Blog - Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions

Download Brochure
Email Signup

BLOG

A new adventure for birders: Bathurst Inlet Lodge

August 16th, 2016 | By | Filed in Featured Trip

Bathurst Inlet Lodge yellow warbler birding Arctic Kingdom

 

We often talk about the incredible and unique wildlife found only in the Arctic. Did you know there are also great opportunities for bird viewing? We’re excited to share that we now have an adventure for birders!

Rare bird sightings in a beautiful location

Common eiders Bathurst Inlet Lodge birding Arctic Kingdom

Bathurst Inlet Lodge is a family-friendly, easily accessible Arctic birding destination. Located just north of the Arctic Circle in Nunavut, Canada, it offers some of the best opportunities to see rare birds among spectacular landscapes.

Download the Arctic Birding List for free to see all the species that can be seen at Bathurst Inlet Lodge. Compare this to your life list; you may be surprised by how many sighting you can add in just one week! Even expert birders, and those able to recognize species by song, are often able to add several species to their list.

A special opportunity to see birds in breeding plumage

Hoary redpoll Bathurst Inlet Lodge birding Arctic Kingdom

Many of the birds that can be seen here are migratory. You may see them in your neighbourhood, but never like this! One thing unique to Bathurst Inlet is the special opportunity to see birds in breeding plumage. This is because breeding only occurs in the Arctic under the midnight sun.

Birds we’re bragging about

While this location becomes a temporary home to more than 100 species of birds throughout the season, there are a few we’re especially excited to highlight. Here are some of the birds you will have the chance to see at Bathurst Inlet Lodge:

Yellow-billed loons

Loon Bathurst Inlet Lodge birding Arctic Kingdom

Yellow-billed loons are larger than a common loon and very rarely seen in the United States and southern Canada. This species nests on deep tundra lakes – the kind found near Bathurst Inlet Lodge, allowing guests some of the best opportunities to see yellow-billed loons in breeding plumage. Guests often have the chance to see and watch the behaviour of these magnificent loons while drifting in the lodge’s pontoon boat.

Thayer’s Gulls

Thayer's gull Bathurst Inlet Lodge birding Arctic Kingdom

While you may have ample opportunity to see other gulls throughout North America, thayer’s gulls are rarely seen in the United States and southern Canada. These gulls can easily be misidentified. Luckily, guests will have expert guides on hand to assist!

Golden Eagles

Though they are one of the best-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere, golden eagles are rarely encountered in eastern Canada and eastern United States. They can often be found nesting on sheer cliffs on islands or along river gorges in the area surrounding Bathurst Inlet Lodge.

Willow and Rock Ptarmigans

Willow ptarmigan Bathurst Inlet Lodge birding Arctic Kingdom

Never seen in the lower 48 states of the United States, ptarmigans all live in tundra and cold areas. They are one of our favourite rare treats to see at Bathurst Inlet Lodge. All ptarmigan have a complex pattern of molt, occurring three times a year. Courtship plumage occurs in the spring. Summer visitors will notice that most plumage is dark at this time of year. They nest near the lodge, so guests often hear them crowing, and on special days you may be able to see family groups.

Explore the Inlet by boat

pontoon Bathurst Inlet Lodge birding Arctic Kingdom

A flat-bottomed pontoon boat is the perfect platform for exploring the Inlet. This stable and comfortable boat allows guests to walk around to take photos and use binoculars. All boat trips include an expert field guide to help you identify bird species and tell you more about the location.

See the birds of Bathurst Inlet

Want to check some of these bird species off your list next summer? With all the charm of a bed-and-breakfast, Bathurst Inlet Lodge is an affordable, all-inclusive Arctic adventure backed by nearly 50 years of experience and has limited availability. Bookings are available for only four weeks in the summer with a capacity of only 15 guests per week.

We encourage you to contact us to reserve your spot!

Learn more about Bathurst Inlet Lodge and trips available for 2017 here.

8 tips for Arctic wildlife photography

August 3rd, 2016 | By | Filed in Wildlife

Arctic Fox Arctic Kingdom wildlife

The Arctic is home to some of the world’s most unique wildlife, including polar bears and narwhal. This destination offers ample opportunities for amazing wildlife photography. For many, a trip to the Arctic is a once in a lifetime experience.

To help ensure you capture every moment during your visit, here are 8 tips for wildlife photography in the Arctic:

Gear up…

The gear you bring on an Arctic Safari depends on you! For serious photographers, with the variety of wildlife and scenery available to shoot, it’s a good idea to bring a telephoto lens (minimum of 300mm), a mid-range zoom (70-200mm), a tele-converter (1.4x or 2x), and a wide angle lens (24mm or less). Other guests have success with point-and-shoot cameras. Many photographers also find bringing a full-sized tripod or monopod beneficial.

The weather in the Arctic can be unpredictable. Depending on the season, we recommend bringing snow or rain covers, and heavy duty plastic bags to wrap your gear in the case of extreme weather. With spectacular sights at every turn, you will find yourself snapping more shots than usual. We’d hate for you to miss out on a great shot because your battery ran out! Don’t forget to pack extra memory cards, batteries and chargers.

Arctic Kingdom Qik Polar bear iceberg wildlife photography

…and know it well

No matter the type of gear you bring, it’s important to know it well. Get familiar with the settings and features of your camera and abilities of your lenses.

Wildlife won’t pose for your photos – you might have a maximum of five seconds to capture action. Know the appropriate shutter speed for your gear: it varies depending on the camera and lens, but should be fast enough to stop movement and still capture sharp images.

It’s also a good idea to practice quickly toggling between settings and modes to ensure you don’t miss that perfect breaching whale or close-up walrus shot!

Narwhal Arctic Kingdom Wildlife

Anticipate their next move

Consider where the animal is going, not where it is. Anticipating its movement is key so you can set up your shot. For those with goals of capturing shots of specific wildlife, it pays to know their behaviour patterns. Each animal is different: The best way to predict their movement is to take time watching them.

Your Expedition Leaders and Inuit guides have been spending time with Arctic wildlife for years, and know them well. Feel free to ask them for animal, weather and location-specific tips and tricks before you head out on the tundra or to the floe edge.

Arctic Kingdom Birds wildlife photography

Patience is key

Our experienced Inuit guides and Expedition Leaders aim to get you to the best spot at the right time for optimal wildlife viewing. That said, wildlife are unpredictable. Patience is not only a virtue, but imperative to your success when photographing wildlife.

You never know when a narwhal will surface, or a polar bear will climb up on a floating piece of ice, so you can get that epic shot of the day.

Arctic Kingdom Polar Bear Mother Cubs wildlife photography

Keep it interesting

Unusual conditions or vantage points can produce amazing results. While photographers often look for sunny days, you don’t have to wait for perfect conditions to capture beautiful photography. Overcast and less-than-ideal weather including snow and wind can make for dramatic and interesting shots.

You’ll find the long sunsets of Arctic summers can also provide opportunities for spectacular shots you won’t get anywhere else – worth waiting up for!

Arctic Kingdom sunset walrus on ice wildlife photography

Work your angles…

The angle of your shot is another thing to consider. While many people like to shoot at eye-level, it’s a great idea to go a bit lower.

You don’t always need to get all the way down on the ground, but what better excuse to get a bit dirty than an incredible photograph? Angling the camera slightly up at subject can produce some of the best, and most interesting, wildlife captures.

Arctic Kingdom Walrus on ice wildlife photography

…and framing

While close-up shots tend to make an impact, Arctic Kingdom Expedition Leader David Briggs likes to remind guests to get shots of wildlife in their environment. The Arctic is home to unique wildlife, but its incredible and vast landscapes are equally notable. Make sure to take a mixture of close-up and wide shots to capture all the beauty and wonder of the Arctic.

Arctic Kingdom Polar bear mother and cub on iceberg wildlife photography

Practice makes perfect

The more you shoot, the more you increase your chances of getting the perfect shot. The best professional wildlife photographers don’t become experts overnight. They practice taking photos, with a variety of angles, focuses and subjects. The good news is, our Arctic Safaris allow for plenty of time to work on your craft.

Following these tips and the guidance of your Expedition Leaders, we are confident you’ll leave with not only a smile and lasting memories, but great photographs to show off for years to come.

Here are some of the animals you can have the chance to see and photograph on our Arctic Safaris:

Arctic Kingdom Polar bear mother and cubs wildlife photography

Polar Bears

Opportunities to see them on these trips:

-          Polar Bear Mother and Newborn Cubs Photo Safari

-          Spring Polar Bears and Icebergs of Baffin Photo Safari

-          Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari

-          Kings of the Arctic

-          Polar Bears and Glaciers of Baffin Island

-          Polar Bear Migration Fly-In Safari

Arctic Kingdom Narwhal wildlife photography

Narwhal

Opportunities to see them on these trips:

-          Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari

-          Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage

Arctic Kingdom bowhead whale tail wildlife photography

Bowhead Whale

Opportunities to see them on these trips:

-          Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage

-          Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari

-          Kings of the Arctic

-          Polar Bears and Glaciers of Baffin Island

Arctic Kingdom beluga underwater wildlife photography

Beluga

Opportunities to see them on these trips:

-          Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage

-          Baffin Island Dive Safari 

Arctic Kingdom walrus pod wildlife photography

Walrus

Opportunities to see them on these trips:

-          Kings of the Arctic

-          Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage

 

Get Arctic wildlife photography inspiration on our Instagram! Follow us @ArcticKingdomExpeditions to see photos from our trips, including those captured by our guides and guests.

10 Fun facts about glaciers

July 6th, 2016 | By | Filed in Landscape

Glaciers Arctic Kingdom Safari

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.

Facts about Glaciers Arctic Kingdom

Want to see glaciers for yourself?

Bask in the blue glow of Canadian Arctic glaciers – and even drink glacier melt water – on these safaris:

Polar Bears and Glaciers of Baffin Island – Book now for August!

Baffin Island Dive Safari – Book now for May!

Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari – Book now for May and June!

Want to create your own glacier adventure?

Contact us to ask about custom trips.

 

 

5 Reasons to visit the Arctic in the summer

June 17th, 2016 | By | Filed in Featured Trip

Arctic summer sunset - Arctic Kingdom

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

Arctic summer sunset Baffin Island - Arctic Kingdom

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

Cory Trepanier Iqaluit Arctic Summer kayaking

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 summer polar bear - Arctic Kingdom safari

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!

Bathurst Inlet Lodge – family friendly vacations

March 17th, 2016 | By | Filed in Featured Trip

JPG _ BathurstInletAerial

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.

Narwhal Facts – Cliches & Curiosities

January 11th, 2016 | By | Filed in Featured Trip

A pair of narwhal surface

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

Arctic Kingdom’s Tom Lennartz honoured by Conde Nast

January 6th, 2016 | By | Filed in Uncategorized

Conde Nast ExperiencesEvery 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.

Congratulations, Tom!

A Message about email for our American and European Fans

December 17th, 2015 | By | Filed in AK NEWS

Email Opt-inWe 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!

Our newest polar bear cabin, only for private adventures!

November 11th, 2015 | By | Filed in Featured Trip

Guest wing of our private polar bear cabin
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.

Private cabin kitchenYou 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
The public spaceFly 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.

Canadian Rangers – Thank you for your service

November 10th, 2015 | By | 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.

Page 1 of 4812345678910...203040...Last »
Chat software for website