Narhwal and Polar Bear Safari Itinerary
More narwhal than I could hope for
Day 1This safari begins in Pond Inlet, Nunvaut on Baffin Island. If you purchase our optional air package, you will depart Ottawa for Iqaluit in the morning at approximately 9:00 am. You will then catch a connecting flight to Pond Inlet, which departs at around 2:00 pm. Upon landing in Pond Inlet at approximately 5:30 pm, you will be welcomed by our local coordinator and transferred to a comfortable hotel. During dinner later in the evening, our expedition leader and lead Inuit guide will give a briefing and perform a gear check. After dinner, enjoy a truly authentic cultural presentation of Inuit throat singing, drum dancing, and storytelling by local elders. Overnight Pond Inlet.
Day 2After breakfast, meet your guides on the sandy beach in preparation for your departure to southeast Bylot Island. Travelling by traditional Inuit-style qamutik (a wooden sled with suspension seats pulled behind the snowmobile), you’ll experience the exhilaration of gliding across the ice. The journey of approximately 70 km (43 miles) will vary depending on ice conditions and may include warm tea-stops at historic grave sites, hanging glaciers, and abandoned whaling stations and hunting cabins. The final destination will be close to the ice floe edge where our Arctic Safari Camp will be set up a few kilometers back from the ice edge.
Days 3-6The next few days will include trips from our Arctic Safari Camp out to the floe edge along with excursions to other attractions in the area by qamutik and snowmobile. During our adventures, you’ll be able to enjoy the warm spring weather and engage in a variety of activities both on land and at the floe edge. Expect to see icebergs, ‘bergy-bits’, and drifting pack ice with playful seals poking their heads up out of the water and looking directly at you. Plenty of time will be provided for unhurried observation and exceptional opportunities for impressive Arctic photography.
Perhaps the greatest highlight for participants on our Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari is the opportunity to observe a wide variety of Arctic wildlife in their natural habitat. On the floe edge, the likelihood is high that you will see narwhals, bowhead, polar bears on the prowl for seals sunning themselves, and possibly 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 are also 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 many bird species that can be observed. Ice conditions permitting, we may also get to enjoy a visit to the Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, where over 200,000 birds choose to nest.
We may also have a chance to visit the evocative ancient Thule sites, where you will see the traditional tent rings and learn about the culture and history of the area.
Day 7After 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. Note: For our May 30 - June 6, 2017 departure only, you will spend the evening in Pond Inlet, in the Sauniq Hotel. For our June 4 - 11 and June 11 - 18, 2017 departures: If you have purchased our flight package from Ottawa to Pond Inlet and back, we will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Iqaluit, were you spend the night at a hotel. (The accommodation in Iqaluit is included in the trip package price.)
Day 8For our May 30 - June 6, 2017 departure: breakfast at the hotel in Pond Inlet. We will then transfer you to the airport. You will change planes in Iqaluit and then continue to Ottawa. For our June 4 - 11 and June 11 - 18, 2017 departures: Breakfast at the hotel in Iqaluit. If you have purchased our optional flight package we transfer you to the Iqaluit Airport for your morning flight to Ottawa.
- Unlimited use of kayaks
- All transportation for duration of trip
- All accommodations from Pond Inlet 1 or 2 nights in Pond Inlet; 5 nights in a Premium Safari Camp and 1 night in Iqaluit (June 4 - 11 and Jun 11 - 18, 2017 departures only)
- All meals while in camp, a welcome dinner in Pond Inlet, 1 lunch in Pond Inlet. For May 30 - June 6 departure only, 1 breakfast and a second dinner in Pond Inlet. For our June 4 - 11 and June 11 - 18 departures 1 breakfast and 1 dinner in Iqaluit.
- Drysuit, mask, fins, hood, gloves for snorkelling
- Return transfers in Pond Inlet
- 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
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.