Summary : When you're standing on the outdoor platform of the Polar Rover, the chill Arctic air feels invigorating, but not as much as the sight of the huge polar bear. Sometimes they are silhouetted against the horizon, slowly moving shadows on the vast expanse of tundra. On other occasions, one may wander right up alongside us. Safely elevated above the bear, you’re nonetheless just feet away as you peer down at its shaggy, cream-colored bulk. Noticing, it may stop, sniff and turn its face your way, curious. Surrounded by the silence of the tundra, the big bear ambles, then halts again. It may rise on its haunches to peer at you more deliberately. Minutes go by, perhaps an hour, who knows? Out here among the bears, time stands still.
Activities : Birding, Culture
Your Churchill polar bear tour begins in Winnipeg. Once a center of fur trade and a Canadian Pacific Railway boomtown, today Manitoba's capital is a cultural and commercial center 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 a welcome dinner this evening.
Fly by chartered plane to Churchill this morning. This hospitable frontier town, originally a Hudson's Bay Company fur trading post, is your base for adventure. Head to the tundra this evening for your first glimpse of the bears, though you often see them from the bus as you leave the airport, even before boarding your Polar Rover.
Custom-built Polar Rovers are your mobile means for spending time among the bears. Though they can accommodate up to 35 passengers, you will be among approximately 16 passengers, ensuring plenty of space. Your Expedition Leaders know the best places to observe polar bears, which congregate each fall in the region as they wait for Hudson Bay to freeze, signaling the start of the winter seal-hunting season. As you watch them interact, appreciate their natural behavior and rugged beauty. From the warmth of your big vehicle, you may see mothers with cubs, young males play-fighting, or a lone bear ambling over the tundra in solitary majesty. Your Expedition Leader interprets all you observe, explaining the bears’ behavior and how they thrive in such a harsh environment. In the evenings, meet for dinner and presentations on wildlife and local cultures.
Enjoy free time in Churchill or an opportunity for an optional helicopter excursion over the vast expanse of frozen tundra. Your sled dog excursion takes place today before boarding the flight back to Winnipeg in the afternoon.
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.
Optional Winnipeg Extensions:
Learn about the Northland's natural history, Inuit culture, Canada's fur trade and more as you explore historic Winnipeg and its world-class Manitoba Museum. 1 Day from $275 per person. Subject to change without notice.
Airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 6; accommodations as per itinerary; dog sledding excursion; gear on loan (parka and boots); meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 6; some gratuities. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; extensions; optional activities; optional helicopter flightseeing; alcoholic beverages; some gratuities, travel insurance; items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, internet, etc.).
Photos ©: Patrick Endres, Henry Holdsworth, Colin McNulty, Eric Rock