Polar Bear Mother and Newborn Cubs Photo Safari Itinerary
Experience a rare opportunity to see baby polar bears emerging from their dens on our Polar Bear Mother and Newborn Cubs Photo Safari. This unique and exclusive polar bear tour is ideal for families with children, adventure travellers, wildlife and nature enthusiasts, as well as amateur and professional photographers.
Based in a remote and rustic lodge adjacent to Wapusk National Park and the world’s biggest polar bear denning area, you'll have a chance to capture precious moments between mother and cubs while creating personal cherished memories. Spend days in the wild observing the bears and their behaviour. At the same time, local wildlife should wander within range while foraging for food. This exciting polar bear tour will get you as close as 100 meters (328 ft) from mother and cub so be ready with your camera!
Arrive in Winnipeg, Manitoba and transfer to an airport hotel. Once settled in to your hotel, join your Arctic Kingdom Expedition Leader and the rest of the group for a meet and greet and evening beverage.
We depart early for our flight to Churchill where this exciting polar bear adventure begins. Upon arrival in Churchill, we'll transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the morning exploring Churchill with a town tour. We'll visit the Eskimo Museum and the Parks Canada Visitor Centre and take in the sights and sounds of this charming town known as the "Polar Bear Capital of the World". After lunch at a local restaurant, you'll get the chance to try a true northern experience - dog sledding! After working up an appetite in the great outdoors, we'll gather for dinner and then have some time for last minute shopping before boarding the train to Chesnaye. We'll arrive at the lodge in the evening at approximately 10:30 pm.
The highlight of the next few days will be witnessing the grace and majesty of mother polar bears in their natural habitat, while their cubs tumble and explore. On snowmobiles, our scouts track the polar bears. When they find their dens they radio the location to our heated, tracked vans so we can head drive over. On some days, we'll enjoy visits to known den locations, while on other days, we may spend time seeking a new one. Travel time from the lodge to the dens will vary depending on where the den sites are, but you can generally expect a 20 minute to 1 hour or more drive to den sites.
After breakfast, return by train to Churchill, arriving early in the early afternoon. Transfer to the airport, and depart for Winnipeg. Overnight in Winnipeg at the airport hotel.
Catch your flight home from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Polar Bear Den Site
Once at a den site, you may set up your tripod and camera approximately 100 metres from the den, per Wapusk National Park regulations. You are ready to capture some of the most memorable wildlife moments you'll ever witness. We'll spend the day waiting at the den for the polar bear mother to emerge with her cubs. A remote field toilet is provided for use while we wait. The vans are heated so you can alternate between waiting in the vans or on the tundra.
Patience is rewarded
Our patience should be rewarded by the sight of 1 to 3 newborn cubs poking their heads out of the snow as they begin to explore their new world. Waiting times can range from a few minutes to 8 hours. There may be days where no polar bears emerge. This is normal as we are trying to time our viewing to that of the natural rhythm of a polar bear mother. When the family emerges, we are often 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 may prevent us from seeing the polar bear cubs during the week. While sightings are not guaranteed, the stunning environment and the anticipation of seeing something rarely witnessed makes every moment worthwhile.
When at the lodge you can spend time observing some of the other wildlife found in this habitat, including caribou, ptarmigan, foxes, and wolves. Enjoy dinners at the lodge and then head out later in the evening to enjoy Nature's after-dinner entertainment - the shimmering night sky afire with northern lights dancing above the trees.
On days when the weather is too cold or we have whiteout conditions we will be lodge-bound until the weather clears. We suggest bringing a book, games, or movies to help pass the time.
Please note: 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 CAD $100. (Amount subject to change.)
- Services of Inuit Guides and Arctic Kingdom expedition staff
- 2 Nights accommodation in Winnipeg
- 7 Nights accommodation at the Newborn Polar Bear Cub Lodge
- Lunch and dinner in Churchill on Day 2
- Dog sledding in Churchill on Day 2
- All meals while at the lodge
- Return train ticket from Churchill to Chesnaye
NB This itinerary is intended to be representative only as weather and wildlife conditions play a large role in dictating our daily movements and activities. It is important to have a spirit of flexibility when travelling to any Arctic location.
- Meals in Winnipeg
- Any meals en route to/from the lodge
- Satellite phone or internet usage
- Tips, gratuities, personal expenses
- Travel, medical and evacuation insurance coverage
- Additional costs associated with weather and/or layovers at Lodge or in Churchill or Winnipeg