By far the largest Tourism region in Manitoba, the North is likely the least explored by most Manitoba pilots. The Manitoba Aviation Tour gives us a reason! Tour participants can do this any way they'd like - individually, in a small group, or in a large group. Right from the start many pilots said they'd like to be part of a group tour in the North. The Tour organizers decided early on that the Tour would provide the framework within which individuals could organize their own trips and events. Here's what's being planned.
The North Tour will have two parts, participants can chose one, the other, or both. Here's the proposed itinerary:
- July 3: Planes from the south muster in Dauphin (YDN) for trip to Flin Flon Airport (YFO).
- July 3: Pick up at Flin Flon Airport and transportation to Bakers Narrows Lodge.
- July 3 & 4: Bakers Narrows Lodge.
- July 5: Planes from south muster in Dauphin for trip to The Pas (YQD).
- July 5: Planes from Flin Flon either head home, to The Pas to meet the others, or to Gillam (YGX).
- July 5: Flight leaves The Pas for Thompson or Gillam.
- July 5: Overnight in Thompson or Gillam OR be on the train to Churchill.
- July 6: Flight to Churchill (YYQ).
- July 6 & 7: Lazy Bear Lodge
- July 8: Back to Gillam or Thompson and home.
Flight distances in nautical miles and times, based on 100 knot cruise speeds, direct, no wind are:
YDN to YFO: 223, 2:15
YDN to YQD: 177, 1:45
YFO to YQD: 47, 0:30
YFO to YGX: 258, 2:35
YQD to YGX: 262, 2:40
YGX to YYQ 145, 1:30
Bakers Narrows Lodge is a Tour Gold Sponsor, their web site provides lots of information! Their price list can be opened here, as you can see there are many options for different activities and interests. Some people may want to book a longer stay, either arriving before July 3 or staying after July 5. Booking will be an individual responsibility, the sooner it can be done the better. We could forward email requests for people to share a cabin or a fishing expedition to the Tour participants if that would be helpful.
Lazy Bear Lodge was recommended by Owen's Churchill connections as the premiere place to stay! Their web site indicates the recommendations are warranted. Here's what he's negotiated:
* 2 nights accommodation at the Lazy Bear Lodge, July 6 and 7
* 3 hour Beluga Whale tour of the Churchill River and Hudson Bay which includes a one hour Tour of the Prince of Wales Fort built by the British in the 1700's to secure fur trading interests)
* One gourmet dinner in the Lazy Bear Café (Vegetarian substitute available)
* 3 hour cultural and heritage tour of the Churchill area including historic Cape Merry and the Polar Bear Jail
* Hearty breakfast after each night stay
* Shuttle Service from/to airport or train station upon arrival/departure
* Luggage handling
* Transfers for Lazy Bear Lodge Tours
* Naturalist Tour Guide
* Cost is $350.00 per person based on double occupancy, single supplement is $75, plus applicable taxes
* A 10% discount will apply if more than 10 bookings are made.
As for the flying, flight in remote areas requires careful preparation and proper equipment. As always each of us is totally responsible for our own safety, well-being, and legality. Here's a COPA document that will be helpful in putting your survival gear together for flight in a sparsely settled area.
Fuel IS available in Churchill during the summer months; it will be costly.
An option for the Thompson/Gillam to Churchill leg is Via Rail on July 5, whether by choice or because of weather. The cost is very reasonable, the ride is from approx 1:00 pm (Thompson) or 8:00 pm (Gillam) to about 7:00 am (Churchill) going north. Leaving Churchill at 7:30 pm results in arriving in Gillam at 8:00 pm, about 1:00 pm in Thompson. The cost return from Thompson is $121.80 including taxes.
The Manitoba Aviation Tour provides a vehicle within which participants can see Manitoba in this 140th year of Manitoba as a Canadian province. Each participant is responsible for his/her own planning. Please email the following people who have been the leads on the North Tour - Owen Griffith, Bill Hilash, or the tour facilitator.