The Realm of Narwhals & Polar Bears

Possibly one of the most epic Arctic adventures as we journey into the realm of narwhals - "Unicorns of the Sea" and polar bears - "Lords of the Arctic" capturing them in their natural habitats. An extraordinary adventure spent mobilizing qamutiks and snowmobiles, kayaks and from an aerial perspective, hotair balloon viewing of the impressive ice floes. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Observe the tusked narwhal while they rest and feed from the ice floes

Visit the Bylot Island migratory bird sanctuary 

Journey by snowmobile and qamutik to traditional Inuit hunting grounds

Snorkel and kayak amongst sea ice with possible presence of whales

ITINERARY

DAY 1: OTTAWA / POND INLET

We depart Ottawa for Iqaluit in the morning where we change planes to continue to Pond Inlet where on arrival, be welcomed by your local coordinator and transfer to your hotel. During dinner, your expedition leader and lead Inuit guide will provide a briefing and gear check. After dinner, enjoy an authentic cultural presentation of Inuit throat singing, drum dancing and storytelling by local elders. 

Overnight: Sauniq Hotel, Pond Inlet

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2: POND INLET / ARCTIC SAFARI CAMP

After breakfast, meet your guides on the beach in preparation for your departure to southeast Bylot Island and the floe-edge. Travel traditional Inuit-style qamutik (a wooden sled with suspension seats pulled behind the snowmobile), and experience the exhilaration of gliding across the ice. Your route of approximately 70km includes tea stops at historic grave sites, hanging glaciers, and abandoned whaling stations and hunting cabins. The final destination is the ice floe edge, where your Arctic Safari Camp is set up just a few kilometres back from the ice edge. 

Overnight: Arctic Safari Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3 to DAY 6: ARCTIC SAFARI CAMP

The next few days include trips from the Arctic Safari Camp out to the floe edge along with excursions to other attractions in the area by qamutik and snowmobile. Your ice floe base camp enables you to enjoy the warm spring weather and engage in a variety of activities both on land and at the floe-edge. Wake up 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, drifting pack ice with playful seals poking their heads up out of the water and looking directly at you. Plenty of time is provided for unhurried observation and photography. On the floe edge, the likelihood is high that you see narwhals, bowhead whales, polar bears on the prowl for seals sunning themselves, and possibly walrus and beluga whales. Migratory birds are in abundance - pure white ivory gulls, gaudy king eider ducks, low-flying northern fulmars, thick-billed murres, kittiwakes, and greater snow geese are just a few bird species to be seen. Ice conditions permitting, visit the Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary with 200,000 plus birds nesting not far away.

 

On the land, track land mammals with your camera, see ancient Thule culture sites and traditional tent rings, and learn the culture and 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. Engage in activities both on land and at the floe edge, such as snorkeling and kayaking amongst sea ice and possibly within the presence of whales, weather permitting. There is also the little matter of a hotair balloon experience where more people have been to the moon than hot air ballooned in the arctic. 

Overnight: Arctic Safari Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7: ARCTIC SAFARI CAMP / POND INLET / OTTAWA

Our journey ends today as we travel back to Pond Inlet by qamutik and snowmobile. Upon landing in Pond Inlet, we catch our flight to Ottawa via Iqaluit. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Nestled in a panoramic mountainous setting on the north side of Baffin Island, The Sauniq Hotel is world-renowned as host to many Pond Inlet travelers since 1968. The Sauniq Hotel has the most modern accommodations in Pond Inlet with 20 double occupancy rooms, simple but cozy. 

Sauniq Hotel, Pond Inlet

Arctic Safari Camp

The Arctic Safari Camp is inspired by African mobile safari camps and brings elegance and comfort to the Arctic tundra. The isolated location in the Arctic wilderness allows travellers to experience the Arctic in its pristine state. The Premium Safari Camp features modern, specially designed yurt-style safari tent camp structures which have double insulated walls to provide warmth. 

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