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Very early planning

Nottingham
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146 posts
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Very early planning

In October 2015 we will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. We love wild life and would also Iike to see the Northern lights I have been looking at Whitehorse Yukon and Churchill Manitoba however they are on opposite sides of the Country so are there any suggestions for stopping somewhere in the middle to give us a well rounded trip. We are looking to spend 3 weeks in all. Any suggestions?

Thank you

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Very early planning

It's a bit early to congratulate you on your milestone anniversary, but congratulations anyway!

I'm not sure I agree that Churchill is on the other side of the country from the Yukon.... geographically, at least on a west to east scale, Churchill is rather centrally located in Canada, and Manitoba is usually considered part of western Canada. Out here in the west, the "other side of the country" would be Montreal, or the Maritime provinces.

Chances are that any visit to Churchill is going to be routed through Winnipeg, whether it's a flight or the train.

Besides seeing polar bears and the northern lights, what are your interests? Other than Churchill's polar bear season, October is definitely outside the tourist season in almost all areas of Canada. The weather may be chilly in some areas, and daylight hours are dwindling, but there is still lots to do and see... it would just help narrow it down if you could indicate some broad interests.

I don't know if after being up in the North, where winter will be setting in, you will want milder weather for the rest of your vacation? If so, then either the west coast, or eastern Canada would have milder weather.... although no guarantees! On the prairies and in the mountains, by late October, it can be getting pretty chilly.

Also, are there going to be budget constraints? Canada's North is an expensive place to get to, and to visit, so that part of your trip is going to come at considerable cost. As to adding on other destinations with Canada, flying domestically is pretty expensive ... we don't have any low cost carriers here, like RyanAir. However, since tourism is slower at that time of the year, there are often seat sales to be had. These are usually announced a month or two or three in advance, so I would suggest signing up for the emails newsletter at WestJet and Air Canada.

Edited: 6:33 pm, January 21, 2014
Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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2. Re: Very early planning

Hi nerys ~

Here's a website that is quite informative about getting from Winterpeg, oops, I mean Winnipeg, to Churchill:

polarbearalley.com/blog/…

And: viarail.ca/en/…winnipeg-churchill

Remember, as soon as the ice takes shape and sends "the message" to the bears that it's time to go, they will be gone from shore. So timing is important as they hang around on land until they can go seal hunting.

everythingchurchill.com/plan-your-adventure/…

And to Yukon. http://travelyukon.com/Plan/Getting-Here

The trouble with Canada is that almost everyone lives within 350 km of the border we share with the US. So when it comes to getting around up north, it is usually from airport hubs in the south. Too expensive to be creating routes from east to west "North of 60."

So you could get to Winnipeg in order to get to Churchill, then back to Winnipeg, then fly to Whitehorse via one of Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver. Air Canada and WestJet fly between Vancouver and Whitehorse. A good excuse to come to Vancouver!

Northern Lights article on the Yukon Forum's Top Questions: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g155045-i1403-k615…

You are on the Canada Forum right now. It would be a good idea to go to the Yukon Forum and the Whitehorse Forum, once there. The Manitoba Forum and the Churchill Forum, once there. And the Northwest Territory Forums and the Yellowknife Forum, once there. Read the questions being asked and the replies being given on each forum. So, in the search field above the green menu bar, type in "Yukon Forums" and take it from there. This may give you some valuable insights for your planning.

And here is a Trip Report from the Winnipeg Forum about one person's experience on VIA Rail, Winnipeg to Churchill:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154952-i3710-k552…

All these links have been gathered by scooting from forum to forum. I would want to find out when the ice forms up north so as to not miss the bears. Hard to predict because weather is changeable. I already know that the darker and farther north you go the chances of seeing good Northern Lights get better. But they are fickle, so it is always a gamble. People in Edmonton say they see them regularly in winter, so you never know. Edmonton is full of street lights.

I might go so far as to suggest you arrive to Winnipeg, by connecting in Toronto and then connecting to Churchill for the bears. Then back to Winnipeg to fly to Calgary and on to Whitehorse. Then flying to Vancouver for some city life before flying back to the UK. Not quite a week in the three places because there may be a couple of flight schedules that are limited in such a way that you would have to spend a night in, say, Winnipeg before your flight on to Calgary.

And last but not least, get off this Canada Forum and on to the Territory or Province Forums to ask your questions. Post the whole concept when you do as people will respond better if you give your whole plan.

And I agree, lolol, that Whitehorse and Churchill are practically neighbours, not at both ends of the country. Welcome to the 10,000,000 sq km and 6 times zones of Canada. I love to say that 4 UKs can fit nicely into just BC and that Wales fits into 2/3 of just Vancouver Island off the coast of Vancouver!

Nottingham
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3. Re: Very early planning

Thank you both for so much information. Unfortunately I was never good at Geography so please excuse my ignorance . I will try the other forums as you mentioned but I have plenty of time so can look up some of the areas you mentioned.

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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4. Re: Very early planning

Never mind. Speaking of geography, I'm still trying to figure out the system of Hundreds that make up the Wirral for geneaology purposes!

I think you might also Google "Tourism [Location]" to get more information about the provinces, territories and cities. And if you haven't already done so, I also think the library or the bookstores will have travel guide books that will be most helpful.

5. Re: Very early planning

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