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Cannot think of a better way to have celebrated my 50th

January 19th, 2015 | By | Filed in Diving, Featured Trip

Narwhal at the floe edge

Narwhal at the floe edge

I have been going through our guestbooks this morning. What a pleasure it has been, I say with no modesty whatsoever.

A 50th, or 21st or just for the heck of it

One entry inspired today’s post. Elaine wrote this at the end of her Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari: “There are no words good enough to express the once in a lifetime experience of this trip. The Arctic is beautiful. The people beyond friendly. The wildlife and environment awe inspiring. The people met just great. The Arctic Kingdom crew fabulous, friendly, helpful. Just a lovely experience and I cannot think of a better way to have celebrated my 50th. Thanks, thanks, thanks.”

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate any special occasion than a visit to the Arctic. But…you don’t have wait for a special occasion…because an Arctic Adventure is always a special occasion. Don’t take my word for it. Read what Angie had to say about her Great Migration adventure: “Am amazing, too short, week in the Arctic. My obsession continues as I already look forward to a return trip. Truly fabulous photography at the floe edge. I will take the badge for Arctic diving, although probably the shortest dive completed. and I will leave the honor of acquiring an underwater split of a narwhal to a more adventurous photographer.”

Is 2015 your year to take the Arctic off your bucket list?

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 VactionIdea.com 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.

 

Torngat Mountains National Park – Aboard M V Cape Race

November 10th, 2014 | By | Filed in Diving, Featured Trip, Recent Trips, SCIENCE, Scientists

Raw research from the waters off Torngat Mountains National Park

Raw research from the waters off Torngat Mountains National Park

Torngat Mountains National Park is the third entry in a series of posts from the journal of Arctic Kingdom’s Jason Hillier who spent 17 days aboard our charter vessel M V Cape Race in the company of researchers.

Sunshine Fiord – Torngat Mountains National Park

As we sailed the coastline of Torngat Mountains National Park we encountered amazing fiords, most notably Sunshine Fiord. We had to hole up overnight there to escape some wind. We had crossed the Davis Strait and made a beeline for Labrador in order to get the researchers on shore and the dive team in the water again.

We had a great day of sampling, and diving in the waters just off the Park. The epic scenery and the mountains of Torngat, especially Seven Islands Bay, was a great backdrop to a spectacular day and we even knocked off a couple more successful dives.

The sailing continued past  Saglek Basecamp. After dropping off our Parks Canada crew, we made our way to Makkovik for fuel, water and supplies. Makkovik is an Inuit community on the coast of Labrador. It was great to be on land again, but our researchers never tired and we were able to squeeze in three dives. A great inter-tidaling-sample effort from our shore team meant that they came home with not only specimens but fresh berries. A delicious treat!

Aboard charter vessel M V Cape Race

November 7th, 2014 | By | Filed in Current Trips, Diving, Filmmakers, Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights from our charter vessel

Northern Lights from our charter vessel MV Cape Race

Aboard our charter vessel M V Cape Race, Jason Hillier, one of Arctic Kingdom’s senior Team Members, spent 17 days sailing from Baffin Island to Newfoundland. He shared his log entries with us.

September 2, 2014 – at sea on charter vessel M V Cape Race

 

With two quick dives under our belts, on Day 2 we leave Qikiqtarjuaq, the iceberg capital of Nunavut, in fine style as a dazzling display of Northern Lights dance in the night sky. Our charter vessel, MV Cape Race, will  sail all night to the next dive site on Baffin Island.  “Qik” is the location of our Polar Bears and Glaciers of Baffin Island Safari. The hamlet is one of the best places to see icebergs in Nunavut.

Our next land fall will be the Torngat Mountains, a few days sail away. Torngat is a corruption of the Inuktituk word Torngait, meaning “places of spirit.” Torngat Mountains National Park is one of the most remote in Canada’s national park system. During the summer, visitors must either charter a vessel or a plane. During the winter, access is possible by snowmobile.

 

MV Cape Race is available for charter for private expedition cruising, research or film making anywhere in the world.

Aboard the MV Cape Race – September 2014

November 6th, 2014 | By | Filed in Diving, Projects, Recent Trips

Jason Hillier, one of Arctic Kingdom’s senior Team Members, spent 17 days aboard our charter vessel M V Cape Race in September. He has shared his log entries with us.

M V Cape Race at sea

M V Cape Race at sea

September 1, 2014 – Qikiqtarjuaq, NU – Day One aboard MV Cape Race.

Today, we set sail on a “reverse” course of Arctic Kingdom’s The Best of Labrador, Baffin Island and Greenland. Stepping out of the airport, I was struck by my luck; a sunny, warm day and no wind. It was a great day to get on a ship and start an adventure!

After meeting the crew, who had strolled up the road to the airport to find me, once they saw the plane land, we piled into a Zodiac to make our way to my home for the next 17 days.

We were sailing from Baffin Island to the Torngats in Labrador, through the Strait of Belle Island and down the west coast of my home province to the island of Newfoundland. We were bringing 12 university scientists on an epic voyage to collect data and samples of everything from kelp to invertebrates to freshwater algae. We would also conduct bird surveys.

The team consisted of cold water divers and “inter-tidalers” that we affectionately referred to as Team Bear Bait as they are biologists who wade through inter-tidal zones collecting specimens. Our Parks Canada Bear Monitor was on board to ensure everyone was safe and sound throughout all the shore excursions, both inside and outside the National Park. But it’s always fun to tease.

Dive Weekend Getaway in the Canadian Arctic: The Value Proposition

October 25th, 2014 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, Diving

'Iceberg Texture', by Todd Mintz

‘Iceberg Texture’, by Todd Mintz

Diving in the Arctic is a joy wrapped in hues of blue and white. Ice, water and sky refract and dissolve constantly reinventing the palette. Divers share the beauty with ice castles, polar bear and whales. Arctic diving is closer than you think, and whole lot more affordable than you imagine.

Arctic Dive Weekend

The minimum diving requirement is Advanced Diving Certification to join the 5 to 7 other people who will comprise the dive group. You and your dive buddies have a choice of dates in 2015, because the long weekend begins every Friday from July to September. If the conditions are right, you’ll dive five or six times during the weekend. All tanks, weights, weight belts, harnesses and tank fills are include in the package.

Dive and Certify

The professional dive instructor who accompanies the divers can, for an additional cost, provide Ice Diver and Drysuit Certification training. You can dive and certify.

Explore a foreign environment

In between diving excursions to explore an unfamiliar underwater world, the weekend includes opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture of the Inuit. You will interact  with Inuit guides take a town tour, and visit a museum. Our Arctic Dive Weekend is big adventure for a small price and no jet lag if you are based on the Eastern Seaboard of North America.

Dive for a week in the Arctic

If you are based farther away, our Baffin Island Dive Safari may be the best option for you. You’ll experience FOUR types of Arctic dives over eight days: Floe Edge, Pack Ice, Crack  and Iceberg. The base for this trip is Pond Inlet, on the northeast coast of Baffin Island.

Arctic Kingdom’s first trip 15 years ago was a dive trip to Baffin Island. Diving is in our blood.

The Ice Diving Experience

February 25th, 2011 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Diving

YouTube Preview Image

The teche blog has a nice roundup of some ice diving pics, and of course we have a huge collection of our own photos online at our flickr page and in our inspiration gallery.

Interested in trying it out for yourself? Contact us. We’re experts in cold water diving and safety. Travel with us and enjoy some of the most incredible dives of your life. Arctic Kingdom offers both regularly scheduled trips as well as private excursions –  we’re happy to work with you to determine the most appropriate adventure for your scheduling needs.

Canadian High Arctic, Lancaster Sound, Nunavut Canada May 2004 Graham Dickson, Arctic Kingdom ice diving under crack in sea ice. Divers are tethered with rope so that they can find their way back to the entry point.

Webinar – Introduction to Diving in the Arctic

December 2nd, 2010 | By | Filed in Diving, Webinar

Join Arctic Kingdom expedition leader Thomas Lennartz for a virtual Arctic Diving expedition to Baffin Island.

Pulling from his experience on Baffin Islands numerous dive trips, Tom will share his insights on traveling in this remarkable trip and what you could expect to see by joining our upcoming floe edge expeditions

– Narwhal and Polar Bear Floe Edge Adventure Dive trip (May/June) and/or the Bowhead, Walrus and Polar Bears of Foxe Basin Dive trip (July).

On this webinar:

  • Discover floe edges and the value of high-end expedition travel in extremely small group, land-based trips with an expert team of AK expedition divers in close partnership with Inuit guides
  • See expedition highlights— diving in pack ice, along icebergs, at the floe edge, watch narwhals feeding, polar bears, soaring glaciers and stunning iceberg, and our safari-style eco-camps.
  • Get a sense of daily activities – from floe edge activities such as types of dives, kayaking, traveling by snowmobile and qamutiks, hiking and more..

For related trip details visit:
Narwhal and Polar Bear Floe Edge DIVE Adventure
Ultimate Floe Edge Experience – Beluga, Narwhal and Polar Bears
Bowhead Whales, Walrus and Polar Bears of the Foxe Basin

Interested in Ice Diving? You’re Not Alone.

November 23rd, 2010 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Dive Training, Diving

In the last few days, a number of articles online have mentioned that actor Jake Gyllenhaal, star of films such as Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain has decided to embark on an arctic ice diving trip for his 30th birthday.

According to the New York Daily News, Gyllenhall explains –

“The only reason I’m doing it is I wanted to do something that absolutely terrified me — killer whales and walruses and freezing cold water? That seems absolutely terrifying.”

Terrifying? Not if you take part in ice dive training, and travel with an experienced company well prepared for any contingency.

AK expedition member Ice Diving in Arctic Bay. Photo by Louise Murray

Ice diving is thrilling, beautiful, and a deeply memorable experience.  If you have experience diving elsewhere and are advanced certified, you might consider taking our four day ice diving training. Taught as a mini-expedition, and with group numbers limited to 8 people, you’ll travel by airboat to a range of sites for as many dives as can be safely completed.

As we’ve mentioned before, the airboat is a simply amazing piece of equipment. We’re able to travel across all sorts of ice conditions, including areas off limits to snowmobiles and boats. This makes both our training dives and ice diving expeditions even more exciting, providing greater access to terrific locations.

A team prepares to dive.

Mr. Gyllenhaal will no doubt return from the arctic with not only memories, but a little less nervous about this unique activity. If you are considering a dive yourself, contact us with any questions, but also sign up for the upcoming webinar on the topic of Arctic Diving,  December 2nd, 1-2pm EST. Thomas will be answering questions live and explaining what you can expect to experience while diving with Arctic Kingdom.

Want to see more?

Photos from an AK driving trip by Joe Canepari

Thomas Lennartz’s account of ‘dancing’ with Belugas while on a dive.

Trip Report – Narwhal and Polar Bear Floe Edge Scuba Dive Adventure

September 28th, 2010 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, Client Reports, Diving, TRIPS

Joe Canepari posted some astounding photos from his recent trip with Arctic Kingdom and was kind enough to share them with us.

Getting geared up for the first dive

For a bit of perspective of the scale out there...

With so much in the news about the seasonal ice melt and the reality of climate change, I feel it’s important to remember that the Arctic is still the Arctic. Plenty of cold weather, and plenty of ice to explore!

Arctic Dive, photograph by Todd Mintz

Check out the whole page for more shots, including of Joe climbing an iceberg, some terrific jellyfish, more diving, and of the camp. Of this last shot, Joe says :

The final pic of me taken on my last dive and its probably my favorite one of the trip. The photo captures the enormity of the iceberg, especially when you keep in mind how much of the iceberg was out of frame. This dive was one of the great experiences in my life and it fulfilled my quest to dive below the sea ice near one of the planet’s poles.

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