Arctic Watch

Arctic Watch

Region

Nunavut

Location

Somerset Island

Availability

July 2021 Limited Space Remaining

Experience Type

Arctic Circle, Wilderness, Adventure, Wildlife, Family, Fine Dining

Experience overview

Northern-lights, polar bears, muskox and kayaking with beluga whales make this truly the pinnacle of adventure for the wild at heart. Based out of a wilderness lodge on Somerset Island, Nunavut 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle, this experience offers fully guided excursions each day. An exceptional welcome and gourmet meals put the finishing touches on the experience of a lifetime in the unspoiled Arctic.

Highlights

Adventures led by world class Polar Guides

The Weber family have spent the past 25 years skiing, kayaking, hiking and exploring Canada's far north. They understand the region like no-one else.

Home at the top of the world

Stay in comfort in the world's most northerly lodge 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Canadian Epicureanism

Enjoy a distinctly Canadian gastronomic experience with gourmet meals inspired by every province. Taste locally sourced sashimi, tundra blueberry compote, Baffin Bay turbot, Okanagan Valley wines, Alberta Organic Beef and French Canadian cheeses.

Arctic Wildlife

Opportunities to spend time amongst and photograph native Arctic wildlife such as belugas, muscox, and polar bears.

Suggested Itinerary

Duration

10 Days

Best During

Late Summer

Starting From

CAD $16,695 per adult

DAY 1 - ARRIVE IN YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES
Your journey begins with a luxury transfer from your home to the airport. On arrival in Yellowknife you’ll be taken to your boutique hotel where you’ll be welcomed by your expedition hosts and briefed before you enjoy an independent dinner at the Explorer hotel’s restaurant.

Overnight in Yellowknife.
DAY 2 - FLY TO SOMERSET ISLAND, NUNAVUT
Board a privately chartered plane for the 4.5 hour journey to the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, the most northerly fly-in lodge on earth. Over the 1,000 mile (1,500 km) journey, you’ll pass over the treeline as you cross the Arctic Circle. Enjoy the aerial views of the Arctic, before landing on Somerset Island. The short journey to the lodge involves a small walk across the tundra and a raft ride across the Cunningham River – the adventure has already begun! Settle into the lodge and meet your hosts for a safety briefing and overview of the exciting days ahead.

If you’re not out exploring the land or on the water, it’s all about great Canadian cuisine. Experience gourmet fare inspired by every province from locally sourced Arctic Char and Baffin Bay turbot to Alberta Organic Beef, French Canadian cheeses, and more.

The lodge hosts lectures in the Great Room, boasts an extensive Arctic Library and Interpretive Center housing local artifacts, maps, and 42 million year-old fossils.

Overnight at the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge.
Muskoxen rutting in Nunavut in Canada's Arctic
DAY 3 - Wildlife & Landscapes by ATV
Activities at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge vary by the day, depending on the local weather conditions. All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are an easy mode of transport out on the arctic tundra and after an introduction you’ll be ready to ride out to the estuary to observe beluga whales just a few yards offshore. A local hike will take you to Triple Waterfalls to where nesting peregrine falcons can be seen, along with muskox grazing in the canyon.

Overnight at the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge.
Belugas in Cunningham Inlet with Arctic Watch in Nunavut
Day 4 – Muskox Ridge Trail and Inukshuk Lake
Travel by ATV, crossing the Cunningham River delta, then driving along the Muskox Ridge Trail which provides a scenic overview of the entire area and an ideal opportunity to spot arctic foxes and their pups at play as you pass by an impressive den. A picnic lunch at Inukshuk Lake followed by some catch-and-release fishing for arctic char will set you up for the return journey to the lodge by an alternate route via the River Trail from which you can view hoodoos (sculptured sand pillars) and local coal deposits.

After dinner this evening you’ll have the opportunity to attend an informal lecture by Order of Canada recipient Richard Weber on his North Pole adventures. His historic 1995 unassisted journey to the North Pole and back—a feat that has never been repeated—is highlighted.

Overnight at the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge.
Day 5 – Cunningham Inlet and Kayak Falls
Today’s focus is on sea kayaking and paddle boarding in Cunningham Inlet. Paddle among icebergs, ring seals and bearded seals while watching for beluga whales as well as sea birds, including Arctic terns and eider ducks. Lunch is served on the shoreline, with a small hike to explore local canyon Kayak Falls which offers stunning views of the Northwest Passage and the opportunity to see polar bears.

In the afternoon, return to the Cunningham River estuary to watch the beluga whales. This site is unique in the world because of the density of the whale population and their proximity to the shoreline where they come within several metres, close enough to clearly hear their communication calls.

After dinner at the lodge, an informal lecture is offered by Nansen Weber on wildlife photography on Somerset Island.

Overnight at the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge.
Man overlooking Red Beach and the Northwest Passage in the Arctic
Day 6 – Flatrock Falls and Arctic Bird Watching
Depart for a trip to Flatrock Falls, where you’ll have the option of hiking or traveling by Mercedes Unimog truck. Here, immense vertical walls have been pushed out of the earth’s crust by shifting fault lines, and millions of fossils of prehistoric plants and animals litter the ground. Today’s trip also offers opportunities to observe nesting sites of local birds, including terns, plovers and snow geese. A picnic lunch is served directly on the flat rocks that surround the canyon. After lunch, travel to lush gull rookery, a unique micro ecosystem home to the peregrine falcon.

This evening, an in-house historian provides a presentation on the history of the Northwest Passage.

Overnight at the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge.
Day 7 – Cape Anne and Red Valley
Today, discover Cape Anne by ATV, and visit five Thule sites along the coast. The Thule culture was a bowhead-whale-hunting culture, ancestors of today’s modern Inuit. Along the way you’ll ride by icebergs and prehistoric giant whale bones and look out for polar bears which can be often seen on the shoreline. Return to the lodge through the impressive landscape of the Red Valley.

Nansen Weber will be offering another presentation after dinner tonight, this time with a focus on his photographic work and his experiences with Arctic wildlife.

Overnight at the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge.
Northwest Passage landscapes at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, Nunavut
Day 8 – Cunningham River Raft
Today is a full-day rafting adventure on the Cunningham River. Travel by Mercedes Unimog truck and hiking – or entirely by mountain bike – through the Badlands, passing the skeletal remains of two bowhead whales dated at eight thousand years ago. The voyage includes encounters with muskox, snow geese, jaegers, Arctic foxes, sandpipers and rough-legged hawks. Arrive at the raft and sea kayak launch on the Cunningham River in time to have a picnic lunch while the team readies the rafts, SUPs and kayaks. On the return journey you have a choice of paddling your own vessel or travelling by raft down the swift-flowing crystal-clear water. The views are amazing and include steep canyon walls and, at one point, a 180-degree turn.

Arrive at the lodge feeling accomplished, in time for the final dinner of the adventure. Be one of the brave guests to take the polar plunge challenge this evening!

Overnight at the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge.
Paddle_boarding_on_the_Cunningham_River_Credit_Weber_Arctic
Day 9 – Depart the Arctic – Fly to Yellowknife
Bid a fond goodbye to the guides and lodge staff today. You may have time for one last activity before you depart on your return flight to Yellowknife. Upon arrival in Yellowknife, you will be transferred to your boutique hotel.

Overnight in Yellowknife.
Day 10 – Depart Yellowknife
A transfer is included to take you to the airport in time for your flight.

The True North Collection Difference​

  • Door to door service for our guests
  • Tailor-made wilderness experiences
  • Seamless support throughout your journey from our legendary destination specialists and concierge team
  • Hand picked suppliers and experiences from our decades of experience in Canadian travel

Arctic Watch

Somerset Island
Nunavut

Included in your adventure:

  • 2 nights of boutique accommodation in Yellowknife
  • 7 nights accommodation at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge on Somerset Island
  • Charter flights between Yellowknife and the Arctic
  • Shuttle transfers between airport and hotel in Yellowknife
  • Group transfer to and from charter flight to the Arctic Wilderness Lodge
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge
  • Coffee, tea, water and juice available at all times 
  • 2 breakfasts at accommodation in Yellowknife
  • Leadership throughout the expedition by experienced Arctic Watch Team
  • Waterproof boots to use at the lodge
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Private airport transfers between your home and departure airport
  • Fully guided activities including:

    • Hiking
    • Fat biking
    • ATV excursions
    • Stand-up paddleboarding
    • Kayaking
    • River rafting
    • Fishing 
    • Arctic photography
    • Formal and informal presentations by expedition team and special guests

About your accommodation:

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge: Explore the stunning wilderness of the Canadian Arctic from the comfort of the Arctic Watch fly-in lodge. This unique wilderness lodge is located on Cunningham Inlet, on Somerset Island in Nunavut. Relax in your cozy private cabin with ensuite, or spend time in the Great Room and take advantage of the extensive Arctic library and interpretive centre.

Explorer Hotel: Stay at the intimate Explorer Hotel in Yellowknife. Enjoy the famous lobby polar bear exhibit, as well as sweeping views of forests and lakes. Enjoy the hotel’s chic restaurant and lounge, with the wilderness at your doorstep.

Now you have found us, you can stop looking

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