November 2011 - Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions

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Polar Bear Migration Fly-In Safari Photo Summary

November 20th, 2011 | By | Filed in Current Trips, Trips

“It’s a polar bear!” Simultaneously exclaimed by Michelle and Leanne, two Arctic Kingdom guests at the start of our inaugural Polar Bear Migration Fly-In Safari at the beginning of November.  The pair had just touched down after an 180km flight over the seemingly endless tundra, only to be greeted by a large male polar bear a mere 20 feet away from the cabin grounds.
Michelle and Leanne pose for the camera with a polar bear

Michelle and Leanne pose for the camera with a polar bear

Building on a decade of up close and personal wildlife safaris throughout the Arctic regions, Arctic Kingdom furthers our commitment to the arctic experience.  We have partnered with the Inuit people of Arviat to to deliver the best ground level polar bear viewing experience imaginable.  One that will allow guests to truly feel connected with the polar bears, and the arctic, all while upholding the most stringent safety measures. Over the next four days, Michelle, Leanne and other guests of Arctic Kingdom at the polar bear camp witnessed polar bears – large males, females and mother and cubs, from the safety of the cabin grounds, and under the professional guidance of Inuit guides from Arviat, Nunavut who are trained in close polar bear encounters. “To be on the ground, only meters from a polar bear and, to look directly into its eyes is nothing short of amazing…and incredibly fun!”  summarized Michelle of her trip to photograph the polar bears. Here is a photo summary of the 2011 Polar Bear Migration Fly-In Safari:

Polar Bear Mother and cubs walk by the cabins at sunset

Polar bear being watched by Inuit guide trained in close polar bear encounters

Polar bear being watched by Inuit guide trained in close polar bear encounters

 
Polar Bear Alley - Bear rolling in seaweed. At times we could watch a bear for hours on end. Observing them in their natural environment as they go about their routine seemingly oblivious to our presence only meters away.

Polar Bear Alley - Bear rolling in seaweed. At times we could watch a bear for hours on end. Observing them in their natural environment as they go about their routine seemingly oblivious to our presence only meters away.

 
Polar bears walk along the Hudson Bay coast on the migration route northwards. Polar bears are often curious about new smells and scents..especially of our presence.

Polar bears walk along the Hudson Bay coast on the migration route northwards. Polar bears are often curious about new smells and scents..especially of our presence.

 
David Briggs - AK Expedition Leader - taking a moment to enjoy a polar bear walking by

David Briggs - AK Expedition Leader - taking a moment to enjoy a polar bear walking by

 
Arctic Fox comes towards Polar Bear Alley Cabins

Arctic Fox comes towards Polar Bear Alley Cabins

 
The cabins are situated at the 60 degree latitude which is the prime northern lights band that circles the globe. This was what we looked forward to seeing every evening!

The cabins are situated at the 60 degree latitude which is the prime northern lights band that circles the globe. This was what we looked forward to seeing every evening!

Northern Lights at polar bear cabins

Northern Lights looking over the tundra

It was a late year for snow with hardly a trace by early November when this picture was taken and the Hudson Bay was still open water. This is extremely unusual as we normally use snowmobiles to travel by this time.

It was a late year for snow with hardly a trace by early November when this picture was taken and the Hudson Bay was still open water. This is extremely unusual as we normally use snowmobiles to travel by this time.

 
Nestled on the shores of Hudson Bay directly in “Polar Bear Alley”, situated 100km south of Arviat (180km north of Churchill) – the polar bear cabins are only accessible by air

Nestled on the shores of Hudson Bay directly in “Polar Bear Alley”, situated 100km south of Arviat (180km north of Churchill) – the polar bear cabins are only accessible by air

 
Plane lands at bear cabins

The turbo otter lands at the airstrip directly beside the polar bear cabins as guests look on.

Arctic Kingdom’s polar bear cabins at dusk. With a capacity of only 8 persons, this is the most intimate and personal polar bear viewing experience anywhere.

Arctic Kingdom’s polar bear cabins at dusk. With a capacity of only 8 persons, this is the most intimate and personal polar bear viewing experience anywhere.

 
Simple, comfortable, clean and warm. Each sleep cabin has it’s own bathroom. There is one shared shower facility.

Simple, comfortable, clean and warm. Each sleep cabin has it’s own bathroom. There is one shared shower facility.

 
Polar bear in spotlight

Bear in the spotlight. Polar bears often came by at night which allowed for some night photography opportunities as well.

Polar mother and 2 cubs approached by big male bear

Polar mother and two cubs approached by big male bear

During the day, with guides that carried rifles, we would conduct walks on the tundra

Extremely friendly arctic hares in their white winter coat would come within arms reach at times and directly into polar cabin grounds

A polar bear walks on the tidal flats towards the bear cabins. The tides are extreme here receding more than 1km from shore which results in a landscape of beautiful boulder strewn flats that the bears walk in to come to the cabins.

Ptarmigan in winter plumage

For more information on the Polar Bear Migration Fly-In Safari, visit the trip page here:    

Up Close Polar Bear Encounters

November 17th, 2011 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, Current Trips, Featured Trip, Trips

  This past October and November on the latest Polar Bear Migration Fly-In Photo Safari, participants experienced an intimate polar bear viewing like no other. From cabins located on the western coast of the Hudson Bay south of Arviat, trip members got to see the polar bears up close. In addition to these majestic bears other wildlife including arctic hare and various species of birds were spotted throughout the trip. The polar bears were captured on camera in their natural environment. To see how close the polar bears were to the camp please see the following video of “Polar Bear vs. a GoPro”. The cameras were set up about 100’ from the polar bear cabins. Watch the video to see who wins.  
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