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Narwhal & Polar Bear Expedition

Camping at the Arctic floe edge

Experience springtime on the floe edge of Baffin Island. Surrounded by rugged mountains and stunning glaciers, this remote corner of the Arctic is one of the best places in the world to view polar bears and narwhals. The perfect wildlife adventure for first time visitors to the Arctic as well as seasoned polar travelers.

This exhilarating Narwhal and Polar bear expedition will take you to a Tented Safari Camp at the northern reaches of Baffin Island. From your basecamp, you will go on daily excursions to the floe edge, where the sea ice meets the open water. For a few short weeks during spring, this is where marine mammals can be found travelling north along the ice edge. Pods of Narwhal can sometimes be spotted only meters from the edge! Polar bears and seals may also be seen at times, and if you are lucky, you might also observe bowhead and beluga whales. Furthermore, an incredible variety of migratory birds arrive here during spring.

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Highlights of the Narwhal & Polar Bear Expedition

  • Best chances for seeing Narwhal
  • Luxury Tented Safari Camp
  • Incredible wildlife photography
  • Opportunity for snorkeling & kayaking

When conditions allow, you will be offered an opportunity to go kayaking or snorkeling in this magnificent Arctic scene! Carefully paddle around or swim along the floe edge to discover the beauty and wonder of the Arctic’s icy under water world.

Tented Safari Camp

During your Narwhal & Polar Bear Expedition, you will be staying in a modern and comfortable Tented Safari Camp. The camp will be set up on the sea ice of Eclipse Sound, a few kilometres from the floe edge and surrounded by the majestic polar landscape of Baffin Island. Comfortable 2-person safari tents will keep you warm even in the coldest weather. It’s an incredible experience to sleep on the ice! At the safari camp, you’ll find a large dining and sitting area with central fireplace, creating a unique, cosy experience in the middle of the wilderness. A culinary team with professional chefs will provide hot, gourmet meals at the camp and while you are at the floe edge.

Programme

This land-based expedition includes 2 nights in a hotel in Pond Inlet and 5 nights in the Tented Safari Camp near the floe edge at Eclipse Sound. Groups consist of only 16 people in order to offer you the best experience. The itinerary is an example, and plans change often when you are out in the High Arctic. The succes of these trips is very much depending on the wildlife and weather conditions. Two things which are beyond our control. We count on your realistic expectations and your personal flexibility.

Day 1 & 2 | Journey to Eclipse Sound, Baffin Island

After your flight from Ottawa to Iqaluit (Nunavut), you will fly north to Pond Inlet. Your expedition leader will meet you upon arrival and will transfer you to your hotel for the night. The small Inuit community Pond Inlet is surrounded by scenic fjords and glaciers and looks out over Eclipse Sound, the waterway between Bylot Island and Baffin Island. During spring, as the sea ice starts opening up, Arctic whales migrate past, looking for openings to enter the channel. This area is one of the best places in the Arctic to see the elusive Narwhal.

After breakfast, you will head to Parks Canada for a short orientation and then on to the beach to prepare for the last stretch of your trip. A team of Inuit guides will be ready to assist you. The ride to the Arctic Safari Camp is done by snowmobiles and qamutik, a traditional wooden Inuit sleigh with comfortable seats. The duration of this ride will vary depending on the weather conditions but will include regular stops.

The drive to the camp is the real start of your adventure! It’s time to leave behind civilization and head out into the wild. Take in the exhilarating Arctic scenery as you glide across the ice.

Day 3-6 | Exploring the floe edge

For the next few days, the Safari Camp is your home base. Daily excursions will take you out to the ice edge to observe wildlife and enjoy the spectacular landscapes. You might spend up to 10 hours a day at the floe edge, offering you as much time as possible to see wildlife. Lunch is served on location and you will have a pop-up tent for warming up and seats as you wait for animals to appear. We hope to observe the iconic tusked narwhal as they swim past the floe edge. Other polar animals we might encounter are polar bears, bearded seals, ringed seals, walrus, bowhead whales, and beluga’s. The ice floe edge offers unmatched photography opportunities for capturing the most majestic polar animals!

In addition to wildlife watching, you will also have the chance to take part in various activities. Weather and ice conditions permitting, you can go for hikes, visit some of the nearby ice caves or even go snorkeling and kayaking! A visit to Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, where 200,000 birds choose to nest each year, might also be offered.

While out exploring, you may encounter local Inuit. Please be aware of their traditional hunting lifestyle which sometimes includes harvesting whales at the floe edge. You might also see evidence of hunting, including animal carcasses or seal skins, as you wander through the communities. Keep in mind these traditions go back for generations and take place in harmony with nature.

Day 7 & 8 | End of your expedition

After breakfast on day 7, you will return to Pond Inlet by qumatik sled. Take in the marvelous scenery one more time before arriving back in town. Enjoy your last evening in the high Arctic with a Inuit cultural presentation. A hotel night in Pond Inlet is included.

From Pond Inlet, you will fly to Iqaluit and on wards to Ottawa. You will certainly go back home with a mind full of Arctic memories.

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