POLAR BEARS & NORTHERN LIGHTS

The Arctic has captivated humanity since the very first maps were created of the world. The actual name ‘arctos’ has its roots firmly with the iconic animal representing it, the Great White Bear of the north. It is a harsh, unforgiving land full of treacherous pitfalls that has consumed innumerable explorers. However it has a softer side, a gorgeous beauty – from the white massively fecund arctic fox to the quaint chicken-like ptarmigan to the evening stars juxtaposed with the famous aurora borealis, the Arctic is a wonderful destination for the true adventurous traveller. Starry Starry Nights has partnered with ground handlers to bring the exploration of this biome and spend time with the greatest land predator – the Polar Bear – closer than one may think.

The World’s Most Coveted Small-Group Polar Bear Expedition with expedition leader Conrad Hennig and author, psychologist and philanthropist Ian McCullum.

THE ITINERARY

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Our classic Churchill polar bear tour begins with an orientation dinner upon arrival in Winnipeg. We will be enjoying a cocktail party and also dining with Conrad and Ian at the hotel. Overnight will be at the most grand Fort Garry Hotel, one of Canada’s most revered hotels.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Fly to Churchill this morning by charter aircraft. This hospitable outpost town, originally a fur-trading post, is our base for adventure. The hotels and motels in Churchill are very utilitarian, but the people at this frontier town are some of the friendliest in the world. We have an evening presentation on polar bears and the northern environs by your leaders and may even at night glimpse a first view (if the sky is clear) of the northern lights (aurora borealis).[/fusion_text]

Polar Bear Viewing

Unique “Polar Rovers” (the name sake –called Tundra Buggies, name of which we are not really allowed to use) are our mobile means for spending time among the polar bears. Although they accommodate an average of 35 passengers, we take just 17, ensuring everyone a window seat. The staff knows the best places to view bears, which are waiting for the ice to solidify on Hudson Bay so they may begin the winter seal-hunting season.

Polar Bear Viewing

As we watch them interact, we’re delighted by their antics and rugged beauty. From the warmth of our rover, we may see mothers with cubs and young adult males play-fighting. Obviously our staff offers interpretation along the way, and also photographic advice as well as explanation of the bears’ behavior and how they thrive in such a harsh environment.

In the evenings, we meet for dinner in some of the restaurants in town, followed by presentations on wildlife or local cultures. Please note that on one of the evenings we will have Northern Canada celebratory dinner with one of the famous chef-teams in Churchill, Helen Webber and Marie Woolsey, whose northern cookery and celebrated cookbook: “Polar bears and Blueberries” (as well as others in the same genre) are most famous in these parts.

Evening on the Tundra

On the last evening trip we tour historic Churchill, then head out to the tundra for evening bear viewing and dinner aboard the vehicle. During our daytime exploration, we may visit local sled dogs en route to Cape Merry, where we often see Arctic fox and Arctic hare. If the skies are clear, our night time tundra excursion might provide one of nature’s most exhilarating experiences – a chance to view the Northern Lights away from the glare of town. Though they are never predictable, sometimes amidst the darkness of the sub-arctic tundra, the lights begin as a white glow in the northern sky, then begin to flicker and dance in shimmering curtains of colour. There’s free time in Churchill or an opportunity for an optional helicopter excursion over the frozen tundra before boarding our flight back to Winnipeg.

Churchill / Winnipeg

Our return flights are scheduled to depart in the mid-late afternoon to offer as much time as possible to explore Churchill. Pick up last-minute native handcrafts and souvenirs or, if time permits, take an optional helicopter journey over the tundra or an authentic dog-sledding excursion. We return to Winnipeg to have a farewell dinner and overnight at Fort Garry hotel.

Return Home

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.

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