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polar bear travel by via rail train

They follow an ancient migratory route from their dens to areas where the ice freezes first. The settlement of Churchill lies along this migratory path and has become the undisputed "Polar Bear capital of the world". Here, an astounding concentration of polar bears can be viewed at close range in their natural environment. The bears are observed from the safety and comfort of specially designed Tundra Buggies that travel through this sub-Arctic wonderland. When bears are spotted sleeping, traveling, testing the ice or sparring, passengers may open windows or stand on an outside deck to obtain great views and photographs. Often curious bears approach the buggies for thrilling encounters. 

Tours of Exploration, who specialize in Natural History Tours, have been sending travellers to Churchill for more than 30 years. Company president Catherine Evans says "this has been one of our most popular programs. During my last visit we came across more than 30 bears, witnessing females with cubs, young males sparring and also saw Arctic and Red fox, ptarmigans, a mink and an incredible Aurora Borealis."  Tours of Exploration group tours include dog sledding, interpretive field excursions with local naturalists.


Why book with Tours of Exploration? 

  • We specialize in customized, personalized tours that can suit your needs, interests, and hobbies.
  • This has been one of Tours of Exploration's most popular programs.  The views and experiences you will see will be deeply rewarding and original to this particular area of the world.  You will not have a trip quite like this one!
  • We choose to work with local partners, not only to guarantee an immersive, culturally and naturally authentic experience; but also to economically support the area's local population.  We choose our partners carefully, to ensure their primary focus is wildlife conservation.
  • Book with confidence as deposits are risk-free and refundable.

2021 Dates & Cost

Due to COVID-19, sleeper category on VIA rail Winnipeg to Churchill route is temporarily suspended, and only economy seats are available. the tentative re-launch date is after May 15, 2021. Departures twice a week from Churchill (each Monday and Wednesday). As pricing is based on Sleeper category, cost will be reduced accordingly. 

$ 6,590 CAD / $ 5,600 USD (including one way airfare from Winnipeg, MB and 2-night train trip return to Winnipeg). Options to travel by rail in both directions, polar bears of Churchill with air are possible. Ask for details. 

Single Supplement: $990 CAD / 850 USD
5% tax is additional

This trip can be customized to your private interests.
Deposits / Payments: A deposit of $ 1,200 is required to reserve space. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.
Departure city: Winnipeg, MB
Churchill summer travel - experience whales, birds, caribou and other wildlife found in the fauna rich Churchill region. Bird watching Churchill

Read our Coast to Coast to Coast Blog on Via Rail travel in Canada

or our realm of the ice bears blog


Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Winnipeg

churchill aurora borealis tours

Arrive Winnipeg and accommodation provided at Country Inn airport hotel.

Day 2: Winnipeg – Churchill – Dog sledding (B)

Arrival in Churchill and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon enjoy a dog sled adventure. 3 nights polar Inn.

Day 3: Roads & Trails Day (B,L)

Early morning flight to Churchill. Arrive at approximately 9:30 am in Churchill where you will be met. Luggage will be transferred to your hotel and our group will begin our orientation of Churchill and its natural and cultural features including a visit to the Eskimo Museum housing the finest collection of Inuit carvings and artifacts. After lunch, The activities and areas will depend on weather and wildlife. We may venture to a section of Boreal forest to see the transition of the Boreal forest to the tundra through the taiga. Other areas of interest include the Hudson's Bay shoreline, the area beaches with their Pre-Cambrian rocks and fossils and Goose Bay. We will observe birds and wildlife enroute.

Day 4: Polar Bear Viewing  (B,L)

Breakfast and morning departure to the tundra where we board specially designed six wheel drive tundra vehicles ideal for regional travel. Often curious polar bears approach the vehicles providing wonderful close range encounters and excellent photographic opportunities. We will also look for Arctic foxes, caribou, lemmings, ptarmigans and white-phase Gyrfalcons. Churchill is one of the best places to observe the Aurora Borealis. Should this occur during our stay we will drive out of town to experience the Arctic sky and this incredible phenomena. In the evening board the VIA rail train. Overnight Sleeper car.

Day 5: VIA Rail (B,L,D)

Full day to enjoy the transition of the sub-Arctic terrain, boreal forest, and prairie landscape to Winnipeg. Second evening in the sleeper car.

Day 6: Arrive Winnipeg (B)

Arrive Winnipeg 4:45 pm.
A post tour night in Winnipeg is recommended in case of late arrival.


Additional Information

churchill polar bears buggies

Tour includes:

  • 2 nights/on VIA RAIL in sleeping compartment
  • 1 night in Winnipeg, 3 nights in Churchill
  • Airfare Winnipeg/Churchill
  • All meals indicated in the itinerary: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner
  • full day excursion in comfortable, heated Tundra Buggies
  • Escorted excursions by naturalists
  • Dog sledding
  • Hotel taxes

Tour does not include:

  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary and alcoholic beverages
  • Insurance
  • Optional tips
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Any additional excursions not listed in the itinerary

What our clients say...

churchill dog sled tour "Have just received your brochure re the "Polar Bear Adventure" which reminded us of the fantastic trip we did with your company back in October! We will never forget the train journey from Winnipeg, just fantastic despite being longer than expected due to unforeseen incidents. Churchill, the Tundra, all the Bears, fox, the Aurora, dog sledding just made for the most memorable trip. We recommend your company to anyone who talks about going that way… we would join you again tomorrow if circumstances permitted, it was the best ever trip." Maggie Gary Cooper

"One thing that we continue to bring up as we tell family and friends about our trip is the total respect the people of Churchill have for the wildlife and the environment. They know it is important to protect what they have and it is very obvious as they deal with the tourists. We feel we had a once in a lifetime experience on this trip and to have it run so smoothly made it even more special. What an experience!!" Pat and Lorne Fingarson

"I'm sending you copies of two of my favourite polar bear shots from last October. My most favourite is the mother and cubs at rest. The other shot was a family that my English cousin, first spotted. They ended up coming right up top our buggy, to the point where I switched to a regular lens, and still had to try and back away to get them all in!" M. Pearson

"I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic time I had on the Churchill tour last week. It was everything I had hoped for it to be and more!...I am totally spoilt for any and all future tours!" K. Allen

"Well that was certainly a trip I'd like to repeat sometime! Thank you very much for fine-tuning all the arrangements for booking the naturalists. I enjoyed every minute, even in the helicopter!" S. Robinson

Contact Us

Toll Free: 1.800.690.7887
or 604.886.7300

BC Registration 3401

1114 Cartwright Road
Gibsons BC, V0N 1V1, Canada

Contact Us