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Tours of Exploration \| Churchill: Polar Bears of Churchill with VIA RAIL train

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Churchill: Polar Bears with VIA RAIL train

Bears and Buggies

Polar Bears of Churchill.  For millennium, the Arctic's most magnificent animals have gathered along the western shores of Hudson Bay each October and November to wait for the ice to freeze to begin their annual seal hunt.

They follow an ancient migratory route from their dens to areas where the ice freezes first. The settlement of Churchill lies along this migratory path and has become the undisputed "Polar Bear capital of the world". Here, an astounding concentration of polar bears can be viewed at close range in their natural environment. The bears are observed from the safety and comfort of specially designed Tundra Buggies that travel through this sub-Arctic wonderland. When bears are spotted sleeping, traveling, testing the ice or sparring, passengers may open windows or stand on an outside deck to obtain great views and photographs. Often curious bears approach the buggies for thrilling encounters. (Thanks to Larry Sassman for the great shots of this playful bear!)

Tours of Exploration, who specialize in Natural History Tours, have been sending travelers to Churchill for more than 15 years. Company president Catherine Evans says "Tours of Exploration, who specialize in Natural History Tours, have been sending travellers to Churchill for the past 15 years. Company president Catherine Evans says "this is one of our most popular programs. In 2009 I look forward to returning with our October group. During my last visit we came across more than 30 bears, witnessing females with cubs, young males sparring and also saw Arctic and Red fox, ptarmigans, a mink and an incredible Aurora Borealis."

Tours of Exploration group tours include dog sledding, slide shows and interpretive field excursions with local naturalists. The October journey also includes a one hour helicopter flight to observe the bears and other wildlife by air.


2017 Dates & Cost

October 17 - 23, 2017  (SUSPENDED DUE TO DAMAGED TRACKS AFTER HEAVY SPRING RAINS)

$ 4,910 CAD / $ 4,025 USD (Including airfare from Winnipeg
Single Supplement: $950 CAD / 780 USD 

5% tax is additional

DEPOSITS/PAYMENTS: A deposit of $ 1200 is required to reserve space. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.
DEPARTURE CITY: Winnipeg, MB
July & August departures are also offered -- experience whales, birds, caribou and other wildlife found in the fauna rich Churchill region.


Itinerary

Oct. 17  ARRIVE WINNIPEG
Arrive Winnipeg.  Accommodation provided Country Inn airport hotel.

Oct. 18 WINNIPEG/CHURCHILL - DOG SLEDDING (B)
Arrival in Churchill.  Transfer to the hotel.  In the afternoon enjoy a dog sled adventure.
3 nights polar Inn 

Oct. 19 ROADS & TRAILS (B,L)
Early morning flight to Churchill. Arrive at approximately 9:30 am in Churchill where you will be met. Luggage will be transferred to your hotel and our group will begin our orientation of Churchill and its natural and cultural features including a visit to the Eskimo Museum housing the finest collection of Inuit carvings and artifacts.  After lunch, The activities and areas will depend on weather and wildlife. We may venture to a section of Boreal forest to see the transition of the Boreal forest to the tundra through the taiga. Other areas of interest include the Hudson's Bay shoreline, the area beaches with their Pre-Cambrian rocks and fossils and Goose Bay. We will observe birds and wildlife enroute.

Oct 20 POLAR BEAR VIEWING (B,L)
Breakfast and morning departure to the tundra where we board specially designed six wheel drive tundra vehicles ideal for regional travel. Often curious polar bears approach the vehicles providing wonderful close range encounters and excellent photographic opportunities. We will also look for Arctic foxes, caribou, lemmings, ptarmigans and white-phase Gyrfalcons.

Churchill is one of the best places to observe the Aurora Borealis. Should this occur during our stay we will drive out of town to experience the Arctic sky and this incredible phenomena. Evening lecture on the -Seasons of Churchill with photographer Mike Macri.

Oct 21 POLAR BEAR VIEWING - VIA RAIL (B,L,D)
Enjoy a second day on the Tundra vehicles. In the evening board the VIA rail train. Overngith Sleeper car. 

Oct. 22  VIA RAIL (B,L,D)
Full day to enjoy the transition of the sub-Arctic terrain, Borreal forest, Plains to Winnpeg. Second evening in the sleeper car.

Oct. 23  ARRIVE WINNIPEG (B)
Arrive Winnipeg 4:45 pm.  

A post tour nigth in Winnipeg is recommended in case of late arrival. 


Additional Information

TOUR INCLUDES:

  • 2 nights/on VIA RAIL in sleeping compartment
  • 1 night in Winnipeg, 3 nights in Churchill
  • Airfare Winnipeg/Churchill
  • All meals indicated in the itinerary: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner
  • full day excursion in comfortable, heated Tundra Buggies
  • Escorted excursions by naturalists
  • Dog sledding
  • Hotel taxes

TOUR DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary and alcoholic beverages
  • Insurance
  • Optional tips
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Any additional excursions not listed in the itinerary

What our clients say...

"Have just received your brochure re the "Polar Bear Adventure" which reminded us of the fantastic trip we did with your company back in October! We will never forget the train journey from Winnipeg, just fantastic despite being longer than expected due to unforeseen incidents. Churchill, the Tundra, all the Bears, fox, the Aurora, dog sledding just made for the most memorable trip. We recommend your company to anyone who talks about going that way….. ….we would join you again tomorrow if circumstances permitted, it was the best ever trip." Maggie & Gary Cooper

"One thing that we continue to bring up as we tell family and friends about our trip is the total respect the people of Churchill have for the wildlife and the environment. They know it Ptarmiganis important to protect what they have and it is very obvious as they deal with the tourists. We feel we had a once in a lifetime experience on this trip and to have it run so smoothly made it even more special. What an experience!!" Pat and Lorne Fingarson

"I'm sending you copies of two of my favourite polar bear shots from last October. My most favourite is the mother and cubs at rest. The other shot was a family that my English cousin, first spotted. They ended up coming right up top our buggy, to the point where I switched to a regular lense, and still had to try and back away to get them all in!" M. Pearson

"I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic time I had on the Churchill tour last week. It was everything I had hoped for it to be and more!...I am totally spoilt for any and all future tours!"  K. Allen

"Well that was certainly a trip I'd like to repeat sometime! Thank you very much for fine-tuning all the arrangements & for booking the naturalists. I enjoyed every minute, even in the helicopter!"  S. Robinson