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Thread: Alaska

  1. #81

    Default Re: Alaska

    Just came across this thread after not having been on Clubsnap for awhile. I was in Alaska in June and the place was simply breathtaking. I attended a wedding in Anchorage then took a road trip in an RV to Seward and Denali National Park and Fairbanks. That huge expanse of beautiful land can leave anyone awe struck.

    What i like to do there was to look out for the different number plates on the roads to see which state they drove from. I've even come across someone's flickr page who had cycled to Alaska all the way from Florida!

    Anyways I shall share some photos on the Land/City scapes and Travel soon.

  2. #82

    Default Re: Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinS View Post
    Just came across this thread after not having been on Clubsnap for awhile. I was in Alaska in June and the place was simply breathtaking. I attended a wedding in Anchorage then took a road trip in an RV to Seward and Denali National Park and Fairbanks. That huge expanse of beautiful land can leave anyone awe struck.

    What i like to do there was to look out for the different number plates on the roads to see which state they drove from. I've even come across someone's flickr page who had cycled to Alaska all the way from Florida!

    Anyways I shall share some photos on the Land/City scapes and Travel soon.
    You must have had a great time! Looking forward to your pics! Speaking of that, I should post some of mine too. They're long overdue

  3. #83

    Default Re: Alaska

    Got the quote from agent, and checking the HAL online website, cheaper to go with the agent. So for the HAL cruisetour #21 on Zaandam is Verandah Suite (BB) + Airport tax + port charges + Govt Fees (what!!?!?!?) = S$7876.

    But this does not include meals (land tour portion), gratuities (US$12 per person per night)... and most importantly shore excursions...

    Ok, I think I am quite set, now is the rest of the group's reaction... Dang it, I think I should have done this sightly earlier (1 or 2 years back) when there were huge discounts given by the cruise lines. Maybe to make it easier to walk with bag of clothes, I should grab cabins near the launderette...

    Now I wonder how much will the Northern Lights one be... :P That's another new thread all together...

    Ghonz, where are your photos? Waiting to see them, other than those in the URL you gave...
    Last edited by Alpc; 30th September 2010 at 10:57 PM.

  4. #84

    Default Re: Alaska

    Wow, how many days are there for $7876? Including land tour portion right? ^^;

    Yeah, I know the photos are lacking Will be having more time this coming week to put more up. Sorry to keep you waiting!

  5. #85

    Default Re: Alaska

    Yes Cruisetour includes land portion - fly up (from Anchorage) to Prudhoe Bay dip toe into the Arctic Ocean; down to crossing the Arctic Cricle line, so supposed to get a cert for that... Down to fairbanks (which I think I need to find slef service laundry); down again to Denali then finally end in Anchorage. 16 days including fllight time...

  6. #86

    Default Re: Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpc View Post
    Yes Cruisetour includes land portion - fly up (from Anchorage) to Prudhoe Bay dip toe into the Arctic Ocean; down to crossing the Arctic Cricle line, so supposed to get a cert for that... Down to fairbanks (which I think I need to find slef service laundry); down again to Denali then finally end in Anchorage. 16 days including fllight time...
    For laundry at FB, are you staying in a hotel/hostel? If yes, they should include laundry services within. I'm not too sure about laundry services outside, but you can always ask around for info.

  7. #87

    Default Re: Alaska

    And I've not been active on CS nowdays... PM me for my email and drop me a mail if you need info from me

  8. #88

    Default Re: Alaska

    Hmmm... Good question, have not ask for indepth details like where I will be staying (hotel, hostel, their own hotels, etc) since I am waiting for the rest to see if they are confirming.

    So they have self service laundry in their hotels/hostels everywhere in US? As I was on business trip, so I never did ask about that when I was staying 1 hr from Chicago (just use their hotel laundry services hehehe)... I know some NZ hotels/motels does, since I used it before... Cannot remember anything of Europe, since my stay there is usually 1 week or less...

  9. #89

    Default Re: Alaska

    Need to ask this - Is a lens with the maximum reach of 300mm enough for Alaska?!?!

  10. #90

    Default Re: Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpc View Post
    Need to ask this - Is a lens with the maximum reach of 300mm enough for Alaska?!?!
    I think many would agree that 300mm is the minimum required for Alaska. Bring your longest lens and widest I shot quite a bit of wildlife and sometimes I find 300mm a bit short, especially during whale photos. If you have a lens that can reach 400mm, all the better but if not, just bring the longest that you can afford

  11. #91

    Default Re: Alaska

    At least 300mm, eh? Even for end-May, early June? Ok... Hmm... Plans within plans within plans...

  12. #92

    Default Re: Alaska

    If I'm not wrong, the longest day in the year is around 22nd June so from May-early June onwards, daytime should be slowly getting longer and night time getting shorter. In that case, a smaller aperture should still be manageable. Except for places like Whittier where it rains almost every day, the weather is always overcast, so you might need a body with high ISO to make up for the lower levels of light.

    I think the 70-200 should be ok if you add a 1.7x converter which will give you 340mm. Have you tried out the image quality? I wanted to do that too, but not enough budget...

  13. #93

    Default Re: Alaska

    Ok, I can see the point of making the booking early as I found out the 29 May Zaandam cruisetour no longer has triple share... Yes, triple share because there will be 3 of us (7 in the group, the rest can be in twin sharing)...

    Just got the princess cruise itinerary, expecting to be expensive... Funny, it is $600 cheaper than HAL, and got 1 extra day... Now is to see if they got triple sharing for the date we are looking at...

    Back and Forth, back and forth... When will it end?

  14. #94

    Default Re: Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpc View Post
    Ok, I can see the point of making the booking early as I found out the 29 May Zaandam cruisetour no longer has triple share... Yes, triple share because there will be 3 of us (7 in the group, the rest can be in twin sharing)...

    Just got the princess cruise itinerary, expecting to be expensive... Funny, it is $600 cheaper than HAL, and got 1 extra day... Now is to see if they got triple sharing for the date we are looking at...

    Back and Forth, back and forth... When will it end?
    nice.. so confirm going liao ? hope to c pics from u after the trip..

  15. #95

    Default Re: Alaska

    Will03, definitely confirm going, but dunno details - which cruisetour, date... Still getting confirmation on it - Sounds like would be change to Princess Cruise now, since a) cheaper, b) 1 more day, and c) 2 nights in Denali & Fairbanks instead of 1. But that means only 1 day in Anchorage before the very late night or early morning flight, depending on how you see it, from Anchorage to SG (via Taiwan).

    Not sure if I can squeeze in Kenai Fjord 6-hr cruise into this itinerary though...

  16. #96

    Default Re: Alaska

    To me, Anchorage doesn't have much to see, unless you're thinking of doing some shopping.
    Pls post your full itinerary when it's confirmed!

  17. #97

    Default Re: Alaska

    Well, paying my deposit this Thurs. So I would say it's confirmed (unless last minute changes again!?!?! Please no! Enough of drama and brain works on this).

    Will be going on the Princess Cruisetour LA7 starting 28 May on Diamond Princess, and itinerary is pretty much on their website ( 7 day cruise, 2 nights Denali, 2 nights Fairbanks, 1 night Coldfoot, 1 night Prudhoe Bay and finally 1 night Anchorage). No changes as far as I know, except I am trying to see if I can change the Natural History Tour to Tundras Wilderness Tour in Denali. Anyone been on this cruisetour before? I have people say it's hectic, I have people say it's not (well or rather the RCCI one is not hectic). Oh, two dropped out of it because cannot get enough leave...

    It has been an experience, far more ups and downs, twist and turns than my other trips, but it's shaping up to, hopefully, a nice setup and a good trip. Now is the wait - at least 6 months to go. Gave my boss the heads-up that I will be taking leave and will be putting it in on Monday 3 Jan!

    Having said that, time to figure out if 70-200mm + TC2.0III is ok for the trip or can 70-200mm + TC1.7II do? Or the 300mm F4 + TC1.7II or 300mm F4 with TC2.0III? But I worry that 300 F4 will not be fast enough, especially after adding in the TC... Then again assuming I can get TC2.0III if I am taking that... Sounds like my brain work is still not over... yet!

    Finally, counting the $$$$ for this trip...
    Last edited by Alpc; 19th October 2010 at 10:21 PM.

  18. #98

    Default Re: Alaska

    Finally! It'll be the trip of a lifetime! I have not used the 70-200 with a converter before, but worried that a 2.0 might create image quality problems. With a 1.7, it'll be 340mm at the long end, which is still enough I guess. I think no matter how long a lens we bring, it'll never be enough in some cases Sometimes, I had to resort to guerilla warfare and slowly creep up closer to the wildlife which is what I did for some white-tailed deer shots Personally I prefer a zoom as it gives me more flexible than a prime.

  19. #99

    Default Re: Alaska

    Yes, finally, deposit paid. Counting down the months/days..

    Till then... Need to find someone who has been on these cruisetours, preferably by Princess since I am going with them - want to get questions answered, like
    a) do they stop the buses along way during the Denali bus tour be it Natural History or Wilderness;
    b) is it really worth to go for the Wilderness tour which is 4 hours longer;
    c) what shore excursions should not missed;
    d) the port call timing - is it long enough, how to pace the excursions;
    e) how's the food? Some say it's great chef level, some say it's horrible... Got so confused. Safe to assume it to be somewhat like hotel food, sometimes hit, sometimes miss?
    f) how about the cabin - how's the space and bed? I heard a fair bit of complaints about the bed on it being too firm (from a cruise forum).

    can't think of the questions now... will be doing more reading I think... :P

    There also the gear part which I need to firm up... I usually bring the 18-200mm, 12-24mm and 50mm for my trips. I am thinking of getting a fast, allow to slap the TC on without much sacrifice on the IQ quality, and zoom lens. This is why I am interested in getting the 70-200mm rather than the 300mm F4 as I think I might need to slap on a TC and or requiring to adjust the zoom to find the "image" because there are times where you cannot move from your position for the shots.

  20. #100

    Default Re: Alaska

    Hi Alpc, decided on what lenses to bring? It's ok, there's still quite a bit of time to decide
    Btw, I uploaded some more photos from Alaska and the Rockies on my website, including facebook and flickr. Feel free to take a look Maybe I should start a thread somewhere in CS to make it easier.

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