Kings of the Arctic - Polar Bears, Whales, Walrus Trip Notes
The intent of our Kings of the Arctic safari is to provide you with an opportunity to observe a variety of animals in the Arctic such as polar bears, bowhead whales, walrus, seals, and several bird species in their natural habitat. You will also be exposed to the intriguing Inuit culture, with an opportunity to learn about some of the ancient settlements and ancestral people that inhabited the area. While we cannot guarantee sightings of specific animals, you can expect to find an array of natural wonders and a truly unique experience on this exciting Arctic adventure.
The Arctic has many variables that can influence any travel plans. Being relaxed, patient, and flexible are important attitudes to have in the Arctic. It should be expected that even the best laid plans sometimes need to change. Whatever is planned will likely be changed for any one of a variety of reasons, therefore, itineraries are for general reference only. The weather and sea ice conditions invariably play a role in every Arctic adventure. Flexibility and adaptability, along with a sense of adventure are key.
Travel arrangements between one’s point of origin and Ottawa is the responsibility of the traveller. It is strongly recommended that participants travelling on reduced fare airline tickets not try to continue their journey home on the same day as they return to Ottawa; any deviation from the ticketed itinerary will result in a penalty regardless of the cause. Do not plan on having any important meetings or events the day after your trip end date as we recommend planning on ‘buffer time’ to account for any possible delays in getting home from the Arctic.
June/July – Historically, the temperatures in June are just above freezing, around 2°C (35°F). By July, the temperature averages around 7°C (45°F) with many days considerably warmer. Wind chill in moving boats can still make the temperature feel as much as 20° colder so it is important to dress appropriately. Dressing in layers will also make adjusting to the temperatures easier.
In June and July, the sun is constantly shining. The sun shines high above at noon, and by 10:00 PM, the sun has sunk low on the western horizon, seeming to skim across the tops of the distant mountain ranges until it reaches the eastern horizon, where it then begins to climb higher into the sky again. The warm, soft glow of the midnight sun is a photographer’s delight.
Optional Clothing Package
A recommended clothing packing list upon enrollment confirmation will be provided. We recommend that anyone travelling to the Arctic dresses in layers. Of particular importance is the insulating outer layer. Regular ski jackets and pants are not suitable for the changing Arctic climate. With over a decade of experience in all types of Arctic weather, we have seen what works and what doesn’t. Arctic Kingdom has assembled a top-of-the-line polar clothing package to rent
that will enhance your Arctic experience and allow you to enjoy your Arctic expedition in comfort no matter what Mother Nature brings. All of our staff have depended on the same clothing package for years of Arctic adventures, so you can rest assured knowing you are getting the best options available.
Arctic Kingdom believes in providing only the best food possible during our Arctic expeditions and we spare no expense in bringing our own private chef to manage the kitchen tent, where your chef will prepare the day’s meals, snacks, and delicious desserts. They are baked in our custom made field ovens. The dining/lounge area will have a convenient buffet table where unlimited snacks and hot drinks are provided all day long. Hot lunches, steaks for dinner, local fish such as Arctic char, can be enjoyed. We often serve local delicacies such as musk oxen or caribou.
Our kitchen is not kosher. If you have special dietary requirements please inform us when you book.
Arctic Kingdom provides charging stations for all your power needs in camp. From solar panels to an in-camp generator, you will have a place to charge all your cameras, iPods, laptops or any other electrical device you may choose to bring. Power provided is 120VAC/60Hz using North American standard plug outlets. Some plug adapters may be available but it is recommended that you bring your own plug adapters to suit your electrical devices.
If your electrical devices require 220 volt power, most cameras, laptops already have a power inverter/AC Adapter that converts the power to the necessary level for your equipment on your power cord and there will be no further inverters/adapters needed. To check, look at the adapter (usually the square/rectangular shaped box attached to your power cord) and examine the “input” information. It will usually have an annotation similar to “INPUT” 100 – 240V.
Tourism and film production can be a real boon to local Arctic communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges, and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a ‘total approach’ to responsible tourism. Everything, from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Arctic Kingdom as a company, is geared toward making a positive impact on the regions we visit. Arctic Kingdom trips are designed to allow a high degree of economic benefit to the local communities; we hire local guides and local drivers, buy local produce (whenever possible), eat local food, and use local services, thus ensuring that as much money as possible is retained within the local economy and the host communities. We are continually reassessing our trips, trying at all times to ensure that they are socially, economically, and environmentally sound.
Is This Arctic Adventure For You?
This safari is perfect for anyone with an interest in observing animals in the Arctic or those looking for a real adventure. Things won't always be easy and we'll be heading off the beaten track and out of the usual tourist route. You don't have to have previous Arctic experience but you do need to have an adventurous spirit. An expedition is typically represented by an international range of participants. Having a laid back, open-minded and patient demeanor is important.
Spirit of Adventure Required
Arctic Kingdom expeditions are not intended to be about checklists. The ‘way of the north’ or of the Inuit people is to take things as they come, to relax and enjoy the moment, be it a sunny or foggy day. Appreciate where you are in the moment.
It is assumed that participants have the spirit within themselves to enjoy the unique solitude of the Arctic and the free time provided. If this outlook is not for you, we suggest that participation would be a mistake. We can assist in finding an alternative Arctic trip that offers a more structured itinerary and an ‘observer’ role. Of course, good health is fundamental for travel in any remote region. All participants will be required to obtain emergency medical and evacuation travel insurance. With a flexible attitude as an equally important prerequisite, Age should not be considered a deterrent.
Level of Difficulty
Arctic Kingdom’s expeditions are somewhat active but not too strenuous. Optional activities include kayaking, hiking on gently sloping terrain, snorkelling, and diving. One can choose to do as little or as much as he/she would like throughout the adventure. While not overly active, there can be long days of travel via snowmobile or on a motorized boat.
What to Expect
This Arctic expedition is designed for viewing animals in the Arctic in their natural habitat. However, there is more to this stunning vista of ice, land, and sea than the wildlife that inhabits it. For centuries, these creatures have shared this wilderness with the Inuit people.
We encourage our trip participants to be sensitive to the cultural and historical ways of the Inuit, including their traditional hunting lifestyle. You may see evidence of hunting, including dead animals, as you wander through the communities. Examples include the stretching of seal skin boots or gloves, and Inuit dog teams being fed Arctic char or seal meat. While on our adventures, we may also come across an Inuit hunting party. These sights can provide a window into cultural traditions that stretch back for generations and exist in harmony with the wild Arctic.
As part of the Inuit cultural experience and to enjoy some local ‘country food’ such as seal, caribou or Arctic char, you may observe how an Inuit hunts for local wildlife, a tradition that dates back thousands of years. They will show you how to stalk wildlife for viewing and photography, using the same techniques a hunter does.