Canada | Polar Bears and Beluga Whales in Churchill, Manitoba

Canada | Polar Bears and Beluga Whales in Churchill, Manitoba

About this trip

Discover the beauty and wildness of Manitoba in Churchill, a historic town on the shores of the Hudson Bay and gateway to the Arctic. Churchill is the epicenter for learning about polar bears, the “king of the north,” as they converge here every fall. During summer, spot polar bears along the local shores and view some of the 60,000 beluga whales that fill Hudson Bay to feed, mate, and give birth in the shallow waters. Learn about the fragile ecosystem of the Subarctic, its history, and Inuit culture. Take in the beautiful wild places that offer the very best opportunities to see many other summer inhabitants, including birds, seals, Arctic hare, and Arctic fox.

Highlights

  • Discover Hudson Bay’s vibrant coast on two boat excursions to view polar bears, beluga whales, and other Arctic wildlife.
  • Absorb the culture and heritage of Churchill and the surrounding area as you visit various historic sites, including Cape Merry and the wreckage of the famous plane known as “Miss Piggy.”
  • Visit Churchill’s Itsanitaq Museum for an exploration of Indigenous ways of life while viewing remarkable examples of Inuit craftsmanship.
  • Take a kayak adventure for an up-close experience with beluga whales along a tranquil estuary.
  • Learn about the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, a non-profit field station, on a visit and talk about the ongoing scientific and social research work.
  • Gain an understanding of the history of fur trading and step back to the 1700s on a walking tour of the Prince of Wales Fort.
11 Travelers

Land Cost

$5,895 - Jul 7 - Aug 23, 2022

$6,495 - Jul 7 - Aug 23, 2023

Book 10 travelers and 1 group
leader travels for free

21 Travelers

Land Cost

$5,495 - Jul 7 - Aug 23, 2022

$6,025 - Jul 7 - Aug 23, 2023

Book 20 travelers and 1 group
leader travels for free

Winnipeg

Day 1

Upon arrival in Winnipeg, you will be met and taken to the hotel. Meet our representative and receive a briefing on tomorrow’s schedule. Please note: Today is an arrival day and no meals are included.

Overnight at Winnipeg Hotel

Churchill

Day 2

Return to the airport this morning for our charter flight to Churchill. Upon arrival, we meet our naturalist guide and check in at our cozy, 1800s-style lodge, recognized by National Geographic Traveler for its unique atmosphere and sustainable practices. This afternoon, learn about the culture and heritage of Churchill and the surrounding area as we explore various historic sites, including Cape Merry and the wreckage of the famous plane known as "Miss Piggy." Learn about the Polar Bear Jail, a special building where polar bears that are considered troublesome are isolated before they can be relocated. Gather for an interpretive presentation by Parks Canada, followed by a welcome dinner at Lazy Bear Café. Enjoy made-from-scratch entrees or sample Indigenous food such as braised peppered elk, Arctic char, and Manitoba bison.

Breakfast-Dinner included
Overnight at Lazy Bear Lodge

Churchill

Day 3

Today, we set out for an exciting Hudson Bay coastal boat excursion for the chance to see polar bears, beluga whales, and other Arctic wildlife. This full-day adventure takes us to the spot where 60,000 beluga whales (the highest concentration in the world!) descend upon Hudson Bay. Rendezvous with the whales on the Churchill River and into the mouth of the Hudson Bay as they feed on schools of capelin, Arctic char, brook trout, and cisco whitefish. Besides viewing these "sea canaries" (as they are known for their frequent and varied vocalizations) with our experienced guide, we may encounter other tundra fauna and flora: the Pacific Loon, Ptarmigan, Arctic hare, Arctic fox, and a plethora of wildflowers. Dinner is on your own this evening.

Breakfast-Lunch- included
Overnight at Lazy Bear Lodge

Churchill

Day 4

This morning, our beluga whale boat tour takes us along the same shoreline where hundreds of beluga whales come to feed, mate, and give birth. This is another chance to view beautiful beluga whales in their natural habitat in the Churchill River and into the Hudson Bay area. Step ashore for a walking tour of the Prince of Wales Fort, constructed over a span of 40 years in the 1700s, to learn about its history and gain a sense of a fur trader's life at this massive stone outpost. This afternoon, discover the oldest and most comprehensive collection of Inuit artifacts at the Itsanitaq Museum, not far from our lodge. The museum is dedicated to promoting northern culture and history, with an emphasis on the Canadian Inuit.

Breakfast- included
Overnight at Lazy Bear Lodge

Churchill

Day 5

Embark on a kayak adventure for an up-close experience with beluga whales. As you gently paddle your single or double kayak along the tranquil estuary, watch for curious belugas trailing behind you. Later, learn about the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, focused on research and education in the Subarctic. The Centre is a non-profit field station located outside of Churchill along the Hudson Bay seacoast at the meeting of three major biomes: marine, northern boreal forest, and tundra. Have a talk to learn about scientific and social research work, including sustainable resource development. Tonight we share a farewell dinner at the Lazy Bear Café.

Breakfast-Dinner included
Overnight at Lazy Bear Lodge

Winnipeg

Day 6

After breakfast, check out of the lodge. As our last excursion before returning to Winnipeg, we will enjoy a summer tundra tour on the famous Arctic Crawler. We will be able to step outside and walk on the tundra if conditions allow. Please note that during the summer, it is very rare to see any polar bears out in the tundra. However, we will have a chance to see and learn about the ecosystem.

Breakfast- included
Overnight at Winnipeg Hotel

Departure

Day 7

Flights back home. Breakfast is included depending on flight times.

Breakfast- included