Tundra Lodge Itinerary
Arrive in Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba. Once a fur-trading post and boomtown for the Canadian Pacific Railway, today Winnipeg is the cultural and commercial center of the province, lying on the eastern edge of the vast Canadian prairie. 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 a welcome dinner this evening.
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 professional chef, who resides 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
The Tundra Lodge is strategically placed at the start of each season in a spot that typically attracts the greatest number of polar bears in the area. 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 the shore as they wait for the bay to freeze, which signals the start of their winter seal-hunting season.
The unique location of the Tundra Lodge in the heart of wild polar bear habitat, combined with excursions in our special all-terrain Polar Rover tundra vehicles, offers lodge guests the best possible wildlife encounters in the region. Along with polar bears, we may see caribou, Arctic fox, Arctic hare, ptarmigan and snowy owls. We typically split our time between a half-day Rover excursion trip and bear viewing from the lodge, allowing us to divide our 29 guests into two smaller groups. 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 plenty of time for exploring 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 a traditional dog sled ride. We'll meet a local musher and his team, learning about the heritage of dog sledding in the North and spending time with the enthusiastic huskies before being pulled through the boreal forest. 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 provided 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.