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Getting to Iqaluit

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1. Posted by Linger (Full Member 59 posts) 10y

My husband and I are thinking our making our way to Iqaluit this coming Sept. But, the cost of the flight is way over our budget (CAN$1400 single trip from Edmonton). Are there any cheaper alternatives/routes to get there?

Thanks!

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

I honestly don't know much about travelling to the Canadian north, but I'd venture to say there are very few options to get there. There are few if any roads that stretch all the way up, and only one or two little airlines offer flights that far. Check out the travel section of the Iqaluit site to see what's avaialable to you. My guess is that most flights will be on the expensive site, though.

Enjoy, however! The great, white north is supposed to be breathtaking.

3. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Sept. is late season. You can try First Air or Canadian North. But almost everything technological is expensive up there.

You might be able to find a small charter which will take you, but it's doubtful that late in the season. The other thought is can you look into flying out of Yellowknife. There is a highway from Edmonton to Yellowknife which should be clean and easy to drive in Sept. There is an ice road out of Yellowknife, which a buddy of mine and I are looking into. But we haven't found out if it's even usable by private citizens. And certainly you don't want to drive it unless you have experience doing this sort of thing.

4. Posted by Linger (Full Member 59 posts) 10y

Thanks for the prompt reply. Found the website you mentioned when I was scouring the internet for flights.

I was hoping that someone out there has done an overland journey up North! (if possible) We're hoping to get some ideas or suggestions.

5. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

According to this site, Iqaluit is only accessible by plane, dogsled, snowmobile, and the occassional boat. Even if there's a way to get there by car, I'd be very, very wary about driving the route, only because you'll go for extremely long stretches without seeing anything or anyone. But I'm sure it's been done before!

6. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Quoting Linger

Thanks for the prompt reply. Found the website you mentioned when I was scouring the internet for flights.

I was hoping that someone out there has done an overland journey up North! (if possible) We're hoping to get some ideas or suggestions.

Like I mentioned, the furthest you can go on a road is Yellowknife in the North West Territories. There are NO public roads into Nunavut as of today. There is a private ice road out of Yellowknife the mining companies have built. But it's slippery, dangerous, and full of convoys of fully loaded equipment trucks racing at top speed. You DO NOT want to be on that road without taking ALL precautions!!

If you would like to explore the far north, I would recommend flying or
driving into Prince George from Edmonton, then heading north to Dawson city, then up the Dempster highway. That will take you pass the arctic circle up to Inuvik & the Beaufort sea. The road at that point simply ends. It's a fantastic drive. I did it in May 2005. I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but be very well prepared. I had bears knock on my window while I was sleeping, climbed up a 2km hill made of wet mud, saw 4x4's spin out, and finally got stopped by a blinding blizzard in June !! If you want to do it, take a spare tire or 2 (you're driving on sharp hard shale), know the endurance for your vehicle and more importantly yourself, and have lots of extra gas with you. PM me and I can dig up more details for you.

Good luck!! It's the most fantastic beauty I have ever seen in my life. I can't begin to describe the feeling you get when you stop the car on top of one of the hills, get out and all you see around you is vast natural spaces 360 degrees around all the way out to the horizon !! :)

7. Posted by Linger (Full Member 59 posts) 10y

Thank you for all the information. It's very useful indeed. Looks like we might have to revise our itinerary.

On a separate note, we're thinking of making our way from Vancouver - Churchill - Toronto via train. Would you recommend it? Or, would it be better if we were to rent a car? I've looked at the train fares - quite costly even for the Super Saver ticket. Maybe it would be better by car - since then we'll be able to make some stops along the way?

Would really appreciate any suggestions that you may have.

Thanks again!

8. Posted by Peter P. (Budding Member 35 posts) 10y

Although it may seem costly at first, making that arc by train remains a practical idea, in my personal experience, both in terms of comfort and convenience.

In addition to the stops scheduled by VIA Rail (Jasper - cannot be missed), you may also request additional stops. This is especially attractive if you're an outdoor enthusiast and want to conquer some untamed territory (VIA will even stow your ski/kayak equipment too).

Also, being able to just kick back on the train and not have to worry about navigating or getting lost is a big plus in my books. The train definitely takes the exhausting bits out of the journey, allowing you to enjoy the scenery and - on occasion - your fellow travellers. :)

It really is tops in Canadian Rockies vacations, as far as I'm concerned!

Are you planning on chasing polar bears in Churchill??

9. Posted by Linger (Full Member 59 posts) 10y

Cheers for that Peter.

Yup, you are spot on. We're hoping to spot some polar bears in Churchil. :)

10. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

I would agree with Peter. There's some advantages to the train route.

But I wouldn't worry too much about navigation if you decide on driving. It's basically one long highway. You're not going to get lost.