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Inuit Culture & Arctic wildlife in Nunavik

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Immerse yourself in the cultural and natural heritage of the Inuit people on Inuit cultural tour in Quebec

Overview

From Hudson Bay to the west, to Hudson Straight and Ungava Bay to the north, to the Torngat Mountains rising in the east - this is the Inuit land, their home, and the Nunavimmiut – the people of Nunavik - invite you to explore this little known region of northern Quebec for an unforgettable journey.

Highlights

  • Explore Kuujjuaq by car and on foot (5 day)
  • Learn about the daily life of the Inuit of Kuujjuaq (5 day)
  • Discover the organizations and services offered to the Inuit of Kuujjuaq and Nunavik (5 day)
  • Socialize with Kuujjuaq residents (5 day)
  • Meet some of the village's artists and elders (5 day)
  • Canoe trips along the West coast of Ungava Bay (7 day)
  • View wildlife, sea mammals and flora (7 day)
  • Hiking (7 day)
  • Visit an archeological site (7 day)
  • Visit of 4 villages of Nunavik (7 day)
  • Seven days of adventure in search of Caribou, Polar Bears and Musk-oxen (7 day)
  • Accommodations in Coop Hotels (except for the Tasiujaq Hotel) (7 day)

Learn about a culture steeped in ancient stories and traditions that have guided a people for a thousand years to thrive in one of the most challenging and unforgiving climates on earth. In a rare opportunity, the Inuit community of Kuujjuaq invites you to join them to experience their seasonal activities and help you create a memorable, unforgettable story of your own.

The 7-day wildlife tour offers you an opportunity to see and photograph Quebec-Labrador's polar bear, musk-ox and caribou, the big three among the Arctic wildlife. This tour proudly presents to you a dynamic circuit that will lead you into their remote lands, far from man's reach. Constantly in motion aboard a motorized canoe, you will see polar bears off the coast of Ungava Bay as well as musk-oxen on Diana Island where Eider ducks go to nest. At any moment during your stay in Nunavik, you might cross paths with herds of caribou that migrate at this time of year and you might see icebergs drifting offshore. You will be lodged along the Payne River where you will see beluga whales, seals and thousands of gulls. Your stay in Nunavik will include a visit to four villages that lie along the coast of Ungava Bay.

Availability Feb - Oct
Duration 5 - 7 days
Departs From Montreal, QC
Difficulty Easy / Moderate Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Group minimum 2-4
Group maximum 10
Meet on Location Yes
Region Quebec

From

3 109
Per
Adult
  • Expert Guides
  • Small Group Experience
  • Fast & secure payment
  • International number: +1 778 348 1676

Availability (2024):
Based on double occupancy

  • 5-day Discovering Kuujjuaq
    $4256 CAD per person
    Available February-October (dates available upon request)

  • 7 day The Big Three wildlife tour
    $7910 CAD per person
    July 16-22
    July 24-30
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    What's Included

    Included

    • All equipment required for summer or winter activities
    • Guided activities, cultural performances and workshops
    • Accommodations included in this package are in local hotels in town
    • All meals during the tour
    • Round trip air transportation from Montreal to Kuujjuaq
    • Shuttle to and from airports
    • 7 day trip: One way air transportation from Kuujjuaq to Quaqtaq, from Quaqtaq to Kangirsuk, from Kangirsuk to Kuujuaq, from Kuujjuaq to Tasiujaq, and from Tasiujaq to Kuujjuaq

    Suggested Clothing

    • Casual wear
    • Long underwear
    • Fleece jacket
    • Knit hat
    • Gloves
    • Waterproof windbreaker or jacket
    • Walking shoes or light boots
    • Warm winter clothing
    • Warm coat/parka
    • Winter boots
    • Fleece or wool underclothes
    • Hat and mitts
    • *A packing list will be supplied upon booking

    Suggested Items

    • Camera
    • Daypack
    • Binoculars
    • Water bottle
    • Insect repellent
    • Polarized sunglasses and sunscreen are also important, especially in Spring

    Contact us for more Information about this tour

    INTERNATIONAL NUMBER: +1 778 348 1676

    You can also send an email to info@adventures.com, or use the contact form here below.

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    Itinerary

    Find out more details about the tour and its highlights

    Information

    Guide information: You will be accompanied on these tours by qualified and experienced guides knowledgeable in the local Inuit culture, ecosystem, history, flora and fauna. They are looking forward to sharing their knowledge and customs with you.

    Restrictions: 

    Minimum group sizes are required for each tour to run:

    Discovering Kuujjuaq: 2 people

    The Big Three: 8 people

    Your guides offer an exceptional perspective of Kuujjuaq which reveals how the whole region buzzes with activity, providing the essential services to the local Inuit and to the entire population of Nunavik. Comfortably lodged at the co-op hotel, you will have the leisure to spend the week ambling through town, gaining understanding that would have been impossible without your guide. During your stay, you will of course also have the opportunity to gaze upon the spectacular aurora borealis sweeping across dark blue skies.

    Kuujjuaq is south of Ungava Bay. With 2,400 residents, one can say that it is Nunavik's metropolis. So if you've been dreaming of going to the Arctic, in Kuujjuaq, you're already there. There are no roads that link Kuujjuaq to even its closest neighbour. In fact, none of the 14 villages in Nunavik are linked by roads. The only way to gain access is by snowmobile, dog-sled, plane or canoe. Goods are shipped there by boat in summer or by plane year-round. In Kuujjuaq, in the summertime, days are long with only four hours of darkness during the solstice, then at the winter solstice it is the opposite, with four short hours of sun.

    Day 1

    In 2 1/4 hrs the jet carries you the distance separating Kuujjuaq from Montreal. You land at the gateway of Ungava Bay. For the afternoon, we propose a visit to the local Fire Station, arena, churches, water distribution system as well as driving by the hydroelectric station and the petroleum distribution installation; then how about a visit to the local radio station where broadcasts are aired in Inuktitut.
    Day 2
    Today we've planned visits to organizations such as Makivik Corporation whose principal functions are the administration of Inuit land and management of funds received as a result of the James Bay and Northern Quebec agreement as well as the Kativik Regional Government who work in favor of greater political autonomy for the region of Nunavik. Other institutions you will have the opportunity to see that day are the School Board, the Nunavik Tourism Association, Town Hall and the hospital that serves all of Ungava Bay.
    Day 3
    A map of the town will be your means of orientation to spot different locations of interest. It is simply a matter of following the directions indicated on your map and making fun discoveries such as the mayor's house, the local day-care, the general store... In the evening, enjoy Katadjak throat singers who will entertain you with a traditional performance.
    Day 4
    You have a choice of going out on excursions such as a dog-sled ride in winter, seeing musk-oxen riding a snowmobile or paddling a kayak depending on the season, or you can choose to do some fishing in summertime. And what would you say about ending the day by catching a movie at the local cinema?
    Day 5
    The time has come to purchase souvenirs from one of the village's stores. Before you return to Montreal, you will enjoy sitting down with elders who will tell you stories of long ago while sipping down a traditional tea and savoring bannock.

    This tour offers you an opportunity to see and photograph Quebec-Labrador's polar bear, musk-ox and caribou, the big three among the Arctic wildlife. We proudly present to you a dynamic circuit that will lead you into their remote lands, far from man's reach. Constantly in motion aboard a motorized canoe, you will see polar bears off the coast of Ungava Bay as well as musk-oxen on Diana Island where Eider ducks go to nest. At any moment during your stay in Nunavik, you might cross paths with herds of caribou that migrate at this time of year and you might see icebergs drifting offshore.

    You will be lodged along the Payne River where you will see beluga whales, seals and thousands of gulls that reveal to the Inuit the best fishing spots for Arctic char as they head towards the sea in schools in the summertime. While in Kangirsuk Camp, you can go out on a hike into the tundra to discover arctic flowers adorned with tiny colorful fruit as you follow the path of the caribou and musk-oxen. In such surroundings, you will feel imbued with the nature of the North.

    Your stay in Nunavik will include a visit to four villages that lie along the coast of Ungava Bay. You will travel by plane with Air Inuit and land in the villages of Quaqtaq, Kangirsuk, Tasiujaq and Kuujjuaq, the starting points to the magnificent scenery and wildlife of Nunavik. When you return from Nunavik, you will leave behind a part of yourself and take home memories that will live forever.

    Day 1
     
    Montreal / Kuujjuaq / Quaqtaq 
     
    Depart Montreal-Trudeau airport and fly to Kuujjuaq aboard a First Air 737 jet. Flight duration is about 2H15 min. You will then make your connection on an Air Inuit plane to Quaqtaq. Meet your Inuit Adventures guides for a town tour and a visit of Cape Hopes Advance, the abandoned weather station that operated from 1928 to 1970. From the top of the hill, spot some splendid icebergs that often drift at this time of the year. Return to Quaqtaq later in the day. Overnight at the Quaqtaq Coop Hotel.
    Day 2
     

    Quaqtaq / Diana Island / Quaqtaq

    At high tide you will leave by freighter canoe for Diana Island. Be ready to take pictures of beluga whales, Musk-oxen and Eider ducks. See how the Inuit delicately remove the Eider down from the nests that they will use to make their warm parkas. Hike across Diana Island and discover herds of resident musk-oxen and beautiful Arctic flowers. Return to Quaqtaq later in the day.
    Overnight at the Quaqtaq Coop Hotel.

    Day 3
     

    Quaqtaq / Kangirsuk

    Early morning, take a walk in the village and meet the friendly people of this small Inuit community of only 300 before you board a Dash 8 that will fly you to the village of Kangirsuk. Meet your local guides who will navigate with you by canoe on the beautiful fjord of Payne River towards Kangirsuk Camp. It is very common to see caribou roaming around on the shores or crossing the river in July. Overnight at the Kangirsuk Coop Hotel. 

    Day 4
     

    Kangirsuk / Payne River Camp / Kangirsuk

    As the high tide starts coming in you will leave by canoe, with your guides, travel the waterways on the Payne River to locate other caribou migration routes where you will have many opportunities to take pictures. You will go back to the village of Kangirsuk at the end of the day where throat singers will perform for you in the evening. Overnight at the Kangirsuk Coop Hotel. 

    Day 5
     

    Kangirsuk / Tasiujaq
    In the morning, your guides will take you for a hike on the spongy tundra which is an experience in itself. Explore, lift your head, see the birds and breathe in the fresh Arctic air. Musk-oxen are slowly taking ground in this area and once again you may have the chance to see these almost prehistoric animals as well as foxes, Arctic hare, wolves and black bears. Return to Kangirsuk later in the day to take your flight to Tasiujaq via Kuujjuaq. Overnight at the Tasiujaq Hotel. 

    Day 6
     

    Tasiujaq
    At high tide, your guides are waiting for you with their canoes to take you for a day long excursion amongst the many islands where polar bears are often seen.  It is your chance to take pictures of these wild majestic animals and the spectacular scenery of the Leaf Basin where tides often exceed 15m. Return to the village later in the day. Overnight at the Tasiujaq Hotel. 

    Day 7
     

    Tasiujaq / Kuujjuaq / Montreal-Trudeau Airport 
    It is already your last day in Nunavik. Before leaving this magical place, you will be giving a town tour by your local guide. After a lunch at the hotel, fly back to Kuujjuaq where you will take your southbound flight to Montreal. 

     

    Trips begin and end in Montreal, Quebec. Round trip flights between Montreal and the towns are included.

    Nunavik’s “highways” are built by nature: In winter, the frozen tundra provides easy passage for dog-sleds and snowmobiles. In summer, an extensive system of lakes, rivers, and bays provide open waterways to explore Nunavik by boat, kayak, and canoe. Light aircraft transfers link the 14 villages, with regularly scheduled short flights making travel easy between small airports. Once you touch down, you will travel by local-access four-wheel drive vehicles, by foot, or by boat as you explore and experience one of the few regions of our planet not covered with tarmac highways.

    To get to Nunavik, you generally fly north from your departure point, via Montreal (or Quebec City), to either Kuujjuaq (YVP) or Puvirnituq (YPX), approximately a two hour flight to either gateway community. Kuujjuaq is the largest of the two communities, with a population of just over 2,000 people, and its small, modern airport has a gift shop, along with a baggage claim area, as well as connecting flights to all of the other villages in Nunavik. 

    Whatever the time of year, weather in Nunavik is always variable. The winter brings temperatures well below freezing and complete winter gear and traveling with reputable outfitters and guides is essential. In the summer, temperatures of 20°C (70° F) or higher are not uncommon during the day in July and August, dipping lower during the long twilight hours that make up the night. In some areas, temperatures near freezing can be expected at night (hiking in the Torngat Mountains, for example). The most important thing to remember is to be prepared for all kinds of weather – bright, warm sunshine, wind, rain, and even snow.

    If coming in the winter the months of March and April are the best times to come when the daylight hours are longer and temperatures are not as cold.

    Accommodations included in this package are in local hotels in town.

    There are no name brand hotels, no condos, and no time share resorts boasting swimming pools in Nunavik. Instead, a handful of small hotels in the villages offer basic comforts, along with meals prepared on request. In the shared guest areas, travelers mix freely where swapping travel stories is not uncommon. 

    Outside of the villages, rustic cabins or camps may also be used for people looking for a more authentic Inuit accommodations during certain portion of the trip. In the winter it is even possible to stay overnight in an igloo.

    Do not expect casinos or theme parks. Instead of sitting down to watch a National Geographic TV special about nature and culture, you’ll be experiencing it yourself: Elders sharing stories about their history and heritage, throat singers performing and demonstrating their richly vibrant skills inspired by nature’s songs, Inuit guides explaining the turn of the seasons and the movements of wildlife. Your senses will come alive with the sights, smells, and sounds of unspoiled wilderness – something increasingly rare in today’s world.

    All meals during the tour are included.

    At a time when the most famous Michelin-star restaurants in the world are singing the praises of foraging for wild food, the Inuit of Nunavik have already been doing this for centuries. Mussels are harvested year-round, even from underneath the ice in winter, and in the summer, you will taste some of the freshest fish you have ever eaten. Summer also brings cloudberries, blueberries, and other wild fruits enjoyed at the peak of their ripeness. Traditional Inuit cuisine such as bannock can also be arranged.

    Food in Nunavik is prepared simple and fresh, with little spice or seasoning – just the pure flavors of the food itself. Because there is no farming in this Arctic region, fresh vegetables, and other fruits are flown in from points south (like Montreal, two hours away), along with other goods. Alcohol is not served or sold in most Nunavik communities and only available in a few places. Bottled drinking water is readily available however, although fresh water from the tap in Nunavik comes from snow and ice-fed lakes.

    Communication in the north:

     

    Nunavik benefits from Canada’s modern telecommunications system and in the villages, WiFi, and landlines are all commonly used and available. As is common in many remote areas of the world, in the national parks and wilderness areas of Nunavik, satellite phones are a very reliable form of communication. But your hosts serve as a point of contact for any urgent or emergency situations, should someone need to reach you from home, or vice versa.

    The happy traveler is the one who travels lightest. Choose the clothing you bring based on what is lightweight, comfortable, and washable.  Being able to add and remove layers is especially important in the variable weather conditions you can expect to find. Along with comfortable, casual wear, be sure to bring long underwear, a fleece jacket, a knit hat and gloves, and a waterproof windbreaker or jacket. For hiking and walking, you will want a good pair of sturdy, comfortable, well broken-in walking shoes or light boots. 

    If coming in the winter you will need warm winter clothing including a warm coat/parka, winter boots, fleece or wool underclothes, hat, and mitts.

    Like much of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, during July and August, mosquitoes can flourish when the wind is soft or still. Likewise, a strong breeze can help keep them away. Bug repellant works just fine, and for those who prefer not to use insect repellant, locals in Nunavik often wear a light mesh jacket or a head net which prevents mosquitoes from biting. We suggest that you purchase either one before leaving for your trip. Long-sleeved shirts and pants are recommended to likewise minimize being bitten.

    A packing list will be supplied upon booking.

    Payment Details

    PAYMENT INFORMATION
    Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST. 10.00% PST.
    A 30% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
    Balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.

    CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
    Deposit non-refundable. If you cancel your trip reservation, the following cancellation fees will apply Up to 61 days before trip departure date - 30% deposit Within 60 days of trip departure date - 100 % of trip cost All trip cancellations must be communicated in writing. Cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.