Summary : Enjoy one of the most extraordinary polar bear experiences available. Stay at the Tundra Lodge, situated outside Churchill on the vast expanse of the subarctic tundra itself. From your own private cabin window or the open-air observation platforms, you have constant proximity to polar bears in the area around the clock. As evening falls, remain in the domain of the polar bear to experience sunset across the snow and ice. Safe inside your custom lodge, enjoy surprising comfort, considering the environs. This custom “train” of connected bedrooms, dining room and lounge car is built on wheels, allowing it to be stationed for optimal bear viewing each season. There’s no more thorough immersion in the polar bear's Arctic realm than on this most unique of northern adventures!
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$8,695 to $8,895
Arrive 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 and transfer to the Tundra Lodge by Polar Rover, watching for Arctic wildlife against the vast white landscape along the way. A presentation on polar bears by your Expedition Leader provides an enlightening introduction toy our unique northern adventure. Enjoy dinner with your fellow traverlers prepared by your professional chef, who resides at the lodge throughout the season. Don’t be surprised, though, if your meal is interrupted by a mad dash to the windows to watch a polar bear lumbering across the snow around the lodge.
The Tundra Lodge is strategically positioned at the beginning of each season in a spot that attracts the greatest number of polar bears in the Churchill area! Inquisitive bears often approach the lodge, which features rows of windows and fenced observation decks to accommodate your own curiosity. Find Ursus maritimus even more majestic up close than you could have imagined. Yet these giant bears, the largest land carnivores in the world, are charming and whimsical, too, and you are aware of what a rare treasure it is to see them in their wild habitat. Watch them interact, delighted by their antics and rugged beauty. You might spot mothers protecting and teaching their cubs, young males play-fighting, or massive adults patrolling the shore as they wait for the bay to freeze.
The unique location of the Tundra Lodge, combined with excursions in your special all-terrain tundra vehicles, Polar Rovers, affords lodge guests the best possible wildlife encounters in the region. The small spit of land where the lodge is located often attracts the greatest number of bears in the entire area. Your guide and group may opt to take a full-day excursion together, or split time between a half-day trip and viewing bears from the lodge. In addition to polar bears, you may see caribou, Arctic fox, Arctic hare, ptarmigan and snowy owls. At the end of each exhilarating day, retire to your cozy accommodations for dinner and presentations. In the light cast by your lodge across the frozen tundra, look for the illuminated eyes of animals. And if you are fortunate to have a clear night, the Northland’s spectacular natural light show may appear as darkness descends—Churchill has some of the world’s most concentrated aurora borealis activity.
This morning, board your Polar Rover, leaving the ice-bound coastline of Hudson Bay in the distance making your way back to Churchill. Depending on flight schedules, there may be time for some last-minute exploration of this subarctic frontier community, originally a Northwest Company fur-trading post, with a chance to pick up local handicrafts and souvenirs or take part in an optional helicopter tour over the tundra. Enjoy a farewell lunch in Churchill before flying back to Winnipeg for 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.
The Tundra Lodge:
The Tundra Lodge, located on the subarctic tundra outside the small Canadian frontier town of Churchill, Manitoba, is a unique, custom-built rolling hotel placed in an area of high polar bear density at the beginning of each polar bear season, which runs from October through November. The lodge has 32 rooms. Each room is a single compartment similar to sleeping quarters on a train, with either an upper or lower berth. With six shared toilets and four showers, as well as a lounge area for viewing bears and a dining car with sliding windows for viewing and photography, the Tundra Lodge offers an immersive and personalized Arctic wilderness experience without sacrificing comfort. Raised outdoor viewing platforms also facilitate excellent polar bear viewing and photography opportunities, as well as aurora watching when the northern lights are visible.
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 Extra Day in Winnipeg program or stay on your own. Your expedition 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; beer and wine at the Tundra Lodge; meals; services of professional expedition leaders and assistants; some gratuities; activities/entrance fees; evening wildlife and cultural presentations; taxes and service charges; and gear on loan (parka and waterproof boots). Subject to change without notice.
Travel to and from Winnipeg; distilled alcoholic beverages; some gratuities; travel insurance; items of a personal nature (telephone calls, laundry, etc.).
PHOTOS: © Eric Rock (NHA); © Glen Delman (NHA); ©Colin McNulty (NHA); © Mike Bruscia (NHA); © Megan Emmett (NHA)