The Birds, Bears and Belugas adventure in July and August combines the thrill of seeing and hearing beluga whales with summer polar bear viewing, amongst a backdrop of tundra alive with flora and fauna. This itinerary includes one night in Winnipeg, one night in Churchill and five nights at Seal River Heritage Lodge.
Arrive in Churchill by air, you will be met on arrival and transfered to your hotel for the evening, the Aurora Inn. You will be provided a $30.00 dinner voucher. The participating restaurants will be outlined on the voucher. You should also have some time to walk around town and get your bearings. There will be time to spend in Churchill on your departure day so take note of those shops you missed and want to visit when you return.
After breakfast, you will be met and transferred to Landing Lake where your adventure begins with an aerial tour of the winding Hudson Bay coast en-route to your home for the next 6 days - Seal River Heritage Lodge. Be prepared to see huge pods of whales, countless birds, as well as caribou and of course, the magnificent Ice Bears. The Seal River Estuary is a summer favourite of the polar bears and they are regularly seen swimming or basking near the waters edge. Upon your arrival, your hosts will provide a tour of the Lodge and get you settled into your room. A thorough orientation on travel in polar bear country will be provided prior to any outings.
After a full-course lunch "Churchill Wild style", you will experience the coast for the first time. The combination of diversity and sheer natural elegance will amaze you. Ensure your camera battery is charged and you have lots of room on your camera to take pictures!
Your first day at the lodge will be rounded out by the first of many gourmet full course meals and a cozy fireplace for evening wind down.
In the coming days breakfasts will be served at 8:00 a.m. and the tour of the day will typically depart the lodge at 9:30 a.m. Depending on both weather and group interest, you will enjoy the following activities:
Marine Tours & Beluga Viewing
Tides and weather permitting, we will do at least two expeditions by boat to view beluga whales, seals, seabirds, and polar bears. Marine tours are conducted in large, 12-person zodiacs fully equipped with two way radios, safety gear, flotation jackets for each passenger, and a hydrophone so that you can listen to the whale songs. Each expedition is a half day in order to coordinate with the high tides. Depending on the timing of the tides, refreshments and/or lunch may be served aboard. Expect to see hundreds of whales per outing! Beluga whales are very curious socialites and will investigate our presence with a bold courage expressed by few other creatures.
Coast by Buggy
See the Hudson Bay coast on our custom made Tundra Tracker. A day trip in one of these vehicles allows you to cover a lot of shoreline while searching out wildlife. Lunch is a picnic en-route. Ample time is provided for exploration and photography.
These are a daily part of the program and they range from short jaunts to photograph a passing caribou perhaps, to day trips with a pack lunch. There is no better way to experience the sheer vastness of the Arctic’s flora and fauna. Nesting bird life, fox dens, wild flowers, and caribou are just a few of the sights you will take in. When polar bears are sighted, your guide will advise you on the best way to maintain a safe viewing distance.
Yes, you can enjoy the greatest light show on earth in summer, especially in the latter part of the season. The northern skies are a perfect ballroom for the aurora but remember, the aurora are best photographed with a tripod so if you have one, bring it along.
Over 100 species of birds visit this area and our expert guides can help you locate and identify a wide variety of these – chances are you will add several “lifers” to your book.
Photo Presentations and Lectures
From lectures on “Traveling in Bear Country” to “Wildlife of the Arctic,” our own northern adventurers will regale you with photos and stories. These conversations provide you the opportunity to learn about the Arctic wildlife, landscape, and people.
Rest and Relaxation
Should you decide that curling up by the fireplace with a good book or enjoying a hot drink and sharing stories with your fellow adventurers is what you need, you can feel free to do that too.
Generally by 4:00 p.m. you will be back at the Lodge for hot or cold drinks and appetizers. Your full course dinners are served at 7:00 p.m. after which, the fireplace is almost always central. Your guides will give informative lectures and slide presentations as well as initiate a discussion about the€tivities for the following day. Bedtime is at your leisure. The entire Lodge area is patrolled for polar bears all night by a night watchmen so be prepared to have your sleep cut short by a nocturnal visit by one of the great ice bears (or by one of our dazzling displays of northern lights!).
After another hearty lodge breakfast, air transfers back to Churchill will begin. Have cameras ready again for the return flight as it affords excellent opportunities for great aerial shots. Today is your last day in the Churchill region. Upon your return to Churchill, the representative will store your luggage. The balance of the day is then free for browsing the shops and exhibits of Churchill. We recommend Nature 1st Tours and Transportation should you prefer a guided tour of the area. Local places such as Cape Merry, the Port of Churchill, the Eskimo Museum, the Polar Bear Holding Compound (otherwise known as the Polar Bear Jail), as well as the Parks Canada exhibit are all of great interest. Helicopter tours can also be arranged. Lunch and dinner are on your own this day.
Your flight south to Winnipeg will take place this evening. Upon your arrival into Winnipeg collect your bags and head off to your hotel for your final night. The Four Points Sheraton is conveniently located at the airport.
Departures: July - August
Price includes return international flights from London to Winnipeg, 1 night in Winnipeg on room only, return domestic flight from Winnipeg to Churchill and onto the Seal River Lodge, 5 nights at the lodge on full board and 1 night in Churchill on Bed and Breakfast. All excursions and activities. Meals on first and last nights, items of a personal nature and gratuities are not included.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website