Bone-chilling temperatures and unpredictable weather may not sound like the makings of a perfect holiday but if you crave adventure and want to go where few friends have, the Canadian Arctic is the place to be.
There are a few reasons travellers are beginning to venture here. The discovery of the Franklin Expedition wrecks of HMS Erebus and Terror in 2014 and 2016 has fuelled a renewed interest in the Canadian Arctic and the Northwest Passage specifically.
In turn, this has led to cruise companies updating itineraries aimed at historians, archaeologists and maritime romantics fascinated with the shipwrecks and sea-faring tales of tragedy. Secondly, the Arctic is home to polar bears and who doesn’t want to see one of these fearsome creatures in their natural habitat?
Thirdly, the culture of Canada’s northern Inuit communities is undoubtedly fascinating, and, in this day of climate change, it’s important to understand how the world’s northernmost residents are adapting.
The best way to experience the inlets and islands of the Arctic is aboard an expedition ship. Small-scale icebreakers will get you to the most fascinating, remote ports of call, and One Ocean Expeditions is a leader in the industry.
The company’s Pathways to Franklin cruise traces the route of the early explorers as they endeavoured to find a way through the Northwest Passage.
You can also join a tour of Baffin Island, visiting Inuit villages, as well as Beechey Island, where some of the ill-fated Franklin crew were laid to rest.
On a much smaller scale, you can join day trips from places such as Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories, and experience the Arctic via snowmobile and dogsled, or on ice-fishing and Indigenous cultural tours.
The Arctic Circle also offers prime Aurora Borealis viewing and there are plenty of companies and lodges running sightseeing and photography tours from Canada’s northern provinces and territories.
If you’re not a fan of cruising but still want to experience the Arctic, you might want to try tackling an infamous ice road beyond the far reaches of the Yukon.
Join a guided tour in Whitehorse and travel up the Dempster Highway to the Inuvialuit village of Tuktoyaktuk, accessible only in winter.
This really depends on what section of the Arctic you want to see. The main access points, however, are Whitehorse, in the Yukon; Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories; and Ottawa, Ontario.
Words by Jennifer Ennion.
It’s worth heading into the wilderness from Yellowknife for a few nights to enjoy the silence, get a crick in your neck – and witness the Northern Lights cosmi..
A cruising journey by sea through the Northwest Passage, from the wilds of Canada to the little–discovered wonders of Greenland, mesmerises with the unaffected b..
Get amidst a giant Canadian caribou herd in the frozen Nunavut territory. Your arctic migratory experience starts by touching down on a dirt runway, hewn out ..
Go deep into the frozen reaches of Canada in Nunavut with an Arctic Watch adventure. Otherworldly. That’s how it feels as your chartered plane descends to ..
Explore the Arctic Northwest and meet giant Canadian mammals, and even bigger icebergs. Towering icebergs, breath-taking glaciers and close encounters with many..
Watch as the sky catches on fire at Canada's wonderful Blachford Lake Lodge. Standing in awe beneath the Aurora Borealis is one thing. Watching from the pr..
Soar your way to one of the world's great waterfalls. Virginia Falls proudly boasts a height twice that of the mighty Niagara. It’s one of life’s great..
Ranked #12 in our countdown of '100 Ultimate Travel Experiences of a Lifetime'. The mystical Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, is a breathtaking natural ..
Cheers to the Premium Drinks Sale*
Book a P&O cruise of 7 nights or more and receive an included Premium Drinks Package! Included in your fare for the first two guests per room Sale ends..
Explore Philadelphia – City Break from $719* per person.
Enjoy the best possible view of the city from the top of a double-decker bus. 3 NIGHTS’ ACCOMODATION 2 DAY HOP-ON-OFF BUS TOUR ECO-FRIENDLY BOUTIQUE H..
Philadelphia City Stay Package from $695* per person
Treat yourself to the best of Philly street food and explore the sights on a city walking tour. 3 NIGHTS’ ACCOMODATION CENTRAL LOCATION ‘BEYOND THE ..
The appeal of the ‘Peg If Vancouver is Canada’s version of Sydney, then Winnipeg is Melbourne. It’s undeniably trendy, with a strong craft-beer scene, a d..
What to do in winter From gnarly double diamond trails to mellow greens, the twin mountains that make famous Whistler Blackcomb ski resort have something for ever..
Why Banff is so special Luring thousands of Aussies to its snow-covered streets every winter, Banff is one of Canada’s major ski centres, with three mountains o..
Perching on a peninsula surrounded by crystalline ocean and backed by rainforests which roll to the foot of the mighty North Shore Mountains, Vancouver enjoys one ..
Click into your skis There is something very special about Canada's gateway province and there is no better place to feel this magic than when gliding through pow..
The four Atlantic provinces Canada is a country of contrasts and nowhere is this more felt than in the Atlantic provinces. Swap the spires of the Rockies and the ..
What to see in Whitehorse Nothing matches the Yukon’s impressive, wild landscape more so than the hardy locals who live there, and both are reason enough to vis..
What to see in the capital Ottawa is what a capital city should be: home to the country’s best museums and galleries, with a parliament to be proud of and plent..
Venture into the Rockies With amazing ski and mountain-bike trails, Insta-worthy alpine lakes, waterfalls you can climb in winter and one of the most picturesque ..
So where exactly are we talking about? Canada’s Prairie provinces are those landlocked between British Columbia and Ontario, beginning technically where the Roc..