NEWBORN POLAR BEARS
Adjacent to Wapusk National Park and the world’s largest polar bear denning area, this lodge-based expedition led by Arctic Kingdom Expeditions offers a unique opportunity in North America to see, virtually guaranteed, polar bear cubs and their mothers in their natural habitat.
Some of the highlights of this expedition:
- Be one of only a few hundred in the world to see newborn polar bear cubs emerge from their den
- Shimmering and awe inspiring northern lights
- Unique tracked heated vehicles offer unprecedented and comfortable access to polar bear denning habitats
The Lodge is a beautifully refurbished navy communications base which stands 300 feet on top of an old beach ridge located about 40 miles south of Churchill, MB. Canada.
The Lodge is in the middle of the tundra, isolated with the nearest neighbor being 40 miles away. It is completely self-sufficient complete with a wood burning fireplace to relax with fellow guests. The Lodge can accommodate up to 18 guests. There are some rooms available as singles, but most rooms are up to 4 people to a room. The Internet is available.
Arrive in Winnipeg, Manitoba and transfer to the Four Points Sheraton Hotel a short walk from the airport. You will be met by your Arctic Kingdom Expedition Leader and the rest of the group of only 6 persons for a welcome dinner.
We meet in the morning for our flight to Churchill. On our arrival in Churchill at 10am, we will have an opportunity to explore while we wait for our 7:30pm train departure for Chesnaye. The train ride is approximately 2 hours in duration until we reach our train stop at Chesnaye. At Chesnaye, we disembark and will transfer to our waiting tracked vehicles for the 30min ride to the Lodge. We should arrive at the Lodge around 10pm.
Daily Sorties for mother polar bears and newborn cubs.
Days at the lodge are spent seeking the wildlife of the area. Our caribou, ptarmigan, foxes, wolves & our famous polar bears. This is the ideal time of the year to see the newly born polar bear cubs emerge from the dens with their moms.
After 7 am breakfasts, we depart around 8:30/9:00 am daily in the heated tracked vehicles in search of polar bear dens. Lunch is served out on the land & you will return to the lodge just before dark. When you arrive back at the lodge, you will have appetizers awaiting & supper will be served at 7 pm.
Each vehicle has a capacity for 6 to 8 persons (some vehicles are larger than others). Our scouts will go ahead by snowmobiles and radio the vans where the locations of the dens are. In some cases, we go to where dens are already known to be, and on other days a new den could be found. Travel time from the lodge to the dens will vary depending on where the den sites are. Generally one can expect between a 20 min to 1-hour drive to the den site (s). It is possible that more travel time could be required.
Once at a den site, we set up our tripods and cameras approximately 100m from the den (as per our Wapusk National Park permit regulation states). A remote field toilet is provided for use while we wait. The vans are heated and one can alternate between waiting in the vans or on the tundra.
We will spend the day waiting at the den for the mother to emerge with her cubs. Our patience should be rewarded with anywhere from 1 to 3 newly born cubs with their mother polar bear emerging from the den. Waiting time can range from minutes to ‘all day’ which can be up to 8 hours. There have been days where no polar bears emerge. This is normal as we are trying to time when a mother emerges from a den after months of denning. When they emerge, we generally are able to observe them for a lengthy period of time. Although this is the most reliable place in the world to see newborn polar bear cubs, this is still nature and there is a risk that weather or other natural factors at play that may prevent us from seeing the polar bear cubs during the week. Sightings are not guaranteed.
After dinner, take a peek at the night sky and see if the shimmering northern lights have made an appearance above the trees.
On days where the weather is too cold or we have white out conditions you will be lodge bound until the weather clears. It is wise to bring a book, movie etc to help pass the time. The weather can range from -20 to -40 Celsius with a wind chill factor as well, so it can be cold.
Our week with mother and newborn cubs comes to an end. We leave early in the morning for the train ride back to Churchill, and onwards with an afternoon flight to Winnipeg.
1) Professional photographers and filmmakers who plan on using photos or videos for a commercial nature will be required to complete a Parks Canada Film Application form and pay an additional fee of approximately $100.00 CAD. (amount subject to change)
Warm down-type Parka and insulated wind pants. Insulated hat, mitts, and light gloves. Heavy duty footwear rated to -100C ) Layers underneath work best starting with polypro underwear (or similar), sweaters, fleece pants etc. Avoid use of cotton when possible
- 2 nights Winnipeg
- 7 nights Lodge
- Return train ticket from Churchill to Chesnaye.
- All meals at Lodge
What´s not Included:
- Flight to and from Whinnipeg
- Meals in Winnipeg.
- Any meals en route to/from Lodge.
- Satellite phone usage
- Internet usage extra
- Personal Expenses
- Travel and Medical Insurance
- Baggage Insurance.
- Additional costs associated with weather and/or layovers in Lodge, Churchill or Winnipeg
- From $8,400.00 CAD + 13% TAX
$1,400.00 CAD (tax and fees included)
$2000 deposit required at time of booking. Full Payment due 90 days prior to departure date.
Outside of 90 days, a full refund of deposit less $500 admin charge is given. 90 to 60 days prior to a trip entitles client a 50% refund less $500 admin charge. 0-60 days prior to trip no refund will be offered.