Location: Churchill, Canada
The Great Polar Bear Migration
A VIP polar bear photography expedition like no other!
Witness the largest accessible aggregation of polar bears in the world as they gather on the shores of Hudson Bay waiting for the annual freeze. You will see mother bears with their new born cubs, solitary bears foraging along the shore, and sparring males asserting their dominance over one another.
Our life changing polar bear expeditions are open to anyone that would like to enjoy world-class intimate encounters with polar bears on the Canadian Tundra, but avid photographers will find this trip that includes six full days of bear watching especially rewarding.
We will meet your plane at Churchill Airport for a seamless transfer to our lodge on the Canadian tundra. Keep your eyes peeled on the short drive to the lodge, because you have a good chance of seeing your first polar bear!
After a short orientation about the lodge and bear safety, we will immediately head out onto the tundra in a cozy 4WD vehicle to look for bears.
When the sun sets, we will return to the lodge and then drive into town for dinner. Once we get back to the lodge, you will have time to review your images or relax in the grand room. The lodge is away from the light pollution caused by the street lights in Churchill, so if the skies are clear, this is also a great time to head outside and look for auroras.
A typical day starts at sunrise. All rooms look onto the tundra, so you can survey the terrain as soon as you wake up. After a buffet breakfast in the grand room, we will prep cameras, don warm clothing, and head out to find bears.
We generally stay out on the tundra until lunch time and then make a quick stop in town for lunch. Some groups choose to bring a pack lunch and stay out on the tundra all day. Either way, we will continue photographing bears in the afternoon, returning to lodge once the sun gets low.
At dinner time, we usually head into town as a small group, returning to the lodge in time for a nightcap or some aurora gazing.
Sleep, dream of polar bears, repeat.
Departure day. After a final breakfast at the lodge, we will transfer you back to Churchill Airport or to the train station in time for you homeward journey.
WHY OUR POLAR BEAR TOURS ARE THE BEST IN CANADA
LOTS MORE DAYS WITH POLAR BEARS
Google ‘Polar Bear Tours in Churchill’ and you’ll soon find the big companies that offer comparably priced polar bear tours. But if you read the fine print, you’ll notice their six day tours only give you two or three days with bears!
We don’t think you really want a day touring Winnipeg and another stuck in Churchill. So when we pick you up at the airport, we’ll take you straight to our lodge to get changed into warm clothing, and then we’re heading out for bears. And we’ll do the same thing, every day, all day, until it is time to fly home.
Plain and simple, we deliver world class polar bear encounters with no fluff.
WE ACTUALLY GO AND FIND BEARS
Instead of sitting in a wobbly tundra hotel on wheels, we spend our days driving around the tundra finding the best bear activity. We don’t wait for bears to come and find us.
By using small 4WD vans that hold a MAXIMUM of 5 guests, we are able to navigate small trails that access spots where large tundra vehicles don’t go. We are nimble and fast, which means we can quickly find bears, foxes, and other animals, and then maneuver into the perfect position to enjoy them.
Incidentally, our lodge is in a spectacular spot in the middle of the tundra too, and the bears love to visit!
WE WALK ON THE TUNDRA
Looking down on bears from a high-sided tundra vehicle really doesn’t do them justice, especially if you want compelling polar bear images. When we find bears, our armed guides assess the situation, and then we leave our vehicle so that we can enjoy the encounters on foot at eye level. That means photographers can set up tripods for pin sharp images, or even hunker down so they’re shooting upwards, which makes the bears look even more impressive!
It also means we can quietly approach arctic foxes, snow hares, ptarmigan, and any other tundra animals that stay well away from vehicles. Now that is a real tundra experience!
White Whale Lodge. A fabulous new alternative to staying in town.
Our comfortable lodge is located deep in the tundra, where our guests have the opportunity to see bears, foxes, and other tundra wildlife even when not on a tour.
At night this is also an excellent location to watch auroras; away from the light pollution from the town of Churchill.
Some minor walking on snow.
Six nights accommodation at White Whale Lodge, situated outside Churchill for a more immersive experience.
Six days on the tundra viewing polar bears (approx 6-8hrs per day)
Licensed polar bear guide: we work with the most experienced bear guides in the industry. They are experts in bear behavior and armed for your safety.
Exclusive group use of a tundra-ready 4WD passenger van that comfortably seats 5 photographers / bear watchers and one driver guide.
Exclusive access to restricted areas of the tundra where polar bears are especially abundant.
Lunches and dinners
The polar bear capital of the world
During the fall months, polar bears congregate along the southern shoreline of Hudson Bay waiting for the sea ice to freeze. At that point they leave land for the winter season to hunt on the ice.
The ideal time to see polar bears around Churchill is during October and November. In particular, early November (when we schedule our trips) is widely considered to be the perfect time to look for bears.
Although bear season is often overcast, the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) are often visible on clear nights and the nights are long in November so there is plenty of time to look for them. You will be staying at the brand new White Whale Lodge which is out on the tundra, away from any light pollution, so the aurora opportunities will be especially rewarding.
You also have an excellent chance of seeing arctic foxes, silver foxes, and red foxes hunting on the tundra. It is not uncommon to see numerous foxes everyday; sporting their beautiful, snow white, winter pelage. Arctic foxes are another species that is best photographed from ground level.