Accommodations in Yellowknife on Day 1 and Day 9; round-trip charter flights Yellowknife to Arctic Watch; daily accommodation at Arctic Watch; all meals as indicated in the itinerary; all activities per the daily program; leadership throughout the expedition; formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team; coffee, tea, water and juice available around the clock; all miscellaneous service taxes throughout the program; all luggage handling at the charter terminal and at the lodge.
International airfare; passport, visa or fishing license fees or expenses; meals outside the lodge, with the exception of breakfasts in Yellowknife; wine and spirits; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance (strongly recommended); excess-baggage fees on international flights; voluntary gratuity at the end of the expedition for staff; additional overnight accommodation; additional expenses (meals, accommodation, international flight change fees, etc.) incurred by delay or cancellation of activities due to suboptimal weather; items of a personal nature; 5% Canadian GST tax.
Payment & Cancellation
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at the time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days (2019) & 180 days (2020) before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
180 days or more – $1250 admin fee
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost
Terms & Conditions
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.
Arrival & Departure
The Arctic Watch adventure begins and ends in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (YZF). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Yellowknife by 6:00pm on day 1 of the itinerary. Depart from Yellowknife anytime on the final day of your trip, however, AdventureSmith strongly suggests that a flexible air ticket be held for your journey home in case you need to change your travel arrangement following a delay of the return charter flight. In 2019 airport transfers are required on this trip’s itinerary; see the 2019 Mandatory Transfer Package information listed in this trip’s Exclusions (Rates & Dates tab). If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.
This trip includes a 3.5-hour charter flight from Yellowknife to Arctic Watch lodge on Somerset Island. Although the flight will have a scheduled departure time, there is significant variability based on weather conditions. Be prepared to depart the hotel for the airport on the group transfer at any time. There is a strict luggage limit of 44 lbs (20 kg), including carry-on. Should you have additional luggage, it can be stored at the hotel in Yellowknife. There is no option to pay for additional luggage.
Arctic Watch offers a range of unique adventure travel experiences including fat biking, river rafting, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, hiking, kayaking, trail running and all-terrain vehicles. Guests receive a hands-on introduction to driving ATVs, which are a fun way to explore the terrain of Somerset Island; helmets are provided. A robust onsite photography program offers a variety of interesting, enriching ways to improve your wildlife, landscape and nature photography skills under the guidance of award-winning Arctic wildlife photographer Nansen Weber. All these activities are included and subject to weather and ice conditions.
Guests of all fitness levels will find an activity they feel comfortable with; a basic level of mobility is required. The first mandatory walk is a quarter mile from the airstrip to the river, over fairly even terrain. Many of the hikes are much longer, several hours, and over hilly terrain.
Fly the Northwest Passage/Beechey Island
Take to the sky and see the beautiful landscapes from above as you fly the Northwest Passage. Observe narwhal, bowhead and beluga whales, seals and polar bear. If time and weather permit, you’ll land and explore historic Beechey Island and the Franklin graves. In 1845, the Franklin Expedition’s search for the Northwest Passage went horribly wrong. After wintering on Beechey Island, both the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were lost. 129 men perished but what actually happened still remains a mystery. A minimum of 7 guests is required, call for pricing.
Sea-Run Arctic Char Fishing in Creswell Bay
Love fishing? Creswell Bay is one of the top locations to fish for arctic char, their bi-annual migration offers a world-class fishing opportunity just a 40 minute flight from Arctic Watch. The Arctic char range in size from 6-20 lbs. A minimum of 2 guests is required, maximum of 10, call for pricing.
Single travelers willing to share can reserve a twin-shared cabin, where you will be matched with a person of the same gender. If the other space goes unsold, you will not be penalized. In 2020 there is a single supplement for solo travelers requesting a private room (call for pricing).
Families & Children
Due to the expedition nature of this trip, children must be 8 years old or older at time of departure. Children under 16 years of age must be supervised by a parent/guardian at all times.
Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of up to $500,000 USD per paying traveler provides coverage between the first and last day of accommodation at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge and is included in the cost of this trip in 2019. Additional days of travel pre- and post-expedition are not covered. In 2020 emergency medical evacuation insurance is not included but is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 USD per person. In addition to the emergency evacuation insurance, we highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.
Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique. The beluga whales famed in this region typically do not arrive until the second week of July and depart around the first or second week of August; of course, this is only an estimate and wildlife encounters are unpredictable. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.