CHURCHILL: Polar Bears in Fall



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2024 :: September 9 - September 16



From: $10,950 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Winnipeg, Manitoba (YWG)


6-8 Participants


2024: 5 Spaces Available


This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.

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Highlights of CHURCHILL: Polar Bears in Fall

  • Join Ron Hayes and OM System Ambassador Lee Hoy to learn photography and video techniques for photography and capturing the incredible behavior of polar bears, ptarmigan, foxes, wolves, and so much more!
  • Zodiac boat excursion included to search for polar bear and possible beluga whale!
  • Cost includes interior flight from Winnipeg to Churchill!
  • Possible Aurora Borealis photography as well!

Description of CHURCHILL: Polar Bears in Fall

Join Wildside newcomer Ron Hayes and veteran Lee Hoy on this arctic autumn dream excursion to Churchill, Manitoba. This adventure gives attendees an opportunity to catch the white bears in the north contrasted against the beautiful foliage of the fall tundra. There will be fire at your feet by day and fire in the sky at night as the brightly lit tundra gives way to the greens and magentas of the northern lights. September is the third most active month for aurora in the Churchill area which is located directly under the “Aurora Oval” If the stars align and the winds cooperate, participants will have the opportunity to complete the Churchill trifecta as we take zodiac rafts across the Churchill River and into the Hudson Bay itself in search of the beluga whales that summer in the area. In addition to their long glass, and fast wide angle lenses, participants are encouraged to bring an action camera and monopod adapter in order to capture footage of these curious canaries of the sea. Many bird species will have begun the journey south but there are opportunities to capture multiple species including the rare potential for Snowy Owls.

The primary focus of the trip will be polar bears and every effort will be made to ensure safe and productive encounters with them. Our guides will wake us if aurora opportunities present themselves and chance encounters with fox, arctic hares, pine martens, ptarmigan and any number of other avian species will be welcome additions to what is certain to be a trip of a lifetime for all involved.

Churchill is an area steeped in history, we will have an evening with representatives of first nations people who have been at home in the area for millennia and hear the stories of their survival in one of the harshest environments on the planet. Our “Discover Churchill” guides will continue our education as we drive across the landscape in search of subjects and our accommodations will have you feeling right at home.

Length of Tour


Brief Itinerary

Day One: Fly to Winnipeg

Day Two: Fly to Churchill, PM Photography

Day Three – Five: Full Days of Photography

Day Six: AM Photography, PM Fly to Winnipeg

Day Seven: Fly Home

Detailed Itinerary:

Day One: Fly from home to Winnipeg Airport and stay overnight at Courtyard Marriott (Walking Distance to Airport)

Day Two: Fly form Winnipeg to Churchill (flight included in cost), pick up by local guide at airport, settle into lodging and spend remainder of the day searching for polar bears, foxes, wolves, caribou, birds of prey, ptarmigan, and more for photography. Our transportation includes two 4×4 vans (with 1 guide and four participants in each). Doors are on both sides and a rack on top.



Cost is $10,950 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Winnipeg, Manitoba (Airport code YWG.
This trip ends in same as arrival city (Airport code ).

This trip does not include alcohol, meals in Winnipeg, trip insurance, items of a personal nature, flights to Winnipeg,

The trip price includes flights from Winnipeg to Churchill, transportation during workshop, all lodging from Winnipeg onward, all meals in Churchhill

NOTE: There is no single occupancy option on this tour other than the two (2) hotel nights in Winnipeg.



Single Supplement

If a single hotel room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $200 will be assessed.

NOTE: For boat-based tours, see pricing options for single cabins. Single cabin cost includes the single hotel cost above.


Minimum Number

If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.


Deposit Requirements

A $3,000 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.

How to Book

In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.

Final Payment

For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.

For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.

NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.

This trip includes standard hotels.

Activity Level Rating: (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)

Most of the photography will be done from level ground near the vehicles. The Zodiac boat ride can be quite chilly and wet. If we photograph the Aurora may have long days/nights.

Recommend two bodies and extra batteries for each participant.
Long zooms ideally 100-600mm in range
Fast (F2.8 or wider) wide angle lenses for aurora, the aurora will span the entirety of the night sky so 14mm or wider is recommended
Weight is limited and please consider a hard sided case that can be gate checked with your gear for the flight from Winnipeg to Churchill.
Participants are encouraged to bring light weight layers and gloves that will accomodate shooting.  Temps will range from 50F to 0 degrees F and rain, snow and high winds should be expected so please bring a waterproof layer.  The zodiac excursion will be weather dependent and can be very cold with water temps nearing freezing.
Bring a sense of adventure and leave your ego at home and I can assure you the time of your life.

Participants are encouraged to bring light weight layers and gloves that will accommodate shooting. Temps will range from 50F to 0 degrees F and rain, snow and high winds should be expected so please bring a waterproof layer. The zodiac excursion will be weather dependent and can be very cold with water temps nearing freezing.

Purchasing Flights

Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.

Detailed Trip Information

Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.

Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.

Travel Insurance

As with all tours, we recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to help cover your investment, for covered reasons. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.

Passport & Visa

US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.

Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.

Itinerary Changes

The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.

Location Map