Narwhal and Polar Bear Arctic Safari
8 days / June -July
Pricing is based on group size and seasonality, please check with us to secure the best pricing.
• Camp in high-end luxury on ice at our Arctic Safari-style base camp.
• Enjoy tea made of melt-water from ancient icebergs along the route.
• Hike on Bylot Island and see an old whaling station, the remains of a shipwreck, Inuit tent rings, and flowering spring fauna.
• View a vast array of wildlife at the floe edge from on their annual migration such as pods of the mystical narwhal feed along the floe edge, bowhead whales, walruses, and polar bears.
Day 1: OTTAWA to POND INLET
Depart Ottawa for Iqaluit in the morning before changing planes in Iqaluit, and continuing on to Pond Inlet. Settle in before a gear check and briefing by a local Inuit guide. Relax in the evening and explore under the Midnight Sun.
Day 2: POND INLET to FLOE EDGE
Travel Inuit-style by komatiq and snowmobile across the sea ice. The route includes tea stops at historic grave sites, hanging glaciers, abandoned whaling stations, and hunting cabins. The final destination will be the ice floe edge where a base camp will be set up just back from the ice edge (conditions permitting).
Days 3-6: FLOE EDGE
Your ice floe edge base camp will enable you to enjoy the warm spring weather and engage in a variety of activities both on land and at the floe-edge. Wake up in the mornings to the smell of fresh coffee and the sounds of narwhal resting just off the ice edge. From camp and the floe-edge you can expect to see icebergs, and ‘bergy-bits’, and drifting pack ice with playful seals poking their heads up out of the water and looking directly at you. You will have plenty of time for unhurried observation and photography. Opportunities to kayak with the narwhal will also be made available.
On the floe-edge, you will likely see narwhals, bowhead whales, and polar bears on the prowl for sunning seals, as well as walruses and beluga whales. Migratory birds crowd the land, sea, and sky: pure white ivory gulls, gaudy king eider ducks, low-flying northern fulmars, thick-billed murres, kittiwakes, and greater snow geese (kanguq). Ice conditions permitting, we may visit a bird colony with more than 20,000 birds nesting not far away. On the land, you will have the opportunity to track land mammals with your camera, see ancient Thule culture sites, see traditional tent rings and learn the history of the area. Bylot Island’s uplands are home to Arctic foxes and hares, weasels, collared lemmings, snowy owls, rough-legged hawks, and gyrfalcons.
Day 7: FLOE EDGE to POND INLET
After breakfast, break camp and reload the qamutics for the return journey to Pond Inlet across 90km of sea ice, lead by your Inuit guides. In the evening, explore the village of Pond Inlet including the co-op store (which typically has a selection of carvings and other crafts) and the Northern store (historically known as “The Bay," derived from the famous Hudson’s Bay Company stores).
Day 8: POND INLET to IQALUIT to OTTAWA
After an early breakfast, fly to Iqaluit and continue on to Ottawa and your flight home.
• We hire Inuit guides and drivers, buy local produce, eat local food, and use local services, thus ensuring that as much money as possible is retained within the local economy and the native communities
• We keep our tours small, to lessen our impact on this harsh but fragile landscape.