Canada/Somerset Island: Beluga Whales in Cunningham Inlet

The reason to go to the faraway Somerset Island are beluga whales. Every year around 2000 beluga whales congregate here in the shallow waters of the Cunningham Inlet to breed and rear young. It is a surreal, once in a lifetime experience. You can see hundreds of the white mammals play in the water just a few feet away from where you stand. Beluga means “white” in Russian, and the animal is almost snow-white (babies are grey however). The white color, as well the lack of dorsal fin, are adaptation for living in the Arctic and spending time beneath the ice. The massive head is well adapted to wreak through the ice sheet when necessary. Belugas grow to 5.5 m (18 ft) long and weigh upto 1600 kg (3530 lb), most of the weight being blubber.