Province/Territory: Nunavut

Head to the High Arctic for a Northern wildlife safari

  • 800 kilometres above the Arctic Circle
  • 2000 beluga whales frolicking in the shallows
  • 360 degree views of dramatic Northwest Passage landscape

You are at the top of the world on Somerset Island in the territory of Nunavut, living in the rustic luxury of your own unique, high-tech permanent tent.
Kayak through ice-chunky waters teeming with ghostly white belugas. Watch stampeding muskox. Take a river-raft ride. Explore untouched tundra, spotting polar bears and snowy owls. Guided by a renowned polar explorer, you’ll visit an Arctic fox den and investigate mysterious Thule ruins crafted from giant whale bones. At day’s end your small group returns to Canada’s northernmost adventure lodge filled with the aroma of roast muskox paired with fine wine. Then sleep beneath the midnight sun amid the profound outback silence.

Why you should visit

• Daily Arctic safaris by ATV or Mercedes Unimog truck to waterfalls and ancient archeological sites and the largest annual migration of beluga whales on earth.
• Rare comfort in a remote 5-star tent lodge, 800 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.
• Hiking with views of musk ox herds; kayaking among icebergs. Polar bear and Arctic fox sightings.
• Watching beluga whales frolic in the shallows, so close you can hear their calls. Listen even more clearly with a hydrophone (underwater microphone) in the company of resident scientists.
• Evening talks by internationally recognized polar explorer and owner of Arctic Watch, Richard Weber, and an on-site Arctic library and interpretive centre.
• Dinners with Northern specialties like baked Arctic char, grilled muskox and homemade desserts.

Weather

• Be prepared for a wide range of tundra weather conditions as even in summer - July and August - weather varies from intense, 24-hour warm sun to foggy, windy, cool days with possible rain showers, even snow.
• The average daily maximum during summer months is 10°C, but temperatures ranging as high as 20°C or down to 0°C are not uncommon. Normal is 8°C to 12°C. Precipitation is light - less than 150mm per year (6 inches) - mostly falling as rain or snow during the winter and autumn.
• Discover local weather information.  Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.

Visitor information

• Visitors generally arrive in Yellowknife the day before their scheduled departure to Arctic Watch, on one of several airlines that service Yellowknife Airport (YVF) from Southern Canada.
• The following day, aboard a private plane, fly 4.5 hours (1,500 km) with a refueling stop in Cambridge Bay to a private airstrip near Arctic Watch.

When to go

• The summer season in the High Arctic is short. Arctic Watch is open from the start of July to mid-August.

Need to know

• You don’t have to be an experienced explorer to go on this Arctic adventure: beginners are welcome whether it's for hiking or kayaking.
• Bring rubber boots, a rain jacket and a layer of synthetic (not cotton) underwear, which is the best first layer next to your skin.
• Sunscreen is handy during the 24-hour daylight: insect repellent is not necessary as there are no biting bugs at Arctic Watch.

Getting Here

• Visitors generally arrive in Yellowknife the day before their scheduled departure to Arctic Watch, on one of several airlines that service Yellowknife Airport (YVF) from Southern Canada.
• The following day, aboard a private plane, fly 4.5 hours (1,500 km) with a refueling stop in Cambridge Bay to a private airstrip near Arctic Watch.