Alaska Wildlife: Eagles and Whales Aboard Luxury Yacht Northern Song

Alaska is one of the last truly wild places in North America, and aptly considered our modern day “last frontier.” Join Andy Williams for nine days and eight nights on this amazing Alaskan Wildlife and Landscape photographic adventure aboard the luxury yacht Northern Song.

We have scheduled this workshop to coincide with the peak of the herring spawning season near Sitka, one of the largest spring herring spawning occurrences on the west coast of North America. The huge biomass attracts many species of wildlife, creating a spectacle of many thousands of animals which come to feast on the vulnerable rich fish. This biomass is an essential resource for the existence of almost all marine wildlife in the Pacific Northwest, and this annual spring spawning event is a celebration of this absolutely essential component of Southeast Alaska’s natural environment.

Eagles gather by the thousands, lining the tress along the shoreline with their majestic white heads. The eagles’ keen eyesight and winter hunger helps create a more than formidable aerial presence with their continuous elegant dives, catching herring by the talon-full. Seals and Steller sea lions rush through the tremendous schools of herring that ribbon the shallow waters along the shoreline. Humpback whales demonstrate a variety of foraging techniques to capture the extremely elusive schools of herring. With a little luck, we'll observe the whales' fascinating cooperative ‘bubble-net’ feeding behavior up close. And of course, what marine wildlife party in Alaska would be complete without an appearance of the ocean's top predator, the killer whale. The orca’s nomadic travels most definitely include a ‘shopping trip’ to the buffet presented by the herring’s arrival to spawn along beautiful isolated beaches.

This is a very exclusive and small-group workshop. Travel in comfort aboard the Northern Song with a very small-group of like-minded photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. There's only room for 7 guests! 


Sitka, Alaska




April 6–14, 2019

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The photo opportunities couldn’t have been better. I particularly appreciated the training on catching the eagles from the boat before we went out in the skiffs. I appreciated Andy’s individual help during the photo shooting with settings, timing, and lens choices. I’m still sorting through pictures and it’s amazing how varied and special all the different opportunities were. I was just making a collection of close-ups of the icebergs. Unbelievable.
— Debby Shipler, Alaska Wildlife April '18

Itinerary and General Information

We start and end this wildlife journey in Sitka, Alaska. We'll board our yacht on April 6, and live aboard for the next eight nights. Our shooting routine will include many opportunities to photograph eagles, humpback and killer whales, seals, sea lions, black bears, and more. We'll spend time teaching you the fine points of catching birds in flight, such as eagles catching fish in their talons, and so much more. Landscape opportunities abound—with the tidewater glaciers, rugged coastline, and waterfalls that seem to be everywhere. There's no shortage of deck space for easy shooting aboard our yacht, so don't worry about that. When we have downtime, there will be opportunities for individual instruction and group image reviews.

During this workshop we will be traveling aboard our private, 84-foot world-class expedition yacht, The Northern Song. This luxuriously appointed yacht offers an ideal balance of public and personal space with ample outdoor areas for photography and lounging. Your cabin is clean, bright and comfortable, with a private bathroom and shower. There's plenty of public space to spread out and relax.

Each day, as much as possible, we'll feature image reviews and critique, as well as Lightroom instruction. Plan on working hard!

We will have an on-board chef who will be preparing freshly caught salmon, crab, halibut, shrimp, black cod, and other delicacies purchased from Southeast Alaska fishermen. Of course it's not all fish, and any dietary requirements can be accommodated. Dinner will be served alongside a selection of boutique wines or specialty beers from Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau.

You will be guided and taught by MW co-founder Andy Williams, an accomplished professional photographer and photographic educator who has a deep passion for the outdoors. We believe that one of the best ways to teach is by demonstrating, and to this end, Andy will be shooting alongside you, demonstrating his vision, technique and sharing his love and knowledge of wildlife and the landscape. However, the priority is always you, and helping you get the best images you can get. Your shots come first.

The biggest advantage of having small groups is the flexibility they provide for customizing and adjusting both the schedule and agenda to suit the interests of the group while being able to maintain the flexibility required by variable weather. This allows us to cover only those topics that you are all interested in, including:

  • How to create artistic and pleasing wildlife and landscape photographs

  • Storytelling through natural history photography

  • Best use of equipment

  • Wildlife action photography techniques

  • Digital Workflow

  • Adobe Lightroom basics

  • Image presentations and critiques

Our Alaska wildlife expedition comes to an end when we reach port back in Sitka at approximately 3:00 PM on April 14, 2019. We have rooms arranged in Sitka if you need to fly out on the 15th.

Flights: Arrive in Sitka, Alaska, on or before April 5, 2019 and depart from Sitka, Alaska, anytime on April 15, 2019. There is a flight out of Sitka on after 6:00 PM on the 14th, but it will likely only get you as far as Seattle for the night. 

What’s Included

  • Luxury private yacht, M/V Northern Song
  • Lodging and meals during the workshop
  • Beverages including beer and wine at dinner
  • All permits, fees and gratuities
  • Photo instruction, including post processing
  • Inspiration and a great time!

Whats Not Included?

Your transportation to and from Sitka, Alaska, and any lodging in Sitka (we have arranged rooms). Alcoholic beverages, except as noted (beer and wine at dinner). Medical Evacuation Insurance (Required). Trip Cancellation Insurance (Optional). Items of a personal nature. Anything specifically not mentioned as included.

Payment Terms

Tuition is $9,495 USD, per person, double occupancy. A non-refundable deposit of $4,000 USD will reserve your place, with the non-refundable balance due not later than January 1, 2019. All of our other standard terms and conditions apply.

Additional Information

This is an exclusive small-group wildlife photographic experience that sells out year after year. If this workshop has your name on it, don't delay, click the "Sign Me Up!" button to join us. We'll see you in Alaska!