Summary : Encounter the world's greatest concentration of polar bears as they gather along Hudson Bay waiting for the ice to freeze. On the outdoor platform of our Polar Rover, the chill Arctic air feels invigorating. But not as much as the sight of the huge polar bear that wanders up alongside. Safely elevated above him, you’re nonetheless just feet away as you peer down at his shaggy, cream-colored bulk. Noticing you, he stops, sniffs, and turns his face your way, curious. Awed, you draw in your breath, respecting the silence. The big bear ambles, then halts again. He rises on his haunches to peer at you more deliberately. You watch. You wonder. Minutes go by, perhaps an hour, who knows. On the tundra, among the bears, time stands still.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
Just-Released Offer Save $1,000 per person (select dates)
$250 Gear Credit (all 2017 dates)
$6,195 to $6,395
Your Churchill polar bear tour begins in Winnipeg, once a fur-trading post and boomtown for the Canadian Pacific Railway, today Manitoba’s cultural and commercial capital at the eastern edge of Canada’s vast prairies. Transfer to the historic Fort Garry Hotel, grande dame of Winnipeg hospitality and one of the city’s most prestigious landmarks. Meet your Expedition Leader at an orientation dinner at 7 p.m. this evening.
Fly to Churchill this morning. This hospitable outpost town, originally a fur-trading post, is your base for adventure. Head to the tundra this evening for your first glimpse of the bears, though you often see them from the bus leaving the airport, even before boarding the polar rover.
Unique tundra vehicles are your mobile means for spending time among the polar bears. Although they accommodate an average of 35 passengers, there will be a maximum of 16, ensuring everyone a window seat. Your Expedition Leaders know the best places to view bears, which are waiting for the ice to solidify on Hudson Bay so they may begin the winter seal-hunting season. Spend hours watching them interact, delighted by their antics and rugged beauty. From the warmth of your vehicle, you may see mothers with cubs and young adult males play-fighting. Your knowledgeable Expedition Leader offers interpretation along the way, explaining the bears' behavior and how they thrive in such a harsh environment. In the evenings, meet for dinner, followed by presentations on wildlife or local cultures.
Your return flights are scheduled to depart in the mid-late afternoon, to offer as much time as possible to explore Churchill. Pick up last-minute native handcrafts and souvenirs or, if time permits, take an optional helicopter journey over the tundra before your flight back to Winnipeg.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
Departure dates and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to confirm departure schedule before purchasing air tickets. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Getting There & Getting Home: In case of flight or weather delays, it is recommended that you arrive a day early and either participate in the Winnipeg extension program or stay on your own. Your small group tour begins with a 7 pm welcome dinner on Day 1. You are free to depart at any time on the final day.
Northern Wilderness Sled Dog Excursion: From $110 per person
An introductory sled dog excursion may be available on your polar bear expeditions, weather permitting. This overview outing is designed to introduce visitors to the tradition of sled dogs in the northland and includes a short but exhilarating, mile-long ride through the boreal wilderness. The focus of this excursion is to visit and learn about the dogs and the dog sledding tradition from an expert musher.
Northern Helicopter Tundra Adventure: From $560 per person
This 60-minute exclusive helicopter flight over the tundra is the most exciting way to view the North’s fascinating wildlife. Track migrating caribou, arctic fox and the mighty polar bear from a unique aerial perspective as you fly over the northern environs. This vast expanse of open tundra and frozen lakes also contains ancient pre-Dorset tent rings and other intriguing archaeological sites.
Winnipeg Extension: From $265 per person; Single Supplement: $55
For polar bear travelers who want to see as much as possible during their time in Manitoba, this optional one-day program in Winnipeg takes place prior to each polar bear tour. The program includes hotel accommodations at Hotel Fort Garry, breakfast and lunch, a tour of the city highlighting historical and cultural points of interest, and a guided visit to the acclaimed Manitoba Museum, winner of numerous awards for excellence in visitor experience and service.
Round-trip flights between Winnipeg and Churchill; accommodations; meals; complimentary boots and parkas for use during trip; services of professional expedition leaders and assistants; some gratuities; all activities/entrance fees; evening wildlife and cultural presentations; taxes and service charges. Subject to change without notice.
Travel to and from Winnipeg; extensions; optional activities; alcoholic beverages; some gratuities, travel insurance; items of a personal nature (telephone calls, laundry, etc.).
PHOTOS: © Colin McNulty; © Patrick Endres; NHA; © Eric Rock; © NHA