Canadian Arctic Watch 10 days
Spend time exploring the Canadian Arctic at this unique wilderness lodge and world-class beluga whale observation site on Somerset Island in Nunavut, Canada. Situated 500 miles (805 km) north of the Arctic Circle, the lodge offers guests fully guided opportunities for diverse adventure activities, and extraordinary polar photography thanks to 24 hours of daylight. Observe the elusive musk ox, polar bear and more wildlife in their natural habitat, and enjoy comfortable accommodations and superb food, all accessible via a scenic flight from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge is a family-run basecamp, hosted by Arctic enthusiasts Josée Auclair and her husband, Richard Weber, along with their two sons, Tessum and Nansen. They are distinguished across the Canadian High Arctic as polar experts, particularly in Nunavut, and specialise in North Pole and Arctic tourism.
Note 1: A 5% Canadian tax applies to all components of this itinerary.
Note 2: Departure dates available are: July 1st and July 8th 2022.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
Special Guest LecturerExclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >
- Encounter rarely seen Arctic wildlife in natural habitats, including polar bears, musk oxen, Arctic foxes and snowy owls
- See hundreds of beluga whales
- Travel in specially designed ATVs
- Take part in optional kayaking and rafting
- Visit historical sites
- Full board accommodation at Arctic Watch
- Expedition parka
- Loan of polar quality boots
- Pre and post hotel accommodation in Yellowknife including breakfast
- Group transfers to and from charter flight
- Charter flight from Yellowknife to Arctic Watch and return
ITINERARY9 Nights 10 Days
- Day 1 | Yellowknife
- Day 2 | Arctic Watch
- Day 3 | Arctic Watch & Somerset Island
- Day 4 | Muskox Ridge
- Day 5 | Cunningham Inlet
- Day 6 | Cunningham Inlet
- Day 7 | Northwest Passage Drive
- Day 8 | Kayaking & Standup Paddleboarding
- Days 9 - 10 | Arctic Watch - Yellowknife
Arrive independently to Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories, and make your way to the Explorer hotel for your included overnight stay. This evening there will be a briefing and distribution of parkas and boots.
Today, board your private chartered plane to fly the 1,000 miles (1,500 km) to Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge. During the 3-hour flight, you’ll pass over the treeline as you cross the Arctic Circle. Upon arrival in the afternoon, the team will show you around the lodge and its unique surroundings and there will be time to settle into your cabin before your first dinner in the Arctic. A short pre-dinner hike up to the local mountain will also be offered, and those who choose to partake will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Northwest Passage and the ice formations of the Arctic ocean.
Arctic Watch & Somerset Island
After a hot breakfast this morning, you will take an ATV drive to the Cunningham Estuary to look for ring and bearded seals, as well as nearly 2,000 beluga whales. Moving along Somerset’s coastline, you will be able to see some of the fascinating archaeological sites and artifacts dating to Viking contact which can be found here.
After a delicious buffet lunch back at the lodge, you can join an enjoyable 5km roundtrip hike to the Triple Waterfalls where you will get an introduction to the plants and animals that live in the area, as well as the chance to encounter some of the area’s herds of muskox.
This morning you will join a scenic ATV drive, with spectacular views and the probability of some musk ox and Arctic fox sightings along the way, across the Cunningham River delta to Muskox Ridge. From here you will hike down into one of the many depressions where muskoxen often spend the summer months foraging, and stop for a picnic lunch at Inukshuk Lake. During and after lunch you might wish to partake in some catch-and-release fishing for Arctic char, and fishing gear will be provided should you choose to do so.
In the afternoon we will head back to the lodge along the River Trail keeping an eye out for birds such as jaegers, snowy owls and rough-legged hawks, before enjoying an informal after-dinner lecture by Richard Weber on his North Pole expeditions, including his never-to-be-repeated unassisted journey in 1995.
Should you prefer to travel by human-powered means today, you could instead make use of one of the lodges electric bikes to explore the tundra on a guided tour.
Today’s adventures will allow you to head to the seas as you take a kayaking trip through the gin-clear waters of Cunningham Inlet, while enjoying views of Gifford Point in the distance. Beluga whales are likely to join you as you paddle, as they travel between the open water of the Northwest Passage and the mouth of the Cunningham River. Sightings of seabirds, including Arctic terns and eider ducks, can also be expected. On the far side of the inlet, you can hop out for a walk around a local canyon aptly named Kayak Falls, which will reward in incredible views of the Northwest Passage and possibly even some sightings of Polar bears. In the evening you can enjoy an after-dinner informal lecture by Nansen Weber on wildlife photography.
Today you can travel by Mercedes Unimog (a multi-purpose all-wheel drive medium truck) to the east side of Cunningham Inlet where a number of unnamed canyons offer great hiking opportunities. In the afternoon you will have the chance to spend some time at the estuary to watch the beluga whales play in the freshwater as it spills into the Arctic Ocean. Packing into the turquoise waters of the sheltered bay, they can be seen splashing and gurgling as they rub themselves on the river stones. This particular spot is renowned because of the density of the whale population and their proximity to the shore.
Northwest Passage Drive
Today will see you take another ATV drive, this time along the west shore of the inlet to see the historic 1,000 year-old Thule sites dotted along the coast. As you travel, you will learn all about the rich history of the area, whilst being on the lookout for wildlife all around. Eventually you will reach Polar Bear Point before turning west to enjoy a memorable drive along the Northwest Passage. A short hike to Nansen’s ridge will reward in fantastic views across the distinctly Arctic landscapes of the Passage.
Kayaking & Standup Paddleboarding
Today you will climb back into the Mercedes Unimog trucks for a drive to the Cunningham River, where you will jump out for a hike through the Badlands, a unique landscape with ancient 8,000-year-old bowhead whale skeletons exposed on the tundra. At the end of the hike you can enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by fantastic scenery and wildlife, including possible sightings of Artcic fox, musk ox and snow geese. You can then choose to return to the lodge either via kayak or standup paddleboard, or a mixture of both. The journey will take approximately 2 to 3 hours and will be a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend the afternoon as you paddle through towering canyons and braided flats to arrive right back at the front of the lodge. In the evening you will be invited to partake in a Polar Plunge to commemorate the end of your thrilling Arctic adventure!
Arctic Watch - Yellowknife
This morning there will be time for one more adventure of your choice, whether that’s trying a new activity or having another go at something you have tried earlier in the week, before boarding your private charter flight back to Yellowknife. Upon arrival back in Yellowknife, you will transfer to the Explorer hotel for your included overnight stay.
The following morning signals the end of your Arctic Watch itinerary and it will be time to take your onward or homeward flights.
Your Itinerary Accommodation
Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge
This unique wilderness lodge and world-class beluga whale observation site is located on Somerset Island in Nunavut, Canada, 500 miles (805 km) north of the Arctic Circle.
The lodge offers guests fully guided opportunities for diverse adventure activities, and extraordinary polar photography thanks to 24 hours of daylight. Observe the elusive musk ox, polar bear and more wildlife in their natural habitat and enjoy comfortable accommodations and superb food
This is a family-run basecamp, hosted by arctic enthusiasts Josée Auclair and her husband, Richard Weber, along with their two sons, Tessum and Nansen. They are distinguished across the Canadian High Arctic as polar experts, particularly in Nunavut, and specialize in North Pole and arctic tourism.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
What a great trip! Wildfoot built a great trip for us and every aspect was spot on. Our Iguazu guide was fun, interesting and helpful and all the transfers were timely and comfortable. The Antarctica Trip was superb - WIldfoot had given us the best advice and helped us choose the right ship and tour for what we wanted - A truly memorable Experience Thank You Wildfoot
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