Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge Adventure and Wildlife at 74°N
8 or 10 days
Spend a week at this unique Canadian Arctic Wilderness Lodge and world-class beluga whale observation site. Situated 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the lodge offers fully-guided opportunities for hiking, kayaking and exploring the Arctic tundra in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
Observe muskox, polar bears plus more wildlife in their natural habitat while enjoying comfortable accommodations and superb food, all accessible within a short flight from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to Somerset Island in Nunavut, Canada.
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 specialize in North Pole and arctic tourism. Additional expertise comes from Quark Expeditions’ veteran polar expedition team member, Hadleigh Measham.
Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief
- Visit the Cunningham River estuary, home to hundreds of beluga whales
- Rarely seen and iconic Arctic Wildlife: beluga whales, polar bears, muskox, ringed seals, snowy owl and arctic fox
- Visit Cape Anne Thule sites with ancient stone and bone houses
- Included all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), Mercedes Unimog, kayaking, rafting and more
- Opportunities to encounter rarely seen and iconic Arctic Wildlife: beluga whales, polar bears, muskox, ringed seals, and much more
- Take advantage of included activities and equipment such as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), Mercedes Unimog, kayaking, rafting and more
- Take advantage of optional activities such as fishing for Arctic char and the Beechey Island fly-in excursion
Day 1 — Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Enjoy an included night in Yellowknife and meeting your fellow travelers.
Day 2 — Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
We’ll meet early in the morning to board our private chartered plane to fl y the 1,000 miles (1,500 km) to the Arctic Watch lodge. During the four and a half hour fl ight, we’ll pass over the treeline to the barrens, refueling in the community of Cambridge Bay, and landing in the afternoon on a private airstrip on Somerset Island.
Day 3 — Arctic Watch Lodge, Somerset Island, Nunavut
A typical first morning at the lodge may include receiving a hands-on introduction to driving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), which are easy and fun to drive. Later, we may take a short hike to the Cunningham River estuary to watch beluga whales frolic in the shallow water only a few yards off shore, followed by a wonderful buffet lunch.
Day 4 — Arctic Watch Lodge
Today we may attempt to kayak in Cunningham Inlet. All equipment and basic instructions are provided. Paddle among icebergs, looking out for ring and bearded seals as well as beluga whales. Sightings of sea birds, including Arctic terns and eider ducks, can be expected. After a lunch served along the shoreline, we’ll take a short hike to explore a local canyon aptly named “Kayak Falls.” From there we’ll have stunning views of the Northwest Passage and the opportunity to see polar bears.
Day 5 — Arctic Watch Lodge
Following breakfast, we’ll depart for a trip to Flatrock Falls, crossing the Cunningham River delta. There, you’ll have the option of hiking or travelling by Mercedes Unimog a (multi-purpose four-wheel drive truck). We’ll visit the Somerset Island canyons, formed as the result of shifting fault lines. Their walls, mostly vertical, vary from 200 to 1,000 feet (up to 305 meters).
Day 6 — Arctic Watch Lodge
The first leg of today’s journey will be by Mercedes Unimog truck. We’ll get to the Arctic Watch raft and kayak launch on the Cunningham River, 20 km from the lodge. Typically, the final six kilometers require a hike through the Badlands, passing the skeletal remains of two bowhead whales dated from eight thousand years ago. The voyage includes encounters with muskox, snow geese, jaegers, Arctic foxes, sandpipers and rough-legged hawks.
Day 7 — Departure Arctic Watch Lodge
Today, you’ll bid a fond farewell to the lodge team and the High Arctic. You may have time to take advantage of one last activity before we depart. In the late afternoon, the plane will arrive for the return flight back to Yellowknife. Upon arrival in Yellowknife you will be transferred to your included hotel.
Day 8 — Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Today you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some more time in the Yellowknife area.
For more information and pricing, please contact us directly at 604 733 1010 or by email