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Swimming with Narwhal in the High Arctic

April 06, 2018

While viewing narwhal in the wild is incredible on its own, swimming with narwhal is a bucket list experience many travellers can only dream of. Our floe edge safaris, Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage and Narwhal & Polar Bear Safari, provide the chance to snorkel along the floe edge in the Arctic Ocean – with a chance to encounter narwhal in the water.

On a day off in-between departures of this trip in 2013, chef Matt Binkley and Arctic diving master Rob Rix had the amazing experience of swimming with narwhal. While snorkeling at the floe edge, the two were welcomed by a pod of up to 60 narwhal swimming through the area!

Check out Matt Binkley’s video of swimming with narwhal below:



This footage was captured at the floe edge near Arctic Bay, Nunavut, on Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage.

When the camp is empty the team gets to have fun! With time to wait before a new group of travellers were set to arrive, Matt and Rob decided to gear up in dry suits and take a swim. Luckily, a pod of narwhal joined in. The pair were able to swim with the narwhal for several minutes, an exhilarating experience.

Matt Binkley, founder of elite hospitality consulting and recruitment agency, Culinary Search Group, has been providing chefs and culinary consultation services for Arctic Kingdom’s safaris in the High Arctic for several years. While he has travelled to the Canadian Arctic with us many times, this was his first time swimming in the Arctic Ocean – and to his surprise and delight, first time snorkeling with narwhal.

In this area, the floe edge of Lancaster Sound is known as one of the most prolific wildlife areas in the Arctic. Travellers get the chance to see narwhal here in May and June, and enjoy the Midnight Sun, with 24-hours of sunshine.

Another bucket list experience at the floe edge? Kayaking!

Travellers on our floe edge safaris can enjoy kayaking, possibly even with narwhal. Check out our video that shows kayaking with narwhal, and even underwater footage of narwhal swimming below the kayak. You can watch it here.

Want to get an opportunity to swim with narwhal?

Contact us today to book your chance to snorkel at the floe edge for possible narwhal encounters on Narwhal & Polar Bear Safari.

By: Liz Carino

Video provided by Matt Binkley/Culinary Search Group