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 : Birding, Culture, Hiking
Book 2017 early and save! Reserve now at the lowest preview rate, before 2017 rates are finalized.
$6,695 to $6,895
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 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.
Helicopter Excursion: 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.
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.
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, NHA; © Patrick Endres, NHA; © Eric Rock, NHA