The spring floe edge is one of the great natural wonders of the world. With the midnight sun shining above, incredible scenery, and opportunities to view unique wildlife found only in the Arctic, the floe edge is an unforgettable experience to add to any traveller’s bucket list.
What is the floe edge?
The floe edge, also known as the “Line of Life”, is where land-fast ice meets the open water of the Arctic Ocean. In spring, it becomes one of the most dynamic ecosystems in the world; and is the one place where all Arctic marine mammals come to co-mingle.
Called “Sinaaq” in Inuktitut, the floe edge can be safely accessed from outside Arctic Bay or Pond Inlet, Nunavut. On the northern reaches of Baffin Island, these exclusive locations are awe-inspiring at the peak of floe edge season – May and June.
Attracting photographers and adventurers from around the world, it is one of the most remarkable wilderness experiences on the planet.
Here are three reasons we love the spring floe edge:
Unique wildlife sightings
The floe edge in May and June offers some of the best opportunities to witness rare wildlife events. This can include large pods of tusked narwhal as they congregate at the floe edge during the annual migration to their summer feeding grounds. You may also get the chance to see large bowhead whales breaching, comical beluga, and polar bears prowling for seals. At this time of year, the high Arctic is also home to thousands of species of migratory birds.
The floe edge of Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet are especially incredible for photography because it provides opportunities to capture shots of wildlife among spectacular scenery.
Awe-inspiring landscapes and ice formations
The vast sea ice, majestic mountains, glaciers, and soaring icebergs make the spring floe edge even more special. With a backdrop of dramatic land and icescapes, photographers of every level are sure to get incredible shots.
The north eastern coastline of Baffin Island is ranked as one of the world’s greatest iceberg galleries. The floe edge provides opportunities for travellers to view and photograph thousands of years old icebergs, calved from Greenland. You may also get the chance to encounter glaciers – and possibly even drink tea made from glacial melt-water!
The midnight sun
This natural phenomena occurs above the Arctic Circle in the spring and summer months. In May and June the sun is constantly shining for 24-hours a day. These long hours of daylight mean more uninterrupted opportunities for adventure and wildlife encounters. The unique lighting is also amazing for stunning photography.
Another plus? The sunshine makes the temperatures of Arctic spring (which can get up to +10°C in June!) feel even warmer.
Travel tip: Don’t forget to pack a sleep mask!
Want to experience the best of the floe edge?
Visit the Pond Inlet floe edge in May and June on: Narwhal & Polar Bear Safari
Visit the Arctic Bay floe edge in June on: Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage
Want to plan a private floe edge experience?
Our Arctic Travel Advisors are pleased to help you plan a fully-customized Private Journey at the floe edge. Contact us to craft your own, bespoke experience!