Spend a week 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 specialize in North Pole and arctic tourism. Additional expertise comes from Quark Expeditions’ veteran polar expedition team members, Niki Trudeau, and Dave Allcorn.
Length of Travel: 8 or 10 days
Itinerary in Brief
- Encounter rarely seen and iconic arctic wildlife and their habitats: polar bears, muskoxen, ringed seals, bird cliffs, fox dens and much more
- Visit the Cunningham River estuary, seasonal home to hundreds of beluga whales
- Take advantage of included equipment and activities such as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), a Mercedes Unimog, kayaking, rafting, fishing and hiking
- Visit Cape Anne Thule sites with ancient stone and bone houses
- Enjoy unique photography opportunities
- Make the most of optional activities such as fishing for arctic char, and the Beechey Island fly-in excursion
Day 1 — Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Day 2 — Yellowknife and Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge
Days 3-6 or 3-8 — Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge
Enjoy a wealth of activities provided by the basecamp, including exploring in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), kayaking in Cunningham inlet, hiking to Kayak Falls, visiting the Somerset Island canyons, rafting, and watching for wildlife, including polar bears, muskoxen, snow geese, jaegers, arctic fox, seabirds, beluga whales, and ring and bearded seals.