Journey to just outside of one of Canada’s most stunning national parks, Auyuittuq National Park, located along the rugged and awe-inspiring glacier-capped and iceberg-studded coastline of southeastern Baffin Island. Enjoy the long days of the Arctic summer and seemingly ‘all night’ sunsets from the comfort of an Arctic safari-style base camp while exploring the natural habitat of the polar bears on land and bowhead whales on the sea.
Day 1 : Depart Ottawa | Qikiqtarjuaq Days 2-6 : Base Camp Day 7 : Return home
Search for bowhead whales and visit a newly-discovered molting area
Admire all-night Arctic sunsets from the comfort of your safari base camp
Visit Canada's most stunning park, Auyuittuq National Park
Explore ancient Thule dwelling sites and learn from their culture & history
Depart Ottawa for Iqaluit in the morning. Change planes in Iqaluit – the capital of Nunavut, departing to continue onto Qikiqtarjuaq. On the way to Qikiqtarjuaq, 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 of approximately 600 persons that sits on Broughton Island. A narrow channel separates the hamlet from the main land of Baffin Island and faces the large mountains of Akshakyuk Pass of the Auyuittuq National Park.
From Base Camp experience the true essence of the Arctic in the summer. The 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. Your daily itinerary is determined by the environment, such as wildlife presence and weather. Sample activities include: day trips to Akshakyuk Pass, where you can hike at the base of North Pangnirtung Fjord or take a boat trip to Penny Ice Cap Glacier for hiking and exploration; fishing for Arctic char out of Base Camp; or picking blueberries and blackberries nearby. Observe icebergs calved off of glaciers and enjoy listening to the beat of the wings of seabirds from hundreds of meters away.
Surrounded by islands and steep-walled fjords, the scenery, activities, and opportunities for observing bowhead whales and polar bears here is second to none at this time of year. Bowhead whales are known to frequent open waters only a 30-minute boat ride away. Polar bears are often seen on islands throughout the area. In some cases, more than 20 polar bears can be seen on a boat ride from Qikiqtarjuaq to Base Camp. Inflatable kayaks are provided that can be deployed at anytime.
Day 7 Return home
Transfer back to Qikiqtarjuaq by boat after a polar bear expedition, then take a mid-morning flight back to Iqaluit and on to Ottawa. Return home via your independent flight.
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When to Go
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.