Day 1: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Arrive in Winnipeg, a former fur-trading post and boomtown for the Canadian Pacific Railway, which today is the provincial capital of Manitoba on the eastern edge of the prairie. A transfer is included to the historic Fort Garry Hotel, a prestigious Winnipeg landmark that dates to the opening of the Canadian West. Meet your Expedition Leader and fellow travelers at an orientation dinner this evening.
Day 2: Winnipeg / Churchill
Fly to Churchill this morning. This hospitable outpost town, originally a fur-trading post, is our base for adventure. This evening we enjoy a lecture on Arctic photography and the northern environs by our Expedition Leader, who is both an accomplished photographer and seasoned naturalist.
Days 3-5: Polar Bear Photography
We rise early to board our custom-designed Polar Rovers, which allow us to get within prime photography range of the polar bears. Although each vehicle accommodates up to 35 passengers, we take a maximum of 16, ensuring that everyone has a window seat, space for camera gear and plenty of room to shoot. For three full days, we spend our daylight hours on the tundra, photographing polar bears as they roam the edge of Hudson Bay waiting for the ice to freeze. From the warmth of our Rover, we may see mothers with cubs and young adult males play-fighting. A large adult male may turn his attention toward us, sometimes approaching within feet or even lifting his massive paws onto the side of our vehicle to peer inside.
Out on the white expanse of the tundra we may also spot other northern wildlife, including Arctic fox, snowy owl, ptarmigan and gyrfalcon. Meanwhile, in addition to sharing photography advice, our Expedition Leader provides a captivating interpretation of the animal behavior and natural phenomena we are observing. Each evening, as dusk descends upon the wild northern landscape, we meet for dinner, followed by presentations on photography, wildlife or local native cultures. If the night skies are clear and we’re fortunate enough to see the dancing colors of the aurora borealis, we’ll head for a place away from the lights of town to capture this magical event on camera.
Day 6: Churchill / Winnipeg
Our return flight is scheduled to depart in the mid- to late afternoon to offer as much time as possible to explore Churchill today. Those who wish may opt to visit nearby Cape Merry, a promising spot for photographing fox, hare, and Arctic birdlife. Or, stay in town for some last-minute shopping to pick up native handcrafts and souvenirs. Other optional adventures available this morning include a dog-sled excursion and helicopter flight over the tundra. We enjoy a farewell lunch in Churchill and an evening reception together in Winnipeg.
Day 7: Winnipeg / Depart
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
Physical Rating: Easy