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VP of Business Development (Jackie Storry) and Sales Manager (Sue Brown) getting wild at RVC.

by George Williams

Churchill Wild attended Rendez-vous Canada (RVC) in Edmonton with Travel Manitoba and a host of elite local travel providers from May 14-17, and the response to their luxury polar bear safaris and walking tours was overwhelming.

If the organizations Churchill Wild met with weren’t specifically dedicated to luxury travellers, they had luxury divisions within their organizations or were in the process of building one.

“Between Jackie (Jackie Storry, Churchill Wild Director of Business Development) and I we had about 120 meetings,” said Churchill Wild Sales Manager Sue Brown. “Everyone seemed to be looking for what Churchill Wild had to offer. People are looking to do things that no one has ever done before, in places where few people have ever been, and we fit perfectly. The new luxury is not marble floors and butlers, but exclusivity and rare experiences.”

Ground-level polar bear photography during the summer on Birds, Bears & Belugas at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Ground-level polar bear photography during the summer on Birds, Bears & Belugas at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Cristina Garcia of Travel For Wildlife said the same thing many years ago after visiting Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Garcia’s review of Nanuk highlighted the essence of Arctic luxury. Garcia described her experience as a perfect blend of raw wilderness and refined comfort, emphasizing that true luxury in the Arctic isn’t about opulence but about the exclusivity of the experience.

“It’s about feeling the crunch of the tundra underfoot, seeing polar bears in their natural habitat, and ending the day in a warm, cozy lodge with a gourmet meal,” said Garcia. “This type of luxury appeals to travellers seeking authentic and transformative experiences, rather than conventional high-end amenities.”

Guests enjoying the new dining room at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge.

Guests enjoying the new dining room at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge.

Among the attendees at RVC from Manitoba were Travel Manitoba, Tourism Winnipeg, Lazy Bear Expeditions, Frontiers North Adventures, Gangler’s Sub-Arctic, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Assiniboine Park Conservancy, and the Royal Canadian Mint. Borealis Beading and Indigenous Tourism Manitoba were also among the growing group of Indigenous tourism operators.

The event involved three days of meetings with travel providers, agents, and operators from around the world, all eager to learn more about Churchill Wild’s unique offerings, and there wasn’t a moment to spare with one meeting after another.

Jackie and Sue at RVC 2024 in Edmonton

Top 10 Operators Embracing Churchill Wild

The top 10 operators now promoting Churchill Wild’s luxury polar bear tours and safaris are:

These operators were drawn to Churchill Wild because of the unique and immersive experiences they offer — blending rugged adventure with unparalleled comfort.

Guest off to see beluga whales at Seal River Heritage on Birds, Bears & Belugas. Glenn Bloodworth photo.

Guest off to see beluga whales at Seal River Heritage on Birds, Bears & Belugas. Glenn Bloodworth photo.

Real Stories from Happy Travellers

Marlene Born and her husband, Eric, from Switzerland, are prime examples of how Churchill Wild polar bear safaris leave a lasting impression. They first experienced the Summer Dual Lodge Safari in 2022 and are set to return for the Arctic Safari this year. Their positive experiences led them to share their stories with their travel agent at the Hotelplan Group and Travelhouse, which now sells Churchill Wild’s packages. Such personal testimonials underscore the impact and appeal of Churchill Wild’s unique adventures.

Over 450 5-star reviews across their three properties on TripAdvisor also highlight the exceptional experiences offered by Churchill Wild. One visitor to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge wrote, “A trip of a lifetime. The lodge staff were amazing, the food was exceptional, and the wildlife encounters were beyond anything we could have imagined.”

At Seal River Heritage Lodge, a guest commented, “The guides were knowledgeable and ensured our safety at all times while making sure we had the best possible experience with the polar bears.” Another traveller at Dymond Lake Ecolodge shared, “This place is incredible. The scenery, the wildlife, and the hospitality are unmatched. Truly an unforgettable adventure.”

New guest bedroom at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Scott Zielke photo.

New guest bedroom at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Scott Zielke photo.

Walking with Polar Bears: A Legacy of Safety and Expertise

Churchill Wild’s commitment to safety and exceptional wildlife experiences is unmatched, thanks to over five decades of experience guiding ground-level polar bear tours. Their polar bear guides are the most skilled in the world, ensuring safe, intimate, and awe-inspiring encounters. This expertise and dedication to safety have earned Churchill Wild an exceptional safety record, making it the preferred choice for polar bear tours in the Arctic.

What Makes Churchill Wild Stand Out?

Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Churchill Wild’s fly-in ecolodges — Seal River Heritage Lodge, Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, and Dymond Lake Ecolodge — are located in some of the most remote and pristine areas of the Canadian Arctic. Seal River Heritage Lodge is 60 kilometers north of Churchill by plane, Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge lies 250 kilometers to the south, and Dymond Lake Ecolodge is situated 30 kilometers north.

These remote locations provide unrivaled access to wildlife and breathtaking landscapes, but they also mean higher operational costs. Building and maintaining the lodges, chartering flights for guests, and bringing in food and supplies are all more challenging and expensive due to the isolation. This seclusion, however, is part of what makes Churchill Wild so wildly unique.

Unparalleled Luxury and Comfort

Each lodge features private en-suite bathrooms and offers a cozy yet refined atmosphere that contrasts beautifully with the wild surroundings. The culinary experience at Churchill Wild is exceptional, based on the best-selling cookbook series Blueberries & Polar Bears, written by Churchill Wild co-founder Jeanne Reimer’s mother, Helen Webber, and her friend, Marie Woolsey.

New ensuite washrooms were added at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge and Seal River Heritage Lodge in 2014 and 2015. Scott Zielke photo.

New ensuite washrooms were added at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge and Seal River Heritage Lodge in 2014 and 2015. Scott Zielke photo.

Using quality and organic produce from Prairie Wild in southern Manitoba, the Churchill Wild chefs craft delicious and sustainable meals. Paired with a selection of Canadian wines and beers, every meal becomes a celebration of flavours.

Hospitality at Churchill Wild is exceptional, with dedicated staff ensuring that every aspect of your stay exceeds expectations. On-foot walking excursions are led by the most skilled polar bear guides in the world, offering safe, intimate, and awe-inspiring encounters with these magnificent creatures. It’s no wonder Churchill Wild’s remote ecolodges have been featured in wildlife documentaries by National Geographic, BBC, and more, reinforcing their reputation for providing the best polar bear encounters on the planet.

Introducing The Blueberry Inn

In addition to Churchill Wild’s ecolodges, they recently opened The Blueberry Inn, their newest property in Churchill. This addition provides guests with a cozy and comfortable stay in the heart of Churchill, further enhancing the range of accommodations available for travellers. The Blueberry Inn combines modern amenities with the charm and warmth that Churchill Wild is known for, making it an excellent starting point or conclusion to a polar bear safari.

Churchill Wild's newest property in Churchill, the Blueberry Inn.

Churchill Wild’s newest property in Churchill, the Blueberry Inn.

A Testament to Excellence

Churchill Wild ecolodges were among the early members in the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World program and their partnership in The Magnificent 7 Luxury Wilderness Lodges of Canada is a testament to the extraordinary experiences they offer. Despite the challenges posed by their remote locations, they have created a sanctuary where luxury and wilderness coexist harmoniously.

Why Travel Agents and Operators Should Choose Churchill Wild

For travel agents and operators dedicated to luxury wilderness travel, Churchill Wild represents an unmatched opportunity to offer clients an experience that combines adventure with comfort. Their all-inclusive safari packages cover everything from round-trip flights from Winnipeg to Churchill, charter flights to the lodges, appropriate rain or winter gear, and delicious meals, ensuring a tasty, seamless, and worry-free journey. The comprehensive nature of these packages justifies the investment, providing clients with an unforgettable and transformative encounter with nature.

Hi there! Happy Churchill Wild guests and a polar bear.

Hi there! Happy Churchill Wild guests and a polar bear.

By partnering with Churchill Wild, travel agents and operators can tap into a market that values exclusive, immersive experiences over traditional luxury. The demand for such unique adventures is growing, and Churchill Wild’s reputation for excellence ensures that clients will return home with stories and memories that last a lifetime.

Churchill Wild ecolodges are not just travel destinations; they’re a transformative journey into the Arctic wilderness, deep in the heart of polar bear country. The investment in their all-inclusive safari packages reflects the unparalleled experiences and exceptional service that define a stay at their lodges. For those seeking adventure without sacrificing comfort, Churchill Wild offers the ultimate escape.

Next year, when RVC comes to Winnipeg, it will provide another exciting opportunity for travel agents and operators to explore and embrace the offerings of Churchill Wild. As interest in luxury wilderness travel continues to grow, Churchill Wild stands ready to lead the way with its unique blend of adventure, comfort, and unforgettable wildlife encounters.

Where polar bears are the stars of the show.

RVC is coming to Winnipeg next year.

RVC is coming to Winnipeg next year.

Arctic Luxury Photo Album

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