Polar Bear Viewing Adventure: Churchill, Manitoba
A Classic Polar Bear Adventure in Churchill, Manitoba with Natural Habitat Adventures
Our affiliation with Virtuoso®, the world’s leading international luxury travel agency network, gives our travel agency access and clout that we might never be able to accomplish on our own.
And, this clout translates into access to the world’s very best travel experiences for our clients.
One example is that we can help you get up close and personal with Churchill’s polar bears during their migration to the Hudson Bay as they wait for the freeze-up and the start of seal-hunting season.
Seeing the Polar Bears of Churchill is Totally on our Bucket List!
Each year, Natural Habitat Adventures brings small groups of 17 folks on 6 and 7 day trips that start in mid-October and extend through mid-November. Natural Habitat Adventures holds one of only two permits that allow travelers to observe the polar bears in such close proximity that you may well be able to smell their breath.
Classic Polar Bear Adventure Itinerary
Day 1: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Our Churchill polar bear tour begins in Winnipeg. Once a fur-trading post and boomtown for the Canadian Pacific Railway, today Manitoba’s capital is its cultural and commercial center at the eastern edge of Canada’s vast prairies. 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 and orientation this evening.
Day 2: Winnipeg / Churchill
Fly by chartered plane to Churchill this morning. This hospitable frontier town, originally a Hudson’s Bay Company fur-trading post, is our base for adventure. On the 6-day trip we head to the tundra this evening for our first glimpse of the bears, though we often see them from the bus as we leave the airport, even before boarding our Polar Rover. Our 7-day trip opens with an evening presentation on polar bears and the northern environment by our professional staff of naturalists and scientists.
Days 3 & 4: Polar Bear Viewing
Uniquely designed Polar Rovers are our mobile means for spending time among the bears. Though they are built to accommodate up to 35 passengers, we take a maximum of just 17, ensuring everyone a window seat. Our Expedition Leaders know the best places to observe polar bears, which congregate in the region each fall as they wait for Hudson Bay to freeze, signaling the start of the winter seal-hunting season. As we watch them interact, we’re delighted by their antics and rugged beauty. From the warmth of our vehicle, we may see mothers with cubs, young males play-fighting, or a lone bear ambling over the tundra in solitary majesty. Our knowledgeable Expedition Leader offers interpretation along the way, explaining the bears’ behavior and how they thrive in such a harsh environment. In the evenings, we’ll meet for dinner and presentations on wildlife or local cultures.
Day 5: Explore Around Churchill / Evening on the Tundra
On the 7-day trip we tour historic Churchill, then head out to the tundra for evening bear viewing and dinner aboard the vehicle. During the day we may explore the coast road en route to Cape Merry, where we often see Arctic fox and Arctic hare. Keep a close out for them, as their winter-white coats offer excellent camouflage later in the season when the ground is white. If the skies are clear, our nighttime tundra excursion might reveal one of nature’s most exhilarating experiences—a chance to view the northern lights away from the glare of town. Though never predictable or promised, the auroral display often starts as a pale glow in the northern sky, then the lights begin to flicker and dance in shimmering curtains of color, most typically green but occasionally red. On the 6-day trip (your nighttime tundra journey takes place on Day 2), there’s free time in Churchill or an opportunity for an optional helicopter excursion over the vast expanse of frozen tundra before boarding our flight back to Winnipeg.
Day 6: Churchill—Dog Sledding / Winnipeg
Our return flight to Winnipeg is scheduled to depart in the mid- to late afternoon, to offer as much time as possible for exploring Churchill today. A highlight this morning is an authentic dog sled excursion. We’ll drive just outside town to meet a local musher and his team, spending time with the lively and affectionate dogs before taking turns riding behind them on an exhilarating trot through the boreal forest. If time permits, you may be able to pick up last-minute native-made handicrafts and souvenirs or take an optional helicopter tour over the tundra before we depart. We’ll have a farewell lunch together before flying back to Winnipeg, where we have a final reception before our adventure concludes.
Day 7: Winnipeg / Depart
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
Please note: On the 6-day trip, we have our sled dog excursion on Day 5 and return to Winnipeg that afternoon, with flights home scheduled for Day 6. Occasionally on our 7-day trip, the schedule for the nighttime tundra trip alternates between Day 4 and Day 5. Itineraries may vary slightly, but inclusions are the same.
Group Size Limit
Approximately 17 Travelers
A very important feature of our polar bear expeditions is the limited group size. Nature is always best experienced in smaller groups and it is particularly important on this expedition so that our guests have plenty of room on board the tundra vehicles.
A polar bear expedition with Natural Habitat Adventures requires very little walking. Travelers must be able to walk up/down stairs. Our Polar Rover vehicles, designed to travel over the tundra for polar bear observation, can sometimes offer a bumpy ride. Travelers must be prepared for below-freezing temperatures and slippery surfaces.
- 6-Day Expedition Fees
$6195 – $6395
- Single Supplement
- 7-Day Expedition Fees
$6695 – $6895
- Single Supplement
Dates & Pricing Notes
Prices are per person based on double occupancy and are given in U.S. dollars.
Potential Bonus: Churchill is also a wonderful place to experience the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). If the skies are clear, you just might get to experience this additional exciting visual feast during your adventure.
What to do?
Of all of the fabulous experiences offered by Natural Habitat Adventures around this world, this is by far their most popular. Therefore, it sells out every single year. So, book now or wait until next year.
For booking information, call Roaming Boomers Travel Services at (480) 550-1235, or use our convenient online information request form (click here) and we’ll reach out to you.
Note: all photographs courtesy of Natural Habitat Adventures
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