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

Your Polar Bear Photo Safari takes place at either our Seal River Heritage Lodge or our Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge during prime polar bear season in October and November. It is considered a “must-do” photography adventure for both professional and aspiring photographers.

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

Both Lodges are located on the shoreline of Hudson Bay and provide 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 gravitate towards the Hudson Bay coast as they wait for the Bay to freeze so that they can begin their annual seal hunt, and our Lodges are ideally 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!  Our large picture windows showcase panoramic views of Hudson Bay, and polar bears do venture right up to both the windows and the Lodge fences.

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.

Both Seal River Heritage and Nanuk Polar Bear Lodges are ideally situated for photographing polar bears on breathtaking backdrops of ice and snow. We get an exceptional number of clear nights for northern lights photography, and we also have the highest number of sunshine days on the Hudson Bay coast, which provides 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 Lodges allow 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, moose, Arctic fox, ptarmigan, gyrfalcon, snowy owl and more.

Professionally led photo tours are available on select departures.

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

You can look forward to the finest food and wine in the Arctic on your Polar Bear Photo Safari, 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

2017 Dates

Polar bear bites. Abby Jensen Photography.

Seal River Heritage Lodge
(6 nights) $10,395 CAD

October 18 – 24  One room left 
October 25 – 31 SOLD OUT
October 29 – November 4  SOLD OUT
November 2 – 8  SOLD OUT
November 6 – 12 SOLD OUT
**Photo leader Charles Glatzer – $11,895
Nov 10 – 16 – Photo leader Robert Postma – SOLD OUT 
November 14 – 20 SOLD OUT

Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge
(7 nights) $11,395 CAD

Oct 20 – 27 SOLD OUT
Oct 30 – Nov 6 – Photo leader Andy Skillen –  SOLD OUT
November 4 – 11 – SOLD OUT 
November  9 – 16  SOLD OUT
November 14-21 SOLD OUT

2018 Dates

Dates to be released April 1, 2017

Price (per person) Single Private Room Children
2017: Seal River Heritage Lodge (6 nights) $10,395 CAD $19,195* CAD $9,295 CAD
2017: Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge (7 nights) $11,395 CAD $20,995* CAD $9,995 CAD

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

* Single guests can sign up to share a room with another person of the same gender at the regular rate per person based on double occupancy. If a single guest prefers to have a private room option we also have a single private room rate as listed above. This rate guarantees a private room at the Lodge as well as at the hotels required within the package.

** Charles Glatzer is a Canon Explorer of Light, a prestigious group comprised of the most influential photographers and cinematographers in the world, each a master of their creative specialty. This exclusive departure is priced at $11,895 CAD and includes additional features provided by Shoot the Light that will take your photography to the next level.


Seal River Heritage Lodge

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.


Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge

Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge
Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge

Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge is located 250 km southeast of Churchill, Manitoba on the Hudson Bay coast near the historic York Factory. A relatively new destination offered by Churchill Wild, we are particularly proud of this Lodge due to the phenomenal wildlife access it provides.

Recent upgrades to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge include a new lounge and dining area with panoramic views of Hudson Bay, and a cozy fireplace for added ambiance. Heated private guest rooms with ensuite bathrooms are cozy, wild and perfectly comfortable.

Nanuk’s star attractions are polar bears – more than you are likely to encounter anywhere else on earth, and we have been overwhelmed by the abundance of bears and other wildlife in the area. Sightings have consistently exceeded our expectations. Additionally, Manitoba Conservation officials recently discovered a large number of denning females in the area that may be equal or great in number than those found in Wapusk National Park.

Intimate, thrilling, up close and personal.


7 Days, 6 Nights at Seal River Heritage Lodge or 8 Days, 7 Nights at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge

The package includes two nights in Winnipeg, four or five nights at one of our Lodges, 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 the Lodge. This scenic flight takes you along the Hudson Bay coast over historic waterways and landmarks on your way to 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

Days 3 - 5 at Seal River Heritage Lodge, Days 3 - 6 at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge - Tundra Trekking, Polar Bears and Priceless Photography!

Our Lodges are located in a wildly rugged and remote locations 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.

Mom and cub at Nanuk. Ian Johnson photo.
Mom and cub at Nanuk. Ian Johnson photo.

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!

Red fox looking sharp in the grass. Ian Johnson photo
Red fox looking sharp in the grass. Ian Johnson photo

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6/7 - 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, all of which are 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 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 7/8 - 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.

"I'll see you in your dreams." Ian Johnson photo.
“I’ll see you in your dreams.” Ian Johnson photo.

Includes: breakfast

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