800km north of the Arctic Circle sits the world’s most northerly eco-lodge, owned and operated by legendary Arctic explorer Richard Weber. Located on Somerset Island, Weber and family invite guests each summer to hike the tundra, explore ancient Thule sites, ATV along the coast, and marvel at the star attraction: thousands of beluga whales that congregate at the mouth of the nearby Cunningham River. Guests are fed gourmet meals, sleep beneath the midnight sun in special tents, and are guided on daily expeditions. Swim under an Arctic waterfall, stalk muskox, canoe on emerald streams – the high Arctic in summer is unforgettable.
Length of Trip : 8 Days
Cost : From $7,495 per person
Best time to go : Arctic Watch is open early July to mid-August
Wheelchair friendly : No
Family friendly : Yes
Where to eat : Gourmet meals are prepared on-site
Official Site : www.arcticwatch.ca
Where to Stay : Guests stay in tented cabins with a marine toilet and running water. There is a shower hut with hot water and a comfortable heated common tent. Pre-tour, you’ll likely spend a night or two in Yellowknife. Consider these options: The Explorer Hotel The Discovery Inn Days Inn
Getting There : First Air, West Jet, Canadian North and Air Canada offer regular daily service from Edmonton and Calgary to Yellowknife. Most visitors to Arctic Watch arrive in Yellowknife the day before their scheduled departure to Arctic Watch. From Yellowknife, you’ll board a private plane for the four-and-a-half-hour flight to Arctic Watch with a refueling stop in Cambridge Bay. The flight departs Yellowknife every Friday morning, arrives at Arctic Watch in early afternoon, and returns to Yellowknife. For more info, click here.
Note from Robin : There are so many wonderful things to say about Arctic Watch. The landscape, the wildlife, the people, the food, the toys…it’s a true Bucket List experience for anyone who wants to experience the Great White North under the Midnight Sun. You’ll notice this chapter wraps many activities into one destination. Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to travel to other parts of the territory, but felt that Arctic Watch allows you wrap in so many of the best experiences all in one visit. You really do feel like an explorer at end of the world, without the training and hardship that comes with true polar expeditions. I cannot stress enough the importance of investing in a good pair of rubber boots. Arctic Watch suggested I buy Mucks, and they were worth their weight in gold (that’s why I wrote a poem to them in the book!) Temperatures swing wildly…one day you can wear a short and T-shirt, the next you’ll need to bundle up in thermal layers and winter coats. There are no mosquitoes or biting insects on the island (hallelujah!) Since it never gets dark, bring an eye-mask.