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Wildlife Watching Expedition on Somerset Island in Nunavut

| CA-AW1001

Hike, Kayak, and Drive the Canadian Arctic Archipelago


Spend 10 days in the Canadian Arctic Circle on Somerset Island, on an exceptional whale-watching and polar bear safari.


  • Northwest Passage
  • Whale watching
  • Cunningham Inlet
  • Kayak Falls
  • Tripple Waterfalls
  • Kayaking

This 10-day tour offers unforgettable experiences on Somerset Island, exploring this remarkable place in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and also hiking and kayaking.

Spend your holiday 500 miles (800 km) North of the Arctic Circle and spot iconic Arctic animals in their natural habitat, including polar bears, muskoxen, Arctic foxes, and beluga whales. Get ready for unforgettable adventures driving or kayaking with white whales. Glimpse 8,000-year-old bowhead whale skeletons hidden in the tundra.

Arctic wildlife, historic sights, high-class accommodation, gourmet meals prepared by experienced chefs, and informative lectures – our Somerset Island expedition has it all!

Pickup information

  • All tours to Arctic Watch include hotel accommodation in Yellowknife at the Explorer Hotel. You’ll spend the first and the last nights there.
  • The itinerary might change depending on the weather conditions.

Practical information

  • We’ll provide you with a list of recommendations of what to bring on the tour.

Please note

  • All travelers must purchase travel insurance.
  • Baggage allowance on the charter flight from Yellowknife to Arctic Watch is 44 lbs (20 kg) per person, including carry-on.
  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Small group
  • Expert guides
Availability Jul - Aug
Duration 10 days
Departs From Yellowknife, NT
Difficulty Easy / Moderate Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Group maximum 32
Minimum age No limit
Meet on Location No
Pick Up Yes


12 589
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • International number: +1 778 348 1676

Availability (2024):
Not available in 2024

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What's Included


  • Charter flights
  • All meals and accommodation
  • Kayaking and fishing equipment

What to bring

  • Appropriate clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Binoculars

Not Included

  • Medical insurance

Contact us for more Information about this tour


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Find out more details about the tour and its highlights


breaching white beluga whale in somerset island

The 10-day tour starts at Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories and takes you to the High Arctic to explore the highlights of Somerset Island.

The tour includes driving ATV’s, kayaking and hiking in the local mountains. The area has a rich history that our experienced guides will tell you all about.

Wildlife watching is one of the best parts of the expedition. The area is home to charming beluga whales, majestic polar bears, and various birds, including terns, plovers and snow geese.

You’ll stay at the Arctic Watch wilderness lodge, our high-quality family-run guest accommodation. Our professional chefs will take care of your meals, all prepared with the finest ingredients that can be found in the Arctic.

accommodation in somerset island in nunavut

After arriving at Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, you’ll be transferred from the airport to the Explorer Hotel.

plane view of large riverbeds in nunavut canada

We’ll have breakfast at the hotel and take a charter flight to the north of the Arctic Circle. The flight will take about three hours and we’ll arrive at the Arctic Watch wilderness lodge in the afternoon.

Our team will introduce you to the lodge and the surrounding areas. You’ll have some time to settle in your cabins.

You can take part in an optional short hike up to a local mountain peak before dinner. Some breathtaking views of the Northwest Passage and unique ice formations on the Arctic Ocean open up from the summit.

crossing a river with a super truck in nunavut

You’ll have a practical introduction to ATVs, as this will be one of the main forms of transport for the upcoming days. ATVs are perfect for covering long distances on the barren tundra. We’ll take a short trip to the Cunningham Estuary to try out your newly acquired skills and also watch beluga whales.

We’ll drive along Somerset Island’s coastline, where you can see some archeological sites and artifacts that date back to the Viking Age!

After lunch, we’ll go on a short hiking trip to the Triple Waterfalls. You might meet some muskox and other arctic animals along the way!

happy fisher with a big fish on an icy lake

We’ll cross the Cunningham River delta and travel to Muskox Ridge. The picturesque trail is an ideal place to watch muskoxen and arctic foxes.

Our picnic lunch will be served by Inukshuk Lake, where you’ll have a great chance to test your fishing skills. We’ll provide all the angling gear you need for this fun catch-and-release fishing experience.

On our way back, look to the skies to see some amazing birds hovering above our heads. Snowy owls, jaegers, and rough-legged hawks are some of the birds that live in the area.

After dinner, you’ll have an opportunity to listen to an informal lecture by Richard Weber. He’ll tell you about his expeditions to the North Pole, including an unprecedented unassisted journey in 1995.

kayakers spotting beluga whales in nunavut

We’ll kayak through the clear water of the Cunningham Inlet. Watch beluga whales passing by the boat, as they come here to calve and feed, before migrating to the shores of Baffin Island.

We’ll paddle to the other side of the inlet to Kayak Falls. Enjoy the stunning views of the Northwest Passage and, if we’re lucky, we might even spot some polar bears!

After a tasty dinner, you’ll have a chance to join an informal lecture by Nansen Weber, who will tell you all about the art of wildlife photography.

happy man jumping on ice in somerset island

We’ll travel to the east side of Cunningham Inlet, where many nameless canyons provide great opportunities for hiking.

In the afternoon, we’ll observe beluga whales playing in the estuary. This is a great spot for whale watching, because of the number of whales packed in the turquoise waters of the bay. It is also relatively close to the shore, so you get a great view of the charming whales splashing in the water and rubbing themselves on the river stones.

hiker on top of a mountain near a desert

Today we’ll explore the west shore of the inlet. We’ll visit a historic 1,000-year-old Thule site, the region that ancient geographers believed to be the most northerly site in the inhabited world. The Thule people are the ancestors of today’s modern Inuits. We’ll travel along the coast and learn about the rich history of Somerset Island.

We’ll take a short hike to Nansen’s ridge that offers some incredible bird’s-eye views of the spectacular Arctic landscape.

paddling in a canyon in somerset island

We’ll drive to the raft put on the Cunningham River. On our way there, we’ll stop to hike through a unique land with impressive views of the ancient 8,000-year-old bowhead whale bones standing out against the barren tundra.

Enjoy a picnic lunch while the team prepares all the equipment for paddling on the river.

The paddle back to the lodge takes around three hours. The river transforms from a wide valley to a narrow stream taking us through a towering canyon, before broadening again just in front of the lodge.

As this is our last night in the Arctic, enjoy a gourmet farewell dinner and don’t miss the chance to take a bracing polar plunge!

crossing a river with atvs in nunavut

Our charter flight doesn’t leave until the afternoon, so you have some time to do anything you missed out on or to repeat your favorite activity.

The charted plane will fly us back to Yellowknife and you’ll spend the last night at the Explorer Hotel.

After breakfast at the hotel, you may spend some time exploring Yellowknife and get ready for your flight home.

Payment Details


  • Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
  • A $2900.00 CAD deposit is required to hold your reservation.
  • Balance of payment is due 180 days before trip commencement.



Any cancellations before 180 days prior to the departure date will receive a full refund.

Any cancellations after that are not eligible for a refund.