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The Classic Polar Bear 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 Churchill this morning. This hospitable outpost town, originally a Hudson's Bay Company fur-trading post, is our base for adventure. This evening we have a lecture on Arctic photography and our northern environs by our Expedition Leader, who is both an accomplished photographer and seasoned naturalist.

Days 3–5: Polar Bear Photography 
Rise early to board our custom-designed Polar Rovers, which allow us to get within prime photography range of the polar bears on the open tundra. Although each vehicle accommodates up to 35 passengers, we take a maximum of 16, ensuring that everyone has a window seat, space for camera gear and plenty of room to shoot. For three full days, we spend our daylight hours on the tundra, photographing polar bears as they roam the edge of Hudson Bay waiting for the ice to freeze and the winter seal-hunting season to begin. From the warmth 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. 

Out on the white expanse of the tundra we may spot other northern wildlife, too, including Arctic fox, Arctic hare, snowy owl, ptarmigan and gyrfalcon. Meanwhile, in addition to sharing photography advice, our Expedition Leader provides a captivating interpretation of the animal behavior and natural phenomena we are observing. By late afternoon, if the weather is relatively clear, we often enjoy stunning sunsets that linger a long time at this latitude, offering magnificent photo opportunities. As dusk descends upon the wild northern landscape, we return to town for dinner and presentations on photography, wildlife or local cultures. And if we're fortunate enough to see the dancing colors of the aurora borealis on a cloudless night, we’ll head for a place away from the lights of town to capture this magical event on camera. 

Day 6: Churchill—Dog Sledding / Winnipeg 
Our return flight is scheduled to depart in the mid- to late afternoon to offer as much time as possible today to explore Churchill. 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 optional adventure is a helicopter flight over the tundra, which may offer aerial views of polar bears. We enjoy a farewell lunch in Churchill before we depart, and an evening reception with our fellow travelers in Winnipeg.

Day 7: Winnipeg / Depart 
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
Map
All This Included
When you're standing on the outdoor platform of our Polar Rover, the chill Arctic air feels invigorating. But even more thrilling is the sight of a huge polar bear that wanders up alongside. Safely elevated above him, you’re nonetheless just feet away as you peer down at his shaggy, cream-colored bulk. Noticing us, he stops, sniffs and turns his face our way, curious. Awed, we draw in our breath, respecting the silence. The big bear ambles, then halts again. He rises on his haunches to peer at us more deliberately. We grin like kids, filled with delight. We watch. We wonder. Minutes go by, perhaps an hour, who knows? On the tundra, among the bears, time stands still. Join us in Churchill for one of nature's most wondrous wildlife encounters!
  • Round-trip flight from Winnipeg to Churchill
  • Accommodations
  • All meals
  • Dog sledding excursion
  • Cold-weather gear including a parka and boots during your trip
  • Services of NHA's professional Expedition Leaders and assistants
  • Some gratuities
  • All activities/entrance fees
  • Evening wildlife and cultural presentations
  • All taxes and service charges
Highlights
  • On our flagship polar bear trip, meet the world’s greatest concentration of these big carnivores as they wait for freeze-up on Hudson Bay and the start of seal-hunting season
  • Our custom Polar Rovers, with innovative steel mesh flooring on the outdoor observation platform, get you safely and comfortably up close to polar bears on the tundra
  • Meet a local dog musher and his team, experience an authentic dog sled ride through the boreal forest, and enjoy cultural presentations from Churchill residents
Accommodations
Winnipeg: Fort Garry Hotel
Churchill: To be determined
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra Day in Winnipeg
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.
1 Day / From $270

Northern Tundra Helicopter Adventure
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.
From $575
Notes
  • Group Size Limit: Approximately 16 Travelers.
  • Dates for 2019 are tentative and will be allocated to guests on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • 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.
  • 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.