Arctic Polar Bear Expedition
starting from US $10,999per person
Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
On this summer polar bear adventure, join expert guides to explore remote and beautiful Qikiqtarjuaq National Park, on Baffin Island. You’ll see polar bears and bowhead whales in their natural environment, to the backdrop of icebergs and glacier-clad peaks. You can also kayak in glacier fed lakes, fish for Arctic char and pick wild blueberries under the midnight sun. At the end of the day, enjoy warm hospitality and delicious meals in a comfortable safari camp.
Trip at a glance
1 night Ottawa
6 nights Baffin Island
1 night Ottawa
Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.
Day 1 – Arrive in Ottawa
Your adventure begins with your arrival in Ottawa. Ottawa is a beautiful Canadian city, with countless attractions and hidden gems. This is the federal capital of Canada so museums abound. Overnight in Ottawa.
Insider tip: Ask your Vacation Advisor about adding time in Ottawa before or after your Arctic adventure. From cycling tours to museum visits, Ottawa has plenty to discover for everyone.
Day 2 – Travel North to the Arctic, arrive on Baffin Island
Departing Ottawa early this morning, fly north through Iqlauit, before connecting to Qikiqtarjuaq, a small village on the eastern coast of Baffin Island. Feel the excitement build as you fly over Auyuittuq National Park, one of Canada’s most stunning national parks. Keep your eyes open for Mount Asgard and Mount Thor, the world’s tallest, uninterrupted vertical cliff face (over 5000 feet of sheer rock).
Arriving in Qikiqtarjuaq, step into a different world. With a population of only 600 people, this small hamlet on Broughton Island is a welcome break from bustling city life. Just across the shimmering channel from Broughton Island is the impressively large mountains of the Akshakyuk Pass of Auyuittuq National Park, located on the mainland of Baffin Island. Overnight in a comfortable premium safari tent camp.
Insider tip: Visiting the Arctic in the summer is ideal as the temperatures range from 5°C to 22°C (41° to 72° Fahrenheit) allowing for the best opportunity to explore in comfort. A detailed packing list is available, but if you don’t have enough to wear, a winter clothing rental package is available. Ask your Vacation Advisor for more details.
Days 3 to 7 – Polar Bear Exploration from Arctic Base Camp
The next few days will be full of adventure as you discover the highlights of the area while enjoying the Arctic summer. With the expedition camp ideally located near a fresh water river, you will have everything you need from hot showers to locally sourced and prepared meals.
Each day brings new adventures. Spend your day hiking at the base of North Pangnirtung Fiord near Akshakyuk Pass, then later enjoy an exploratory boat trip to the Penny Ice Cap Glacier for more discovery. Another popular activity is fishing for Arctic char – enjoy your fresh caught fish grilled for dinner. Or spend some time gathering wild blueberries and blackberries nearby – eat them straight from the bush or bring them back to the kitchen for the chef to prepare you a treat!
The biggest highlight of the trip is always viewing rare arctic wildlife in its unspoiled natural habitat. Polar bears can often be seen on islands nearby – on past trips, more than twenty polar bears have been seen just on the boat ride between Qikiqtarjuaq and the base camp! Even endangered bowhead whales often move through the area just a short boat ride from camp. Discover the area from a different viewpoint in an inflatable kayak that can be deployed at any time or, if you’re feeling adventurous, hop into the icy waters for an unforgettable snorkeling experience.
Insider tip: With small groups and optional activities, this relaxed adventure is perfect for anyone with a sense of adventure. Anyone who can walk comfortably across a football field should be able to participate in this expedition. If you are concerned about the activity level required for this trip, your Vacation Advisor will be happy to discuss every detail with you.
Day 8 – Baffin Island to Ottawa
Your Arctic journey comes to an end today as you board the boat and head back to Qikiqtarjuaq – maybe you’ll spot a few last polar bears on your way. Fly back to Ottawa with a stop in Iqaluit. Arriving in Ottawa later this afternoon, transfer to your hotel and spend one more night in Canada’s capital city.
Day 9 – Depart Ottawa
Sit back and relax as you are transferred to the Ottawa airport in time for your departure. Leave Canada today having made memories to last a lifetime.
Insider tip: Ask our Vacation Advisor about extending your time in Canada with a visit to an Ontario wilderness lodge or a bustling journey through French Canada by car or train.
What are the best months to see the polar bears?
The peak bear viewing months in Churchill are October and November. As the bears wait for the ice to freeze on the Hudson Bay. But you can see the bears and other wildlife (like beluga whales) throughout the summer.
Where do we sleep at night?
You can choose to stay in a cozy hotel in the town of Churchill or sleep aboard the 'Tundra Buggy Lodge'. It's a converted and comfortable Tundra Buggy from which you can view bears round the clock.
How cold will it be?
Temperatures range from 24-35 degrees fahrenheit in October, and about 3-16 degrees in November. In October, the snow is just starting to accumulate.
What we love about this trip
Expert Arctic guides
Hiking in remote Auyuittuq National Park, on Baffin Island
Observing rare arctic wildlife such as polar bears and whales
Icebergs, mountains, and glaciers
Optional activities such as kayaking on glacier-fed lakes, or fishing for arctic char
Experiencing Inuit culture
“Warmer” days with endless daylight
Cozy, safari-style accommodations with delicious meals
Below you'll find examples of this trip's accommodation options. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.
Delta Ottawa City Centre
An example of our Superior accommodations
This traditional hotel in downtown Ottawa is a convenient eight-minute walk to Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal and other highlights of Ottawa. Enjoy a welcoming visit to Ottawa with friendly and knowledgeable service. Hotel facilities include a fitness centre, indoor pool, sauna, restaurant and bar.
Arctic Premium Safari Camp
An example of our Safari Tent accommodations
The Arctic Premium Safari camp includes spacious yurt-style sleeping accommodations with insulated double walls to keep you warm and cozy inside and 10 foot cathedral ceilings to give you room to relax. Each yurt features either two twin beds or one king size bed, cozy rugs, a heater, and large windows for stunning views. Additionally, camps feature a large dining lounge with 24 hour snack buffet, and a shared washroom with hot showers. Camps can be set up on land or ice depending on time of year.
Prices & Dates2018 Departures from Ottawa
August 9, 16
2019 Departures from Ottawa
Aug 1, 8, 15
*Note: This can also be a great family trip! Ask about a specialized family departure in early August.
Prices listed may vary by departure date, hotel class and degree of personalization. Please speak with one of our travel advisors to get a personalized quote.
Departing from Ottawa
Arctic Polar Bears/ 9 days, 8 nights
from US $10,999to US $11,879per person
This once in a lifetime Polar Bear Safari takes you to the Canadian Arctic. Discover the amazing wilderness of the Canadian Arctic while seeking out polar bears and whales by land and sea. Stay in a comfortable safari camp while taking advantage of the Arctic summer’s midnight sun.
Canada Polar Bears Vs. Others
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Cheapest type of travel with rigid itineraries and crowds.
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- Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy.
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