Arctic Vacations – What to Expect from Spectacular Somerset Island!

Canada’s Arctic Circle is home is one of planet earth’s unspoiled natural refuges, Somerset Island. This pristine northern desert is known for its phenomenal landscape, the midnight sun, and an expansive tundra. A visit here is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a region that is truly out of this world. Here’s what you can expect on arctic vacations to the distant Somerset Island in Canada’s remote province of Nunavut.

Arctic Watch And The Weber Family:

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge is the place to stay on Somerset Island. The lodge is run by the Weber family, and the Arctic runs in the blood of these intrepid explorers. Richard and Josee, who own and run the lodge, are a polar power couple of mammoth proportions. Richard holds Guinness World Record speed titles to both the north and south poles and is a recipient of the Order of Canada award for his extraordinary explorations of the Arctic. Josee was a member of Canada’s National Ski Cross Country Team and has led many pioneering all-women treks to and around the North Pole. Their sons are also pole-seeking extraordinaires with a catalog of skiing and photography accolades to their names. It’s safe to say that guests on a trip to the most northern latitudes are in very safe hands.

The Weber Family Are Experts On Arctic Vacations
The Weber Family are Arctic Experts

A Beyond Remote Arctic Trip to Canada:

Somerset Island is one of the most remote places on earth. The only access to the region is granted via a 4 to 5-hour chartered flight from Yellowknife, the Northwest Territories’ capital city. For guests that would like a private charter tailored just for them please get in touch for more information. It’s difficult to put into words the expansiveness of this place. On a stay here, guests are unlikely to encounter any humans other than guides and fellow guests, it’s a different kind of experience to any other on earth.

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge Is A Remote Setting For Arctic Vacations
The Remote Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Arctic Vacations: Wildlife Bucket List

Somerset Island is home to a collection of bucket list wildlife. Muskoxen wander the island grazing in the summer months, you’ll often hear and see bulls charging at each other – it’s a breathtaking spectacle. If you’re lucky, you may also see the biggest species of bear in the world, polar! Additionally, you may view arctic wolf, arctic fox, along with snow owl and a range of birds of prey. A camera and binoculars are highly recommended here. The Arctic Watch camp lies on the brow of Cunningham Inlet and this bay area is a very special place indeed – it’s home to one of the largest beluga whale nurseries in the world! Here, you can enjoy the sight of hundreds of beluga mothers and calves frolicking in the warm arctic summer sun. The inlet is just a mile from camp – it’s hard to imagine somewhere with more awe-inspiring wildlife just beyond your doorstep. We often hear that viewing the beluga whales and their calves is the highlight of many of our guests’ experiences, check out this incredible video for an idea of what you could expect from the Arctic’s landscape and wildlife.

Viewing Cute Beluga Whale in the Bay is an Arctic Vacations Highlight
Viewing Cute Beluga Whale in the Bay is an Arctic Vacations Highlight

Unique Arctic Vacations Accommodation:

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge may be an isolated accommodation, but it isn’t without its comforts. Despite being 800 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, all rooms have their own marine toilet and sink, and the main building has showers and a comfortable lounge area with an espresso bar. The food at the lodge is outstanding, and it’s all prepared onsite. Guests can expect to enjoy the finest ingredients in the Arctic and thanks to the remote location, many items are made from scratch. The resident chefs bake bread daily, as well as make yogurt and ice cream. The food here is authentic and inspired by every province, highlights include local Arctic Char, Albertan organic beef, and Okanagan wines. Food 74 degrees north has never tasted so good. Additional liquid highlights include whiskey tasting, ground coffee, and welcome wine.

Home to the most Northern Espresso Bar in Canada?
Home to the most Northern Espresso Bar in Canada?

Unforgettable Arctic Vacation Activities in Canada:

Arctic Watch is well equipped to serve a manner of activities that are show-stopping and unforgettable. A highlight for many guests tends to be paddleboarding on Cunningham river where you can see the cute beluga whales up close. This is an unintrusive method of navigating the water – the belugas won’t be disturbed, giving guests the opportunity to view them in their natural habitat.

ATV excursions are a great option for crossing the tundra, the Weber guides maintain a few trails to ensure that the impact on the landscape is minimal, and there is often the chance to see polar bears or Muskoxen.

Hiking is another keystone excursion on the island as it provides access to a plethora of waterfalls, cliffs, and trails that would otherwise be missed. It’s also a grounding way to interact with nature, being on foot means you’re more likely to see and hear fleeting creatures such as small Arctic birds and other animals. Guests don’t even have to pack water, for a completely nomadic experience just bring a bottle and hold it in the nearest stream. The water here is among the purest on earth. Fat biking is another option or, for the running enthusiasts that would like to enjoy a marathon like no other, Arctic Watch hosts the most northern marathon in Canada. Completing the circuit here is an extreme feat.

Fat Biking the Arctic Ocean is an Unforgettable Experience
Fat Biking the Arctic Ocean is an Unforgettable Experience

There are some astonishingly ancient artifacts on Somerset Island. It’s not uncommon to come across an 800-year-old whale skeleton, and there are also significant historic Viking sites and dwellings of the indigenous Thule people. A popular destination is the Fort Ross trading post. Founded in 1937, this was the last post to be established by the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company. Within the structure there are a range of weathered antiques frozen in time, the coffee pot was even left on the stove as if the final visitor expected to come back. The post was closed after 11 years due to the isolated icy conditions – guests on Arctic Vacations often leave thankful for the warmth of their modern layers.

Fly-fishing for char in Lake Inukshuk is another wishlist excursion for many travelers. The Weber family’s catch and release policy ensures that numbers remain high, so you’re in for the chance for a polar haul of a lifetime.

Somerset Island is full of Hidden Natural Treasures
Somerset Island is full of Hidden Natural Treasures

During the evenings, you don’t have to go far for compelling entertainment. If there’s one thing the Weber family isn’t short on its captivating stories of icy conquests. Guests can enjoy presentations on what it means to explore the Arctic, and there’s even an archaeological center in the main building along with an Inuit games workshop. You’ll leave the lodge not only with an immersive experience of the Arctic but with a tremendous understanding of it as well.

Arctic Vacations & Trips to Canada:

A stay at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge is tailored to the preferences of its guests. Plans aren’t set in stone, and our close relationship with the Weber family ensures custom experiences from start to finish. Arctic vacations to this region are beyond spectacular – memories made here are cherished for life. We can attest firsthand that the Weber family’s passion for the Arctic comes across in every interaction, meaning guests are left with an understanding and appreciation for these northern lands that transcends that of any other holiday. You can view our Arctic Canada North of Extraordinary itinerary for further inspiration on the treasures of Somerset Island. Alternatively, you may fill out our quick plan your trip form, or call us toll-free on: 1-888-999-6556.

The Beluga Whale Nursery at Cunningham Inlet
The Beluga Whale Nursery at Cunningham Inlet