Breaking the Ice with Arctic Kingdom


A while ago we wrote a post about getting to Iqaluit. It included the three ways to make your way to Nunavut – one of which was purely sarcastic. Well, it turns out there is a proper third option for southern folks who are north-bound: Arctic Kingdom’s Break the Ice Arctic Getaway.

We first heard about this offer while at the Toonik Tyme Giant Craft Sale. There is a certain someone in town who we refer to as "Our Biggest Fan." He introduced us to his adorable mother who was visiting him from back home. He proceeded to tell us how she had swindled a sweet deal to Iqaluit without a seat sale and during a notoriously impossible weekend to book Aeroplan. For under $1,500, she got airfare, accommodation, and a tour of the town. That's unheard of.

It sounded too good to be true. But it wasn't. Here are the  [August 2015 update: the tour package is now Arctic Weekend Getaway] details:

Trip Length: 3 or 4 days

Departing From: Ottawa, Ontario

Arriving At: Iqaluit, Nunavut

3 Day/2 Night Cost: $1,470 all in [August 2015 update: $1,805 all in]

4 Day/3 Night Cost: $1,680 all in  [August 2015 update: $2,165 all in]

What’s Included: Return flight from Ottawa with First Air (Retail Value: ~$2,000); Accommodation (Retail Value: ~$250 per night); Iqaluit City Tour (Retail Value: $50)

Not only will Arctic Kingdom get you to Iqaluit for a hell of a rate, the company will also show you a great time while you're here. Through its local outfitting company, Tour Iqaluit, Arctic Kingdom offers all sorts of northern activities, such as hiking through Sylvia Grinnell Park, kayaking at a polynya, or snowmobiling to the floe edge.

The latter is an Arctic must.

Last weekend, the two of us were lucky enough to join Tour Iqaluit and a group of friendly gentlemen on a trip to the floe edge, where the frozen ice meets the open ocean. We would love to tell you all about it, but we'll let Sara's photos do the talking.

Oh, and if you haven't yet watched our video "Floe Edge Minute" – do it!

The team getting ready to hit the open road - err - sea ice.
The team getting ready to hit the open road - err - sea ice.
Anubha and her giant calzone. Not a sandwich. "It's a calzone!" Seriously, it was the size of her head. It also made appearances throughout the day.
Anubha and her giant calzone. Not a sandwich. "It's a calzone!" Seriously, it was the size of her head. It also made appearances throughout the day.
Climbing up to a better vantage point.
Climbing up to a better vantage point.
Check out that view! The reflection is a polyna, or area of open water surrounded by sea ice.
Check out that view! The reflection is a polyna, or area of open water surrounded by sea ice.
Group shot. From left to right we have Olivia, Rob, John (note the epic overalls), Anubha (sporting neon orange), Barrie (sporting *fluorescent* orange), Bryce, James (our amazing guide), Jeremy, and me (whose intended neon seems rather dull).
Group shot. From left to right we have Olivia, Rob, John (note the epic overalls), Anubha (sporting neon orange), Barrie (sporting *fluorescent* orange), Bryce, James (our amazing guide), Jeremy, and me (whose intended neon seems rather dull).
James was very patient with all of us and our photography shenanigans.
James was very patient with all of us and our photography shenanigans.
These are polar bear paw prints. They were blown in, meaning that they weren't fresh tracks. I don't know if I was happy or disappointed...
These are polar bear paw prints. They were blown in, meaning that they weren't fresh tracks. I don't know if I was happy or disappointed...
Precariously navigating the pack ice. Thank goodness for our knowledgeable guide, James.
Precariously navigating the pack ice. Thank goodness for our knowledgeable guide, James.
Approaching the floe edge!
Approaching the floe edge!
Host with the most! Tour Iqaluit staff setting up for lunch.
Host with the most! Tour Iqaluit staff setting up for lunch.
Anubha. And her calzone.
Anubha. And her calzone.
A flock of ducks and an Inuit family hunting at the floe edge. Note the GT racer pulled behind the Bravo.
A flock of ducks and an Inuit family hunting at the floe edge. Note the GT racer pulled behind the Bravo.
Anubha and James taking in the view.
Anubha and James taking in the view.
Our camp for the afternoon.
Our camp for the afternoon.
We are not having any fun at all.
We are not having any fun at all.
The most pearly mountains I ever did see.
The most pearly mountains I ever did see.

Bonus! Check out our video  from the day. Produced and filmed by Anubha.

What activities would you like to do in Nunavut? Let us know on Twitter or in the comment section below!