Canadian Arctic Wilderness Safari



starting from US $10,100per person

Choose a wildlife viewing tour that works best with your travel style.

Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.

Explore 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 experience world-class beluga whale watching. Choose from diverse adventure activities, and extraordinary wildlife photography opportunities, from the elusive musk ox to the polar bear. While exploring, enjoy superb food and exceptional hospitality from expert guides and hosts. There is no better way to experience the Canadian Arctic!

Canadian Arctic Wilderness Safari – Map An Arctic fox Explore the arctic on an ATV tour Guided raft tour in the arctic River rafting on a guided tour in the arctic Exploring the arctic region on a guided hike Watching a pod of arctic beluga whales from the shore Viewing beluga whales up close in the arctic A lone polar bear on the arctic shores Viewing wild muscox in the arctic Breathtaking views of the actic
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Trip at a glance

• Arrive Yellowknife
• 1 night Yellowknife
• 5 or 7 nights Somerset Island, Nunavut
• 1 night Yellowknife

Sample Itinerary

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.

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. Once you’ve gathered your expedition parka and boots you’re ready to fly north tomorrow.

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 stunning 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.

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. Your first day may include an introduction to driving all-terrain vehicles, ATVs, a short hike to the Cunningham River Estuary to spot beluga whales frolicking in the shallow water, or a visit to Triple Waterfalls, five-stories of free-falling water. As you explore keep an eye out for Arctic wildlife like peregrine falcons, loons, snow buntings, sandpipers and rough-legged hawks or muskoxen.

To keep you fueled throughout your adventures enjoy plentiful fresh breakfasts, lunches and gourmet dinners. Recharge for the next day of adventures in your private safari tent cabin.

Day 4 – Explore the Arctic from a Wilderness Lodge
Travel along the Muskox Ridge Trail by ATV, which provides a scenic overview of the entire area. Pass by muskoxen and an impressive arctic fox den and watch fox cubs at play. Following an outdoor lunch at Inukshuk Lake, try your hand at catch-and-release fishing for arctic char. On the return journey to the lodge, pass by hoodoos, sculptured sand pillars, and local coal deposits. In the evening, after another delicious dinner, enjoy an informal lecture.

Day 5 – Explore the Arctic from a Wilderness Lodge
Today’s activities may include kayaking in Cunningham Inlet. Float amongst icebergs, and watch for beluga whales as well as ring and bearded seals and seabirds. Enjoy lunch served along the shoreline, then embark on a short hike for stunning views of the Northwest Passage and the opportunity to see polar bears. You may also have the chance to visit the Cunningham River estuary, a beluga whale migration site unique the world over because of the density of the beluga population. Stand on the river banks, and be close enough to hear their calls. Guides will use hydrophones so you can also hear the whales’ underwater song. In the evening, you’ll hear a lecture on the beluga research in the area.

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.

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. Visit the Somerset Island canyons, with its steep walls up to 1,000 ft (305 m) high. Millions of fossils of prehistoric plants and animals are scattered around the ground. An alfresco lunch is served directly on the flat rocks that surround this canyon.
Next, visit Gull Canyon and observe the striking color contrasts between the barren canyon and a lush gull rookery. This spot is declared a unique ecosystem by the Canadian Wildlife Service due to the presence of peregrine falcons. In the evening, enjoy an informal lecture from the Scientist in Residence.

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. The ride showcases scenic vistas, icebergs, ancient Inuit campsites and giant prehistoric whale bones. The Cape Anne Thule site 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 overland trip via the Red Valley provides incredible views.

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. On the way to the launch, pass the skeletal remains of two bowhead whales that date back 8,000 years. You may also encounter muskoxen, snow geese, jaegers, arctic fox, sandpipers and rough-legged hawks. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach, as the guides prepare the rafts. Return to the lodge by raft on the clear waters of the river as you pass by amazing scenery and steep canyon walls. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner and last night in your cozy cabin.

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.

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.

Common Questions

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.

Are the tours suitable for children?

Family friendly tours geared towards kids and adults leave each season. Ask your vacation advisor for more information on these special trips.

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 if I don't want to buy winter clothing?

No problem - we can arrange for clothing rentals to be waiting for you when you arrive.

What we love about this trip

Observe the largest beluga whale pod in the world

See rare arctic wildlife from, polar bears to Arctic foxes

ATV riding in stunning scenery

Hiking in incredible canyons

What's Included

Here are the things to look forward to on this trip...

Delicious gourmet meals - Delicious gourmet meals
Delicious gourmet meals
A range of activity options - A range of activity options
A range of activity options
Arctic wildlife viewing - Arctic wildlife viewing
Arctic wildlife viewing
Unique wilderness lodge accommodations - Unique wilderness lodge accommodations
Unique wilderness lodge accommodations
• 2 nights accommodation in Yellowknife
Choose 1 of 2:
• 5 nights accommodation at Arctic wilderness lodge on Somerset Island
• 7 nights accommodation at Arctic wilderness lodge on Somerset Island

Arctic Experiences:*
• Welcome briefing in Yellowknife**
• Hiking
• Fat biking
• ATV excursions
• Stand-up paddleboarding
• Kayaking
• River rafting
• Fishing
• 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
• An expedition grade parka to keep
• Waterproof boots to use at the lodge
All luggage handling at the charter terminal and at the lodge
All miscellaneous service taxes throughout the program
• Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
• Complimentary WiFi (limited signal strength)
• Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
• 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.


Not Included

• International airfare (but don’t hesitate to ask for help)
• Passport and applicable visa expenses
• Canadian Sales Taxes not mentioned above
• Meals, other than those mentioned
• Wine and spirits; available for an additional cost
• Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance – strongly recommended
• Waterproof gear beyond the included parka
• 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



Customize this trip a little, or a lot...

Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Work with us to personalize this trip by adding some amazing side trips & activities, like...

Stop in Vancouver before heading north
Stop in Vancouver before heading north
Travel to the Canadian Rockies
Travel to the Canadian Rockies
Add on a bear viewing excursion in British Columbia
Add on a bear viewing excursion in British Columbia
Add on flight and visit to Beechey Island and the site of the Franklin Expedition
Add on flight and visit to Beechey Island and the site of the Franklin Expedition
• Spend some time in Vancouver 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. (Available to add on the 10-day trip only).

Accommodation Options

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.

Arctic Wilderness Lodge - Private Arctic cabinsArctic Wilderness Lodge - Comfortable interiorsArctic Wilderness Lodge - Great roomArctic Wilderness Lodge - Lodge dining areaArctic Wilderness Lodge - Freshly prepared meals

Arctic Wilderness Lodge

An example of our Wilderness Lodge accommodations

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.


Prices & Dates

2019 Dates (8 Day Trip)
June 29
July 18, 23

2019 Dates (10 Day Trip)
July 4, 11, 28
Aug 4

2020 Dates (10 Day Trip)
July 2, 9, 16, 30
August 6

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.

8 and 10 Day Experiences
Private Cabin
from US $10,100to US $13,165per person

On this arctic adventure maximize your time exploring this vast wilderness with either 5 or 7 nights at a wilderness lodge in a private cabin. Enjoy wildlife viewing and photography, ATV adventures, kayaking, rafting, whale watching, and guided exploration of the Canadian Arctic.

Canada Polar Bears Vs. Others

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Independent Travel

Flexibility and freedom of a personalized tour to suit your travel goals.

Personalized itineraries

Carefully crafted to your budget and needs.

Insider Knowledge

Plan your trip with help from insiders who live and travel in Canada. You'll know when to come, where to stay, and lots more...

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Pre-packaged Trips

One-size-fits-all approach.


Group Tours

Cheapest type of travel with rigid itineraries and crowds.


Why choose us?

Online booking sites prefer you to book your vacation with them online. Truthfully, they'd prefer you not to bother them at all! Our approach is completely the opposite.

We don't use online booking – instead we use technology to put visitors directly in touch with our Canadian travel insiders because we believe the best vacations are personal.

Online booking sites and local travel agencies focus on multiple destinations – we focus only on Canada because it's our home and we know it better than anyone else.

Fresh Tracks Canada Team

Canada Polar Bear Team

No one can be trusted more...

You'll feel confident when booking your vacation with our accreditation and consumer protection through the following organizations

Consumer Protection BC

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  • License Number: 31202
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  • We're one of the only agencies in Canada offering this protection.
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  • Highest rating: A+
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