Escorted by a qualified expedition staff member and private Inuit guides, you’ll relish kayaking amongst pack-ice, admiring glistening glaciers, climbing icebergs, and finding yourself simply mesmerized by the majestic mountain scenes. Stimulate all of your senses and revel in this ultimate, once in a lifetime experience!
From our safari-style base camp along the ice floe edge of Lancaster Sound, which borders the Northwest Passage, we’ll set off on our daily adventures. This region is world-renowned amongst filmmakers as one of the most prolific areas of wildlife in the Arctic. Much of the best wildlife footage is captured in this region and it is one of the few places where all of the Arctic marine animals co-mingle. Never before has access to this remote and largely inaccessible area been possible for all but the most dedicated and sponsored expeditions. Arctic Kingdom is proud to offer a privileged few virtual Arctic pioneers access to this pristine Arctic jewel.
Having never been to the Arctic before, I really did not know what to expect… but after just a few days, I am totally hooked on the place not just because of the incredible beauty of the scenery, but of the friendly people…you are likely to be seeing me again!
NC, – U.K
As winter transitions to spring, and spring transitions to summer, the frozen expanses of sea ice begin to crack and break away to float serenely out into the Davis Strait. The floe edge, where sea ice meets open water, is one of the most ecologically diverse areas of the Arctic. Each spring, the waters at the ice edge become rich with life and it is for this reason that the Inuit of northern Canada have hunted here for centuries. Thousands of belugas and narwhals gather in Lancaster Sound waiting for the ice to clear. Snorkelling with the whales in the comfort and safety of a dry suit is possible without any prior experience, and encounters may be extended and exceedingly playful. A bowhead may occasionally pass by, flanked by dozens of narwhals and belugas. Pods of male narwhal, with their long famous ivory tusks, may also be seen in pool-sized openings in the ice.
Getting there is part of the adventure as we travel with our seasoned elder Inuit guides over the sea ice, past spectacular towering cliffs and the never-ending rows of snow-capped mountains that line the passageway out to the Northwest Passage. We will navigate around fantastic ice formations, past glacier-filled valleys and immense icebergs that protrude up from the frozen sea before reaching our eco-friendly, zero footprint base camp far out on the sea ice in the middle of one of the Arcticâ€™s most ecologically diverse regions.
On this arctic trip you will see a sight few people have been privileged with: the migration of beluga and the rarely seen narwhal to their summer feeding grounds. From the ice floe edge, you will see the whales lingering sometimes almost within armâ€™s length. On a windless, sunny spring day, you will be able to see narwhal playfully jousting in the glassy smooth surface of the water. The beluga, in a flash of milky white, crest the surface and take a breath in a large exhale before diving under the ice to continue their feeding. We provide dry suits as well as dive equipment so that the adventurous can enter the water and watch as the inquisitive whales swim up to investigate, darting under the snorkeller or diver, only meters away. The feelings you’ll experience looking into the eyes of these wild and elusive creatures and connecting with them in their domain are sure to be ones of pure elation and wonder.
“The beluga and narwhal are possibly the most curious creatures I have ever encountered. The amazing thing is that they come to you. Snorkelling meant we could spend as long as we liked with them. They dive into your path and then under you, blowing up bubbles that catch on your face and middle. Sometimes the whale song was so loud you could feel it reverberate down your neck and drive around your ears.”
For the more adventurous, a snorkelling option is available to attempt to swim with the narwhal. These inquisitive whales often curiously approach snorkellers, swimming to within 3 metres underneath of them, and while on their backs they’ll take a quick look as if almost to say â€˜helloâ€™ before circling below and away. It is a moment of pure joy and exhilaration and one not soon forget.
(Note: Snorkelling with whales is not guaranteed but if conditions present themselves we will provide the expertise and dry suits for guests to try).
- Witness the beauty of life at the ice floe edge, where frozen ice meets open water — from crystaline icebergs, electric blue pack ice formations, hundreds of birds diving and weaving, and of course, the migrating pods of whales
- Experience Inuit lifestyle high above the Arctic Circle
- Capture stunning photographs of pods of narwhal as they rest on the surface, cross tusks in playful sword fighting, and exhale plumes of mist
- Snorkel or dive along the ice floe edge, and exhilarate in the moment a narwhal and beluga swim inquisitively beneath you
- Listen to the chirps and whistles of the whale songs while underwater or from the surface through a hydrophone
- Experience all aspects of the High Arctic, from Inuit culture to the spectacular landscapes of Baffin, Bylot and Devon Islands
- Travel over sea ice by snowmobile and traditional Inuit qamutik, an adventure in itself as we cross leads and cracks, hug shorelines, and navigate around icebergs
- Live on the ice close to the floe edge in our eco-friendly, zero footprint, comfortable base camp on almost 8 feet of solid sea ice
- Visit ancient Thule sites
- Hike the solitude of beautiful Navy Board Inlet on the north coast of Baffin Island
- Catch a glimpse of polar bear hunting for seals
- Bask in the warm glow of the midnight sun during the Arctic’s brief period of 24-hour daylight
- See the transition of the Arctic from winter to spring, from frozen tundra to melting rivers and blossoming Arctic flowers