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An expert photographer-naturalist leads this immersive journey into the Realm of the Polar Bear. Your photo adventure spends three full days on the tundra where polar bears congregate each autumn on the shores of the Hudson Bay, waiting for it to freeze, so that they can start their winter hunting season. Custom-designed Polar Rovers take us into the heart of their wild habitat, with plenty of space for equipment and room to manoeuver in order to capture those magnificent shots. Your expert guide will also provide evening lectures on how best to capture Arctic wildlife through the camera's lens - notably polar bears, Arctic fox, Arctic hare and more !
6 nights hotel
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Our tour begins in Winnipeg. You will be transferred to your hotel where you will meet your Expedition leader in the evening at your Welcome dinner.
Fort Garry Hotel
Fly to Churchill in the morning, our base for our polar bear adventure. This evening we enjoy a lecture on Arctic photography by our Expedition Leader, who is both an accomplished photographer and seasoned naturalist.
Unspecified Churchill Hotel
Uniquely designed Polar Rovers are our mobile means for spending time amongst the bears. Although each vehicle accommodates up to 35 passengers, we take a maximum of 16, ensuring that everyone has a window seat, space for camera gear and plenty of room to photograph. For three full days, we spend our daylight hours on the tundra, photographing polar bears as they roam the edge of Hudson Bay waiting for the ice to freeze.
You will be delighted by their rugged beauty and playful antics, as we watch the bears interact. From the warmth of our vehicle, we may see mothers with cubs, young males play-fighting, or a lone bear ambling over the tundra in solitary grandeur.
Out on the white expanse of the tundra we may also spot other northern wildlife including Arctic fox, snowy owl, ptarmigan and gyrfalcon. In addition to sharing photography advice, our Expedition Leader will provide you with a captivating interpretation of the animal behaviour. Each evening, dinner will be followed by presentations on photography, wildlife or local native cultures. If the night skies are clear and we're fortunate enough to see the dancing colours of the aurora borealis, we'll head for a place away from the lights of town to capture this magical event on camera.
You will have time to explore Churchill before boarding our afternoon flight back to Winnipeg. We enjoy a farewell lunch in Churchill and a final dinner reception before our adventure concludes in Winnipeg.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
May-Sep is the best time to visit, when the weather is usually warm, dry and pleasant. Temperatures can be a little cooler on the coast and in the mountains; rain can be expected at any time. Early in the season, there can be snow in some areas which may limit walking possibilities.
2 Pin Flat
Roman Catholic, Protestant
English and French
Warm gloves or mittens and glove liners Warm hat - make sure it covers your ears Scarf or neck gaiter Warm trousers - Ski pants alopettes are good if you have them Warm socks and sock liners (several pairs) Silk or polypropylene long underwear for layering (tops & bottoms) Turtleneck tops for layering Warm sweaters or fleece tops Comfortable warm trousers for wearing in the evenings Underwear and sleepwear Swimsuit if you wish to use the pool at the Fort Garry Hotel Down parka and boots will be supplied for use on the trip when you arrive in Winnipeg. Please pack a Warm jacket and footwear for arrival into Winnipeg. Sizes for the loaned jacket and boots will be taken in advance, once you have booked onto the tour.
Boots will be supplied for use on the trip when you arrive into Winnipeg on Day 1. Sizes will be taken in advance once you have booked onto the tour.
The weight limit for checked-in baggage on our charter flight between Churchill and Winnipeg is 50 lbs. per person. As luggage space on our transfer vehicles is limited, we ask that you limit your luggage to ONE piece of checked baggage per person. We suggest one water-resistant or waterproof bag and one carry-on or daypack per person. We highly recommend packing light - take only the essentials you will need during your adventure.
Photography equipment and chargers Binoculars - these are a must on the tundra. For optimal viewing, we suggest those with specs between 10x42 and 8x42. You may even try 8x35, but only if they contain high quality glass. Practice using your binoculars before your adventure to make sure they are not too powerful or you do not have trouble holding them steady. Couples should consider bringing two pairs of binoculars, so both people can view wildlife simultaneously. Water-resistant daypack for use during outings Hand/foot warmers (highly recommended) Sunglasses (with UV protection) Prescription glasses/contact lenses Yaktrax (optional.) Yaktrax can be extremely helpful to prevent slipping in snowy or icy conditions. Other popular brands of traction devices include DueNorth, Kahtoola, and Stabilicer. (There are a limited number of Yaktrax available for guest use in Churchill.) Small flashlight or headlamp (with spare batteries) - recommended for the evening tundra excursion Toiletries Dry skin lotion Sunscreen & lip balm (SPF15+) Bring protection for your hands, face, and lips, as the reflection off of the snow and ice can be intense. Small medical kit Battery-operated alarm clock or wristwatch Zip-lock bags are great for protecting camera equipment. A refillable water bottle is also ideal for day to day use.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Canada Visas are not required for UK, US, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian citizens. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure. From March 2016 any visitor travelling to Canada, including those who don't currently need a visa to visit, will have to get an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada. From 1 August 2015, travellers will have the opportunity to go online and apply for their eTA ahead of time. For more information see the official Canadian government website. USA (If flights transit): you will need to apply for an ESTA if you are transiting the USA as you will have to disembark and clear immigration before re-boarding for the onward flight. Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - where you apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which applies if you enter the country by sea or by air. This must be done on line - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. When completing an application for transit you should enter the words 'In Transit' with your final destination location in the address line You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover. If you have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the past five years or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel under the Visa Waiver Programme. Instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel. For further information please check out the US embassy website. Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, typhoid, infectious hepatitis and polio. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.