July 6th, 2016 | By MaryBeth McKenzie | Filed in Landscape
What are glaciers?
Glaciers are huge, slow-moving, masses of ice. Formed by years of fallen snow that have compressed into ice, these ice masses eventually begin to flow along the land due to gravity. This movement is what sets glaciers apart from ice beds. It also makes them one of nature’s most dramatic – and fascinating – forces.
We’ve seen these glistening giants countless times on our trips and they continue to take our breath away every time. A must-see for every adventurer and nature lover, here are 10 fun facts about glaciers:
1. The eastern Arctic houses the biggest and oldest glaciers in Canada. A remnant of the Laurentide ice sheet, which covered much of Canada during the last glacial period of the Earth’s current ice age, the Barnes Ice Cap in Baffin Island contains Canada’s oldest ice. Some of it is more than 100,000 years old!
2. The Penny Ice Cap in Auyuittuq National Park in Iqaluit is the largest ice mass in the southern Canadian Arctic. It covers approximately 6,400 km2. Researchers have been studying this ice cap for years. Measurement of the Penny Ice Cap is important for researchers to understand the changes of glaciers, especially with climate change and the increased melting over the past decade. (Visit it on this safari trip!
3. Glaciers cover almost 10% of the world’s land mass, approximately 14.9 million km2. During the peak of the last ice age, they covered almost a third of the Earth’s land.
4. The world’s largest glacier is 435km (270 miles) long and more than 96 km (60 miles) wide at its widest point. This glacier is called the Lambert glacier and is found in Antarctica.
5. Glaciers hold approximately 69% of the world’s fresh water.
6. If all land ice melted sea levels would rise 70 meters (230 feet).
7. There are two main types: Alpine glaciers and Continental glaciers. Alpine glaciers flow downward from mountaintops and through valleys. Continental glaciers form large horizontal sheets, aren’t affected by topography including mountains, and tend to flatten anything in their path.
8. Glaciers can be found on every continent, except Australia. While most are situated near the Earth’s poles, in Antarctica and near Greenland, many can be found close to the equator, including Mexico.
9. Glacier ice crystals can grow to be as large as baseballs.
10. Some glaciers appear blue when they become very dense. With years of compression, tiny air pockets between ice crystals get forced out. The ice can absorb all other colours in the spectrum, such as red and yellow light, and reflects blue light. The denser the glacier, the more blue it will appear.
Want to see glaciers for yourself?
Bask in the blue glow of Canadian Arctic glaciers – and even drink glacier melt water – on these safaris:
June 17th, 2016 | By MaryBeth McKenzie | Filed in Featured Trip
Strangely enough, the Arctic isn’t always a top-of-mind destination for a summer escape. With unmatched natural beauty, unique wildlife and outdoor fun at every turn, the Canadian Arctic is a must-visit vacation spot. With Iqaluit just a three hour flight from Ottawa, it’s now more accessible than ever.
If the cold-weather rumors (spoiler alert: it’s actually warm!) are holding you back, we’ve got a pleasant surprise for you – plus four more reasons to travel to the far North.
Delight in beautiful weather (Don’t forget to pack your t-shirts!)
Myth busted: The Canadian Arctic isn’t always cold! In fact, Arctic summers can get quite warm. Temperatures in July and August can be anywhere from 10 to 20°C (50 to 68°F) – break out the short sleeves!
Bask in the midnight sun
Imagine watching icebergs twinkle in the glow of the sun at midnight. One of the most amazing features of Arctic summer are the long days. The almost 24-hour sunshine allows for uninterrupted adventures and extended hours of fun! When the days begin to shorten later in the season (don’t worry, they still see upwards of 17 hours of sun), visitors enjoy spectacular and seemingly endless sunsets.
Admire vibrant scenery
The Arctic’s raw beauty truly shines in the summer months as the region comes alive with colour. Travellers and locals alike can agree that the tundra blooming with brilliant wildflowers is a wonderful sight to see. This combined with the surrounding glaciers and tranquil waters will surely take your breath away.
Enjoy the best of the great outdoors
The Arctic is the place for summer fun in nature. With incredible landscapes all around, the region boasts some of the best hiking you’ll ever experience – especially in Canada’s most stunning park, Auyuittuq National Park.
The whole family will also love fishing for Arctic char and picking wild blueberries. Other activities to write home about include boating, kayaking and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.
Get up-close with unique wildlife
Arctic summers are full of life providing the opportunity for intimate wildlife sightings from land and boat. Get those cameras ready! Depending on the region, you’ll have the chance to capture stunning shots of majestic walrus lounging on ice, pods of mystical narwhal, roaming polar bears, enormous bowhead whales and more.
For wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, families and adventure seekers a like, the Arctic offers the experience of a lifetime no other destination can compare to. What are you waiting for?
Here are some great ways to experience the Arctic this summer:
Polar Bears and Glaciers of Baffin Island Safari (August)
Taste of the Arctic Summer Getaway (July-October)
Kings of the Arctic – Polar Bears, Whales, Walrus Safari (June-July) – booking 2017!
Bathurst Inlet Lodge (June-July)– a family favorite – booking 2017!
Bonus: Click here to see what FlightNetwork.com is saying about us!
March 17th, 2016 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Featured Trip
Family friendly vacations under the Midnight Sun
When RCMP Staff Sergeant Glenn Warner patrolled the Bathurst Inlet area in the 1960s, the natural beauty of the region called to him. With his wife Trish, he purchased the Burnside Mission from the Roman Catholic Church and turned it into a summer home. When the historic Hudson Bay Post closed, he formed a partnership and bought that building too!
Bathurst Inlet Lodge began welcoming guests officially in 1969. Eventually the Warners partnered with local Inuit residents. That partnership strengthened the Lodge’s ability to immerse its guests in the culture of the people whose ancestors had inhabited the inlet for thousands of years.
In 2016, a new phase in the Lodge’s history is underway. Arctic Kingdom has become Bathurst Inlet Lodge’s sole marketing and sales partner. We are committed to delivering the same level of pre- and post-travel service that has kept birders, wildlife enthusiasts and Arctic history buffs returning year after year. The Lodge is still owned by the Warner family and their Inuit partners, so your on-site adventure will be every bit as authentic as any of the previous 47 seasons.
Welcome grandparents and grandchildren
Everybody claims to offer family friendly vacations, welcoming grandparents and their grandchildren. The Lodge is run by families and staffed by families. They use that real life experience to deliver safe, gently active and engaging programming that covers everything from wildlife to Arctic history. No dusty dry lectures for Bathurst Inlet guests. Instead real people tell stories about the lives they have led for generations, living on the edge of an Arctic inlet surrounded by wildflower carpeted tundra and majestic mountains.
Wildlife and wildflowers
Muskoxen, relics of the ice age, roam the surrounding tundra. Grizzly bears sightings have increased over the years, an indication of changing climate. Caribou still graze, while smaller critters scamper. Because the sun shines for 24 hours, wildflowers bloom in profusion. Beauty is everywhere spurring the imagination. Children should carry a point-and-shoot camera on hikes and pontoon boat rides – part of the daily programming.
January 11th, 2016 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Featured Trip
Narwhal Facts – The Cliche
Google it. You’ll see the number one cliche about narwhal is that they are “the unicorn of the sea.” This Arctic whale – has never been successfully kept in captivity. You must visit their habitat to see them.
Narwhal Facts – The Science
Qilalugaq tugaalik is the Inuktituk name for narwhal. Scientists refer to them as monodon monoceros. Females give birth to a single calf that they have carried for up to 16 months, and nurse their calf for over a year. Mating occurs between March and May. They are social mammals, travelling in pods of 10 to 100. Although seeing a pod of 100 is a rare sight, we have witnessed it at our camp near Pond Inlet.
Narwhal Facts – That single tusk may be a sensory device
The tusk is actually a tooth, which is the reason that narwhal are classified as toothed-whales. The World Wildlife Fund research collaborators have discovered that the spiral tooth may have as many as 10 million nerve endings inside.
Narwhal Facts: Can narwhal have more than one tusk?
Though rare, yes, some narwhal grow a pair of tusks.
More Narwhal Facts
- The world population of narwhal is between 40 and 50 thousand
- The majority winter under the ice in the Davis Strait or Baffin Bay region
- Narwhal feed on Greenland halibut, shrimp, squid and other fish
January 6th, 2016 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Uncategorized
Every year, the influential travel magazine Conde Nast selects Experience Makers – travel professionals that the magazine has identified as experts in their field. Our own Tom Lennartz was on the 2015 list.
You will note that he was recognized for the depth of his knowledge of expedition ships. Tom is equally adept at creating private expeditions to the remote reaches of the world. On ships or land!
Tom Lennartz has worked with captains of industry
We aren’t allowed to brag about Tom’s network of the rich and famous. We can tell you that he has arranged private journeys for major documentarians, captains of industry, royalty and famous movie stars.
Tom Lennartz has spent his entire life outdoors – diving, snowmobiling, swimming with whales and leading expeditions. That depth of knowledge and experience is at your service, whenever he creates a custom tour.
Tom is a family man, so he is sensitive to the needs of parents who want to create lasting family memories when they travel.
December 17th, 2015 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in AK NEWS
We like to keep in touch with you through our e-Newsletter. But it is becoming difficult, because we are a Canadian company. The Canadian Government has legislated that any company sending commercial e-messages – like our e-newsletter – must use a double-opt-in confirmation system. The laws that govern this are known here as CASL.
What is a double-opt-in email confirmation system?
When you subscribe to our e-Newsletter, a confirmation email is sent to you. This message goes out before we send you the e-Newsletter. You must click on the link in the email to receive the newsletter. Once you have clicked on the confirmation email, you’ll never receive a confirmation message again. If you don’t, you will continue to receive a confirmation email every time you ask us for something. And you will never get the information that you require.
The double-opt-in tell us that you really want the information and allows us to continue to keep you informed. To receive a double-opt-in email, complete this form.
Help us keep in touch with you, please.
Those of you familiar with electronic messaging can see the Catch-22 we are in. We cannot send you a message explaining why you need to confirm your e-address. Not until you have confirmed your e-address! We really need your help to sort this out.
Please note that if you have already confirmed your email, you will not receive a confirmation email!
November 11th, 2015 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Featured Trip
Just south of Arviat, Nunavut, right in the path of the migration of Hudson Bay polar bears, is our newest cabin. The cabin is available only for private, custom adventures: a family of four; flour close friends; or a couple looking for an accessible, yet remote romantic private getaway.
The guest wing has a fully equipped kitchen and an open concept living space, with large windows that let you watch the polar bears strolling by, just outside the electric fence. Completely self-contained, the cabin has staff quarters, where your personal chef and expedition leader stay. The daily itinerary is customized to your energy level, local conditions and the presence of absence of bears.
You and your travelling companions will hike the frozen tundra or enjoy a snowmobile ride when the bears are not around. When bears are present the electric fence allows you to take face-to-face photos of the polar bears. Their natural curiosity may draw them close to the fence. Or they could ignore your presence completely, content to wait for the ice to form on the bay.
How to get to our polar bear cabin
Fly to Arviat from Winnipeg, MB, the international gateway for this trip. We meet you at the airport and transport you privately to the cabin. Because this will be a private expedition, we build the trip around your flight schedule, even booking a private charter flight from Winnipeg to Arviat, if you prefer.
The benefits of a private adventure
Custom-designing a family adventure ensures that the menus match your taste or special needs. The trip can be as long or short as you like – made to measure for school vacations or honeymoons. You won’t be standing in line for the best picture angle. If you feel like sleeping in rather than participating in the daily activities – you can – because this is your trip done your way.
November 10th, 2015 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Current Events
On the eve of Remembrance Day, we honour members of the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. 1 CRPG members patrol the Arctic territories and Atlin, British Columbia. Headquartered in Yellowknife, NWT, under the command of Major Craig Volstad, the First is tasked with patrolling 40% of Canada’s landmass.
According to the official website, the mission of the Canadian Rangers is:
provide lightly equipped, self sufficient, mobile forces in support of Canadian forces sovereignty and domestic operation tasks in Canada.
Members assist in Search and Rescue when required. They are role models for young people and are often found in leadership roles in their home communities. Read more about the 1 CRPG patrols here.
Arctic Kingdom thanks members of 1 CRPG for their service. We will be marking Remembrance Day, tomorrow, November 11 at 11 AM. We encourage all our followers to stand in silent respect at that time for 2 minutes to honour those who gave their lives in defense of freedom.
November 4th, 2015 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Arctic History, Trips
Freighter canoe with the Canots Nor-West decal.
Freighter canoes are hybrids, part motor-boat, part canoe. They are large, long and oddly beautiful. Note the straight stern, on which an outboard engine can be attached. The photo to the right was taken on the eastern shore of James Bay in the Cree territory known as Eeyou Istchee.
The people of Waskaganish, a small coastal Cree village on the southern coast of Eeyou Istchee, has a 300 year history of building canoes designed to carry the freight associated with the fur trade. It is thought that the current design was based on those more traditional canoes used by the Hudson Bay Company.
What those of us in the south often forget is that the North is Canada’s third sea coast. James Bay and its northern and larger extension – Hudson Bay – are subject to strong winds, ice and currents. The motorized freighter canoe was designed to navigate that treacherous seacoast.
The photo to the left was taken in the summer of 2015 near Igloolik, an Inuit community far north of Hudson Bay on the banks of the Northwest Passage. Our Kings of the Arctic Safari is staged there. Riding in the canoe are members of our Field Staff, showing off their skill in the canoe that Northern peoples have adopted as their own.
October 23rd, 2015 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Trips
Travellers to Africa talk about the Big 5: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and the Cape Buffalo. These are the five animals that earned a reputation as the hardest to bag when trophy hunting. In the digital age, in the Canadian Arctic the Big 5 are wildlife that are extremely difficult to photograph in the wild.
The Arctic’s Big 5
Narwhal, the single-tusked whales that inspired the legend of the unicorn, are wary of the sound of engine motors. They will dive to great depths rather than encounter curious photographers hanging over the side of a boat.
Polar bears are migratory. Their home territories are massive, larger than any other type of bear. To see them in the wild takes an understanding of their natural behaviour.
Bowhead whale is the largest whale in the Arctic Ocean, yet are seldom visible. They slough dead skin from their bodies annually, a sight that is seldom scene.
Walrus live in the Arctic all year round. They need sea ice, like the polar bear, to survive. Due to shrinking sea ice, 35,000 female walrus and their calves were photographed congregating on a beach in 2014. The largest gathering ever recorded.
Beluga, white whales with comical faces, spend summers in the Arctic Ocean, when the ice has melted. They migrate south to avoid freeze up. To see them in the Far North, we depend on the local knowledge of Inuit, who have hunted them for centuries.
Safaris to see the Arctic Big 5