Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari Overview
As mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2015 – Experience the classic spring floe edge while viewing narwhals, polar bears, and icebergs, and enjoy kayaking and snorkelling under the Midnight Sun.
Bonnie H wrote about her experience in 2015:
Out on the floe edge of Baffin Island, surrounded by rugged mountains and stunning glaciers, our Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari will take you on an Arctic adventure like no other. Dramatic landscapes and the midnight sun welcome you to experience the beauty of the Canadian Arctic, 700 km north of the Arctic Circle, as wildlife returns to this picturesque region and fascinating ecosystem where Arctic wildlife thrive.
While the contrast between town/city and tent camp was very interesting, my favorite part of the trip was the time spent on the ice floe. Pictures and words cannot convey the feeling of sitting on a camp stool right on the edge of the ice and watching hundreds of narwhal arch by (looking a bit like a speckled Loch Ness monster), then tip up & dive, complete with tail splash. Or being between one polar bear ambling along the edge of the ice in front of us with another one curled up on an ice hill behind us. Or watching the scenery morph with the ever-changing endless light. Or exploring an ice cave. Or racing through skim milk fog, skimming over foot-wide cracks, plunging over foot wide cracks & almost tipping over on uneven pressure edges. And actually feeling safe through it all.
Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari Highlights
- Observe the tusked narwhal, from pods of one to hundreds, while they rest and feed just meters from the floe edge.
- Possible viewing opportunities for polar bears, harp seals, bearded seals, ring seals and bowhead whales.
- Visit the Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which attracts over 200,000 birds.
- Journey by snowmobile and qamutik to traditional Inuit hunting grounds.
- Enjoy tea made of melt-water from hundreds of years old icebergs.
- Snorkel and kayak amongst the sea ice, with the possible presence of whales.
- A traditional cultural presentation of Inuit throat singing, drum dancing, and storytelling by local elders
- Experience the 24 hour daylight of the Midnight Sun in the height of Arctic summer.
This exhilarating narwhal and polar bear tour will take you to the northern reaches of Nunavut when the sea ice is melting and marine mammals along with other Arctic wildlife can be found travelling north along the floe edge where food is concentrated. Pods of narwhal can be spotted resting only meters from the edge while an incredible variety of sea birds, including Thick-billed Murres, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, and Ivory Gulls, fly overhead. Polar bears and seals may also be spotted at times swimming or resting on ice packs. If we are lucky, we may also observe bowhead and beluga whales that also frequent the area.Nestled between the majestic mountains of Baffin Island and Bylot Island, our Arctic Safari Camp provides a comfortable home-away-from-home and a perfect respite after an exciting day spent out on the floe edge. Located just outside of Sirmilik National Park, (which means “place of glaciers”) near Pond Inlet, our camp enjoys a striking backdrop of towering granite cliffs and glistening glaciers.
Each day we will travel by snowmobile and qamutik (an Inuit sled pulled by snowmobile) to the floe edge for full days of discovery. Hiking on the land, watching icicles break off cobalt-blue glaciers, gazing up at thousands of birds flying over the nearby cliffs, and drinking refreshing glacial melt-water are just a few of the unique activities you will experience on our Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari. Our local Inuit guides will also share stories and explain the traditional ways of Inuit life for a full Arctic immersion.
Those who are more adventurous may also wish to take part in a snorkelling option. Although we never intentionally swim with the whales, narwhals are inquisitive often curiously approaching snorkellers, swimming to within 3 meters. While on their backs they may take a quick look, as if almost saying “hello”, and then circle below and away – an exhilarating and unforgettable moment for those who get to experience it!
More narwhal than I could hope for