Belugas whales frolicking in the inlet

Canadian Arctic Wilderness Safari

Dive into the Truly Wild North (Foxes, Belugas and Muskoxs oh my!)

Experience world-class wildlife viewing in the Canadian Arctic from the comfort of a unique wilderness lodge. Travel to Somerset Island in Nunavut, 500 miles (805 km) north of the Arctic Circle and build your days as you choose with the help of expert guides. Kayaking, ATV excursions, river rafting, and hiking – there are options for everyone. Photograph rare Arctic wildlife, such as elusive musk ox, polar bears, and beluga whales. While exploring, enjoy superb food and exceptional hospitality. There is no better way to experience the Canadian Arctic!

  • Starting From

    $13,083 USD

    per person
  • Trip length

    10 days

    9 nights
  • Hot Spots
    Yellowknife, Vancouver
LET’S PERSONALIZE THIS TRIP

Explore Unexpected Landscapes


When you think of the Arctic, a solid mass of ice may come to mind. Real Arctic scenery is diverse and stunning. Explore this vast landscape on your choice of tour. Choose from options like rafting, hiking or kayaking – or try them all!

Get Close to the Largest Beluga Pod in the World


Witness beluga whales as they play just metres from the shore, as one of the largest beluga whale pods in the world makes its migration past Somerset Island each year. If you’re lucky you may even have the chance to kayak amongst these gentle creatures.

Have Your Camera Ready to Capture Every Moment


Photography enthusiasts will be buzzing from the amazing opportunities to photograph Arctic wildlife. From Arctic Fox, to herds of Muskox, beluga whales, and polar bears, it’s near impossible to put the camera down. A wildlife photography lecture from resident expert helps to hone your skills.

YOUR TRIP
DAY-BY-DAY

Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.

VIEW MAP List days
Day 01

Arrive in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Your adventure begins in the northern city of Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories.

Arrive in Yellowknife

(1 of 1 activities)

Arrive in the far north city of Yellowknife - a community on the edge of the wilderness. A transfer will take you to your accommodations for the night.

Overnight at the Explorer Hotel

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

Day 02

Fly to Somerset Island,

Board a privately chartered plane for the 4.5 hour journey to the Arctic Wilderness Lodge.

Into the Arctic - Arctic Watch Lodge

(1 of 1 activities)

On a chartered flight from Yellowknife, 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 in to the lodge and meet your hosts for a safety briefing and overview of the exciting days ahead. Read on for some suggested activities at the Arctic Watch Lodge. Each day you will choose from different activities options, which may vary according to weather conditions and wildlife sightings.

Wilderness Lodge Accommodations

Explore the stunning wilderness of the Canadian Arctic from the comfort of a 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.

Day 03

Explore Somerset Island

While at the lodge, enjoy a choice of activities each day based on what the weather will allow.

Hike and Explore on ATVs

(1 of 1 activities)

Jump right into things after breakfast with a hands-on introduction to ATVs, followed by a short hike to check out belugas just a few yards offshore in the estuary. Head back to the lodge for a delicious buffet lunch, then head back out again on a hike to the Triple Waterfalls to see famous nesting birds like peregrine falcons. Along the way, take a moment to notice the tiny beauty of Arctic flowers, and watch for grazing Muskox in the canyon. Wrap up the excitement of your first full day with a hearty dinner.

Day 04

Explore Somerset Island

Travel along the Muskox Ridge Trail by ATV, which provides a scenic overview of the entire area.

Explore a Remote Lake

(1 of 1 activities)

Hop on an ATV and travel the Muskox Ridge Trail through a stunning Arctic panorama, watching for Muskox, arctic foxes and their pups. Stop at Inukshuk Lake for a picnic lunch followed by some catch-and-release fishing for arctic char. Return to the lodge via a different trail to view hoodoo rock formations and local coal deposits. Tonight after dinner you'll have the option to attend an informal lecture by Richard Weber on his North Pole expeditions.

Day 05

Explore Somerset Island

Try kayaking in Cunningham Inlet, then embark on a short hike for stunning views of the Northwest Passage and the opportunity to see polar bears.

The best time to see beluga whales is in July when they are migrating through the area.

Belugas in Cunningham Inlet

(1 of 1 activities)

Start your day amongst belugas, seals, and pack ice as you sea kayak or paddle board in the Cunningham Inlet. Have lunch on the shoreline then take a short hike to Kayak Falls, a small canyon with stunning views of the Northwest Passage. Spend the afternoon at the estuary, world-famous for its spectacular population of beluga whales and the face that they're only a few metres from shore! After dinner back at the lodge, an informal lecture is offered by Nansen Weber on wildlife photography.

Day 06

Explore Somerset Island

Depart for a trip to Flatrock Falls, where you’ll have the option of hiking or traveling by Mercedes Unimog, a multipurpose truck.

Waterfalls, Fossils, and Wildlife

(1 of 1 activities)

Head to Flatrock Falls and Somerset Island's unnamed canyons, either by Unimog truck or hiking. Here, immense vertical walls have been pushed out of the earth's crust, and countless fossils litter the ground. After lunch, see with your own eyes the contrast between a barren canyon and a lush gull rookery as you observe the nesting sites of terns, plovers and snow geese. Tonight's after-dinner presentation option is about the history of the Northwest Passage.

Day 07

Explore Somerset Island

Today, discover Cape Anne by ATV, and visit some Thule sites to learn about these ancestors of today’s modern Inuit.

Ancient Archaeological Sites, See Polar Bears

(1 of 1 activities)

Hop back on the ATV's for a trip through time today. Visit ancient Thule campsites - the ancestors of today's Inuit people - and search for polar bears as you ride by icebergs and prehistoric whale bones. 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.

Day 08

Explore Somerset Island

Get ready for a day of excitement with a full-day rafting adventure on the Cunningham River.

Rafting and Kayaking

(1 of 1 activities)

Travel by Unimog truck and hiking - or entirely by mountain bike - through the Badlands, encountering the wildlife, and passing skeletal remains of 8,000 year old bowhead whales. Arrive at the raft and sea kayak launch on the Cunningham River in time to have a picnic lunch while the team readies the various watercraft for you. Make the return journey to Arctic Watch by raft, kayak, or stand-up paddle board. 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!

Day 09

Depart the Arctic

Bid a fond goodbye to the guides and lodge staff today.

Fly Back to Yellowknife

(1 of 1 activities)

You have plenty of time before your flight today to do an activity you may have missed or to revisit a favourite. Upon arriving back in Yellowknife, check back in to the Explorer Hotel for tonight.

Day 10

Depart Yellowknife

All too soon your Arctic vacation has come to an end. After breakfast, a transfer is included to take you to the airport in time for your flight.

Depart Yellowknife

(1 of 1 activities)

Today marks the end of your Arctic Watch adventure as you check out of your hotel.

activities

WHERE YOU’LL STAY

Below you'll find examples of this trip's accommodation options.
Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

WORKING TOGETHER
Let's personalize this trip idea with your own flair so that it's unique to you.
INSIDER EXPERTISE
We're always here to open up possibilities and clear up uncertainties.
HELP ON HAND
We're with you every step to help you plan and enjoy your trip, and get you home safely.

HERE'S WHAT YOU GET

To make sure that your holiday is full of only good surprises, here's a comprehensive list of what is (and isn't) included in your package.


Accommodation:

  • 2 nights accommodation in Yellowknife
  • 7 nights accommodation at Arctic wilderness lodge on Somerset Island

Arctic Experiences:

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

Transfer Inclusions:

  • Charter flights between Yellowknife and the Arctic
  • Shuttle transfers between airport and hotel in Yellowknife
  • Group transfer to and from a charter flight to the Arctic Wilderness Lodge

Meal Inclusions:

  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge
  • Coffee, tea, water and juice available at all times (soft drinks and beer are not available)

Special Notes:

  • Your included activities may vary based on the judgment of your guides who will use the sea, the ice, and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. These inclusions are a tentative outline of what you’ll experience but no activities can be guaranteed.
  • Dates of charter flights may be altered due to weather conditions. Please keep this in mind when making international flight arrangements. Consider purchasing flexible, changeable airline tickets or booking a one-way flight home after completing the expedition, to help reduce ticket change fees. These delays may not be covered by travel insurance. Baggage allowance on charter flights is 44 lbs (20 kg) checked and 11 lbs (5 kg) carry-on. Additional luggage can be stored in Yellowknife.
  • International airfare (but don’t hesitate to ask for help)
  • Passport and applicable visa expenses
  • Canadian Sales Taxes
  • Meals, other than those mentioned
  • Wine and spirits
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance – strongly recommended
  • Waterproof gear beyond the included parka
  • Gratuity for tour, transfer and expedition staff
  • Fee for fishing licence (available for purchase at the lodge)
  • Additional expenses (meals, accommodation, international flight change fees, etc.) incurred by delay or cancellation of activities due to suboptimal weather
  • There are currently no seasonal restrictions

PRICES & DATES

This trip is available for departures between July and August.

Starting From

$13,083 USD
per person

based on double occupancy, July 2020 departure and our base class.

We offer a range of packages across all four seasons. Please speak with one of our travel advisors about personalizing your trip and getting a comprehensive quote.

Get a personalized quote
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