Toll Free: (800) 690-7887t: (604) 886-7300f: (604) 886-7301
Churchill wildlife adventure!. The excitement of being on the water in open air boats amongst the whales is unparalleled.
Researchers have confirmed what tour boat operators in Churchill have known for years: Manitoba has more belugas than anywhere else on Earth. Fisheries and Oceans Canada released a study in April 2005 that pegged the province's beluga whale population at about 57,000, which confirms Churchill as the beluga capital of the planet. "It's the biggest (population) in the world," said Pierre Richard, a Winnipeg-based research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans' Arctic Research Division.
Each summer thousands of Beluga whales congregate in the estuary close to Churchill, Manitoba to nurse their young and molt. Our local guides will share their knowledge about the ecology and habitat of Beluga whales. This area is also known as the "Polar Bear Capital of the World" due to the proximity of the town to Wapusk National Park, the world's largest polar bear denning area. Each July, Polar bears in substantial numbers come ashore after their annual seal hunt. They rest and den during the summer months. Although viewing of the polar bears is optimal later in the year (October/November) our past summer groups have had good sucess at viewing bears by helicopter. The tour will combine whale & wildlife viewing, Arctic natural history and culture. Evening talks and field excursions will be led by local naturalist Paul Ratson and photographer Mike Macri.
Departures each July 21-26; Aug 4-9; Aug 18-23
Land Cost: $ 2,700 CAD + 5% tax
(price including one hour helicopter flight $ 3,220 CAD + 5% tax)
Includes air from Winnipeg, ManitobaOptions for travel by VIA RAIL one way to Churchill available on request - 2 night journey! Single Supplement $ 375 CADMaximum Group Size: 10
DAY 1 WINNIPEG/CHURCHILL (D)Calm Air 7539 02:45 pm/5:25 pm Winnipeg/ChurchillAfternoon flight from Winnipeg to Churchill. Upon your arrival in Churchill you will be picked up and transferred to your accommodations at the Tundra Inn Motel. Some free time to get settled. Welcome dinner followed by an evening lecture on the "Wildlife of Churchill" with Paul Ratson. NOTE: Flight times may changeDAY 2 BELUGA WHALE VIEWING (B,L)After breakfast this morning, we set out for a morning whale watching orientation talk before setting out in open-air boats to see the Beluga's. The whales are relatively small. They weigh up to 1,000 kgs. and measure 3 to 6 metres in length and they come to these warm and somewhat shallow waters to rear their young. The tour will also visit historic Prince of Wales Fort. Field Lunch at Cape Merry, a place that the whales are often seen from shore, the port, the polar bear jail and other sites that add to the local character and history. Dinner on your own. Your guide will provide a list of restaurants.DAY 3 BELUGA WHALE VIEWING (B,L)We will spend the morning out on the Churchill River with the Beluga Whales and sea birds. This excursion will be by zodiac boat. Lunch and afternoon at leisure. You may wish to visit the Parks Canada Interpretation Centre which has exhibits, information and audio-visual presentations on Natural History and Human Settlement in the area. We highly recommend the "Eskimo Museum" housing the finest collection of Inuit carvings and artifacts. Don't forget a quick visit to the post office where you can get your passport stamped with their special stamp to commemorate your trip to Churchill. Free time for shopping for Inuit crafts and Arctic memorabilia.Optional snorkeling with the Belugas is available. Arctic wet suit rentals (these are warm), limited selection, bring your own mask and snorkel if you prefer. $28/person/charterPlease note that all tours and charters, including the use of hydrophones, are dependent upon the weather and water conditions. It may be summer but dress warmly (coat, sweater, hat and gloves). Water levels change dramatically with the in coming and the out going tides. Tour times are determined by the tide tables and change daily.DAY 4 ROADS & TRAILS/ARCTIC EXPLORATION (B,L,D)A tour to the northern edge of the Boreal forest. You will have the opportunity to see the transition of the Boreal forest to the tundra through the taiga. We will also look for Arctic foxes, caribou, lemmings, ptarmigans and white-phase Gyrfalcons and other Arctic wildlife. Field lunch and a walk in the Boreal Forest. In the evening we will head to the Northern Studies Centre for a lecture. DAY 5 LOCAL SIGHTSEEING TOURS/WINNIPEG(B,L,D)In the morning a helicopter journey over Wapusk National Park in search of polar bear, caribou, fox and other Arctic wildlife. Lunch at Lazy Bear Cafe. Afternoon at leisure. Farewell Dinner followed by a Calm Air flight to Winnipeg. Overnight Country Inn in Winnipeg.DAY 6 DEPARTURE (B)Departure. PROGRAM MAY CHANGE BASED ON MOVEMENT OF THE WILDLIFE, WEATHER AND OTHER FACTORS.
Customized tours in the summer are available to Churchill for bird watching in June, Wildflowers and Arctic Wildlife in July and August. See our Polar Bear departures for October and November tours during prime bear viewing season.Tour Includes:
Tour Does Not Include:
ACCOMMODATIONSAccommodation in Churchill is in a comfortable three-star hotel with a private bathroom facilities. The tour price is based on twin occupancy. On request, single travelers may be matched with a suitable roommate. A limited number of single rooms are available on request. The single supplement cost is not included in the tour cost.MEALSBreakfast and dinners are served at local restaurants in town. Lunches are served both as field style and in restaurants.SIGHTSEEINGA variety of sightseeing tours are included in the price to enhance your Arctic experience. Local guides will provide insight to the history and wildlife of the area.PHYSICAL DEMANDSThis program should not present any difficulty to persons in reasonable physical condition. There will be some walking on rocky terrain. Proper outdoor clothing should be carried at all times. The trip is suitable for families although not recommended for children under 8.WEATHERThe weather conditions are generally stable. As this is typically an arid region a high pressure dome remains over the area in the summer months. This results in endless sunshine, even in the small hours of the morning. Even though the daytime temperature is normally around 18-20'C (65-70'F) there can be days when the temperatures skyrocket to 30'C (85'F) or fall to 3-5'C (35-40'F). You must prepare for a wide range of possible temperatures and weather conditions.
"Thanks. We had an absolutely wonderful trip. The guide was fantastic, weather was great and the whales are unbelievable. I was thrilled to see a herd of caribou. I have seen so much about them on TV but never seen a herd in the wild." E. Epezalla
Toll Free: (800) 690-7887(604) 886-7300 Fax: (604) 886-7301
1114 Cartwright RoadGibsons, BCV0N 1V1Canada