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“Fantastic Wilderness Experience”
Review of Arctic Watch Lodge

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Arctic Watch Lodge
Reviewed March 13, 2014

I have been to Arctic Watch 4 times and am returning this summer for my 5th visit. If you are a lover of the wilderness, a fan of the North, or just generally curious about the more extreme portions of our planet, Arctic Watch should be number one on your "must visit" list.

there are many ways to see the Arctic but none so unique as Arctic Watch. You don't need to be an athlete or even particularly fit and yet Youspend the day experiencing wilderness at the most intimate level. Then pass your evenings sipping a cocktail, having a delcious dinner and sleeping warmly and comfortably under a down covering. The early Arctic explorers could not have imagined it.

For wildlife afficianados there is no better way to get up close and personal with Beluga whales, musk oxen snowy owls and even the occasional polar bear. Photographers can have a field day. Gull Canyon alone is worth the trip.

the Weber family and their staff work tirelessly to ensure that their guests are safe, comfortable and having more fun than you'd think possible in such a remote location. There are few travel opportunities that offer a better travel dollar value proposition and I heartily recommend it to any serious traveler.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
2  Thank tim g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 - 33 of 45 reviews

Reviewed February 14, 2014

Review provided by Shirl and Wilf Brooks at Arctic Watch July 2013

We took our grandaughters on an African Safari where they saw many exoctic animals from a traveling vehicle.
When it came time for our Grandsons age 13 and 14, they wanted adventure. After a great deal of searching, we settled on Arctic Watch and THEY GOT IT. For eight days my wife and I, along with the boys, were treated to one wilderness adventure after another. From the Wildlife including Muskox up close, to the Arctic in all its splendor. Because we were being guided by some of the world's best we got to experience anything from walking on Ice flows to river rafting, and the kids got to slide down natural snow slides, a few hundred feet long while experiencing many other adventures, you could not find elsewere in the world. There was never a dull moment and all the staff were extemely interactive and made our family ( only ones with kids) very welcome in a way that the boys were also made to feel comfortable and engaged with the mostly adult crowd.
Looking to experience the North in the raw, going first class "northern style" this is it. As my wife said " You can only experience the Far North, in the Far North, not part way and not in a city.

Room Tip: Bring what they tell you and the rooms will be there for you to enjoy. The fitness centre is the...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank twotravelbugs1946
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

Trip of a lifetime. Dream trip. Well, only if you get there! We had booked in early November 2013 for the week of August 1-8, 2014. Started shopping for arctic duds, lined up the airline tickets and did all the organization for care of the responsibilities at home. BAM! A matter-of-fact telephone call early in January, 2014. We'd been "bumped". We were cancelled. Because a large group wanted the place to themselves and could guarantee a full house, when there were EIGHT months left before our trip. Surely some gentle marketing could fill the spots that were yet vacant, without ruining the trip for all the people who had confirmed their interest in that particular week. Sure, we were offered another week. But we have a life and responsibilities that can't be juggled. THAT was the week for our trip. Confirmed and paid for! Yes, they returned our deposit. But who's left with airline cancellations and baffling trip cancellation insurance forms? Air Canada does not refund - you use it or you lose it, so be warned...have another destination in mind which must be booked at the time of cancellation, or you lose your money - unless the insurance company decides that Arctic Watch's cancellation is legitimate. We may know that in several months, I suppose. Our disappointment is very deeply felt, and we will not trust this company again with our dreams. Sure, we expect cancellations and changes when traveling the far North. That's part of the allure, part of the unknown - unexpected layovers, weather delays. But this is unacceptable and I daresay, unethical.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
13  Thank Diana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard W, Owner at Arctic Watch Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2014

Arctic Watch is a small family run business, focused on client satisfaction. We have been in arctic tourism for over 30 years and are not in the business of cancelling clients.

As per our reservation policies, all clients are advised to purchase travel insurance prior to their visit. This is standard policy, for any travel in the arctic.

All program departures require a minimum number of participants. Clients are advised upon booking, and as is standard policy for any tailored excursion in the arctic. Clients are reimbursed, should the minimum not be met.

We strive to provide a world-class experience for our guests, from the time they book, to the time they arrive at Arctic Watch, and well after their departure. A booking is honoured from the time the deposit is paid.

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Reviewed February 2, 2014

I took my 3 sons for a northern adventure. Couldn't have chosen a better more memorable location. Facilities --excellent. Staff -- excellent. Natural surroundings -- absolutely stunning. The trip was so good, I'm going again this year with my wife (who was hesitant about going that far North -- until she heard the stories and saw the photos).

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank rodthebull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard W, Owner at Arctic Watch Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2014

Thank you for the glowing review! It was a pleasure hosting you at Arctic Watch. We take pride in welcoming guests to our spectacular corner of the Arctic and making their experience unforgettable. We look forward to hosting you again this summer! Richard

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Reviewed September 24, 2013

We spent 3 nights in Arctic Watch at the end of the season in 2013. With 28 other close family members and friends it was the ideal start to a great 60 north of 60 birthday adventure. The unseasonably cold weather kept the staff busy thawing water lines and keeping the hot water hot, and the toilets flushing, quite remarkable actually. We ate like kings with exceptional organic beef amazing smoked arctic char, and delicious Mennonite sausages. The equipment was first rate and the beds very comfortable. Richard, Josee and their family and staff kept us entertained.

This is really an experience you need to add to your bucket list (if it isn't there already)

Room Tip: The only thing I would suggest you take are eye shades, it is very bright at night
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank bfougner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Arctic Watch Lodge provides a unique Arctic experience. Instead of cruising through the northwest passage you get to explore the Arctic Tundra on foot, ATV (always following the "roads") and raft. Accommodations while basic, are clean and comfortable. The Weber family and the rest of the staff are wonderfully accommodating. The food is excellent - think large family dinners and picnic lunches. Most days activities involve at least some hiking - fabulous ridge walks, treks to waterfalls and canyons, excursions to track muskox or other wildlife. This is the Arctic, weather and ice conditions can vary tremendously from year-to-year, which will impact what activities can be undertaken in any given week, so relax and enjoy a truly unique experience.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank exgeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard W, Owner at Arctic Watch Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2013

Thank you for the kind review. It was a pleasure to make your arctic experience unforgettable. All the Arctic Watch team works hard to provide the highest possible level of comfort in the High Arctic.

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Reviewed December 15, 2012

Five months after my return from Arctic Watch I'm still enthralled.

As a world travelling Canadian I've always felt that I was missing a proper arctic experience. I was hesitant about doing the Arctic by cruise ship - not sufficiently hands-on; or arranging a big hiking experience - too rough at this stage in my life. Arctic Watch was the perfect substitute - while you have all the comforts necessary there is no doubt that you're fully immersed in this unique. environment.

The Weber family and staff are extraordinary hosts only too thrilled to share their deep love of the arctic with guests. They go out of their way to make everyone feel at home and try to cater to individual desires (as much as possible). The excursions (hikes, kayaking, rafting, ATVing etc.) are varied and thrilling. The opportunities to interact with the environment, in a sensitive manner are first rate. The guides are very knowledgable and appropriately careful about guests safety and the wildlife. Our experience tracking herds of muskox with Tessum was exceptional - but as soon as it was clear that the muskox thought we were close enough Tessum led us away.

The opportunity to see, from very close, hundreds of belugas was certainly one of the highlights of my week at Arctic Watch. Watching them enjoy the fresh water and scrape along the beach was unique but even more so was to hear their singing - pure magic in the arctic.

The biggest surprise was the food - I can't recall ever having eaten such consistently excellent food for a period of a week. The kitchen staff go out of their way to provide imaginative fresh wholesome gourmet fare throughout your stay.

Is Arctic Watch expensive? Absolutely. Does it provide value for money? Without a doubt.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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6  Thank Osprey412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard W, Owner at Arctic Watch Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2012

Thank you for the glowing review!

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Additional Information about Arctic Watch Lodge

Address: Cunningham Inlet, Somerset Island, Nunavut X0A 0V0, Canada
Location: Canada > Nunavut
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Nunavut
Price Range: $546 - $780 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arctic Watch is a Nunavut 5-star resort, located 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Home to over 2000 beluga whales, Arctic Watch is home to the largest annual migration of beluga whales on earth. Guests can see beluga whales, polar bears, arctic foxes, seals, muskoxen, snowy owls and more. Hike the tundra, explore canyons, sea kayak with beluga whales, raft the Cunningham River, fish for Arctic char, ATV the Northwest Passage or relax at Arctic Watch with a glass of wine; the staff at Arctic Watch are on hand 24/7 to ensure the experience of a lifetime. With over 25 years experience, we strive to create tailored experiences, catering the each visitor's desires and abilities. ... more   less 

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