As Canada’s last frontier and remote wilderness, the accommodation options in this area that are listed below are not extensive, and the geographical isolation means that resources and provisions are more limited. However, those hotel and lodge options that we have chosen provide clean and comfortable rooms and the hot food and warm beds that you need after a day of exploration on the tundra. Due to the seasonal nature of some of the Arctic safaris, one consideration is booking early, as availability can be limited and the focus is less on your hotel or lodge experience and more on your daytime activities exploring the natural world.
Located 800 km north of the Arctic Circle on the shores of the Northwest Passage is the most northerly fly-in lodge on earth - Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge. Situated on the banks of the Cunningham River on Somerset Island, Nunavut, where one of the largest beluga congregations in the world occurs, Arctic Watch is an off-the-grid basecamp built to withstand arctic weather. There are no permanent human residents on the 25,000 sq. km island and normal daytime temperatures range from 6° to 14°C. The wildlife here is spectacular and is home to one of the biggest beluga nurseries on earth. Wooly muskox roam the tundra, snowy owls patrol for lemmings, arctic foxes try feverishly to raise pups before the winter darkness closes in, and perpetually hungry polar bears roam the island waiting for the sea ice to return so they can hunt for seals and whales. Guests can use the sea and river kayaks, paddleboards, river rafts, ATVs, and fat bikes to explore the epic landscape. It is a great place to embark on a paddle through history as you take your kayak through the unspoiled waters of the high arctic - you will notice playful belugas dart around you, curious seals investigate you, and the majestic landscape that surrounds you. Look across the Northwest Passage and imagine the many perilous expeditions that fought to conquer it.
The authenticity of the lodge is striking as you land after your 15 minute, scenic flight north from Churchill Bordered by Dymond Lake and Hudson Bay, located on a strip of land, it is in the centre of the polar bear action that has bought travellers here for decades.Traverse nature trails and climb the watch tower for beautiful views, before relaxing with home cooked gourmet meals in front of the cosy fire. Dymond Lake Lodge is the ultimate authentic wilderness experience, providing fantastic, gracious northern hospitality and wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities. Venture through the range of nature trails and easy tundra walks to engage with the wildlife at eye level. Viewing from the lodge can be just as rewarding as bears have been known to come up to the windows for fantastic photo opportunities. You can also visit the watch tower for a completely different perspective on the stunning landscape. You may be able to see the northern lights during your stay.
100 miles from the nearest lodges, with the only tourists around being you and the other 15 guests, if the lodge is full, Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge provides that serene tranquillity we expect from the Arctic. Accessible only by air, the scenic flight over the northern Taiga Forest is your introduction as you can begin your search for the native wildlife. Up to 400 polar bears are known to pass the lodge in season, lots with cuddly looking fluffy cubs prancing at their mother’s feet. With little human interaction before, temperaments of the bears are usually calm, as they socialise with each other. Close encounters are possible with intrigued polar bears due to the perimeter fencing, which they often approach and stick their noses through, and opportunities to get out on the tundra to share their land. Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge offers the best chances of seeing the polar bears in this untouched wilderness. Photograph them at eye level as they approach the lodge, head out in the deluxe ATV onto the tundra or watch them from the tower for an aerial view. On clear nights you are likely to see the outstanding Northern Lights (aurora borealis) and you can even walk on Hudson Bay, just as the bears do – an exhilarating experience.
Accessible by flight only, the views as you approach the remote Seal River Heritage Lodge are breathtaking over the Hudson Bay Coast. This intimate family-run eco-lodge is one of the best places to see Polar Bears in the wild, not only that, but you might even see them at eye level. Stay in authentic Canadian Wilderness style and be treated like a member of the family as you explore numerous nature trails, relax by the cosy fire or climb the watch tower for wonderful views. Not just great for bears, the lodge is close to the Seal River Estuary, where thousands of Beluga Whales gather in the summer months, a spectacular wildlife viewing opportunity. Rooms are available as queen, twin or family and each one is en-suite. These comfortable living spaces have a real rural feel, with wooden panelling on the walls and comfy beds to sink into after a day out in the wild. Rooms and common areas have huge picture windows, so you don’t lose track of where you are, and you won’t miss any wildlife sightings. There is even a ‘pen’ outdoors, completely fenced in by wire, so we are the ones in captivity, watching the polar bears at eye level as they sniff around curiously.
Newborn Polar Bear Cubs Lodge is a full-service non-consumptive wilderness lodge located 40 miles south of Churchill, Manitoba. It is owned and operated by Michael and Morris Spence. The lodge is a refurbished navy communications base adjacent to Wapusk National Park and the world’s largest polar bear denning area. Open for only a short period every year, this property offers a unique opportunity in North America to see polar bear cubs and their mothers in their natural habitat. Enjoy the experience of building a snow-house or go for a walk on the tundra using snowshoes. Sample delicious, traditional Aboriginal food – caribou, ptarmigan and bannock. The evenings are filled with presentations on Aboriginal culture, as well as slideshows and videos about the Churchill area. When the skies are clear, you can witness the dazzling light show of the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights. Days at the lodge are spent seeking out the local wildlife – the great polar bear and her cubs, caribou, ptarmigan, foxes and possibly even wolves. Your guides are indigenous to the arctic area and their expertise is second to none, guests can fully enjoy a perfectly safe yet unforgettable world class experience!
Arctic Safari Camp is set up each year in Arctic Canada for some of our most unique and wild safaris. Constructed right near the action, usually just a few kilometres back from the floe edge, you venture out each day in search of wildlife such as polar bears and narwhal in some of the most astounding and beautiful conditions under the midnight sun. With just seven tents for guests, there is room for just 14 travellers at a time, as well as the local guides and staff. Providing comfortable accommodation, the camp improves year on year and the location is always astounding. Each of the seven tents is identical in size, round in shape with plenty of room for your belongings. Beds can be arranged as a double or twin and come with comfy bedding to keep you warm. In your room you will also find a heater and power outlet, and you can seal the windows to stop the light from keeping you awake. The bathroom tent is split down the middle, making it into two good sized bathrooms. In each there is a toilet with an ecological flushing system, a shower and a sink. In the main tent, there are tables for dining and comfy seating around a fire, as well as lots of wildlife and photography books, many with images from the area.
This is a delightful tented camp that can be set up on ice or land, depending on your safari and the time of year of travel. With the appearance of a simple tented camp, this is a little gem that provides you with comfort during your time in the Arctic. Don’t be deceived by how small the tents look, that’s due to the huge, towering icebergs and mountains they are photographed with. They have plenty of room for two, and will keep you snug in the, sometimes bitter, Arctic nights. A lovely tented camp that can be set up on ice or land, keeping your cosy in the Arctic conditions. The number of tents set up will depend on the group size, but there are kept small, for an intimate Arctic experience. Each tent is over 7 feet tall in the middle, with 140 square feet of space, so plenty of room for luggage. Even the doorways are tall, so you can walk in. Inside the tents, there are two comfy mattresses with duvets and comforters, as well as pillows. These tents are designed to keep you warm, and have double walls which act a little like a greenhouse, keeping you warm, even when it’s bitter outside, absorbing the heat. There is also a dining area to socialise and eat dinner, although you’ll probably take some meals out in the wild. The washroom is shared. Note that you will need to go outside between using the washroom, and getting to your room, so make sure you have some footwear that is easy to slip on and off.
The MS Greg Mortimer has been meticulously designed for luxury expedition cruising. Its size enables access to hard to reach areas and its modern, sleek design complete with several open-air observation areas and 270-degree views ensures the best in both comfort and wildlife sightings. This ship is also designed to consider our presence in nature, with reduced emissions and reduced light pollution alongside virtual anchoring to ensure non-intrusive voyages. This ship has a sleek and modern style, with cool natural tones to reflect the dramatic frozen landscapes which the ice-strengthened hull glides through with ease. Observation lounges with floor to ceiling windows alongside comfortably furnished bar areas ensure you can fully relax without ever missing out on top wildlife and wilderness viewing.
The Sylvia Earle has been meticulously designed for luxury expedition cruising. Observation lounge and viewing platforms offer spectacular panoramic views of scenery and wildlife and there are purpose-built activity preparation areas including four Zodiac-launching platforms for fast and safe transition off the ship for daily excursions. The majority of cabins have a private balcony, plus there are interconnecting rooms. In between landings, guests can enjoy the heated swimming pool and jacuzzis and admire the impressive scenery from the top deck, and the lecture theatre and science centre are the places to be for presentations on topics including history and culture, and wildlife. The ship also features a fully-stocked medical clinic designed for use in remote areas.