Northern Manitoba is one of the most pristine wilderness areas left in the world. Only a two-hour plane journey north of Winnipeg lies the coastline of Hudson Bay – an area so remote that it hasn’t changed in thousands of years. During your breathtaking flight east from Gillam to the lodge you will fly over the Northern Taiga Forest and follow the mighty Nelson River to the plains and tidal flats of Hudson Bay.
You will fly over York Factory, a trading post that was permanently established in 1684 by Govenor George Geyer of the Hudson’s Bay Company. This was the beginning of Canada’s fur trade history. Some of our staff expedition leaders are descendants of the Cree people who originally inhabited this area when the first Europeans showed up in the early 1600’s.
Stay alert for a chance to see beluga whales as you fly over the mouth of the Nelson and Hayes Rivers. But what will make your adventure so unique is the high concentration of mother bears and cubs. These are pure, wild polar bears living the way they have lived since time began.
This is a very unique program and is sure to be the trip of a lifetime. The owners and staff routinely deal with the unique situations that arise from having polar bears in such close proximity with humans. There is an overwhelming abundance of wildlife in the area to photograph and enjoy. There is a variety of migratory birds including geese, wolves and moose. It is very common during the season to record over 400 bears passing by the lodge – the daily record is 17 bears around the Lodge in just 9 hours! Photo opportunities present themselves often from inside the 8 foot buffalo fence, with bears as close as 3 feet away.
You will arrive in Winnipeg on your own travel arrangements and overnight at the Four Points Sheraton located at the airport where your adventure with us begins.
You will depart Winnipeg for Gillam early in the morning on Calm Air International. Upon arrival in Gillam you will transfer to a private charter for your one hour flight to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. You may have some great opportunities for aerial photography during the flight so make sure you have your cameras ready. Upon arrival at the Lodge you will receive a tour and be shown to your room to get settled. Check out the library which includes local maps and information. Lunch is served shortly after your arrival, and you will be given an orientation on your stay in polar bear country. This day includes an interpretive walk on the inland Palsa Bogs, Tundra Ponds and Taiga Forest. Appetisers and cocktails are served at 6:00 pm and your gourmet dinner is served at 7:00 pm. After dinner there will be an informative lecture or slide show presentation. Lights are out at 10:00 pm – this is when the generator is turned off. If it is a clear night you will have the chance to view the aurora borealis (northern lights). (/L/D)
During the rest of your stay breakfast will generally be served at 8:00 am and your outings will begin at about 9:30 am. If there are bears near the Lodge (this happens often!) the tour may be delayed to take advantage of the photo and observation opportunities. There is the option available for anyone to stay behind to take photos of the wildlife around the lodge and relax. Daily outings rotate through the following:
#1 An ATV coastal tour to the tidal flats and Hudson Bay vessel the ’Mooswa’. Lunch and a tea boil are served around the campfire.
#2 A full day photo tour to the coast of Hudson Bay to photograph the polar bears and other abundant wildlife in their unique landscape. Lunch and a tea boil are served around the campfire. After lunch you will explore the river deltas and coastal eskers.
#3 Staying close to the Lodge to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves as the day unfolds to photograph the King of the Arctic. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the Arctic environment. Lunch is served at the Lodge on this day. Appetisers and cocktails are served at 6:00 pm and your gourmet dinner is served at 7:00 pm. After dinner there will be an informative lecture, slide show presentation, or informal visiting. Aurora Borealis viewing after dark if conditions are optimal. (B/L/D)
This morning you will take advantage of last minute photo opportunities, pack your gear and get ready to head home. Lunch will be served at the Lodge today and your charter for Gillam will leave afterwards. You will depart Gillam for Winnipeg on Calm Air late in the afternoon. You arrive in Winnipeg early in the evening and will again overnight at the Four Points Sheraton by the airport. (B/L)
Today you will fly home on your own travel arrangements, marking the end of your adventure. (B)
28 Aug - 3 Sept; 1-7 Sept, 20-26 Sept & 25 Sept - 1 Oct.
Price includes return international airfare from London to Winnipeg, return internal airfare from Winnipeg to Gillam and to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, 2 nights in Winnipeg and 4 nights at the lodge on full board. Items of a personal nature, excess baggage and gratuities, and meals not listed are not included.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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