“Polar bears, straight up, on ice please”

“If you only ever do one – or one more – polar bear adventure in your lifetime…then make it this one….and make sure you do it with the guy that went there first for the BBC…Andy Skillen”

(comments from a previous trip participant)

Baffin.

So…..you’ve heard about this amazing polar bear trip; perhaps you’ve read about it somewhere or maybe even been on it? Whatever category you fall into, you know how special it is. It’s, well, incredible…and as someone who’s spent an awful lot of time in their career in the snow looking for white (well, cream…) bears, then that one sentence from me should say enough.

This is the ultimate polar bear adventure. For me, you can keep your boats, over-comfortable lodges and tundra buggies to one side as nothing competes with tracking these Arctic behemoths and their newborns across seemingly endless sheets of sea ice. This pristine vista, punctuated only by the occasional towering blue iceberg and Hollywood-esque mountain backdrop, provides a jaw dropping array of photographic opportunity. And at night? Well…the clear crisp skies can sometimes can pull back their curtains to reveal some of the most phenomenal northern light shows anywhere on the planet.

I have always loved my time on Baffin, and although my creaking vertebrae continue to scream at me “no more snowmobiles!”….I’ve decided to ignore their mutterings and, in what will be for sure my final sojourn to this pristine wilderness, assume the position – as they say – and get ready to lead two more trips, back to back, in 2024 (late March/early April – exact dates TBC in the next couple of months).

It’s a bit Frank Sinatra really. I was convinced I was leaving the Baffin stage for good after the trip earlier this year, but there’s something about taking that final encore that pulled Ol’ blue eyes back to croon, and whilst the comparison is vague (I see the world through a more grey/green prism…and a pair of ski goggles mostly!) I can fully empathise with that “ok, go on then, just one more” attitude. It may be 20 months away….but I can’t wait.

A special rate….

I am of course thankful to Arctic Kingdom for their generosity in this regard. Generosity that directly benefits YOU the potential participant. After some great discussions with me, they have graciously agreed to freeze (no pun intended!) the price they will charge you in 2024 at the 2023 rate. It’s still an expensive trip, granted, but as you will deal directly with them on payments, you will benefit from this excellent rate, safe in the knowledge that there is no nefarious “mark-up” being applied in the middle somewhere by some agent or secondary organising company. It’s essentially a rate you’d not be able to get otherwise.

Your price will include everything from Ottawa and back to the start, and for a small additional charge, can include a set of gear rental too. That’s something you can add later of course. A total of 9 days, 8 nights and an Arctic flight package. All you will need to do is get to Ottawa to start the trip (and realistically stay overnight on the day you come in…)

I will be there of course, and one of you unlucky souls will have to share a tent with me – sorry! – but I will be delighted to escort you around one of my favourite places on Earth, in the company of excellent local guides and, arguably, my favourite animal 🙂

The total cost for the trip – stand by…. – will be:

CAD 25,772.90 (approx. GBP16,500 at current rates).

You will be paying directly to Arctic Kingdom to secure this rate – so no hidden extras! There’s the option to add in a clothing rental package too – but that can be organised at a later date for sure. That would be an additional CAD786 if you needed it.

This includes everything from the moment you step onto the Arctic flight in Ottawa, to the moment you are safely deposited back at the same airport, head full of memories, cards full of pictures at the end of your adventure.

Limited spaces

Now, I know that sounds daft…but it’s true. There are a total of 18 spaces only (please note, all tents are shared accommodation) across the two trips and as you’ll probably appreciate, there’s already been a lot of “off-plan” interest in accompanying me on my final visits to the area. So…if you are remotely keen on doing this, please ensure you notify me immediately. Although you will be booking through Arctic Kingdom, to ensure you get the rate, and onto one of my weeks, just let me know first. That way I can be certain to keep a space open for you. I will then send you booking instructions for the trip, and my good friends at AK will take over the process from there, leaving me to focus (no pun intended!) on the photographic experience for you.

If you’ve already flagged to me that you would be good-to-go again, then do just send me a gentle reminder by email. I have you all listed, fear not, but will need to just firm that up to make sure you are a concrete participant and your spaces is secure.

Baffin 24 it is then…..start your engines 😉