Navigating Christmas is the new Hallmark Channel original movie that takes us on a scenic journey to coastal British Columbia, Canada with its filming locations.
Directed by Peter Benson from the scripts of Kelly Bowe and Carley Smale, the movie follows a recently divorced woman Melanie, who decides to take her young son, Jason to a remote island to show him the magic of Christmas.
The film has been produced by Charles Cooper under Island Light Road Productions and Front Street Pictures for Hallmark Media with Jonathan Brownlee, Cameron Larson, Rama Diallo, and Allen Dewis are executive producers.
Navigating Christmas was primarily filmed in the Victoria area of Vancouver Island near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Main filming locations included the picturesque Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites.
Production took place at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse NHS during August and September 2023, Chelsea Hobbs shared a bts pic on her Instagram during the shooting.
Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse NHS, Colwood, Canada
Fort Rodd Hill is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. This National Historic Site encompasses over 60 acres of coastal headlands and includes several historic sites.
Fisgard Lighthouse has been in operation since 1860, and is the oldest surviving lighthouse on the West Coast of Canada.
The iconic Fisgard Lighthouse and the surrounding fortification at Fort Rodd Hill played an important role in the defense of Esquimalt Harbour in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Today, you can visit the historic Fisgard Lighthouse as well as the fortified gun batteries and other buildings at Fort Rodd Hill.
The lighthouse’s interior, with its winding staircase and intricate machinery, offers a glimpse into the past, while its exterior provides a picturesque setting for romantic moments in the film.
Other Victoria Area Locations
In addition to Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse, other parts of southern Vancouver Island were used as filming locations for Navigating Christmas.
The Inner Harbour in downtown Victoria has been featured in several scenes. The charming provincial capital city stands in for the fictional St. Nicholas Island, where most of the story is set.
One should not confuse it with the San Nicolas Island, which is located in Southern California.
Outdoor winter scenes set in the fictional island of Türkiye were filmed in the heritage district of Fort Street in Victoria. The rows of Victorian-era buildings decked out in holiday decor help to establish the quaint Turkish charm.
Mission, British Columbia
The Rocko’s Diner, located at 32786 Lougheed Highway was used to film cafe scenes.
It’s been a popular filming location for many Hallmark movies like Percy Jackson, Killer Among Us, Horns, and Jackson and the Lightning Thief. The cast and crew travelled 167 kms northeast from the main site of filming to capture the classic diner.
From the preview video, Peter can be seen sitting inside the diner when Melanie is discussing something with the diner barista behind her back. Production team decorated the place with festive holiday trimmings to make the magical Christmas atmosphere.
During filming of Navigating Christmas, Rocko’s Diner was transformed into a winter wonderland. The exterior of the diner was decorated with twinkling lights and festive wreaths. The interior was filled with Christmas trees, ornaments, and presents.
Chelsea Hobbs as Melanie
Hobbs is a Canadian actress who is known for her roles in other Hallmark films “The Holiday Sitter” and “The Nine Lives of Christmas.” She’s portraying the role of a recently divorced woman who embarks on a trip to a remote island with her son, Jason, in search of a peaceful Christmas getaway.
Stephen Huszar as Peter
Stephen is starring as Peter, the owner of the lighthouse that Melanie and her son are staying at. His credits include in TV series Chesapeake Shores, and numerous holiday movies like A Royal Christmas Crush, Undercover Holiday, The Jane Mysteries: Inheritance Lost, Christmas in Rockwell, A Ruby Herring Mystery series, and Cooking Up Love.
Everett Andres as Jason
The 16-year old actor is portraying the role of Melanie’s son, Jason in the Hallmark movie. He previously starred in the Holiday sitter alongside Melanie and When Calls the Heart series from Hallmark channel.
Other cast members include:
- Bobby Stewart as Earl
- Tanja Dixon-Warren as Aunt Ruth
- Nahanni Mitchell as Sara
- Katherine Haysbert as Claire
- Lindsay Gibson as Mayor Katy Cameron
Melanie, a recently divorced mother decides to take his young son on a remote island after her ex-husband refuses to take him on a snowboarding trip, hoping to escape the bustling city and reconnect with the spirit of the holidays.
However, their idyllic escape takes an unexpected turn when they discover that their quaint cottage is actually a historic lighthouse, and they are now its temporary caretakers.
As Melanie and Jason settle into their newfound role as lighthouse keepers, they encounter the enigmatic lighthouse owner Peter, a man of few words but a heart of gold. Though he isn’t interested in Christmas celebration, he still decides to guide them.
Eventually, Peter starts taking interest in the festive season and also develops some feelings for Mealnie in the process but when everything seems perfect, Jason overhears their conversations and takes off. Peter and Melanie moves out to search with their new friends but, will they able to find him before Christmas?
Navigating Christmas premieres on Nov 17 at 8/7c only on Hallmark Channel. If you have missed the premiere, you can catch the telecast on the following dates:
- Nov 18 at 12/11c
- Nov 22 at 8/7c
- Nov 30 at 6/5c