Daily departures from the end of June - mid-July, 2024.
Churchill, Manitoba is located along a migratory bird path, surrounded by several different ecoregions begging to be explored. These habitats range from dry tundra to boreal forest, from willow alder wetlands to freshwater rivers, creeks and ponds. Our sample 5-day small group tour includes leisurely walks in forest, taiga, tundra, and coastal ecosystems on the look out for rare, unique birds. The productive Churchill River estuary is also highly popular, where we include an ice floe boat trip to look for birds and beluga whales. *Prices in your Cart are listed in CAD.
- A wildlife expedition over the Churchill River via military-grade zodiac boats, to experience the Arctic's awakening from the winter.
- An exploration around Twin Lakes, a glacial kame in the boreal forest to watch out for forest birds and wildlife, such as the Spruce Grouse.
- A visit to the Harbour Board Ponds by the historic Churchill grain port to observe a wide variety of shorebirds.
- An excursion to Cape Merry to look out for King Eider and Harlequin Ducks.
- The chance to observe Jaegers (Skuas), Harlequin Duck, King Eider, and even beluga whales in our Churchill River ice floe adventure!
5 Day Suggested Itinerary
Winnipeg to Churchill
Our trip begins with a morning flight to our destination: Churchill, Manitoba. On arrival, you will be met by your local ornithology guide for the next five days. On the way to town, we will stop along the coast of Hudson Bay where we will look for shorebirds and sea ducks. We’ll then check-in to our home for five nights, Bear Country Inn, and prepare for lunch at Gypsy's Restaurant. Lunch will properly fuel us for our walk along the Churchill River shoreline looking for red-throated loon, Parasitic Jaeger, courting terns, and other shorebirds. After this, we’ll return to town for a short Churchill orientation. A welcome dinner will be included on this day for our small group. At 7pm, we will visit the Harbour Board ponds by the historic Churchill grain port. We will observe a wide variety of shorebirds, nesting Arctic terns, and various ducks, looking out for the elusive Ross's Gull.
Boreal Forest and Twin Lakes
We’ll enjoy an early, included breakfast at a local restaurant and return to the Harbour Board Ponds to search for newcomer birds. We’ll also be travelling to Twin Lakes, a glacial Kame in the Boreal Forest, looking for chickadee, Spruce Grouse, other forest birds and wildlife. You will have the opportunity to see the unique transition of the Boreal forest to the tundra region. Here, we will also look for Arctic foxes, caribou, lemmings, ptarmigans, owls and hare. A field lunch will be included, then we’ll return to town. Dinner will be enjoyed on our on own.
After an early included breakfast at a local restaurant, we will drive along the Hudson Bay Coast at low tide to scan for Hudsonian Godwit, Sanderling, Semipalmatted Plover and long-tailed Jaeger. We’ll then enjoy an included field lunch. After our lunch, we’ll continue to the various coves and bays as the tide rises, looking to the waters for signs of pelagic birds and marine mammals. In the afternoon head, we’ll embark for the inland lakes (Taiga Tundra areas) to look for nesting Pacific Loon, Smith's Longspur, and short-eared owl. Field Lunch and return to town. We’ll return to town by 5:00pm, upon which we can seek out dinner reservations on our own. At 7:00pm we will visit Cape Merry to look for King Eider and Harlequin Ducks. If you are feeling up to it, we’ll have the opportunity to stay awake watch the late Arctic sunset at 11:00 pm.
Ice Floe Beluga Adventure
Today, you’ll have the opportunity to join our wildlife expedition complete with birds, seals, and likely the first belugas of the season - and of course, ice! Happening after June and early July, this tour is perfect for the avid photographer, birder and any traveller looking to experience the Arctic’s awakening from winter. Churchill River’s ice breakup varies, but usually occurs early to mid June. This is a beautiful opportunity for us to take visitors amongst sea ice in world famous military grade Zodiacs.
Past tours have produced close up sightings of three species of Jaegers (Skuas), Harlequin Duck, King Eider, Black Guillemont, Great Black – Backed, Sabine’s, Little and Ross’s Gulls as well as many more common birds in the area. A birder’s paradise to be sure!
However, this tour is more than birds, it’s a unique experience where you get to interact with the Arctic’s beautiful transformation into the much awaited summer. You get the opportunity to become part of an intimate environment, which is a lively soup of birds, seals, huge turquoise core ice shapes and possibly the season’s first Belugas. The ice breakup creates a tantalizing image spread as far as the eye can see across the Hudson Bay making for unique and haunting photographs.
The length of the tour will be 2 hours. It is necessary for you to dress warmly! After or before our tour, we will have free time to visit the Eskimo museum, the Parks Canada Interpretation Centre and shops. This wildlife-filled day was our finale - unfortunately, our trip comes to a close here. We’ll take off on an evening flight around 9:00pm from Churchill to Winnipeg. You’ll have the option of substituting the flight for the VIA Rail train, which would be a 2-night train ride.an substitute for the train. We’ll spend the overnight in Winnipeg.
After our breakfast, we will say our goodbyes and depart Winnipeg. We also have the option of extending our stay to check out some of Winnipeg’s attractions, such as the Oak Hammond Marsh or the museum. Unfortunately, our adventure comes to a close here, but we’ve made memories and seen wildlife sightings that will be etched into our minds for a lifetime.
Pricing: Adult pricing = $3985 CAD / $2945 USD.
Single supplement: $600
Tours of Exploration by Adventica's customized tours are available in Churchill, Manitoba for:
- bird watching in June and July
- wildflowers, beluga whales, and Arctic Wildlife from June to September
- Polar Bear viewing adventures in October and November = prime bear viewing season
Our accommodation in Churchill will be in a comfortable three-star hotel with a private bathroom and facilities. The tour price is based on twin occupancy in the rooms. On request, single travellers may be matched with a suitable roommate. Only a limited number of single rooms are available. The single supplement cost is not included in the tour cost.
Breakfasts and dinners will be served at local restaurants in town. Lunches are served both as field style and in restaurants.
A variety of sightseeing tours are included in the price to enhance your Arctic experience. Local guides will provide insight to the history and wildlife of the area.
This program should not present any difficulty to those in reasonable physical condition. There will be some walking on rocky terrain. Proper outdoor clothing should be carried at all times. The trip is suitable for families although not recommended for children under 8.
The weather conditions in Churchill are generally stable. As this is typically an arid region, a high pressure dome remains over the area in the summer months. This results in endless sunshine, even in the small hours of the morning. Even though the daytime temperature is normally around 18-20'C (65-70'F) there can be days when the temperatures skyrocket to 30'C (85'F) or fall to 3-5'C (35-40'F). You must prepare for a wide range of possible temperatures and pack clothing accordingly.