Bears, Belugas & Borealis Photo Tour August 22nd to 29th, 2020
Photo Tour - "Canada's Northern Light Adventure"
Polar Bears - Belugas Whales and the Northern Lights - What a combination, what a great selection of photo opportunities. Churchill is the best place to maximize your opportunities for northern lights. This is because Churchill is located directly beneath the Van Allen Belt, a layer of energy-charged particles that wraps the earth's polar regions. Steaming off as solar flares, the particles are carried by solar wind trapped in the earth's magentic field to create the aurora. We will go deep into the boreal forest for our night photography opportunities.
Polar Bears and Beluga Whales ... over 3,000 beluga whales gather at the mouth of the Churchill River. Our motorized rafts we will put you at eye level for up-close and unique photographs of these magnificate marine mammals. While out on the surrounding tundra and shores we will be in search of the polar bear. This time of year the colourful tundra makes a great backdrop.
I would like to invite you to join me as we photograph the Bears, Belugas & Borealis and enjoy the changing colours of the tundra.
Bears, Belugas & Borealis Photo Tour Itinerary - August 22nd to 29th, 2020
Day One: Saturday August 22nd, 2020 Our Air Canada flight departs London International Airport connecting via Toronto where we will meet up with connecting guests then on to Winnipeg, Manitoba arriving mid afternoon. We will transfer to our hotel to the Hilton Suites located ony minutes from the airport. We will have some time this afternoon to relax then meet this evening for dinner and a briefing for our tour.
Day Two: Sunday August 23rd, 2020 Breakfast, check-out and transfer to the Via Rail station to board our train for our overnight journey to Churchill. Rail is a great way to experience Canada's north, there are many photo opportunities along the rails. Please note our tour prices includes ecomomy rail fare, you can upgrade during registration for a lower or upper berth or a private rail cabin. Our train departs at noon. (B), (L), (D).
Day Three: Monday August 24th, 2020 - Day onboard our Via Rail train to Churchill. Our Winnipeg–Churchill train travels through 1,697 kilometres of Canadian wilderness. It is great to have the rail back in service for this experience. Churchill and connecting communities were without service for three years. As we roll along the only dry land connection to many of these unique communities there will be plenty of photo opportunities. Onboard dining car and area to play a board game or use your laptop computer, or just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Day Four: Tuesday August 25th, 2020 8:30 a.m. arrival in Churchill. We wil be met at the train station by our local guides and drive to our lodge for check-in and opportunity to freshen up. We then head to the port to board our charter to photograh and experience the beluga whales. Thousands of beluga whales arrive at the mouth of the Churchill river annually to feed and use the shallow waters and gravel river bed to clean themselves of algae. This is a great up-close encounter with the whales. We suggest you bring a small waterproof camera to capture a few below the water surface shots. Then back to Churchill for lunch and a 4x4 tour along the shore looking for polar bears, birds and other wildlife. This evening we will visit Cape Merry for sunset photography. Dinner, time to relax and tonight aurora opporunities. Overnight Sipi River Inn. (L) (D)
Day Five: Wednesday August 26th, 2020 Breakfast then out for another full day of roads and tracks exploration via our 4x4 vechiles. We will spend time along some the back roads you never know where you will find the bears. Then onto Lyon's Park and a photo shoot at Miss Piggy, one of Churchills most famous landmarks. We will explore and look for wildlife along Polar Bear Alley and Styggee Creek. Todays lunch is at the Churchill Nature Study Centre. We will continue to explore the back country photographing wildlife, landscapes and bears. We will visit the Whale Racks and Polar Bear holding centre. This evening we will hike out to the Ithaca for sunset photography. Dinner at the Seaport and evening Aurora opportunities. Overnight at the Sipi River Inn. (B) (L) (D)
Day Six: Thursday August 27th, 2020 Breakfast then drive to the flats, this is a unique location over looking the bays. Many interesting buildings and items to photograph. We visit here during our winter tours but August is great weather to walk around and explore. We will then travel down Goose Creek Road for wildlife and nature encounters. Later this morning we will have will another oppiortunity to photograph the Belugas on our 3 hour charter along the Churchill River. During our excursion we will visit the Prince of Wales Fort on the far side of the Churchill river. More great landscape and nature opportunities ... and possibly more bears. Late this afternoon we will return to our lodge time to relax before dinner. This evening we travel to the boreal forest for more Aurora Viewing at Nights Under Lights. Overnight Sipi River Inn. (B) (L) (D)
Day Seven: Friday August 28th, 2020 Breakfast then head out for our final photo shoot in Chruchill, including some of the amazing murals painted on the buildings around the village. SeaWalls Churchill was created with the intention to educate and inspire a community to protect the oceans, but what transpired was more powerful than that. It was the story of a small town on the edge of the Arctic being reminded of their own value and worthiness in this world. (B)
We will stop at the Inukshuk for a group photo, spend some time visiting a few of the gift shops. Then mid day depart for the airport for our flight back to Winnipeg. Arriving in Winnipeg at 4:30 p.m. we will transfer to our hotel the Hilton and have time to relax before dinner. (B)
Day Eight: Saturday August 29th, 2020 Breakfast, check out and depart for our short ride back to the airport. Our Air Canada flight departs mid morning for our return trip home to Toronto and connecting flight toLondon region arriving late afternoon. What a trip, what an adventure. (B)
Guests on our Bears, Belugas and Borealis tour have the option to join the tour flying out of London, Toronto or any other requested point.
Prior to our departure we will be sending out a pre tour book filled with tips on packing for Canada’s North and ideas for camera gear.
Churchill has an average temperature of 20C to nightime lows of 10C this time of year. Sunsrceen, wide brimmed hat, and bug spray are a must this time of year. We will be spending quite some time outside and travelling via 4x4 vehicles to obtain great photo opportunities of the bears, whales, birds, landscapes and the northern lights.
The cost of our Bears, Belugas & Borealis Photo Tour is $6,350.00 per person CAD plus HST based on double occupancy and includes airfare departing from London or Toronto, plus air taxes of $231.10 CAD. Our tour price also includes airfare from Winnipeg to Churchill. Single supplement is available for this tour for an additional $500.00 CAD plus HST. Upgrades for rail - upper berth $480, lower berth $620, private rail cabin $875, select when registering.
A non refundable deposit of $650.00 is due at time of booking. The balance is due July 12th, 2020.
We recommend travel insurance as this tour takes you out of the province.
- Round trip Air Canada airfare departing from London International or Pearson International
- Other departure points are available upon request. (price may vary due to air departure point)
- Via Rail ecomony seat to Churchull, upgrages available upon request
- Return airfare via CalmAir Churchill to Winnipeg, Manitoba
- 2 Nights Accommodations Hilton Suites Hotel pre and post Winnipeg,
- 3 Nights Accommodations Sipi River Inn Churchill
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner included each day of the tour
- All airport transfers in Winnipeg and Churchill
- Transportation while in Churchill
- 2 Beluga charters during our visit
- Our own private local photographer guide photography via 4 x 4
- One night of viewing at Nights under Lights (Mongolian Yurts) Weather will determine the evening.
- Admissions to Eskimo Museum
- Photo Workshops and Tour hosted and escorted by photographer James Cowie
- Items of a personal nature, laundry, phone calls, etc.
- Local guide tips and gratuities,
- Alcoholic beverages,
** Schedule may vary according to weather