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View polar bears, walrus and whales from this Arctic base camp in Nunavut


View the Kings of the Arctic on this wildlife viewing tour for polar bears, walrus and whales near Igloolik, Nunavut.

The amazing panoramas and Arctic wildlife of the Foxe Basin set this trip apart from all other Arctic safaris. For more than four thousand years, the Foxe Basin has drawn the Inuit to harvest the abundant wildlife that summer there. Surrounded by captivating scenes of glistening ice and mirror-smooth waters, venture to the floe edge via snowmobiles and qamutiks, then board boats to explore the kingdom of polar bears, bowheads, and walrus. These “Kings of the Arctic” reign over a spectacular polar environment: 

Electric blue pack-ice formations, crystalline icebergs while reflecting the magical glow of a midnight sun. Whether sitting quietly on the floe edge waiting for a passing bowhead whale or having lunch on the floating pack ice near walrus, we become familiar with the effect of ice movements. Have your camera ready to photograph walrus basking in the sun. A long lens will let you gaze into the eyes of a polar pear on a nearby ice pack.

Wildlife viewing under the midnight sun is simply magical. Dusk moves directly into dawn, with each sunset followed by an immediate sunrise, creating a dramatic play of light and shadow across the ice and the open sea.

Discover the majesty of Arctic animals and the beauty of polar landscapes while boating through Foxe Basin around the island of Igloolik. Spend days out on the Arctic Ocean, under the glow of a midnight sun, taking in the sights and sounds of this stunning region. As the ice begins to thaw, huge pods of walrus can be seen lounging on pancakes of ice, hunting for fish, or sinking gracefully in the waters to dig for clams, one of their favourite foods. The rare bowhead also swims through this area, pausing before migrating through the notorious Fury and Hecla Strait. Polar bears also frequent the area and can often be spotted on the ice pans while hunting for seals and walrus.

Igloolik is home to the oldest and most traditional Inuit community in Nunavut making this region not only naturally captivating but historically significant as well. We’ll enjoy excursions to ancient Dorset and Thule archaeological sites to discover the fascinating history and culture of the Inuit.

Highlights of this tour include:

- Watch northward migrating bowhead spy-hop playfully, fin sideways and slap their immense fluke on the mirror smooth water amongst floating ice pancakes.

- Be amazed by the girth of a walrus, which can be bigger than a car.

- Observe large pods of walrus sunning themselves on floating ice islands.

- Watch for polar bears that may be out hunting for seals on the floating pans of ice, or swimming in the water.

- Capture stunning photographs of Arctic wildlife, in the soft glow of the midnight sun.

- Listen for the chirps and whistles of whale song through a hydrophone.

- Experience the diversity of the high Arctic, from Inuit culture and ancient Thule settlements to spectacular wide-open landscapes and native wildlife.

- Watch spring arrive in the Arctic with melting rivers and blossoming Arctic flowers.

STARTING AT
$8995.00 CAD
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TRIP DETAILS
DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT/CLOTHING
ACCOMMODATIONS
MEALS & DINING
DATES & PRICING
ITINERARY
TRIP TYPE
Wildlife Watching
SEASON

July to August

DIFFICULTY
Easy / Moderate
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
10
GUIDE INFORMATION

Your guides for the tour are all experience Arctic travellers and the staff will include some local Inuit guides.

As part of the Inuit cultural experience and to enjoy some local ‘country food’ such as seal, caribou or Arctic char, you may observe how an Inuit hunts the local wildlife. A tradition that dates back thousands of years. They will show you how to stalk wildlife for viewing and photography, the same techniques a hunter does.

We encourage our trip participants to be sensitive to the cultural and historical ways of the Inuit, including their traditional hunting lifestyle. You may see evidence of hunting, including dead animals as you wander through the communities. Examples include the stretching of seal skin boots or gloves, and Inuit dog teams being fed Arctic char or seal meat. While on your adventures,you may also come across an Inuit hunting party returning from a hunt. If you are open to the experience, these sights can provide a window into cultural traditions that stretch back for generations and exist in harmony with the wild Arctic.

RESTRICTIONS

This safari is perfect for anyone with an interest in observing animals in the Arctic or those looking for a real adventure. Things won’t always be easy and we’ll be heading off the beaten track and out of the usual tourist route. You don’t have to have previous Arctic experience but you do need to have an adventurous spirit. An expedition is typically represented by an international range of participants. Having a laid back, open-minded and patient demeanor is important.

These expeditions are somewhat active but not too strenuous. Optional activities include kayaking, hiking on gently sloping terrain, snorkelling, and diving. One can choose to do as little or as much as he/she would like throughout the adventure. While not overly active, there can be long days of travel via snowmobile or on a motorized boat.

It is assumed that participants have the spirit within themselves to enjoy the unique solitude of the Arctic and the free time provided. If this outlook is not for you we can assist in finding an alternative Arctic trip that offers a more structured itinerary and ‘observer’ role versus actively participating in an adventure of discovery. Of course, good health is fundamental to travel into any remote region. All participants will be required to obtain emergency medical and evacuation travel insurance. Age should not be considered a deterrent.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Responsible Tourism

Tourism and film production can be a real boon to local Arctic communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges, and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment.Your guides have a ‘total approach’ to responsible tourism. Everything, from the way they plan and operate the trips to the practices they follow, is geared toward making a positive impact on the regions they visit.

Trips are designed to allow a high degree of economic benefit to the local communities; they hire local guides and local drivers, buy local produce (whenever possible), eat local food, and use local services, thus ensuring that as much money as possible is retained within the local economy and the host communities. They are continually reassessing our trips, trying at all times to ensure that they are socially, economically, and environmentally sound.

TRANSPORTATION

Trips begin and end in the village of Igloolik, Nunavut. Igloolik is accessible by air from Ottawa, Ontario. Flights between Igloolik and Ottawa can be included in your package for an additional cost.

WEATHER

June/July – Historically, the temperatures in June are just above freezing, around 2°C (35°F). By July, the temperature averages around 7°C (45°F) with many days considerably warmer. Wind chill in moving boats can still make the temperature feel as much as 20° colder so it is important to dress appropriately. Dressing in layers will also make adjusting to the temperatures easier.

In June and July, the sun constantly shines. The sun shines high above at noon, and by 10:00 PM, the sun has sunk low on the western horizon and seems to skim across the tops of the distant mountain ranges until it reaches the eastern horizon, where it then begins to climb higher into the sky again. The warm, soft glow of the midnight sun is a photographer’s delight.

REGION
Nunavut
PROVIDED EQUIPMENT

All modes of transportatoin required for the trip including boats and snowmobiles.

SUGGESTED CLOTHING

A recommended clothing packing list upon enrollment confirmation will be provided. We recommend that anyone travelling to the Arctic dresses in layers. Of particular importance is the insulating outer layer. Regular ski jackets and pants are not suitable for the changing Arctic climate. 

With over a decade of experience in all types of Arctic weather, your guides have seen what works and what doesn’t. Your guides have assembled a top-of-the-line clothing package that will enhance your Arctic experience and allow you to enjoy your Arctic expedition in comfort no matter what Mother Nature brings. All of our staff have depended on the same clothing package for years of Arctic adventures, so you can rest assured knowing you are getting the best options available. We realize that good quality, Arctic-worthy equipment is expensive to purchase all at once and may not be necessary for a one-time Arctic adventure. Your guides have a Polar Clothing Rental Package that will ensure you are comfortable, warm, and dry for your Arctic expedition.

SUGGESTED ITEMS

Camera, daypack, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle, binoculars.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations are in a tented safari camp.

TheTented Safari Camp will surprise and delight you. The camp has a central dining area for lounging, dining and relaxing. The washrooms are shared with hot showers. This Tented Safari Camp makes the remote region of Igloolik accessible and comfortable.

The sleep tents are large and spacious at over 8’ feet tall, with 150 square feet of living space complete with a large vestibule
entrance-way. They have large doorways and ample standing room and space for all your cameras and luggage.

All sleep tents contain two beds with mattresses, duvets, comforters, and full size pillows. The double walls act as a greenhouse under the 24 hour sun keeping you warm on the coolest days. For those that want it a litter toastier, a heater is provided.

Power at the camp

The camp provides charging stations for all your power needs in camp. From solar panels to an in-camp generator, you will have a place to charge all your cameras, ipods, laptops or any other electrical device you may choose to bring. Power provided is 120VAC/60Hz using North American standard plug outlets. Some plug adaptors may be available but it is recommended that you bring your own plug adaptors to suit your electrical devices.

MEALS & DINING

MEALS & DINING

Your guides believe in providing only the best food possible during our Arctic expeditions and we spare no expense in bringing our own private chef to manage the kitchen tent. It will be here that your chef will spend most of his or her time preparing the day’s meals, snacks, and delicious desserts baked in our custom made field ovens. The dining/lounge area will have a convenient buffet table where unlimited snacks and hot drinks are provided all day long.

The kitchen is not kosher. If you have special dietary needs, please advise us at time of booking.

7 day tour, available early July 2018 - mid July 2018
$8995.00 / per person - CAD
2018 dates: July 4-10, July 11-17.
PAYMENT INFORMATION
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.

A $500.00 deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 90 days before trip commencement.
CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
Outside of 90 days a full refund of deposit less $50 admin charge is given. 90 to 60 days prior to a trip entitles client a 50% refund less $50 admin charge. 0-60 days prior to trip no refund will be offered.

7 day tour, available early July 2018 - mid July 2018

Day 1

This safari begins in Igloolik, Nunavut. Depart Ottawa for Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut and then connect with your flight to Igloolik, the oldest Inuit settlement in Canada. Upon arrival, meet with your Arctic Kingdom expedition leader and group members and transfer to camp. After a brief orientation talk and equipment check, we’ll set off on a 45 minute trip to camp via snowmobiles and qamutik, a traditional Inuit wooden sled. After unloading our equipment, we’ll settle into our tents and meet for a hot meal followed by an itinerary briefing by your expedition leader.

Day 2

Days 2-6

Activities will vary depending on local conditions and the movements of the Arctic wildlife we’ve come to observe. We’ll enjoy daily boat rides on the Arctic Ocean in search of bowhead and walrus. We may see enormous walrus huddled on ice or gigantic bowhead spy-hopping as we cruise past. Sit back, relax, and breathe in the fresh air while admiring the awe-inspiring sites or take advantage of excellent photographic opportunities.

As we make our way further into the Foxe Basin through tranquil waters, we’ll come upon large floating islands of ice covered with walrus as well as harp, bearded and ring seals. Be on the lookout for swimming polar bears hunting for seals or walrus. We may even catch them lounging on the ice pans. The bright sun reflecting off the crystal-clear water is simply magical and makes for a perfect summer day in the Arctic.

We’ll delight in picnics on the floating ice and excursions on the island to discover both ancient and modern-day Inuit settlements. We’ll admire the vibrant Arctic wildflowers and the wide variety of birds that migrate to the islands during the summer months.

Day 7

Today, we pack up our gear and make our way back to Igloolik to catch the afternoon flight for Iqaluit and on to Ottawa. Expect to arrive in Ottawa in the early evening.