Walking with the Great Ice Bears
Head out to the Canadian Arctic as thousands of polar bears gather at Hudson Bay. Experience them up-close, no crowds.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
In a Town in Manitoba
Arrival in Winnipeg, your gateway to Hudson Bay and the Canadian Arctic. Today is all about preparing your gear, and meeting your group and your adventure specialists. Over a generous dinner —after all, you will need a lot of extra calories— you are briefed on the adventure and exchange stories with other like-minded travellers.
Flying over the Hudson Bay
Early in the morning, you board your flight to Churchill, a frontier town by the shores of the enormous Hudson Bay. Now the adventure begins. Aboard a fixed-wing aircraft, you head deep into the Canadian Arctic, flying low over the tundra, you can see caribou, wolves, moose and, of course, bears. As you settle into your comfortable eco-lodge, you are summoned to the lounge. There, once of the arctic experts briefs the group on some security measures when hiking in bear country. Wow! You realise that, outside, there’s going to be nothing between you and the bears.
The excitement grows as you prepare yourself for the first outing, along the rugged shoreline by the lodge. There are many bears around, and their proximity makes you uneasy at first, but your guides reassure you and share their knowledge and the technique they use to keep the bears at a small, yet safe distance. You return to the lodge for drinks and as night falls, you all gather at the dining hall where a delicious –and energetic– full-course dinner is served. The enthusiasm is high as you exchange impressions about this first encounter with the giants of the ice. It’s been an intense first day in the arctic, so you settle in for a peaceful and toasty night of rest. Read more
In the Footsteps of the Bears
After breakfast, you prepare for your second outing. This time you will head farther and experience completely unhabituated bears in their natural environment. This is a sight that only polar explorers get to see. You return to the lodge for lunch before a second outing. In the afternoon, you experience the magnificent and slow arctic sunsets, and as the light changes, other animals make their appearance. This is a photographer’s dream, and the photo guide of the group —a world-renowned nature photographer— shares all his secrets. By the time you return to the lodge for drinks your body feels tired, but your mind is racing. Over diner, your listen to a lecture by one of the lodge’s experts, and you meet one of the night guards. They patrol the lodge for bears, who love to pay travellers a night-time visit… so that’s the noise you thought heard in your dreams!
Blooming of the Sky
After another day of walking with the bears, you feel like an arctic expert yourself. You know how to get close to the animals, how to keep your distance, and to read many of the subtleties written on the ice. It’s been a fantastic day. Some hours after dinner, when the conversation begins to wind down and the noise of the bears trying to find their way into the lodge grows louder, one of the guards gives the call… you head towards the observation tower and a spectacle unlike any other bursts into the sky: the Aurora Borealis. They bring hot cocoa and snacks so you can enjoy the show. Above, the great green foxtail glimmers all across the night vault. Below, grey shadows move silently in the snow. The bears, it seems, have also come out to look at the aurora.
Daily Life at the Frontier
Another scenic flight takes you back to Churchill, where you have time to visit historical sites such as Cape Merry, learn about life in the arctic, or you could also go out for a dogsledding adventure or a helicopter ride to see more of Hudson Bay.
One Last Meeting with the Ice Bears
While there is something very special and pure about a walking safari, a game drive also has its advantages. The problem in the tundra is that very few vehicles can manage. You will go deep into the ice and see the polar bears up-close aboard an all-terrain vehicle specially designed for polar bear safaris. Enjoy lunch with the bears and then head back to Churchill to catch your flight back to Winnipeg.
Your plane soars and the immensity of the Canadian wilderness fills the window. You explored the marvels of Hudson Bay, going deeper than most, enjoying meaningful encounters with the Great Ice Bears. Yet it seems you only scratched the surface. This is strangely comforting. For now, you bid farewell to the wild.