Is it possible to visit Canada’s northern territories in one trip?
It’s a big, big land up there. Caribou outnumber people. Roads in some regions just peter out. And airfares can be double what it costs to zip from southern Canada (or “down South” as some locals call it) to Florida or Vegas.
So that makes travel among the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut expensive and logistically daunting, says Frank Verschuren, an experience specialist with the Canadian Tourism Commission ( canada.travel).
“It is certainly doable, but I suspect it would be a self-customized trip if anyone was planning to cover all of the territories in a meaningful way.”
But don’t put away your fleece yet. There are dozens of operators willing to open the door, so figure out what in the North is calling to you – search travelyukon.com, spectacularnwt.com and nunavuttourism.com for ideas – and immerse yourself.
Or consider one of the “signature experiences” marketed in a new promotion by the Canadian Tourism Commission. These include grabbing a window seat on a tundra buggy to look for polar bears with Frontiers North ( frontiersnorth.com); learning to handle a dog team with a fifth-generation musher in the NWT ( beckskennels.com); rafting along the glaciers in the Yukon with Nahanni River Adventures ( nahanni.com); and cruising and exploring Inuit culture on the top of the world with Adventure Canada ( adventurecanada.com).
If your goal is getting the most out of your trip, cruising may be the best way to see the region in one trip. Adventure Canada’s “Out of the Northwest Passage Voyage” includes stops in Nunavut, NWT and Greenland. Highlights include playing tundra golf, spotting whales and muskox, and rubbing elbows with such notable “southern” guides as Margaret Atwood. Even if you don’t see every inch of the North, you can claim to have visited the northernmost community in Canada – Auyuittuq (Grise Fiord) in Nunavut, more than 1,000 kilometres above the Arctic Circle.
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Karan Smith is a former editor of Globe Travel.
Special to The Globe and Mail