Have questions? We're here.
Sea kayak with beluga whales during your stay at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Example 10 Day Tour
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Arctic trip. 1.800.344.6118
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert
Spend a week at this unique Canadian Arctic Wilderness Lodge and world-class beluga whale observation site. Situated 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the lodge offers fully-guided opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and exploring the Arctic tundra in all-terrain vehicles. Observe muskox, polar bears, plus more wildlife in their natural habitat while enjoying comfortable accommodations and superb food, all accessible within a short flight from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to Somerset Island in Nunavut, Canada.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Day 2 : Fly to Arctic Lodge
Day 3 : Arctic Watch Lodge - Somerset Island, Nunavut
Day 4 : Cunningham River Delta
Day 5 : Kayak Cunningham Inlet
Day 6 : Somerset Island Canyons
Day 7 : Cape Anne
Day 8 : Raft Cunningham River
Day 9 : Depart for Yellowknife
Day 10 : Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Highlights

  • Explore the Canadian Arctic landscape by ATV
  • Watch and listen for beluga whales from the shores of the estuary
  • Kayak around Cunningham Inlet and watch for a variety of sealife
  • Hike to Kayak Falls for stunning views of the Northwest Passage

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Independent

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Sea kayak with beluga whales during your stay at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge Hike the pristine scenery at Arctic Watch Rafting at Arctic Watch View herds of muskox during your stay at Arctic Watch A beluga whale breaks the surface by Arctic Watch Take a ATV ride across the Arctic tundra at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge Enjoy pristine fishing locations Beluga migration at Arctic Watch

Day 1 Arrive in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

  • 1 Dinner
Spend the first night of your journey with an included night in Yellowknife meeting your fellow travelers.

Day 2 Fly to Arctic Lodge

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Meet early in the morning to board your private chartered plane to fly the 1,000 miles (1,500 km) to the Arctic Watch lodge. Pass over the tree line as you cross the Arctic Circle. Following a refueling stop in the community of Cambridge Bay, circle above Cunningham Inlet. Enjoy aerial views of the lodge below, before landing on the private airstrip on Somerset Island.

Day 3 Arctic Watch Lodge - Somerset Island, Nunavut

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, recieve a hands-on introduction to driving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), which are easy and fun to drive. Later, take a short hike to the Cunningham River estuary to watch beluga whales frolic in the shallow water only a few yards offshore.

Enjoy a hike to Triple Waterfalls, a five-story torrent of free-falling water. See nesting peregrine falcons and other birds such as loons, snow buntings, sandpipers and rough-legged hawks. Exploring the canyon introduces you to the delicate beauty of wild Arctic flowers. Encounters with muskox are common.

After dinner, there’s free time to explore in and around the lodge. The library has a broad selection of Arctic and polar titles. The interpretive center contains collections of local fossils, skeletal remains of Arctic fauna, and a collection of traditional Inuit clothing from Canada, Greenland and Siberia.

Day 4 Cunningham River Delta

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today travel by ATV, crossing the Cunningham River delta, and driving along the Muskox Ridge Trail, which provides a scenic overview of the entire area. It’s very likely that you see muskox and pass by an impressive Arctic fox den where you may have the opportunity to watch fox cubs at play. Following a picnic lunch at your shelter at Inukshuk Lake, “catch-and-release” fish for Arctic char. Returning on ATVs, the tour takes an alternate route via the River Trail, so you can view hoodoos (sculptured sand pillars) and local coal deposits. 

Day 5 Kayak Cunningham Inlet

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, kayak in Cunningham Inlet. All equipment and basic instructions are provided. Paddle among icebergs, looking out for ring and bearded seals as well as beluga whales. Sightings of sea birds, including Arctic terns and eider ducks, can be expected. After lunch, take a short hike to explore a local canyon aptly named “Kayak Falls.” From there, have stunning views of the Northwest Passage and the opportunity to see polar bears.

In the afternoon, return to the Cunningham River estuary to watch the beluga whales. This site is unique because of the density of the whale population and their proximity to your lodge. Standing on the river banks, see the beluga whales frolic in the shallow water and be close enough to hear their calls. Guides use hydrophones so that you can also hear their underwater calls. In the evening, attend a lecture on the beluga research being conducted in Cunningham Inlet.

Day 6 Somerset Island Canyons

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, depart for a trip to Flatrock Falls, crossing the Cunningham River delta. There, you have the option of hiking or travelling by Mercedes Unimog a (multi-purpose four-wheel drive truck). Visit the Somerset Island canyons, formed as the result of shifting fault lines. Observe nesting sites of local birds, including terns, plovers, and snow geese.

After lunch, travel to Gull Canyon, where you can see the striking biological contrasts between barren canyon and a lush gull rookery. The Canadian Wildlife Service recently visited and claimed this spot to be a unique and special eco-system for the gull rookery and the presence of peregrine falcons.

Day 7 Cape Anne

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Set out on ATVs to Cape Anne where you can visit five Thule sites all along the coast and look for polar bears. The Thule culture were bowhead whale hunters, ancestors of today’s modern Inuit. The ride includes scenic vistas, icebergs, ancient Inuit campsites, and giant prehistoric whale bones. The Cape Anne Thule site is the largest in the area and includes the remains of 15 stone and bone houses. Polar bears can often be seen on the shoreline, as they wander the coast, waiting for the ice to return. The return trip overland via the Red Valley gives you incredible views.

Day 8 Raft Cunningham River

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today’s full-day rafting adventure begins after breakfast with a Mercedes Unimog truck ride to the Arctic Watch raft launch on the Cunningham River, 12.5 miles (20 km) from the lodge. Opt to hike the final four miles (6 km) through the Badlands, passing the skeletal remains of two bowhead whales that date back 8,000 years. On the way to the launch, you may encounter muskoxen, snow geese, jaegers, Arctic fox, sandpipers, and rough-legged hawks.

Savor a picnic lunch on the beach, beside the river, as the staff and guides prepare the rafts. Return to the lodge by raft on the swift-flowing, crystal-clear water of the gentle rapids. The views are amazing and include steep canyon walls that at one point make a 180-degree turn. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner and evening at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge.

Day 9 Depart for Yellowknife

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, bid a fond farewell to the lodge team and the High Arctic. You may have time to take advantage of one last activity before you depart. In the late afternoon, the plane arrives for the return flight back to Yellowknife. Upon arrival in Yellowknife you are transferred to your included hotel.

Day 10 Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning, make your way home at your leisure or spend some more time in the Yellowknife area.

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Per person starting at
$9,495

Notes

Select a Date
Please add 5% GST for Canadians and 2.5% for non-Canadians, from Yellowknife, NT, Canada. Any two consecutive weeks for $11,990 per person plus 5% GST

Please add $1,690 for the mandatory two-night transfer package from Yellowknife, including: *Pre-expedition hotel night in Yellowknife and breakfast *Group transfer to and from charter flight to Arctic Watch lodge *Charter flight from Yellowknife to Arctic Watch lodge (return)*Group transfers to and from hotel to Charter flight *Post-expedition hotel night in Yellowknife and breakfast

We recommend purchasing a pair of Muck Boots for your trip to Arctic Watch.

Included

  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
    • 2 Nights Hotel
    • 7 Nights Lodge
  • 8 Days Private Guide Service
  • Gear Rental
  • Arctic Watch Activities

Excluded

  • International Flights

Recommended Budgeting

  • $895 Optional Excursions
    • Beechy Island Excursion
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
Jenna F

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons

Awards and Accolades

All News