Cornforth Images

Beluga Whale Photography Tour

Each year, around 2,000 beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) get together for a few weeks at Cunningham Inlet, located at Somerset Island in the Canadian Arctic. They gather in shallow water to play, molt, attend to baby belugas, and also to mate. This trip is designed to coincide with peak beluga period, with the objective of observing and photographing them at close, intimate range.

Our base camp will be in nice, permanent accommodations that are a short walk from where the belugas gather. We will be able to stand on shore just a few feet away from these white whales to watch and photograph them, and we will also be looking to use kayaks to float among them. They are inquisitive by nature, and will often approach closely enough to photograph/ video them underwater using a polecam. If you watched Frozen Planet, this is the location where BBC filmed the beluga whale segments.

We will be visiting during the Arctic summer, so the days will be long. Besides gawking at belugas, we will take time to explore and photograph the arctic landscape, making use of the extended “golden hour” conditions to capture memorable images.

Getting there will require that you first travel to Yellowknife. From there, we will take a charter flight the morning of 26 July to get to our destination. For the return journey, we will fly back to Yellowknife in the late afternoon of 2 August, so we’ll need to spend at least one night in Yellowknife. First Air, West Jet, Canadian North and Air Canada offer regular daily service from Edmonton and Calgary to Yellowknife.

The price/person includes accommodation on a shared basis, food on location, and the charter flight/transportation between Yellowknife and Somerset Island. There is a possibility that the air charter company may add a fuel surcharge if the petroleum prices increase dramatically by the time of this trip.

 Jon Cornforth

 Not currently scheduled

 Somerset Island, Nunavat, Canada

 Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

 charter flight from Yellowknife included, plus ground transportation at the lodge



 Moderate. Short hikes, cold temperatures, 24 hour daylight.


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