Great Ice Bear

  • 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • October to November

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 snowshoes 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.

  • Round trip scheduled flights from London to Winnipeg
  • Return flights from Winnipeg to Churchill and Diamond Lake Lodge
  • Accommodation and meals as stated

From £9295 per person based on two adults sharing a standard room. Other prices and departure dates are available on request.

Day 1

Arrive Winnipeg

Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Winnipeg. Upon arrival, you will make your own way to The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel. Your first night is yours to settle in and explore Winnipeg at your own leisure. 


Day 2

Winnipeg

Your second day in Winnipeg is free for you to explore some of the many sights this beautiful city has to offer as your welcome dinner is later on in the evening at 7:00 pm, where you will meet your group and your adventure specialist. You will need your rest for your early morning departure to Churchill.

We recommend a visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a stunning seven-floor exhibit brimmed with history from around the world or the Journey to Churchill exhibit home to polar bears, muskoxen, Arctic fox and other northern species. It is the most comprehensive northern species exhibit of its kind in the world and will give you a taste of what’s to come in the coming days


Day 3

Churchill & Diamond Lake Lodge

Arrive in Churchill by air, where expert staff will meet you at the airport and provide you with instructions for your morning transfers. You will then be transferred by fixed-wing aircraft to the Dymond Lake Eco lodge. This exciting flight takes you out over the historic Churchill River and northwest up the rugged Hudson Bay coast to Canada’s most exclusive polar bear viewing properties. Keep a sharp eye en-route for possible sightings of caribou, moose, seals, wolves and of course the “Great Ice Bears”.

Upon your arrival, your hosts will provide a tour of the Lodge and get you settled into your room. A thorough orientation on travelling in polar bear country will be provided prior to any outings. This day includes a guided hike on the rugged and starkly beautiful coastline, an interpretive slide show featuring the wildlife of Hudson Bay, and hopefully a clear night for viewing the Aurora Borealis. Dymond Lake Eco lodge features an Aurora viewing tower for northern lights observation. All this will be topped off with a lunch and dinner, where your hosts and guides will regale you with tales of life and adventures in Canada’s Arctic.


Day 4, 5

Diamond Lake Lodge

In the coming days, your breakfast will be served at 8:00am and the first walking tour will generally depart at 9:30am. Should there be a polar bear in camp, the walking tour may be delayed for picture taking, but no one ever seems to mind!

Once you’ve fuelled up with one of Churchill Wild’s legendary full course breakfasts, you’ll be eager to bundle up and head out into the snow. The walks are comfortably paced, as they are geared towards plenty of viewing and photo opportunities. These walks are guided by the professional and knowledgeable tour leaders and you may do a lot of learning along the way! Obviously they cannot allow the bears to approach too closely, but your guides are experts in keeping bears at a safe distance without sacrificing exciting viewing.

Polar bears are also known to saunter by the Lodge, so you can often view them from the warmth and comfort of one of the lounges through the massive picture windows. This opportunity is all too welcome when a squall blows in! They have a variety of other activities to take part in as well, should the weather prevent us from exploring the outdoors, though such is rarely the case.

Lunches are served at the Lodge. You are generally back at the Lodge by 4:00pm for hot or cold drinks and appetizers. Your full course delectable dinners are served at 7:00pm after which the fireplace is almost always central. Your guide team will give informative lectures and beautiful slide presentations as well as initiate a discussion about the activities for the following day. Bedtime is at your leisure. The entire Lodge area is patrolled for polar bears all night by one of the night watchmen so be prepared to have your sleep cut short by a nocturnal visit from one of the Great Ice Bears. Or by a dazzling displays of northern lights!


Day 6

Churchill

Following a hearty breakfast, it’s time to pack for the flight back to Churchill, say your goodbyes and snap a few more photos. After another exciting aerial tour, you’ll arrive in Churchill, where your bags will be stored until you can check into your hotel later in the day. You are then free to explore and wine and dine in this frontier community at your leisure. They recommend local places such as Cape Merry, the Port of Churchill, the Itsanitaq Museum and the Parks Canada exhibit. Dog sledging and helicopter charters fit nicely into this afternoon if you’re so inclined.


Day 7

Winnipeg

Today you will travel across the tundra in a “tundra vehicle” for more polar bear viewing. Transportation by bus to and from the station is provided at 8:00am and 5:00pm respectively so remember to grab some breakfast beforehand. Lunch “with the bears” will be prepared and served to you on the tour. Your flight south to Winnipeg is scheduled for this evening and thus they wish you safe travels back to reality. Upon arrival, collect your bags, head out of the arrivals doors and look to your right. The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel by Lake-view is only a two-minute walk away.


Day 8

Journey Home

This morning, there may be time for some last-minute shopping or sightseeing before you make your own way back to Winnipeg International Airport check-in for your flight back to the UK.


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