Canada’s True North

Tour Highlights

• Yukon  • Arctic Circle  • Northwest Territories
The Yukon and Northern Territories remain one of North America's last great wilderness areas, offering some of the world’s most dramatic and spectacular scenery. On this tour we will experience the mystery and vastness of the region, and immerse ourselves in the unique lifestyle of the people.  We will listen to the legends of the north, the rhythms of the dances and music, learn of local traditions such as bone carving, weaving, embroidery and beadwork, learn about the history and challenges of those who ventured here, and of course sample the regional cuisine. 

Large game animals such as bison, caribou and moose roam the region, while musk-oxen, wolves, sheep, black bears and grizzlies are also to be found - some of which we may spot along the epic highways we travel as we admire the rugged beauty along the way.

Our first stop is Whitehorse, which straddles the highway between British Columbia and Alaska on the banks of the Yukon River. It has the distinct atmosphere of a frontier town amid the scenic wilderness.

From Whitehorse we we take the spectacular drive north on the Klondike Highway, surrounded by mountains and rivers, to Dawson City - home of the Klondike Gold Rush, where we will learn about the challenges and hardships of this distinct period in our country’s history.  

From Dawson City we take the iconic Dempster Highway up and beyond the Arctic Circle, all the way to the Beaufort Delta - a remote and sparsely populated region within the Arctic Circle. From our base in Inuvik we will take a once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing flight over the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula and the Mackenzie River Delta, and be among the first to drive the newly built Mackenzie Valley Highway to the Arctic Ocean. 

Our tour ends in Yellowknife - capital city of the Northwest Territories on the shore of Great Slave Lake, where we experience the “wild west” period of the mining days.  We will also enjoy a unique “floating dinner theatre” and some free time to explore the town’s many attractions.

Tentative Itinerary

We fly to Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territory, and transfer to our hotel. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.
Whitehorse, known as the Wilderness City, is nestled on the banks of the Yukon River surrounded by mountains and pristine lakes. Our tour will take us to the Visitor Centre to learn about the Yukon’s history, different regions and the SS Klondike - the last remaining original sternwheeler in the Yukon and relic from the Gold Rush days. We then visit the MacBride Museum, which houses the history of the city, the Gold Rush, the Mounties (RCMP) and the First Nations. We finish with a scenic countryside drive to see the suspension bridge over Miles Canyon.
To begin our adventure we travel on the spectacular Klondike Highway, stopping en route at the Five Finger Rapids. Look out for wildlife such as moose, black bear, grizzlies, Stone’s sheep, caribou, elk, bison and wolf. We arrive in the late afternoon in Dawson City - a vibrant northern community on the banks of the Yukon River with a real “wild-west” flavour.
Dawson City was the heart of the 1898 Gold Rush and many of the original buildings from those glory days remain standing. We will take a gold-panning excursion at Bonanza Creek and a narrated visit to Dredge #4 - the largest wooden hull dredge in the world, a Gold Rush original and a National Historic Site. Then we will visit Dome Mountain with fantastic views of the Ogilvie Mountains, Klondike Valley, Yukon River and Dawson City. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Tonight we enjoy an old-fashioned variety show with Can-Can dancers – reminiscent of the Great Klondike Gold Rush!
We drive the scenic Dempster Highway - named for Corporal Dempster who pioneered the route by dogsled at the turn of the century. The route winds its way over two mountain ranges, crosses the continental divide three times, and traverses the Arctic Circle. We will visit the Dempster Interpretative Centre before continuing to Eagle Plains for our overnight.
We continue north within the Arctic Circle and visit Fort McPherson - a Gwich’in First Nation settlement. Then we cross the Mackenzie River and continue to Inuvik. This evening we enjoy a showcase of local northern indigenous cultures including songs, local drummers and dancers in traditional outfits.
Today we learn about Inuvik’s 3 main cultures. We’ll stop at various points of interest, including Our Lady of Victory Church (for obvious reasons it is known as the “igloo church”!) The intricate interior of the church was done by local artisans who congregate to create works from rock and bone. We end the day with a scenic walk, to see the delicate wildflowers and mosses that grow in the Arctic sunshine.
Today we take a sightseeing flight to Tuktoyaktuk over the Mackenzie River Delta - a spectacular place of water, squalls, wildlife and an occasional deserted trapper’s hut on the emerald green banks. We will also see pingos - ice core hills that grow in a permafrost environment. We may spot reindeer, pods of whales or even caribou. In ‘Tuk’, as the locals call it, we will learn the local way of life from the people who call it home. Lunch will be “Northern” style, and there will also be time for any hardy souls to take a traditional Arctic swim (or just dip a toe in the Arctic Ocean!). After our visit we will drive back to Inuvik on the recently built Mackenzie Valley Highway - Canada’s only road to the Arctic Ocean!
We fly to Yellowknife, located on the shores of Great Slave Lake, and transfer to our hotel. The First Nation’s culture remains strong in the region, but most modern conveniences can be found. This evening we embark on a very unique experience - a Floating Dinner Theatre. We will travel by 29-foot voyageur canoes, enjoy regional cuisine like stew and bannock, and be entertained by music and dramatic presentations of historic northern events.
Yellowknife. Today we learn about the exciting “wild west” period of the mining industry and the past and present life of the local Dene people. We will see the impressive Legislative Assembly and the Bush Pilots’ Monument that offers great views of the area and local houseboats on the bay. Keep your eye out for float planes coming and going on the lake. At the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre we will have a final overview of the amazing Northwest Territories.
A day at leisure to explore the town from our centrally located hotel, do some shopping, or perhaps take an optional tour. This evening is our Farewell Dinner.
We fly home from Yellowknife.

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