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Churchill - Polar Bears & Beluga Whales

August 2022

Pre-Booking Only

Adventure Tour

Few of nature’s marvels match the intense aliveness of an Arctic summer. In a region that's frozen, still and dark for much of the year, the Northland awakens with a burst of energy during these long days when the tundra turns green, wildflowers appear, animals come forth in great flocks and herds, and belugas return for their summer feasting. More than 3,000 of these amiable white whales congregate at the mouth of the Churchill River, and the motorized rafts and kayaks put us at eye level with these often-curious cetaceans. On the surrounding tundra, look for terrestrial wildlife—we may even spot polar bears, their creamy coats contrasting with the rocky shoreline and dark boreal forest. With the remote yet accessible town of Churchill as our base on Hudson Bay, we are surrounded by the flurry of natural wonders a northern summer provides.

 

Signature Moments

  • Kayak with the Pod of Belugas
  • Listen to the Belugas by Hydrophone
  • Be in awe of the Northern Lights
  • Search for Polar Bears by Helicopter
  • Feel good, Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
Pre-Book Here
Inclusions & Highlights
  • 6 Nights accommodations
  • Airport transfers
  • All meals
  • Services of Nat Hab's professional Expedition Leader(s) and assistants
  • Zodiac and Polar Rover excursions
  • Helicopter excursion
  • All activities and entrance fees
  • Internal flight
  • Taxes and service fees
  • Gratuities
  • English speaking guide
  • Women's Travel Club Tour Host
Itinerary
Day 1 - Arrive Manitoba

Welcome to Canada North!
Arrive in Winnipeg and transfer to the Fort Garry Hotel, built in 1913 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. The French-style chateau is still the grande dame of Winnipeg, offering first-class hospitality in Manitoba's capital. Meet your Expedition Leader and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner on this first evening of your Arctic summer adventure.
Accommodations - Fort Garry Hotel

 

Day 2 - Winnipeg / Churchill, Manitoba

This morning, fly north by chartered plane to Churchill, the remote outpost community that is the gateway to the Arctic. We'll spend the day exploring this hospitable frontier town that was originally a Hudson's Bay Company fur trading post. During our tour of the community and its natural environs, we follow a trail through the boreal forest and visit Churchill's Itsanitaq Museum, showcasing the region's indigenous cultures with artifacts collected from centuries of habitation. We may also have a chance to meet local individuals for insight into their cultural traditions and daily lives. These captivating storytellers share tales from their personal histories, offering a window into the enduring cultures that have flourished in this harsh environment for thousands of years.
Accommodations - TBA

 

Day 3-5 - Exploring Churchill—Beluga Encounters & Wildlife Watching

With Churchill as our base, spend four full days exploring the tundra, river and seacoast of Hudson Bay. Activities include a helicopter ride over the subarctic to search for polar bears that roam this otherwise inaccessible wilderness terrain and to glean an aerial view of beluga pods gathered in the river and sea, two Zodiac excursions to observe belugas congregating in the mouth of the Churchill River, a boat trip to explore the delicate wetlands and brackish water habitat where wildlife thrives along Churchill River estuary, and an opportunity to kayak among inquisitive beluga whales that often nudge close to our paddles or follow in our human-powered wakes. More than 3,000 of these small white cetaceans spend the summer in the area, and our motorized rafts and kayaks put us at eye-level with them. With their unusual ability to turn their heads from side to side, belugas appear to be as curious about us as we are about them. Through the use of a hydrophone on board, we can even listen to their otherworldly songs. Few wildlife encounters offer as intimate a perspective as this one does.
We’ll take a larger vessel across the river to Prince of Wales Fort, established by Danish explorer Jens Monk in 1619, on the site where the Hudson’s Bay Company built one of its original fur-trading posts. Churchill became a stopover point for explorers searching for the fabled Northwest Passage and was instrumental in the opening of the Canadian West. On occasion, we see polar bears roaming just north of here around the rocky promontory that juts into Hudson Bay, and there's a good chance of encountering part of the resident caribou herd that numbers 600+ animals.
Ashore, traverse the tundra on a specialized Polar Rover vehicle in search of northern wildlife as we head to a spot near Hudson Bay for an outdoor cookout. Here at the interface of the boreal forest and tundra, we may spot Arctic fox, ptarmigan and polar bears, too. At this time of year, it is not uncommon to find mothers with cubs. The Churchill area also has plenty of walking trails that weave within the border of the northern boreal forest and southern tundra edge. This nexus of ecosystems is home to a variety of flora and fauna, which we encounter on our short walks. We also have chances to explore farther afield on foot, led safely by our Expedition Leader and local polar bear guards. Late in the season, when the sun finally starts to dip, there's even a possibility of seeing the northern lights if the conditions prove just right. After all, we're directly under the auroral oval, one of the planet's best places to see aurora borealis, and even late summer can create some fortunate magic encounters with northern lights.
Accommodations - TBA

 

Day 6 - Churchill / Winnipeg

Our chartered flight to Winnipeg allows us ample time to explore more of Churchill today. Along the main street, several shops offer locally made handicrafts, from Inuit-designed wall-hangings to caribou fur sculptures. Meet a local dog sled musher and his team, spending time with the lively, affectionate dogs that are an intrinsic part of winter life on the frozen tundra. Then head out to the Northern Studies Center, where scientists are researching the Arctic environment, social issues and sustainable resource development within this extreme yet fragile landscape. Early this evening, we gather for a farewell dinner, reveling in the memories we've made over the past week, before meeting our flight.
Accommodations - TBA

 

Day 7 - Winnipeg - Depart

Time to say good-bye to beautiful Canada's beautiful Norht and fabulous friends you have made along the way. After breakfast, our Arctic summer tour comes to a close as we transfer to the airport for flights home.

 

**Prices are subject to change and availability. Space is limited and activities and specific hotels are subject to change. Travel insurance is strongly recommended.

 

Important Details & Pricing
Pre-Booking Only

Pre-book now to hold your spot. As soon as we have full details and pricing we will let you know. At that time you can decide if you would like to confirm this tour. If you do book you will save $100 off the tour as a thank you for showing us your interest.

 

Rates

Double Occupancy - TBA CAD per person (sharing a room)

Single Occupancy - TBA CAD per person (your own room)

 

If you would like the double occupancy rate but don't have a roommate we will match you with a suitable roommate. The single occupancy rate will give you your own room. Single occupancy very limited.

Deposit of TBA per person due at time of booking.

Final Payment due - TBA

*All payments are non-refundable Please see full terms and conditions.

 

Activity Level

Moderate Activity
The activities on our Churchill wildlife adventure are diverse, requiring general mobility and fitness. This trip involves several walks of approximately 2 miles each in varying climates and environments and can include uneven and slippery terrain. Travelers must be able to walk 2 miles unassisted. Travelers must be able to get into and out of rigid inflatable Zodiac rafts, which can be very unsteady when entering or leaving in rough water. You must also be comfortable changing positions in a moving Zodiac while out on the water. Travelers may have the opportunity to participate in optional kayaking, weather permitting. Though no prior kayaking experience is required, general fitness and mobility, including the ability to get into and out of a kayak, are essential. Travelers must be able to climb in and out of vehicles with as many as four steps many times throughout each day. While travelers are not required to participate in all activities, should you opt out of the day's scheduled activities, we cannot always guarantee that alternatives will be available.

 

Group Size

Minimum - 8 ladies
Maximum - 14 ladies

 

Exclusions
  • International Airfare (can be arranged by WTC)
  • Visa/passport handling fees
  • Meals not listed in itinerary
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Gratuitis on meals not included and personal expenses
  • Optional Activities
  • Expenses of a Personal Nature
  • Early check-in and late check-out of hotel

 

Tour Leader

Marianne Southall
Marianne is the founder of the Women's Travel Club. She is well traveled and loves to get off the beaten path, her favorite type of tour would involve nature and animals.

 

Flight Information

Once your flights are booked please forward a copy of your itinerary to info@womens-travel-club.com.
A Women's Travel Club agent is available to help you book your flights. Please do not book any flights until tour is confirmed. Follow this link to a form to request flight options and quotes. A Women's Travel Club agent will send you back the recommended flight option that best suits you. We are pleased to offer a flight booking service for your tour. As quoting of flights can be a time-consuming endeavor, a service fee of $113 ($100 plus HST) will apply.

Arrive to Winnipeg, Manitoba
Depart from Winnipeg, Manitoba

Flight Quote

Travel Insurance:

Out of country medical insurance is required. We strongly recommend that you obtain cancellation and interruption insurance to protect your investment.
Use this link to request an insurance quote.
Insurance Quote

Accommodations
Women's Travel Club Polar Bears and Beluga Whales Tour
The Fort Garry Hotel

A beloved landmark in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, the Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre is a modern mix of contemporary style and Old World elegance. Within this iconic century-old architectural gem, fitness routines happily coexist with complimentary cookies, coffee, and tea in the morning( 7am-11am). Glamorous public spaces are the setting for glorious farm-to-table cuisine, and high-tech amenities fill guest rooms with soaring 10-foot ceilings.

Churchill Accomodation

Our hotel in remote Churchill will be announced closer to the travel date. The hotel in Churchill will be simple, clean, comfortable and centrally located.

Extra Hotel Nights

Often ladies will book a night at the first hotel prior to the tour. This gives them a chance to relax after a long flight and settle in before the tour starts. Let us know if you would like pricing and information on the hotel.
Follow this link to request pre or post tour hotel nights.

Hotel Request