Arctic Discovery: August

Encounter belugas—and the vestiges of the Hudson Bay Company—during two days in Churchill. Then fly along the bay’s southern coast to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge and spend four days with expert naturalists tracking polar bears and their cubs, as well as other Arctic creatures, on foot or in open vehicles.

Day 1—Winnipeg

Arrive in Winnipeg by early evening and check in to The Grand, conveniently located at Winnipeg's International Airport. At 5:00 pm meet other lodge guests and a Churchill Wild adventure specialist for dinner at the Manitoba Museum.

Day 2—Churchill

Depart Winnipeg for Churchill early in the morning on Calm Air International. After settling into the Polar Inn, your base for the next two nights, gather for a hearty brunch and an orientation. Then set out for the docks of the Churchill River. Here, take kayaks out onto the water with a guide and spend several hours paddling alongside—and interacting with—beluga whales. Later in the afternoon, go on a guided tour of the historic Prince of Wales Fort, a stronghold of the Hudson Bay Company during the early years of the fur trade. Dine tonight at one of Churchill’s most popular restaurants. Excursion times for your Churchill adventures will vary with the tides in order to maximize your time with the belugas.

Day 3—Churchill

Head back to the dock for another chance to observe belugas. After lunch at a local favorite, Gypsies, choose to have a second beluga encounter or enjoy free time to wander about the town’s unique shops. Late afternoon provides time for visiting the Parks Canada museum located in the historic train station, and the award-winning Itsantiq Museum. Tonight, you’re invited for a gourmet dinner at the home of local resident Helen Webber, whose roots in the community date back to the fur trade.

Days 4 TO 7—Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge

A scenic flight brings you from Churchill over the coastal flats of the Hudson Bay to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Settle in and enjoy four days of exploring the forests and tidal plains of the area—and their famous wildlife. Hot breakfasts will generally be served at 8 am and your outings will begin at about 9:30 a.m. Lunch will either be served at the Lodge or enjoyed as a picnic outdoors. Daily outings may include the following, depending on weather and ground conditions:

  • Exploration of the tidal flats, river deltas, beach ridges, and Hudson Bay shoreline in our specially designed “rhino,” a low-impact all-terrain vehicle.
  • A photography excursion along the Hudson Bay to hone your skills while photographing polar bears and other abundant wildlife.
  • Opportunities close to the lodge that present themselves as the day unfolds, from photographing polar bears to tracking other wildlife.

Appetizers and cocktails are served at 6 pm and dinner is served at 7 pm. During the evening there will be an informative lecture, slide show presentation, or time to trade stories around the fire. Churchill Wild staff will watch for aurora borealis after dark and provide a gentle wake up call to ensure you don’t miss any opportunities to witness and photograph this spectacular Arctic phenomenon.

Days 7 and 8—Churchill/Winnipeg

After a hearty breakfast, prepare for the flight back to Churchill—another opportunity to take aerial shots of Arctic. Your bags will be stored for you, leaving you free to explore this frontier town. Sites of note are Cape Merry, the Port of Churchill, the Itsantiq Museum, the Polar Bear Holding Compound (otherwise known as the Polar Bear Jail), as well as the Parks Canada exhibit. Enjoy an early dinner on your own before the flight to Winnipeg. Upon arrival in Winnipegmake your way back to The Grand. Depart for home after breakfast the following day.