Nunavut
Credit: Nunavut Tourism

Kayak the Arctic Ocean

More than 4,000 years ago, when Pre-Dorset nomads built the first kayaks by stretching animal skins over frames of bone and driftwood, a new way to explore Nunavut’s 45,000-km of coastline was born. Retrace these ancient travel routes on a modern kayak adventure. Experienced local guides lead small groups of paddlers from communities such as Igloolik, Kimmirut, Resolute, Pond Inlet and others on incredible explorations through remote Arctic waters. Shorelines of billion-year-old rock harbour walrus and seals; 10,000-year-old icebergs float timelessly past — the opportunities for photography are unique and plentiful. Perhaps you’ll even paddle at the floe edge, a dramatic and lively ecosystem formed where sea ice gives way to open ocean — home to pods of feeding whales and sea bird colonies that blot out the sky. 

Culture & Music

Experience the rich cultural traditions of the Arctic. Inuit culture is vibrant throughout the year: engaging storytelling, intricate craftworks, powerful throat singing, rhythmic drum-dancing and athletic feats of strength are but a few of the demonstrations you’ll see as you tour the communities of Nunavut. Join in the celebrations at annual events such as Toonik Tyme, when Iqaluit residents celebrate the return of spring; or the Rockin’ Walrus Arts Festival, a lively summertime music, dance and theatre event in Igloolik; or the Alianait Arts Festival, in Iqaluit, a multi-day summer showcase of film, performance art, music and storytelling. Or simply immerse in the culture any time of year and experience a traditional lifestyle that’s both foreign yet close-at-hand.

Spot the Big 5

Polar bear, muskox, caribou, whales and walrus — this is the “Big 5” in Nunavut, and, with skillful guide-operators at your side, you’ll embark on a mission of discovery with camera in-hand. Beluga, bowhead whales and narwhals all call the Arctic Ocean home — a trip to the floe edge could result in a sighting of one or all of these sea-mammals. Two-thousand-kilogram walrus might be showing-off their metre-long tusks in the area as well (keep an eye out for seals too). North American’s largest land carnivore, the polar bear, can be spotted safely with the help of a guide. Since Nunavut is home to three-quarters of a million caribou, a reliable caribou-viewing excursion is easy to come by. Round out the list by spotting a remnant from the Pleistocene-era, the muskox, lumbering brutes that have called Nunavut home for 150,000 years and can be spotted near Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Grise Fiord and others. 

Did You Know?

Getting to Nunavut is easy: it is just a three-hour direct flight from Ottawa to Iqaluit or two-hour direct flight from Winnipeg to Rankin Inlet. For more information, visit nunavuttourism.com or phone 1.800.686.2888.

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