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Canadian Polar Bear Experience

Holiday Ref: GADV2019

Imagine watching polar bears in the wild alongside a naturalist expert from Polar Bears International, one of the world's leading organizations dedicated to protecting these amazing animals. The opportunity is yours on this six-day adventure in the vast wilderness of the Canadian Arctic. Sit down to a picnic on the tundra and opt to go dogsledding through the region's breathtaking landscapes on a one-of-a-kind wildlife adventure.

Itinerary
ItineraryCollapse All
Day 1

 

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Day 2

Catch an early morning flight to Churchill. Upon arrival, enjoy a town and area historical tour including Cape Merry, the Port of Churchill, and Manitoba Conservation’s Polar Bear Holding Facility. After, visit the renowned Itsanitaq Inuit Museum which features one of the best collections of Inuit art and artifacts. Later in the evening, set out on a drive through the remote landscape to view the Northern lights (weather dependent).

Churchill is a small, northern community with a lot of character; big-chain hotels or gourmet restaurants won’t be found here. Visitors will, however, find warm down-home hospitality and clean, comfortable hotels with all the amenities. Staying in town allows you to walk to and from different venues, spend some time on your own, and, perhaps, meet some of the locals.

Churchill is located along the treeline of the northern edge of the boreal forest, and 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.

It's unwise to wander the streets of Churchill at night as bears occasionally enter the town. Local vehicles and houses are usually left unlocked, so if you do meet an animal, then take cover immediately in a calm and orderly fashion. Polar bears are predators and should never be approached on foot. Don't be tempted to feed the bears, it is punishable by an instant fine and it's also extremely dangerous.

 

 

Day 3

Set out on a full day excursion to enjoy polar bear viewing by Tundra Buggy with a local/expert guide. Take in the majestic arctic landscape while searching for polar bears, arctic fox, and ptarmigan. Enjoy a full picnic lunch on the tundra. This evening, join representatives from Polar Bears International (PBI) for a private cocktail reception. PBI is the world’s leading polar bear conservation group — dedicated to saving polar bears by saving their habitat. Their focus is on research, education, and stewardship.

Polar bears begin to swim ashore in mid-July. In October they begin to gather in numbers along the coast, waiting for pack ice to form over the Hudson Bay, at which point the bears disappear in search of seals. Churchill’s ‘bear season’ begins in early October and lasts 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 600kg (1,320 lbs) and standing 3.05m (10 ft). While large, they are surprisingly quick and have great agility. The bears have a highly acute sense of smell and are skilled hunters - able to pick up a scent from more than 30km (19 mi) away. They can even detect the presence of seals under 3 ft (.9m) of snow and ice. Polar bears have no natural enemies and no fear of other animals (including humans).

Tundra Buggy

Churchill

Pile into this sturdy, big-wheeled truck designed specifically for polar bear observation missions.

Polar Bear Excursion

Churchill

Head out by Tundra Buggy to enjoy polar bear viewing, as these great creatures gather in numbers along the coast of the Hudson Bay waiting for pack ice to form. Once it forms, the bears disappear in search of seals. Churchill’s ‘bear season’ begins in early October and lasts until early November. There is no way to describe the thrill of viewing these great bears in their natural habitat with an expert naturalist/guide.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Polar Bear Conservation Event

Meet with ambassadors from Polar Bears International (PBI) at a private cocktail reception to hear firsthand about their work as one of the world’s leading conservation groups dedicated to polar bears. With a shared goal of protecting these amazing creatures, National Geographic and PBI have been collaborating over the past 15 years on various projects, such as the polar bear webcam, as well as sharing media resources and scientific expertise to help educate the world.

 

Day 4

Enjoy a free morning to visit some of the local shops or opt to take a dog sledding excursion or helicopter flight. After lunch, visit the Parks Canada Interpretive Centre for an educational presentation about the National Park Service and its history in the Churchill area. This evening, enjoy an informal talk with a local from Churchill who will talk about what life is like living in a far north, remote Canadian town.

The helicopter and dog sledding optionals are weather/condition dependent and may be switched to other days for availability.

Free Time

Churchill

Enjoy the morning at your leisure to visit local craft shops or opt for dog sledding or a helicopter ride.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Parks Canada Experience

Visit the Parks Canada Interpretive Centre and heritage railway station to meet with a Parks Canada representative for a discussion about the fur trade and unique (and colourful) human history in the Churchill area. The centre features a collection of Hudson’s Bay Company muskets and trade goods, including replicas from the 18th century. Parks Canada is actively involved in the conservation of Churchill’s historical sites including Prince of Wales Fort, Cape Merry and York Factory National Historic Sites, and Wapusk National Park.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Far-North Local Life Talk

Sit down with a resident of Churchill who will entertain us with a presentation and stories about what life is like in a secluded, Northern Canadian town – a place where it’s not unusual to walk out your front door and run into a polar bear. Set amid rugged wilderness, Churchill melds innovation and tradition in unique ways, like the fascinating town centre complex that features interior walkways linked with brightly coloured Inuit wall hangings and prints. Proud and optimistic, this remote but accessible community stays firmly connected to the world as well as to its heritage.

 

Day 5

Enjoy a second excursion in the tundra in search of polar bears and northern wildlife. We are joined by a species expert from Polar Bears International who will share their expertise on polar bears and their habitat. In the evening, fly back to Winnipeg for our final night.

Churchill

Pile into this sturdy, big-wheeled truck designed specifically for polar bear observation missions.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Polar Bear Drive

Enjoy a full-day Tundra Buggy excursion across the Arctic tundra, in search of polar bears as they gather in numbers along the coast of Hudson Bay waiting for pack ice to form. We’ll be joined on board by a scientist from Polar Bears International (PBI) who will teach us about these seriously endangered creatures, climate change, and the urgent need for their protection. An absolutely thrilling experience.

Churchill Airport – Winnipeg J. A. Richardson International Airport2h

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.

 

Day 6

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

 

Local Information
When to go Winnipeg Weather
6 Nights from £5,499 pp
Price Includes

Please Note all of our trips can be tailor-made to suit your requirements

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Call us free on
0330 094 8379
What's Included
  • Polar Bear Conservation Event, Churchill
  • Parks Canada Experience, Churchill
  • Far-North Local Life Talk, Churchill
  • Polar Bear Drive, Churchill. Churchill historical tour. Itsanitaq Inuit Museum visit. Northern lights viewing (weather dependent). Tundra Buggy polar bear excursions (2 days). Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Tailor-Make Your Holiday

You can swap out any part of this itinerary, add activities, tours or extend your stay and even upgrade your accommodation to build your dream holiday.

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