Visit Churchill for the Experience of a Lifetime
If you've ever wondered what it might be like to experience an eco-tourism vacation of a lifetime, then Churchill, Manitoba, Canada is a must-see destination. Located along Manitoba's 1400 km coastline on the Hudson Bay, Churchill is the meeting of three major biomes: marine, boreal forest and tundra, each supporting a variety of flora and fauna. In addition, Churchill is most famous for the many Polar Bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the town's nickname "Polar Bear Capital of the World". If you're interested in exploring more than just Polar Bears, you can experience Beluga whales, arctic birds and owls, arctic wolves, and the rich history of Inuit, Chipewyan, Swampy and Cree tribes that have long inhabited the pristine area.
Culture in Churchill
About half of the population is Caucasian and the other half are Aboriginal, mostly Chipewyan and Swampy Cree. A minority is composed of Inuit natives. Hunting, trapping and fishing is still an important activity to most of these men; although there are some summer trails, snowmobiles, are their main way of transport. Nearby is the Eskimo Museum, with over 850 high quality Inuit carvings on permanent display.
The exhibits include historic and contemporary sculptures of stone, bone, and ivory, as well as archaeological and wildlife specimens. Parks Canada visitor centre also has artifacts on display and makes use of audiovisual presentations of various topics involving the region's natural and archaeological history.
History of Churchill
Churchill has a history steeped in rich history and tradition. A variety of nomadic Arctic people lived and hunted in this region. The Thule people arrived around 1000 A.D. from farther west, and later evolved into the present-day Inuit culture. The Dene people arrived around 500 from farther north. Since before the time of European contact, the region around Churchill has been predominantly inhabited by the Chipewyan and Cree cultures.
After an abortive attempt in 1688-89, in 1717 the Hudson's Bay Company built the first permanent settlement, which was a log fort a few miles upstream from the mouth of the Churchill River. The trading post and river were named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, an ancestor of Winston Churchill, who was governor of the Hudson's Bay Company in the late 1600s. The fort was built mostly to capitalize on the northern trade, out of the reach of York Factory. It dealt mainly with the Chipewyan peoples living north of the boreal forest. Much of the fur came from as far away as Lake Athabaska and the Rocky Mountains.
Today, the great presence of Polar Bear has made Churchill The Polar Bear Capital of the World. Each October and November, the town braces itself for an influx of 8000 tourists who flock to Churchill annually in a six-week window of opportunity that has become known as the Polar Bear migration.
Churchill Polar Bear Tours via Tundra Buggy
Tourists can safely view polar bears from specially modified buses known as tundra buggies. October and early November are the most feasible times to see the polar bears, hundreds of which wait on the vast peninsula until the water freezes on Hudson Bay so that they can return to hunt their primary food source, ringed seals. Whether you're looking to experience an ecotourism adventure among Polar Bears, Beluga Whales, or just sight see the magnificent Hudson Bay - let us make it a lifetime experience.
Need more information on Visit Churchill for the Experience of a Lifetime? Talk to one of our Canadian travel Insiders who'd be happy to answer all your questions.
Polar Bear Tours on a Tundra Buggy
Northern Lights Viewing In Churchill
Beluga Migration Tours in Canada
How can we help you?
We make it easy to plan a worry-free seamless travel experience in Canada by combining our insider knowledge with your personal preferences. Your trip is personalized to your needs and all components are booked for you, so you can just relax and enjoy your experience.
Explore our sample trip ideas for inspiration
Get inspired by reviewing the collection of our hand-picked Canadian journeys – ones that we've done many times, and think are the best way to truly experience Canada.
Discuss your trip with our Canadian Insiders
We will help you narrow down your choices – where to go, where to stay, what to do on your trip, and create a personalized trip plan and quote that is tailored to you.
Get your personalized trip plan and quote
When you're happy with the itinerary that we've co-created, we'll book all the components of your journey and send you a confirmation that everything is arranged for your trip.
Ready to start planning your Polar Bear tour?
Get your personalized trip plan and all your questions answered by our friendly, knowledgeable Canadian Insiders.
Hi, I'm Greg!
“I am in love with our nation's capital, Ottawa. The city has many of its best sights within walking distance of each other. In the centre of it all are the inspiring gothic style parliament buildings, just steps away from the vibrant ByWard Market. And in what other city can you ice skate to work?! The Rideau Canal is a marvel that I will always remember.”
Hi, I'm Angie!
“I love the West Coast! I moved here from Ontario years ago but am still in awe of the mountains and ocean. I commute to work from an island and am lucky enough to get to enjoy the natural beauty of the West Coast on a daily basis. Sometimes we're even greeted by whales or dolphins as we boat in! We're close to world-class ski mountains, beautiful city of Vancouver, and are just a short ferry ride away from Vancouver Island.”
Hi, I'm Sarah!
“Toronto is an exciting and lively city! I visit every summer and love to explore the different neighbourhoods for samples of food and people watching. Taking in the old brick buildings and beautiful murals in Kensington Market, or the view of the entire city from the CN Tower – it's all a treat to experience and you never know what to expect while wandering the streets in a big city!”
Hi, I'm Kirsten!
“The glacial beauty of Moraine Lake in the Rockies first lured me to Canada, but it's the charm of Vancouver that has kept me here! Known as the modern ‘City of Glass’ it's surrounded by a stunning natural environment of ocean and mountains. This results in my perfect day: a morning of watching seaplanes take off from the harbour, and an afternoon to meet the resident grizzly bears on Grouse Mountain.”
Hi, I'm Anjuli!
“Getting on horseback and roaming the open meadows and birch forests with my dog at my side is the perfect quintessential Canadian getaway! Old homesteads and deserted farms, wildlife and horses roaming the fields will get you thinking you’re a cowboy (or girl!) in the Old West. It's totally worth getting up at the crack of dawn to witness the horses being driven in from the meadows.”
Hi, I'm Natalie!
“I am completely smitten with the Maritimes and love how easy it is to cover New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI in one trip. The drive is half of the fun, with stunning seascapes and the amazing Confederation Bridge! The red sand and warm water at all of PEI's beaches completely captivated me. And of course, no PEI visit is complete without tasting some locally-made ice cream and freshly caught mussels!”
Schedule a call or call us directly toll-free:1 877 395 5671