This active small group trip explores the Seal River estuary along the Hudson Bay by boat, on foot and from the traditional tundra tracker to view polar bears and beluga whales.
From the pristine Manitoba region, how about swimming with beluga whales and seeing polar bears on foot? This active tour is a great opportunity to experience the wildlife in more interesting ways than just sitting in a vehicle. You will have the chance to view whales by boat, and canoe and may even have the chance to get in the water. There are also opportunities to get out on foot to see polar bears (but also enjoy viewing them from the comfort of a Tundra Tracker). Experience the Northern Lights and beautiful scenery on a true journey to remember.
Day1: Fly to Winnipeg
Fly to Winnipeg on a daytime flight, arriving later the same day, and make your way to your overnight hotel.
Accommodation: Inn at the Forks, 1-night
Day2: Fly to Churchill, Manitoba & transfer to lodge by light aircraft
You depart early from Winnipeg for Churchill, and transfer to a private charter plane for a 30-minute flight to the Seal River Heritage Lodge, strategically sited on the Hudson Bay shoreline. This scenic flight will give you some fantastic photographic opportunities of the beautiful Hudson Bay coast.
After your arrival briefing and a hearty lunch you head out for your first exploration of the coast and its fascinating ecosystem. Polar bears, Arctic fox, ptarmigan and snowy owl are all possible sightings here. Return for an evening by the fire.
The next four days are all about polar bears and beluga whales - and experiencing them from land and sea in every way possible! You may come close to inquisitive belugas by boat (there will be at least two whale watching trips), sea kayaking and swimming (not for the feint-hearted!). There will be a dry suit provided to keep some of the chill off!
For land based activities there are nature walks to see caribou and maybe polar bear from a safe viewing distance and vehicle based ‘tundra tracker’ trips along the coast to approach the bears for perfect wildlife photography opportunities.
During your stay, interpretation talks and lectures from the experts will be on offer each day and you may also be lucky enough to see the northern lights.
Day7: Transfer to Churchill by light aircraft & onward flight to Winnipeg
This morning there is a chance for last-minute photo opportunities before a charter flight back to Churchill after breakfast. On arrival in Churchill, you will have free time to explore the town and local places of interest before continuing to Winnipeg later in the afternoon.
Accommodation: Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, 1-night
Day8: Depart Winnipeg
Day9: Arrive UK
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 9 daysfrom £8,895 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 daysfrom £7,795 pp
The Hudson Bay Lowlands are a wetland, and serve as part of the migration route for polar bears heading south. An area of transition between boreal forest and tundra, Hudson Bay is host to a large diversity of wildlife, the greatest occurring in the spring, with the arrival of migrating birds and newborn animals.
Ideal for viewing: American beaver, American black bear, polar bear, willow ptarmigan, caribou
Churchill is known as the ‘Polar Bear and Beluga Whale Capital of the World’ and lies right in the migratory path of polar bears, as they head north onto the ice floes to spend the winter hunting seals. Situated in Northern Manitoba, the coastline here is so remote that it has not changed in thousands of years.
Due to its location at the confluence of two major rivers that provide access to an extensive network of canoe routes, Winnipeg was a trading post for First Nations peoples long before the first Europeans arrived. It serves as a gateway to Churchill in northern Manitoba, where our polar bear tours start.
Excellent for: City stopover
Strategically sited on the Hudson Bay shoreline, Seal River Heritage Lodge is rustic yet comfortable, providing an excellent opportunity to see polar bears in the snow. From the lodge you can photograph Arctic wildlife and get a bird’s eye view of amazing sunsets and sunrises from the viewing towers.