EYE-TO-EYE POLAR BEAR TOURS
I have partnered with the expert guides at Polar Bear Alley in Churchill, Manitoba to offer an intimate ground-level polar bear photo tour in the polar bear capital of the world. On these tours, you will have the opportunity to photograph polar bears in a small group and at eye-level, rather than from way up high in a crowded tundra vehicle. This trip offers far more time searching for bears than typical tours in Churchill of similar length.
The focus will be on polar bear photography with an amazing variety of spectacular backgrounds. Guides will also seek opportunities to photograph other sub-arctic highlights including the northern lights, arctic hare, arctic and red fox, ptarmigan, gyrfalcon, snowy owl, wolverine, caribou.
Only 6 guests per group
This trip is designed for mid to advanced-level wildlife photographers, but anyone who is physically capable is most welcome. Most of the travel is by 4×4 van with some travel on foot. Participants must be prepared for the possibility of extreme weather and severe cold.
Polar bear photo gallery
This was my first expedition looking for polar bears and it exceeded my expectations in so many ways. Guides were amazing and so knowledgeable about the history of the area, habitat behaviour, and environmental impact. Searching for bears and seeing them was exceptional – it was a lifetime of memories.
Photographing the Churchill Polar Bears has been on our wish list for a number of years. Kelsey at Polar Bear Alley is a legend. We came away from the trip with a deep appreciation of these magnificent animals. From sunrise to sunset, we took thousands of images. Kelsey shared his vast knowledge of the bears and Churchill. Hands down, he placed us in the right location at the right time to see these beautiful animals in action. Wonderfilled trip of a lifetime!
I highly recommend this trip if you want to see the best that Churchill has to offer. Photographing polar bears from eye level was a wonderful experience, recommended for any serious wildlife photographer. The guides are wonderfully knowledgeable and experienced as well as friendly and encouraging.
2022 tour dates
All 2022 trips are now fully booked except for 1 space Nov 6-11 and 2 spaces Nov 11-16
October 27-Nov 1
November 1 – 6
*Travellers need to arrive in Winnipeg and spend the night there the day before their trip begins (e.g. Oct 16th for the first trip of the season)
Trip itinerary and what to expect
After your arrival on the flight from Winnipeg, you will drop your bags at the house and hop into a 4X4 van and head straight to the best spots to look for polar bears.
As safety allows, your guides will strive to get you on the ground to experience the majesty of these creatures and the awe they inspire. It will take your breath away. Being on the ground with polar bears is simply a defining moment in your life. It is a distinctly different experience than being inside a huge tundra vehicle, with several buggies simultaneously watching one bear.
On many days, your group will have bear encounters to yourselves— setting up on the ground and letting the bears approach—using your guides’ expert knowledge of bear encounters to maximize safety and photo opportunities.
Each day starts at sunrise and you will shoot until sunset. The ‘magic hour’ in Churchill lasts much of the day, providing some amazing light with nuances and changes that only make it more appealing as the day passes. An average day features 2-3 bear encounters plus other wildlife encountered along the way.
On weather days or during lunch, you will stop at the world-famous Itsanitaq Museum, get your passport ‘polar bear’ stamp, visit a Churchill cabin complete with bear defenses and explore some local historic sites.
In the evenings, northern lights viewing is always an option and your guides will direct you to the best and safest shooting locations. A dedicated northern lights viewing tour is available as an add-on but most guest are exhausted from a full day of polar bears! The good news is that the aurora may come out early while you are dining in Churchill.
A half-day of wildlife viewing and photography before the afternoon flight departs to Winnipeg. Some groups are ‘beared out’ by this point so your guides may target arctic fox or stalk a snowy owl. The last day usually includes a stop to visit a ‘favourite’ bear – usually a family group that you’ve spent a lot of time with through the week – before boarding the plane. Many groups gather for a final group dinner in Winnipeg to share stories and images of the week, and to plan the next adventure!
Frequently Asked Questions
$7195 Canadian dollars + 5% tax *
Round trip airfare between Winnipeg and Churchill (valued at $1700).
4 full days and 2 half days of eye-level polar bear photography (the most days in the field of any Churchill polar bear tour on offer).
Experienced guide and bear guard with 4×4 vehicle
Accommodations and all transportation in Churchill
Lunches and dinners in Churchill
Travel to Winnipeg from your home
Accommodations in Winnipeg
Single supplement $1250
A $2700 deposit is required at the time of booking to secure your spot and Winnipeg-Churchill flights
Bilingual French/English guides are available.
*Prices are subject to change
Contact Tim to learn more or to reserve your spot.
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