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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.

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

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.

Extend the snowmobile season into April

September 4th, 2015 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, Featured Trip, Sports, TECHNOLOGY

Snowmobile Weekend in the ArcticIn 2016, you can extend the snowmobile season into April by booking one of our new Arctic Snowmobile Weekends. Designed specifically for snowmobile enthusiasts, these new trips can accommodate beginners or experienced drivers.

Discover Baffin Island

This 3 night/4 day snowmobile adventure is suitable for all skill levels. Iqaluit, Nunavut's territorial capital, is the base for two full-day excursions on sea ice and frozen tundra. Air fare from Ottawa is included in the package price, as is the use of a snowmobile for both excursions. You can read more about Discover Baffin Island here.

Iqaluit to Kimmirut Circuit

This 3 night/4 day snowmobile road trip is for experienced snowmobilers, who love cross-country journeys to places they have never been. Air fare from Ottawa is included in the price of this trip too, as is the use of a snowmobile. After a night in Iqaluit, participants drive across the sea ice of Frobisher Bay to the Meta Incognita peninsula for a land crossing to Kimmirut. Known as an artists' colony, Kimmirut is situated close to the migration route of belgua and bowhead whales. You'll spend the night in Kimmirut, before returning by snowmobile to Iqaluit. Read more about the Iqaluit to Kimmirut Circuit here.

Snowmobile Safety First

We have posted on our website 5 things you need to know about snowmobiling in the Arctic. Number 1? Safety first. The Arctic is not safe for snowmobile cowboys who disregard the rules of the trail. If, however, you love blue skies, crisp air and the sound of engines roaring along a wilderness trail, then these exclusive snowmobile weekends will make your heart beat faster.

Discovery Day – Yukon – August 17, 2015

August 17th, 2015 | By | Filed in Featured Trip

Unlike other parts of Canada that celebrate their civic holiday on the first Monday in August, Yukon’s Discovery Day is on the third Monday in August, falling on August 17, 2015 this year. Discovery Day is a public holiday commemorating the anniversary of the discovery of gold in Bonanza Creek in the 19th century. Discovery Day activities are held throughout the territory in places such as Watson Lake and Dawson City. Watson Lake is known as the ‘gateway to Yukon recreation’ while Dawson City is considered the heart of the Klondike gold rush. Discovery Day serves as the main theme behind various events, such as family days, fun runs, golf tournaments and festivals while Dawson City plays host to historical street theatre. The history of Yukon’s Discovery Day can be traced back to George Carmack, Dawson Charlie and Skookum Jim discovering gold at Bonanza Creek on August 17, 1896. This discovery triggered a gold rush in North America with nearly 100,000 would-be prospectors visiting the Klondike region in the following years. However, due to companies using mechanical mining techniques in the early 20th century, many miners were replaced and out of work. By 1903, when the gold rush ended, nearly 95 million dollars had been extracted from Yukon’s rivers. After the gold rush concluded, the Yukon Order of Pioneers persuaded Yukon’s Territorial Council to celebrate Discovery Day as a public holiday in 1911. In 1912, Discovery Day was a big event that was celebrated with many activities like parades, speeches, a football game and a dance.

Dawson City, Yukon, Today

Today, Dawson City is a lively place boasting many heritage sites and attractions. Still evident in this authentic frontier town are the days of perseverance, heartache and dreams coming true during the legendary Klondike Gold Rush. To learn more about the gold rush, Yukon’s Discovery Day and if there’s a chance that you could strike it rich today, visit Travel Yukon. Ice Grizzlies of the Yukon is available as a custom adventure.

Polar Bear Migration Fly-in Photo Safari: A Trip for Photographers

July 15th, 2015 | By | Filed in Featured Trip

Mother and cub at twilightI refuse to apologize for some shameless self-promotion, because our Polar Bear Migration Fly-in Photo Safari is an outstanding adventure for wildlife photographers. And...it is exclusive to Arctic Kingdom. That's right. We operate it.

So what makes this Arctic safari special for photographers?

Only 8 people at a time can participate. So you won't be jostling people elbows trying to get that perfect angle for your shot. The electric fence that surrounds the camp is nearly invisible, so you can shoot right through it - at eye level with the polar bears. You are in place to shoot during the dawn and twilight of late autumn. The perfect light for the dedicated photographer.

Are polar bears the only wildlife?

No way! In addition to polar bear mother and cubs, Arctic fox, caribou, wolverine, gyrfalcon, ermine (stoat) and marten inhabit the area around our camp. Arctic foxes are known to nip and tease polar bears. They entertain us every year. Caribou have migrated south from their summer feeding grounds.

Aerial photography is possible

Included in the package price is a charter flight from Churchill to the tundra on which our camp is situated. While air born, if the conditions are good, you are welcome to shoot from the air. Keep an eye open for caribou and polar bear on the ground.

A few spaces are available in 2015

If you want to kick start your wildlife photography career, this is the trip to take. You live in the heart of polar bear alley, in comfortable cabins, with a chef to prepare your meals, while shooting some of the most intimate photos of polar bear behaviour possible. Details are found by clicking here.

Expedition Leader Field Report: Great Migrations

June 15th, 2015 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Expedition Leader Jane Whitney has sent us a report and photos from the floe edge
On our second trip to the Floe Edge, we had to pull our qamutik sleds over the dark open water leads between the big ice pans. Dozens of Northern Fulmars were feeding at the surface, while flocks of Black Guillemots twirled and landed. Ring seal slipped into the water and bobbed with curious eyes.

Great migrations of narwhal and icebergs

At the floe edge, we had stopped near two massive icebergs grounded in their travel from the Greenland icecap which made for a dramatic backdrop for the dozen Narwhal our guides had spotted. They were gone as quickly as they arrived, and so we waited. A large, 800 pound Bearded seal passed through, followed by even larger 3500 pound Atlantic Walrus. Chef Gavin It was lunch time, and our chef was frying up open faced Beef Burgers with onion and gravy with a warm wild mixed mushroom soup. Someone in the group pointed out excitedly the Polar Bear Sow coming our way with two of this year’s stark white cubs in tow. We tripped in excitement, the setting was so perfect. The mother bear would not stay for long however, and left quickly with her cubs in tow. What a show for lunch! We would see bear after bear approach from the east, most making their way south to the seal they could smell nearly 5 km away. One of the bears was making it’s way through the rough shore ice toward us. We silently clicked away with our cameras. It took it’s time, coming ever so slowly. At one point it stood up to get a better view of us, and it had to be nearly 9 feet tall. Down it went and made it’s way to the water, entering ever so slowly, lying on it’s belly, head first, rear paws faced skyward the last to enter. The ice it swam to was thin enough it took a few attempts to get on, and once up, the bear shook three times, water droplets flying. The bear slide into the water on the other side of the ice and slowly swam across the vision of our binoculars and long lenses. We watch a seal approach the bear, and both passed each other as if they hadn’t a care in the world. Later we would paddled our kayaks to a pan of ice where we climbed out to see the bear move across another, bigger, jagged pan of ice. Coming back, we marveled at the different shades of blue of the sculpted ice in the Arctic waters. By the end of the day we had counted 8 bears. Al fresco steak dinnerWe had a lot of fun this week together, enjoying our new friendships. Gavin helped us celebrate the week by barbequing grilled vegetables with seared Arctic air dried strip loin steak over buttermilk whipped mash potato au jus at the ice edge. The whales were a little late for the after dinner show, but the Beluga did show up…maybe 15 to 20 blowing so much water out of their blowholes before diving under the pack ice where we stood to feed. What was amazing was we could hear their blows under the ice in the air pockets they found there. The Great Migrations of Lancaster Sound Jane Whitney

Expedition Leader Report: Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage

June 6th, 2015 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES

May 29 – June 4, 2015 After threading our way through the beautifully sculpted blue and white pressure ice, we were one of the first to reach the floe edge this season. We could see the mountains upholstered in white of the uninhabited Devon Island across the dark waters of Lancaster Sound. Proposed as a World Heritage site, Lancaster Sound is located along the Northwest Passage in the eastern Arctic Ocean. At Latitude 74°. several millions of seabirds depend on the nutrient rich waters here, as does the endangered Bowhead whale, tens of thousands of Beluga and thousands of Narwhal. The ice we stood on has us looking over walls of stacked ice chunks, as if a bulldozer piled them up 30 feet high. In silence, we could hear the current move the ice pans past our perch. Two walrus swim by, their wrinkled brown face adorned with vibrissae and tusks. Silent flocks of King and Common Eider wing by. The high calls of Black Guillemots break the silence. We wait patiently, hoping to see some whale. We wait until it’s time to go. As we go to start the snowmobile we hear the blows…..and run to look. And there they came…first the Beluga, then the Narwhal. They were everywhere. The smell of fish oil filled the air. The spray from their blowholes back lit in the evening light. We stood there for hours watching the spectacle. There were likely 300 + whales a stone’s throw away.

Great Migrations, 2015

Author: Jane Whitney
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