December 2014 - Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions

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BLOG: Archive for December, 2014

Polar Bear Dips – More than anybody else

December 30th, 2014 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Authentic Polar Bear Dip

Polar Bear Swimming

January 1 is famous for polar bear dips: Events that raise money for charity and goose bumps on the hardy souls who plunge into frigid water. Through our social media network, we are encouraging people to support their local polar bear plunge or dip this New Year’s Day.

Authentic Polar Bear Dips

On the other hand, we are famous for authentic polar bear dips: The kind where human beings watch safely from the edge of an ice floe as a polar bear swims about in the water.  Did you know that polar bears are marine mammals, capable of swimming great distances? Research has discovered that the kings of the North regularly swim 30 miles (48 km).

Another fact you may not know is that we offer more opportunities to watch bears swim, in more places, and in more months than anyone else on the planet! You aren’t limited to a few weeks in the fall.  We can take you to see polar bears under the midnight sun between June and July as well as in March or between October and November. There are five trips in particular with polar bear sightings as a focus.

To make learning about your polar bear trip choices easier, we’ve built a page with a simple comparison chart. You can find it here >

Entering Canada by Air: 5 Tips for Travellers

December 30th, 2014 | By | Filed in TRIPS

Taking flight

Photo credit: Michelle Valberg

You might be wondering about entering Canada by air, if you are planning to take one of our polar bear safaris or an Arctic Weekend Getaway.  Here are 5 tips to make arriving in Canada simpler. You may need a visa, or you may not. Check before you leave home.  Click here to find out if you need one. 

(1) You will be asked to complete a declaration card on the plane, so carry a pen in your hand luggage. (2) You may list up to four people living at the same address on one declaration card. (3) Alcohol and tobacco have limits all their own – and they are not generous. Only one of three options is permitted to enter duty-free – 1.5L of wine OR 1.14 L or liquor OR 24 x 355 ml cans or bottles of beer or ale. (4) You have to be of legal drinking age per the province of entry. (5) The duty-free allowance for visitors entering Canada are gifts (excludes alcohol and tobacco) valued at no more than CAN$60 per visitor. (At the time of writing).

The finer points of entering Canada by air:

Education, healthcare and legislation governing the consumption of alcohol are provincial responsibilities. They differ from province to province and territory to territory. We have two official languages at the Federal level, but only one province has made bilingualism law – that is New Brunswick. Most Canadians cannot speak both official languages – French and English. Many Canadians, however, are bilingual – English and Mandarin or French and Arabic, or Inuktitut and English – are examples.

There are restrictions on the amount of currency or monetary instruments a visitor may bring into the country without declaring it. The declaration card has a section that asks you to declare weapons you are carrying, commercial goods, currency and a long list of food stuffs, such as meat, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy products and fruits. Read the section carefully on your declaration card, and answer truthfully. Better to have a piece of sausage confiscated than be refused permission to enter the country.


Themed Adventures and Special Occasions in Iqaluit

December 14th, 2014 | By | Filed in AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Inuit Culture/Art, Sports

Special Occasions

Special occasions require a memorable setting and activities that are once in a lifetime. Our themed adventures in Iqaluit will make your special occasion unforgettable. Here are two that are coming up very soon.

Special Occasions

Valentine’s Day – February 13 to February 15, 2015 – The Arctic for the Romantic

Spend 2 nights and 3 days in the territorial capital of Nunavut on Baffin Island.  Share with your beloved a Swedish couple’s massage, followed by a romantic cocktail and dinner at the Discovery restaurant. Breakfast is included in our Valentine’s adventure package, as well as dog-sledding and an immersion in Inuit culture. Email us for complete package details and pricing.

Toonik Tyme Festival – Sports, culture and good times in Iqaluit – April 3 to 6, 2015

One of the best annual festivals in the North, Toonik Tyme celebrates the spring break-up. Our package includes a VIP ticket to the events – igloo building, seal skinning, snowmobile racing. Speaking of snowmobiles, you’ll enjoy a ride to a polynya – open water surrounded by ice, where marine mammals could be seen surfacing to breath. Email  (iqaluitatarctickingdomdotcom?Subject=Toonik%20Tyme)   us for complete package details and pricing.

Themed Adventures

Arctic Survival Expedition – turn any weekend into a test of courage and skill

We’re stripping this weekend to the bare essentials – man vs. nature. You’ll fish for your supper and build your own accommodation. Transportation is by snowmobile. Survival training is by Arctic Kingdom. Complete package details and pricing is available by Email  (iqaluitatarctickingdomdotcom?Subject=Arctic%20Survival)  .

Northern Lights – a natural phenomenon that can’t be controlled

Any weekend between August and November, you can fly to Iqaluit in search of the Northern Lights. Like any great quest there is no guarantee that your first attempt will be successful. The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that is completely unpredictable. We do guarantee to light up your night with a bonfire in Sylvia Grinnell Park. To learn more Email  (iqaluitatarctickingdomdotcom?Subject=Northern%20Lights)  .

2 free nights in Santiago, Chile if you book our #Antarctica cruise

December 12th, 2014 | By | Filed in AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Adelie Penguins - Antarctica Cruise

Adelie Penguins

Our Antarctica cruise has always been great. You fly across the Drake Passage, notorious for its seasickness inducing waves, and see the best of the Antarctic Peninsula. The ship is marvellous – and the number of passengers is small.

Well the best of the best just got better for a limited time. Book and deposit before December 31, 2014 on any 2015-15 Fly ‘n Cruise and you can stopover in beautiful Santiago at the Singular Hotel. The $640 value includes breakfast, Wi-Fi, and is based on double occupancy.

The bonus details

This offer applies to new bookings only made between now and December 31, 2014. The deposit for the trip is due by December 31 too. You must deposit to receive the bonus stay, which is subject to availability.


The bonus can be taken as a 2 night pre or post extension OR – this is an excellent option – it can be split one night before, and one night after. Splitting the bonus ensures you have time to make connections and adjust to jet lag before your Antarctica cruise.

What you will see on your Antarctica cruise

Day 3 to 6 are spent cruising the Antarctic Peninsula. Unlike a motor coach tour, exploring the Peninsula is never the same from trip to trip. Weather, animal activity and those serendipitous moments that travellers always dream about may compel the Expedition Leader to change plans by the hour or minute. That is true expedition style cruising.

Paulet Island, Hope Bay, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay and Deception Island are iconic names on the map of the Peninsula. Perhaps the most iconic is the LeMaire Channel, often referred to as the most photographed spot in Antarctica. All or any of these locations are possible on our Fly and Cruise itinerary.

Arctic Kingdom’s environmental responsibility honoured by VacationIdea

December 7th, 2014 | By | Filed in Diving, Media

Floe-edge-Photographers---Jane-Whitneyenvironmental responsibility is an important pillar of our business. We thank the people of for naming us as one of the 25 coolest green destinations.

Our travellers are face-to-face with the environment as our photo indicates. To keep the environment pristine enough to return year after year, our standard operating procedures must accommodate human waste, garbage, fossil fuels and the cleanliness of the water through which we paddle and dive.

Read about our stand on conservation here.


The Polar Sea – Episode 1

December 2nd, 2014 | By | Filed in Current Events

The Polar Sea

Episode One

Did you follow our Tweets during the premier episode of the Polar Sea last night? This 10-part series, produced with Canadian and German money, is occupying the TVO’s 9pm slot for 10 nights, Monday through Friday, until December 12, 2014.

The premise is that three Swedish friends will sail the Dax from Iceland through Canada’s Northwest Passage, a mid-life quest documented every step of the way by an invisible camera crew. Spoiler alert: Problems were foreshadowed during last night’s episode – and not just Global Warming. (According to the documentary, Greenland is a hot bed for climate change research.) During their sail from Reykjavik to Ilulissat they encountered an Arctic storm that tossed their ship and the adventurers about. When they limped into port, their comms were down and the engine was unreliable. The mouth of the Northwest Passage was still hundreds of miles away.

The first rule of Arctic exploration is self-sufficiency, even today in a GPS world. The crew of the Dax had stocked the galley, undertook routine engine maintenance, but they were far from ready to face the unforgiving forces of the Arctic: Adventurers 0, Arctic 1.

We’ve been working in the Arctic for 15 years, on the edge of ice floes and under the ocean surface. We’ve provided logistics for film crews and researchers. We know that an ice free Northwest Passage is not a trouble free Northwest Passage. The intrepid trio aboard the Dax did not.

Even if they had asked our advice, I expect they would not have taken it. That’s the thing about adventuring, it conquers caution.

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