Quark Expeditions Logo

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

The most Northerly lodge on Earth, Arctic Watch offers diverse activities and boundless adventure. Take a wilderness safari in 24-hour daylight, 500 miles North of the Arctic Circle.

Expeditions starting from


Inquire About Trip Details

Incomparable Adventure

Located on Somerset Island in the far Canadian North, Arctic Watch is a unique destination for travelers seeking something truly extraordinary.

At the crux of a beluga whale migration site in the delta of the Cunningham River, this permanent lodge provides private lodging, gourmet meals, unique opportunities for photography, and fully-guided soft adventure activities.


Your Arctic Playground

From your base at the lodge itself, guests at Arctic Watch will enjoy a varied and diverse selection of activities at no extra charge.

Raft the Cunningham River, or kayak amidst beluga whales. Hike the canyons and waterfalls, or explore the tundra by ATV. Investigate mysterious Thule ruins, or watch immense vistas under 24 hours of daylight. Adventure abounds, and keep your camera handy to immortalize the scenery and the countless Arctic animals.


Your Wildlife Safari

Arctic Watch is renowned for viewing iconic arctic wildlife including muskox, arctic hares and foxes, ring and bearded seals, snowy owls, peregrine falcons and of course the elusive polar bear.

Best of all, the area around Arctic Watch is summer home to thousands of beluga whales, who come to play and nurse their young in the (comparatively) warm water of the Cunningham River. Each day at Arctic Watch offers numerous chances to see these creatures, before returning to the comfort of your cabin.

beluga whale

Your Home in the North

Arctic Watch lodge itself offers great amenities and the most comfortable facilities in the High Arctic.

16 private cabins have queen or double beds with warm duvets and running water. Separate cabins house the lounge, the library, and the kitchen and dining rooms where the award-winning chef prepares Canadian-inspired meals using locally-sourced ingredients.

gourmet food at Arctic Watch

Discover the High Arctic

Expedition Highlights

  • Encounter rarely seen and iconic arctic wildlife and their habitats: polar bears, muskoxen, ringed seals, bird cliffs, fox dens and much more
  • Visit the Cunningham River estuary, seasonal home to hundreds of beluga whales
  • Take advantage of included equipment and activities such as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), a Mercedes Unimog, kayaking, rafting, fishing and hiking
  • Visit Cape Anne Thule sites with ancient stone and bone houses
  • Enjoy unique photography opportunities
  • Make the most of optional activities such as fishing for arctic char, and the Beechey Island fly-in excursion

2019 Seasons

Available Dates


Expedition Itinerary

(10 Day Itineraries Also Available)

Day 1

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Enjoy an included night in Yellowknife and meeting your fellow travelers at a welcome briefing.

Day 2

Yellowknife and Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Board our private chartered plane to fly the 1,000 miles (1,500 km) to the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge. During the four-and-a-half-hour flight, you’ll pass over the treeline as you cross the Arctic Circle. Following a refueling stop in the community of Cambridge Bay, you’ll circle above Cunningham Inlet. Enjoy aerial views of the lodge below, before landing on the private airstrip on Somerset Island.

Day 3

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

After a hot breakfast, a typical first morning at the lodge may include receiving a hands-on introduction to driving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), which are easy and fun to operate. Later, you may take a short hike to the Cunningham River estuary to spot beluga whales frolicking in the shallow water only a few yards offshore.

Day 4

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

One of today’s activities may be kayaking in Cunningham Inlet. Paddle among icebergs, looking out for beluga whales as well as ring and bearded seals. Sightings of seabirds, including arctic terns and eider ducks, can be expected. After a lunch served along the shoreline, you’ll take a short hike to explore a local canyon aptly named Kayak Falls. From there, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the Northwest Passage and the opportunity to see polar bears.

Day 5

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Following breakfast, you’ll depart for a trip to Flatrock Falls, crossing the Cunningham River delta. There, you’ll have the option of hiking or traveling by Mercedes Unimog (a multipurpose four-wheel-drive truck). You’ll visit the Somerset Island canyons, formed as the result of shifting fault lines. Their steep walls vary from 200 to 1,000 feet (61 to 305 meters).

Day 6

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Today’s full-day rafting adventure will begin after breakfast with a Mercedes Unimog truck ride to the Arctic Watch raft launch on the Cunningham River, 12.5 miles (20 km) from the lodge. Opt to hike the final four miles (6 km) through the Badlands, passing the skeletal remains of two bowhead whales that date back 8,000 years. On the way to the launch you may encounter muskoxen, snow geese, jaegers, arctic fox, sandpipers and rough-legged hawks.

Day 7

Depart Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Today you’ll bid a fond goodbye to the lodge team and the High Arctic. You may have time to take advantage of one last activity before you depart. In the late afternoon you’ll return to Yellowknife. Upon arrival in Yellowknife you will be transferred to your included hotel.

Day 8

Depart Yellowknife

After breakfast and boot return you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some more time in the Yellowknife area.