Day 1: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Our Churchill polar bear tour begins in Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba. Once a center of fur trade and a Canadian Pacific Railway boomtown, Winnipeg today is a cultural and commercial center on 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 this evening.
Day 2: Winnipeg/Churchill/Evening on the Tundra
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. We head to the tundra this evening for our first glimpse of the bears, although we often see them from the bus as we leave the airport, even before boarding our Polar Rover. 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.
Days 3 and 4: Polar Bear Viewing
Custom-built Polar Rovers are our mobile means for spending time among the bears. Though they can accommodate up to 35 passengers, we take a maximum of 16, ensuring everyone has a window seat and plenty of space to move about. Our expedition leaders know the best places to observe polar bears, which congregate here 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. We may see mothers with cubs, young males play-fighting, or a lone bear ambling over the silent tundra. Our expedition leader interprets all we observe, explaining the bears’ behavior and how they thrive in such a harsh environment. In the evenings, we gather for dinner and presentations on wildlife and local cultures.
Day 5: Churchill-Dog Sledding/Winnipeg
Our return flight to Winnipeg is scheduled to depart mid- to late afternoon, offering as much time as possible for exploring Churchill today. A highlight this morning is an authentic dog sled ride. We 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 some locally made handicrafts 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 a final reception concludes our adventure together.
Day 6: Winnipeg/Depart
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
An important note on polar bear viewing: Since 1989, we have operated approximately 1,500 departures to Churchill to view polar bears, and we’ve missed seeing them on only a handful of occasions. Some of our sightings are up close while 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.