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Alaskan Cruise - what equipment?


TPF Noob!
Jan 6, 2009
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I'm booked on an Alaskan cruise in May and I wondered if there was any "must-have" equipment I should pack in my bag? We'll be cruising Glacier Bay and the Inside passage with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchican and Victoria, BC. We have a mini-suite, so have balcony access throughout.

We are flying to Seattle, so space is limited. I have my XSi along with 18-55 and 55-250 IS lenses. Everything has to fit in my Lowepro slingshot 100 bag.

Comments or suggestions?
Make sure you have enough photo storage.. either a laptop to down load to, or extra cards.... A week out and you can take a lot of shots.. battery charger or extra batteries are nice too..

Enjoy the cruise, Make sure you are prepared for the weather ahead of time...:thumbup:
I agree...bring plenty of storage...memory cards, laptop etc.
Thanks for the advice. I have that in hand. Taking the laptop, a 4Gb card, charger, Pentax P&S with a 2Gb card in it as a backup and for when I don't want to have to carry the whole kit and I will probably buy another 4Gb card before I go.
Ok, you say you'll have the laptop, so that is covered. That's what I would have suggested, make sure you have a laptop or other storage to dump the files (or plenty of cards.)

I drove (rode, was passenger) 4 hours to Detroit for a work trip with other coworkers. four hour drive, we visited Bass Pro Shops, work the following day and hockey game that night, and four hour drive home and I came home with one and a half of 2 gig cards nearly filled, LOL. I couldn't imagine what I would come home with after a week's actual vacation not being a work trip in today's digital world.
I would really suggest a laptop. If not you are going to need several cards. The other thing is the area up there is vast. You may want more telephoto than a 250. Although not the best option, you might want to spring for a tele-converter if you can't get a longer telephoto. Just a little experience talking. I was there in July of 2006 and only had a 200. Really wish I'd had more especially when trying to get a shot of whales.
Except that a Teleconverter would make the long end of that into a 375mm f/8 or a 500mm f/11. either way, it will probably make AF useless and make for horrid IQ.
I went to Alaska on the Norwegian Star. I think you are due to sail on the Pearl and you are in for a treat. The day before I left on my cruise I bought my Canon XTi from Costco with the same Kit lenses and so began my DSLR photography taking. I would suggest reading as much about landscape photography and animal photography that you can before you leave. I didn't know squat and my photos were really good snapshots but only walked away with a few good photographs. I took over 3000 pictures on my week long cruise so its easy to get the shutter bug when you cruise.

One thing I saw a lot of was Eagles. I found the 55-250 lens a little short when shooting the eagles but I was still left with good stuff. I suggest against the 1.4x converter because you will lose autofocus. It isn't worth the potential gain.

I also found the AF on both lenses to be slow and clumsy so be extra steady with what you are aiming at or you might end up being disapointed.

Enjoy your cruise you will have an awesome time. I know i would go again in a heartbeat. Just dont leave your battery charger home. You will be very upset with yourself and be liable to go out and buy a new camera like i did :)

Do consider some sort of weather protection for your gear. Ketchican in particular is noted for rain. [I've cruised the Inside Passage a couple of times.]

If you have a chance to do so, consider staying over a day or two in Anchorage. There are places to see, things to do and some fine dining available there.
Has anyone used a tripod onone of these Alaskan Cruise ships or is their too much vibration to get suitable results.

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