Kings of the Arctic Animals - Polar Bears, Whales, Walrus Itinerary
Discover the majesty of rare Arctic animals and the beauty of polar landscapes while boating through Foxe Basin around the island of Igloolik. Spend days out on the Arctic Ocean, under the glow of a midnight sun, taking in the sights and sounds of this stunning region. As the ice begins to thaw during the summer months, Foxe Basin makes for a perfect home for huge pods of walrus. When they aren't lounging on pancakes of ice, they can be seen sinking gracefully in the waters to dig for clams, one of their favourite foods. A few endangered bowhead whales may also appear during a pause before migrating through Fury and Hecla Strait. Polar bears also frequent the area.
Igloolik is home to the oldest and most traditional Inuit community in Nunavut making this region not only naturally captivating but historically significant as well. When not in our boats observing marine mammals, we'll enjoy hikes around the island, admiring and learning about the local flora as well as the many bird species that visit the area. We may also enjoy excursions to ancient Dorset and Thule archaeological sites to discover the fascinating history and culture of the Inuit.
This safari starts in Igloolik, Nunavut. If you purchase our optional flight package, you will depart Ottawa for Iqaluit and then connect with your flight to Igloolik, the oldest Inuit settlement in Canada. Upon arrival in Igloolik, meet your Arctic Kingdom expedition leader and group members and transfer to camp. After a brief orientation talk and equipment check, we'll set off on a 30 to 60 minute trip to camp via snowmobiles and qamutik, a traditional Inuit wooden freight sled. After unloading our equipment, we'll settle into our tents and meet for a hot meal followed by an itinerary briefing by your expedition leader.
The next few days will vary depending on weather and the movements of the Arctic animals we've come to observe. Our first visit to the floe edge will allow us to familiarize ourselves with this fascinating environment. We'll enjoy daily boat rides on the Arctic Ocean in search of bowheads and walrus that can be found in this area in countless numbers. We may see the enormous walrus in piles on ice or bowheads spy-hopping as we cruise past. Sit back, relax, and breathe in the fresh air while admiring the awe-inspiring sights or take advantage of excellent photographic opportunities.
As we make our way further into the Foxe Basin across tranquil waters, we'll come upon large floating islands of ice platforms for sunning walrus and a variety of seals - harp, bearded and ring. Be on the lookout for polar bears swimming in the waters or hunting for seals. We may even catch them lounging on ice pans. The bright sun reflecting off the crystal-clear, flat water is an enthralling part of a perfect Arctic summer day.
We'll delight in excursions on the island to discover both ancient and modern-day Inuit settlements. We'll also have a chance to admire the vibrant Arctic wildflowers and the wide variety of birds that migrate to the islands during the summer months.
Today, we pack up our gear and make our way back to Igloolik, where the safari ends. If you purchased our optional flight package, we will transfer you to the afternoon flight to Iqaluit and on to Ottawa. Expect to arrive in Ottawa in the early evening.
- Services of Inuit guides and Arctic Kingdom expedition staff
- All accommodations in itinerary (6 nights in a standard Safari Tented Camp)
- All day trips by land or boat
- All meals at camp
- Snorkeling equipment available for use
- Return airport transfers in Igloolik
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.
- Flight to Igloolik 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 Igloolik, Iqaluit or Ottawa