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The Classic Polar Bear Photo Adventure (7 Day)

7 days with Natural Habitat Adventures   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1: Winnipeg, Manitoba 
Arrive in Winnipeg, a former fur-trading post and boomtown for the Canadian Pacific Railway, which today is Manitoba's provincial capital on the eastern edge of the prairie. A transfer is included to the historic Fort Garry Hotel, a prestigious Winnipeg landmark that dates to the opening of the Canadian West. Meet your Expedition Leader and fellow travelers at an orientation dinner this evening.
 
Day 2: Winnipeg / Churchill 
Fly to the small town of Churchill this morning. This hospitable frontier outpost, originally a Hudson's Bay Company fur-trading post, is our base for adventure. Kick it off this evening with a presentation on Arctic photography and our northern environs by our Expedition Leader, who is both an accomplished photographer and seasoned naturalist guide.
 
Days 3–5: Polar Bear Photography 
Rise early to board our custom Polar Rovers, specialty vehicles that allow us to get within prime photography range of polar bears on the open tundra. Although each vehicle can accommodate up to 35 passengers, we take a maximum of 16, ensuring that everyone has a window seat, plenty of space for camera gear, and room to shoot comfortably without interference. For three full days, we spend our daylight hours on the tundra, photographing polar bears roaming the edge of Hudson Bay waiting for the ice to freeze and their winter seal-hunting season to begin. From the warm interior of our Rover, we may see mothers with cubs and young adult males play-fighting. A large adult male may turn his attention toward us, sometimes approaching within feet or even lifting his massive paws onto the side of our vehicle to peer inside. The outdoor observation platform offers an open vantage point for exceptional photos. 

On the wide-open expanse of the tundra, we may spy other northern wildlife, too, including Arctic fox, Arctic hare, snowy owl, ptarmigan and gyrfalcon. In addition to sharing photography advice, our Expedition Leader provides a captivating interpretation of the animal behavior and natural phenomena we observe. By late afternoon, if the weather is relatively clear, we often enjoy vivid sunsets that linger a long time at this latitude, offering stunning photo opportunities. As dusk descends over the austere northern landscape, we return to town for dinner and presentations on photography, wildlife and local cultures. Occasionally, we're graced with the good fortune to see the aurora borealis on a cloudless night, and if this is the case, we’ll head away from the lights of town to capture photos of this wondrous event in total darkness.
 
Day 6: Churchill—Dog Sledding / Winnipeg 
Our return flight is scheduled to depart in the mid- to late afternoon, in order to provide as much time as possible to explore more of Churchill today. A highlight this morning is an authentic dog sled excursion. Just outside town, we meet a local musher and his team, spending time with the frisky dogs before being pulled behind them on an exhilarating ride through the boreal forest. And, if time permits, those who wish may opt to visit nearby Cape Merry, a promising spot for photographing Arctic fox, hare and birdlife. Or, stay in town for some last-minute shopping to pick up local handicrafts and souvenirs. Another option is a helicopter flight over the tundra, for dramatic aerial views of our environs and the possibility of spotting polar bears from the air. Enjoy a farewell lunch in Churchill before we depart, followed by an evening reception in Winnipeg.
 
Day 7: Winnipeg / Depart 
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
Map
All This Included
When you encounter a polar bear up close, something powerful happens. You make a connection in that gaze with one of the world’s most charismatic—and most threatened—wild creatures. And while it’s nearly impossible to put that ineffable feeling into words, well-crafted photos can capture it. That's the goal on this small-group nature adventure. No one offers you more time and proximity with the King of the Arctic, coupled with our intensive focus on helping you make outstanding images. You'll spend three full days on the tundra aboard our custom-designed Polar Rovers, with plenty of space for your equipment and room to maneuver for terrific shots. Coaching from our expert photographer-guide is complemented by evening lectures on how to capture Arctic wildlife through the camera's lens—most notably polar bears, but also Arctic fox, Arctic hare, snowy owls and more.

  • Accommodations
  • services of Nat Hab's professional Expedition Leader(s) and assistants
  • Polar Rover excursions
  • dog sledding excursion
  • evening wildlife and cultural presentations
  • all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on final day
  • cold-weather gear including a parka and boots during your trip
  • most gratuities
  • airport transfers on Day 1 and final day
  • all activities and entrance fees
  • all taxes, permits and service fees
Highlights
  • Spend three full days photographing polar bears in their wild tundra habitat, accompanied by our expert naturalist-photographer Expedition Leaders
  • Just 16 guests on vehicles designed for 30-plus passengers means there's a window seat for all, plenty of room for all your gear, and room to position for superb shots
  • Enjoy impressive vehicle features that enhance your photography opportunities, such as our exclusive steel mesh outdoor observation deck, for extreme close-ups
Accommodations
Winnipeg: Fort Garry Hotel
Churchill: To be determined
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra Day in Winnipeg
1 Day / From $270
Offered on all polar bear trips! Learn about the Northland's natural history, Inuit culture, Canada's fur trade and more as we explore historic Winnipeg and its world-class Manitoba Museum.

Northern Tundra Helicopter Adventure
From $575
Our exclusive helicopter flight over the tundra is the most exciting way to view northern wildlife. Track migrating caribou, Arctic fox and the mighty polar bear from an exciting aerial perspective.

 
Notes
  • Group Size Limit: Approximately 16 Travelers.
  • Not Included: Travel to and from start and end point of the trip, alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees, airport and departure taxes, items of a personal nature (phone calls, souvenirs, etc.), optional travel insurance and optional activities.
  • Internal Air Cost: $795 to $895.
  • Physical Requirements: Easy. 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.
  • In case of flight or weather delays, we recommend that you arrive a day early and either participate in our Extra Day in Winnipeg program or stay on your own. Our small group tour begins with a 7 pm welcome dinner on Day 1. You are free to depart at any time on the final day.
  • 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.