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CM Travels | Canada | Narwal and Polar Bear Safari | IMG_4894

See the elusive and mythical narwhal: the unicorn of the sea! Experience the classic spring floe edge to view Arctic wildlife and icebergs under the midnight sun. Travel to the northern reaches of Baffin Island where the sea ice opens up, and marine mammals and other wildlife congregate at the floe edge. 

Dramatic landscapes and a fascinating, thriving eco-system welcome you for your chance to view pods of narwhal, sea birds, polar bears, seals, and possibly bowhead whales.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Pond inlet.

Arrive in Pond Inlet, NU. Transfer to your hotel and meet your Expedition Leader for dinner.

Day 2: Pond inlet – Safari Camp

After breakfast and a briefing from Parks Canada, travel by snowmobile and qamutik (traditional Inuit sled) to our Premium Safari Camp near the floe edge.

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Day 3 -6: Searching for Narwals and other wildlife

Journey to the floe edge to observe wildlife and spectacular landscapes.Take excursions to attractions in the area, including a trip to traditional Inuit hunting grounds, by snowmobile and qamutik. You may also visit ancient Thule sites, and ice conditions permitting, the Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, home to more than 200,000 birds. Snorkel and kayak at the floe edge, possibly within the presence of whales.

Enjoy refreshing glacial melt-water tea.

 

Day 7: Safari Camp – Pond inlet

After breakfast, travel back to Pond Inlet by snowmobile and qamutik. Enjoy your final night in a Pond Inlet hotel.

Day 8: Pond inlet – Ottawa

Transfer to the Pond Inlet airport for your flight to Iqaluit, and onward to Ottawa.

 

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First ice cracks: 2019

 May 13  – May 19 – Sold Out
May 14  – May 20 – Sold Out
May 19  – May 25 – Sold Out
May 20  – May 26 – Sold Out
May 25  – May 31 – Sold Out
May 26  – June 1 – Sold Out
May 31  – June 6 – 1 Spot

Price: CHF 11 000 (+Taxes) Per Person Sharing

Early to accelerating breakup: 2019

June 1  – June 7 – 2 Spot
June 6  – June 12 – 2 Spot
June 7  – June 13 – 1 Spot
June 12  – June 18 – Sold Out
June 13  – June 19 – 1 Spot
June 18  – June 24 – Sold Out
June 19  – June 25 – 1 Spot

Price: CHF 11 000 (+Taxes) Per Person Sharing

Included:

Meals: 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and snacks, 6 dinners.
Accommodations: 5 nights in Premium Safari Camp, 1  night in a hotel in Pond Inlet.
Services of Arctic Kingdom Expedition Leaders and Inuit guides.
Use of kayaks and drysuit, mask, fins, hood, and gloves for snorkeling.
Return transfers in Pond Inlet.
Guided interpretive hikes.

Not Included:

Round – trip flights Ottawa to Pond Inlet, and charter flight to camp. (Ask about our special rates!).
Accommodation in Ottawa.
Tips, gratuities, personal expenses.
Travel, medical, trip cancelation/interruption & evacuation insurance.
Additional costs associated with weather and/or layovers in Pond Inlet, Iqaluit or Ottawa.
Polar Clothing Rental Package strongly encouraged

Inspired by African mobile safari camps, our Premium Safari Camp brings elegance and comfort to the Arctic. The modern, specially designed Arctic yurt – style safari  camp  structures  provide  a  warm and inviting home – away – from – home in one of the world’s most remote, yet breathtaking places. The safari camp features a large dining and lounge area, with a 24 – hour snack and drink buffet. 

Sleep quarters are spacious and warm, 4.8m (16’) in diameter, with over 3m (10’) cathedral ceilings. They have double walls with insulation and are entered via a lockable door. The camp includes a shared washroom facility with on – demand hot water showers. Accommodations with private washrooms are also available.

Accommodation choices include:
Premium Yurt: Our standard accommodation is a heated, premium yurt. These double occupancy accommodations can include two twin beds or one king bed.
Deluxe Yurt: This option includes a heated, double occupancy, premium yurt with a private en – suite bathroom. Configurations can be with two twin beds, or one king bed.
Family Tent: Perfect for families of four, this quad occupancy heated premium tent includes two twin beds or a king bed, and a set of bunk beds.
No matter the accommodation option you choose, each bed is complete with mattress, duvets, pillow and a warm comforter. No detail has been overlooked – from large windows, to coat hooks and heaters for those that would like it a little warmer.

Trip notes:

The intent of this Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari is to introduce you to the Arctic as spring transitions into summer and wildlife is abundant. While we cannot guarantee sightings of specific Arctic animals, you can expect to find an array of natural wonders and a truly unique experience on this exciting Arctic adventure.
This Arctic safari will provide you with opportunities to observe and photograph a variety of animals, and incredible ice scapes and landscapes. You will also be exposed to Inuit culture, with an opportunity to learn about some of the ancient settlements and ancestral people that inhabited the area. The Arctic has many variables that can influence travel plans so being relaxed, patient, and flexible are important attitudes. Itineraries are general guidelines and may change due to weather and unexpected conditions.

Is this adventure for you?

This safari is perfect for anyone looking for a relaxed adventure. We’ll be heading off the beaten track and out of the usual tourist route. You don’t need to have previous Arctic experience, but you do need to have an adventurous spirit. Our expeditions are typically represented by an international range of participants. Having a laid back, open – minded and patient demeanour is important.

Level of difficulty

These expeditions are somewhat active, but not too strenuous. One can choose to do as little or as much as he/she would like throughout the adventure.

Spirit of adventure required:

These trips are not intended to have set itineraries or sights to be seen crossed off in a short period of time. We believe in taking things as they come, to relax and enjoy the opportunities, be it a sunny or foggy day, to appreciate where you are in the moment, and fall into the lifestyle of the local people.
It is assumed that participants have the spirit within themselves to enjoy the unique solitude of the Arctic and free time provided. If this outlook is not for you we can assist in finding an alternative Arctic trip that offers a more structured itinerary, and “observer” role versus actively participating in an adventure of discovery.
Good health is fundamental to travel in any remote region. All participants will be required to obtain emergency medical and evacuation travel insurance. Age should not be considered a deterrent.

Polar Clothing Package:

A recommended clothing packing list will be provided upon enrolment confirmation. We recommend that anyone travelling to the Arctic dresses in layers. The insulating outer layer is of particular importance. Regular ski jackets and pants are not suitable for the changing Arctic climate. We realize that good quality Arctic – worthy equipment is expensive to purchase all at once and may not be necessary for a one – time Arctic adventure. CM Travels will liaise with our operator who have a top – of – the – line Arctic Polar Clothing Rental Package that will enhance your Arctic experience and allow you to enjoy your expedition in comfort, no matter what Mother Nature brings. With more than a decade of experience in all types of Arctic weather, they know what works and what doesn’t. All of their staff have depended on the same clothing package for years of Arctic adventures, so you can rest assured you are getting the best options available.

Gourmet Meals:

We know that no amazing Arctic experience is complete without delicious food. Our private chef manages the kitchen tent. It will be here that your chef and culinary team will prepare the day’s meals, snacks and delicious desserts baked in camp. The dining/lounge area will have a convenient buffet table where unlimited snacks and hot drinks are provided all day long. Menus showcase the best the Arctic has to offer. A fusion of locally sourced delicacies such as Arctic char and caribou, with specialty foods sourced “down south”.

The kitchen is not kosher. If you have special dietary needs, please advise us at time of booking.

Weather:

In May and June, temperatures during this season range from – 5°C (23°F) to +10°C (50°F). May will normally be the coldest (usually around – 5°C), but the temperatures rise as the days lengthen. June typically sees temperatures approximately – 1°C (30°F) to +5°C (41°F). Dressing in layers will make adjusting to the temperatures easier.

What to expect:

This Arctic expedition is designed for viewing animals in their natural habitat. However, there is more to this stunning vista of ice, land and sea than the wildlife that inhabits it. For centuries, these creatures have shared this wilderness with Inuit people. We encourage our trip participants to be sensitive to the cultural and historical ways of Inuit, including their traditional hunting lifestyle.

You may see evidence of hunting, including dead animals, as you wander through the communities. Examples include the stretching of seal skin boots or gloves, and Inuit dog teams being fed Arctic char or seal meat.

While on our adventures, we may also come across an Inuit hunting party returning from or travelling to a hunt. If you are open to the experience, these sights can provide a window into cultural traditions that stretch back for generations and exist in harmony with the wild Arctic. As part of the Inuit cultural experience you may enjoy some local food such as seal, caribou or Arctic char and you may observe how an Inuit hunts the local wildlife. This tradition dates back thousands of years. They will show you how to stalk wildlife for viewing and photography, the same techniques a hunter does.

What to expect on a Qamutik ride:

The mode of transportation to move over the ice is the traditional Inuit sledge pulled by a snowmobile called a qamutik (also spelled qamutiq or komatik). Each of the two to four persons on a qamutik is provided with a suspension seat to sit on. We move over flat sea ice and even though they have added suspension seats to the qamutiks for a smoother ride, the later one goes in the season, the bumpier the ride could potentially be. Anyone with a history of back problems should contact us to see if this trip is for you.

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