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Northern Lights Photography Tour

7 days with Natural Habitat Adventures   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
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: Fly to Churchill—Town Tour & Aurora Viewing
Board our flight to Churchill this morning. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel and take a brief tour of this historic settlement that was originally a Hudson's Bay Company fur-trading post established in 1689. 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. Sometimes other colors appear, too: yellow, red or even purple. 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 Earth’s magnetic field, more poetic stories of their origin linger, including the Hudson Bay Inuit’s belief that the lights are the mystical display of their ancestors’ souls dancing in the sky.
 
Days 3–5: Aurora Viewing & Winter Adventures in Churchill 
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 we don't stand outside in the cold while we wait for the lights to appear: each evening includes a vantage point on the night sky where we can witness the phenomenon in warmth and comfort. Our custom-designed Aurora Pod® features 360-degree views of the sky, courtesy of its exclusive geometric glass construction including clear half-walls and a glass ceiling. We'll also look for the lights 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, who is an expert instructor. 
 
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 winter-white fur coats. The town of Churchill is also full of photo opportunities, with historic buildings, interesting local people and roving sled dogs. Though the Hudson’s Bay Company established a fort here in 1717 as part of its fur-trading network across the Canadian North, 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, Dene and Metis 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, gathering one last time for a farewell dinner this evening.
 
Day 7: Winnipeg / Home
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
Map
All This Included
To stand beneath the northern lights as they swirl across the night sky is a dream most nature travelers yearn to realize. The allure of capturing that phenomenon in images holds special appeal for photographers. Our photography-focused version of our Northern Lights & Arctic Cultures adventure is designed to help you get outstanding images of one of the planet's most wondrous and beautiful natural events. Churchill has one of the most active auroral displays in the world, making it an optimal destination for northern lights photography. Our Expedition Leader is both a naturalist and expert photographer, interpreting Arctic nature and culture while constantly ready with tips 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 exhilarating images of the dancing lights.
  • Round-trip transportation between Winnipeg and Churchill
  • Accommodations
  • All meals
  • Drinking water throughout the trip
  • Cold-weather gear including a parka, a fleece buff, a fleece jacket, waterproof pants, mittens and boots during your trip
  • Services of NHA Expedition Leaders and assistants
  • Most gratuities
  • Airport transfers
  • Permits and entrance fees
  • All taxes
Highlights
  • Shoot the Aurora in Varied Locations: Photograph the northern lights from our exclusive glass Aurora Pod, inside heated Aurora Domes, from an isolated cabin deep in the boreal forest, and outside a tepee warmed by a campfire.
  • Get Photography Pro Tips & Guidance: Glean personalized instruction from expert photographer guides to capture outstanding images of the aurora, northern landscapes and winter wildlife like Arctic fox and hare.
  • Explore Historic Churchill: On an array of winter adventures, learn about fur-trading history and indigenous traditions, take a dog sled ride, and journey by snowcoach on the frozen Churchill River.

Accommodations
Winnipeg: Fort Garry Hotel
Churchill: To be determined
Notes
  • Group Size Limit: Approximately 14 Travelers.
  • Not Included: Travel to and from start and end point of trip, alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, etc.), and optional travel insurance. Internal airfare is an additional $975.
  • Physical Requirements: Moderate. This adventure does not require a significant degree of physical fitness. However, we will be exposed to extremely cold weather, often experiencing temperatures well below freezing, which in itself can be physically challenging. We may also have to walk in deep snow. Most nights we will stay up past midnight to look for the northern lights, which typically appear late at night. It is necessary to climb 10 steps up a ladder in order to access the upper level of the Aurora Domes, for the best view of the sky from this facility. Travelers must be able to walk up and down stairs. All of our activities are optional.
  • Please plan to arrive in Winnipeg on Day 1 in time for our 7 pm welcome/orientation dinner. 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.