Summary : Looking out onto the snowy tundra, spy them, white on white. Alternately regal and whimsical and always awe-inspiring, polar bears in the wild offer a natural encounter charged with drama and magic. In custom Polar Rover vehicles, approach at close range without disturbing them, offering a chance for an incredibly moving wildlife experience. From your heated confines—or standing on the outdoor platform—you may see mothers with cubs, young males play-fighting, or a huge, solitary male ambling over the tundra. There’s no better time than now to see the King of the Arctic.
ExpeditionTrips' Ashton Palmer has been on this adventure. Click to view his travel journal and photos!
Activities : Hiking
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 this evening.
Fly to Churchill this morning. This hospitable outpost town, originally a fur-trading post, is your base for adventure. On this 7-day trip, you can enjoy an evening presentation on polar bears and the northern environs by your professional staff of naturalists and scientists.
Uniquely designed 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. Watch them interact, delight in their antics and rugged beauty. From the warmth of your vehicle you may see mothers with cubs, young males play-fighting, or a lone bear ambling over the tundra in solitary majesty. 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.
Tour historic Churchill and then head out to the tundra for evening bear viewing and dinner aboard the vehicle. During your daytime exploration, you may visit local sled dogs en route to Cape Merry, where Arctic fox and Arctic hare are often seen. If the skies are clear, your nighttime tundra excursion might provide one of nature's most exhilarating experiences – a chance to view the Northern Lights away from the glare of town. Though they are never predictable, the auroral display often starts as a white glow in the northern sky, then begins to flicker and dance in shimmering curtains of color.
Your return flights are scheduled to depart in the mid-to-late afternoon, to offer as much time as possible to explore Churchill. Pick up last-minute native handicrafts and souvenirs or, if time permits, take an optional helicopter journey over the tundra or an authentic dog-sledding excursion. Enjoy a farewell lunch in Churchill before flying back to Winnipeg, where you enjoy a final reception before your adventure concludes.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
Departure dates and itinerary subject to change. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to confirm departure schedule before purchasing air tickets. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Note: Historically, there is a 60% chance of seeing the Northern Lights on the nighttime trip to the tundra. On some occasions they are more brilliant than others, but they are always quite a thrill!
R/T flight from Winnipeg to Churchill; accommodations; all 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; all taxes and service charges.
Travel to and from Winnipeg; alcoholic beverages; some gratuities, travel insurance; items of a personal nature (telephone calls, laundry, etc.).
Please contact ExpeditionTrips for rates and details on extending your trip.
Extra Day in Winnipeg (pre-trip):
Includes: Airport transfers; hotel accommodations; breakfast and lunch; guided tour of Winnipeg; guided tour of the Manitoba Museum; entrance fees.
Northern Helicopter Option:
View the Northís wildlife, scenery, and pre-Dorset tent rings and archaeological sites from a unique aerial perspective.
Dog Sledding Option:
Experience the thrill of gliding through the boreal wilderness behind a team of sled dogs!
PHOTOS: © Colin McNulty, NHA; © Patrick Endres, NHA; © Eric Rock, NHA