St. George Island Photo Tour
5-Day St. George Island Photo Tour
- Plenty of time spent in the field.
- Experience the Galapagos of the North.
- Enjoy the comforts of our remote location while photographing the Bering Sea coast.
- Learn about photo techniques from local Alaskan professional photographers that are experts in the field.
- Tour Limited to 6 participants.
About St. George Island
St. George Island is as vast as it is wild, yet completely unexpected. Part of Pribilof Islands, St.George explodes with life in mid-July, making it a naturalist’s paradise and earning its title as the “Galapagos of the North.” Summer months attract 3-million migratory seabirds and 1-million fur seals to breed and raise their young. Arctic fox and reindeer make up other wildlife on the island. In all there are twelve species of seabirds nesting on St.George, and among those birds are species only seen in Asia to the rare Red-legged Kittiwake. July also attracts Orca, which can be seen from shore in pursuit of Fur Seals out at sea.
The landscape was formed from the islands volcanic history 2.2 million years ago. Teaming with life the terrain is reminiscent of Iceland, Ireland and Alaska rolled into one. Basalt shaped cliffs that shoot 700 feet from sea level offering dramatic homes for migratory birds and arctic fox. Weather moves actively through the island as much as the wildlife that inhabit St.George Island. Rain or shine, the diversity of this location makes it a promising photo tour destination.
St. George Island Photo Tour Itinerary - 5 Days
Day 1: Departure from Anchorage: A morning flight will take us far to the west, out into the Bering Sea and onto St. George Island. After flying to St. George Island as a group, we will begin photography right away. During our full days on the island, we will start with an early breakfast at the hotel, and then spend all morning in the field. We will have a brief lunch break and continue photography through the afternoon and early evening until dinner with the group. Our accommodations will be Tanaq Corporation's Aikow Inn (see below).
Days 2, 3 & 4 - St. George Island Photo Days: After breakfast, guests will head out into the field. We’ll spend three full days on St. George, which should give us ample time to search for Auklets, Common Murres, and Tufted and Horned Puffins. The cliffs on St. George also play host to one of the only nesting areas for Red-legged Kittiwakes in the world, and this is easily the most accessible place to see them.
Day 5: Departure from St. George and travel to Anchorage: After breakfast, the group will depart St. George Island and begin our journey back to Anchorage. Upon arrival in Anchorage, guests will be transferred directly to the airport or overnight in Anchorage.
About the accommodations in St. George Island
While visiting St. George we will be staying at St. George's Tanaq Corporation's hotel, the Aikow Inn. The European style ten-room hotel, originally built by the federal government to house visiting officials, can accommodate up to eighteen guests. Visitors to St. George can hear the seals from their hotel rooms and the island's six different rookeries are all easily accessible for viewing and photography.
2018 Tour Dates, Cost & Other Information
TOUR DATES: July 12, 2018 - PLEASE CALL FOR AVAILABILITY
TOUR COST: $6,995 (Exclusive Tour Limited to 6 participants)
B= Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner
WHAT IS INCLUDED & WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Accommodations & air transportation between Anchorage & St. George Island; meals as listed on the itinerary are included. Prices subject to change without notice. Not included: airfare to and from Anchorage from your city of origin. Please be aware that the village of St. George is very remote and a subsistence lifestyle is part of their culture. Because we are traveling in a remote region, we do not have many choices when it comes to lodging. The accommodations in St. George Island are very basic to rustic Alaskan and cannot be considered to be 5-stars by any means. In return you are rewarded experiencing the culture of the Aleut people along with experiencing the "Galapagos of the North", something that few people are privileged to experience in their lifetime. Weather in this remote region of Alaska can be very unpredictable and flights in and out of St. George are weather dependent.
THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART: Tour participants must understand and willing to accept that weather can affect the planned itinerary. In Alaska, travel plans can change in the blink of an eye, and catching a flight is all part of the adventure, no matter your destination. Weather and fog can sometimes interrupt the best planned travel arrangements and may prevent us from getting to, or from, St. George Island. Most rural communities are served by just one regularly scheduled commercial air service, many just a few days a week. When wind, rain, snow or fog delays flights, there is nothing to do except sit back and enjoy your stay. Any additional costs which occur due to weather related issues, delays, extra nights lodging or unforeseen circumstances, the tour participant will be responsible for these expenses. In the event we have time to go out and photograph during any delay, then extra fees for guiding and vehicle use will be applicable and subject to your participation. You should plan to have some "buffer" days in your itinerary. Planet Earth Adventures will not be responsible for any missed flights or connections. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this tour!
MINIMUM NUMBERS: This tour does require a minimum of 4 to go. If we do not have the minimum number 2 weeks out we will notify you of this situation. Guests will receive a full refund if we do not meet the minimum numbers.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENT: Several shooting locations are right next to the road and require some walking. Other locations require up to a mile hike and these will be optional. If you are not able to hike a mile or two, we will be prepared to have an alternative for those who wish to skip the more strenuous treks.
PHOTOGRAPHIC OBJECTIVES: This tour targets varied photographic opportunities, but in general we will be on foot in open habitats. We will often be moving slowly and carefully to try to sneak up on birds, or observing their behavior and choosing a spot to wait for them to pose themselves in the perfect position. Subjects will be nesting seabirds, horned & tufted puffins, Arctic Fox and Northern Fur Seals. Landscape photography may be possible as well. Planet Earth Adventures will structure the tour to allow plenty of opportunities for both traditional and artistic shots of all subject matter.
PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR: For the best results, we recommend bringing a telephoto lens 300mm or 400mm. In addition to the larger lens a zoom lens can also be beneficial as a lens of this type allows you maximum flexibility at the alcid colonies, where birds can sometimes be too close! The light conditions tend to be quite good, and while you may not need a tripod for sharpness, it can be helpful to hold your heavy gear so you don’t have to.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: We strongly suggest purchasing trip cancellation/interruption insurance to protect your travel investment at the time you sign up for one of our trips. This coverage will offset cancellation charges in the event of illness before or during your trip. Trip cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance is available at a supplemental cost. Click Here to purchase travel protection.