An extreme adventure in polar bear denning territory.
“Nanuk in the winter, is a very special place indeed.” — Andy Skillen, FaunaVista.com
The goal of this expedition is to find and photograph female polar bears and their newborn cubs in the area of Cape Tatnam on Manitoba’s Hudson Bay coast. This experience is undoubtedly the most rugged of our adventures and not for the faint of heart or weak of knee. The physical participation level is very high.
When Sir Ernest Shackleton (greatest explorer of the 20th century) advertised for potential members to join him on his quest for the South Pole he stated, “Needing a few hardy souls to venture into the unknown, promise long days, minimal food, Spartan accommodations, grueling conditions AND safe return doubtful!” Well, at Churchill Wild we feel we can deliver on a high adventure experience without the extreme physical discomforts that Shackleton and his men encountered.
Instead of struggling for survival in leaky old tents at -70 °F, while “dining” on seals and penguins, we will be warmly ensconced in a modern 5 star wilderness lodge enjoying fine wines with chef prepared tundra-inspired dinners. And our state of the art expedition quality Arctic clothing, daily electronic communication with the outside world and use of modern aircraft for transportation will ensure that our return will be a safe and successful one!
The base of operations will be Churchill Wild’s Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, located 220 kilometers east of Gillam, Manitoba. This adventure begins and ends in Winnipeg, Manitoba and includes commercial airlines to Thompson and/or Churchill and private air charter access to the lodge. Travel on location will be via snowmobiles, on foot and snowshoes.
Accommodations: You’ll be in the Canadian Arctic, completely “off grid.” Situated next to pristine Arctic waters on Hudson Bay with Canada’s Boreal Forest as its backyard sits Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, one of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.
From the safety of the fence surrounding the Lodge, view the northern lights or get up-close-and-personal with the wildlife that meander past, as curious about you as you are about them.
The eight guestrooms with en-suite bathrooms are housed in two guest wings connected to the main dining room/lounge area, each with cozy sitting areas overlooking the Bay.
Note that due to EXTREME weather conditions (i.e. very low temperatures) there may be times when it’s difficult to maintain running water under the mid-winter conditions. There will be no laundry facilities.
Meals: Chef on site, tundra-inspired cuisine served family style
Guides and Equipment: Expedition is fully guided with all related transportation and safety equipment provided.
Clothing: Temperatures will range from -20 to -40C, likely with high wind chills, blowing snow and/or blizzard conditions. Only the very best winter clothing is acceptable and for this reason we will provide you with insulated boots, pants and parka for this expedition. For your own safety and comfort, we will provide you with an additional list of what to bring.
Additional Photo Ops: This coastline has the highest concentration of moose in the province and a very strong “attending” wolf population, so sightings of these animals can be very common. Foxes, wolverine and pine marten also frequent the coast and might be seen. Aurora borealis sightings are some of the best in the world here, so be prepared for a few sleepless nights! Many viewing and photo ops take place near the lodge so it is not always necessary to venture further abroad for wildlife encounters should we have what we call a very blustery day.
Additional Notes: Due to the customized nature of this safari and the extreme weather that may be encountered, please allow for flexibility in daily activities and flight times. This expedition is limited to only 8 participants to ensure a very high level of personal service. There will be professional guides and photo leader(s) on this very exclusive adventure, to assist us in our quest for polar bear mothers and cubs in this very exclusive adventure.
Your Adventure Includes: All air and ground transfers between Winnipeg and our lodge, winter pants, boots and parka, accommodations and meals, as noted below.
Den Emergence Quest - Dates and Rates
February 25 – March 10
|Price (per person)||Single Private Room||Children|
|2020: $16,695 CAD||N/A||N/A|
|2021: $16,995 CAD||N/A||N/A|
Prices are subject to taxes of 8.5%.
* 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.
Situated next to pristine Arctic waters on Hudson Bay with Canada’s Boreal Forest as its backyard sits Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, one of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. The diverse ecosystem surrounding Nanuk is home to Canadian icons such as polar bears, black bears, wolves, and moose.
From the safety of the fence surrounding the Lodge, view the northern lights or get up-close-and-personal with the polar bears and other wildlife that meander past, as curious about you as you are about them.
The eight guestrooms with en-suite bathrooms are housed in two guest wings connected to the main dining room/lounge area, each with cozy sitting areas overlooking the Bay. After a long day trekking the tundra, kick back in our lounge and enjoy an informative presentation by our guides or simply relax and enjoy conversations with new friends.
250 km south of Churchill by plane
57° 07’ 22.4” N / 91° 39’ 52.0” W
14 Days, 13 Nights
Day 1 - Anticipation builds during your overnight stay in Winnipeg
Enjoy a relaxing stay at our choice hotel, The Grand by Lakeview at the Winnipeg Airport. After arrival you will be fitted for your winter gear before attending an orientation dinner.
Day 2 - Arctic frontier arrival
Fly to Thompson or Churchill, where you will be met by our staff, and then on to Nanuk Lodge. After settling in at the Lodge, you’ll head out on the first of your expeditions to search for dens.
Includes: breakfast lunch dinner
Days 3 to 12 - Your adventure begins!
Your days will start with a hearty, full-course breakfast to fuel your daily activities which will consist of guided expeditions to search out wildlife encounters, primarily of mothers and newborn cubs.
Guides and/or scouts will patrol the area daily to seek out dens and bears traversing the coastline with their newborn cubs. These guides will always be in radio contact to coordinate viewing/photography opportunities either at den sites when they are found or of bear families as they make their way from the den sites to the coast and onto the sea ice.
Other activities may include igloo building, wolf howls, soapstone carving and snowshoeing expeditions.
Includes: breakfast lunch dinner
Day 13 - Back to Winnipeg
After breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to the Lodge and the wildlife whose home you’ve shared over the last 10 days.
Includes: breakfast lunch dinner
Day 14 - Homeward Bound
After a restful sleep you will pack your bags in preparation for your flight home.
We provide winter gear as part of your package. The items are designed to fit adult guests. Boot sizes larger than a men’s size 13 would be considered a custom size 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.