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  • Churchill

    Located on the edge of the Arctic, Churchill is polar bear capital. There are no roads into Churchill, so your primary transporation is via air or rail.

    • Polar Bear

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    • Churchill Shoreline

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    • Arctic Hare

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    • Beluga Whales

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    • Husky Dog

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    • Hudson Bay

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    • Arctic Fox

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    The ideal time of year to observe the polar bears is October and November when the bears move from their summer habitat on the tundra back to seal hunting territory on Hudson Bay. Autumn and winter are also a great to time to visit the region to go dog sledding and see the northern lights at their best. In late winter/spring you can see the female polar bears and their cubs emerge from their dens in Wapusk National Park. Swim and kayak with belugas during the summer months in the Hudson Bay and Churchill River. Summer is also a fabulous time to go bird watching, summer dog sledding, and still do some polar bear viewing out on the tundra or along coastal rocks.

    A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A POLAR BEAR GUIDE
    by Andy MacPherson, Head Wilderness Guide, Churchill Wild

    Last week we had a blustery day-long 6-wheel excursion down to the mouth of the Seal River, stopping and scouting for wildlife along the way. The first signs of activity arrived in the form of beautiful fresh polar bear tracks, which we found crossing our path in the thick mud. This gave us a great chance to have some fun and cast a few tracks as souvenirs to take home.

    We crossed countless tracks along the 10 km trail including fresh caribou and wolf, a cow moose and calves, and one set of grizzly bear tracks! The animals were moving and we needed to find out where!

    We spotted a rare juvenile snowy owl perched in the tidal rocks, which is not a common sight in July, as most snowy owls are up in the Arctic islands nesting at this time of year. We arrived at our lunch spot and broke out the tasty soup and sandwiches Arneau and Riley had packed for our lunch, and dined in the wild while constantly scanning for visitors.

    We stopped near Jack Batstone’s cabin at the Seal River, resting for a bit on the rocks and watching for polar bears hunting belugas. There was evidence of polar bears everywhere, beluga bones, tracks, and a few new claw marks on Jack’s cabin! On our way back to the lodge (guide) Bella spotted a Mom and an older cub laying on a tidal island just out of our reach. We wanted to get off the machines and walk out for a closer view, but a large shallow tidal lake was between us and them.

    We reluctantly left and watched the sic sics grazing beside our last creek crossing, but luck was on our side and the two bears we had spotted followed their noses and almost beat us back to the lodge for appetizers!

    We enjoyed the company of the two bears as they posed just outside the breezeway of the lodge, Mom perched on a rock while her youngster napped below her. It was an amazing way to end the day, watching polar bears with a plate of appetizers and a glass of wine, and little did we know we were headed for a polar bear extravaganza!

    We had bears visiting daily over the next week, from healthy single females to huge, old and scarred males in their prime to single mothers who were soon going to be empty nesters, as their cubs readied to leave Mom’s protection. We even had a couple of young ones already experiencing life on their own for the first time, tentatively exploring their newfound freedom.

    The circle of life continues at Seal River.

  • Manitoba: Polar Bear Adventure

    Begins and ends in Winnipeg, Manitoba

    7 Days / 6 Nights

    Departures: October and November

    Add this Escorted Tour to planner

    Your escorted tour includes

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodation for 6 nights as specified
    • 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 5 dinners
    • Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
    • Services of a Tauck Tour Director
    • Classic tour
    • Polar Bears

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    • Northern Lights, Manitoba

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    Day
    01

    Arrive Winnipeg

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Upon arrival, transfer to Inn at the Forks. Enjoy the evening at your leisure and relax before the start of your adventure. 

    Hotel: Inn at the Forks (no meals)

    Day
    02

    Winnipeg

    Discover why Manitoba’s capital city is often called the "Gateway to the West" during an afternoon sightseeing tour. The evening welcome cocktail reception and dinner is held at the Manitoba Museum, which houses artifacts donated by the famous Hudson’s Bay Company; one of the oldest commercial enterprises in the world. The highlight of the museum is Nonsuch; a replica of the 17th-century ship responsible for the founding of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670.

    Hotel: Inn at the Forks (Dinner included)

    Day
    03

    Churchill's Cultural Heritage

    An early private charter flight takes you to Churchill - 'Polar Bear Capital of the World'. This area is only accessible by boat, plane or train and has a population of only 950! Upon arrival take a guided tour which includes the village of Churchill. Located on the shores of Hudson Bay at the mouth of the Churchill River, Churchill is situated at the juncture of two eco-regions – the boreal forest to the south and the Arctic tundra to the north. This remote location allows a thriving Arctic wildlife population, including waterfowl, beluga whales, seals and polar bears. Your accommodation for the next three nights is at the Lazy Bear Lodge, the largest log building in Manitoba. It is built in a style reminiscent of the fur trade era, handcrafted from fire-killed logs. Dinner tonight is at the lodge. 

    Hotel: Lazy Bear Lodge (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    04

    The Polar Bears

    This morning, visit the Eskimo Museum to view one of Canada's oldest, and most comprehensive collections of Inuit artifacts and sculpture. Indigenous peoples have lived here for centuries, and the museum displays one of Canada's finest collections of Inuit art and artifacts. Next you climb aboard a specially designed tundra vehicle for a full-day excursion into the heart of bear country in search of the magnificent Polar Bears. Each autumn, small groups of polar bears migrate from frigid inland locations to Churchill, the staging area for their winter food-hunting season, so this viewing is in their natural habitat. From the safety of your vehicle, you'll have unrestricted views of the bears as they go about their daily business. Your expert naturalist guide shares insights into the conservation efforts in place to protect these beautiful animals from environmental factors which threaten their survival. After dinner at the lodge this evening, a well-known arctic photographer gives a special presentation featuring his acclaimed work.

    Hotel: Lazy Bear Lodge (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    05

    Arctic Wonderland

    Today you have a second chance to explore the subarctic plains with a naturalist pointing out the local wildlife. White snowy owls with a wing span of up to five-feet perch on high, falcons cruise over bushes, white arctic foxes trot across the flats, all looking for unsuspecting prey. Warm up by the roaring fire back at the lodge this evening.

    Hotel: Lazy Bear Lodge (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    06

    Dog Sledding

    Your Manitoba experience continues with a closer look at the sport of dog sledding, a popular local pursuit in the Manitoba wilderness. You'll see a demonstration by dog trainers before climbing aboard a sled yourself for a ride with your canine drivers. After lunch, a private charter flight takes you back to Winnipeg for a final overnight stay and farewell dinner.

    Hotel: Inn at the Forks (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    07

    Journey Home

    There may be time for some last minute solvenier shopping or sightseeing before you transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

    Prices

    From £5175 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

  • Birds, Bears and Belugas

    Winnipeg

    Add this Experience/Explore to planner
    • Polar bears of Churchill

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    • Churchill Belugas

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    • Polar bear within the flora and fauna

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    • Enjoy a variety of guided tours

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    The magnificent polar bear is one of the world’s most magical creatures. Growing up to eight foot from nose to tail and weighing up to 1,300lbs, they hold a colossal presence in nature. Adapting to life in a cold climate, their black skin is hidden beneath a thick layer of water-repellent, translucent fur, keeping them insulated from the extreme temperatures, and their unique paws function as snow shoes with claws which have evolved to aid in climbing steep icy banks. Solitary by nature, Polar Bears wander the ice alone, with the exception during the breeding season.

    Churchill, Manitoba is renowned as the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’. Nestled on the Western shore of Hudson Bay 650 miles north of Winnipeg, every autumn bears gather along the waters edge anxiously waiting for the sea ice to form. This ice field will be home to the bears for the winter, providing a relatively safe environment that is rich in food.

    Observing the polar bear is a once in a lifetime experience, and must be conducted under professional supervision to protect the welfare of the bears and their natural environment.

    Duration: 8 days/7 nights

    Departs and ends in Winnipeg

    Day 1 -
    Arrive in Winnipeg where you will enjoy a relaxing stay at The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel by Lake-view. At 7:00pm a dinner will be held at the hotel, where you will meet your group and your adventure specialist. You will need your rest for your early morning departure to Churchill.

    Includes: Dinner

    Day 2 -
    You’ll arrive in Churchill by air and one of the expert staff will meet you at the airport to provide you with instructions regarding your morning transfers. Your adventure begins with a breathtaking aerial view of the winding Hudson Bay coast en route to your home for the next six days – Seal River Heritage Lodge. Be prepared to see huge pods of whales, countless birds, as well as caribou and of course, the magnificent polar bears. The Seal River Estuary is a summer favourite for these goliaths and they are regularly seen swimming or basking near the water’s edge. Upon your arrival at Seal River Lodge, your hosts will provide a tour of the Lodge and get you settled into your room. A thorough orientation on travel in polar bear country will be provided prior to any outings.

    After a full-course lunch Churchill Wild-style, you will experience the Hudson Bay coast for the first time. The combination of diversity and sheer natural elegance will amaze you. Make sure your camera battery is charged. If you’re like previous Churchill Wild guests, you’ll be eager to document each and every moment in this extraordinary and rare ecosystem.

    Your first day at the Lodge will be rounded out by the first of many full-course meals followed by a cosy fireplace for the evening wind down. Relax, recharge and get a good rest because you have five amazing days to go!

    Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    Days 3 to 6 -
    In the coming days, your breakfasts will be served at 8am and the tour of the day will typically depart the Lodge at 9:30am. Depending on both weather and group interest, you will enjoy the following activities:

    Marine Tours – Tides and weather permitting, you will do at least two expeditions by boat to view beluga whales, seals, seabirds, and polar bears. Marine tours are conducted in large, nine-man inflatable boats, fully equipped with two way radios, safety gear, flotation jackets for each passenger, and a hydrophone so that that you can listen to the whale songs. Each expedition is a half day in order to coordinate with the high tides. Refreshments and snacks will be served aboard. Expect to see hundreds of whales per outing! Beluga whales are very curious and social and will investigate your presence with a bold courage expressed by few other creatures. Getting up-close and personal with these awesome creatures has been life-changing for many Churchill Wild guests.

    Trekking/Walking Tours – These are a daily part of the program and they range from short jaunts to photograph a playful fox, to day trips with a packed lunch. There is no better way to experience the sheer vastness of the Arctic’s flora and fauna. Nesting bird life, fox dens, wild flowers, and sik siks are just a few of the sights you may take in. When polar bears are sighted, your guide will advise you about the best way to maintain a safe viewing distance.

    Coast by Tundra Tracker – See the Hudson Bay coast on the custom made Tundra Tracker. A day trip in one of these vehicles allows us to cover a lot of shoreline while searching out wildlife. Lunch is a picnic en route. They provide ample time for exploration and photography of the trail.

    Snorkelling with Whales and Exploration by Zodiac – Take to the bay for the ultimate plunge and join the beluga whales in their watery world. Dry suits will be provided to offset the chill of the Hudson Bay.

    Wildlife Photography – Your guides have many years of experience in the field both as photographers themselves and through working with professional photographers. They can assist you in many aspects of wildlife photography, including both the composition and the execution of that memorable shot of a lifetime.

    Aurora Watching – Yes, you can enjoy the greatest light show on earth during the summer, especially in the latter part of the season. The northern skies are a perfect ballroom for the aurora borealis, but remember, the northern lights are best photographed with a tripod. If you have one, bring it along.

    Bird Watching – 150 species of birds visit this area and the expert guides can help you locate and identify a wide variety of these – chances are you will add several “lifers” to your book.

    Photo Presentations and Lectures – From lectures on “Travelling in Bear Country” to “Wildlife of the Arctic,” their own northern adventurers will regale you with photos and stories. These conversations provide you with the opportunity to learn about the Arctic wildlife, the landscape, and its people.

    Rest and Relaxation – Should you decide that curling up by the fireplace with a good book or enjoying a hot drink and sharing stories with your fellow adventurers is what you need, feel free to do that too!

    Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    Day 7 -
    After another hearty Lodge breakfast, they will begin air transfers back to Churchill. Have your cameras ready for the return flight, as it affords excellent opportunities for great aerial shots. Today is your last day in the Churchill region.

    Upon your return to Churchill, the representative will store your luggage. The balance of the day is then free for browsing the shops and exhibits of Churchill. Local places such as Cape Merry, the Port of Churchill, the Itsanitaq Museum, the Polar Bear Holding Compound (otherwise known as the Polar Bear Jail), as well as the Parks Canada exhibit, are all of great interest. Please refer to your “Top Things to Do and See” list they provided.

    Your flight south to Winnipeg will take place this evening and they hope to see you back at one of the Eco-Lodges for some more polar bear viewing very soon! Upon arrival, collect your bags, head out of the arrivals doors and look to your right. THE GRAND Winnipeg Airport Hotel by Lakeview is only a two minute walk away.

    Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    Day 8 –
    After a restful sleep you will pack your bags in preparation for your flight home.

    Departs Winnipeg, from July to August

    Prices

    From £6900 per person based on 2 adults sharing a standard room. Includes flights from Winnipeg, 7 nights accommodation and meals shown.

    This tour is often taken as a component of a longer itinerary; therefore international flights are not included.

    Hudson Bay Odyssey

    Winnipeg

    Add this Experience/Explore to planner
    • Polar Bears of Churchill

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    • Churchill Tundra Buggy

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    The magnificent polar bear is one of the world’s most magical creatures. Growing up to eight foot from nose to tail and weighing up to 1,300lbs, they hold a colossal presence in nature. Adapting to life in a cold climate, their black skin is hidden beneath a thick layer of water-repellent, translucent fur, keeping them insulated from the extreme temperatures, and their unique paws function as snow shoes with claws which have evolved to aid in climbing steep icy banks. Solitary by nature, Polar Bears wander the ice alone, with the exception during the breeding season.

    Churchill, Manitoba is renowned as the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’. Nestled on the Western shore of Hudson Bay 650 miles north of Winnipeg, every autumn bears gather along the waters edge anxiously waiting for the sea ice to form. This ice field will be home to the bears for the winter, providing a relatively safe environment that is rich in food.

    Observing the polar bear is a once in a lifetime experience, and must be conducted under professional supervision to protect the welfare of the bears and their natural environment.

    Duration: 7 days/6 nights

    Begins and ends in Winnipeg

    Day 1 -
    Arrive in Winnipeg, where you will enjoy a relaxing stay at The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel by Lake-view. A dinner will be held at the hotel, where you will meet your group and your adventure specialist. You will need your rest for your early morning departure to Churchill.

    Includes: Dinner


    Day 2-
    You will depart Winnipeg for Churchill early in the morning on Calm Air International. Upon arrival in Churchill you will transfer to a private charter for your one hour flight to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. You may have some excellent opportunities for aerial photography during the flight so make sure you have your camera ready.

    Upon arrival at the Lodge, your hosts will provide a tour and show to your room to get settled. Lunch is served shortly after your arrival, and you will then be given an orientation regarding your stay in polar bear country.

    Your first day includes an afternoon of exploring the coastline in search of the “Great Ice Bear”. Appetizers and cocktails are served at 6pm and dinner is served at 7pm. During the evening there will be an informative lecture or slide show presentation narrated by one of Churchill Wild’s knowledgeable guides or staff. If it is a clear night you may also have a chance to view one of the spectacular aurora borealis displays common at this latitude.

    Includes: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

    Days 3, 4, 5 -
    Breakfast will generally be served at 8:00am and your outings will begin at about 9:30am. If there are bears near the Lodge your tour may be delayed to take advantage of the photo and observation opportunities. The option is also always available for anyone to stay behind to take photos of the wildlife around the Lodge and relax. Daily outings may include the following, depending on weather and ground conditions;

    #1 The average day includes morning and afternoon excursions with lunch served either at the Lodge or out on the trail.

    #2 An ATV coastal tour to the tidal flats and Hudson Bay shoreline. Lunch served around a campfire.

    #3 A full day tour of the coastline of Hudson Bay to photograph polar bears and other abundant wildlife in their unique environment. Lunch and a tea boil are served around a campfire. After lunch you will explore the river deltas and coastal eskers.

    #4 Staying close to the Lodge to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves as the day unfolds, to photograph the King of the Arctic and other wildlife. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the Arctic environment. Lunch is served at the Lodge on this day.

    Appetizers and cocktails are served at 6:00pm and dinner is served at 7:00pm. During the evening there will be an informative lecture, slide show presentation, or informal visiting. Churchill Wild staff will monitor Aurora Borealis after dark if conditions are optimal and will provide a gentle wake-up call to ensure you don’t miss any opportunities to witness and photograph this spectacular Arctic phenomenon.

    Day 6 -
    After another hearty Lodge breakfast, they will begin air transfers back to Churchill. Have your cameras ready for the return flight as it affords excellent opportunities for great aerial shots. Today is your last day in Churchill.

    Upon your return to Churchill, the representative will store your luggage. The balance of the day is then free for browsing the shops and exhibits of Churchill. Local places such as Cape Merry, the Port of Churchill, the Itsanitaq Museum, the Polar Bear Holding Compound (otherwise known as the Polar Bear Jail), as well as the Parks Canada exhibit are all of great interest. Please refer to your “Top Things to Do and See” list they provided.

    Your flight south to Winnipeg will take place this evening and hope to see you back at one of the Eco lodges for more polar bear viewing very soon! Upon your arrival into Winnipeg, collect your bags and settle in at THE GRAND Airport Hotel for a restful night filled with cherished memories.

    Includes: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

    Day 7 -
    Today you will fly home on your own travel arrangements, marking the end of your adventure with Churchill Wild and the beginning of a lifetime of savoring the experiences of the Arctic.

    Departures Winnipeg, from August to September

    Prices

    From £6319 per person based on two adults sharing a standard room. Includes flights from Winnipeg, 6 nights accommodation and meals shown.

    This tour is often taken as a component of a longer itinerary; therefore international flights are not included.