Sorry! There are no remaining departures for "Canadian Arctic Polar Bear Migration" (NCPM), but here are some similar trips.
The polar bear is one of nature's most ferocious stars—see them for yourself in their native land. Travel to the Inuit town of Arviat—in the middle of one of the planet's most extreme environments—and immerse yourself in Inuit culture. Then Inuit guides will lead you further off the grid to remote huts on the tundra where you'll witness the annual polar bear migration and once-in-a-lifetime views. Along the way, you'll visit local artists, try traditional teas and experience a way of life you will truly never forget.
Looking for a little extra from your adventure but don’t want to skip out on all the genuine experiences? Comfort is your ticket. These trips offer upgraded accommodations and more inclusions while still delivering plenty of freedom to pursue spontaneous situations on your own.
Please note: The Comfort Travel Style is a renamed edition of the G-Plus, our collection of comfort-themed adventures. Same great trips, more descriptive name!
Arrival and departure transfers, orientation tour of Arviat town, 2 excursions with Inuit guides onto the arctic tundra for polar bear and wildlife viewing, visit a traditional Inuit camp and enjoy a cultural performance, visit local artisan studios and centres for demonstrations, enjoy stories, tea and bannock in a local artists home.
Heading out onto the tundra and trying not to be overwhelmed when spotting migrating polar bears, Immersing yourself in the history and culture of the Inuit people of Arviat, Being surrounded by untouched Arctic scenery, Getting the chance to photograph bears in this remote frontier.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1) A heritage preservation fee of USD25/person is included in the price of your tour – this will go into a Heritage Fund administered by the Hamlet for local heritage preservation activities and initiatives in the community.
2) It is recommended to schedule your international flight into Winnipeg for the day prior to the tour. You can easily find hotels in the city or at the airport for pre/post tour accommodation (not included). There are numerous hotel options close (5 minutes) to the airport, most with courtesy airport shuttles (eg. Victoria Inn, Comfort Inn, Hilton, Howard Johnsons, Sandman) and there is a Sheraton connected to the airport.
3) Arviat is a dry community - alcohol is not available, nor are you allowed to bring any into the community.
4) Cell phone service is pretty good in Arviat (though they do not have 3G or 4G service, so if you have an iPhone or select blackberries they will not work). But almost all Canadian cell services work here (Bell, Telus, Virgin, Koodoos, MTS)
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.
As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
Max 8, avg 6.
3 Breakfast, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners.
All breakfasts included are continental. Lunches may be at your hotel or boxed while on excursions and dinners prepared and served at the hotel. Commercial food service in Arviat is limited with only one table service restaurant associated with the Coop Hotel (with set meal times), one fast food restaurant, and several convenience stores. For this program all included meals are simple, home-cooked food with limited selection which may or may not include traditional items such as Arctic Char and Caribou, depending on availability. Driking water, tea, coffee and cold drinks are included. Please advise at time of booking if you have any dietary restrictions and every effort will be made to meet your requirements. Snacks are not included, but there are two well-supplied grocery stores in Arviat.
Allow CAD100-125 for meals and drinks not included.
Van/truck, walking, ATV or snowmobile/sled (weather permitting).
All local transport for this trip is dependent on weather conditions which can very and change rapidly. If there is no snow, local transport for activities will be by truck and/or ATV (All terrain vehicle), if there is snow transport will be by truck and/or snowmobile.
Flights between Winnipeg and Arviat are not included in this tour - please speak to your agent about booking these flights for you. There are 2 local airlines that service Arviat with daily flights (from Winnipeg), Calm Air (7 days a week via Churchill or Rankin Inlet) or First Air (6 days a week via Rankin Inlet).
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Comfort hotel (3 nts)
Not available on this trip.
There are 2 locally/family-run hotels that we may use for your trip, either the Katimavik Beach House or the Katimavik Suites.
Katimavik Suites is a family owned business, offering a comfortable, friendly atmosphere in a very unique part of the world. The hotel was built in July, 2006. The seven rooms are simply appointed with a kitchenette, 3-piece en-suite bathroom with tub/shower, Double bed, Satellite T.V., and a phone. Shampoo and soap are provided. There are no hair-dryers. There is a communal kitchen and dining room for group guest use. The hotel is conveniently located on the road to the airport close to the Community Complex and the Kiluk Sewing Centre.
Katimavik Beach House is a newly built hotel located on the shores of Hudson Bay. Five, simple ensuite guestrooms feature queen beds, 1 armchair and 3-piece bath with tub/shower. Shampoo and soap are provided. There is a small communal kitchen, living room area and a small deck overlooking Hudson Bay. High-speed internet access is available to guests in the hallway. Wireless Internet access is also available throughout the building.
Both hotels are un-hosted and do not provide food service except at pre-arranged meals, according to your itinerary.
Katimavik Beach House or the Katimavik Suites
Upon arrival at the Arviat airport, you will be met and transfered to your hotel. Please look for our local guide holding a G Adventures sign.
**Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1 of the tour. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through G Adventures to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
We don't expect any problems and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact the Arviat Tourism Office number below (if you cannot get a hold of them, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you have not made contact with our airport transfer representative within 30 minutes of arrival, contact our local representatives (see emergency contact details) who will assist you in reaching the joining hotel.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call the G Adventures Local Representative. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER:
G Adventures Local Representative (Nunavut, Canada)
24-hr emergency phone number
From outside of Canada: +1 867-857-2921
From within Canada: 867 857 2921
You may also get a voice mail with another number to contact - have a pen ready.
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, we have a toll-free line within North America (or our regular direct line), which will connect you directly with our Toronto office.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
A departure transfer is included to the Arviat airport at the end of your tour.
Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one backpack, soft compact suitcase, or sports bag (maximum 15kg) plus a daypack/carry-on bag. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags. It is important to pack clothes for layering as temperatures and windchill can range dramatically.
- Credit and/or debit card (see spending money)
- Canadian dollars
- G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and memory cards
- Charger for phone/camera/music device
- Reading/writing material
- Insect repellent
- Head lamp with batteries
- Hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Water bottle (at least 2L capacity)
- Watch or alarm clock
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band-Aids, anti-histamines, motion sickness remedy, after-bite salve and extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
Clothing and Footwear
- long sleeve shirts/turtleneck
- Windproof/waterproof jacket (fleece lined or winter)
- light weight snow pants
- 1 pair of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Comfort clothing for the night
- warm socks (synthetic or wool)
- Warm thermals/long underwear
- Warm wool/winter hat and gloves
- waterproof warm hiking/winter boots
- Extra comfortable slip-on sandals or shoes for the evenings
- binoculars, Playing cards, games notebook, pens/pencils
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
Weather / Local conditions
The best way to describe northern weather is unpredictable. On the calmest of days you can suddenly be thrown into a blinding blizzard. Usually, the days have a moderate to strong wind blowing from the northwest.
The first snow can be expected sometime in October. January, February, and March are the coldest months. In February, the temperature ranges from approximately –25 to –35oC, but may feel like –50 to –65oC with the combined wind chill! Weather and temperatures can vary throughout the day and wind can create significant cooling effect. The following are normal averages in the summer in degrees/celcius:
Daily Average 5.8c / Daily Max. 10.9c /Daily Min. 1.9c
Daily Average -4c / Daily Max. -1c /Daily Min. -6c
Note: weather can be unpredictable and change rapidly and temperatures can easily drop well below zero in September and October. The windchill however is the biggest challenger - it can make the air temperate feel 10 to 20 celsius colder. Layering is the key to staying warm in such conditions
Life in Arviat today
Arviat has grown steadily since its humble beginnings, its population now comprising members of Pallirmiut, the Ahiarmiut made famous by Farley Mowat, and various groups who travelled from different parts of the Kivalliq to settle here over the past century. This rich diversity creates an interesting cultural mosaic. Arviat is known for its rich cultural roots and strong grounding in the Inuktitut language. Arviat today is both far removed and yet easily accessed. It is the southern-most community of mainland Nunavut – only a short 40-minute flight north of Churchill – and yet its people are profoundly steeped in tradition.
The people here are a mix of the inland Caribou Inuit and the coastal Inuit more dependent on the sea for survival. Located in an area of diverse ecosystems with extremely rich wildlife, people in Arviat continue to actively harvest – most families continue to depend on “country” food.
The art, the archaeology, and the oral-history all reflect these origins, and provide the visitor with a unique immersion in the vibrant Inuit culture which survives in Arviat. Young people are continuing this tradition with the use of new media and technologies to enhance the strong cultural traditions of music and art.
The history of Arviat begins with the Inuit. They have inhabited this area for thousands of years. Inland Pallirmiut were known to be excellent traders.
They traveled throughout the region to acquire goods to exchange with other groups. By the mid 1800’s they were known as skillful middlemen. Obtaining furs and ivory further north, they took advantage of their seasonal travel to hunt seal, whales, and walrus by the coast to trade with Hudson Bay Company’s ships docked at Eskimo Point.
This fruitful activity led in 1921 to the establishment of a permanent trading post. Shortly thereafter, in 1924, the Roman Catholic Mission set up a little church on the ridge on the way to Nuvuk (the Point). In 1926, the Anglican church followed suit and established their mission at Arviat. By then, the migration of caribou herds were shifting, prices of furs weak, therefore many Inuit faced starvation. More people started to aggregate around the small outpost seeking relief and medical help provided by the churches. The permanent deployment of Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1937 offered further stability and a visible presence of the government’s support.
A famine in the 1940’s, accompanied by epidemics of tuberculosis and diphtheria disseminated families. The federal government acted quickly to relocate Inuit from different areas to Arviat. Many Inuit were relocated against their will. After the relocation, some chose to return to the land of their ancestors seasonally.
A federal school was constructed in 1959. This, along with improved health care and social benefits, encouraged families to live year-round in the settlement. Eventually the Alliance mission closed its school at the mouth of the Maguse River and moved to the community.
Birket Smith, KAJ The Caribou Eskimos, Report of the Fifth Thule Expedition, 1921-24, Vol.V
A weighty tome, but full of fascinating detail about the inland Inuit from whom many in Arviat descend, written by the anthropologist on Knud Rasmussen’s famous expedition.
Harper, Francis Caribou Eskimos of the Upper Kazan River, Keewatin
The earliest publication of ethnographic research done in the region where many ancestors of current Arviamiut lived.
Leden, Christian Across the Keewatin Icefields
An unusual account of a solo traveller’s journey through the region during the years of World War One.
Marsh, Rev. Donald Echoes from a Frozen Land
Largely autobiographical, this book offers lots of detail of the author’s time at Eskimo Point (now Arviat), where he established the Anglican Mission and lived through the 1920s and ‘30s.
Marsh, Winifred People of the Willow
Beautiful watercolours illustrate Mrs. Marsh’s shorter account of the missionary couple’s time at Eskimo Point.
Mowat, Farley People of the Deer
An account, not always entirely accurate but nonetheless fascinating, of Mowat’s time in the 1950s traveling in the region where many ancestors of current Arviamiut lived.
Mowat, Farley The Desperate People
A follow-up volume to the above, in which Mowat attempts to respond to some of the criticisms his first book raised.
Pelly, David The Old Way North
An exploration of the overlap country shared by Inuit and Dene, and a history of the old travel route used by both peoples between their respective territories.
Van den Steenhoven, Geert “Ennadai Lake People 1955”, The Beaver, Spring 1968
Ennadai Lake was the scene of the most devastating starvation in the 1950s – this article tells part of those people’s story.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The Canadian currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD).
There are no banks in the community for exchanging money or travellers cheques, so you should bring sufficient Canadian dollars with you (EUR and US cash should be exchanged in Winnipeg). There are 5 ATM’s in the Northern and Coop retail outlets within the community. Master card and Visa are accepted in all retail outlets in the community but certain services like carvers and artists will only accept Canadian cash.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Canadian Dollars as cash (preferably smaller bills, 5's, 10's and 20's) and credit cards is best.
Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in North America to tip service providers such as waiters, bartenders and taxi drivers, at approximately 15-18%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip any local guides used. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from $2-8 CAD per activity depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $5-10 CAD per person, per day can be used as a guide. If your CEO met and exceeded your expectations, feel free to tip more.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.