Head north and discover the beauty and wildness of Churchill, Manitoba. Known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” this small town on the banks of the Hudson Bay is famous for these majestic animals, who spend summer and fall on the local shores before returning to the pack ice when it forms in early winter. In summer they share the area with more than 60,000 beluga whales and a wide variety of other wildlife.
Itinerary Note: You are embarking on an adventure where daily activities will be determined by weather, opportunities to view wildlife, and other various elements that make up the incredibly diverse arctic summer. Guests will receive a daily itinerary while in Churchill, which will be flexible and updated frequently. The itinerary below is a general listing of activities and excursions that may happen during any part of the program.
Arrive Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada / Assiniboine Park Zoo
Welcome to Canada! Join fellow travelers for a warm welcome, then step out for a special evening reception in the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s underwater viewing tunnels. Observe polar bears and seals as they swim in the crystal clear pools above you. A three-course meal with wine is served under the dancing Northern Lights, in the Aurora Borealis Theatre. Following dinner, enjoy a presentation on the magnificent polar bears.
Overnight: Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites (R,D)
Winnipeg / Churchill / Cultural and Heritage Tour
Arrive in beautiful Churchill after a morning flight and transfer to the Lazy Bear Lodge. Enjoy a Cultural and Heritage tour where you’ll have guided site visits of the town’s waterfront area, Miss Piggy Plane Crash, Polar Bear “Jail” and Cape Merry. After dinner on your own, enjoy a presentation from Lazy Bear Lodge owner, Wally Daudrich, who built the lodge by hand with timbers from the nearby forests.
Overnight: Lazy Bear Lodge (B,L)
Churchill / Boat Tour / Prince of Wales Fort / Dog Sledding
Board Zodiac boats with your Orbridge Expedition Leader for a 3-hour tour of the Churchill River/Hudson Bay area to learn more about the 60,000 beluga whales that inhabit the area. Visit the Prince of Wales Fort, built to protect the business interests of the Hudson Bay Company. After lunch, you may choose to explore the area on foot, including several galleries and shops carrying local Inuit and Aboriginal art from the Canadian arctic, or you may select to participate in one of the following optional excursions available for purchase:
A) 3-Hour Kayaking Tour: includes a single or double kayak, paddles, life jackets, transfers, and an experienced naturalist guide. This is an intermediate-level kayaking excursion and includes limited instruction. It is not recommended for beginners.
B) 3-Hour Snorkeling Tour: includes all equipment including arctic dry suit and snorkeling gear, and all transfers.
C) Nature Walk: includes a guided tour with an expedition leader.
NOTE: The Snorkeling Tour and the Nature Walk are scheduled to take place at the same time.
This evening, meet an energetic team of huskies and their experienced handler. Learn about these industrious animals and the important role they play in the heritage of this remote region. Then, get ready for your own exciting dog sled experience.
Overnight: Lazy Bear Lodge (B,D)
Churchill / Hudson Bay Coastal Tour
Today we explore the Hudson Bay area in depth, with a full-day excursion led by your naturalist leader and boat captain, Wally Daudrich, aboard the Sam Hearne, a perfectly adapted vessel based on a WWII-era landing craft. The shoreline of this entire area is a rich ecosystem of life—home to a diverse group of animals including polar bears, belugas, caribou, harbor and bearded seals, walrus, and more than 270 species of birds. Stop at Hubbard Point, a favorite polar bear gathering spot.
Overnight: Lazy Bear Lodge (B,L)
Churchill / Arctic Crawler Experience / Eskimo Museum
Grab your camera, board your expedition vehicle, and head out onto stark yet beautiful landscapes, stopping to enjoy the scenery and search for wildlife. Our expert naturalist will provide details on the wildlife, vegetation, and ecosystem of the Arctic Tundra. After lunch visit the well known local Eskimo Museum to learn more about the indigenous population and its rich history and culture. While downtown, take some free time to explore on your own.
Overnight: Lazy Bear Lodge (B,L,D)
Churchill / Northern Studies Centre / Winnipeg
Visit the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, an independent, non-profit facility that provides equipment, expertise, and logistical support to the many scientists working in the area. It also offers educational services for visiting university students. This afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Winnipeg where you will rejoin fellow travelers for a farewell reception.
Overnight: Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites (B,L-aloft,R)
Enjoy breakfast, then bid a fond farewell to Canada and head to the airport for your flight home. (B)
*Itinerary subject to change
B = Breakfast Included, L = Lunch Included, D = Dinner Included