Qikiqtarjuaq: Polar Bears and Glaciers Itinerary
Surrounded by islands and steep-walled fiords, we’ll spend our days roaming the land in search of wildlife in the beautiful silence of the Arctic. At this time of year, the chance of spotting polar bears on the shores of the islands is very high as is the opportunity to observe bowhead whales.
Day 1This safari begins in Qikiqtarjuaq, a small village on the eastern coast of Baffin Island. If you purchased our optional flight package, you would depart Ottawa for Iqaluit at around 9:00 am and then change planes in Iqlauit for your connecting flight to Qikiqtarjuaq. On the way to Qikiqtarjuaq, you will fly over Auyuittuq National Park. Keep an eye out for Mount Asgard and Mount Thor, the world’s tallest, uninterrupted vertical cliff at over 5000 feet of sheer rock.
Qikiqtarjuaq is a small hamlet on Broughton Island with a population of approximately 600. A narrow channel separates the hamlet, which faces the large mountains of Akshakyuk Pass of the Auyuittuq National Park, from the main land of Baffin Island.
Days 2-6From our Arctic Kingdom base camp, the next few days will be spent taking in the highlights of the area and experiencing the true essence of an Arctic summer. Our camp is ideally located near lakes, with a river passing through that provides fresh drinking water for food preparation and one of the best cups of tea or coffee you’ll ever have.
Each day provides an opportunity for adventure. Enjoy day trips to Akshakyuk Pass, where you can hike at the base of North Pangnirtung Fiord, as well as a boat trip to the Penny Ice Cap Glacier for some hiking and exploration. Fishing for Arctic char right in camp and gathering fresh blueberries and blackberries nearby are also popular pastimes.
Wildlife discoveries are always a highlight. Bowhead whales are known to frequent the area just a 30 minute to 1 hour boat ride from camp, while polar bears can often be spotted on islands throughout the area. In some cases, more than 20 polar bears can be seen on a boat ride from Qikiqtarjuaq to our base camp. We also provide inflatable kayaks that if/and when the opportunity presents itself, they can be deployed at any time.
Day 7Today, we board our boat and head back to Qikiqtarjuaq after an unforgettable polar bear expedition. If you purchased our optional flight package, upon arrival, transfer to the airport for a 10:00 am flight to Iqaluit and onwards to Ottawa. Arrival in Ottawa will be between 4:20 pm and 4:50 pm. Transfer to a hotel of your choice or connect for an evening flight (departing at least after 6:30 pm) to your next destination.
- Services of Inuit guides and Arctic Kingdom expedition staff
- All transportation to/from and AK Base Camp, including local boats for duration of trip
- All accommodations from Qikiqtarjuaq (7 days/6 nights in Arctic Safari Camp)
- All meals from Qikiqtarjuaq
- Return transfers in Qikiqtarjuaq
- Flights to/from Qikiqtarjuaq (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 in Qikiqtarjuaq, Iqaluit or Ottawa including flight changes, additional hotels and meals
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.