Whether admiring the sweeping, unspoiled scenery, checking out the unique and adorable wildlife, or watching the northern lights dance across the sky, North America is a magical destination to visit.
Luckily, there’s no better time for clients to venture north with lower airfares and perks for each season.
Summer brings bright emerald lakes, autumn has thinner crowds, winter is peak Northern Lights season and spring lures wildlife from hibernation.
Here, we explore three unforgettable itineraries for those who are seeking a bit of northern exposure.
Eastern Canada explorer self-drive
Self-drive travel oﬀers ﬂexibility, but with ample places to stop, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the grand size of the region.
Canada & Alaska Specialist Holidays’ 11-night eastern Canada self-drive tour journeys across Toronto, Ottawa, Mont Tremblant, Quebec City, Montreal and Kingston, and is best experienced in autumn.
Starting in the dynamic metropolis that is Toronto, visiting the iconic CN tower and St Lawrence market is a must.
Day two consists of a coach trip to one of the great natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls, including a cruise and winery tour. The third day marks the rental car pick up, in preparation to head to Canada’s capital, Ottawa.
Here, the multiple museums, Parliament Hill, or a boat cruise along the Rideau Canal will provide ample entertainment.
Driving northeast the next day, arrive at the jewel of the Laurentians, Mont Tremblant, for a short stopover to discover the lively pedestrian village, its charming boutiques and ﬁne restaurants.
Then continue north to Quebec City, enjoying the captivating scenery along Chemin du Roy road. With a full day to explore Quebec City, a place where the majority of people speak French, the old world charm is sure to impress.
The cobblestone streets, artisan cafes and 17th-century architecture are covered with a guided tour. For those looking to enjoy at a personal pace, we suggest a stroll through the Plains of Abraham, a visit to the historic Chateau Frontenac or ordering the best poutine of your life.
After sampling the French-Canadian way of life, follow the St Lawrence River and witness a change from city suburbs to rural landscapes of rich pastures, dotted with tiny villages in the lead up to Montreal. Montreal oﬀ ers striking aesthetics with a notable fusion between old and new.
A full day of exploring could consist of hiring a bike, visiting Notre Dame Basilica and the French Quarter, or hiking up Mont Royal at sunset for panoramic views.
The trip then heads south to Kingston, and we suggest stopping at Gananoque to join a one-hour cruise of the 1000 islands (sadly, you won’t see them all). On arrival to Kingston, Canada’s previous short-lived capital, view the 19th-century limestone architecture, the collision of Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River and the Fort Henry National Historic Site.
On the last leg of the journey towards Toronto, ﬁnal stops like Peterborough, home to the world’s highest lift locks, will round out the trip.
Alaska wildlife encounter cruise tour
Alaska is a truly unique destination, and Canada & Alaska Specialist Holidays’ Wildlife Encounter Tour shows why.
The 11-night tour is split between a cruise and escorted land components, with peak season being summer. Departing from bustling Vancouver, the scenic cruise follows the Inside Passage coastal route weaving through the islands on the Paciﬁ c coast oﬀ North America.
The ﬁrst stop is Ketchikan, home to incredible wildlife and known for its Native American totem poles.
Continuing on to the famous cruise line port of call, Icy Strait Point oﬀ ers unparalleled adventure, wilderness and genuine hospitality, and is renowned for its exemplary responsible tourism practices.
Juneau, Alaska’s remote capital is the next stop with hiking trails, wildﬂ owers and charming views to ﬁ ll the day, before moving on to Skagway, a compact city that entertains visitors with its historic false-front shops and its local spruce tip ale.
The Hubbard Glacier, a sleeping giant, oﬀers awe-inspiring views in another shortstop. The cruise concludes in Seward the next day followed by boarding a deluxe motor coach to visit the Alaska SeaLife Center.
The Alyeska tramway provides breathtaking views before arriving at the Alyeska Resort, and the rest of the day is open to exploration. From Alyeska, the trip follows a scenic drive to the cosmopolitan city of Anchorage, before touching down for the night in the charming town of Talkeetna.
The Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is situated in full view of Denali, aﬀording breathtaking views of the tallest peak in North America, perfect for helicopter tours or a quiet wooded hike.
Journeying on to Denali, the pristine beauty of Alaska’s unspoiled wilderness is exposed. Here we recommend discovering the incredible taiga forests and gazing at miles of rolling tundra.
Anchorage is the ﬁnal stop, and guests are transported there via the Wilderness Express, enjoying views of the landscape from a glass-domed railcar. The youthful city of Anchorage is home to lively bars and eclectic dining, the perfect way to ﬁnish the tour.
Yukon winter at its finest
Yukon, situated in northwestern Canada, is an area of rugged mountains and high plateaus, where fourlegged species far outnumber humans.
Home to Canada’s ﬁve tallest mountains, the world’s largest ice ﬁelds and First Nations legends about the creation of the earth, this region possesses a grandeur only appreciated by being there. Canada & Alaska Specialist Holidays’ four-night Yukon winter experience suits clients who prefer not too much travelling, as all four-nights are spent at the Northern Lights Resort and Spa.
Upon arrival into Yukon’s capital, Whitehorse transfers will be arranged to the resort, comprised of newly built aurora glass chalets. During the stay, European gourmet breakfasts, lunches and three-course dinners are on the agenda.
Each night there is the chance to watch mesmerising ribbons of colour cross the sky, in a show well-known as the Northern Lights, which can be viewed from mid-August to mid-April.
This can be enjoyed while curling up in the cosy glass chalet, from the outdoor hot tub or the warmth of a crackling ﬁre. The next half-day is spent dog sledding, a classic northern mode of transportation, before visiting the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, an opportunity to get up close with the abundant local wildlife the following day.
Leisure time ﬁlls the ﬁnal day, with a chance to make use of the resort’s luxurious amenities, walk the self-guided trail or utilise the snowshoes to revel in the winter wonderland.
After check-out the next morning, transport back to Whitehorse airport is included. Between the dancing colours in the sky, the elusive, regal elks and the cosiness of the resort, travellers will be captivated by the beauty of the north.