OK, this might be a tough sell. Talking about travel to the high Arctic when you are just about to dust off your snow shovels and winter boots.
But this is actually the time you should start thinking about planning any travel to the far north. That’s because the window is quite small, and as a result the infrastructure for tourism is limited.
Recent events around the discovery of one of the ships from the Franklin expedition have put the spotlight on the Canadian Arctic, and I have a feeling it’s going to be more in demand than ever in 2015. If you’re thinking about this exotic corner, here are some travel tips:
I like to say there are four seasons in Arctic travel – all crammed into about 10 weeks.
At the end of June and the beginning of July you’ll be in peak iceberg season. These amazing monsters are remarkable to see and travellers are thrilled for sure. This time of year, polar bears are at their most active and happy, leaping from ice floe to ice floe. Also, of course, the midnight sun effect is at its peak with June 21 being the longest day of the year. But the ice will limit your activities on land and at sea.
In later July, you’ll see the mosses and diminutive Arctic flowers at bloom – really a peak time for scenic travel.
Come the end of July at until about 10 August, it’s my favourite season, and the one that sells out the fastest. The weather is the best, still long daylight hours but the plants are in full bloom, there’s fantastic birdlife, and sea kayaking and hiking are at their best. But the ice floes are gone and there’s less opportunity to see polar bears.
At the end of August, beginning of September will be the last sailings of the expedition ships. It’s peak vegetation time and animals such as caribou and arctic hare are migrating. The sunsets are awesome and the weather is a bit cooler.
So, while you’re changing your tires and dusting off your furnace, here’s something to think about. A trip to the far north is, believe me, a life-changing experience and here at Vision we’d love to help you plan one.
Senior Manager, Active Travel
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