Beauty and the Beasts of the Arctic

Beauty and the Beasts of the Arctic

11,295.00

THE ARCTIC

In one of the planet’s most extreme travel destinations, you need the most experienced hosts. Meet the Webers.  

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

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BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS OF THE ARCTIC

NORTHWEST PASSAGE | NUNAVUT

In one of the planet’s most extreme travel destinations, you need the most experienced hosts. Meet the Webers.  

Track beluga whales, polar bears, and other unique creatures of these far-northern latitudes with some of the planet's most renowned polar explorers and longtime residents, who will also serve as your partners for fly-fishing, hiking, and kayaking some of the wildest terrain still used by Inuit peoples.

Some of the rarest experiences with nature are possible in the vast tundra and ice found hundreds of miles north of the Arctic Circle—with the right guides. On this very exclusive trip, you'll be led by hosts who have earned the title of polar explorer many times over: the Webers, a family who has pioneered commercial trekking and hospitality in this hard-to-access region.

Richard Weber holds the record for completing the most treks to the North Pole. Among many other world records and firsts, he led the first commercial trek to the North Pole, in 1993, and has headed hiking and kayaking trips on Canada's Baffin Island.

Josee Auclair, Richard’s wife, is a former member of the Canadian cross-country ski team and has led all-women treks to the pole and accomplished many firsts herself. The couple's sons, Nansum and Tessum, have followed their folks' lead with natural grace and can take you kayaking, trekking, and even take heli-skiing on Baffin Island, the northernmost location in the world for that sport.

To accommodate hardy guests with a hunger for real adventure, the Webers have established two base camps in prime locations where they can share their expertise and the awe-inspiring environs.

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.

 
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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, in the Northwest Territories. Next, a raft ride down the Cunningham River will see you to the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge. This 16-cabin camp, situated on Somerset Island in Nunavut, is surrounded by high-arctic tundra and a waterfront that's home to one of the world's largest congregations of beluga whales. In this fragile environment, eco-friendly accommodations were of the highest importance, but so was comfort, and the cozy tents each offer private facilities.

Once you're settled into your camp, you'll embark on an easy walk along the tundra with your guides, keeping a watchful eye for musk oxen along the way. In the afternoon, get your workout on the water via kayak or stand-up paddleboard—just don’t fall in! That night will be the first of many gourmet meals, which may include Arctic char sashimi and tundra-blueberry crème brûlée.

 
 
 
 
 

Days 2-5

KAYAKING, HIKING, AND LOOKING FOR NARWHALS

ARCTIC WATCH

The next four days will be a whirlwind of full-on Arctic exploration! Your first 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, who is responsible for many of the beautiful images you see here.

On day two, your guides plan to head inland to scout out musk oxen and snowy owls. You’ll hike across the badlands area, a preserved ocean floor that's 8,000 years old and home to whale bones, shells, and more. Also on the agenda: paddleboarding and kayaking through the Cunningham River Canyons, reminiscent of Lake Powell in Utah, and partaking in Inuit games in the 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 offers an opportunity to sightsee by plane, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see both narwhals and bowhead whales.

 
 
 
 
 

Days 6-7

MOVING ON TO ARCTIC HAVEN, BY WAY OF NUNAVUT

ARCTIC HAVEN

Today you’ll depart Arctic Watch and head for the Arctic Haven lodge. Just don’t go thinking the transfer will be dull! From the air you’ll get a bird's-eye view of where the high arctic meets the tree line before stopping to stretch your legs at Baker Lake, in Nunavut. The Inuit community located here is right on the calving grounds of the Qamanirijuaq caribou herd. This culture survived almost exclusively on caribou until the 1950s. You’ll get to visit the town and community center before the final leg of your flight. That evening will find you tucked into your room at Arctic Haven on the shores of Ennadai Lake, indulging in a wood-fired sauna and massage before the second half of your adventure begins.

Arctic Haven, also an eco-friendly property in the tundra, 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. In addition to its prime location for wildlife watching, you can admire the northern lights come nightfall, photograph the area's unique biodiversity, mountain-bike remote trails forged by caribou, and enjoy some of the best fly-fishing in Arctic Canada. Your first day at Arctic Haven can be as active or as relaxing as you desire.

 
 
 
 
 

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 fishing for Arctic grayling. In this area, you’ll want to keep an eye out for wolves, grizzly bears, and wolverines. Because fish alternate spots throughout the day, so will you. Your guides knows the best holes in the Arctic.

On day nine, a kayak journey will get you out 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 these shores and in the surrounding ares until the 1940s.

The last full day in the Arctic will not disappoint. Hike up Blind Hill to a 500-year-old stone Inuit blind, used for spotting wildlife. Even if you don’t spot any wolverines along the way, you'll be captivated by the views. That evening, take a foodie workshop that features local goods 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 enjoying your favorite activity from the previous few days before flying back to Yellowknife.

 
 
 
 

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, musk oxen, and resident foxes

  • Stand-up paddleboard and kayak the Cunningham River

  • Spy for narwhals and belugas by plane

  • Mountain-bike and hike along trails that were forged by caribou

  • Meet the Inuit community at Nunavut's Baker Lake and learn about that culture

  • Go fly-fishing in some of the best places 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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Beauty and the Beasts of the Arctic

 

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