Birds, Bears and Belugas

The Ultimate Arctic Summer Safari.

“This was a trip of a lifetime. The polar bears were incredible, belugas awesome and great guides.” — Paula Curtin, Big Timber, Montana, USA

Dates & Rates | Location | Itinerary

Birds, Bears and Belugas takes place at Seal River Heritage Lodge, and combines the thrill of beluga whale watching in July and August with the adventure of Churchill Wild’s signature “on the ground” polar bear walking safaris.

We actually walk with polar bears during the summer, and you will too! Seal River Heritage Lodge is situated in the vast coastal “polar bear waiting room” on the Hudson Bay coast, and the bears provide fantastic viewing opportunities for us as they wile away the summer waiting for the sea ice to return.

Robert Postma Photo

Aside from the polar bears and beluga whales, you’ll have the opportunity to see other Arctic wildlife on this trip, as well as birds galore such as ptarmigan, Smith’s Longspur, Ross’ and Bonaparte gulls, jaegers etc. In fact, it isn’t unusual for birders to see 100 species over the course of their adventure.

Beluga whales in the Hudson Bay. Paul Perrett photo.

This is a soft adventure highly conducive to family participation and at a convenient time, as children are out of school for the summer. This means that you and your family can experience polar bears in their natural habitat, together!

Polar bear in fireweed near Seal River Lodge. Dennis Fast photo.
Polar bear in fireweed near Seal River Heritage Lodge. Dennis Fast photo.

 

Birds, Bears & Belugas is part of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Canadian Signature Experience Collection.
Birds, Bears & Belugas is part of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Canadian Signature Experience Collection.

Birds, Bears and Belugas - Dates and Rates

2021 DATES

July 6 – 13
July 11 – 18               
July 16 – 23
July 21 – 28            Female share only available 
July 26 – August 2
July 31 – August 7  SOLD OUT
August 5 – 12
August 10 – 17      
August 15 – 22

2022 DATES

July 6 – 13
July 11 – 18               
July 16 – 23
July 21 – 28
July 26 – August 2
July 31 – August 7
August 5 – 12     1 twin room left 
August 10 – 17      
August 15 – 22

Price (per person) Single Private Room Children
2021: $12,995 CAD 2021: $24,095* CAD 2021: $11,695 CAD
2022: $13,495 CAD 2022: $24,995* CAD 2022: $12,195 CAD

Prices are subject to taxes of 8.5%. Children from ages 8 to 12 qualify for the child rate.

* Single guests can sign up to share a room with another person of the same gender at the regular rate per person based on double occupancy. If a single guest prefers to have a private room option we also have a single private room rate as listed above. This rate guarantees a private room at the lodge as well as at the hotels required within the package.

Location

Perched on the rugged coast of Hudson Bay lies Seal River Heritage Lodge, one of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Located near the Seal River Estuary, this Lodge is in a prime location for observing polar bears as they wander the coast during summer and fall waiting for the Bay to freeze and viewing beluga whales in July and August.

The fenced-in compound, viewing platforms and tower lend themselves to unique photography opportunities for northern lights and the wildlife that approach to check out the sights, sounds and smells of the Lodge.

Accommodations are eight, double guestrooms each with an en-suite bathroom. The guest wing is away from the lounge and dining room, allowing you to enjoy quiet time as needed.

Our cozy lounge, complete with fireplace, is the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine, sharing photos or talking with new friends.

Location Specifics

60 km north of Churchill by plane
59° 09’ 09.87” N / 94° 46’ 54.87 “ W

NationalGeographicLodgesOfTheWorld600

 

Itinerary

8 Days, 7 Nights

The package includes two nights in Winnipeg, five nights at Seal River Heritage Lodge, as well as round-trip airfare between Winnipeg, Churchill and the lodge.

Day 1 - Arrive in Winnipeg

Arrive in Winnipeg where you will enjoy a relaxing stay at our choice hotel, The Grand by Lakeview at the Winnipeg Airport. Meet the rest of your group during an orientation dinner hosted by a Churchill Wild representative.

Includes: dinner

Day 2 - Winnipeg to Churchill to Lodge

Arrive in Churchill by air where one of our expert staff will meet you at the airport and provide you with instructions for the morning transfers.  Your adventure begins with an aerial flight over the winding Hudson Bay coast en-route to your home for the next six days, Seal River Heritage Lodge. Watch out for pods of whales, birds, 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 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 tundra-inspired lunch, you’ll experience the coast for the first time. Ensure your camera batteries are charged!

Back at the lodge, enjoy appetizer hour followed by another of our signature meals. Evenings typically include an informative lecture or slide show presentation narrated by one of Churchill Wild’s knowledgeable guides or staff.

Includes: breakfast lunch dinner

Days 3 to 6 - Tundra Trekking, Polar Bears and Priceless Photography

After breakfast, head out for either a marine tour or hike. Lunch will typically be back at the lodge, unless your guides take you on an ATV excursion further down the coast. Marine tours are tide-dependent, so scheduled mealtimes  may be adjusted to accommodate whale watching.

Relive the excitement of the day during daily appetizer hour before sitting down to dinner, then top up your glass of wine and settle in for the evening’s presentation.

Bedtime is at your leisure.  We monitor the Lodge area all night so be prepared to have your sleep cut short by a nocturnal visit from one of the great ice bears (or by one of our dazzling displays of northern lights!)

Includes: breakfast lunch dinner

Day 7 - Churchill Time

After one last hearty Lodge breakfast, we will begin air transfers back to Churchill.  Have your cameras ready for the return flight as it affords excellent opportunities for great aerial shots.

Back in Churchill, you’ll spend the day with one of our tour guides exploring the town and surrounding  area, learning about its rich history as a seaport and ex-military base. Your tour will include stops such as the Parks Canada exhibit, the Itsanitaq Museum, and the Polar Bear Jail. Along the way, your guide will point out murals that were commissioned in 2016 as part of the SeaWalls mural festival. Before a group dinner, your guide will give you free time to shop for last-minute souvenirs at the unique gift stores in Churchill.

Your flight south to Winnipeg will take place this evening. Upon arrival, collect your bags, head out of the arrivals doors and back to The Grand Hotel.

Includes: breakfast lunch dinner

Day 8 - Homeward Bound!

After a restful sleep you will pack your bags in preparation for your flight home.

Gear Provided

The equipment we provide at the Lodge such as rain gear, rubber boots, winter gear (rental), and gear for use during marine excursions are designed to fit guests from child to adult.  Boot sizes larger than a men’s size 13 or a very small child are considered to be customized sizes that we do not provide. Additionally, guests over 6’4” may be required to bring their own gear as we may not have clothing sizes to fit.

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