Seal River Heritage Lodge, located 60 beautiful kilometers by air from Churchill, Manitoba, will be your home away from home for this exciting week. Known as the Polar Bear capital of the world, this area is also the best place to see large congregations of beluga whales as thousands of them calve in the protection of the Hudson Bay each summer. Both bears and whales, along with the thousands of birds, will be in your backyard-literally.
Arrive in Churchill by air. Our expert staff will greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel for the evening, the Aurora Inn (www.aurora-inn.mb.ca). You will have a choice of Churchill restaurants for dinner and will be provided with a $30.00 dinner voucher. Participating restaurants will be listed on the voucher. You should also have some time to walk around town and get your 'bear'ings. You will have some time to spend in Churchill on your departure day so take note of those shops you missed and want to visit when you return.
After breakfast, our representative will arrive at the hotel to escort you to Landing Lake where your adventure begins with a breathtaking aerial tour of the winding Hudson Bay coast enroute to your home for the next 6 days- Seal River Heritage Lodge. Be prepared to see huge pods of whales, countless birds, as well as caribou and of course, the magnificent Ice Bears. The Seal River Estuary is a summer favorite for these goliaths and they are regularly seen swimming or basking near the water’s edge. Upon your arrival, your hosts, Mike and Jeanne Reimer and their children, a true (and thus rare) Churchillian family, will provide a tour of the lodge and get you settled into your room. A thorough orientation on travel in polar bear country will be provided prior to any outings.
After a full-course lunch Churchill Wild-style, you will experience the coast for the first time. The combination of diversity and sheer natural elegance will amaze you. Ensure your camera battery is charged as if you’re like previous Churchill Wild guests, you will be eager to document each and every moment in this extraordinary and rare ecosystem.
Your first day at the lodge will be rounded out by the first of many gourmet full-course meals and a cozy fireplace for evening wind down. Relax, recharge and get a good rest because you have 5 amazing days to go!
In the coming days, your gourmet breakfasts will be served at 8:00 a.m. and the tour of the day will typically depart the lodge at 9:30 a.m. Depending on both weather and group interest, you will enjoy the following activities:
Marine Tours – Tides and weather permitting we will do at least two expeditions by boat to view beluga whales, seals, seabirds, and polar bears. Marine tours are conducted in large, nine-man inflatable boats, fully equipped with two way radios, safety gear, floatation jackets for each passenger, and a hydrophone so that you can listen to the whale songs. Each expedition is a half day in order to coordinate with the high tides. Both refreshments and lunch will be served aboard. Expect to see hundreds of whales per outing! Beluga whales are very curious and social and will investigate our presence with a bold courage expressed by few other creatures. Getting up-close and personal with these awesome creatures has been life-changing for many Churchill Wild guests.
Trekking/Walking Tours – These are a daily part of the program and they range from short jaunts to photograph a passing caribou perhaps, to day trips with a pack lunch. There is no better way to experience the sheer vastness of the Arctic’s flora and fauna. Nesting bird life, fox dens, wild flowers, and caribou are just a few of the sights you will take in. When polar bears are sighted, your guide will advise you about the best way to maintain a safe viewing distance.
Coast by Buggy – See the Hudson Bay coast on our custom made Tundra Tracker. A day trip in one of these vehicles allows us to cover a lot of shoreline while searching out wildlife. Lunch is a picnic en route. We provide ample time for exploration and photography of the trail.
Whale Swim and exploration by Zodiac – Take to the bay for the ultimate plunge and join the belugas in their watery world. Dry suits will be provided to offset the chill of the Hudson Bay.
Wildlife Photography Workshops – In order to maximize this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, one of your guides is a professional wildlife photographer and he will provide you with casual workshops and professional advice as you shoot.
Ocean Paddles – We have several sea kayaks and canoes on site for your use at any time. Perfect tranquility with only the sound of your dipping paddle and the “sea canaries” is truly awe-inspiring!
Aurora Watching – Yes, you can enjoy the greatest light show on earth in summer especially in the latter part of our season. The northern skies are a perfect ballroom for the aurora but remember, the aurora are best photographed with a tripod so if you have one, bring it along.
Bird Watching – 150 species of birds visit this area and our expert guides can help you locate and identify a wide variety of these – chances are you will add several “lifers” to your book.
Photo Presentations and Lectures – From lectures on “Travelling in Bear Country” to “Wildlife of the Arctic,” our own northern adventurers will regale you with photos and stories. These conversations provide you the opportunity to learn about the Arctic wildlife, landscape, and people.
Rest and Relaxation – Should you decide that curling up by the fireplace with a good book or enjoying a hot drink and sharing stories with your fellow adventurers is what you need, you can feel free to do that too.
After another hearty lodge breakfast, we will begin air transfers back to Churchill. Have cameras ready again for the return flight as it affords excellent opportunities for great aerial shots. Today is your last day in the Churchill region.
Upon your return to Churchill, our representative will store your baggage. The balance of the day is then free for browsing the shops and exhibits of Churchill. We recommend Nature 1st Tours and Transportation (www.nature1sttours.ca/) should you prefer a guided tour of the area. Local places such as Cape Merry, the Port of Churchill, the Eskimo Museum, the Polar Bear Holding Compound (otherwise known as the Polar Bear Jail), as well as the Parks Canada exhibit are all of great interest. Helicopter tours are also available via Hudson Bay Helicopters who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 204-675-2576. Lunch and dinner are on your own this day. Please refer to the Adventure Album for suggestions.
Your flight south to Winnipeg will take place this evening and we hope to see you back at one of our Eco-Lodges for some more bear viewing very soon! Upon your arrival into Winnipeg collect your bags and head off to your hotel for the evening. The Four Points Sheraton is conveniently located at the airport.
Today you will have breakfast at your hotel in Winnipeg and then begin your journey home.
Inclusions: All accommodations required within the package dates as well as return airfare from Winnipeg to Churchill are included in the cited price. Meal inclusions are as follows: