A snowmobiling holiday tour with Artic Adventure are usually seven days, six nights with four-days of snowmobiling guaranteed in the regions of Lanaudière and Laurentides of Quebec, Canada. It begins and ends at the Montreal International Airport in which transportation is provided. Per each week-long tour four physical fit people using manual wheelchairs may be accommodated along with up to possibly eight other able body people. Two vans are used but are not specially adapted for wheelchair as there are no ramps or tie-downs. Travelers will need to get out of his or her wheelchair and sit on a regular seat. The driver is physical able and experienced transferring people if needed.
Every tour is custom designed but generally breakfast is at 8am followed by snowmobiling from 9/9:30am to 12pm then from 1pm to 5pm with lunch in between. Dinner is usually around 7 or 8pm. The adaptive snowmobile Polaris 550 cc’s has a top speed of 115 km / h. During the hikes, the average speed is around 30/40 km depending on who’s driving. While cruising through the pine and maple trees of Canada, you will see a variety of wildlife and beautiful scenery like Lake Archambault and another one called Lac Des Iles. All these natural attractions are located around 50 km to 60 km from the chalet.
Every snowmobile is adapted to fit the physical needs of each individual and every modification has been previously tested to ensure safety. For instance, if someone is a paraplegic, a tailor-made chair with hand-controls has been designed to keep that person’s hips and back as straight as possible as well as his or her legs safe and secure. The chair has a foam-lined seat to mold to someone’s specific shape. A snug fit is necessary to control the snowmobile. One’s wheelchair is in a sled with the snowmobile guide, which will allow freedom to enjoy restaurants of other activities along the way. A guide can carry up to four wheelchairs and all are protected with foam sheets and a waterproof tarpaulin.
To drive a snowmobile you need to be over twenty-one-years-old and have a driving license. If you don’t have this or don’t want to drive all seven days but just try it, Arctic Adventures has its own private lake for such an occasion. Some children, possibly as young as six-years-old, can also participate in trying this activity as there is a snowmobile with an external override control system, so an instructor can safely monitor the child. Furthermore, a child who uses a wheelchair can be a passenger starting at eight-years-old and even elderly parents in good physical condition can ride on a snowmobile as a passenger.
- Ice fishing and Dog Sledding
Martin-le-pêcheur Fishing Center has been adapted for people who use wheelchairs including ramps and accessible bathrooms. Here one can participate in ice fishing right on the snow in one’s wheelchair and go on a dog-sled ride for like 40 minutes. The sled is naturally elongated and accessible for someone with no or limited leg usage. One is not able to drive the dogs but the experience is still amazing.
- Adapted Skiing for people with physical disabilities is also a popular activity that is possible. Mont Trembland Park has adapted ski equipment for four people.
- Saint-Sauveur is a charming little village that illuminates at night with views of ski slopes. The Arctic Adventure Tour will assist in snow tubing here, which is a lot of fun. Arctic Adventures has a private lake in which a tub is connected to a snow mobile. Or people have the option of poking around the scenic village for shopping and a little culture. If someone would like assistance pushing or accessing various stores or restaurants a guide can be provided for each wheelchair user.
- Montreal: Usually the last day is a free day to spend in Montreal but you may want to plan to spend a little more time here because it is such a vibrant and accessible cosmopolitan city. In 2010, the City of Montreal won “À part entière” awarded by the Office for Disability in Quebec, for all its achievements and its openness to “do things differently,” to experiment, to innovate and combine the efforts of elected officials, staff and associations toward a common goal: to make Montreal universally accessible.
Wheelchair accessible accommodation is provided by Les Chalets du Lac Grenier. Two of the seven waterfront cottages can be accessed with a wheelchair. In each of these accessible cottages there have Wi-Fi, three bed rooms, a kitchen and living space as well both a bathtub and an adapted shower. The kitchen has not be specially adapted. The shower is not technically a roll-in shower but it can work for many. The lip into the shower is the most challenging; otherwise, there is a flip-down bench, grab-bars and hand-held shower nozzle. Grab-bars are near the toilet and the sink is a roll-up sink in this bathroom. In the bathroom with the shower there are no grab-bars or hand-held shower nozzle. Furthermore, there is a community spa available for guests but is not specially adapted.
About Arctic Adventure
In 2010, a local entrepreneur and avid snowmobiler invented a new concept for people with physical disabilities—adapted snowmobiles. Each snowmobile is tweaked to cater for different disabilities, ranging from paraplegia to hemiplegias to amputation. For instance, if paralyzed, modifications would include a special chair with a back and attachments for the legs and feet. The goal, according to the company, is to allow everyone to get the opportunity to drive a snowmobile and enjoy a thrilling adventure in the snow.
The prices are from 1140€ VAT including the accommodation and transportation to and from the airport as well as breakfast and dinner meals. Any snacks and lunch is the responsibility of the traveler. Gasoline for the snowmobile is also not included in the price, so customers pay for what they use.
Because the accessible snowmobiles had a direct impact on accessible tourism, Arctic Adventures received the 2013 bronze medal in the Grand Prix du Tourisme Québécois in the categories of adventure tourism and ecotourism. It recognizes the professionalism of Arctic Adventure and also our motivation to propose tailor made holidays to everyone.
Three professional guides compose Arctic Adventure. One will be present at every journey in order to address any security concerns and assist passengers whenever needed. He will be your driver, guide, mechanic and cook. Arctic Adventure is a small, friendly business designed to ensure safety and a pleasant atmosphere with the objective is to create a memorable experience!