Overnight in the polar bear capital of the world, witness the gigantic beasts in their natural habitat, make your friends jealous with stunning shots of arctic scenery, experience a once-in-a-lifetime moment with these endangered animals
Tour description provided by G Adventures
Churchill, Manitoba on Hudson Bay is considered the polar bear capital of the world, and this 2-day trip will introduce you to its star citizens at a comfort level. Obviously, the polar bear is not the sort of animal you want to pat on the back, so we'll keep you safe and sound in a Tundra Buggy while still getting amazingly close to these awe-inspiring animals. A photographer's dream, a once-in-a-lifetime experience—superlatives can't express the feeling of seeing polar bears in their arctic home.
Day 1 Winnipeg/Churchill
Meet at a private hanger in Winnipeg (located at 30 Hangar Line Rd.) by no later than 6:45am for your early morning flight, a cold boxed breakfast will be served inflight. Arrive mid-morning with option to take a town and area historical tour, helicopter flight or go dog sledding (must be pre-booked), or visit the museum and Parks Canada Visitor Centre.
If you are interested in dog sledding, it must be pre-booked directly with the local supplier (unfortunately G Adventures cannot do this for you - nor can we intervene in any way once you have booked and paid). We recommend www.wapuskadventures.com and dogsledding excursion should be booked on the afternoon of Day 1 of your tour.
It is highly suggested that guests visit the Parks Canada Interpretive Centre and the Eskimo Museum (closed on Sundays). The interpretive centre exhibits the human and natural history of the area and the Eskimo Museum is known for its beautiful
Inuit carvings and artifacts.
Churchill is a small, northern community with a lot of character; you won't find one of the big-chain hotels here or gourmet restaurants. You will, however, find warm, down-home hospitality and clean, comfortable hotels with all the amenities. Staying in town will allow you to walk to and from the different venues, spend some time on your own, and perhaps meet some of the locals.
Churchill is located on the south western shores of the Hudson Bay at the mouth of the historic Churchill River, approx. 1000 kilometers north of Winnipeg. At a latitude of 58.47 N, Churchill is accessible by air and rail. This small Northern community has a population of approx. 1100 persons.
Churchill, Manitoba is located along the treeline or the northern edge of the Boreal Forest, Churchill attracts arctic and boreal species of wildlife, birds and plants. Commonly seen species include Arctic and Red Foxes, Arctic Hare, Caribou, Gyrfalcons, Snowy Owls, Ptarmigan and in the Summer (June-Aug), Beluga whales.
Churchill lies underneath the Auroral Oval, an area of high intensity, high frequency auroral activity. They often get the best northern lights displays on the planet. While the best time to view the Northern lights is in mid-winter (Jan-Feb), if you are lucky, it is still possible to view them in October-Nov.
Day 2 Churchill/Winnipeg (1L)
It will be early start, but worth it. You’ll be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the Tundra Buggy (trademark) launch at around 7:30 a.m. All Tundra Buggies are furnished with dual-pane frost-free windows and contain propane heating systems that closely resemble a cozy fireplace, with real flame (behind glass). Guests will enjoy picnic style lunches and refreshments while they are bear watching. The Tundra Buggy meanders over a system of established trails, stopping at leisure to enjoy the scenery, search for wildlife, and take photos. This is where the magic starts to unfold as we search for polar bears, arctic fox, ptarmagain and take in the majestic Arctic landscape with a local expert. This evening you will be transferred back to the airport for your evening flight back to Winnipeg. You will then be transferred back to the Four Points by Sheraton where the tour ends.
After the beluga whales depart in the summer, Polar bears begin to swim ashore in mid-July. In October they begin to gather in numbers along the coast, waiting for the pack ice to form over Hudson Bay, at which point they disappear, in search of seals. Churchill’s ‘bear season’ begins in early October until early November.
Known as the “Lords of the Arctic”, these spectacular animals are massive with the average Male polar bear growing to more than 600 kg (1,320 lbs) and standing 3.05 metres (10 feet) tall. While large, they are surprisingly quick and have great agility. They have a highly acute sense of smell, and are skilled hunters - able to pick up a scent from over 30 kilometres away, and they can detect the presence of seals under three feet of snow and ice. Polar bears have no natural enemies and no fear of other animals (including humans).