Experience world-class wildlife viewing in the Canadian Arctic from the comfort of a unique wilderness lodge. Travel to Somerset Island in Nunavut, 500 miles (805 km) north of the Arctic Circle and build your days as you choose with the help of expert guides. Kayaking, ATV excursions, river rafting, and hiking – there are options for everyone. Photograph rare Arctic wildlife, such as elusive musk ox, polar bears, and beluga whales. While exploring, enjoy superb food and exceptional hospitality. There is no better way to experience the Canadian Arctic!
10 Days / 9 Nights
Arrive Yellowknife → 1 night Yellowknife → 7 nights Somerset Island, Nunavut → 1 night Yellowknife
See rare arctic wildlife from, polar bears to Arctic foxes
ATV riding in stunning scenery
Hiking in incredible canyons
Is this an escorted tour?
Our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.
Can this trip be made shorter or longer?
Absolutely! We personalize all our clients' trips to fit their exact tastes and needs. You can add days at locations that you'd like to explore and spend more time at. Or leave out certain areas that don't interest you as much. Discuss your travel goals with our Canadian Insiders who make sure that your trip fits your needs and budget.
Can I customize this trip?
Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can get your FREE personalized trip plan and decide what you'd like to see and do.
If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.
Where am I staying on this trip?
You'll be staying at various local three to five star hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.
How much does my trip cost?
All our trips are personalized to fit our clients' schedule and budget. The price of your trip generally depends on the travel season, train service, accommodations, and the sightseeing tours you take. Please request your personalized quote which will provide you with the detailed information you need.
What is included in the price?
Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive your detailed digital travel documents, and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal throughout your trip to answer any questions.
What are the best ways to travel around Canada?
Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.
When is the best time to see wildlife?
That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.
Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?
The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C). The interior of British Columbia, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer.
This Trip in Pictures
Journey to the Canadian Arctic for the experience of a lifetime.
Explore the vast arctic landscape by ATV.
Drift down turquoise rivers on guided rafting excursions.
Discover steep canyon walls.
Explore the Arctic on foot with the help of expert guides.
Observe the largest pod of beluga whales in the world.
And get close enough to hear the beluga whale call.
Throughout your exploration there are plenty of chances to see polar bear.
The arctic wildlife viewing and photography opportunities are amazing.
The Canadian Arctic is a place you will never forget.
Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized trip plan for you that matches your travel style, schedule and budget.
Note: Each day at the lodge you have up to three guided activities to choose from. The itinerary outlined below is only a sample of what a typical visit to the Arctic Wilderness Lodge may include. Activities may vary due to weather conditions.
Day 1 – Arrive in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Your adventure begins in the city of Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories. The excitement builds as you meet your fellow travelers at a welcome expedition briefing. Spend the evening getting excited for your flight north tomorrow.
Overnight in Yellowknife. Day 2 – Adventure Begins in the Arctic – Fly to Somerset Island, Nunavut Board a privately chartered plane for the 4.5 hour journey to the Arctic Wilderness Lodge. Over the 1,000 mile (1,500 km) journey, you’ll pass over the treeline as you cross the Arctic Circle. Enjoy the aerial views of the Arctic, before landing on Somerset Island. The short journey to the lodge involves a small walk across the tundra and a raft ride across the Cunningham River – the adventure has already begun. Settle in to the lodge and meet your hosts for a safety briefing and overview of the exciting days ahead. Read on for some suggested activities at the Arctic Watch Lodge. Each day you will choose from different activities options, which may vary according to weather conditions and wildlife sightings.
Overnight at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge. Day 3 – Explore the Arctic from a Wilderness Lodge While at the lodge, enjoy a choice of activities each day based on what the weather will allow. Jump right into things after breakfast with a hands-on introduction to ATVs, followed by a short hike to check out belugas just a few yards offshore in the estuary. Head back to the lodge for a delicious buffet lunch, then head back out again on a hike to the Triple Waterfalls to see famous nesting birds like peregrine falcons. Along the way, take a moment to notice the tiny beauty of Arctic flowers, and watch for grazing Muskox in the canyon. Wrap up the excitement of your first full day with a hearty dinner. Recharge for the next day of adventures in your private safari tent cabin.
Overnight at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge.
Day 4 – Explore the Arctic from a Wilderness Lodge Hop on an ATV and travel the Muskox Ridge Trail through a stunning Arctic panorama, watching for Muskox, arctic foxes and their pups. Stop at Inukshuk Lake for a picnic lunch followed by some catch-and-release fishing for arctic char. Return to the lodge via a different trail to view hoodoo rock formations and local coal deposits. Tonight after dinner you’ll have the option to attend an informal lecture by Richard Weber on his North Pole expeditions.
Overnight at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge.
Day 5 – Explore the Arctic from a Wilderness Lodge Try kayaking in Cunningham Inlet, then embark on a short hike for stunning views of the Northwest Passage and the opportunity to see polar bears. Start your day amongst belugas, seals, and pack ice as you sea kayak or paddle board in the Cunningham Inlet. Have lunch on the shoreline then take a short hike to Kayak Falls, a small canyon with stunning views of the Northwest Passage. Spend the afternoon at the estuary, world-famous for its spectacular population of beluga whales and the face that they’re only a few metres from shore! After dinner back at the lodge, an informal lecture is offered by Nansen Weber on wildlife photography. Insider tip: The best time to see beluga whales is in July when they are migrating through the area. Ask your Vacation Advisor about selecting the best dates for belugas and other wildlife.
Overnight at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge.
Day 6 – Explore the Arctic from a Wilderness Lodge Depart for a trip to Flatrock Falls, where you’ll have the option of hiking or traveling by Mercedes Unimog, a multipurpose truck. Here, immense vertical walls have been pushed out of the earth’s crust, and countless fossils litter the ground. After lunch, see with your own eyes the contrast between a barren canyon and a lush gull rookery as you observe the nesting sites of terns, plovers and snow geese. Tonight’s after-dinner presentation option is about the history of the Northwest Passage.
Overnight at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge. Day 7 – Explore the Arctic from a Wilderness Lodge Today, discover Cape Anne by ATV, and visit some Thule sites to learn about these ancestors of today’s modern Inuit. Search for polar bears as you ride by icebergs and prehistoric whale bones. Return to the lodge through the impressive landscape of the Red Valley. Nansen Weber will be offering another presentation after dinner tonight, this time with a focus on his photographic work and his experiences with Arctic wildlife.
Overnight at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge. Day 8 – Explore the Arctic from a Wilderness Lodge Get ready for a day of excitement with a full-day rafting adventure on the Cunningham River. Travel by Unimog truck and hiking – or entirely by mountain bike – through the Badlands, encountering the wildlife, and passing skeletal remains of 8,000 year old bowhead whales. Arrive at the raft and sea kayak launch on the Cunningham River in time to have a picnic lunch while the team readies the various watercraft for you. Make the return journey to Arctic Watch by raft, kayak, or stand-up paddle board. Arrive at the lodge feeling accomplished, in time for the final dinner of the adventure. Be one of the brave guests to take the polar plunge challenge this evening!
Overnight at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge.
Day 9 – Depart the Arctic – Fly to Yellowknife Bid a fond goodbye to the guides and lodge staff today. You may have time for one last activity before you depart on your return flight to Yellowknife. Upon arrival in Yellowknife, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Overnight in Yellowknife. Day 10 – Depart Yellowknife All too soon your Arctic vacation has come to an end. After breakfast, a transfer is included to take you to the airport in time for your flight.
On this arctic adventure maximize your time exploring this vast wilderness with 7 nights at a wilderness lodge in a private tent cabin. Enjoy wildlife viewing and photography, ATV adventures, kayaking, rafting, beluga whale watching and guided exploration of the Canadian Arctic.
Below are examples of the places you can stay on this trip. Please get in touch to discuss your options and to check availability.
Arctic Wilderness Lodge
Explore the stunning wilderness of the Canadian Arctic from the comfort of a fly-in lodge. This unique wilderness lodge is located on Cunningham Inlet, on Somerset Island in Nunavut. Relax in your cozy private cabin with ensuite, or spend time in the Great Room and take advantage of the extensive Arctic library and interpretive centre.
These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.
Accommodation: • 2 nights accommodation in Yellowknife
• 7 nights accommodation at the Arctic wilderness lodge on Somerset Island
Arctic Experiences:* • Welcome briefing in Yellowknife**
• Fat biking
• ATV excursions
• Stand-up paddleboarding
• River rafting
• Arctic photography
• Formal and informal presentations by expedition team and special guests
Transfer Inclusions: • Charter flights between Yellowknife and the Arctic***
• Shuttle transfers between airport and hotel in Yellowknife
• Group transfer to and from charter flight to the Arctic Wilderness Lodge
Meal Inclusions: • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge
• Coffee, tea, water and juice available at all times (soft drinks and beer are not available) • 2 breakfasts at accommodation in Yellowknife
Additional Inclusions: • Leadership throughout the expedition by experienced Arctic Watch Team
• Waterproof boots to use at the lodge
• All luggage handling at the charter terminal and at the lodge
• Complimentary WiFi (limited signal strength)
•Digital Travel Documents • Friendly and dedicated Fresh Tracks Canada customer service
Special Notes and Restrictions: *Your included activities may vary based on the judgment of your guides who will use the sea, the ice, and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. These inclusions are a tentative outline of what you’ll experience but no activities can be guaranteed.
** Welcome briefing occurs on your first night in Yellowknife.Please be sure to arrive prior to 6 pm in Yellowknife.
***Dates of charter flights may be altered due to weather conditions. Please keep this in mind when making international flight arrangements. Consider purchasing flexible, changeable airline tickets or booking a one-way flight home after completing the expedition, to help reduce ticket change fees. These delays may not be covered by travel insurance. Baggage allowance on charter flights is 44 lbs (20 kg) checked and 11 lbs (5 kg) carry-on. Additional luggage can be stored in Yellowknife.
• International airfare
• Passport and applicable visa expenses
• Canadian Sales Taxes
• Meals, other than those mentioned
• Wine and spirits; available for an additional cost
• Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance (Ask your Vacation Advisor for a quote!) All guests must have travel insurance coverage for air ambulance medivac, trip interruption and cancellation insurance
• Waterproof gear
• Gratuity for tour, transfer and expedition staff
• Fee for fishing licence (available for purchase at the lodge)
• Additional expenses (meals, accommodation, international flight change fees, etc.) incurred by delay or cancellation of activities due to suboptimal weather
Ideas to customize your trip
Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.
• Spend some time in Yellowknife before or after your adventure.
• Add on a trip to the stunning Canadian Rockies
• Extend your Canadian adventure with a visit to a bear viewing lodge in British Columbia.
• Add an adventure to Beechey Island on a 40-minute twin otter flight.
Get your personalized trip plan organized and arranged for you
Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.