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Arctic Watch Lodge

Arctic Watch Lodge, Arctic

Arctic Watch is the most northerly and remote lodge in the world. It is located on the northern tip of Somerset Island, 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle and 50 miles from the nearest town. The rustic hotel-like accommodation offers a unique experience in which to take in the beauty and wonder of the Arctic environment, whilst enjoying the comforts of home with fine cuisine.

Somerset Island is of particular interest to naturalists and photographers because it is a world class beluga whale observation site. It is also home to many musk oxen and polar bears and the terrain offers easy passage to both hikers and sea kayakers. Mid July is a very good time to view the polar bears and musk oxen along with viewing the fox kits at the local Arctic fox den near the lodge. It is worth noting that polar bears are somewhat unpredictable due to their large territories but a guest can generally see at least one polar bear per week but this is not guaranteed. The local musk oxen herd numbers approximately twenty with eight calves. There are also two herds of caribou on the island and a large variety of land and marine birds. One other fascinating creature that migrates through the North West Passage past Cunningham Inlet and northern Somerset are narwhal. However, they are extremely shy creatures that do not enter the bay and it is difficult to view the animals from the shoreline.

The main complex of the lodge houses a dining room, kitchen, lounge, library, an Arctic interpretive centre, guest shop, shower facilities and a gear room. The kitchen conjures exquisite dishes including local food such as musk ox tenderloin and fresh bread is baked daily. With every successful fishing trip a guest can enjoy freshly made sushi; the lodge claims to serve the best food in Nunavut. The great room (lounge & interpretive centre), is home to an extensive Arctic library, including a small interpretive centre with regional artefacts, traditional Inuit clothing, 42 million year old wood, bones and fossils. Detailed geological and geographical maps accompany the centre.

Arctic Watch has fourteen private guest cabins, each with a marine toilet and cold water sinks; thermos bottles with hot water are offered to guests every night. Beds have thick duvets for the cool Arctic nights. The showers are located in the main complex.

Our rating: Simple

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