Day 1: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Our Churchill polar bear tour begins 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.
Day 2: Winnipeg / Churchill
Fly to Churchill this morning. This hospitable outpost town, originally a fur-trading post, is our base for adventure. On the 6-day trip we head to the tundra this evening for our first glimpse of the bears, though we often see them from the bus as we leave the airport, even before we board our Polar Rover. Our 7-day trip opens with an evening presentation on polar bears and the northern environs by our professional staff of naturalists and scientists.
Days 3 & 4: Polar Bear Viewing
Uniquely designed Polar Rovers are our mobile means for spending time among the bears. Though they are built to accommodate up to 35 passengers, we take a maximum of just 16, ensuring everyone a window seat. Our Expedition Leaders know the best places to see polar bears, which congregate in the region each fall as they wait for Hudson Bay to freeze, signaling the start of the winter seal-hunting season. As we watch them interact, we're delighted by their antics and rugged beauty. From the warmth of our vehicle we may see mothers with cubs, young males play-fighting, or a lone bear ambling over the tundra in solitary majesty. Our knowledgeable Expedition Leader offers interpretation along the way, explaining the bears’ behavior and how they thrive in such a harsh environment. In the evenings we'll meet for dinner followed by presentations on wildlife or local cultures.
Day 5: Explore Around Churchill / Evening on the Tundra
On the 7-day trip we tour historic Churchill, then head out to the tundra for evening bear viewing and dinner aboard the vehicle. During the day we may visit local sled dogs en route to Cape Merry, where we often see Arctic fox and Arctic hare. If the skies are clear, our nighttime tundra excursion might reveal one of nature’s most exhilarating experiences – a chance to view the northern lights away from the glare of town. Though they are never predictable, the auroral display often starts as a white glow in the northern sky, then begins to flicker and dance in shimmering curtains of color. On the 6-day trip (your nighttime tundra journey takes place on Day 2), there’s free time in Churchill or an opportunity for an optional helicopter excursion over the frozen tundra before boarding our flight back to Winnipeg.
Day 6: Churchill / Winnipeg
Our return flights are scheduled to depart in the mid- to late afternoon, to offer as much time as possible for exploring Churchill today. Pick up last-minute native handicrafts and souvenirs or, if time permits, take an optional helicopter tour over the tundra or an authentic dog sled excursion. We enjoy a farewell lunch in Churchill before flying back to Winnipeg, where we have a final reception before our adventure concludes.
Day 7: Winnipeg / Depart
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
On the 6-day trip we return to Winnipeg on Day 5 with flights home scheduled for Day 6. Occasionally on our 7-day trip, the schedule for the night tundra trip alternates between Day 4 and Day 5. Itineraries may vary slightly, but inclusions are the same.
Physical Rating: Easy