The World’s Most Coveted Small-Group Polar Bear Expedition
When you're standing on the outdoor platform of our Polar Rover, the chill Arctic air feels invigorating. But even more thrilling is the sight of a huge polar bear. Sometimes they are silhouetted against the horizon, slowly moving shadows on the vast expanse of tundra. On other occasions, one may wander right up alongside us. Safely elevated above him, you’re nonetheless just feet away as you peer down at his shaggy, cream-colored bulk. Noticing us, he stops, sniffs and turns his face our way, curious. Awed, we draw in our breath, surrounded by the silence of the tundra. The big bear ambles, then halts again. He rises on his haunches to peer at us more deliberately. We grin like kids, filled with delight. We watch. We wonder. Minutes go by, perhaps an hour, who knows? Out here among the bears, time stands still. Join us in Churchill for one of nature's most wondrous wildlife encounters!
- Look for Wild Polar BearsOn our flagship polar bear trip, meet the world’s greatest concentration of these Arctic carnivores as they wait for Hudson Bay to freeze and seal hunting season to begin
- Custom Tundra VehiclesWith huge windows and see-though steel mesh flooring on the outdoor observation platform, our custom Polar Rovers get you safely close to polar bears in their wild habitat
- Experience Northern CultureMeet a local musher and his team, experience an authentic dog sled ride through the boreal forest, and enjoy cultural presentations from Churchill residents
Close Encounters with Polar Bears in Churchill
A Conservation Travel Experience
There is a Real Difference in Polar Bear Tours—Choose Wisely!
We know that most people who make the journey north to witness the magic of Churchill's polar bears will do so just once in their lives. For that reason, we promise you will enjoy the highest-quality polar bear tour possible! Here's why our polar bear adventures are the very best:
- We Hold Exclusive Permits for the Best Bear Viewing Area
Just two polar bear tour operators in Churchill hold exclusive permits to access the full range of the Churchill Wildlife Management Area where the best—and often only—polar bear viewing occurs. Naturally, in our commitment to running the world’s greatest nature journeys, the Nat Hab/Great White Bear team possesses one of these permits. Those who don't can only offer trips aboard school-bus-style vehicles along the road to Halfway Point, which is, as the name implies, only halfway to the prime polar bear-viewing area. If you’re going to Churchill just once in your life, don't miss making it a complete experience!
- Our Polar Rovers are the Most Impressive Vehicles in the North
The original tundra truck designed for polar bear viewing was invented in the 1980s, an innovative concept that has since been substantially improved upon. Our partner in Manitoba, a world-renowned specialty vehicle designer, has created the world's premier tundra vehicle—the Polar Rover—which we operate exclusively in Churchill. Its innovative drive train allows us to traverse the tundra with virtually no chance of breakdowns. With the advanced elite suspension system that smooths the ride, plus on-board flush toilet facilities (rather than odorous drop buckets), our guests enjoy a superior level of comfort and safety. See more details on our Polar Rovers.
- Steel Mesh Flooring Offers Close-Up Bear Observation
Built into the rear viewing platform of every Polar Rover is an innovative and exclusive feature we've pioneered for optimal polar bear viewing—corrugated steel-mesh floors that let us witness from remarkably close proximity the curious bears that often wander beneath our vehicles!
- The Smallest Groups Ensure the Best Nature Adventures
A fundamental element of a successful nature expedition is a small group. It may cost a little more, but considering the hugely superior experience, we know it’s well worth it. By limiting our groups to approximately 16 guests (even though our Polar Rovers hold more than 30 passengers), we ensure that every guest has plenty of space aboard our vehicles to enjoy a window seat, angle for the best photos, and enjoy a personal experience with the polar bears without too much intrusion from other travelers.
- Private Chartered Planes Maximize Our Time with the Bears
So we don't waste precious time planning around airline schedules and making our way through airport security screenings, we charter our own private aircraft, flying directly from Winnipeg to Churchill at a time that is most convenient for us. We’d rather maximize our time watching bears and exploring the tundra, rather than sitting around airports.
- Sled Dog Experience Included on Every Departure
Every one of our Churchill tours includes a personal visit with a local dog musher and his team, and the chance to glide through the boreal forest on a dog sled ride! During the earlier part of our season, if there isn't sufficient snow cover, the dogs will pull our guests in a wheeled cart. But whenever you come to Churchill, this authentic Northern adventure is standard on all departures.
- The Finest Naturalist Guides on the Planet
Natural Habitat Adventures is known worldwide for employing the highest-quality guides in the industry. Our Polar Bear Expedition Leaders—who have been guiding bear tours for an average of more than 10 years each—receive additional training and resources from WWF’s top scientists, ensuring the best interpretive experience available. Expedition Leaders meet each guest in Winnipeg and travel with the group the entire way, sharing their wealth of knowledge and insight at every step. Our philosophy is pretty simple: a nature adventure is only as good as the guide, so we simply must provide the best! See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
- Local Cultural Interactions Enhance Our Adventures
Through years of developing close relationships with local people, we are able to offer our guests exclusive opportunities to meet revered elders of First Nations, Inuit and Metis cultural groups in Churchill. These storytellers are some of the most senior in their communities, passing on their knowledge of the past to younger generations and, fortunately for us, also to our travelers.
- Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Special Polar Bear Experience
Natural Habitat Adventures offers an exclusive guarantee, clearly stating that we will meet the lofty expectations we set 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 on this adventure, you can travel 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 particularly important when considering that polar bears face a substantial threat from a warming planet.
- Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world's leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!