Polar Bear Photo Safari – Seal

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 our Seal River Heritage 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.

Seal River Heritage Lodge is  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.

Seal River Heritage Lodge is 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 – Seal - Dates and Rates

2020 Dates

October 21-27  Photo Workshop with Artica Studios 
October 25-31  Photo Leader Robert Postma   Male share only available
October 29 – Nov 4          SOLD OUT
November 2-8                  SOLD OUT
November 10-16              SOLD OUT
November 14-20

Price (per person) Single Private Room Children
2020: $12,995 CAD 2020: $24,095* CAD 2020: $11,695 CAD

Prices are subject to taxes of 8.5%. 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.


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.

Intimate, thrilling, up close and personal.




7 Days, 6 Nights at Seal River Heritage Lodge

The package includes two nights in Winnipeg, four nights at Seal River Heritage Lodge, as well as round-trip 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 by Lakeview at the Winnipeg Airport. At 7:00 pm a dinner will be held at the hotel where you will meet your group and your adventure specialist. This is the day that you will pick up winter gear if you have rented. 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 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 - Tundra Trekking, Polar Bears and Priceless Photography!

Our Lodge is 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.

Bear at fence. Ian Johnson photo.
Bear at fence. 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!

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 Itsanitaq Museum, as well as the Parks Canada exhibit, all of which are of great interest. Dog-sledding and helicopter charters fit nicely into this afternoon if you’re so inclined. If you are interested in dog-sledding or a heli-tour please book through us so we can ensure you arrive in Churchill in time for your tour departure.

Relax. Missy Mandel photo.
Relax. Missy Mandel photo.

After dinner 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 lunch 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.

Gear Provided

The equipment we provide at the Lodge such as rain gear, rubber boots, winter gear (rental), and gear for use during marine excursions are designed to fit guests from child to adult.  Boot sizes larger than a men’s size 13 or a very small child are considered to be customized sizes that we do not provide. Additionally, guests over 6’4” may be required to bring their own gear as we may not have clothing sizes to fit.

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