Into the Wilds of The Great Canadian Arctic

7 Nights & 8 Days

Yellowknife > Somerset Island > Yellowknife

Welcome to the most northerly fly-in lodge on earth! Set on the isolated shores of Nunavut’s Somerset Island, hundreds of miles away from the nearest paved road, Arctic Watch sets a high standard for guest accommodation and comfort. With this unique locale as your base of exploration, embark on wildlife safaris by an all-terrain vehicle, paddleboard and seaplane, admire breathtaking, plunging waterfalls and challenge yourself with polar plunge if you dare!



Begin your Arctic Adventure by flying to Yellowknife, the only city and capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories. Once you’ve landed, your private driver will take you to your accommodations at the Explorer Hotel, conveniently located in Yellowknife’s downtown area. Once you’ve settled in, you will meet a local guide who will provide an introduction to this surprisingly metropolitan city complete with skyscrapers, a variety of ethnic foods and diverse and deep history. Your tour will include elements of culture, lifestyle and history to prepare you for the trip up north that lies ahead.

Overnight at The Explorer Hotel


Today after breakfast, you will meet your arctic guides and depart on a privately chartered flight to Arctic Watch. Upon arrival, settle into your cabin and start to get familiarized with your home away from home. Over dinner, your guides will work with you to review your itinerary for the coming days and customize your arctic adventure based on your interests and preferences.

Overnight at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge


Today, rise early for breakfast and prepare for a wilderness hiking adventure to explore foreign terrain teeming with wildlife. You will start off with a short trek to the Cunningham River estuary where you will take in the unbelievable sight of majestic beluga whales peaking and diving into the Cunningham’s aquamarine waters. This pod of almost 2,000 Beluga whales returns to this same spot every year to play and parade just feet away from the shoreline where you stand. Like something out of a science fiction movie, these belugas are nicknamed “sea canaries” for their high-pitched whistles.

In the afternoon, you will hike to the breathtaking five-story Triple Waterfall, home to an array of wildlife such as nesting peregrine falcons, loons, and snow buntings. Marvel at the contrast between the warm tones of the rocky landscape and the bright whites of this plunging waterfall. Continue through the surrounding canyon, admire the delicate beauty of Arctic flowers, and perhaps even encounter resident muskox. End the day with a hearty dinner back at the lodge, then settle in for the night.

Overnight at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge


Today you will enjoy an exhilarating day of wildlife exploration via ATV. After a brief safety orientation, ride across the remarkable Cunningham River delta, an expansive landform with distinctive river-shaped curves. Travel along the Muskox Ridge Trail where you can expect to see muskoxen roaming about and feeding. You might even catch a glimpse of arctic foxes and their pups. Once you reach Inukshuk Lake, settle down for a scenic picnic lunch to take in the beauty of your incredible surroundings. Next, it’s time to put your fishing skills to the test and try your hand at hooking an arctic char. Head back to the lodge via the River Trail, stopping along the way to view unique rock formations known as hoodoos in the Amerian Southwest, or “pillars of the north” here in Nunavut. Back at the lodge, settle for dinner as you enjoy an informal lecture by Richard Weber on his thrilling 1995 North Pole expedition.

Overnight at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge


Today you will set out to explore Cunningham Inlet by kayak to get an even closer look at the marine wildlife that thrives in and along the Arctic Sea. Paddle amongst the pack sheets of ice and greet various species of seals that waddle through these waters. Take a short hike to Kayak Falls to take in stunning views of the Northwest Passage. With luck, you may be able to spot a polar bear! Spend the rest of the day exploring the estuary before returning to the lodge. After dinner, nurture your curiosity with an informal conversation with Nansen Weber on Wildlife photography.

Overnight at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge


Today, you will explore the Arctic tundra and Badlands by all-terrain vehicle or, for those who want a bit more action, mountain bike. As you enter the Badlands, observe how the terrain changes dramatically. See the ancient, skeletal remains of 8,000-year-old bowhead whales, encounter packs of muskoxen, and watch for snow geese, arctic foxes among other species of arctic wildlife in this vibrant ecosystem. Relax on the banks and enjoy a picnic lunch while your guides prepare rafts, kayaks and standup paddleboards for your 2 to 3-hour downwind paddle back to the lodge. Once back on site, treat yourself to an elegant yet hearty dinner. To celebrate your Arctic achievements, take on the exciting challenge of a polar plunge!

Overnight at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge


After breakfast, engage in a half-day flight-seeing excursion over the Northwest Passage. Soar over incredible landscapes and engage in a wildlife safari by air in search of a narwhal, bowhead and beluga whales, seals and polar bears. If weather permits, your guide will land on historic Beechey Island, where you will engage in a short hike to view the graves of the members of the tragic Franklin Polar Expedition and hear the story of their harrowing journey. Upon returning to the lodge, you will enjoy a farewell lunch before departing for Yellowknife. Be transferred to your hotel where you will be able to relax and spend your night at leisure.

Overnight at The Explorer Hotel


This morning, after breakfast, be privately transferred to Yellowknife Airport and begin the journey home.


This pre-designed itinerary can be booked as is or be completely customized to your tastes. You can change details like upgrading accommodation or adding extra nights and excursions to suit your budget, interests and needs.


  • Stay at Arctic Watch, the world’s most northerly fly-in wilderness lodge, located 8 degrees north of the Arctic Circle, on Nunavut’s remote Somerset Island
  • Witness a pod of thousands of beluga whales frolic in the waters of the Cunningham River Estuary, just a few feet away from your accommodations
  • Venture into Nunavut’s desolate badlands to see plunging waterfalls and dramatic river canyons