The Aurora Borealis of Kuujjuaq


Fly north to Kuujjuaq to live an exciting adventure where the main focus will be the viewing of the aurora borealis every night, called aqsagniit by the Inuit. Northern lights can last from a few seconds up to 45 minutes. Depending on the solar activity cycle, the aurora borealis come in many forms. They can take the form of an arch which can be as long as 1000 kilometers, a strip, a curtain, a veil, a wreath, or a pillar with rays extending up to a hundred kilometers. Some aurora are also referred to as “mirror” due to their reflections in the bodies of water, or as “stain” because of their resemblance with a small light cloud. Kuujjuaq is known to be a great location to view this phenomenon.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Montreal - Kuujjuaq

    Montreal - Kuujjuaq Departure from Montréal P.E. Trudeau airport at 10 am for a 2h15 flight. to Kuujjuaq. Your Inuit adventure guide will greet you upon your arrival. He will accompany you throughout your stay. During your first afternoon, enjoy listening to the Elders and their fabulous stories when they were nomads and had to hunt for food. You will discover the incredible history and evolution of the region. At sunset, away from city lights, you will admire Aurora borealis under clear skies. Return to the village at coop hotel of the village where your will spend your next 3 nights. (D)

    - Accommodation : the Kuujjuaq Co-op hotel

  • Day 2 Kuujjuaq

    Kuujjuaq Leave the village towards Fort Chimo located on the left bank of the Koksoak River. Visit the archeological remains of this area and explore the first HBC trading post where the fur trade business in Nunavik first started around 1830. It was only between 1950 and 1958 that the population established the settlement where Kuujjuaq is presently located. Visit the wreckage of the WWII US Navy frigate Upshur. As you return by canoe or snowmobile to Kuujjuaq where you will overnight at the coop hotel, you may come across migrating birds, marine life, wolves, musk-oxen and even herds of caribou. Later at night, under a clear sky, marvel at the multiple shades of green of aurora borealis as it performs its unique dance. (B, L, D)

    - Accommodation : the Kuujjuaq Co-op hotel

  • Day 3 Kuujjuaq

    Kuujjuaq With your guide, visit the village and meet local people. In the afternoon, the women will proudly present you their throat singing performance called Katadjak where sounds of birds, wind and waves will overwhelm you. At night, by vehicle, your guide will drive you to see the aurora borealis one last time. (B, L, D)

    - Accommodation : the Kuujjuaq Co-op hotel

  • Day 4 Kuujjuaq - Montreal

    Enjoy the last day to buy souvenirs : wood sculptures, local clothes… In the afternoon, you will enjoy a two-hour session to learn a few words of Inuktitut. Transfer to the Kuujjuaq airport for your return flight 4h50pm to Montreal. Arrival at 7h15 pm. (B, L)

Note: no child rates are available

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Notes

The cost includes:


· Return airfare from Montreal to  Kuujjuaq
· Transfers between Kuujjuaq airport and hotel
· Transfers between activity sites
· Services of an inuit guide· "Extreme Cold" clothing: snow-suit, boots, helmet and gloves
· All the guided activities, performances and workshop on the program including aurora viewing
· 3 nights accommodation
· 9 meals (see abbreviations)
· Applicable taxes

The cost does not include:


· Air travel (except round trip flight from Montreal to  Kuujjuaq)
· Personal expenses
· Drinks (excluding coffee and tea with meals included)
· Tips for guide

Practical info

Food

All meals are not included in your stay. You can prepare picnics for lunch and go to the restaurant in the evening. Enjoy all the restaurants and snacks you will come across during your stay.

Transportation

We can offer you our services for transfers and provide you with a rental vehicle (contact us)

Budget & exchange

Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere. You can also change euros. 1 Euro = CAN $ 1.50 to 11/04/2019

Tips

In the United States and in Canada, service is never included in the prices. In bars, restaurants and all the places where service is provided, it is expected that you tip the waiter/waitress between 15% and 20% of the total sum. Note that a lot of employees working as waiters are paid by tips only. Not giving anything or not giving enough would be poorly received. Even when paying by credit card, you’ll indicate the sum you wish to give. 

Vital equipment

From head to toe

  • A pair of warm shoes or a pair of padded boots
  • Slippers or light sneakers for the chalet
  • Pair of wool socks
  • Anorak
  • Warm trousers
  • Warm sweaters or fleece furs
  • Underwear made of fine technical fibres
  • Swimsuit
  • Gloves, hat, scarf (depending on the season)

Material

  • Toilet bag
  • Pair of sunglasses
  • Sun protection cream (face and lip)
  • Pocket knife
  • Flashlight or front light with spare batteries
  • 1.5 litre minimum flask, light and isothermal.
You can also provide a 2-litre water bag. The latter has the advantage of allowing direct consumption thanks to its pipette. So you don't have to drop the backpack to grab the flask. This way you drink more regularly and in small quantities, which is recommended for a good hydration. Tip: having two containers allows you to consume one while the other is being processed.

Helpful equipment

  • Waterproof pocket for your passport and/or identity card
  • Your driver's license, your vaccination record
  • Your travel insurance brochure
  • Your currencies
  • Your credit card and personal papers
  • Plastic bags to guarantee the waterproofness of your belongings
  • Cameras and clothing Dirty laundry bag
  • Earplugs
  • Notepad and pen Book, card game....
  • Walking sticks (optional). They are a precious help to save your knees during the descent (up to 30% of your weight + that of your bag are supported by the poles) and support your effort during the ascent (the arms help in addition to the legs)
  • Pair of binoculars
  • Camera and battery charger
  • Adapter for electrical plug

Luggage

Plan:
A flexible travel bag with side zipper giving easier access to its contents than a sailor bag, it will contain the things you will not use during the day a small backpack (capacity about 40L) for your daily stuff such as sweaters, spare tee shirts, water bottles, glasses, lunch picnic etc. In case of delay in your checked baggage (toothbrush, t-shirt, walking shoes, etc.), please bring something to the cabin to "survive" the first few days.

Passport

Consular formalities for Europeans and Swiss nationals: 

Upon your registration, please transmit your passport information (name, first name, passport number, date of issues and expiration). Currently, to stay as a tourist for less than six months, a visa is not mandatory and a valid passport is sufficient with a validity exceeding by one day your stay in Canada.

Travelers must imperatively have an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. You will have to fill the form online and individually (one application per person) on http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/ave.aspIt is essential that you have a valid email address. The 7 CAD fees are payable by Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit cards. The eTA is granted in just a few minutes but we advise you to apply for it as soon as your trip is confirmed. The eTA is an electronic document linked to your passport and stays valid for 5 years or until the expiration of the passport, depending on the first of these eventualities to occur. You must then travel with the passport used to apply for it. 

CAREFUL: for French women, the eTA must be filled with your maiden name. Hence, to facilitate the check-in at the airport, we ask travelers in Canada to indicate their maiden name for the booking of their tickets.

You travel with children:Children and adults are submitted to the same obligations regarding passports and visa described above. Registration of minors on parents’ passports is now impossible; children must hold an individual passport. It is compulsory to apply for an eTA for each child individually. 

CAREFUL, from January 15th 2017 onwards, for all French minors traveling abroad alone, an authorization to leave the country is compulsory. The child will have to submit the three following documents:- The minor’s valid passport- A photocopy of the signatory’s identity card, valid or expired for less than 5 years and the birth certificate- The form, signed by one of the legal guardians, available online on https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F1359 

Concerning other nationalities, seek the Canadian consular authority of your country.

ARRIVAL IN CANADA VIA A TRANSIT THROUGH 

THE UNITED STATES : CAREFUL, we can exceptionally use American airlines for travels bound for the American continent (North and South). They stop over in the US: you must possess an electronic or biometric passport which is still valid 6 months after your departure from the US (under ‘’passport’’, a rectangle under a circle meaning a secure symbol). You must also apply for an electronic travel authorization (ESTA) on the official website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

Valid for a duration of two years or until the expiration of the passport, this authorization must be requested at the latest 72h before your departure: we advise you to apply to it as soon as your trip is confirmed. It has to be paid for (14 USD online by credit card). The name you put on the form must be the same as the one that figures on your plane tickets and must of course appears on your passport. If the name used on the ESTA form is different from the one on your tickets, the airline can deny your boarding. Minors must also fill out an ESTA authorization. The Visa Waiver Program allows French nationals to enter the American territory without a visa, either via transit or for a stay of 90 days to the maximum. A visa is nevertheless necessary if you only have an emergency passport. Furthermore, travelers who went to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen or Soudan since March 11th 2011 and people who are national of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Soudan cannot benefit from the Visa Waiver program anymore: more information on http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays/etats-unis/ARRIVAL 

IN THE US OR TRANSIT THROUGHT THE US : Upon your arrival, the immigration service will take your photo and fingerprints. You’ll have to wait behind the yellow line and not cross it unless you’re told to, it can take some time. Customs controls will take place at the first access point to the territory (in case of a transit through a Canadian airport, it will be considered as a first access point to the US and the following process must be applied). Once you’ve been through the immigration service, you’ll get your luggage back from the conveyer belt and go to the customs. In case of a continuation of your trip, you’ll have to get your luggage back and bring them the baggage conveyer which serves.

Health information & recommendations

Pharmacy :
It is suggested that participants bring their own medication:
  •  Aspirin
  • Intestinal antiseptic
  • Small scissors
  • Tricosteril
  • Sun protection cream for face and lips
  • Mosquito repellent cream or lotion

Also think of your feet : elastoplast, eosin etc.

Recommendations : No vaccination required.

Hygiene : Tap water is safe to drink.

Weather

In Quebec, in summer, weather conditions are very changing and unpredictable and have a considerable influence on the level of the circuits. On average, in winter, the temperature is -10 degrees and -19 degrees at night. A trip indicated as easy will therefore require more effort if the appropriate weather conditions are not met. You must be ready to face the snow, the wind and even the blazing sun... Some activity may change due to conditions and lack of snow.Spirit of the trip: This trip is participatory: your help will be requested to load and unload the equipment necessary for the smooth running of the trip as well as for its cleaning; on itinerant tours, you must regularly set up and dismantle the camp. All this will not take much time on your entire journey, your guide knows the circuit well, but your involvement helps to create a climate of mutual support and establish links between you and your guide, for a friendly and peaceful atmosphere. 

For more information: https://www.meteomedia.com/ca

Electricity

As everywhere in the US, voltage runs at 110 Volts/60 cycles. New electric devices can be adapted o the current. It’s preferable to check whether or not your device is equipped with a current transformer. In general, it is a black box located between the electric plug and your device. If your device isn’t compatible with the 110-volt current, you’ll need to get a current transformer sold separately. As electrical plugs are flat, you’ll also need an adaptor to plug your device in. you’ll find it easily on the spot or before departure in a shop specialized in travels. A waterproof Zip Lock bag is a good way to keep your equipment in a dry place.

Sustainable tourism

Since the outset, Altai works for an eco-tourism and an organization of trips that respects equitable and sustainable principles. 

The harmonization of practices assures: 

  • A fair economical repartition
  • The improvement of local teams’ working conditions and their awareness of the protection of the environment
  • The information of travelers about respecting the local population and environment and the collection of their feelings at their return. 

You can also act in favor of an eco-tourism by adopting simple green gestures during your trips:

  • Avoid letting waste out, throw it in the trash can or bring it with youUse potable water sparingly (take a shower instead of a bath and report any leaks) and avoid wasting it (use biodegradable soap to wash yourself)
  • Avoid damaging cultural sites: don’t touch the statues, don’t move the stones and objects
  • Exchange instead of giving (too Important gifts can destabilize the local economic stability of the country depending on their living standards)
  • When taking a walk, especially in some fragile ecosystems, observe the fauna from afar, do not go beyond beaten roads, limit stamping and do not bring any souvenirs: give up picking rare flowers picking fossils...
  • In some hotels, you can have  individual air conditioning. It is advised to systematically switching it off when you’re out of the room to avoid energetical overconsumption and greenhouse gas emission.
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Erick

My local agent
Erick

  • Travel passionate
  • Canadian Red Cross Instructor
  • River Rescue Trainer
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Region
North Canada
Activity
Nature - Adventure Short trips and extensions Summer Winter
Duration
4 days
Code
HIVER-13
Price
From C$5,484
Level
1/5
Comfort
4/5

Strengths

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