The Arctic has become accessible to those with an adventurous spirit. This trip takes advantage of ChurchillÂï¿½s unique location -- a coastal village on the border of northern tundra and boreal forest which attracts nearly every sought-after Arctic animal, from thousands of belugas, to polar bear mothers and cubs, to a thriving caribou migration. In the company of your professional Expedition Leader, youÂï¿½ll travel by train, boat, Zodiac and tundra vehicle to explore this rewarding region. This summer, head north to the Âï¿½Accessible ArcticÂï¿½ on our Churchill Summer adventure.
Day 1: Arrive Winnipeg
Arrive Winnipeg and transfer to the Fort Garry Hotel, built in 1913 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. The French-style chateau is still the grande dame of Winnipeg, offering first-class hospitality. Meet your Expedition Leader and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner this evening.
Day 2: Winnipeg / Train to Churchill
As an introduction to the Canadian north, explore WinnipegÂ’s history and natural environs, including Oak Hammock Marsh, with its rich variety of birdlife. Depending on the train schedule, board the Hudson Bay passenger train to Churchill around lunchtime.
Day 3: Train to Churchill
Traveling northward, southern prairies give way to dense boreal forest. Disembark to explore a waterfall and enjoy lunch by the lake before continuing by rail to the edge of the tundra. The train is relaxing and comfortable, and each cabin has its own toilet, sink and large windows, offering a broad vista of the changing ecosystems.
Days 4-7: Churchill
Early in the morning, you arrive in the small northern outpost of Churchill, gateway to the Arctic, with four full days of adventure ahead. Your activities include two Zodiac trips to see belugas in the Churchill River. More than 3,000 of these wondrous white whales spend the summer in the region, and the motorized rafts put you at eye level with them. With their unusual ability to turn their heads from side to side, they appear to be as curious about you as you are about them. Through the use of a hydrophone on board, you can even listen to their otherworldly songs. Few wildlife encounters offer as intimate a perspective as this one. YouÂ’ll also take a larger vessel across the river to Fort Prince of Wales, established by Danish explorer Jens Monk in 1619, and where the HudsonÂ’s Bay Company built one of its original fur-trading posts. Churchill became a stopover point for explorers searching for the fabled Northwest Passage and was instrumental in the opening of the Canadian West. A unique polar rover conveys you to a point near Hudson Bay, where you enjoy an outdoor cookout while watching for wildlife here at the interface of the boreal forest and tundra. Caribou with calves, snowy owl, Arctic fox and ptarmigan are often seen, and you may even spot polar bears. At this time of year, it is not uncommon to find mothers with cubs. The Churchill area also boasts plenty of wonderful walking trails lining the border between the northern boreal forest and the southern tundra. This combination of ecosystems hosts a variety of flora and fauna, which may be encountered during your short walks.
Day 8: Fly From Churchill to Winnipeg
Your morning is free to wander Churchill's main street, where several locally-owned shops offer native handicrafts, from traditional mukluks to caribou hair sculptures. You then transfer to the airport for your return flight to Winnipeg. If your flight schedule permits, this afternoon you visit the acclaimed Manitoba Museum, renowned for its exhibits reflecting the human and natural heritage of the province, including the history of northern native cultures. This evening, gather one last time for a farewell dinner at the Fort Garry Hotel.
Day 9: Return Home
After breakfast, you will receive your included transfer to the airport for flights home.