Summary : When you come face to face with a polar bear, something powerful happens in that gaze as you make a connection with one of the world’s most charismatic—and most threatened—wild creatures. And while it’s nearly impossible to put that ineffable feeling into words, well-crafted photos can capture it. That's the goal on this small-group nature adventure. No one offers you more time and proximity with the King of the Arctic, coupled with an intensive focus of helping you get outstanding images. You'll spend three full days on the tundra aboard custom-designed Polar Rovers, with plenty of space for your equipment and room to maneuver for terrific shots. Coaching from an expert photographer-guide is complemented by evening lectures on how to capture Arctic wildlife through the camera's lens—most notably polar bears, but also Arctic fox, Arctic hare, snowy owls and more.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Photography
Arrive in Winnipeg, a former fur-trading post and boomtown for the Canadian Pacific Railway, which today is the provincial capital of Manitoba on the eastern edge of the prairie. A transfer is included to the historic Fort Garry Hotel, a prestigious Winnipeg landmark that dates to the opening of the Canadian West. Meet your expedition leader and fellow travelers at an orientation dinner this evening.
Fly to Churchill this morning. This hospitable outpost town, originally a Hudson's Bay Company fur-trading post, is your base for adventure. This evening enjoy a lecture on Arctic photography and the northern environs by your Expedition Leader, who is both an accomplished photographer and seasoned naturalist.
Rise early to board your custom-designed Polar Rover, which allow you to get within prime photography range of the polar bears on the open tundra. Although each vehicle accommodates up to 35 passengers, we take a maximum of 17, ensuring that everyone has a window seat, space for camera gear and plenty of room to shoot. For three full days, spend your daylight hours on the tundra, photographing polar bears as they roam the edge of Hudson Bay waiting for the ice to freeze and the winter seal-hunting season to begin. From the warmth of our Rover, you may see mothers with cubs and young adult males play-fighting. A large adult male may turn his attention toward you, sometimes approaching within feet or even lifting his massive paws onto the side of the vehicle to peer inside.
Out on the white expanse of the tundra you may spot other northern wildlife, too, including Arctic fox, Arctic hare, snowy owl, ptarmigan and gyrfalcon. Meanwhile, in addition to sharing photography advice, your Expedition Leader provides a captivating interpretation of the animal behavior and natural phenomena you are observing. By late afternoon, if the weather is relatively clear, enjoy stunning sunsets that linger a long time at this latitude, offering magnificent photo opportunities. As dusk descends upon the wild northern landscape, return to town for dinner and presentations on photography, wildlife or local native cultures. And if you're fortunate enough to see the dancing colors of the aurora borealis on a cloudless night, head for a place away from the lights of town to capture this magical event on camera.
Return flights are scheduled to depart in the mid-to-late afternoon to offer as much time as possible to explore Churchill today. A highlight this morning is an authentic dog sled excursion. Just outside town, meet a local musher and his team, spending time with the frisky dogs before being pulled behind them on an exhilarating ride through the boreal forest. And, if time permits, those who wish may opt to visit nearby Cape Merry, a promising spot for photographing Arctic fox, hare and birdlife. Or, stay in town for some last-minute shopping to pick up local handicrafts and souvenirs. Another optional adventure is a helicopter flight (fee involved) over the tundra, which may offer aerial views of polar bears. Enjoy a farewell lunch in Churchill before you depart, and an evening reception together in 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.
Round-trip flights between Winnipeg and Churchill; accommodations as per itinerary; meals; boots and parkas on loan for use during trip; services of professional expedition leaders and assistants; some gratuities; 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; optional helicopter flightseeing; 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; © Henry Holdsworth