The untamed Canadian north is your destination on this summer Arctic safari through the Manitoba wilderness. The abundance of wildlife will keep you on alert as you visit areas where many different ecosystems converge. Also learn about the area’s history on visits to the Park Canada Visitors Centre and Eskimo Museum.
• See moose, black bears, bison, beluga whales and polar bears, Canada’s Big Five, all on a single vacation.
• Travel to Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park, a rich wilderness preserve.
• Take a beluga whale boat tour that includes a visit to Fort Prince of Wales.
EXCLUSIVE AAA Sojourns added-value benefits: Wine and cheese basket plus AAA Welcome Letter in Winnipeg guest room upon arrival, 1 per booking
The World of the Polar Bear by Norbert Rosing, 1 per booking
$50 "Buggy Bucks" to be redeemed at the Tundra Buggy Gift Shop in Churchill, 1 per person
$25 food and beverage voucher to be used at the Four Points by Sheraton, 1 per person
Exploration begins with two days in Riding Mountain National Park, 3,000 square kilometers of rolling hills that stretches eastward from a dramatic rise of land known as the Manitoba Escarpment. The park is home to wolves, moose, elk and black bear, hundreds of bird species, countless insects and a captive bison herd. Your tour guide will take you to the best spots to see moose and bison grazing in clearings. Hold your breath as a black bear sends her cub scurrying up a tree to safety when she hears you nearby. And before departing, enjoy the beautiful scenery as you watch the sunset during a Clear Lake dinner cruise.
Then head north to Churchill. Located on the shores of Hudson Bay, Churchill is most famous for the many polar bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the nickname "Polar Bear Capital of the World." A day out in a Tundra Buggy allows you to search for polar bears, as well as caribou, arctic fox and ptarmigan, while staying safely enclosed in these sturdy vehicles. And if you miss a polar bear sighting, a visit to the Manitoba Conservation's Polar Bear Holding Facility offers another chance to see these "Lords of the North."
But polar bears are just one of the many species you'll see in this unique northern region. Churchill is situated at the confluence of three ecosystems - marine, boreal forest and tundra - and supports a wide variety of flora and fauna unique to each. Thousands of beluga whales, representing the largest population of these whales anywhere in the world, move into the warmer waters of the Churchill River estuary during July and August to calf. A Zodiac boat trip lets you greet these gentle creatures at eye level. Experience a sense of awe listening to their songs through an onboard hydrophone. Few wildlife encounters offer as intimate a perspective as this one.
• 7 nights accommodations: 2 nights in Winnipeg, 2 nights in Riding Mountain National Park and 3 nights in Churchill
• Round-trip airfare between Winnipeg and Churchill plus all on-tour transportation
• All meals
• Services of an experienced and professional Interpretive Guide
• 2-day Riding Mountain National Park tour that includes wildlife spotting plus dinner cruise on Clear Lake
• Road and Trails tour of Churchill area with boat ride on Churchill River and visit to Fort Prince of Wales
• Zodiac boat tour in search of Beluga whales followed by Dog Cart Excursion
• Tundra Buggy Excursion for more wildlife spotting
• Visits to: Parks Canada Visitors Centre, Manitoba Conservation's Polar Bear Holding Facility and Eskimo Museum
Note: This tour is not advised for children as the long days out on the tundra may be harmful.
Day 1 – Arrive in Winnipeg
Arrive in Winnipeg and transfer on your own to the hotel for check-in. This evening, enjoy a “Meet & Greet” event with your guide and fellow travelers.
Accommodation: Four Points by Sheraton - 1 night
Day 2 – Riding Mountain National Park Tour
After breakfast at the hotel restaurant, depart to Winnipeg for Riding Mountain National Park. This rich wilderness in the midst of Manitoba’s prairie landscape covers 3,000 km2 (1158 sq. miles) of rolling hills and valleys. Bold boreal forest, expanses of meadows and lakes, and lofty heights and deep gorges of the Manitoba Escarpment is home to moose, black bears and a captive bison herd, not to mention hundreds of bird species, wolves and elk.
In the afternoon after check-in at your hotel, visit the Parks Canada Visitors Centre. Walk back in time as you view detailed and exciting wildlife dioramas and fur trade exhibits. View a series of videos on the history, culture and wildlife of the area. You will leave your visit full of natural and historical information about the Churchill region. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.
Accommodation: Elkhorn Resort - 2 nights
Day 3 – Free Day / The Martese Dinner Cruise
This morning, embark on a safari for wildlife-spotting opportunities. Time will be spent exploring Riding Mountain National Park and its surrounding areas. Wildlife activities each day will begin at first light. These activities will provide the opportunity to spot bison, black bear, moose, elk, deer and other wildlife.
Later, explore Winnipeg on your own then this evening board The Martese for a dinner cruise along all of Clear Lake’s shoreline. This is a full two-hour tour with dinner being served over that course of time. Learn about the surrounding area and the story behind the name "Martese.” This is the perfect time to watch the sunset and relax in the beauty of nature.
Days 4 – Riding National Park / Winnipeg / Churchill
After breakfast, depart on the journey back to Winnipeg for your flight to Churchill. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel followed by dinner at the hotel. Conclude the evening with a visit to Parks Canada Presentation.
Accommodation: Tundra Inn - 3 nights
Day 5 – Road and Trails Tour
Breakfast at a Churchill restaurant then embark on a four- to five-hour “Roads and Trails” program. In and around the town of Churchill, experience a guided hike and bus tour of local and historical points of interest. Attractions include Cape Merry, Port of Churchill and Manitoba Conservation's Polar Bear Holding Facility (weather permitting). There will be a stop for lunch along the way. Transfer to Sea North Boat Dock. On a Transport Canada approved vessel, discover hundreds of beluga whales in the mouth of the Churchill River. Then, across the river, tour Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site of Canada; the oldest most northerly stone fort in the country. Transfer back to the hotel.
Day 6 – Beluga Zodiac Tour / Dog Cart Ride Excursion
After breakfast at a Churchill restaurant, transfer to Sea North Boat Dock. We will start our morning with an adventure Zodiac Tour, a guided excursion into the beluga whale estuary in a Zodiac boat, industrial-strength inflatable boats commonly used by military and law enforcement agencies. Quickly move around the beluga whale estuary and experience the largest beluga whale population in the world at surface level.
Transfer back to hotel in the afternoon. Visit Eskimo Museum, one of Canada's finest collections of Inuit carvings, kayaks and artifacts dating from pre-Dorset, Dorset, Thule, and modern Inuit times. Experience the dog carting excursions, hosted by a local resident and dog sledding expert. Meet the team of friendly dogs, hear stories and learn dog handling philosophy from an expert. Enjoy a mile-long dog cart ride through the northern boreal forest.
Day 7 – Tundra Buggy Adventure / Winnipeg
Enjoy breakfast this morning and transfer to the Tundra Buggy launch. The best way to experience magnificent summer wildlife viewing of caribou, arctic fox and ptarmigan is on an authentic Tundra Buggy. The Buggy meanders over a system of established trails, stopping at leisure to enjoy the scenery, search for wildlife and take photos of the lush flora of the Arctic. After a BBQ lunch, transfer back to hotel for dinner and check-out. We will depart Churchill for Winnipeg on an evening flight.
Accommodation: Four Points by Sheraton Hotel – 1 night
Day 8 – Depart Winnipeg
After breakfast, depart for the airport for your flight home.
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