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In springtime, where the frozen oceanmeets the open ocean, an area known asthe floe-edge is formed, creating one ofnature's most amazing landscapes. Ajourney to the floe-edge is one of the classicArctic adventures: passing magnificentmountain scenery, sculpted icebergs deep-frozen in six-foot thick sea-ice, glaciers andancient Thule (early Inuit) sites, as well asoffering the chance to see a variety of Arcticwildlife. This exciting new tour explores theland to the east of Pond Inlet, with BylotIsland and Sirmilik National Park on one sideand the towering glacier-clad mountains ofBaffin Island on the other. Pond Inlet, onCanada's Baffin Island, is one of the veryfew places in the world where the elusiveNarwhal can be seen reliably. Thisexpedition is only for the adventurous. Ledby experienced Inuit guides, we will travel bysnowmobile across the ice to the floe-edge(or 'the line of life', as it's sometimes called),where we will set up our base camp, locatedon the sea-ice. During the spring, wildlifegathers at the floe-edge and a wonderfulvariety exists there, including seals, seabirdssuch as Brünnich's Guillemot and Ivory Gull,and such iconic mammals of the high Arcticas Polar Bear, Beluga, Bowhead Whale andthe elusive Narwhal. For those with a truespirit of adventure and a reasonable level offitness, this trip offers an extraordinary polarexperience.Our tour begins with a flight to Ottawa wherewe will relax for one night in a comfortablehotel before flying to Iqaluit the followingday; from there we board a smaller plane toPond Inlet on the north of Baffin Island. Nowour expedition begins in earnest - we willhave an evening briefing and gear checkbefore a welcome supper, in preparation forour voyage to the ice floe-edge. From thecommunity of Pond Inlet, we will travel bysnowmobile and 'komatik' - an Inuit sled inwhich we may sit and relax while observingthe incredible scenery of the sea-icetowards the floe-edge. Led by experiencedlocal Inuit guides and an expedition leader,ice conditions and weather will determineour exact route, but we will travel betweenfive and eight hours, depending on theconditions, making stops on the way to takepictures and video, as well as to warm upand stay well fed! Once a suitable area hasbeen chosen, our comfortable base campwill be created on the sea-ice, which willserve as a hub for the expedition and thevarious activities that will be undertaken.Despite the remote Arctic location, ourguides will make our camp as comfortableas possible, and we will have individualtents to sleep in, a special cooking tent, acommunal tent for group meetings, and aseparate toilet tent.We will spend the next five days makingexcursions from our base camp in search ofArctic wildlife. This far north, the weatherand ice conditions can change quickly, so atall times we will be guided by our Inuitleaders, who know this territory best. Onething we can guarantee is that it will be aspecial and privileged experience to be inthe company of the native people of BaffinIsland, who have learnt the tough art ofsurvival in this land over the millennia . andno day is likely to be the same. Among thewildlife we will be searching for are birdssuch as Long-tailed Duck, King andCommon Eiders, Little Auk, Black Guillemot,Long-tailed and Arctic Skuas, Ivory Gull,Snow Goose, Snow Bunting and Glaucous Gull. There's a chance of seeingPolar Bear, but this is not a Polar Bearobservation trip; the mammalian stars of theexpedition are far more likely to be thespecial whales which inhabit these icywaters, and in particular we will be hoping tosee the extraordinary Narwhal, as well asother Arctic whales: the Beluga andBowhead. Narwhals are a high-Arcticspecies of small grey-brown whale. Theirmost distinctive feature is a unique 3-metretusk, which the males (and occasionally,females) grow; a few males even developdouble tusks! Hundreds may congregate incertain feeding areas, and they migrate enmasse, typically in same-sex groups. This isa species of whale only the very lucky,privileged few ever see, and Pond Inlet onBaffin Island is one of the only reliableplaces to see Narwhals in the world - evenso, a sighting of this rare cetacean must beconsidered a bonus!Our guides will lead our daily excursions,and we will travel with them short distancesacross the ice and sea-ice by means ofsnowmobile, skis, komatik or - for thosewho wish - sea-kayak. Our guides will takeus to locations they know well, and wherethey think we are most likely to see thewildlife we are looking for. However, we willneed to be flexible, as we will move to betterareas if we do not have success at first. Thearea is also rich in Inuit culture and we mayvisit an ancient Thule site or an old whalingstation.Inuit Adventure: Narwhals &other Wildlife of Baffin IslandA thrilling 10-day 'adventure of a lifetime' based on the ice floe-edge on Baffin Island in northern Canada, this tour offers a classic Arctic expedition led by Inuit guides, and a chance to see Narwhal, Beluga and Bowhead Whale as well as a host of other polar wildlife.Sunday 2nd June - Tuesday 11th June Cost: from £8,995Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationBAFFIN ISLANDIQUALUITPONDINLETOutline itineraryDay 1Arrive Ottawa.Day 2Fly Pond Inlet.Day 3Travel to the floe-edge.Day 4/8Explore the floe-edgewith Inuit guides.Day 9Fly Ottawa.Day 10Fly UK.AccommodationComfortable hotels in Ottawa andPond Inlet; serviced camping onBaffin Island.FoodAll meals except for those taken inOttawa and Iqaluit are included.GradingB/C. You will need to be physically fitand healthy to enjoy this tour. Wewill be travelling at times overuneven, snowy ground in sub-zerotemperatures.LeaderExpedition leader plus local Inuitguides.Single room supplementTo be advised.Web quick search: CAN07 187Baffin IslandNarwhals

The province of British Columbia in thewest of Canada embraces vast areasof wilderness and spectacular sceneryand plays host to a large and diverserange of wildlife. On this tour we will travelthrough a variety of different habitats,giving us an outstanding chance of seeingboth Orcas and Grey Whales as well assome excellent birdwatching. FromVancouver Island we will travel to NekiteValley on the mainland. Our destination isthe Great Bear Rainforest, a remote andtemperate coastal rainforest which is hometo several threatened species and one ofthe last strongholds of the Grizzly Bear.Here, in a true wilderness environment, wewill stay on a floating lodge from which wewill be able to travel a short distance towitness one of the most exciting wildlifespectacles in the world - Grizzly Bearscongregating to fish for salmon, togetherwith their retinue of attendant Bald Eagles.We begin our tour with a flight to thecosmopolitan city of Vancouver on the westcoast. Crossing the Strait of Georgia byferry the following morning throughmagnificent coastal scenery, ourdestination is Vancouver Island and thepicturesque district of Ucluelet, locatedwithin the spectacular Pacific Rim NationalPark. The park has outstanding examplesof coastal rainforest, sandy beaches andcoastal marine-life and we will take acouple of days to fully explore thiswonderful region. The cold, nutrient-richseas off the Pacific Rim National Park are aparticularly reliable area in which to see the Grey Whales, a population of which stopsoff here for the summer months instead ofheading further north to the Bering Strait.Birdlife is also plentiful in the area and wewill be on the look-out for Chestnut-backedChickadee, American Dipper, Steller's Jay,several species of warbler and VariedThrush. The Black Bear is still flourishing in British Columbia and we have anexcellent chance of observing them fromthe water, as they forage for food in theinter-tidal zones.Leaving Ucluelet, we will drive to Zeballossituated in the north-west of VancouverIsland. The drive is a long one but it willtake us through a diverse range ofspectacular scenery, from rainforests andmountains to beautiful beaches. FromZeballos we will take a boat trip in searchof the charismatic Sea Otters often found inthis area before moving to Port McNeill onthe Johnstone Strait, an area which isknown to be one of the most accessibleand predictable places to view Orcas. Inaddition, we will have excellentopportunities of seeing Harbour and Dall'sPorpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphin,Harbour Seal, Steller's Sea Lion andpossibly, if we are extremely fortunate,Minke, Humpback and Grey Whales.Birdlife in the area is plentiful and shouldproduce such species as RhinocerosAuklet, Marbled Murrelet, Red-neckedPhalarope, Pelagic, Brandt's and Double-crested Cormorants, Surfbird, BlackTurnstone and Black Oystercatcheramongst others.From Port McNeill we will travel the shortdistance to Port Hardy, from where we willboard a float-plane, travelling overbreathtaking scenery to Great Bear Lodge,our base for the next part of our holiday.Here we will find ourselves in truewilderness, on a floating lodge nestlingagainst a backdrop of snow-capped peaks,forested hills and waterfalls. Enveloped insilence and tranquillity, our only neighboursare the birds and mammals which inhabitthe area. One of the definite highlights ofour tour will be the unique chance toobserve the magnificent Grizzly Bear fromthe safety of enclosed viewing standssituated along the river. Outstanding photographic opportunitieswill present themselves as we watch thebears fishing for salmon in the watersnearby. Our concentration on thisincredible spectacle will be matched by theBald Eagles congregating in the nearbytrees, intently watching for any scraps offish the bears may leave. In the eveningswe will have ample opportunity to discussthe day's events over an excellent home-cooked evening meal, before talking withthe local guides or just relaxing andwatching the moon rising over themountains. Birdlife will not be ignored and we will hope to see Marbled Murrelet,Pigeon Guillemot, Western Grebe andnumerous Bald Eagles, which often fly very close to the lodge itself. Whilst out inthe boats, we will also be watching theshore for sightings of Black Bear. TheGreat Bear Rainforest, where our lodge issituated, is also home to an exciting rangeof other animals and we might catch sightof Otters or even a Grey Wolf if we are very fortunate.Leaving this wilderness paradise to returnto civilisation will be extremely hard but wewill carry lasting memories with us. Ourreturn float-plane will give us anotherchance to enjoy the spectacular viewsbefore we land back in Port Hardy. Thefollowing day we will make our way downthe east coast from Port McNeill and backto Vancouver on the mainland, where wewill have a last chance for somesightseeing, shopping or some finalbirdwatching in the area, visiting the nearbyBoundary Bay or Reifel Bird Sanctuary.Here we should get farewell sightings ofthe more common bird species of theregion such as American Robin, Steller'sJay and Red-winged Blackbirds andperhaps some of the more unusual speciessuch as Barrow's Goldeneye, HoodedMerganser and Harlequin Duck.Canada - The WestA 14-day wildlife and whale-watching holiday, including a unique opportunity to view Grizzly Bears catching salmon.Friday 6th September - Thursday 19th September Cost: £5,695Thursday 12th September - Wednesday 25th September Cost: £5,695Tuesday 24th September - Monday 7th October Cost: £5,695Outline itineraryDay 1Fly Vancouver.Day 2/4Ucluelet.Day 5/6Zeballos.Day 7Port McNeill.Day 8/10Great Bear Lodge.Day 11Port McNeill.Day 12Vancouver.Day 13Depart Vancouver.Day 14Arrive London.AccommodationComfortable hotels, motels and afloating wilderness lodge, all withprivate facilities.FoodAll meals included except fordinners in Vancouver. Allow £30-£40.GradingA. Day walks only.FocusGrizzly Bears, whales, othermammals and birds.LeaderLee Morgan, Peter Dunn or AndySmith.Single room supplement £695. Not available at Great BearLodge.Web quick search: CAN01188Call now or visit www.naturetrek.co.ukfor your free Trip ItineraryJOHNSTONE STRAIT CAMPBELL RIVER PORT MCNEILL PORT HARDY GREAT BEAR LODGE STRAIT OF GEORGIA NANAIMO VANCOUVER VICTORIA JUAN DE FUCA STRAIT PACIFIC OCEAN UNITED STATES WESTERN CANADA BRITISH COLUMBIA VANCOUVER ISLAND ZEBALLOSUCLUELETGrizzly BearGreat Bear LodgeOrcaRiver Otter