This summer, guests of Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge are in for a once in a lifetime experience in the High Canadian Arctic, and can enjoy the expertise and pioneering expedition spirit expected from your favorite polar travel company. As Quark's first land-based expedition, this unique wilderness lodge couples the natural beauty and unique landscapes of Somerset Island with the polar knowledge and leadership offered by Quark Expeditions and Arctic Watch's own renowned hosts and guides.
As we prepare to receive our first guests of the season this July, we have been busy planning some refurbishments, renovations and customer enhancements at this one-of-a-kind arctic basecamp. And we are quite excited about how things are coming along.
This year, as Quark and Arctic Watch forge their new partnership, in addition to the bevvy of included activities such as kayaking, hiking, ATV, rafting and more, lodge guests can expect a slate of new features and amenities, including;
- A dedicated Quark representative in Yellowknife to assist with pre-night hotel accommodations, airport and private charter flight transfers, and for assistance for guests who choose to extend their stay to enjoy Yellowknife.
- Cabin upgrades including increased heating capabilities in the lodge and rooms.
- New soft furnishings in cabins and throughout the lodge.
- An optional day trip to nearby Beechey Island, one of the Arctic's most secluded sites, where guests can be on the lookout for narwhal, bowhead whales and polar bears, visit historic sites from Franklin's lost expedition, and admire stunning ice formations and untamed landscapes.
- A complimentary Polar Photography program hosted by Arctic Watch staff, including Nansen Weber, featuring wildlife and landscape photography lessons for all levels.
- For select arrivals, the unique opportunity to engage and interact with marine biologist Valeria Vergara and learn about her ongoing beluga whale research at the Cunningham River Estuary and Arctic Watch.
- An official 3-in-one yellow Quark parka, yours to keep, plus a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for daily excursions.
- An expanded selection of award-winning wines, including select vintage collections of Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cabernet wines from Painted Rock and Foxtrot Estate Wineries.
- An environmentally-friendly amenity kit featuring natural, toxin-free Rocky Mountain Soap Company toiletries, and eye masks to help guests sleep well during the splendid 24-hour daylight.
- Expanded lecture series, with an expert lecture provided each evening, as well as impromptu briefings while on location exploring and uncovering the archeology of the landscape.
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader to help you prepare for your time in the High Canadian Arctic.
- Guests will also have ample opportunities to explore diverse arctic landscapes, waterfalls, icebergs, Thule archeological sites, the flora and fauna of the region and iconic arctic wildlife.
Arctic Watch is renowned by wildlife experts as one of the best locations in the world to see beluga whales. Guests of the lodge will visit the shores of the Cunningham River, an annual migration path for over 2,000 belugas. Cunningham Inlet is recognized as a unique beluga nursery which often sees beluga mothers and calves nursing, just a few feet from the shoreline.
Other wildlife sightings on this arctic expedition include arctic fox dens near the lodge, and copious birds residing in dramatic moss-draped bird cliffs. Muskoxen regularly graze the short tundra grasses and arctic hare bound freely throughout Somerset Island. Polar bears are also frequently spotted along the shore. The lodge's close proximity to a known polar bear migration path makes sightings of this most mysterious arctic resident possible.
This summer, we look forward to welcoming nature lovers and active adventurers to Arctic Watch. Want to learn more? Watch the Arctic Watch video, or contact one of our Polar Travel Advisers at 1.888.892.0073. Or, visit QuarkExpeditions.com to see current offers and promotions.