(recommended) Camera equipment

  • Camera
  • Memory cards
  • Lenses
  • Power-adapter for 110 volt (adapter north America)
  • Batteries, rechargeable batteries, charger
  • Cable release / remote release
  • Tripod
  • Various filters (if available)
  • Camera/lens bags
  • Camera weather protection

We strongly recommend several batteries/battery packs. It is possible to recharge the batteries at the Glanzmann Tours base during the days only.

Photographic equipment tips and details PDF

Photographic highlights that await you:

Eagle photography
  • Eagle photos in flight, partly with salmon in the claws
  • Airborne battles for prey with high-speed recordings
  • Eagles resting on trees and sandbanks
  • Portraits and close-ups
  • Eagles eating salmon in the Chilkat River delta
  • Acrobatic flight scenes in front of majestic mountain scenery
Landscape photography
  • Unique mountain, ice and lake landscapes in the middle of the natural paradise of Kluane National Park
  • Northern lights (without disruptive, man-made light influences)
Astrophotography
  • Crystal clear sky for photography of stars and the milky way
  • Star time lapses
Animal photography
  • Bald eagles
  • Wild tinhorn sheep during their rutting fights

Impressions of Bald eagle Photography Tour

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