Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage Trip Notes
The intent of our Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage safari is to introduce you to the Arctic at the best time of year – as spring transitions into summer and wildlife is abundant with the annual Arctic animal migration. Arctic wildlife is widely dispersed in the Baffin region. While we cannot guarantee sightings of specific Arctic animals such as narwhals and polar bears, 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, 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.
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.
The Right Time of Year
In June, the weather begins to get warmer and a noticeable difference in the season can be observed. Temperatures will range from -2°C to +10°C (28°F to 50°F).
In June, the sun is constantly shining for 24 hours. The sun shines high above at noon, and by 10:00pm 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 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 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.
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 his own kitchen tent. It will be here that your chef will spend most of his or her time preparing the day’s meals, snacks, and delicious desserts 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, and if you would like to try it, we can also arrange for other local foods such as caribou to be prepared.
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 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.
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 Adventure For You?
This Arctic adventure is ideal for families, photographers, and those looking for an unforgettable introduction or return to the Arctic to view the annual Arctic animal migration. 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. Relatively speaking, very few people have been through to the high Arctic; you can become among the first to explore this amazing region. 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 have as many check-marks or sights to be seen crossed off in a short period of time. 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, to appreciate where you are in the moment, and fall into the laidback lifestyle of the Arctic people.
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 Difficulty
Arctic Kingdom’s expeditions are somewhat active but not too strenuous. There can be long days of travel via snowmobile so one must be prepared for this. 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
This Arctic expedition is designed around viewing wildlife during the Arctic animal migration, and the appreciation of rarely-seen animals in their natural environment. 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 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.
What to Expect on the Qamutik Ride
The mode of transportation to move over the ice is the traditional Inuit sledge pulled by a snowmobile called a qamutik (also spelled qamutiq or komatik). Each of the two to four persons in a qamutik is provided with a suspension seat to sit on. We move over flat sea ice and even though Arctic Kingdom has added suspension seats to the qamutiks for a smoother ride, the later one goes in the season, the bumpier the ride could potentially be. Anyone with a history of back problems should contact Arctic Kingdom to see if this trip is for you.
-------------- OR --------------
Call now to speak with an Expedition Planner
Toll Free (North America): 888-737-6818
International: +1 (416) 322-7066
Request a Trip Planner
2017 EXPEDITION SUMMARY
2017 Trip Length
9 Days / 8 Nights, June 3 Departure
8 Days / 7 Nights, June 10 Departure
June 3 - 11
June 10 - 17
USD $12,995 + $649.75 (taxes) from Arctic Bay Based on double occupancy.
2017 SGL Supplement
x 1.8. Request to share when booking and you won't pay the single supplement.
2017 Air Package
Return flights from Ottawa (YOW) to Arctic Bay (YAB) USD $4,620.00 + $660.00 (tax & amp; fees) As there are a limited number of seats available that conveniently connect with our trip departure dates, we encourage you to book and pay for this flight package at the same time as you book your trip.