Polar Bear Photo Safari

A "must-do" polar bear photography adventure.

“Bears, bears and still more bears!!! Never expected to see so many, let alone to actually walk among them – a truly amazing experience. Everything else (and there was plenty) was just icing on the cake.” — Jolyne D’Ambrosio, Boston

Dates & Rates | Location | Itinerary

Polar bears sparring at Seal River Lodge. Bill Lyne photo.
Polar bears sparring at Seal River Lodge. Bill Lyne photo.

Your Polar Bear Photo Safari takes place at our remote Seal River Lodge, a 30-minute flight north of Churchill, during prime polar bear season in October and November. It is considered a “must-do” photography adventure for both professional and aspiring photographers.

Seal River Heritage Lodge is located on the shoreline of Hudson Bay near the Seal River estuary and provides discerning photographers with the opportunity to experience rare ground-level polar bear photography in a pristine, untouched wilderness environment.

Gorgeous polar bear pose at Seal River. J. Thompson photo.
Gorgeous polar bear poses with antlers near Seal River Lodge. J. Thompson photo.

Polar bears congregate in large numbers along the Hudson Bay coast waiting for the Bay to freeze so that they can begin their annual seal hunt, and Seal River Lodge is perfectly located on the “polar bear highway” where the bears travel.

You will explore the Arctic landscape daily on foot with professional guides, in search of polar bears, although you may not have to go far. Seal River Lodge has large picture windows showcasing a panoramic view of Hudson Bay and polar bears do venture right up to both the windows and the Lodge fence.

Polar bear saunters by fence at Seal River Lodge. Birgit-Cathrin Duval photo.
Polar bear saunters by fence at Seal River Lodge. Birgit-Cathrin Duval photo.

Seal River Lodge is ideally situated for photographing polar bears on breathtaking backdrops of ice and snow, not to mention an exceptional number of clear nights for northern lights photography. We also have the highest number of sunshine days on the Hudson Bay coast, with some incredible morning and evening light opportunities.

Aurora borealis dancing at Seal River Lodge. Dennis Fast photo.
Northern lights dancing at Seal River Lodge. Dennis Fast photo.

Wildly rugged and remote, the Lodge allows photographers the opportunity to dedicate long days in the field getting up close and personal with Arctic wildlife in search of the perfect shot. The ground-level photo opportunities for polar bears are further enhanced by the possibility of caribou, Arctic fox, ptarmigan, gyrfalcon, snowy owl and more.

"Arctic Ambush" at Seal River. Photo by Abby Jensen of Jensen Photography.
“Arctic Ambush” at Seal River. Photo by Abby Jensen of Jensen Photography.

The Polar Bear Photo Safari can be customized for anyone from for singles to small groups, and we can tailor your trip to your group’s needs. We can also arrange professionally led instructional photo safaris upon request.

You can look forward to the finest food and wine in the Arctic at Seal River Lodge, which is considered luxurious by Arctic standards, but we must warn you, mealtimes may be adjusted or delayed as required to ensure maximum photo opportunities.

Treasured memories and rare photos, are created here.

Polar bear biting snow chunk at Seal River Lodge. It's the look in his eyes. Ian Johnson photo.
It’s the look in his eyes. Ian Johnson photo.

Polar Bear Photo Safari - Dates and Rates

Polar bear bites. Abby Jensen Photography.

2016 Dates

October 21 – 27
October 25 – 31 Single male share only
October 29 – November 4 Single female share only

October 28 – November 4 at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge
Due to the popularity of our Polar Bear Photo Safari we have decided to open a general booking departure at our Nanuk Lodge location for the above dates.  The package price of the Polar Bear Photo Safari at Nanuk is $10,895 per person based on double occupancy.

November 2 – 8 SOLD OUT
November 6–12**Photo leader Charles Glatzer SOLD OUT
November 10 – 16 Photo leader Robert Postma SOLD OUT
November 14 – 20 Photo leader Andy Skillen SOLD OUT

 

 

 

 

 

Price (per person) Single Private Room Children
$9,895 CAD $18,395* CAD $8,995 CAD

Prices are subject to applicable taxes which are 6.5% for non-residents and 9% for Canadians. Children aged 8 to 12 qualify for the child rate.

* Single guests can sign up to share a room with another person of the same gender. Our single share room rate is $9,895 CAD plus tax. If a single guest prefers to have a private room option we now have a single private room rate of $18,395 CAD plus tax. This rate guarantees a private room at the Lodge as well as the hotels required within the package.

** This exclusive departure is priced at $11,395 CAD and includes additional features provided by Shoot the Light that will take your photography to the next level.

Location

Seal River Heritage Lodge
Seal River Heritage Lodge

A recent inclusion in the prestigious National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, Seal River Heritage Lodge is located 60 km and 30 minutes north of Churchill by plane, deep in the heart of polar bear country.

An authentic wilderness lodge with all the comforts of home, Seal River Heritage Lodge is ideally situated on the shores of Hudson Bay near the Seal River estuary, where thousands of beluga whales gather every summer as polar bears walk the coastline.

Seal River Heritage Lodge maximizes ground-level polar bear and wildlife viewing and offers spectacular coastal views of Hudson Bay via nature trails, a lodge viewing tower, and expansive picture windows.

Whether you’re hiking, dining, or relaxing at Seal River, you’ll be able to observe polar bears and other wildlife at ground level.

Intimate, thrilling, up close and personal.

NationalGeographicLodgesOfTheWorld600

Itinerary

7 Days, 6 Nights

The package includes two nights in Winnipeg, four nights at Seal River Lodge, as well as roundtrip airfare between Winnipeg, Churchill, and our Lodge.

Day 1 - Arrive in Winnipeg for your Overnight Stay

Arrive in Winnipeg where you will enjoy a relaxing stay at our choice hotel, THE GRAND Winnipeg Airport Hotel by Lakeview. At 7:00 pm a dinner will be held at the hotel, where you will meet your group and your adventure specialist. You will need your rest for your early morning departure to Churchill.

Includes: dinner

Day 2 - An Arctic Arrival and Aerial Tour

Arrive in Churchill by air, where one of our expert staff will meet you at the airport and provide you with instructions regarding your morning transfer. You will also pick up winter gear if you are renting. You will then be transferred by fixed-wing aircraft to our Seal River Lodge. This exciting flight takes you over the historic Churchill River and then northwest up the rugged Hudson Bay coast to one of Canada’s most exclusive polar bear viewing properties. Keep a sharp eye en route for caribou, seals, wolves and of course the “Great Ice Bears”.

Upon your arrival, your hosts will provide a tour of the Lodge and get you settled into your room. A thorough orientation on travelling in polar bear country will be provided prior to any outings. Then it’s time to assemble all those priceless cameras, hard drives, and tripods and start burning some serious gigabytes!

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3 - 5 - Tundra Trekking, Polar Bears and Priceless Photography!

Seal River Heritage Lodge is located in a wildly rugged and remote location catering to the dedicated wildlife photographer willing to spend long hours in the field getting up close and personal with the Arctic wildlife. Ground level photo opportunities are offered for Arctic wildlife including polar bears in a pristine wilderness setting. You ARE in the heart of polar bear country! Your photos will have stunning backdrops with the sea and/or landscapes surrounding the Lodge. The shoreline location is ideal for photographing bears on snow and ice. Furthermore we have an exceptional number of clear nights for northern lights photography.

Full service meal times will be adjusted to accommodate photo opportunities, which are the priority, so expect many a meal to be interrupted. Generally breakfast is served at 8:00 am, lunch as required; with appetizers at 6:00 pm followed by a veritable feast for the palate at 7:00 pm. Evenings are spent near the fireplace downloading images, sharing the day’s adventures, or taking in an informative lecture or slide show. Bedtime is at your leisure. The entire Lodge area is patrolled for polar bears all night by one of our night watchmen so be prepared to have your sleep cut short by a nocturnal visit by one of the Great Ice Bears or one our dazzling displays of northern lights!

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6 - Say Goodbye to the Lodge

After another hearty breakfast it’s time to pack for the flight back to Churchill, say good-byes and snap a few more pictures. After another exciting aerial tour, you’ll arrive in Churchill, where your bags will be stored for you until your flight back to Winnipeg later in the day. You are then free to explore and wine and dine in this frontier community at your leisure. We recommend local places such as Cape Merry, the Port of Churchill, the Eskimo Museum, as well as the Parks Canada exhibit which are all of great interest. Dogsledding and helicopter charters fit nicely into this afternoon if you’re so inclined. If you are interested in dogsledding or a heli-tour please book through us so we can ensure you arrive in Churchill in time for your tour departure.

You will be provided with a $30.00 meal voucher. For tonight you will need to plan an early dinner. The participating restaurants will be outlined on the voucher. After dinner you will meet up with our expeditor and you will be transferred to the airport in preparation for your flight back to Winnipeg. Upon arrival, collect your bags, head out of the arrivals doors and look to your right. THE GRAND Winnipeg Airport Hotel by Lakeview is only a two minute walk away.

Includes: breakfast, dinner

Day 7 - Time for Reality...

After a wonderful sleep full of polar bear dreams you will pack your bags in preparation for your flight home. You will also enjoy a breakfast at your hotel before your trip back to reality.

Includes: breakfast

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