Summary : To stand beneath the northern lights as they swirl across the night sky is a dream most nature travelers yearn to realize. The allure of capturing that phenomenon in pictures holds special appeal for photographers. This photography-focused northern lights & arctic cultures adventure is designed to help you get outstanding images of this stunning natural event. Churchill has one of the most active auroral displays in the world, making it an ideal destination for northern lights photography. Your Expedition Leader is both a naturalist and expert photographer, helping you achieve the shots you aspire to. Photograph the night sky in total comfort from the new Aurora Pod® with glass top and sides, and from your heated Aurora Domes, then step outside to capture more wondrous images of the dancing lights!
Activities : Culture, Hiking, Photography
$999,999,999 to $0
Arrive in Winnipeg and transfer to the distinguished Fort Garry Hotel. Built in 1913 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in the style of a French chateau, it remains the grande dame of Winnipeg hospitality. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your Expedition Leader and fellow travelers.
This morning, board your flight to Churchill. On arrival, transfer to your hotel and take a brief tour of this historic settlement that was once a remote fur-trading post on Hudson Bay. As night falls, head out in hopes of a first chance to see the spectacle of the aurora borealis. The display often begins as a pale glow low in the northern sky that slowly begins to shift and undulate. Wavy patterns evolve, colors appear and change, until the lights look like shimmering curtains of green, or sometimes yellow or red. For centuries, the phenomenon of the northern lights was a mystery, inspiring a host of mythical explanations. While it is now known the aurora is caused by the interaction of the solar wind with the earth’s magnetic field, more poetic stories of their origin linger, including the Hudson Bay Inuit’s belief that the lights are the magical display of their ancestors’ souls dancing in the sky.
On these dark, frigid nights in the Canadian North, you are in optimal photography locations away from the lights of town where views of the aurora are best. Yet you won't have to stand outside in the cold while you wait for the lights to show up: each evening will include a vantage point on the night sky where you'll be able to witness the phenomenon in warmth and comfort. The new custom-designed Aurora Pod® features 360-degree views of the sky, courtesy of its exclusive geometric glass construction including clear half-walls. You'll also keep watch from Plexiglass Aurora Domes. Relax on the sofas below, step up to the upper level for an unimpeded circular view, or head outside for a totally clear vista of the shimmering skies. Enjoy the chance to practice your photography skills at every turn, guided and inspired by presentations and workshops as well as personalized tips from your Expedition Leader.
While nights are devoted to capturing images of the aurora, daylight excursions focus on the austere beauty of your tundra environs. Hope to photograph hardy northern wildlife, such as Arctic hare and Arctic fox, both artfully camouflaged by their white fur coats. The town of Churchill is also full of photo opportunities, with historic buildings and colorful locals. The Hudson’s Bay Company established a fort here in 1717 as part of its fur-trading network across the Canadian North, but indigenous cultures had already been flourishing in the harsh climate for thousands of years. Explore their heritage on a dog sled ride through the boreal forest, during a visit to the Eskimo Museum, and via cultural programs featuring the arts and traditions of the Inuit and Dene peoples.
The morning is free to wander Churchill’s main street, where several locally owned shops sell authentic First Nations handicrafts, from traditional mukluks to sculptures made of caribou hair. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Winnipeg. This evening, gather one last time for a farewell dinner at the Fort Garry Hotel.
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.
Train Schedule: Train timetables are unconfirmed until shortly before each departure. Changes to train schedules may affect the itinerary on Days 2-4.
Getting There & Getting Home: Arrive in Winnipeg on Day 1 in time for the 7:00 pm Welcome / Orientation Dinner. You are free to depart at any time on the final day.
Full Moon: (2/22/2016)
Trips run when there is a full moon, a new moon and at all times in between. During a full moon the foreground is brighter, making for interesting photographic images. During a new moon, the sky is darker so the lights may appear slightly brighter. The lights viewed near Churchill tend to be bright; the phase of the moon makes little impact on the quality of viewing.
R/T transportation between Winnipeg and Churchill (train and plane); accommodations; all meals; services of Expedition Leaders and assistants; most gratuities; airport transfers; permits and entrance fees; all taxes.
Travel to and from start and end point of trip; meals aboard the train; alcoholic beverages; some gratuities; optional activities; items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, etc.); optional travel insurance.
PHOTOS: © Eric Rock (NHA); © Court Whelan (NHA)