Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, the most northerly fly-in lodge in the world, is located on the world-class beluga whale observation site on Somerset Island in Nunavut, Canada, situated 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle. With 24 hours of daylight, guests are offered fully guided opportunities for diverse adventure activities and extraordinary polar photography.

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge is a family-run basecamp, hosted by arctic enthusiasts Josée Auclair and her husband, Richard Weber, along with their two sons, Tessum and Nansen. They are distinguished across the Canadian High Arctic as polar experts, particularly in Nunavut, and specialize in North Pole and Arctic tourism. The lodge operates with 16 staff and crew members with a maximum guest occupancy of 26.

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge Review

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge review includes a detailed description and photo gallery. Our adventure travel experts can help compare the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge with other Arctic land adventure lodges. Choose the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge to take advantage of a wide range of included activities including photography lessons, and to seek out the famed beluga whale.

This unique arctic adventure lodge is run by a family of polar explorers. Richard, Josée, Tessum and Nansen have spent the past 25 years exploring the polar regions. Having lead some of the first polar expeditions to successfully reach the North Pole, set speed records at both poles, recipient of the Order of Canada, renowned Arctic Wildlife photographer and world-class polar guides, the Weber family knows Arctic. They’ve skied, kayaked, hiked and explored across Canada’s far north and in 2000 this incredible family purchased the Arctic Watch lodge. Guests get to learn from and spend time with these Arctic legends during their stay at Arctic Watch.

Common Areas at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

The Great Hall serves as the main lecture hall and lounge where presentations are provided and announcements alert you to daily schedules, wildlife sightings, lectures, events, meal times and safety instructions for excursions. When you are not busy exploring the natural beauty of the Polar regions, you may use the complimentary Wi-Fi provided via satellite that is available throughout the lodge for basic web browsing and email access. Cell phone service is not available at Arctic Watch, though guests are welcome to use Skype via Wi-Fi. There is a satellite phone for emergency communication.

At the Arctic Watch Wildnerness Lodge, a small library of polar books, reference materials, field guides, picture books, general reading material and a selection of games are at your disposal. The lodge runs on diesel generators, which are turned on at 6am every morning and turned off at 11pm every evening. There is electricity, heating in central areas, Wi-Fi and hot water available between these times.

Dining at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

There is one dining room located off the Great Hall with space for all guests to dine together and enjoy delicious meals on a daily basis with two main dinner course options per day. Because food provisions to Arctic Watch arrive from Yellowknife where supplies are not always guaranteed to be available, meals cannot be made to order. All reasonable efforts are made to accommodate dietary requirements, as long as your needs are clearly indicated on the required forms when you book your expedition. There is a wide selection of meats, vegetables, pasta and grains, and to a certain extent dairy free and gluten free diets may be accommodated. Staff at Arctic Watch work with some of the best wineries in the Okanagan Valley to provide a special selection of wine during your time at the Lodge. Please note that beer, soft drinks, juices, vegan and kosher foods are not available at Arctic Watch.

Accommodations at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Each cabin has either 2 single-sized camp beds or 1 double bed, a window and a generator-powered electric heater that operates at peak times for added warmth. Heaters are switched on remotely from 6 to 8am and from 9 to 11pm. Each cabin has a private bathroom with a marine toilet and wash basin. Showers are adjacent to the main cabin and feature 2 sinks, 2 shower stalls and 2 toilet stalls each in the men’s and women’s sections. Hair dryers are not provided at the lodge, and you must refrain from plugging in any kind of corded hair dryer. Please bring a battery-operated unit if you require a hair dryer. The electrical supply at the lodge is 110 volts, 60 Hz. Guests coming from outside the USA and Canada may need to bring a small 220v/110v converter. The electrical outlets found in your cabin and around the lodge accept standard North American two flat pin. There are 4 twin cabins with 2 single beds, 7 twin cabins with a double bed and 1 triple cabin for families with a child. 

Complimentary amenity kits are provided upon arrival in Yellowknife that include a toiletry bag with eye mask, earplugs, lip balm, moisturizer and hand-warming packs. Shampoo and conditioner are provided. All guests receive an eco-friendly, reusable water bottle in their cabin upon arrival as well as a hot water bottle to warm your bed, which can be filled from the hot tap in sinks. There is no hot water available in your cabin, but staff can provide a Thermos if you would like hot water for the evening. The water is very clean on Somerset Island, and all running water is safe to drink.