Exclusive Expedition: Tundra Lodge & Autumn Air Adventure
Day 2: Winnipeg / Churchill / Tundra Lodge
Fly to Churchill and transfer by Polar Rover to the Tundra Lodge, watching for Arctic wildlife against the expansive backdrop along the way. On arrival, a presentation on polar bears by our Expedition Leader provides an enlightening introduction to our northern adventure. Dinner this evening is prepared by our resident chef, who lives at the lodge during the season. Don’t be surprised, though, if our meal is interrupted by a mad dash to the windows to watch a polar bear lumbering over the tundra around the lodge.
Days 3 & 4: Tundra Lodge—Polar Bear Viewing & Scenic Helicopter Flight
The Tundra Lodge is strategically placed at the start of each season in a spot that typically attracts the greatest number of polar bears. Inquisitive bears often approach the lodge, with its rows of windows and elevated observation decks to accommodate our own curiosity. Ursus maritimus is so majestic up close, yet these giant bears, the largest land carnivores in the world, are charming and whimsical, too, and we are enthralled by their antics and rugged beauty. We may see mothers guiding their cubs, young males play-fighting, or massive adults patrolling a shoreline piled with crimson seaweed.
During our visit, you'll get a thrilling aerial view on a helicopter flight that departs directly from the tundra. From the air we hope to spy roaming polar bears that contrast against the autumn reds and oranges of the grasses, shrubs and lichens. Landing on the tundra, we disembark to explore on foot, looking for Arctic fox, Arctic hare, ptarmigan and snowy owl. We also make bear-viewing excursions in specialty all-terrain Polar Rovers, custom-designed for comfortable travel over the tundra. At the end of each exhilarating day, tuck back in to our cozy accommodations for dinner and presentations. And if we are fortunate to have a rare clear fall night, the northern lights may appear after darkness descends—Churchill has some of the world’s most concentrated auroral activity.
Day 5: Churchill—Dog Sledding / Winnipeg
Depart the Tundra Lodge this morning aboard our Polar Rover, leaving the coastline of Hudson Bay in the distance as we make our way back to Churchill. Our return flight to Winnipeg departs mid-afternoon, to offer time to explore Churchill today. This rough-and-tumble town was once a Hudson's Bay Company fur-trading post, and today it still retains its frontier character. A highlight this morning is being pulled by a team of sled dogs in a slightly less traditional manner at this time of year before the snow comes—we ride in wheeled carts through the boreal forest. Chat with the musher and spend time with the enthusiastic huskies as we learn about the heritage and modern-day practice of dog mushing. Time permitting, pick up some northern handicrafts from the shops in town before we gather for our farewell lunch. We then board our chartered flight back to Winnipeg, where we have a final reception at the Fort Garry Hotel before our adventure concludes.
Day 6: Winnipeg / Depart
After breakfast, a transfer to the airport is included to meet homeward flights.
Please note: While all specified activities will be included, they may not happen in the exact order described above, depending on weather conditions and other scheduling logistics. Your Expedition Leader will let you know the specifics for each day.
An important note on polar bear viewing: Since 1989, we have run approximately 1,500 departures to Churchill to view polar bears, and we’ve missed seeing them on just a handful of occasions. Some of our sightings are up close, and others are from afar, or even from a helicopter. It’s important to remember that while there is no better opportunity to see polar bears in the wild than our Churchill trips offer, the experience is weather-dependent. That means viewing polar bears—and the distance at which we may see them—is unpredictable and not guaranteed. Check out more details on the ebbs and flows of the Churchill polar bear viewing season.