Summary : Enjoy one of the most extraordinary polar bear experience available. Stay at the Tundra Lodge, situated outside Churchill directly on the vast expanse of the tundra near the edge of Hudson Bay. The lodge offers round-the-clock proximity to the bears, with views from the main lounge, open-air observation platforms, or individual private cabin windows. Half-day Polar Rover excursions take us farther afield in search of more polar bears and other northern wildlife. As evening falls, remain in the domain of the polar bear to experience the lingering sunset across the snow and ice. Safe inside the warm lodge, enjoy surprising comfort, considering the rugged environment. This custom “train” of connected lounge car, dining room and sleeping compartments is built on wheels, allowing it to be positioned for optimal bear viewing each season.
Activities : Birding, Culture
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 to your unique northern adventure. Dinner this evening is 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 over the muskeg or 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 raised 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 too. What a rare treasure it is to see them in their wild habitat! As you watch them interact, delight in their antics and rugged beauty. You may see mothers protecting and teaching their cubs, young males play-fighting, or massive adults patrolling the shore as they wait for the bay to freeze, which signals the start of their winter seal-hunting season.
The unique location of the Tundra Lodge, combined with excursions in special all-terrain tundra vehicles called 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 the 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 a Polar Rover, leaving the frosty coastline of Hudson Bay in the distance as you make your way back to Churchill. The return flight to Winnipeg is scheduled to depart in the mid- to late afternoon, to offer as much time as possible for exploring Churchill today. This rough-and-tumble town was once a historic Hudson's Bay Company fur trading post, and even today it retains much of its frontier character. If time permits, you may be able to pick up a few northern handicrafts and souvenirs or take an optional helicopter tour (extra fee) over the tundra before you depart. Have a farewell lunch together before flying back to Winnipeg, where you have 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.
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 alcoholic beverages; some gratuities. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; extensions; optional activities; optional helicopter flightseeing; some alcoholic beverages; some gratuities, travel insurance; items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, internet, etc.).
Photos ©: Mike Bruscia, Henry Holdsworth, Colin McNulty, Eric Rock, Nat Hab Adventures