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Polar bear watching in Churchill

Canadian Rail and Polar Bear Adventure

10

days

starting fromUS $6,274per person

  • Get this trip plan customized to cover everything you want to see.
  • Learn which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.

Travel across Canada on a once in a lifetime overnight train journey across Canada, before visiting Churchill’s famous polar bears. With a friendly and knowledgeable guide, spend two days on a specially designed Tundra Buggy watching polar bears in their natural habitat. Additionally, explore the town of Churchill on a tour and discover the Itsanitaq Museum and Parks Canada Interpretation Centre. Experience two of Canada’s most iconic experiences in one trip!

Trip at a glance

10 Days / 9 Nights

Arrive Vancouver 1 night Vancouver 2 nights VIA Rail 2 nights Winnipeg 3 nights Churchill 1 night Winnipeg Depart Winnipeg

  • View Details Of Each Day

    Sample Itinerary

    Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.

    Note: This tour is also available starting in Toronto with a 2-night train journey to Winnipeg. Please ask your Vacation Advisor for more details.

    Day 1 – Arrive in Vancouver
    One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Vancouver is surrounded by towering mountains and sparkling ocean. Walk out of the airport and right into your own personal private vehicle. Your driver will help orient you to our hometown, Vancouver!

    Insider tip: Add additional nights and tours in Vancouver, the home of Fresh Tracks Canada! One of the favorite activities for locals is a scenic bicycle ride around Stanley Park.

    Overnight in Vancouver.

    Day 2 – Board VIA Rail’s Canadian Train to Winnipeg
    This is the first day of your overnight rail journey to the Canadian Rockies. The excitement builds as the train leaves Vancouver. The passing scenery is breathtaking – climb the steep Fraser Canyon, past the thundering water of Hell’s Gate, and onto the high desert of British Columbia’s interior. The ‘Canadian’ is Canada’s most famous train, the route links Vancouver and Jasper using original steel rail cars from the 1950’s and Vancouver to Jasper is the most spectacular stretch of the whole journey.

    Overnight on board the train in your private cabin.

    Day 3 – VIA Rail’s Canadian Train Voyage Continues
    When you wake up, be mesmerized by the snowcapped mountain peaks right outside your window. As the train weaves through the rocky peaks watch for bears, deer, elk or moose – you never know when you might spot one. Stay onboard the train for another relaxing night as you train glides into the prairie provinces.

    Overnight on board the train in your private cabin.

    Day 4 – Arrival in Winnipeg
    The scenery changes as you travel across the undulating plain of the Prairie Provinces. Settle into your seat and enjoy watching the sights from your window. Arrive into the city of Winnipeg late this evening. Known as the “Cultural Cradle of Canada,” Winnipeg is home to Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and so much more.

    Overnight in Winnipeg at an airport hotel.

    Day 5 – Experience Unique Culture in Winnipeg
    The day is yours to explore at leisure before meeting your interpretive polar bear guide this evening. Visit the Forks – Winnipeg’s gathering place with nine acres of activity, restaurants, shopping and interactive fun. A visit to the Assiniboine Park Zoo has also been included today.

    • Assiniboine Park Zoo Admission
    Minutes from downtown Winnipeg in beautiful Assiniboine Park, the zoo is home to over 150 species from around the world. The Journey to Churchill exhibit is a definite highlight as the home to polar bears, muskoxen, Arctic fox, wolves and other northern species.
    Activity rating: Easy

    Overnight in Winnipeg at an airport hotel.

    Day 6 – Winnipeg to Churchill – Where the Excitement Begins
    Today you board your plane for a flight from Winnipeg to Churchill and journey over the tundra and plains of the North – the bird’s eye view is spectacular! Upon arrival enjoy a guided tour of the town, including a visit to the Itsanitaq Museum – a memorable and informative introduction to the unique culture of the north. In the evening, enjoy a fascinating cultural presentation featuring life in Churchill.

    Overnight in Churchill.

    Days 7 and 8 – Polar Bear Viewing and Arctic Activities
    Why is Churchill known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World? Large numbers of polar bears congregate near town each fall while they wait for the ice to form on Hudson Bay. With two entire days on the Tundra Buggy, seeing the bears at close quarters is almost guaranteed!

    Overnight in Churchill.

    Day 9 – Churchill to Winnipeg
    Set off on an exciting dog sledding excursion today. After a thorough introduction it’s off to the tundra where you’ll get to mush you own team of dogs. This excursion is designed for all ages and abilities. This afternoon, visit the Parks Canada Interpretive Centre, where you learn more about the history, wildlife, and culture of Churchill. Fly back to Winnipeg for your final night.

    Overnight in Winnipeg at an airport hotel.

    Day 10 – Depart Winnipeg
    Your Canada vacation ends as you check-out from your hotel this morning and depart Winnipeg with fond memories made.
Canadian Rail and Polar Bear Adventure  – Map

Availability

SepOctNov

Places Visited

VancouverWinnipegChurchil

Accommodation Style

HotelTrain

Your Train Experience

VIA RailSleeper Train

Activity Level

Easy

What you'll love about this trip

  • Overnight journey from Vancouver through the Canadian Rockies to Winnipeg by train

  • Close-up polar bear viewing from the comfort of the Tundra Buggy

  • Exploring Winnipeg and Churchill with a choice of exciting day activities to enjoy

Common Questions

  • Where am I staying on this trip?

    This trip features a sleeper train journey, and you'll get a comfortable private cabin on the train for the duration of your train ride. The trains feature common lounge areas and dining cars where you can socialize with fellow travelers.

    When not on the train, you'll be staying at various local three to five start hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.

  • What is included in the price?

    Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive a complete travel package with detailed documentation and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal before and during your trip to answer your questions.

  • Can I customize this trip?

    Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can request your free trip plan to decide what you'd like to see and do.

    If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

  • What are the best ways to travel around Canada?

    Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

  • What is the train experience like?

    Because most Canadians typically do not use the train for commuting (as in the US or Europe), the two main rail providers here are driven by tourism. You'll experience the romance of true trans-continental rail travel, with a wide selection of services, accommodation types, and great food.

    Featured train experiences:

    • VIA Rail is Canada's national train provider, with routes running Coast to Coast and through remote parts of northern Canada. The type of train depends on your journey, and can vary from the classic trans-continental sleeper trains to daylight trains with overnight stops.
    • Sleeper Trains feature a once in a lifetime adventure of sleeping on the train in comfortable cabins. You can relax in your private onboard accommodations, or enjoy local wines and chef-prepared meals in the dining car during this unforgettable trip.
  • When is the best time to see wildlife?

    That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

  • Is this an escorted tour?

    With the exception of our guided wildlife trips, our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.

  • Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

    The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer. The interior of BC, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C).

  • How much does my trip cost?

    All our trips can be customized to fit your schedule and budget. The price depends on travel season, train service, hotel level, and the sightseeing tours you choose. Request your free trip plan which will provide you with a detailed cost estimate.

  • What's Included

    What's Included in the Price

    These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.

    Accommodations:
    • 1 night in Vancouver
    • 3 nights in Winnipeg at an airport hotel
    • 3 nights in Churchill
    • 2 nights onboard the VIA Rail Canadian Train, in a Cabin for 1 or 2

    Train Experiences:
    • Sleeper Plus Class, onboard the Canadian Train between Vancouver and Winnipeg (includes Dome Car access)

    Winnipeg Experiences:
    • Assiniboine Park Zoo Admission

    Churchill Experiences:
    • Interpretive tour of Churchill and area
    • Evening Cultural Presentation
    • 2 days onboard the Tundra Buggy with a naturalist guide
    • Tour of the Itsanitaq Museum and Parks Canada Interpretation Centre
    • Dogsledding excursion

    Meal Inclusions:
    • Meals while onboard VIA Rail’s Canadian Train
    • Light meals provided onboard flights between Winnipeg and Churchill
    • All meals in Churchill

    Transfer Inclusions:
    • Personalized and private transfer from your arrival airport
    • Private transfer from Vancouver hotel to train station
    • Private transfer from Winnipeg train station to airport hotel
    • Transfers while in Churchill
    • Return air transportation to/from Churchill to Winnipeg

    Other Inclusions:
    • Documentation package
    • Gratuities for private transfers and tours (unless otherwise
    noted)
    • Fresh Tracks Canada customer service support – from the time you book, you will be assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator with whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests.

    Important Schedule and Trip Notes:
    • Occasionally activities may vary at time of travel due to weather conditions. Your Polar Bear Guides may adjust your excursions to maximize conditions.
    • Train schedules are subject to change and delays may occur.

    Not Included
    • Meals, other than those mentioned
    • Airfare to and from Canada (but don’t hesitate to ask for help)
    • Gratuities for rail, hotel, tour & some transfer staff
    • Some Canadian sales taxes
    • Hospital, medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
    • Winter clothing renta
    ls please ask us to arrange this for you if needed

    Ideas to customize this trip

    Think of this trip as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.

    • Enjoy extra nights in Winnipeg before or after your polar bear tour
    • Make this a truly epic bear tour, and combine your polar bear trip with a grizzly viewing tour
    • Add additional time in Vancouver or Toronto before taking the train to Winnipeg
  • Prices & Dates

    Trip Start Dates

    2019 Departing from Vancouver
    October 10, 31
    November 7

    2019 – Departing from Toronto
    September 28
    October 8, 26, 29
    November 2

    Note: Additional departure days are available with an extra night in Winnipeg. Ask your Vacation Advisor for more details.

    Pricing For This Trip

    Prices listed may vary by departure date, hotel class and degree of personalization. Please speak with one of our travel advisors to get a personalized quote.

    Departing from Vancouver
    Train and Polar Bear Tour/ 10 days, 9 nights
    from US $8,590to US $10,141per person

    This once in a lifetime Polar Bear Safari takes you to the Canadian Arctic. Accompanied by a friendly naturalist guide from Churchill, join a small group of fellow travelers to experience polar bears up close from a Tundra Buggy. Your small group size means optimal bear viewing and photography opportunities onboard the Tundra Buggy.

    Departing from Toronto
    Train and Polar Bear Tour/ 9 days, 8 nights
    from US $8,270to US $9,601per person

    This once in a lifetime Polar Bear Safari takes you to the Canadian Arctic. Accompanied by a friendly naturalist guide from Churchill, join a small group of fellow travelers to experience polar bears up close from a Tundra Buggy. Your small group size means optimal bear viewing and photography opportunities onboard the Tundra Buggy.

  • Accommodations

    Accommodation Options

    These are examples of this trip's accommodation choices. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

    Four Points By Sheraton Winnipeg - Hotel exterior

    Four Points By Sheraton Winnipeg

    An example of our Comfort accommodations

    Conveniently located adjacent to the Winnipeg International Airport, Four Points by Sheraton offers a number of complimentary amenities that will make your stay as comfortable as home. Enjoy free coffee and bottled water, high speed internet and a 24 hour fitness center.

    Tundra Inn - Tundra Inn exterior in winter

    Tundra Inn

    An example of our Comfort accommodations

    The Tundra Inn is a charming, family run hotel located in the northern town of Churchill. With comfortable, spacious accommodation and complimentary amenities, this is the perfect place to relax before or after your arctic adventure. Your stay includes continental breakfast, free tea and coffee and high-speed internet.

This Trip in Pictures

Journey across Canada by sleeper train to visit the polar bears in Churchill
Journey across Canada by sleeper train to visit the polar bears in Churchill
Embark on a two-part journey to visit the polar bears of Canada's North.
Board the VIA Rail train in Vancouver and travel to Churchill by sleeper train
Board the VIA Rail train in Vancouver and travel to Churchill by sleeper train
Your adventure begins in Vancouver where you board the iconic Canadian Train.
Travel on VIA Rail's Canadian train across Canada
Travel on VIA Rail's Canadian train across Canada
Settle into a comfortable seat on the 'Canadian' train as it carries you across the country.
Travel on VIA Rail train across Canada over the Canadian prairies
Travel on VIA Rail train across Canada over the Canadian prairies
Travel through the wide open spaces and dramatic skies of the Canadian prairie provinces.
Travel to Winnipeg by train on your journey to Churchill to see the polar bears
Travel to Winnipeg by train on your journey to Churchill to see the polar bears
Explore the city of Winnipeg, the cultural cradle of Canada.
Travel to Churchill by train to see the Canadian polar bears
Travel to Churchill by train to see the Canadian polar bears
Then as a wonderful comparison, you'll travel north into a very different world.
View polar bears from the Tundra Buggy on a train trip to Churcill
View polar bears from the Tundra Buggy on a train trip to Churcill
Here, on the edge of Hudson Bay, you'll go on safari in a 'Tundra Buggy'…
See polar bears in Churchill
See polar bears in Churchill
And learn if this is play or fighting - from an expert naturalist.
Try dogsledding on your trip to Churchill to see the polar bears
Try dogsledding on your trip to Churchill to see the polar bears
You can also try dogsledding - and learn about the life of a sled-dog.

Get your FREE trip plan organized and arranged for you

Train and hotel availability is limited – we're now booking into 2019.

Get your personalized itinerary
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
or call us directly toll-free
call1 877 395 5771
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Everything Arranged

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