Arctic Photo Expedition
Northwest Territories, Canada
September 8-14 - 2020
Limited to only 6 participants.
ARCTIC HAVEN WILDERNESS LODGE
When most people think of the Arctic, they imagine an immense world of ice. However, in this part of the Arctic, you'll experience something completely different. You will get to experience the expansive beauty and color of the arctic tundra, abundant diversity of wildlife and spectacular displays of northern lights. The Arctic Haven is astonishingly beautiful in most unexpected ways.
This tour doesn't fit neatly into a single photographic category like landscape or wildlife. The beauty you'll encounter spans an enormous spectrum that includes many different ecosystems, conditions, species and natural spectacles like the northern lights.
Still-image photography only captures a piece of the dynamic beauty you'll encounter. On this tour, you'll have great opportunities to learn, create and push your creative boundaries with all forms of photography including time-lapse photography, video, and even drone photography if you want to. Whatever form your photography takes, you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in your creative passions.
WHERE IS THE ARCTIC HAVEN LODGE?
This lodge is located on Ennadai Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada. To access Arctic Haven we'll take a 90-minute flight on a 30 passenger bush plane out of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (NWT). The lodge accommodates only 20 guests in total. Here's a GoogleMaps link for Ennadai Lake.
Ennadai Lake is 52 miles long and 14 miles wide, it's part of the "annual migration route of the almost 500,000 strong Qamanirjuaq caribou herd. The Arctic Haven Lodge has been owned and operated by the Weber family since 2014. The Webers own the exclusive tour rights to hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness all around Ennadai Lake. This means that in the field you will not see another human outside of our core group for the entire trip!
The Arctic Haven has been the location hub of the two "Planet Earth Series" produced by BBC. Serving as the hub for our own adventures, the Arctic Haven offers extraordinary opportunities for both wildlife and landscape photography.
WHY TAKE THIS TOUR?
Most of the reasons you would want to take this tour may seem pretty obvious. Like the extraordinarily beautiful landscapes, abundant and diverse wildlife encounters, remarkable displays of northern lights, and, a small group limited to only 6 participants. But if we look deeper...
It's really about the indelible experience the arctic will have on your heart and soul. That's the best reason to come. Perhaps it's because this area has experienced minimal human impact or presence or that we finally can give ourselves permission to unplug from the frenetic pace of mainstream culture. Maybe it's when we feel our minds and bodies reconnect and align with what's real and healing about the natural world.
Whatever it is, it comes down to the profound experience you'll have and how the Arctic will forever change you. There is something extraordinarily transformative about being in such an expansively wild place with so few other human beings. Our minds and hearts shift quickly when we allow ourselves to step out of our linear relationship to time and technology. No, appointments, notifications or texts, finally we can just "be and breath" with the effortless magic of the moment.
What to Expect on Your Adventure
This is a designated VisionQuest Photography expedition. I have worked for many hours with the Arctic Haven operator Tessum Weber to be able to offer you a once in a lifetime Arctic Adventure designed for photographers.
Although the Arctic Haven can accommodate up to 20 guests. Our group is limited to only six participants. We'll have a designated and knowledgable photo and wildlife guide that will get us into the right locations and the right time to maximize our photographic opportunities.
This entire experience is designed with photographers in mind. The entire itinerary is designed around optimal shooting times and locations. We'll use all the transportation tools at our disposal to maximize our photographic opportunities.
Planned Adventure Elements
• Sunrise & sunset photo excursions.
• Open-door helicopter photography. Safety harnesses supplied.
• Destination excursions away from the lodge to photograph northern lights.
• Destination hikes for the purpose of landscape/wildlife photography.
• Pre/Post tour webinars.
• Expert photographic guidance
• Early & late light helicopter use.
• Flexible itinerary to accommodate changing weather conditions.
• Flexible meal times to accommodate photo excursions.
• On-site Image critique and processing sessions.
• Timelapse, video, and drone photography guidance.
WHAT YOU'LL SEE
You can expect to see stunning fall color displays stretching across the Arctic tundra as well as many species of wildlife only native to the Arctic. If the weather cooperates you can also expect to see intense displays of the northern lights activity.
"Many Arctic animals make Ennadai Lake their home, including arctic wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, wolverines, muskox, eagles, moose, fox, and many species of fish."
Observe one of the largest caribou herds in North American as they roam the Arctic Barrens. The Qamanirjuaq caribou herd passes by Arctic Haven as they migrate between Baker Lake and the tree-line. A herd in the hundreds of thousands strong, they can be seen grazing in small groups against the spectacular fall colors on the tundra and at times may walk within meters of you.
Wildlife is only part of the Arctic experience. Behold the majestic rainbow array of shimmering night lights called the Aurora borealis, and the spectacular of reds, greens, golds, purples of autumn on the tundra. Ennadai Lake offers rich opportunities for wildlife, landscape, and northern lights photography.
GETTING TO AND FROM THE ARCTIC
You'll need to get yourself to and from Yellowknife, NWT. WestJet, Air Canada, and Delta all fly into Yellowknife, NWT. From Yellowknife, we'll fly on Air Tindi to Ennadai Lake. The Air Tindi flight is included in your tour so you don't need to purchase or reserve this flight. In case of bad weather, it is best to fly into Yellowknife one day before the flight to Ennadai and leave one day after the tour ends.
It is strongly suggested that participants leave one-day buffers one either end of the trip to accommodate inclement weather. This means flying into Yellowknife on September 7 and leaving on September 15th.
Here is a list of places to stay in Yellowknife.
• Explorer Hotel -(867) 992-0381
• Chateau Nova - (867)-766-6682
• Quality Inn & Suites - (867)-873-2601
Once in Yellowknife, it's not going to be necessary to rent a car, unless you want to explore outside of Yellowknife. Any of the hotels listed are centrally located and within walking distance or a short cab ride of downtown or restaurants. There is no Uber or Lyft in Yellowknife, so you'll need to take a taxi to and from the airport.
ONCE YOU'RE AT THE LODGE
The lodge has a homey feel, it's super warm and comfortable. All the staff and guides are super friendly and receptive to any and all of your needs. Great storytelling and lots of laughing is just part of their everyday offerings.
The rooms are private and very comfortable, with hot showers that feel so good at the end of a long day of arctic exploration. There is even a beautiful woodstove sauna right on the lakeshore. It makes cold lake plunges so refreshingly inviting.
The food will surely be a highlight of your trip. All the food is organic and free-range, prepared by award-winning chefs. The central chalet-style room of the lodge is big, beautiful and bright with wrap-around windows and a centerpiece woodstove with comfy leather sofas. Even though the lodge is equipped with basic WiFi for essential communications only, it's the perfect opportunity to completely unplug!
Evenings at the lodge are for storytelling around the fire. The Weber family, friends, and guides account of the historical events that have come to shape them, these great barren lands and the indigenous people who have left their mark on them.
Ennadai Lake is BIG, and we'll need to make daily excursions by boat, land, and air to get where we want to be. We'll use a fully enclosed 300hp coast guard style boat, ATVs, a helicopter and hiking to access the various locations.
All forms of transportation at our disposal will allow us to access the best location at the best times to photograph landscapes, wildlife, and northern lights. If you're willing to put in a little effort each day, remarkable photographic opportunities await!
We'll use the boats, ATVs, and helicopter as tools to position ourselves to be in the right place at the right time for the best image-making possible. However, each day will involve hiking 1-3 miles over the tundra. The boat, ATVs, and helicopter position us close to wildlife but we'll need to approach on foot to achieve the best photographic perspectives.
• Adventurous photographers willing and able to hike and work off the beaten path in ever-changing conditions.
• Photographers who love the first and last light of the day but also eager to experience the dancing night lights of the north.
• Those curious in expanding their photographic experience and creative expression.
• Once we depart Yellowknife, NWT Canada, everything is included.
• Air transportation to and from Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge.
• Once we're at Arctic Haven there are no additional fees (Unless you want to purchase additional flight time in the helicopter)
• 2 Pre-tour preparatory webinars.
• 1 Post-tour image processing webinar
WHATS NOT INCLUDED
• Transportation to and from Yellowknife, NWT, Canada.
• Lodging & car rental in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada
• Medical and trip cancellation Insurance
IMPORTANT NOTICE: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE REGISTERING!
•You are registering for the Arctic Haven VisionQuest Photo Tour. September 7-14/2020
• This is a small group private tour limited to 6 participants. Although September is the best time of the year to visit this part of the Arctic the weather can suddenly and drastically change from hour to hour.
• This tour doesn't offer a set itinerary, locations and subject matter will entirely depend on the changing conditions day to day. The daily itinerary will ultimately be at the discretion of the Arctic Haven guides.
• All participants must purchase travel, trip, and medical insurance.
• Arrive in Yellowknife on September 7. As a group, we'll fly out of Yellowknife to the Arctic Haven on September 8 at around 11 am.
• We'll return to Yellowknife on September 14, sometime early afternoon.
• You'll receive two welcome packages. One from Arctic Weber and one from VisionQuest Photography.
• Cancellation Policy: Cancellations made more than 180 days prior to trip departure will receive a full refund less an admin fee of $500 per person. Any cancellations requested with less than 180 days of the trip departure date will receive no refunds.
Arctic Photo Expedition
SEPTEMBER 8-14, 2020