Narwhal Photography Near Arctic Watch

Narwhal Photography Near Arctic Watch

Photograph Narwhal At The Heart Of The Northwest Passage

Narwhal Photography on the Northwest Passage

Wildlife/Nature Sightseeing

  • 9 Nights

Narwhal Photography on the Northwest Passage

Led by the team at Weber Arctic, embark to photograph one of the most unique marine mammals on earth - the narwhal. Dubbed the "Unicorn of the sea", these shy, docile animals congregate in an area near Arctic Watch to feed on Arctic char every late summer. This expedition is limited to four guests annually.

Eight hundred kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge is your basecamp as you set out to photograph these unique animals.

Supported by our lodge's helicopter, we visit/hike the shorelines of the shallow inlets where these whales feed on schools of fish. Four days of helicopter assist are provided for the endeavour while two days on foot to photograph other animals on Somerset such as polar bears, muskoxen, arctic foxes, snowy owls and more.

Photographing narwhal requires patience - carefully hiking into the coastal areas where these whales are feeding while ensuring we do not disturb them. With patience, one can photograph them for the shoreline. We will take opportunities to explore the coastline and photograph the whales as they travel into their feeding areas. The same coastline is inhabited by polar bears and beluga whales. Both amateur and professional photographers alike are welcome - instruction is provided for folks learning photography. The opportunity to safely use drones for photography is also encouraged.

If we're not on the coast, head inland with your guide to witness the muskoxen rut - in August bull muskoxen will battle for breeding rights. Watch the display of power take place amidst the changing late summer landscapes.

Read more about Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, and what to expect on staying at the world's most northerly fly-in lodge.

Image credits: Dan Achber, Nansen Weber

Cancellation Policy

Any cancellations before 180 days prior to the departure date will receive a full refund less a $750 administration fee, per person. Any cancellations after that are not eligible for a refund.

To ensure a stress-free adventure, we recommend guests purchase travel insurance prior to visiting the Arctic.

For guests wishing to donate, a $500 conservation fee will be charged to each visitor to Arctic Watch. The fee directly supports our foundation's conservation work.

As per Canadian Law, all quoted rates are GST applicable at 5%. Prices are in Canadian currency.

Notice, as per regulatory requirements: This website describes activities carried out under licenses pursuant to the Tourism Act. Weber presently is seeking license renewals to conduct licensed activities for the 2024 season. During the ongoing licensing process, Weber does not hold an active outfitter’s license or tourist establishment license pursuant to the Tourism Act. By using this website you agree and understand that Weber is not a current license-holder and is not offering services requiring such licenses, pending their issuance. We are proud to have operated for the past twenty plus years in Nunavut.


Arrival Instructions

All adventures to Arctic Watch include accommodation in Yellowknife the nights before and after at the Explorer Hotel. Guests arrive into Yellowknife the day before the private charter departs for Arctic Watch.

Day 1

Fly to Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories and spend the night at the Explorer Hotel.

Day 2

After breakfast, depart Yellowknife on a private charter for the 3-hour flight to Arctic Watch. Guests will land in the Arctic later that afternoon. After an introduction to the lodge and the surrounding landscape by the Arctic Watch team, guests will have time to settle into their cabins. Before dinner is served, a short hike up to the local mountain is offered; breathtaking views of the Northwest Passage and ice formations on the Arctic ocean. Spend time with your guide that evening, as you prepare your camera gear for the adventure.

Day 3

After breakfast and a short helicopter safety briefing, board our aircraft to begin heli-hiking the coastline of the Northwest Passage. In August as the sea ice begins to return to the Northwest Passage the landscapes and coastal scenery from the air is stunning. In the summer & autumn months of July and August narwhal migrate to specific inlets nearby to feed on Arctic char. We'll endeavour to fly to these areas and carefully hike into the shallow water feeding areas where these whales congregate. 

Day 4 - 6

Daily excursions led by our team at Arctic Watch focus on observing, photographing and encountering the narwhal on the coastline of the Northwest Passage. We endeavour to provided the best opportunities to photograph unique moments as we observe the feeding and social behaviours between whales and family social structures within pods. Guests are welcome to bring handheld and drone based photographic equipment (under the guidance of our team to ensure we don't disturb any whales). The coastline of Somerset is also home to polar bears, arctic foxes, birdlife, seals and beluga whales. 

Day 7

ATVs are our most practical form of transportation to cover long distances on the tundra. Attend a hands-on introduction to all-terrain vehicles followed by a short drive and hike into the muskox grazing areas on Somerset Island. In August, as the bull muskoxen go into rut, males will battle for breeding rights. Watch and photograph the spectacular event against the backdrop of the changing colours on the tundra. 

Day 8

A short ATV drive and hike into an inland region of Somerset Island brings the adventure to a local fox den. Centuries of arctic foxes have built up this den site. We'll endeavour to spend the day photographing the interactions between mothers/pups as they play and hunt for lemmings nearby. The den site can also draw snowy owls. 

Day 9

By now, guests are familiar with the area, and can opt to do an activity that they missed during the week or would like to repeat. There’s lots of time before the flight departs in the late afternoon. Upon arriving in Yellowknife you will spend the night at the Explorer Hotel before your return flight home.

Day 10

Depart Yellowknife for the return flight home.

In the wild and unpredictable Arctic the weather patterns and wildlife can disrupt even the best-laid plans. Therefore all of our itineraries are marked as ‘suggested’. Daily excursions are planned based on guest desires, abilities and interests as well as daily wildlife and weather conditions.

Preparing For Your Trip

In the wild and unpredictable Arctic, weather patterns and wildlife can disrupt even the best-laid plans. All of our itineraries are ‘suggested’– we strive to ensure your visit to Arctic Watch is a trip of a lifetime. Each day’s activities take into consideration the dynamic environment we operate within, your interests, and may not always reflect the suggested itinerary outlined below.

Travel Recommendations & Notes

Read and understand our waiver here.

All travellers must purchase travel insurance - even Canadian guests. We recommend trip interruption, cancellation and health insurance that includes air ambulance. If an air ambulance is required to Yellowknife, Iqaluit or Ottawa, all non-Nunavut residents are responsible for the cost.

Baggage allowance on the charter flight from Yellowknife to Arctic Watch is 20 kg per person, including carry-on. If you have additional gear that will exceed the weight limit please let us know in advance.

Gear List

  • Neoprene Boots - A comfortable update to the traditional rubber boot with neoprene uppers and a neoprene/polyurethane foot. The best brand is Muck Boots -
  • Hiking/Walking Boots - Sturdy, waterproof/water-resistant leather lightweight boots are nice to have, but if happy with the Muck boots, these are not needed.
  • Light Winter Jacket/Raincoat - In the cooler evenings, a warm jacket is a must.
  • Comfortable Hiking Pants - Pack a couple pairs of quick dry pants made from tightly woven, wind-resistant material. No cotton or silk content.
  • Long Underwear - A couple sets of long underwear made from synthetic or wool - no cotton or silk content.
  • Day Pack - You’ll need a day pack to carry cameras and extra clothing on your excursions. We recommend Osprey Backpacks. Waterproof/water resistant storage compartments are a must for water sports.
  • Personal Items - Toiletries, cameras, sunglasses, extra glasses/contacts or any other items you might require.
  • Fishing - We have gear, but if you prefer your own - bring it.
  • Rain Pants - This item is primarily for protection against the wind while on the ATVs. Ensure your pants are waterproof and seam-sealed.
  • Lodge Shoes - Light, comfortable shoes to wear in the lodge are useful. We will supply guests with lodge shoes.
  • Fleece Jacket - A fleece jacket is another necessity as an extra layer under your raincoat, for warmer days, or just to wear around the lodge.
  • Hat - A wool toque or fleece hat. Any cap really that is made from a material that dries easily.
  • Gloves - Wind-resistant gloves/mittens for cold days or the ATV excursions.
  • Socks - Several pairs of good wool or wool-synthetic socks are a must. No cotton or silk content. Arctic Watch has Smartwool socks available for purchase if needed.
  • Sunscreen - The summer sun in the Arctic is extremely strong - not to mention it shines almost 24 hours a day. So pack sunscreen.
  • Binoculars - Great for spotting wildlife. We recommend Swarovski Optiks.
  • Arctic Watch has gear available for use on specific excursions: ATV helmets, fishing gear, paddling dry jackets and pants, life jackets, and more.

Staff Gratuities/Tip: If you wish to leave a tip to the team after your stay, it is greatly appreciated. Gratuities are split evenly amongst the staff members. We don't make suggestions - every culture has different expectations surrounding tips. Guests will (on average) leave about 10% of the value of their trip.

Add Ons

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We understand that booking a trip like this is a big endeavour. Please reach out to us with any questions that you might have regarding your upcoming adventure.