Wild Canada: Belugas & Bears - A Marco Polo Journey (2021)

​Set out on a summer wildlife adventure through Canada’s remote and stunningly scenic northern frontier — a wild kingdom of ocean and tundra harbouring whales, polar bears and the enduring legacy of the Hudson Bay fur trappers.

Journey Overview

Set out on a summer wildlife adventure through Canada’s remote and stunningly scenic northern frontier — a wild kingdom of ocean and tundra harbouring whales, polar bears and the enduring legacy of the Hudson Bay fur trappers.

Journey Highlights

  • Embark on a coastal excursion on magnificent Hudson Bay in search of polar bears in their summer habitat
  • Float among friendly, playful beluga whales at the mouth of the Churchill River and listen for their distinctive chirping, for an unforgettable wilderness experience
  • Learn to capture amazing images with instruction from an expert wildlife photographer
  • Meet a local dog musher and his pack for a sled ride along a nearby forest trail
  • Step back in time at FortWhyte, where you see imposing American bison up close, paddle a canoe once used by fur trappers and witness the daily routines of early prairie settlers
  • Explore the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, an independent, non-profit field station devoted to peaceful scientific research, on a site once used for missile testing
  • Join members a local community for an exclusive session in the indigenous craft of charcoal wildlife drawing
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Winnipeg, Canada

Arrive in Winnipeg, where you are transferred to your hotel. Gather tonight for a welcome dinner.
Fairmont Winnipeg | Meals: D

Day 2: Winnipeg | Wildlife Encounters

Begin your day at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, going behind the scenes for an up-close perspective of its exhibits. Get an insider’s look at the research facilities as well, learning about critical efforts underway to help the Canadian polar bear population. Afterward, tour bustling Winnipeg, capital of the prairie province of Manitoba. Enjoy lunch at leisure before journeying to FortWhyte Alive, where you encounter mighty bison and learn how they influenced local history. Then, paddle a voyageur canoe used by fur trappers; explore a Plains Cree tipi; and step into a one-room sod house, where you sip wild bush tea and taste bannock cooked over a campfire.
Fairmont Winnipeg | Meals: B

Day 3: Churchill | Mighty Bears & Sled Dogs

Fly by charter air to Churchill on the shores of Hudson Bay. Check in to your rustic, hand-built lodge. After lunch, a local expert reveals Churchill’s intriguing heritage. See the cargo aircraft wreck of “Miss Piggy,” and visit a local polar bear hotspot for a sense of what it’s like to have wild bears at your doorstep. Later, head to the nearby boreal forest to meet a local dog musher and his pack. After learning about this time-honored form of transportation, take a spin along a forest trail. This evening, learn to capture professional quality images on a smartphone camera with tips from an expert wildlife photographer.
Lazy Bear Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Hudson Bay | Plying Hudson Bay

Embark on an extended boat cruise on Hudson Bay, keeping a close watch for elusive polar bears, beluga whales and other exciting wildlife. If conditions allow, disembark to explore the bears’ summer habitat on foot. Return to Churchill for a relaxing evening at leisure.
Lazy Bear Lodge | Meals: BL

Day 5: Churchill | Indigenous Craft Session

Cross the Churchill River to the Prince of Wales Fort, a former outpost of the Hudson’s Bay Company. During the summer, the waters here are home to thousands of beluga whales; thrill to up-close views of these friendly mammals from a sturdy Zodiac. Later, join a local collective for an indigenous craft session exclusively for A&K guests with members of the community.
Lazy Bear Lodge | Meals: BL

Day 6: Churchill | Belugas Up Close

Today, a massive Arctic Crawler super-bus carries you into the wilderness in comfort and safety. Keep watch for eagles, bears and other wildlife. Then, view the wreck of the ‘Ithaca,’ which ran aground just offshore during a 1961 storm. Experience beluga whales again, this time by kayaking or floating on a personal inflatable raft among these gentle giants. Tonight, feast on a hearty meal at your lodge.
Lazy Bear Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Winnipeg | Subarctic Wonders

Visit the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, where you learn about the role it played during the Cold War-era space race and hear about crucial scientific research being conducted today. A charter flight returns you to Winnipeg. This evening, visit Dalnavert House, built by Hugh John Macdonald, son of Canada’s first prime minister and the then-premier of Manitoba. Enjoy a private tour and reception before sitting down to a special farewell dinner.
Fairmont Winnipeg | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Depart Winnipeg

Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.
Meals: B

Journey Details

Internal air included: Winnipeg/Churchill/Winnipeg
This journey contains some active elements.
Minimum age is 12 years.
First group event: welcome briefing at 6:00 p.m. on Day 1.
Last group event: farewell dinner at 7:00 p.m. on Day 7.
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Program Note: This journey entails sites with limited accessibility for those with mobility challenges, widely varying temperatures and lodging in basic accommodations.

Show Full Itinerary
Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Jul 30, 2021 - Aug 6, 2021
Price AU$11,460pp Single Supplement AU$1,755 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Aug 7, 2021 - Aug 14, 2021
Price AU$11,460pp Single Supplement AU$1,755 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire