A Winter Adventure in Churchill, Canada—One of the Best Places to See the Aurora Borealis!
In the same land that hosts the brief, brilliant summer of beluga whales and the polar bears of autumn comes an amazing phenomenon that illumines the dark winter skies. The ethereal northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, meaning “north wind of the dawn,” brighten the night sky in a mystical display of color. Churchill, Manitoba has one of the heaviest concentrations of auroral activity on Earth, making it an ideal destination for a northern lights tour. View the lights from varied heated vantage points including our custom-built Aurora Pod®, offering 360-degree views of the night sky through its glass top and sides. On this exciting Arctic adventure, our days are filled with distinctly northern activities such as dog sledding, and our nights with the potential for the best aurora viewing on the planet.
Experience the northern lights in warmth and comfort from our innovative Aurora Pod® with glass ceiling and sides, and from inside heated circular aurora domes
Ride the Hudson Bay Railway from southern prairie to subarctic tundra, enjoying unobstructed views from the observation car—or choose a direct flight option
Discover local lifestyles and traditions of northern indigenous peoples on an array of winter activities in and around Churchill, including an authentic dog sled ride
The Best Way to Witness the Wonder of the Aurora!
If you’re planning a trip to experience the aurora borealis—the ethereal northern lights—it only makes sense to go where this phenomenon is most often on view. On our trip to Churchill, Manitoba, our mission is to see the lights, of course, but we also explore this historic town and tundra on the edge of Hudson Bay, with an expert guide to enlighten you about northern nature and culture. Check out the many features that put our northern lights tour heads above the rest:
The Best Place—and the Best Time—to See the Northern Lights Churchill is one of the best places on Earth to maximize your chance of seeing the northern lights at their most active and most vivid. That’s because Churchill is located directly beneath the Van Allen Belt, a layer of energy-charged particles that wraps the earth's polar regions. Originating in solar flares, these particles are carried by solar wind, becoming trapped in Earth’s magnetic field to create the phenomenon of the aurora. And we take you there in midwinter when nights are longest and skies are darkest, maximizing your chances of seeing it.
Watch the Lights from the Warmth of Our Aurora Pod®
Part of understanding the North is experiencing its weather and climate. And nothing is more characteristically northern than standing beneath a clear winter sky and watching the artistry of the aurora borealis as it lights up the night in a tableau of color. It can be frigid in Churchill in midwinter, however, so we've created ways to watch the light show in complete comfort. Foremost among them is our exclusive Aurora Pod®, custom-designed to feature 360-degree views of the sky via innovative geometric glass construction and cushioned seats. Glass half-walls and a glass roof provide an unimpeded view of the horizon and heavens overhead.
Two Different Private Settings for Aurora Observation
In addition to outdoor observation unimpeded by anything between us and the night sky, we offer two heated private vantage points on the aurora, located on the dark expanse of the tundra well away from the lights of town. Along with our Aurora Pod®, you'll also witness the lights in complete comfort from the warmth of a Plexiglass-topped Aurora Dome, with a circular view of the night sky.
Churchill is the “Accessible Arctic”
While Churchill is technically subarctic, lying below the Arctic Circle, its geographic location at the edge of the frozen expanse of Hudson Bay gives it a distinctly Arctic climate and feel. Yet unlike getting to the top of Norway or Russia or into the interior of the Yukon to see the northern lights, Churchill is easy to reach via direct flight or rail from Winnipeg, the capital and largest city in Manitoba.
Arrive by Train or Plane—It’s Your Choice
We offer a choice of travel modes to Churchill: On select departures, opt for a convenient flight,or choose the “romance of the rails” on the Tundra Train, where a new glass-domed observation car lets you stare directly skyward in search of aurora borealis at night, with panoramic views of the expansive landscape during the day. Reminiscent of travel in bygone days, the train offers a window onto three distinct worlds of nature as you journey north: the sprawling Canadian plains, the boreal forest, and, finally, the subarctic tundra. You migh even catch the aurora’s glow out the window of your private sleeper compartment. If you prefer the convenience of faster travel, choose the flight option. The inclusions once you reach Churchill are the same.
An Exclusive Slate of Northern Adventures
Seeing the northern lights may be the top draw, but we’ve added a host of activities to give you a comprehensive Arctic adventure. From a classic northern rail journey to an exhilarating dog sled excursion, from local museums to cultural encounters with First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples whose presence in the region extends back centuries, you’ll gain wide-ranging insight into the Canadian Northland and its storied history and traditions. Through our more than 25 years of expedition travel to Churchill, we've built relationships that reveal cultural experiences other travelers simply won't get without our exclusive access.
See the Northern Lights with a Stellar Guide
While it's possible to travel on your own to Churchill to view the lights, there is no way to have the quality experience you'll get with our outstanding guide by your side. Our professional Expedition Leader is an expert in Canada’s northern environs, offering in-depth interpretation of the region’s geology, biology, history, cultures, and, of course, the aurora borealis. We take pride in hiring the best naturalist guides in the industry—our NHA Expedition Leaders average 15 years’ guiding experience, and with additional training and resources provided by WWF’s top scientists, your trip is sure to be a learning adventure. See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our expert guides.
No Need to Buy Heavy Parka and Boots—We Provide Them!
Don’t worry about shelling out for a heavy parka, cumbersome Arctic-weather boots and insulated gloves you may only wear once—we supply this cold-weather gear to use during your time in Churchill.
Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Arctic Adventure
Natural Habitat Adventures offers you our exclusive guarantee that clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
Feel Good About the Way You Travel
We all care about the planet, and you can travel with us knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100-percent carbon-offset. Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company, a feature that is especially critical when considering that polar bears are under substantial threat from our planet’s warming temperatures.
Natural Habitat Adventures Is World Wildlife Fund’s Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world’s leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
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