In Search of Polar Bears
Where do you go when you want to see that large and iconic image of the Arctic, the polar bears? You could try several places but I went to Churchill in Manitoba, Canada. On the map below Churchill is right about where the bottom of the “a” in Canada meets the Hudson Bay and you can see that it is just below the Arctic Circle.
Churchill is a tiny town of just over 700 permanent residents but big on polar bears between mid-October and end of November. This is because Hudson Bay is the bear’s highway out onto the frozen ice and food and it generally starts freezing right around the town. As the weather changes and ice begins to form along the edges of the bay, the bears begin to gather in the area waiting for their first opportunity to go. They haven’t eaten since coming off the ice around June and they anticipate starting their hunt primarily for ring seals.
How to get there:
I went with Natural Habitat Adventures. Flew into Winnipeg and stayed overnight at the Ft. Geary Hotel, a charming, historic hotel originally built for the railroad. The next day we had a 2hr. charter flight into Churchill. At the end of the time in Churchill the steps were reversed.
What you will experience:
Remoteness, boreal forest giving way to tundra, polar bears, and hopefully arctic fox, red fox, snow hares, ptarmigan and snowy owls. Depending on the weather, some snow or a lot of snow and really interesting ice formations. Clear skies and northern lights if you are lucky. A town of resilient people with stories to tell.
An option on this trip is to stay at Natural Habitat’s Tundra Lodge which I was fortunate enough to do. The lodge is like several of the large tundra rovers pulled together and is not a permanent structure. There are 2 sleeping cars, a lounge car and dining car with kitchen. Sleeping arrangements are in tiny cubbyholes but just enough space since you won’t spend any time there except to sleep. The food is quite good, the best meals I had. The advantage to staying out here is that the lodge is placed out on the tundra in an area which is likely for bears passing through. And sure enough I awoke on the first morning to see a polar bear right on the side of the lodge. The other advantage is that your tundra rover is already out there thus eliminating the morning commute. The remainder of the time in Churchill was spent in a hotel in town. This is a moderate accommodation but it works. From here you will have an opportunity to visit around the town, browse the shops, attend talks from locals about the area and its history and hope that you don’t run into a wayward bear (yes, they do occasionally try to come through town and that is why there is a bear patrol). You will also go out for more tundra rover rides.
Why I recommend it:
Polar bears. Seeing polar bears with my own two eyes and in their habitat is amazing. All the other wildlife we saw was an added bonus. I was fortunate enough to see the aurora borealis which is a wonderful experience. I returned having learned a great deal about the Arctic and its inhabitants.
There are so many types of experiences to take on your travels. Whether you are doing a trip to see Polar Bears or an another travel adventure, travel advisor Marsha Dolbow will help you explore all the possibilities available for an amazing experience during your travel adventures. Marsha has been with World Travel for over 25 years and manages the Yorba Linda Travel office.
Be sure to follow World Travel on Instagram @wtfamilyofagencies and Facebook.
A Travel Advisor from World Travel will get you there…
Get Started: https://wtbinc.com/get-started/
My wife and I recently traveled to Seattle Marriott to spend St. Patrick’s Day with friends and family. We flew from Oakland into Seattle on a very low fare sale. We landed on St. Patrick’s Day early in the morning and were lucky to have my sister in law as our own private tour guide…Read More
I know what you’re probably thinking — Kids and Vegas do not mix, but when your whole family decides we are doing a Vegas Thanksgiving you figure out how to plan accordingly. Our whole family which included two 3 year olds, a 5 year old, a 12 year old, and an 18 year old decided…Read More
The Ho Family takes a family trip to Kauai. Kauai is known as the Garden Island in the Hawaiian Island chain. My name is Julie Ho and my family has had the distinct pleasure of booking three Hawaii trips through Heidi Nanigian over the last 8 years. The main thing we enjoy about booking through…Read More
This year will be 10 years since my husband and I got married and it will also be 10 years since our fabulous honeymoon in Maui. This trip will forever be the best vacation we’ve ever taken and not just because of the newlywed bliss. Maui is my favorite place in the whole world and,…Read More
Philly has a lot to offer when it comes to sights-to-see, culture and food! Last October, my husband and I traveled to Pennsylvania for a wedding. The wedding was in upstate PA in a small town called New Hope about an hour north of Philadelphia. Neither of us had ever been to Philly before so…Read More
Our family recently took a two-night trip down to San Diego for Legoland and a Harrah’s Casino trip. The whole family together comprises of more adults than children but to please the kids we had planned a trip to Legoland for the day. After the whole trip was said and done all 4 of the…Read More
Every August my wife and I take our kids to Silver Lake Resort in June Lake, Ca. This resort is a good old-fashioned family run resort that was established in 1916 and they run things like the good old days. We stay in Cabin 8 every year which runs about $156 a night and sleeps…Read More
My husband and I spent Thanksgiving week in Los Cabos (about a 30 minute ride from Cabo San Lucas) and had a great time in the November sun south of the border! All it took was a call to Heidi Nanigian, our great travel agent, who made the suggestion that we stay at the all-inclusive…Read More
Recently Melinda Frank and her daughter enjoyed a wonderful Bahamas Carnival Cruise adventure to celebrate her daughter’s birthday. It began with us flying to Florida from California for my Daughter’s 18th birthday, so that we could do a short Bahamas cruise. We cruised on the Carnival Valor. It was decorated beautifully for Christmas with garlands on…Read More
The beautiful and exotic destination of Chiang Mai, Thailand is filled with culture, architecture, history and amazing people. Katie recently went to Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. I had an incredible opportunity to travel there one summer. Summer can be a difficult time to…Read More