Arctic Adventure: Photographing Belugas to Taking the Polar Plunge

Arctic Adventure: Photographing Belugas to Taking the Polar Plunge

11,295.00

THE ARCTIC

When it comes to adventure travel, the Great White North delivers. With unrivaled wildlife viewing, fishing, and photography opportunities, the Arctic is at the top of our bucket list for more than a few good reasons.

from $11,295 pp    11 Days/10 Nights     $1026/Day

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ARCTIC ADVENTURE: PHOTOGRAPHING BELUGAS TO TAKING THE POLAR PLUNGE

NORTHWEST PASSAGE | NUNAVUT

When it comes to adventure travel, the Great White North delivers. With unrivaled wildlife viewing, fishing, and photography opportunities, the Arctic is at the top of our bucket list for more than a few good reasons. 

 

Chances are, if we asked you to describe the vast area of Canada’s northernmost regions, you would say something about ice, and maybe polar bears. But you might not know about the other wildlife that calls this stark landscape home—the muskoxen, foxes, beluga whales, wolves, and narwhals. And you might not know about the Inuit culture for whom life still revolves around the yearly caribou migration, when a herd some 250,000 strong passes through each fall. And chances are you had no idea there was so much to do up north, from mountain biking to stand-up paddleboarding to some of the best fly-fishing experiences on the planet. We take you there with two new properties that combine all the best of this and more for the ultimate 10-day adventure in the Great White North.

Please note that this is a completely customizable trip, and either of the two lodges featured here can be enjoyed on their own for a lower rate.

 
Prefer to chat?
Give us a ring at
1-888-870-0903.
 
 
 

Day 1

GETTING TO YOUR LODGE IS HALF THE FUN

ARCTIC WATCH

On the first day of your Arctic adventure, you’ll arrive on a private airstrip via plane from Yellowknife. Next, hop in a raft with your guides to cruise along the Cunningham River to Arctic Watch wilderness lodge. Nestled along the shore of the Northwest Passage, Arctic Watch is surrounded by the high arctic tundra of Somerset Island. This 16-cabin camp is composed of comfortable tents, each with private facilities. With the environment in mind, every creature comfort is met to keep you cozy while the lodge remains as eco-conscious as possible in this fragile environment.

Take a moment to settle into your tent, and then embark on an easy walk along the tundra with your guides, keeping a watchful eye for muskoxen along the way. In the afternoon get on the water by kayak or stand-up paddleboard—just don’t fall in! That night, you’ll be introduced to the wonderful fare to served up the next few days, such as Arctic char sashimi and tundra blueberry creme brulee.

 
 
 

Days 2-5

KAYAKING, HIKING, AND LOOKING FOR NARWHAL

ARCTIC WATCH

The next four days will be a whirlwind of pure Arctic bliss! Your first full day might involve ATV lessons in polar bear territory, hiking the bluffs of the Northwest Passage, and looking for marine birds, beluga whales, and foxes. And that’s all before lunch, which is served at a cultural site where viking artifacts have been found. That evening, perhaps you’ll enjoy a photography clinic with Nansen Weber, the photographer responsible for many of the beautiful images you see here.

The third day, head inland to see muskoxen and snowy owls. You’ll hike across the badlands area, a preserved ocean floor that is 8,000-years-old and complete with whale bones, shells, and more. Paddleboard and kayak through the Cunningham River Canyons, reminiscent of Lake Powell in Utah, before partaking in Inuit games that evening. 

The next morning you might enjoy a sea kayak voyage on the Northwest Passage. Icebergs and sea-life define today’s adventure—and an especially memorable polar plunge before dinner. The final day at Arctic Watch brings the opportunity to sightsee by plane over the Northwest Passage, where if you’re lucky, you’ll see narwhal and bowhead whales.

 
 
 

Days 6-7

MOVING ON TO ARCTIC HAVEN, BY WAY OF NANAVUT

ARCTIC HAVEN

Today you’ll depart Arctic Watch and head for Arctic Haven. Just don’t go thinking the transfer will be at all dull! From the air you’ll see the high arctic meet the tree-line, then stop over to stretch your legs at Baker Lake Nunavut. Here, the Inuit community is right on the calving grounds of the Qamanirijuaq caribou herd. This culture survived almost exclusively on caribou until the 1950's. You’ll get to visit the town and community center before the final leg of your flight. That evening, get tucked into your room at Arctic Haven and indulge in a wood-fired sauna and massage before the second half of your adventure begins.

On the barrenlands of Nunavut, Arctic Haven is positioned on the path of one of the last caribou migrations on earth; the 250,000 strong Qamanirijuaq caribou herd that migrates past every fall. As the fall colors and northern lights begin on the Arctic tundra, the caribou migrate along the shores of Ennadai Lake and past the lodge. Positioned on the Arctic tree-line, the environment has a unique biodiversity and some of the best fly-fishing in Arctic Canada.

Your first day at Arctic Haven can be as adventurous as you desire. Mountain bike on remote trails forged by caribou in the morning and throw a line before the sun sets on the tundra.

 
 
 

Days 8-10

FOLLOWING CARIBOU TRAILS BY FOOT AND BIKE, PLUS WORLD-CLASS FISHING

ARCTIC HAVEN

The following morning you’ll take a boat to a caribou crossing site that also features great Arctic grayling fishing. In this area, you’ll want to keep an eye out for wolves, grizzly bears, and wolverines. Fish alternate spots throughout the day with your guide who knows the best holes in the Arctic.

On day nine, remember your paddle stroke for a kayak journey on Ennadai Lake. Here you can explore different islands where wildlife might be hiding. That evening, enjoy a presentation on Aaharmiut, or the “people of the deer,” the Inuit that lived on the shores of Ennadai Lake and the surrounding ares until the 1940’s. 

The last full day in the Arctic does not disappoint! If you would like, hike up Blind Hill to a 500-year-old stone Inuit blind. Even if you don’t spot any wolverines along the way you will not be let down by the views. That evening, take a foodie workshop that features local foods sourced from the surrounding tundra.

 

 
 
 

Day 11

JOURNEY HOME AFTER ONE FINAL ACTIVITY

DEPARTURE

All too soon, it will be time to depart the Arctic. Spend the morning reenacting your favorite activity from the previous few days before flying back to Yellowknife by air.

 
 

WHY GO ON THIS TRIP

 
  • Make your home on the shores of the Northwest Passage at Arctic Watch camp
  • Ride an ATV through polar bear territory
  • Hike on the bluffs of the Northwest Passage looking for birds, muskoxen, and resident foxes
  • Stand-up paddleboard and kayak on the Cunningham River
  • Spy for norwhal and belugas by plane
  • Mountain bike and hike along trails that were forged by caribou
  • Meet the Inuit community at Baker Lake Nanavut and learn about their culture
  • Go fly-fishing in some of the best fishing holes in the Arctic with top notch guides
  • Kayak on Ennadai Lake and explore its many islands
  • Take a cooking workshop and learn about food foraged from the tundra 

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