Get Up Close With Polar Bears On This Wilderness Tour
Visit Churchill, Manitoba, the "Polar Bear Capital of the World" in October and early November when polar bears gather at nearby Cape Churchill waiting for the ice to form on Hudson Bay. Once the ice is stable, they head out to spend the winter hunting seals. In this short time you have the chance to see these magnificent creatures up close from the comfort and safety of a purpose-built vehicle called the Tundra Buggy. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a ‘must-see’ for wildlife enthusiasts.
Our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.
Can this trip be made shorter or longer?
Absolutely! We personalize all our clients' trips to fit their exact tastes and needs. You can add days at locations that you'd like to explore and spend more time at. Or leave out certain areas that don't interest you as much. Discuss your travel goals with our Canadian Insiders who make sure that your trip fits your needs and budget.
Can I customize this trip?
Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can get your FREE personalized trip plan and decide what you'd like to see and do.
If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.
Where am I staying on this trip?
You'll be staying at various local three to five star hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.
How much does my trip cost?
All our trips are personalized to fit our clients' schedule and budget. The price of your trip generally depends on the travel season, train service, accommodations, and the sightseeing tours you take. Please request your personalized quote which will provide you with the detailed information you need.
What is included in the price?
Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive your detailed digital travel documents, and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal throughout your trip to answer any questions.
What are the best ways to travel around Canada?
Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.
When is the best time to see wildlife?
That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.
This Trip in Pictures
The joy of these journeys is seeing Polar Bears in their natural habitat.
You'll learn what the different interactions are about from expert naturalists on polar bear tours.
Naturalists will help you identify the different family groups…
You'll see the polar bears of Churchill in all their moods...
And you'll also get a chance to experience dogsledding and learn about the dogs.
Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized trip plan for you that matches your travel style, schedule and budget.
Day 1 – Arrive in Winnipeg
Welcome to Winnipeg! After checking into your airport hotel, take some time to explore the city. Head over to the Manitoba Museum, which has nine galleries displaying historical artifacts or to the Forks, a funky market which is one of the city’s most popular gathering places. This evening get acquainted with your fellow travelers at an information session led by your hosts.
To ensure you are comfortable in Churchill’s cold temperatures, ask us about winter clothing rentals. We highly recommend you do this early, as availability is limited!
Overnight in a Winnipeg airport hotel.
Day 2 – Winnipeg to Churchill
Early this morning board your plane for a flight from Winnipeg to Churchill. Journey over the tundra and plains of the north – the bird’s eye view is spectacular!
Upon arrival drive past various points of interest in and surrounding Churchill on an interpretive tour. You’ll have a chance to photograph the Polar Bear Holding facility amongst other highlights. Included is a visit to Polar Bears International House to learn about ongoing polar bear research as well as the Parks Canada Interpretive Centre, where you’ll learn more about the history and wildlife of Churchill.
Overnight in a Churchill hotel.
Day 3 – Polar Bear Viewing
Why is Churchill known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World? Well, because large numbers of the bears congregate near town each fall while they wait for the ice to form on Hudson Bay.
This morning you’ll board a specially designed Tundra Buggy and journey into the Churchill Wildlife Management Area for your first chance to see polar bears in the wild. Since the number of visitors to the CWMA is highly restricted, your chances of seeing the bears up close is excellent. This is prime polar bear habitat! Your knowledgeable guide will provide insights along way.
This evening at a Cultural Presentation, you’ll learn what it’s like to live in the northern reaches of Canada through the stories of a Churchill resident, such as a local trapper.
Overnight in Churchill.
Day 4 – Dog Sledding and Itsanitaq Museum
Set off on an exciting dog sledding excursion today. Meet a local musher and hear his incredible tales of Arctic racing, then meet his pack of sled dogs. After a thorough briefing, feel the exhilaration of racing a team through the boreal forest on a one-mile groomed trail. This excursion is designed for guests of all abilities.
Later today, visit the Itsanitaq Museum. The museum’s a collection of Inuit carvings and artifacts are among the finest in the world. This is also a great place to stock up on unique, locally crafted souvenirs.
Overnight in Churchill.
Day 5 – Polar Bear Viewing and Return to Winnipeg
Enjoy another extraordinary day exploring the Churchill Wildlife Management Area onboard a Tundra Buggy. As well as capturing incredible, up-close photographs of polar bears, you’ll likely see other wildlife such as arctic fox, ptarmigan, and snowy owl. When you arrive back in Churchill, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Winnipeg.
Overnight in Winnipeg.
Day 6 – End of Canada Vacation Package – Depart with Fond Memories
Your Canada vacation ends as you check-out from your hotel this morning and depart Winnipeg.
This once in a lifetime Polar Bear Safari takes you to the Canadian Arctic. Accompanied by a friendly naturalist guide from Churchill, join a small group of fellow travelers to experience polar bears up close from a Tundra Buggy. Your small group size means optimal bear viewing and photography opportunities onboard the Tundra Buggy.
Below are examples of the places you can stay on this trip. Please get in touch to discuss your options and to check availability.
The Tundra Inn is a charming, family run hotel located in the northern town of Churchill. With comfortable, spacious accommodation and complimentary amenities, this is the perfect place to relax before or after your arctic adventure. Your stay includes continental breakfast, free tea and coffee and high-speed internet.
These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.
• 2 nights in Winnipeg
• 3 nights in a Churchill hotel
• Services of an interpretive guide
• 2 Tundra Buggy bear viewing day tours, including lunch
• Churchill Town and Area Tour
• Polar Bears International House visit
• Itsanitaq Museum
• Parks Canada Interpretation Center
• Evening Cultural Presentation
• Dog Sledding Excursion
• All meals from the morning of Day 2 to the evening of Day 5
• Round-trip air transportation between Winnipeg and Churchill
• All transfers while in Churchill
• Digital Travel Documents
• Fresh Tracks Canada customer service – from the time you book, you are assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests.
• Meals, other than those mentioned
• 8.5% Taxes (5% GST and 3.5% PST)
• Airfare between your home and Winnipeg
• Hospital and medical insurance, trip cancellation/interruption and evacuation insurance (mandatory to book this trip)
• Winter clothing rental (can be arranged, please don’t hesitate to ask)
Ideas to customize your trip
Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.
• Enjoy extra nights in Winnipeg before or after your polar bear tour
• Make this a truly epic bear tour, and combine your polar bear trip with a grizzly viewing tour
The "learning" and "discovery" during the trip was an amazing experience. Thanks to our wonderful guide and buggy driver, we got to experience the polar bears up close and personal. I was most impressed with the efficiency and organization of Fresh Tracks, we are extremely satisfied.
The guides were fabulous and the tundra buggy was warm with one seat for each of us. Fabulous dog-sledding experience - I enjoyed the presentation, humor and hospitality. The wine-tasting was cozy and a lovely touch - listening to fascinating stories of life as a fur trapper. The dinners were unexpectedly gourmet.
Our trip was, in a word brilliant. We think the organization was excellent, and everything ran very smoothly. The guide was great and looked after everyone very efficiently. Indeed, he added to the experience as not only did we see the polar bears it was actually very educational too. Dealing with Fresh Tracks was great. Being in the UK this was by e-mail. Everything was brilliant and whenever I had a query it was dealt with efficiently and most importantly, very friendly. the whole experience felt very personable, not just a client!