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Founded in 1999, Arctic Kingdom Expeditions is a dynamic, energetic, specialized arctic expedition operator based in Toronto, Canada. We operate small group “land based” trips to the Arctic at the best times of the year, in the best locations for scenery and wildlife. Passionate about the arctic, driven to exceed expectations and experienced, our knowledgeable team strive to give the very best quality personal service.
Our expedition heritage lies with operating dive trips to the arctic to swim with the beluga and narwhal whales but have since expanded to offer other wildlife centric arctic expeditions that cater to non-divers with activities such as kayaking, hiking, zodiac tours, snowmobiling and photography.
Each of us at Arctic Kingdom, at one time or another, embarked on our ‘first expedition’ to the Arctic. Prior to the first trip, the Arctic seemed like a distant dream, an unattainable destination that one only reads about in epic adventures and stories of tragedy and heartache, such as the Franklin expedition. But after the first trip – for most of us over a decade ago – we ran to go diving with whales and walrus, we instantly became addicted and passionate about the Arctic. This is why we do what we do. We explore, live alongside the Inuit, and search out the arctic wildlife. Those joining us on our intimate Arctic expeditions will personally deal with an expedition planner that has ‘been there’ first hand. Our aim is to make you as smitten with the Arctic and the rich experience it offers – it’s Inuit people, the rugged landscape, the ice, and best of all, the animals – as much as we are.
ALL ABOUT “LAND-BASED” ARCTIC EXPEDITIONS
“Land-based” Expeditions…What does that mean?
It means we are not on a ‘stay-it-safe’ cruise ship but we travel directly on the land (or ice depending on the time of year) with snowmobiles or dog teams. Some trips may involve zodiac boats in the summer months, but we are based out of an Inuit community. We live on the land, see the life of the land and explore the land with our experienced expedition leaders/naturalists and local Inuit guides. We depart for our zero-footprint ice camp or land camp destination from an Inuit community and travel over land, ice or water to ‘live’ out on the land for the expedition duration. We believe that this provides the best way to experience all the arctic has to offer, from animals to Inuit culture – up close and personal.
By offering land-based expeditions, we are able to peel beneath the arctic surface and allow participants to see the life that exists all around – from pods of whales to polar bears to flowering flora, the vast big sky vistas’ and the tranquility and silence. Best of all, it is the local arctic people – the Inuit – who have lived in this harsh, yet stunningly beautiful region for thousands of years that guide us through the arctic experience. We work and partner closely with local Inuit communities in coordinating our expeditions. Watching our hand-picked Inuit guides follow polar bear tracks or scan the horizon from a stack of pack ice, you can learn and see the skills ‘in-action’ that have allowed them to survive for eons.
Our Expedition Style
On all of our expeditions we have an experienced Arctic Expedition Leader who works quietly in partnership with local elder and senior Inuit guides. Our Inuit guides are all from the local community and are hand-picked for their abilities and knowledge. Their passion, patience, and abounding knowledge of the land and Inuit culture quite literally enlightens and inspires the whole arctic travel experience. Augmenting the expedition team you will find an Expedition Camp Manager behind the scenes ensuring the camp infrastructure, such as bathrooms, shower tents, and sleeping accommodations are all operating effectively. Lastly, and some would say most importantly, an expedition chef is provided whose sole goal is to ensure you are served with only the freshest meals, such as Arctic Char – some caught that same morning!
Expedition participants are likely to consist of single travelers, couples and friends in their thirties to sixties, but it’s not unusual for participants to be younger or older than this. Participants’ interests range from scuba diving to kayaking to professional photographers. Expedition groups are mixed nationally but the main language is English. Whereas participants may be strangers in the beginning of an expedition, friendships form easily with many returning on another expedition together.
We believe in small groups as the only way to have the best experience possible. You will find between 6 and 12 clients on any given expedition and no more!
Private Trips – for those that want a very intimate experience – we can arrange private trips led by a local Inuit guides.
Tourism and film production shoots can be a real boon to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a ‘complete approach’ to responsible tourism. Everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Arctic Kingdom as a company is geared toward making a positive impact on the Arctic regions we visit. Arctic Kingdom trips are designed to allow a high degree of economic benefit to the local communities; we hire local guides, and local drivers, buy local produce, eat local food and use local services, thus ensuring that as much money as possible is retained within the local economy and the host communities. We are continually reassessing our trips, trying at all times to ensure that they are socially, economically and environmentally sound.
Services for Filmmakers, Scientists and Special Arctic projects
In addition to our adventure travel expeditions and through our expedition expertise of operating remote arctic base camps and knowledge of arctic animal behaviour, we have been involved with many high profile film, TV science and photo projects in the Arctic that require our logistics, experience and equipment.
From light camps transported by dog team through luxury camps with technical production and scientific facilities and from supporting helicopters in the field to delivering major equipment by Hercules, Arctic Kingdom is at the cutting edge of what is logistically possible in the Arctic. As modern explorers, we have proven many new technologies such as flat hulled airboats powered by airplane propeller during breakup of the sea ice, generating oxygen in the field to support diving rebreathers or deploying large zodiacs from Twin Otters.
The highest levels of safety are maintained by well trained staff, the most modern communications, traditional knowledge of the lands through field hospitals and portable hyperbaric chambers. Arctic Kingdom provides the guidance, planning, equipment and coordinated operations to safely work and explore the arctic whether for sport, science, imagery or engineering to support diverse projects that advance our common knowledge, understanding, appreciation and protection of this very special region.
Our Film and TV, Scientific and Special Project Services include;
- location scouting
- camp outfitting
- logistics consulting
- permitting coordinating
- staffing – medical, expedition leaders, cooks, camera operators, divers and more…
Film and TV projects have included work with BBC, OLN, Tango Films/Vox Tours (Germany), Blue Planet/NDR (Germany), 90th Parallel/National Geographic, Ushuaia Nature (France) and MBC (South Korea). Recent feature film work for the cinema has been ongoing for 3 years with Galatee Films in conjunction with Disney. Ushuaia Nature won the best adventure TV show in France in 2005. Blue Planet won best wildlife film of the year in Germany in 2007 and the top wildlife film of the Singapore International Film Festival (for Asia). An entire Arctic section of the Quebecois newspaper “Le Devoir” produced on one of our expeditions won a Journalistic award for Excellence by the Government of Quebec. Our work has been featured by the European Space Agency for the cutting edge use of satellite imagery, in Up Here and Explore Magazine for iceberg climbing and for the many arctic animals in Sport Diver, Sport Diving (Australia), Diver (Canada), Dive (UK), Ocean Planet, Advanced Diver, Shark Diver, Japan Times and Canadian Geographic. At last count, over 35 feature articles had been published by our clients including half a dozen magazine covers…..
What can we say..the Arctic is different, compelling and ‘cool’ stuff!
Our goal with ATTA:
Arctic Kingdom Expeditions is looking to network and partner with the Adventure Travel community in helping to promote our unique and different philosophy of experiencing the Arctic. Our typical clients have been adventure travelers that have ‘been there, done that’ are looking for something different and more grass roots than a ‘cruise’. Many are serious wildlife enthusiasts who want to be up close and personal in a non-touristy environment.
Want to know more…about the Arctic or about us?…..
The arctic is one of the last frontiers of adventure travel. Want to know more about the Arctic or about our trips? Have an Arctic destination that you want to reach but we don’t offer it.. chances are we have been there! Give us a call or email anytime! We love to talk about the Arctic…