Experience wild belugas during “Mystic Week” in the Arctic
A unique, one-week travel offering to view wild beluga whales in their native habitat north of the Arctic Circle has been announced by Sea Research Foundation, parent of Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., in partnership with Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge on Cunningham Inlet in Nunavut, Canada.
Scheduled July 20-27, 2012, Arctic Watch’s “Mystic Week” vacation tour is priced at $6,900* per person and geared toward soft adventure travelers with a preference for five-star amenities. By visiting Arctic Watch, guests support Sea Research Foundation’s conservation efforts to help protect the wild beluga whale population through research and education.
As a one-of-a-kind, five-star resort and world-class beluga observation site located 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Arctic Watch is the perfect base for enjoying an up-close view of belugas, muskox, a wide range of birds, Arctic foxes and hares, and other wildlife in their natural habitat while experiencing this truly unique environment through hiking, kayaking and more.
With 16 private cabins, Arctic Watch’s remote accommodations are the most comfortable in the High Arctic, allowing guests to enjoy the unparalleled beauty and wonder of the Arctic while enjoying delicious meals served in an elegant environment. Arctic Watch sources fresh, wholesome and natural food from the most local producers possible and serves only organic meats, including Arctic char, grilled muskox and barbecued pork tenderloin. Arctic Watch Chef Jeff Stewart is an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of Canada with more than 15 years’ experience in some of Canada’s finest dining establishments.
The unparalleled, seven-day “Mystic Week” trip will be overseen by Sea Research’s Dr. Tracy Romano and Dr. Tracey Spoon—two of North America’s leading beluga experts—who will be at Arctic Watch to begin observations and collect data on the hundreds of wild belugas that make Cunningham Inlet their home for six weeks each year. Embarking from Yellowknife, Canada, guests will experience wild belugas playing in Cunningham Inlet while they learn about this magnificent species from Romano and Spoon during daily activities and informal lectures.
Sea Research and Mystic Aquarium are leaders in aquatic research and education, with a major focus on beluga whales, which are cared for in the aquarium’s collection. Mystic Aquarium scientists have conducted research on wild belugas in Point Lay and Bristol Bay, Ala., in order to determine the environment’s effect on beluga health and compare health information with endangered beluga populations worldwide. Late Sea Research Scientist and Research Director Dr. David St. Aubin conducted research studies on belugas in Cunningham Inlet for many years and no one has studied this whale population since 1999. Since that time, the climate has changed dramatically, allowing increased ship traffic in the Northwest Passage. No one knows how this affects the belugas and if the beluga population is growing, shrinking or stabilizing. Sea Research scientists hope to continue monitoring the beluga population over the next five years while serving as a resource to Arctic Watch guests.
Located in Mystic, Conn., Mystic Aquarium’s Arctic Coast exhibit is one of the nation's largest beluga whale habitats. Home to Kela, Naku, Naluark and Juno, aquarium visitors can experience beluga whales firsthand during a beluga encounter program and learn about their natural history, current conservation status and considerable challenges. The aquarium's beluga whales are studied in a controlled environment to help answer important questions about wild belugas.
*Per person rate of $6,900 is exclusive of roundtrip air travel to Yellowknife, Canada.