Polar Bear Viewing

Experience one of the world’s greatest wildlife adventures on the shores of Hudson Bay in Manitoba. Each year in the autumn, scores of polar bears gather near Churchill, waiting for the bay to freeze over so that they can venture out onto the ice to hunt seals, their favourite prey. The world’s largest carnivore, these magnificent animals can weigh up to 500 kg and stand up to 3 metres tall.

Our polar bear viewing programs allow viewing from specially designed all-terrain vehicles called Tundra Buggies® which permit passengers to watch and photograph the polar bears safely at close quarters. Buggies are heated, have washrooms and opening windows offering exceptional comfort as well as an exceptional view of wildlife in northern Manitoba. The experience aboard is unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else.

These three styles of program are offered to help you pick an itinerary that matches your interests:

Adventurer

  • Shorter programs with minimal community activities
  • Larger-sized groups

Enthusiast

  • Led by an Interpretive Guide
  • History, culture and bear viewing. Activities include dogsledding, museum visits and slide presentations
  • Medium-sized groups

Specialist

  • Guided by a Photo Specialist
  • Most amount of time spent on the tundra with polar bears
  • Small-sized groups

If you’re planning to visit in summer, consider our “Belugas, Bears & Blooms” tour. This 6 day/5 night adventure begins in Winnipeg, where you’ll encounter extraordinarily friendly beluga whales by the thousands as you cruise the Churchill River by Zodiac. There’s also time to scour the wildflower-carpeted tundra in the vast Churchill Wildlife Management Area on board a custom-designed Tundra Buggy in search of polar bears and other iconic Arctic wildlife including foxes and hares.

Click here to download the Polar Bear viewing in Churchill section of our Canada and Alaska brochure, or contact us for information on our entire range of polar bear experiences.

Location

How to get to Churchill

Flights are available from Winnipeg to Churchill.

Activities at Churchill

  • Polar bear and Arctic wildlife viewing
  • Wildflowers and beluga whales in summer
  • Churchill town and area tour
  • Cultural experiences and dogsledding
  • Tundra landscape photography

*Some activities are available at extra cost.

Churchill Highlights

  • Gateway to the vast protected tundra of the Churchill Wildlife Management Area
  • Home to polar bears, Arctic foxes, ptarmigans and other iconic animals
  • Beautiful wildlife and beluga whales by the thousands in summer
  • Opportunities to learn about Eskimo culture and dogsledding
  • Ride the amazing Tundra Buggy across the vast tundra

Want to find out more about Polar Bear viewing in Churchill tours?
Call one of our travel specialists on 1300 363 302

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Hotel or Lodge?

Once you’ve selected a style of program to suit your interests, there’s one more important decision to make: where to stay. We offer visitors two options:

Hotel Based

If you prefer the character and intimacy of a small hotel or want to spend more time exploring the town of Churchill, then the hotel-based option would suit you best. This option still allows you to enjoy the thrill of polar bear-watching aboard the Tundra Buggy by day, without missing out on the comforts of a Churchill-based hotel by night.

Sample Hotel Based Tour

Day 1: Winnipeg
Arrive Winnipeg and check into an airport hotel.

Days 2-4: Churchill
Early departure to Churchill. You are met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

Whilst in Churchill, enjoy 2 full day Tundra Buggy excursions including lunch and refreshments, to observe polar bears in their natural environment. Whilst on board, gain an insight into the area’s geology and history from your guide. Back in town, there is time to tour Churchill’s attractions, try your hand a dogsledding, enjoy a home-cooked meal at one of the many local family-run restaurants or visit the fascinating Eskimo Museum. Enjoy an educational slide presentation and farewell dinner on your final night.

Day 5: Winnipeg
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Winnipeg. Overnight at an airport hotel.

Day 6: Tour ends Winnipeg
Tour ends in the morning.

Lodge Based

If you’ve ever imagined sipping your morning coffee whilst watching polar bears emerge from under a blanket of snow, this option is for you. Eat, sleep and breathe with the polar bears aboard the Tundra Buggy Lodge, essentially a “Lodge-on-Wheels” comprised of five large units linked together. There are two sleeping units with shared sleeping quarters, bathrooms and showers, as well as lounge, kitchen and dining facilities.

Sample Lodge Based Tour

Day 1: Winnipeg
Arrive Winnipeg and overnight at an airport hotel.

Day 2: Churchill
Early morning flight to Churchill. Depart on a town and area tour visiting the Eskimo Museum. Evening excursion to Parks Canada Interpretive Centre. Overnight Churchill hotel.

Days 3-5: Tundra Buggy Lodge
Afternoon dogsled program before transfer to Tundra Buggy Lodge for 3 nights. Enjoy polar bear viewing for 3 days and search for other wildlife such as Arctic fox and ptarmigan with the help of your knowledgeable guide. The lodge’s open air decks offer unrivalled photographic opportunities, while the dining car is where informative presentations take place as wholesome meals are served.

Day 6: Winnipeg
Morning departure to Tundra Buggy launch followed by transfer to the airport for your flight to Winnipeg. Evening at airport hotel.

Day 6: Tour ends Winnipeg
Tour ends in the morning.

Canada Overview

Why visit Canada? Spanning the top of north America from the Pacific to the Atlantic, this huge country offers majestic scenery, unspoiled wilderness and incredible wildlife and adventure opportunities. At the same time Canada is a modern country with sophisticated cities, world class accommodation and excellent rail, road and air network.

When is the best time to visit Canada? From May to September is the best time for cruising and touring in Canada when the weather is at its finest. Temperatures and daylight hours vary depending on latitude, and the coast is more moderate than inland regions which have long hot summers and very cold winters.

Grizzly bear viewing is generally good from June until October and Polar Bear viewing around Churchill is possible from July to November. November to April is the time for winter wonderland experiences, skiing, dog sledding and the Northern Lights.

What can I combine Canada with? Alaskan holidays like Inside Passage cruising and wildlife viewing. Canada can also be combined with Arctic cruising and ice based adventures.

How do you get to Canada? Fly to Vancouver in British Columbia for west coast touring and cruising, or to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal or Quebec City for eastern Canada.

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