Box 1320, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (QC), J0M 1C0, Canada
Phone: +608-370-5071 / Email: tundra@thelon.com

Polar Bears, Musk-ox, Icebergs & Seals!

Travel with Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures on our newest expedition to the remote Nunavik region of Canada’s Far North. Encounter musk-oxen herds, seals, icebergs - and experience awesome sightings of polar bears along the Arctic coastline of Ungava Bay!

The little-explored and remote wilderness of Ungava Bay Nunavik is hauntingly beautiful, historically significant and wildlife-rich. The skies here are often filled with a variety of seabirds, shorebirds, migratory waterfowl and birds-of-prey. Seals and beluga whales wander up Leaf Inlet from the open sea. Musk-oxen range and graze along the shores and hills. Polar bears spend the summertime on the numerous coastal islands as they wait for the sea ice to return.


'King of the North' - © 2016 Mariela Urra Schiaffino


A musk-oxen herd near Leaf Bay Nunavik - © Bob Costall

Prehistoric musk-oxen herds roam and graze year-round along the shores on the lush, rolling tundra landscape and semi-mountainous terrain: there are thousands of musk-oxen in dozens of herds in this region along Leaf Bay and the Nunavik coastal plains of Ungava Bay. Herd sizes can range from a single bull to more than 30 animals.

Compared to many of the big commercial polar bear trips available out there, this is an altogether new, little-explored and photographed polar bear region that offers a completely different experience. We do not offer trips that involve large groups of people in big ATV's or similar machines... Instead we quietly travel in small groups on the coastal waters along with local Inuit guides who live, trap and hunt here year-round, and who benefit directly from our activities. We gently visit the polar bears and other wildlife in their natural habitat and environment. It's the real deal....


Click on photo to enlarge and learn more of the story


A polar bear mom & yearling cub wander the shore of a remote island on Ungava Bay Nunavik -© 2016 Mariela Urra Schiaffino

Come travel and explore with us to this magnificent remote wilderness area on a special boating / camping expedition. Over several days we will explore our way up Leaf Bay and into the coastal islands of Ungava Bay Nunavik. We will travel in safety using quality power boats piloted by local Inuit guides who are highly seaworthy and familiar with the area, history, wildlife and tidal fluctuations.


Travel Leaf Bay Nunavik in power boats piloted by Inuit guides

Loading up for a day on the water - © 2016 Mariela Urra

 

Compared to many of other northern wildlife trips, extended hiking is optional and not necessary to get excellent wildlife exposures... The special 'Polar Bears, Musk-ox Icebergs & Seals' trips are very easy going with little or no hiking necessary. We will stay at comfortable coastal camps and launch on day-trips out in suitable boats to explore among the numerous islands in Ungava and Leaf Bays in search of bearded and ringed seals, musk-oxen herds, icebergs – and polar bears!

 

 

 

During the July trips clients will see an abundance of Arctic wildflowers, nesting shorebirds plus nesting and molting migratory waterfowl. On the mid to later August departures, participants will see fantastic displays of northern lights!

 

 


Aurora over Ungava - © 2016 Mariela Urra Schiaffino


A polar bear with two cubs emerges from a icy swim in Ungava Bay Nunavik. © Copyright 2016 Mariela Urra Schiaffino - click to enlarge photo!


To join our special 'Polar Bears, Musk-ox, Icebergs & Seals' wildlife viewing trips, you must make your way 1500 km north on a daily jet flight from Montreal to the remote northern Inuit settlement of Kuujjuaq Nunavik (northern Quebec). Click map for more details.

Click here to learn more about where we are - and how to get to us

 

Leaf Bay to become a National Park

Slated to become one of Canada's newest National Parks, the Parc national de la Baie-aux-Feuilles Project aims to protect a representative portion of the natural region known as the Ungava Bay Coastline. This natural region is characterized by an irregular coastline broken by inlets, bays, islands, as well as a few fjords and estuaries of major rivers, such as the Rivière aux Feuilles (Leaf River) and the Rivière Koksoak. The coast, where the marine and terrestrial environments meet, has a rich biodiversity and numerous vestiges of human occupation. For example, muskox are found here in small groups, as well as polar bear on the outer islands. The hills and cliffs are a popular habitat for birds-of-prey.

The park project also aims to preserve the site of what are possibly the highest tides in the world. The tidal range can reach up to 20 m. (65 ft.). Visitors will be able to observe this phenomenon and the dramatic changes it brings to the landscape.

 

The rugged wilderness of the Leaf Bay area - Photo © Carlos Carreno

Email us to request the detailed trip supplement PDF for the
'Polar Bears, Musk-ox, Icebergs & Seals'
expeditions


Polar Bears, Musk-ox, Icebergs & Seals 2017

Three Departure Dates:

Seats Left

PRICES: (Rates do not include HST tax)

August 12-17, 2017

FULL
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD / $8,300.00 USD


August 17-22, 2017

FULL
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 
/ $8,300.00 USD
September 10-15, 2017
3
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 / $8,300.00 USD

September 16-21, 2017

5
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 / $8,300.00 USD

A non-refundable deposit of $1,000.00 per person per week booked is required at time of registration


Click here to make your reservation on the '
Polar Bears & Musk-oxen' expeditions!

Polar Bears, Musk-ox, Icebergs & Seals 2018

Four Departure Dates:

Seats Left

PRICES: (Rates do not include HST tax)


August 12-17, 2018

3
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 
/ $8,300.00 USD
August 18-23, 2018
5

Single:
$5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 
/ $8,300.00 USD


September 10-15, 2018
4

Single:
$5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 
/ $8,300.00 USD



September 16-21, 2018

5
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 / $8,300.00 USD

Small-group private trips or customized departure dates can be arranged by request.

Email us to request the detailed trip supplement PDF for the 'Polar Bears & Musk-oxen' expeditions



Coming in for landing - © Rachel Kobernick

These very special wildlife expeditions begin and end in Kuujjuaq Nunavik (northern Quebec), 1500 km north of Montreal. Once there, we meet our clients at the airport and offer a local tour of this unique northern town - the capital of the Nunavik region.

From Kuujjuaq we then begin our expedition with a flight 150 km over the remote tundra to the northwest, to land at the small Inuit settlement of Tasujuaq at the head of Leaf Bay. This flight is included in the package.

Once there we will meet our trip leaders and spend some time exploring this small traditional Inuit village. We will have a chance to meet and talk with the local people who live here year-round at this remote northern settlement.


The remote Inuit settlement of Tasujuaq in Leaf Inlet, Nunavik


Launching off from shore in Ungava Bay - © Tundra Tom

We will then board quality sea-going power boats piloted by local Inuit guides who have lived here on these lands and sea their entire lives. In capable hands we will begin our 50 km (30 mile) boat journey northeast up Leaf Inlet towards Ungava Bay, meandering, exploring and finally settling in to our comfortable camp.

Depending on where the musk-oxen are, we will set up in advance a comfortable and professional tent camp to use as our main base to launch daily wildlife and exploratory trips overland and by boat. These are very comfortable camps with large stand-up sleeping tents complete with cots, mattresses, rugs and heaters.


A wildlife tent camp set up near Ungava Bay - © Tundra Tom


Cookin' up a storm at camp - photo by Tundra Tom

The camps are set up close to recent known positions of musk-oxen herds at protected and beautiful sites with fantastic overviews of Ungava Bay and the surrounding terrain. The camp kitchen serves up scrumptious and abundant meals daily. Also on site is a portable shower facility and ultra-clean outdoor latrines.

Also on site are watercraft, satellite and radio communications, firearms, GPS and emergency equipment. Depending on exactly where the musk-oxen herds are from season to season, we are sometimes able to use existing cabin facilities.


Discussing the day's gameplan around the table - © Isabelle Dubois

Click here to learn more about our wildlife camps, facilities and field services

Our overnight camps are not set up in areas frequented by polar bears, but rather built further up the inlet in musk-ox country. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we will travel out from the camp to look for polar bears by extended day-long boat trips. Our guides and trip leaders carry firearms with them at all times for bear safety during the entire trip. A bear 'watch' is also maintained at the overnight camps by qualified guides carrying firearms.

On calm evenings we will often have campfires (below). Because we are situated far on the Arctic tundra, the firewood needs to be hauled in with us by boat!

Left: An Inuit guide keeps an eye for bears: © Rachel Kobernick


A group enjoying nightime campfire near Leaf Bay Nunavik - photo © Bob Costall

Further north from the inlet on the coastal islands in the open waters of Ungava Bay, polar bears spend the summer fishing, hunting for seals, resting, sleeping and waiting for the winter sea ice to return. From the camp we will make several ventures by boat out to the islands to attempt to see and photograph the great white bears! For obvious safety reasons we rarely beach or trek on the barren islands that have polar bears so as not to disturb or harass them. Bear photography is accomplished in safety and comfort from onboard the dual engine equipped boats.
Polar bears in Ungava Bay - photo © 2016 Mariela Urra Schiaffino


A musk-ox calf and cow near Ungava Bay - © Stan Davis

There are virtually thousands of musk-oxen ranging about in dozens of herds along the shores of Leaf Inlet and Ungava Bay, and encountering these prehistoric beasts close-up while on this trip is pretty well a sure thing!

The landscape along Leaf Bay is extrordinarily beautiful and peaceful - offering easy optional hiking and exploring opportunities on foot.


Soaking in the serenity near Leaf Inlet - © Bob Costall


A bearded seal relaxes on a remnant of a collapsed iceberg in Ungava Bay Nunavik. © 2016 Mariela Urra Schiaffino


We will search for polar bears among the remote islands off the Nunavik mainland coast - © Rachel Kobernick

The tides in Ungava Bay and particularly Leaf Inlet are some of the largest in the world - rivaling that of the Bay of Fundy. In the course of six hours the tide can raise or fall as much as 20 metres / 65 feet! Our travels by boat and the camps we set up in this unique area have to be carefully planned and timed with the extreme tidal fluctuations in mind.


Leaf Bay has some of the largest tides in the world - © AD Wilson


An ancient Inuit tent ring near Leaf Inlet - © Bob Costall
The Leaf Bay area reaches far back in time and is rich with ancient archaeology, Inuit history and aboriginal spirituality. With great respect we will stop, explore and visit many of these special sites while on this journey.
Many icebergs drift south off of Davis Strait and across from Greenland to Ungava Bay - often they grind ashore and collapse here.

An iceberg on Ungava Bay in Nunavik - © 2016 Mariela Urra Schiaffino


A musk-ox bull bellows near Ungava Bay - © Ingrid Liem
Musk-ox underlay fur - also known as 'quivat' - is one of the warmest natural substances on earth with 3 1/2 times the insulation value of goose down. At the turn of the century, this value led to musk-oxen being slaughtered to near extinction along Canada's and Alaska's Arctic coastal areas - mostly by European whaling ships. Since then, due to protection and inaccessibility, significant increases in musk-ox populations have occurred in many areas throughout the north - particularly in the Nunavik region.

Email us to request the detailed trip supplement PDF for the 'Polar Bears & Musk-oxen' expeditions

Polar Bears, Musk-ox, Icebergs & Seals 2017

Three Departure Dates:

Seats Left

PRICES: (Rates do not include HST tax)

August 12-17, 2017

FULL
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD / $8,300.00 USD


August 17-22, 2017

FULL
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 
/ $8,300.00 USD
September 10-15, 2017
3
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 / $8,300.00 USD

September 16-21, 2017

5
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 / $8,300.00 USD

A non-refundable deposit of $1,000.00 per person per week booked is required at time of registration.

Click here to make your reservation on the 'Polar Bears, Musk-ox, Icebergs & Seals' expeditions!

On certain departures you also have the choice to combine two back-to-back trips of the 'Polar Bears, Musk-ox, Icebergs & Seals' expeditions at a reduced rate! Add on $3,995.00 CDN / $3,200.00 USD per person (+ tax).

Polar Bears, Musk-ox, Icebergs & Seals 2018

Four Departure Dates:

Seats Left

PRICES: (Rates do not include HST tax)


August 13-18, 2018

3
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 
/ $8,300.00 USD
August 18-23, 2018
5

Single:
$5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 
/ $8,300.00 USD


September 10-15, 2018
4

Single:
$5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 
/ $8,300.00 USD



September 16-21, 2018

5
Single: $5,450.00 CAD / $4,500.00 USD
Double: $9,995.00 CAD
 / $8,300.00 USD

Small-group private trips or customized departure dates can be arranged by request.

Email us to request the detailed trip supplement PDF for the 'Polar Bears, Musk-ox, Icebergs & Seals' expeditions

 

Incredible coastal scenery, intriguing Inuit history; migratory waterfowl, birds-of prey, seabirds, shorebirds, sea mammals, musk-oxen herds, polar bears and the some of world's largest tides all combine to make this an absolutely wonderful exploratory adventure in the real wilderness of the Far North!


The beautiful remote islands and seascape near Leaf Inlet Nunavik. Note the numerous icebergs floating in Ungava Bay.
© 2016 Mariela Urra Schiaffino