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Plan Your Adventure

Main Sources of Travel Information

Nunavut Tourism LogoThe best sources of information for travel information to Rankin Inlet and travel information (by boat) from Rankin Inlet to Marble Island, are the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) Lands Department and the Nunavut Tourism toll-free information number:

KIA Lands Department, Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Tel. 1-867-645-5725.
Outside North America: +1 867-645-2810.

Nunavut Tourism, Visitor Information: toll free (in North America) 1-866-686-NUNAVUT (-2888).
Outside North America: +1 867-979-4636.

How to Get to Marble Island

The most common way to reach Marble Island is by boat from Rankin Inlet through one of the Guide Services. Five airlines serve Rankin Inlet. First Air and Canadian North both provide 737 jet links with Ottawa, Winnipeg and Calgary, as well as links with Iqaluit, Yellowknife and other northern centres. Calm Air provides connections with Winnipeg, Thompson and Churchill (all in Manitoba) and major Nunavut communities. Kivalliq Air offers provides scheduled air links with Winnipeg, Churchill and major Nunavut communities.

Cruise ships also visit Marble Island. See Main Sources of Travel Information.

Guide & other Travel Services

Outfitters that offer tours to Marble Island include Pissuk Outfitting, Rankin Inlet, 1-867-645-4218; Kowmuk Tours, Rankin Inlet, 1-867-645-3034; and Aksut Tours, Greeley, Ontario, 1-613-821-0406.

Overnight accommodation is available in Rankin Inlet at Nanuq Inn, Tel: 1-645-2513; Turaarvik Inns North Hotel, Tel: 1-867-645-4955; Siniktarvik Hotel, Tel: 1-867-645-2807; and Tara's Bed and Breakfast, Tel: 1-867-645-3478 or email:

Extended tours to Marble Island require camping or staying overnight on a tour boat. See Main Sources of Travel Information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

How do I get there?
See How to Get to Marble Island

How long does it take to get to Marble Island from Rankin Inlet?
One hour by boat

Why is marble island white?
Massive veins of quartzite that give the four islands of Marble Island their startling appearance.

Are there polar bears?
Yes. The best time to see them is July, August and September

Will I see Beluga whales?
You can see Beluga Whales in mid-August in calm conditions. People don't usually go to Marble Island when it is very windy.

What happened to the whalers who died on the island?
They died of scurvy. Many refused to eat fresh meat even to save themselves.

Why is the island so important to the Inuit?
It is a traditional hunting ground. It is also a place where the Inuit and 'Europeans' worked together to hunt whales. The Inuit traded for weapons and tools which influenced hunting and every day life.

What You Need to Know: Rules & Regulations


Anyone may visit Marble Island. Except for the Inuit. all visitors must have a licence and be under the supervision of a registered tour guide in order to hunt.

Polar Bears.

Never Approach a Polar Bear

Marble Island is sometimes the brief stop over for polar bears. There is a chance that a bear may be encountered. Bears are very dangerous and should never be approached under any circumstances. A photograph is not worth the risk.

Things to Remember

Always walk in a group.
Inform your guide if you need a rest stop.
Make a lot of noise, be happy, laugh, and sing as you walk along.
Leave your walkman at home.

If You Encounter a Bear

Stay with your guide and leave the area immediately.
Back off slowly, but make sure you know where the bear is.
Go to the boat and get in.
Should the bear be aggressive and follows, your guide may have to use bangers, or rubber bullets. Only as a last resort will slugs be used.
Should you get separated from the group and a bear is following you, do not run. Dropping your pack or jacket may distract the bear long enough for you to make a get away. Remember do not run for the bear is a lot faster than a human.
-at all times comply with your guides instructions.

Code of Conduct for Arctic Tourists

1. Make Tourism and Conservation Compatible

The money you spend on your trip helps determine the development and direction of Arctic tourism. Use your money to support reputable, conservation-minded tour operators and suppliers.

Get any necessary permits before visiting nature reserves or other protected areas. Leave these areas as you found them and do not disturb the wildlife there.

Find out about and follow the laws and regulations that protect wildlife in the areas you will visit, and follow them. Learn about the endangered species in these areas, and avoid hunting and fishing of these species, or buying products made from them.

Your feedback makes a difference. If a tour, tourist service, or supplier was environmentally sensitive and informative, or if it could have been better, tell the owner or operator.

Become a member of Arctic conservation organisations, and support Arctic conservation projects.

2. Support the Preservation of Wilderness and Biodiversity

Learn about efforts to conserve Arctic wildlife and habitat, and support them by, for example, giving money, doing volunteer work, educating others on conservation or lobbying governments and business.

The large undisturbed wilderness areas of the Arctic are a unique environmental resource. Oppose development that fragments these areas or that may disrupt wildlife populations and ecosystems.

Visit parks and nature reserves. Visitor demand and tourist expenditures support existing protected areas and can lead to the protection of additional nature areas.

3. Use Natural Resources in a Sustainable Way

Walk or use skis, kayaks, boats, dogsleds or other non-motorised means of transportation as much as possible to avoid noise pollution and minimise terrain damage. In particular, minimise use of snow scooters, especially where the snow cover is thin.

View and photograph wildlife from a distance and remember that in the optimal wildlife viewing experience, the animal never knew you were there. Suppress the natural temptation to move too close and respect signs of distress such as alarm calls, distraction displays, laid-back ears, and raised hair.

Where laws permit hunting and fishing, obtain the necessary permits, follow all rules, and take only what you require. Fish and hunt only where it is biologically sustainable, and in a manner that does not disrupt local communities.

Undeveloped natural areas are a resource too - leave them the way that you found them so that others can enjoy them. Don't collect specimens unless it is allowed or you have a permit to do so. Use minimum impact camping techniques, and use existing campsites and trails rather than creating new ones.

If you travel with a tour, ensure that your tour operator briefs you properly beforehand on the area to be visited, and on what you should do to minimise damage to the site.

4. Minimise Consumption, Waste and Pollution

Your choice of lodging and products and how much you consume makes a difference. Choose biodegradable or recyclable products and products with minimal packaging.

Use recycling facilities where available. If you travel with a tour, choose a tour operator who recycles. Limit energy use, including your use of heat and warm water.

Leave as little trace as possible of your visit and take your garbage with you.

Choose transportation with the least environmental impact - avoid the use of fossil fuels and motorised transport.

Choose lodgings that have effective waste treatment systems, that recycle, that are energy efficient, and, where possible, that use environmentally friendly energy sources such as solar energy or hydroelectric power.

5. Respect Local Cultures

Learn about the culture and customs of the areas you will visit before you go.

Respect the rights of Arctic residents. You are most likely to be accepted and welcomed if you travel with an open mind, learn about local culture and traditions, and respect local customs and etiquette.

If you are not travelling with a tour, let the community you will visit know that you are coming. Supplies are sometimes scarce in the Arctic, so be prepared to bring your own.

Ask permission before you photograph people or enter their property or living spaces.

6. Respect Historic and Scientific Sites

Respect historic sites and markers, and do not take any souvenirs. Even structures and sites that look abandoned may be protected by law or valued by local people.

Keep out of abandoned military installations.

Respect the work of scientists by arranging your visits to scientific installations beforehand, and by leaving work sites undisturbed.

7. Arctic Communities Should Benefit from Tourism

The money you spend as a tourist can contribute to the economic survival of the communities you visit.

Buy local, and choose tour companies, excursions, and suppliers that are locally-owned and that employ local people.

Buy locally-made products and handicrafts.

Choose accommodations owned, built, and staffed by local people whenever available.

8. Choose Tours With Trained, Professional Staff

Select a reputable tour operator who employs trained staff, preferably with Arctic experience.

Choose a tour operator with staff-client ratio of 15 clients or less per staff member for land-based tours, and 20 passengers or less per staff member for cruises.

9. Make Your Trip an Opportunity to Learn About the Arctic

Learn about the Arctic environment, particularly in the areas you will visit, before you go. Make your trip an opportunity to learn about conservation in general and Arctic conservation in particular.

If you travel with a tour, choose one that provides information about the Arctic environment, Arctic conservation, and ways to support Arctic conservation efforts.

Choose tours and excursions that provide specific information about the climate, species, habitats, local peoples and cultures, and appropriate behaviour in the area you will visit.

10. Follow Safety Rules

Polar bears, walrus, and muskox are all potentially dangerous and must always be treated with respect. Ensure that you or your group carries guns or other scaring devices in polar bear areas.

Sled dogs are working animals. Don't feed or caress them. Dogs and arctic foxes may also carry rabies.

Hiking over ice and glaciers demands specific skills in use of ropes, crampons, ice axes, and other safety equipment. Trained guides should be employed.

If you go on a trip alone or with others, be sure that local authorities know about your itinerary.

Be aware of weather conditions, and be prepared for weather that changes suddenly from pleasant to dangerous. Avoid becoming too cold, tired, or wet.

Basic equipment, even for short excursions, includes warm clothes, sturdy footwear, gloves, a hat, and windproof outer garments. A map, emergency rations such as chocolate, and a basic first aid kit are also essential