Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari Trip Notes
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, snow, and sea ice conditions invariably play a role in every Arctic adventure. For example, a blizzard or fog could force you to spend a day or two in one place (igloo, tent, or outpost hut) while difficult travelling conditions pass, weak or moving sea ice could prevent travel to the floe edge, or unusually thick lake ice could prevent fishing for Arctic char. Flexibility and adaptability, along with a sense of adventure are key.
Getting to this Arctic AdventureTravel 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.
WeatherMay / June / July – In the regions close to the Arctic Circle temperatures during the season range from -5°C to +10°C. May will normally be the coldest (usually around -5°C), but the temperatures rise as the days lengthen, and June can see temperatures around -1°C to +5°C.
Daylight HoursIn mid to late spring (May/June), the sun is constantly shining for 24 hours. The sun shines high above at noon, and by 10:00 pm, the sun has sunk low on the western horizon and continues to seemingly 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 PackageA 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 clothing package 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. We realize that good quality, Arctic-worthy equipment is expensive to purchase all at once and may not be necessary for a one-time Arctic adventure. Arctic Kingdom has a Polar Clothing Rental Package that will ensure you are comfortable, warm, and dry for your Arctic expedition.
Hot lunches, steaks for dinner, local fish such as Arctic char, can be enjoyed, and if you would like to try it, we can also arrange for other local foods such as caribou to be prepared.
PowerArctic 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 adaptors may be available but it is recommended that you bring your own plug adaptors to suit your electrical devices.
If your electrical devices require 220volt power, most cameras, laptops already have a power inverter/AC Adaptor that converts the power to the necessary level for your equipment on your power cord and there will be no further inverters/adaptors needed. To check, look at the adaptor (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.
Is This Adventure For You?This Arctic adventure is perfect for anyone looking for a relaxed adventure. The Arctic is already far off the beaten track and we are far from any usual tourist route. You do not have to have previous Arctic experience, but you do need to have an adventurous spirit. Relatively speaking, very few people have been through to the high Arctic. You can become among the first to explore this amazing region. This trip is typically represented by an international range of participants. Having a laid back, open-minded, and patient demeanor is important.
Spirit of Adventure Required
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 with you, it is suggested that participation would be a mistake and we can assist in finding an alternative Arctic trip such as a polar cruise which offers a more structured itinerary and offers a more ‘observer’ role versus actively participating in an adventure of discovery. Of course, good health is fundamental to travel into any remote region, yet despite this, 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 DifficultyArctic Kingdom’s expeditions are somewhat active but not too strenuous. Optional activities include kayaking, hiking on gently sloping terrain, and diving. One can choose to do as little or as much as he/she would like throughout the adventure.
What to Expect
We encourage our trip participants to understand and be sensitive to the cultural and historical ways of the Inuit, including their traditional subsistence hunting lifestyle. You may see evidence of hunting, including dead animals, as you wander through the gateway communities. Examples include the stretching of seal skin boots or gloves, and Inuit dog teams being fed Arctic char or seal meat. While out on our adventures, we may also come across an Inuit hunting party returning from a hunt. If you are open to the experience, 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 the local wildlife that feeds their subsistence lifestyle traditions that dates back thousands of years. They will show you how to stalk wildlife for viewing and photography, which uses the same techniques a hunter utilizes to obtain their game.