Nunavut is a vast and largely unconnected territory. One of the most common question I get from my friends when I tell them I’m going north (besides Why?) is “How do you even get there? Can you fly? Are there roads?” So today I’m going to do a little myth busting and explain exactly how to get to Nunavut. Read on my friends.
How to get to Nunavut
Can you drive to Nunavut?
No, you cannot drive to Nunavut. None of the communities are connect to southern Canada by road. Additionally, the 25 communities in Nunavut are not connected to one another by road either. In other words, if you’re thinking Nunavut is the destination for your next great road trip, you will be disappointed.
What airlines fly to Nunavut?
Until late 2019, there were two airlines servicing the Nunavut from the provinces down south. The two airlines merged in November and now Canadian North is the airline to take. Here is the route map:
Many travellers to Nunavut go to Baffin Island. If you aren’t familiar with Nunavut geography, Baffin Island is the large island located on the northeast side of the map below. It is home to Iqaluit, Pangnirtung, Pond Inlet and a handful of other communities. To reach Baffin Island from the south, you would fly from either Ottawa or Montreal.
If you are going to a community in southern Nunavut (the communities on the mainland of Canada, like Baker Lake or Arviat), you would likely fly from Winnipeg.
Alternatively, if you were traveling to one of the communities on the northern part of the mainland (Kugaaruk) or an island north of the mainland (Cambridge Bay) you would fly from Yellowknife.
How do you book a flight to Nunavut?
Booking a flight to Nunavut is fairly straightforward. You can book flights on Canadian North’s website. Alternatively, you can book using Aeroplan points by contacting Aeroplan booking centre by phone.
Flights to Nunavut aren’t cheap, however there is a strategy to significantly reduce your cost for airfare which I’ve written about extensively in How To Visit Nunavut on the Cheap.
How long is the flight to Nunavut?
Honestly, not as long of you’re expecting. But then again, it depends where in Nunavut you are going.
- Ottawa to Iqaluit: 3 hours and 10 minutes
- Montreal to Iqaluit: 4 hours and 30 minutes (with a stop in Kuujjuaq)
- Winnipeg to Rankin Inlet: 2 hours and 30 minutes
From Iqaluit or Rankin Inlet, the flights to smaller communities are never more than a couple hours. But it’s possible you will need to make multiple stops. For instance, flying from Ottawa to Gris Fiord will require you to go: Ottawa --> Iqaluit --> Arctic Bay --> Resolute Bay --> Gris Fiord. Oh my goodness.
And getting to Nunavut is as simple as that!
And check out this cool video I took while flying out of Iqaluit, Nunavut
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Flying home from Iqaluit, I realized something. In the entire time I’d lived in Nunavut that summer back in 2015, I’d never seen Iqaluit from the above. I’d always flown in either a blizzard or a wall of fog. This gave me a better appreciation for just how spread out the town really is. • I’ll miss you Nunavut. Until next time. • #canadafromabove #arcticcanada #destinationnunavut #iqaluit #outdoortones #getoutside #explorecanada #imagesofcanada
Here are some additional resources I think you’ll find helpful if you’re planning a trip to Nunavut.