Depart Ottawa for Iqaluit in the morning. You will change planes in Iqaluit, departing to continue onto Pond Inlet. Upon landing at Pond Inlet, you be welcomed by your local coordinator and transferred to a comfortable hotel. During dinner, your expedition leader and lead Inuit guide give a briefing and gear check. The evening will be yours to relax, enjoy and explore Pond Inlet and the not too distant mountains of Bylot Island under the midnight sun.
After breakfast, you will meet your guides on the beach (yes! There are sand beaches in the Arctic as well!) in preparation for your departure to southeast Bylot Island and the floe-edge. You will be traveling traditional Inuit-style by komatiq and snowmobile across the sea ice. Your route of approximately 90km will include tea-stops at historic grave sites, hanging glaciers, and abandoned whaling stations and hunting cabins. The final destination will be the ice floe edge where a base camp will be set up just back from the ice edge (conditions permitting).
Your ice floe edge base camp will enable you to enjoy the warm spring weather and engage in a variety of activities both on land and at the floe-edge. Wake up mornings to the smell of fresh coffee and the sounds of narwhal resting just off the ice edge. From camp and the floe-edge you can expect to see icebergs, and ‘bergy-bits’, and drifting pack ice with playful seals poking their heads up out of the water and looking directly at you. Plenty of time will be provided for unhurried observation and photography.On the floe-edge, the likelihood is high that you will see narwhals, bowhead whales, polar bears on the prowl for seals sunning themselves, and possibly walrus and beluga whales. The majority of migratory birds are in abundance. Pure white ivory gulls, gaudy king eider ducks, low flying northern fulmars, thick-billed murres, Kittiwakes, and greater snow geese (kanguq) are just a bird species to be seen. Ice conditions permitting, there will be a visit to the bird colony with 20,000 plus birds nesting not far away.On the land, you will have the opportunity to track land mammals with your camera, see ancient Thule culture sites, see traditional tent rings and learn the history of the area. Bylot Island’s uplands are home to Arctic foxes and hares, weasels, collared lemmings, snowy owls, rough-legged hawks, and gyrfalcons.
After breakfast, break camp and reload the komatics for your return journey to Pond Inlet. Stop at a 100 meter stepped waterfall for tea made with the glacier run off. Once again you will cross about 90km of sea ice by snowmobile, lead by your Inuit guides.In the evening, you are free to explore the village of Pond Inlet. The Nattinnak Visitors Centre, located on the bluff, houses an excellent exhibit of the region’s natural history including a full size narwhal with a tusk hanging from the ceiling. The Co-op store (which typically has a selection of carvings and other crafts) and the Northern store (historically known as “The Bay,” derived from the famous Hudson’s Bay Company stores) are worth visiting. You may also have the opportunity to buy carvings directly from local artists. Accommodations and dinner will be at the Bed and Breakfast lodge.
After an early breakfast, transfer to the Pond Inlet Airport for your flight to Iqaluit. On arrival in Iqaluit, you will immediately change planes and continue on to Ottawa, arriving at (16:50). Extra days in Ottawa can be arranged by request.
Please add 5% GST from Pond Inlet. Rates based on current exchange rate CAD/US dollars. Please contact us for exact quote in US dollars.