Northern Lights & Arctic Exploration

© Eddy Savage
A Winter Adventure in Churchill, Manitoba—The Best Place on Earth to See the Aurora!
In the same land that hosts the beluga whales of summer and polar bears in autumn comes an amazing phenomenon that illumines the dark winter skies. The northern lights—also called the aurora borealis—brighten the night in an ethereal display of color. Churchill has some of the most intense auroral activity on Earth, with often-clear skies that make it the ideal viewing destination. Photograph the lights from five heated vantage points exclusively for our guests, including a cabin in the boreal forest that we access via private snowcoach over a frozen creek, and from our custom-built Aurora Pod®, with a 360° view of the night sky through its glass top and sides. On this exciting Arctic adventure, our days are filled with distinctly northern activities like dog sledding, while nights offer potential for the best aurora viewing on the planet.
Nat Hab guests next to cabin viewing the northern lights, Churchill, Manitoba.
Peter Ramsden
Nat Hab guests next to cabin viewing the northern lights, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guests viewing the northern lights, Churchill, Manitoba.
Eddy Savage
Nat Hab guests viewing the northern lights, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab
Petr Gehr
Nat Hab's custom Aurora Pod, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guests dogsledding, Churchill, Manitoba.
Giulia Ciampini
Nat Hab guests dogsledding, Churchill, Manitoba.
Aurora band map.
Aurora band map.
Northern lights above tepee, Churchill, Manitoba.
Eddy Savage
Northern lights above tepee, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guests, Churchill, Manitoba.
Judy Wilson
Nat Hab guests, Churchill, Manitoba.
Arctic fox, Churchill, Manitoba.
Colin McNulty
Arctic fox, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab
Giulia Ciampini
Nat Hab's custom Aurora Pod and geodesic Aurora Sphere, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guest inside Aurora Dome, Churchill, Manitoba.
Alex de Vries
Nat Hab guest inside Aurora Dome, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guests, Churchill, Manitoba.
Eddy Savage
Nat Hab guests, Churchill, Manitoba.
Northern lights in the boreal forest, Churchill, Manitoba.
Eddy Savage
Northern lights in the boreal forest, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guests, Churchill, Manitoba.
Eddy Savage
Nat Hab guests, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab
Giulia Ciampini
Nat Hab's geodesic Aurora Sphere, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guest holding a sled dog, Churchill, Manitoba.
Devon Peterson
Nat Hab guest holding a sled dog, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guests snowshoeing, Churchill, Manitoba.
Eddy Savage
Nat Hab guests snowshoeing, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guests cheering the northern lights, Churchill, Manitoba.
Eddy Savage
Nat Hab guests cheering the northern lights, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guests and northern lights, Churchill, Manitoba.
Lianne Thompson
Nat Hab guests and northern lights, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab
Eddy Savage
Nat Hab's Aurora Pod and guests viewing the northern lights, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guest inside quinzee, Churchill, Manitoba.
Sabina Moll
Nat Hab guest inside quinzee, Churchill, Manitoba.
Nat Hab guest in the geodesic Aurora Sphere, Churchill, Manitoba.
Jackie Weston
Nat Hab guest in the geodesic Aurora Sphere, Churchill, Manitoba.

Trip Highlights

Five Private Aurora-Viewing Locations

Watch in heated comfort from our glass Aurora Pod®, geodesic Aurora SphereAurora Domes, a cozy cabin in the boreal forest and a tepee warmed by a campfire

Private Snowcoach Expedition into the Boreal Forest

Aboard our custom snowcoach, drive deep into the North Woods atop a frozen creek, keeping an eye out for moose, fox and Arctic hare

Discover Northern Culture on Authentic Arctic Adventures

Discover local lifestyles of northern Indigenous peoples on an array of winter activities, including snowshoeing and a traditional dog sled ride

Northern Lights Photo Expeditions

On this specialized itinerary, travel with an Expedition Leader who is both an Arctic naturalist and an accomplished photographer adept at helping you capture outstanding images of the northern lights. The aurora can be a challenge to photograph, and your guide provides expert advice for improving your images. In this highly personalized setting, ask all the questions you want! A small group means quiet, intimate photography encounters from five exclusive vantage points that offer diverse foregrounds for the bright and awe-inspiring backdrop.
View Photo Expedition
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Churchill's Awesome Aurora
A Nat Hab Guide Story

The Best Way to Witness the Wonder of the Aurora

If you’re planning a trip to see the northern lights, why not go where they are most often on view? Churchill, Manitoba, is arguably the best place to consistently see the aurora. And this Arctic winter adventure includes so much more. Check out the many features that set our northern lights tour above the rest:

  1. The Best Place on the Planet to See the Northern Lights
    We maximize your chance to see the northern lights in Churchill, because it 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. Winter skies are also clearer in Churchill than in other popular aurora-viewing destinations like Iceland and Lapland, upping your odds of seeing the lights. Our trips run in midwinter when nights are long and skies are dark, enhancing your chances for the best views. 
  2. Churchill is the "Accessible Arctic"
    While Churchill is technically subarctic, lying below the Arctic Circle, its location on the edge of the frozen expanse of Hudson Bay gives it a distinctly Arctic climate and cultural identity. Yet unlike getting to the top of Norway or Siberia or into the interior of the Yukon to see the northern lights, Churchill is easy to reach by air from Winnipeg, Manitoba's capital and largest city, which is served by many direct flights from the U.S.
  3. Private Chartered Flights to and from Churchill
    We charter roundtrip flights to Churchill from Winnipeg, ensuring you get more time in Arctic nature and less time navigating security lines and waiting around airports. 
  4. Five Unique Private Settings for Aurora Viewing & Photography
    Each of our private aurora-viewing settings is situated well away from the lights of town. In addition to our own Aurora Pod®, look for the lights from the intimate confines of our Aurora Sphere, a furnished geodesic dome heated by a wood stove; Plexiglass-topped Aurora Domes offering a circular view on the night sky; from a cabin tucked deep within the boreal forest and heated by a wood stove; and in the photogenic setting of a dog musher's camp where an illuminated tepee and campfire provide an evocative foreground for photos. See 3-D views of these five viewing locations.
  5. Watch from the Warmth of Our Heated Glass Aurora Pod®
    Nothing is more characteristically Arctic than standing under a clear winter sky and watching the artistry of the aurora light up the night. It can be frigid in Churchill in winter, however, so we take pains to ensure your comfort. Our exclusive Aurora Pod® is custom-designed to offer 360° views of the sky via an innovative glass top and walls, from a heated interior with cushioned seats.  
  6. A Wilderness Snowcoach Expedition—for Our Guests Alone
    Exclusively for Nat Hab travelers! Ride on a new custom-built snowcoach into the boreal forest, crossing a frozen creek to reach our isolated private cabin. No one else has this access to roadless wilderness! As we head deep into the North Woods, look for moose and wolf tracks and sightings of elusive winter wildlife. Gather at our cabin, tucked within the forest and warmed by a wood stove, to spend an evening spent searching for the northern lights.
  7. Explore Our Arctic Environs on an Exclusive Slate of Adventures
    The aurora may be top draw, but you'll enjoy a whole host of northern activities for a comprehensive Arctic adventure. From an authentic dog sled ride to local museums and 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 history and traditions of the Canadian North. Through our 35+ years in Churchill, we've built relationships that provide experiences other travelers simply won't get.
  8. No Need to Buy Heavy Winter Gear—We Provide It All!
    Don’t worry about shelling out for a heavy parka, cumbersome Arctic snowboots and insulated mittens you may only wear once—we supply this cold-weather expedition gear to use during your time in Churchill, along with snow pants, fleece jacket, fleece hat, fleece neck gaiter, and hand and toe warmers. We've got you covered (literally!).
  9. See the Northern Lights with a Stellar Guide
    While it's possible to travel on your own to Churchill to view the aurora, there is no way to get the quality experience you'll have with our naturalist guide by your side. Our Expedition Leader is an expert on the Canadian North, offering in-depth interpretation of the region’s geology, biology, history, cultures, and, of course, the aurora. We take pride in hiring the best guides in the industry—Nat Hab Expedition Leaders average 15 years’ 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.
  10. An Expedition Leader Plus Local Guide Allow Flexibility & Personalized Attention
    In addition to your naturalist Expedition Leader, we also have the services of a local staff member dedicated exclusively to our group. This arrangement allows us to finesse our schedule and activities so that, for instance, guests who wish to stay out longer for snowshoeing can do so, or we can bring guests who wish back to the hotel earlier and allow others to stay out later in search of the northern lights, etc. When we have two guides available, we can offer service well "above and beyond" what you'll find elsewhere.
  11. Outstanding Aurora Photography Instruction
    If your dream is to go home with stunning images of the aurora, choose a special photo departure. It can be tricky to capture photos of the northern lights—let our Expedition Leader, who is an aurora photography expert, provide essential coaching. And on our photography trips, you'll have plenty of access to help during the editing phase, too, with our guide by your side. 
  12. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Aurora 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. 
  13. Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
  14. 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 Adventures its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!

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