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Polar Bear Experience


     

Canada, The Northern Lights & Majestic Wildlife

Discover a wealth of native wildlife in one of Canada's most secluded regions. From the thrill of husky mushing across the snow, and the chance to witness the Aurora Borealis, to intimate encounters with one of the most majestic creatures on the planet; the polar bear, this tour will provide you with new experiences, each more unique than the last!

 
Our Opinion
The tour is definitely different!  Rail, combined with winter activities and Northern wildlife including a Polar Bear expedition makes for a unique Canada holiday experience.
 
  

 

Tour Highlights
Winnipeg Including City Tour
Guided Tour of Churchill
Husky Dog Sledding
Chance to see the Northern lights
Polar Bear Expedition
Free time in Winnipeg
Two Night Rail Journeys across Canada

Itinerary in Brief
Winnipeg: 1 night
Churchill: 3 nights
Rail Journey: 2 nights
Winnipeg: 1 night

 

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Winnipeg
Your tour begins with a daytime flight firstly to Toronto, the provincial capital of Ontario and transfer to Winnipeg on an internal flight. On arrival, check in to your 4-Star hotel for a one-night stay before enjoying a welcome dinner.

Day 2: Winnipeg to Churchill
This morning, set off on an introductory tour of Winnipeg, the 'Gateway to the West'. The city was named by its native aboriginal population and has a rich, multicultural history that is evident in the Forks area of the city - a local meeting area - and in downtown Winnipeg. The city also boasts a thriving French Quarter, home to a large Franco-Manitoban community and St Bonniface cathedral. After a delicious lunch at a local restaurant in the French Quarter, return to the airport for your onward flight to the northern Manitoban town of Churchill, famously known as the 'Polar Bear Capital of the World'. Travel by coach to your home for the next three nights, the Lazy Bear Lodge - a cosy Eco-retreat made from over 1000 handcrafted logs. You will be greeted with a warming welcome dinner as you settle into your winter wonderland surroundings.
 


Day 3: Churchill
Polar bears live largely within the Arctic Circle having evolved perfectly for moving across snow, ice, and open water in order to hunt the seals which make up most of their diet. Unfortunately, these elusive animals are now officially classed as a vulnerable species due to poaching and more recently, the shrinking of Arctic ice. Today, embark on the first of your expeditions to experience these fascinating and beautiful creatures to see how they have adapted to survive in such harsh conditions. The best way to safely get up close and personal with the majestic polar bear is aboard an Arctic Crawler tundra vehicle. These buggies are specially designed to traverse the difficult terrain, and during our time here, enjoy two full day excursions out onto the expansive snow-covered countryside to see these magnificent beasts in their natural habitat, accompanied by a local wildlife expert. A hot and hearty meal is included out on the tundra, along with drinks and snacks.


Day 4: Discovering Churchill
Begin the day with a guided tour, exploring this cultural city's bay side skyline and nomadic history. Having become a 'stopping-off point' during the annual polar bear migration to the coast, the town has come up with an ingenious method for handling any stray bears that might wander into populated areas looking for food - polar bear jail. Here the bears are held in a humane, secure facility overnight until they can be airlifted and safely released back into the wild to continue with their journey to the sea. This evening we embark on a thrilling adventure across the surrounding frozen landscape, travelling on one of the most unique forms of transport in the world - husky dog sled, a fabulous way to experience your first outing onto the Canadian tundra. Thought to have been developed in Mongolia around 30,000 years ago, sledding is still practiced widely in countries such as Canada, Greenland, Russia, and Lapland, as it is one of the only ways for members of rural communities to get around during the intense cold of an Arctic winter. Your dog sled guide will introduce you to the intelligent, playful and energetic huskies that will be leading you on your adventure during this un-missable winter holiday experience. You may also see the Aurora Borealis as the remote surroundings provide the best opportunity to see these indescribable night time illuminations, weather permitting. The Aurora have long been the subject of local myths and legends wherever they have been sighted and, in this region of Canada, the indigenous people believed them to be the dancing spirits of departed loved ones and animals, such as deer, seals, salmon and beluga whales.

 

Day 5: The Wildlife of The Canadian Plains
With another day out on the tundra, as well more polar bears, you will also have the chance to spot other animals that call this wilderness home, including Arctic Foxes, hares and Snowy Owls. There will be many photo opportunities as you visit these nature hot spots, with the tundra buggies having large windows that open up for intimate encounters. The on-board guides are extremely knowledgeable about the areas most popular with polar bears and use their years of experience to help ensure as many sightings as possible. We are also provided with lunch as well as warming drinks throughout. On the evening of Day 5, make your way to Churchill's railway station to board our overnight sleeper service for the three-day trip back to Winnipeg. Spend the night travelling on the Canadian National Railway line south to The Pas before the train transfers to the Hudson Bay Railway; a vital line first built in 1910, linking the snowy wildernesses of Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba. The journey gives us a wonderful opportunity to experience the vastness of the beautiful arctic wilderness, from the comfort and warmth of the train.


Day 6: Journey to Winnipeg
After breakfast this morning, stop in Thompson, whose history dates back to 6000 BC. Here you can stretch your legs, perhaps walking a part of the town's 'Spirit Way', - a two-kilometre pathway with 16 points of interest that highlight Thompson's art, heritage, culture, industry, geology, and scenery. With all your meals provided during the journey, and comfortable facilities on board, you can relax and enjoy the passing backdrops from your comfortable seat. This afternoon, sit back and enjoy the stunning scenery as we continue our journey through the snowy northern Canadian landscapes. As we travel further south, the scenery changes to the well-tended farms of southern Manitoba from icy forests of larch and birch forest.
 


 

Single Supplement
Supplement for single occupancy in a double room throughout: £525


What is Included
The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Scheduled flights from London to Winnipeg and Winnipeg to London, via Toronto
Internal flight Winnipeg to Churchill
5 nights' hotel accommodation (room only)
5 lunches & 4 dinners
2 nights aboard the VIA Rail Canada service from Churchill to Winnipeg in Sleeper Plus Class with all meals included
Tour of Winnipeg
Mulled wine reception in Churchill
Guided tour of Churchill and an evening dog mushing
Two full-day excursions on board Arctic Tundra Buggies with wildlife experts for an optimum number of polar bear sightings