World Photography Day: The Alaskan dream destinations for a photographer's delight
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Any photographer who dreams of capturing truly untouched and rugged beauty should head to America's last frontier, Alaska.
With more wildlife than people, the best way to explore Alaska's natural wonders is by sea - allowing you up-close-and-personal access to the region's highlights while unpacking your camera gear just once.
When you're sailing past the dramatic ice walls of a glacier and witnessing whales at play in their natural habitat, you'll know you have front-row seats for the ultimate angle in wildlife and nature photography.
On World Photography Day, be inspired by these jaw-dropping Alaskan experiences and the region's teeming wildlife. Whether you're an enthusiast or experienced behind the lens, it's difficult to go wrong when mother nature serves up delights like these:
Alaskan destinations like Juneau, Icy Strait Point and Sitka are famous for their incredible whale-watching experiences, for good reason. Naturally playful, nothing beats the moment a humpback breaches with a giant spray of icy sea water.
Enjoy close encounters in comfort by packing a warm, rainproof jacket and opt for your waterproof camera on 'sea days'. Leading cruise lines like Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) offer bespoke small-boat excursions that let you witness these majestic sea mammals in the pristine waters of Alaska.
Alaska is synonymous with glaciers - the natural phenomenon of sheer, icy cliffs in ethereal shades of blue that are caused when active, advancing ice meets the sea. There are multiple destinations where you can view these extraordinary geological marvels.
You shouldn't miss a chance to explore them on foot if you can, but the most dramatic views are from the water, and better yet, from the comfort of your cruise ship. For photographers, witnessing the natural forces that literally carve landscapes is the ultimate bucket-list moment.
A trip to Alaska wouldn't be complete without an encounter with arguably its most famous inhabitants, the awe-inspiring black and brown grizzly bears. Juneau and Icy Strait Point are home to some of the most accessible viewing locations of bears in the wild, but for the ultimate photo, consider where bears like to eat - salmon catching at Brooks Falls near Anchorage is a frame-worthy photo opportunity.
If you're seeking an inland alpine experience, consider a cruise-tour to Denali National Park, where bears feast on plant life like berries, roots and grass.
Culture and adventure collide
For a unique viewpoint, a visit to Icy Strait Point offers unparalleled access to adventure as well as native Alaskan culture.
Shutterbugs will relish the new Wilderness Landing pier - a vehicle-free zone, it's home to the new high-speed Transporter Gondola as well as the perfect jumping off point for an incredible range of thrill-seeking activities such as scenic hiking trails, kayaking, ATV, ropes course and zip-lining.
Located just over a kilometre from the Alaska native community of Hoonah, Icy Strait Point also offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in Tlingit culture by meeting locals and learning about native traditions, dances, oral histories and cooking techniques.
Whether you're a nature lover, an adventure seeker, a wildlife enthusiast or a culture-vulture, an Alaskan cruise will inspire your sense of wanderlust and have you reaching for your camera the minute you arrive.
In 2022, NCL will offer an unprecedented choice to explore with five ships based in the region, as well as a range of in-depth cruise-tours to take you deeper inland at the beginning or end of your cruise.
For information about NCL ships and their itineraries, or to book a cruise visit www.ncl.com or contact a travel professional.