Historic sites tours to start June 1

Public tours at the SS Klondike and Dredge No. 4 will be up and running as of June 1, according to Parks Canada. Parks announced the final plans for tours at both historic sites yesterday.

Public tours at the SS Klondike and Dredge No. 4 will be up and running as of June 1, according to Parks Canada.

Parks announced the final plans for tours at both historic sites yesterday. Four companies will be running tours at the SS Klondike, while three will handle tours at Dredge No. 4 .

“I’m really quite pleased with the end result because we’ve got licensees for each of the locations that are going to be offering more regular tours, and licensees that are going to be offering more niche-market tours, so it’s a really nice mix at both locations,” said Anne Morin, Parks Canada’s Yukon superintendent.

Some of the tour operators will run regularly scheduled tours, while others will include tours in their larger, pre-packaged tour trips.

“The niche tours could be part of larger tours of the whole Yukon or tours of the gold fields, so they have more specific niches that they’re looking to fill,” Morin said.

The companies will be free to charge whatever prices they think the market can handle. They will have to go through a mandatory orientation session and be ready to start running tours on June 1. Parks Canada will continue to pay for operations and maintenance, as well as ensure there are no scheduling snafus with the various competing operators.

On top of all the guided tour options, the public can still visit the sites on their own for self-guided tours. At Dredge No. 4, visitors won’t be allowed to go inside without a guide because of safety concerns, but at the S.S. Klondike people can go on board and use a brochure or a downloadable smartphone app to guide them through the historic ship.

Nature Tours of Yukon is one of the licensees that will be running tours at both the SS Klondike and the Dredge No. 4. General manager Joost van der Tuppen said that while the company is still finalizing their summer plans, he is confident they can meet the June 1 deadline.

“We are working on a package right now,” van der Tuppen said.

“One thing for sure is that we’ll have the tours incorporated in some of our van tours and city tours. I’m glad we can have those incorporated into our tours, especially doing it ourselves. For a few years, we have always been relying on Parks Canada.”

Van der Tuppen said that he and his staff have given tours at the SS Klondike before, in cooperation with Parks Canada, and they have enough historical knowledge to handle running tours on a permanent basis.

At this point, van der Tuppen is unsure exactly how many tours his company will be offering at each location, but those decisions will be finalized in the coming weeks.

“We are for sure offering them as integrated parts of our own packages. Now we’re going to sit together with our operations manager and staff and see how often we could offer the trips. We’re probably looking at not a daily trip, but at least a few times every week.

“Our season already starts at the end of May, so we’re going to see how that works out in the end. The next few weeks are dedicated to making our planning for the summer,” van der Tuppen said.

Last spring, Parks Canada announced it was cancelling guided tours at both sites in an attempt to save money after the federal government cut its budget. Many businesses in Whitehorse rely on the tourism that the historic sites bring in, and there was a strong demand that the tours be reinstated. In December, the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon put a call out for companies interested in taking over the tours privately.

In March, MP Ryan Leef announced that private operators would be allowed to take over the tours themselves.

Contact Jesse Winter at

jessew@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Tagish dog rescue owner says she’s euthanized 10 dogs

Shelley Cuthbert said she put down 10 dogs after surrendering them to the animal health unit Feb. 15

Capstone prepares to sell Yukon’s Minto mine

‘We’re not buying this thing to close it down’

Broken hydrant floods Quartz Road

Leak might not be repaired until Feb. 19

Yukon’s alcohol label study back on but without a cancer warning

The Yukon government halted the program last year after concerns from industry

The North’s way of life is no match for social media’s prudish algorithms

Northerners now find their cultures under a new kind of puritan scrutiny

Most Canadians believe journalism plays critical role in democracy: poll

Survey suggests 94 per cent of Canadians feel journalism plays ‘important’ part

Team Yukon has strong showing at Whistler Super Youth and Timber Tour

‘Anwyn absolutely destroyed the competition’

Yukon skier turns in personal best at Junior World Championships

‘It was another great international racing experience’

Yukon child care deal to fund grandparents, courses for caregivers

‘How this is completely going to look, we’re still working on’

Full house for annual Native Bonspiel in Haines Junction

The 36th annual Yukon Native Bonspiel from Feb. 2 to 4 saw… Continue reading

Everything you need to know about wind chill

An Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist breaks down the winter value

The Fortymile was a dangerous river

Many miners died trying to traverse dangerous currents

Does the colour of your vehicle say something about your personality?

Red is flashy, black is sophisticated, blue is for wallflowers. Or so the thinking goes

Most Read