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Northern Lights Photography Tour

7 days with Natural Habitat Adventures   Rating: Deluxe

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Day 1: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Arrive in Winnipeg and transfer to the distinguished Fort Garry Hotel. Built in 1913 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in the style of a French chateau, it remains the grande dame of Winnipeg hospitality. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your Expedition Leader and fellow travelers.

Day 2: Winnipeg to Churchill
This morning we board our flight to Churchill. On arrival, transfer to our hotel and take a brief tour of this historic settlement that was once a remote fur-trading post on Hudson Bay. As night falls, we head out in hopes of a first chance to see the spectacle of the aurora borealis. The display often begins as a pale glow low in the northern sky that slowly begins to shift and undulate. Wavy patterns evolve, colors appear and change, until the lights look like shimmering curtains of green, or sometimes yellow or red. For centuries, the phenomenon of the northern lights was a mystery, inspiring a host of mythical explanations. While we know now the aurora is caused by the interaction of the solar wind with the earth’s magnetic field, more poetic stories of their origin linger, including the Hudson Bay Inuit’s belief that the lights are the magical display of their ancestors’ souls dancing in the sky.

Days 3–5: Churchill & Environs
On these dark, frigid nights in the Canadian North, we place you in optimal photography locations away from the lights of town where views of the aurora are best. Yet you won't have to stand outside in the cold while you wait for the lights to show up: each evening will include a vantage point on the night sky where you'll be able to witness the phenomenon in warmth and comfort. Our new custom-designed Aurora Pod® features 360-degree views of the sky, courtesy of its exclusive geometric glass construction including clear half-walls. We'll also keep watch from Plexiglass Aurora Domes. Relax on the sofas below, climb the ladder to the upper level for an unimpeded circular view, or head outside for a totally clear vista of the shimmering skies. We'll have a chance to practice our photography skills at every turn, guided and inspired by presentations and workshops as well as personalized tips from our Expedition Leader.

While our nights are devoted to capturing images of the aurora, daylight excursions focus on the austere beauty of our tundra environs. We'll hope to photograph hardy northern wildlife, such as Arctic hare and Arctic fox, both artfully camouflaged by their white fur coats. The town of Churchill is also full of photo opportunities, with historic buildings and colorful locals. The Hudson’s Bay Company established a fort here in 1717 as part of its fur-trading network across the Canadian North, but indigenous cultures had already been flourishing in the harsh climate for thousands of years. We explore their heritage on a dog sled ride through the boreal forest, during a visit to the Eskimo Museum, and via cultural programs featuring the arts and traditions of the Inuit and Dene peoples. 

Day 6: Churchill / Winnipeg
The morning is free to wander Churchill’s main street, where several locally owned shops sell authentic local handicrafts, from traditional mukluks to sculptures made of caribou hair. We then transfer to the airport for our return flight to Winnipeg. This evening we gather one last time for a farewell dinner.

Day 7: Winnipeg / Home
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
All This Included
Superb Photo Prospects in One of the World’s Best Places to See the Aurora Borealis
To stand beneath the northern lights as they flicker and swirl across the night sky is a dream most nature travelers yearn to realize. The allure of capturing that phenomenon in imagery holds special appeal for photographers. Our photography-focused version of our Northern Lights & Arctic Cultures adventure is designed to help you get outstanding pictures of one of the planet's most amazing and beautiful natural events. Churchill has one of the most active auroral displays in the world, making it an ideal destination for northern lights photography. Our Expedition Leader is both a naturalist and expert photographer, interpreting Arctic nature and culture while constantly at your side to help you achieve the shots you aspire to. Photograph the night sky in total comfort from our innovative Aurora Pod® with glass top and sides, and from heated Aurora Domes...then step outside to capture more wondrous images of the dancing lights!
  • R/T transportation between Winnipeg and Churchill (train and plane)
  • Accommodations
  • All meals (except those taken aboard the train)
  • Services of NHA Expedition Leaders and assistants
  • Most gratuities
  • Airport transfers
  • Permits and entrance fees
  • All taxes
  • Photograph the northern lights in warmth and comfort from varied settings, including our innovative glass Aurora Pod—for Nat Hab guests alone—plus heated circular Aurora Domes
  • Glean tips from expert northern photographers to capture outstanding images of the aurora, arctic landscapes and winter wildlife
  • Discover the fur-trading history of Churchill and the traditions of northern indigenous peoples on an array of winter adventures
Winnipeg: Fort Garry Hotel
Train: Cabin onboard the Tundra Train
Churchill: To be determined
  • January 29, February 24 and March 17 departures takes the train to/from Churchill.
  • Please plan to arrive in Winnipeg on Day 1 in time for our 7 pm welcome/orientation dinner.
  • Group Size Limit: Approximately 14 Travelers.
  • Not Included: Travel to and from start and end point of trip, meals aboard the train, alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, etc.), optional travel insurance.
  • Physical Requirements: Moderate.  It is necessary to climb 10 steps up a ladder in order to access the upper level of the aurora-viewing domes.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Natural Habitat Adventures terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.