The charismatic comedian and actor Billy Connolly is back in his guise as a tour guide as he travels through the legendary Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
The first part of Billy’s epic ten-week journey sees him arriving in Nova Scotia then heading north to Newfoundland. His journey by boat, motorbike, aeroplane and car takes him to the towns where European immigrants first settled, the graveyard where victims of the Titanic disaster are buried and to meet the man who earns a living making scarecrows. He also meets the hospitable townspeople who took in airline passengers stranded by the 9/11 tragedy and goes in search of whales and icebergs. Billy begins his journey at sea aboard the historic Bluenose II schooner, the symbol of which appears on all Nova Scotian number plates, before arriving at Halifax – the town to which almost two million Europeans migrated to start a new life on the edge of the world. Cruise ships now regularly dock at the town and are greeted by pipers and the town crier.
In the second part of his journey Billy moves into bleaker and tougher terrain as he heads north to Baffin Island. He meets the Inuit communities that live there to find out what it’s like to live on the edge of the world. He samples their food, gets a seal-skin suit made and learns about the local trades and hobbies. He takes in jaw-dropping scenery as he flies by helicopter into a national park in the Arctic Circle and he goes on a stomach-churning seal hunt with an Inuit family. His first stop is Iqaluit, an old whaling town which is one of a handful of towns on Baffin Island only accessible by boat and air as none have roads leading to them. There he meets Nicole Pauze a local taxi driver who shows him The Road to Nowhere and teaches him how to give a traditional ‘Eskimo Kiss’.
On the third leg of his adventure, Billy goes onboard a cruise ship to make the eight day journey through the Northwest Passage and he meets the people who live in this remote, isolated part of the world which spends nine months of the year surrounded by frozen sea. He learns about the explorers whose footsteps he is following in and visits the sites where they lived and died. He then moves south and hitches a lift with an ice-trucker before panning for gold at the site of a great gold rush. Billy starts the third part of the series in Resolute Bay – a weather station that is so cold that snow is on the ground at the height of summer. Here he boards the Akademik Ioffe, a Russian cruise ship with 100 tourists to begin the voyage at the heart of his journey – through the Northwest Passage.
As Billy nears the end of his 10,000 mile journey he heads even further south towards Vancouver Island through the isolated White Pass Mountains which are below freezing for most of the year. He learns how literally to stake a claim on a piece of the Yukon, goes hunting for a moose, sees a bear in the wild, takes part in a Native American sweat lodge ceremony, hangs out with some real cowboys and fulfils an ambition to fall a tree. Billy starts the final leg of his journey meeting mineral prospector, Shawn Ryder, who studies geological data to predict where lucrative mineral deposits might be. He then stakes a claim on these pieces of land for mining. Shawn shows Billy how to do this by making a post from a tree before signing and dating it and putting it in the ground. This can be sold to the highest bidder if minerals are subsequently found.
Over 50 minutes of unseen video diaries and behind the scenes footage of Billy’s journey.