Diving in the Arctic: 2017 Itinerary for Baffin Island
Discover a magical underwater world while diving in the Arctic with Arctic Kingdom. Following a program of progressive dives, your Arctic dives will start off with simple dives in an open water environment off the floe edge. Diving in the Arctic in salt water with a drysuit will require more weight than you are normally accustomed to, so we will inspect your equipment and ensure all is functioning correctly and that you are weighted for neutral buoyancy. Each dive will build progressively on the previous dive.
As we evaluate your diving comfort, you will attempt a supervised dive in an overhead environment, perhaps through a seal hole, or through a crack in the sea ice, or maybe even under the floe edge on a line. Finally, the pinnacle of diving in the Arctic, if conditions allow (i.e. an iceberg needs to be present and safe entry/exit point such as a crack or melt-water pool needs to be available), will be near a grounded iceberg.
This dive safari begins in Pond inlet. Ask us about our flight packages from Ottawa. You will change planes in Iqaluit continuing to Pond Inlet. In Pond Inlet, you will be welcomed by an Arctic Kingdom representative and transferred to your hotel. After settling in, enjoy a welcome dinner followed by a briefing and gear check. The remainder of the evening will be yours to relax, enjoy, and explore Pond Inlet or photography the not too distant mountains of Bylot Island glowing under a midnight sun.
After breakfast, meet your guides on the beach in preparation for our departure to southeast Bylot Island and the floe edge. We will travel by snowmobile and qamutik (a traditional Inuit sled) across the sea ice. Along the way we'll make tea-stops at historic grave sites, hanging glaciers, and abandoned whaling stations and hunting cabins. The final destination will be the ice floe edge where a base camp will be set up on pack ice.
The next few days will be spent reveling in some of the best diving you'll ever experience. A program of progressive dives, will deliver new experiences every day as you become more comfortable with this unique underwater environment. Explore the Arctic sea floor to discover urchins, starfish, and glittering jellyfish. Witness the surreal world of blue and turquoise juxtaposed with the black depths below. This is an underwater photographer's paradise.
Above the water and on land, you'll experience other spectacular scenes and exciting adventures. Expect to see icebergs, 'bergy-bits', and drifting pack ice with playful seals poking their heads up out of the water to look directly at you. On the floe-edge, the likelihood is high that you will see narwhals, bowhead, polar bears on the prowl and seals sunning themselves. You could see walrus and beluga.
Bylot Island’s uplands are home to Arctic foxes and hares, weasels, collared lemmings, Snowy Owls, Rough-legged Hawks, and Gyrfalcons. Migratory birds can also be seen in abundance. Pure white Ivory Gulls, gaudy King Eider Ducks, low flying Northern Fulmars, Thick-billed Murres, Kittiwakes, and Greater Snow Geese (kanguq) are just a few of the bird species known to frequent the area. You will have the opportunity to track land mammals, visit ancient Thule sites, and learn about the history of the area. Plenty of time will also be provided for unhurried observation and photography.
After breakfast, depart camp by qamutiq and snowmobile for your return journey to Pond Inlet. Lunch will be in Pond Inlet, where you will change from your expedition clothing to your travel clothing. Spend the night in Pond Inlet at the Sauniq Hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. If you have purchased our optional flight package we transfer you to the Pond Inlet Airport for your morning flight to Iqaluit, where you will change planes and continue to Ottawa.
- Services of Inuit guides, Arctic Kingdom expedition staff and Dive Supervisor
- All land transportation for duration of trip
- All accommodations from Pond Inlet (2 nights in Pond Inlet; 5 nights in a Premium Safari Camp)
- All meals while at the camp, 2 dinners in Pond Inlet, 1 lunch and 1 breakfast in Pond Inlet
- Airport transfers in Pond Inlet
- Dive equipment including tanks, pony bottles, weights, weight belt, harness, dive regulators, all ice dive safety equipment, and remote DAN O2 kit (Drysuit and personal dive equipment may be available upon request)
- Unlimited use of kayaks
Please note: Minimum requirement for participation is Advanced Openwater for PADI certification.
NB This itinerary is intended to be representative only as weather and wildlife conditions play a large role in dictating our daily movements and activities. It is important to have a spirit of flexibility when travelling to any Arctic location.
- Return flight to Pond Inlet from Ottawa (ask us about our special rates)
- Accommodation in Ottawa
- Tips, gratuities, personal expenses
- Travel, medical and evacuation insurance coverage
- Additional costs associated with weather and/or layovers in Pond Inlet, Iqaluit or Ottawa