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BEGINS IN: WINNIPEG, MANITOBA

Into the Arctic Skies: Aurora and Astronomy in Churchill

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Road Scholar
Program #7931RJ
9 Days | 8 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Judy from Bethany Beach, DE Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/04/14 - 03/12/14
This program met many life’s dreams. We saw the Aurora Borealis on three of the five nights. You can be sure that if it’s out, they will make sure you see it no matter the time of night. There was a good mix of informative lectures and hands-on activities throughout the program. For example, there was a lecture on snow ecology one morning by Mike who is also the executive director of the science center. He is knowledgeable and has an excellent sense of humor. In the afternoon, we went outside and watched a demonstration of what he talked about in the morning. The dog sled ride, the snow mobile ride and snowshoeing were great fun. When considering this program, we were concerned about the sleeping arrangements but, at least at this time of year, they were able to give every couple their own room. We expected the typical quality of buffet-style food but were delighted to find truly top quality meals throughout our stay. Vegetarian offerings at each meal were excellent. We enjoyed the two days in Winnipeg because the museums were interesting and it gave us an opportunity to get to know the people in our group before moving on to Churchill. We’ll always appreciate the people we met who contributed to a wonderful program.

Linda from Decatur, GA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 03/04/14 - 03/12/14
I was impressed with the group who were all interesting and strived to contribute to the team experience. They set a high bar for future trips. Seeing the northern lights is unforgettable and the educational lectures and field trips were worthwhile. Participants need to prepare for the cold and be aware of safety considerations in dealing with the cold. That being said, I was comfortable when I prepared correctly. I was only disappointed with the hotel shuttle service rather than a bus when we returned to Winnipeg from Churchill... the group was split across three shuttle trips vs staying together for the short ride. The CNSC staff is exceptional and I enjoyed talking to a polar bear research team based at CNSC.

Faith from Califon, NJ Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 03/04/14 - 03/12/14
The science education and the collegiality at CNSC were great, it is a unique environment, and we did see the aurora. I would, however, recommend cutting the Winnipeg portion, which added a great deal to the cost but added nothing to the program's quality. I'd rather get to CNSC myself and not have to pay a few thousand more than the actual program cost.

Janice from Pittsburgh, PA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/04/14 - 02/12/14
Janice from Pittsburgh, PA Number of programs attended: 2 Date attended: 02/04/14 - 02/12/14 Went to the Arctic Skies program to see the aurora borealis - which was amazing all on it's own! But, there was so much more to enjoy along with interesting, eclectic people to share the whole adventure with! The Churchill Northern Studies Center and program staff made the stay a great learning experience!!

Nora from Charlottesville, VA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 02/04/14 - 02/12/14
Into the Arctic Skies Astronomy and Aurora is an excellent program. If you are willing to go outside your comfort zone a bit in terms of temperature and location, you will be enlightened, challenged, and envigorated. This is a 5-star program - highly recommended!

Patricia from Burns Lake, BC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/07/13 - 03/12/13
I just completed the Arctic Skies program in Churchill Manitoba. My first Road Scholar experience and what a beginning!! Everything was wonderful, the people, the food, the lectures, the activities, the accommodations, and oh those aurora...So so glad I went..great way for solos to travel.

Teresa from Honolulu, HI Number of programs attended: 26
Date attended: 02/14/13 - 02/19/13
For the amateur astronomer, this program is a must. It also helps to be a lover of cold weather outdoor activities. Having always been something of the former, I hastened to sign up in 2013 when the aurora was predicted to peak. But my aversion to the latter nearly derailed my enjoyment of the phenomena I had traveled so far and paid so dearly to experience. Yes, we dressed in layers and stuffed hand warmers in our mittens and toe warmers in our socks, but I still got frozen digits and frosty eyebrows when we finished our outdoor forays. Trying to manipulate a camera while bundled up proved nearly impossible, so my photo haul from this program is rather sparse. But we did, indeed, see the aurora every night, some nights more spectacular than others to be sure. The final night was the best, largely because the wind was becalmed and it was possible to take one's hand out of one's mitten long enough to snap the lens. However, just being in the presence of such a spectacular heavenly display is far superior to any photo that was or ever will be taken. It was otherworldly and gave one a reverence for this wonderful orb we have been blessed to inhabit. We also were blessed with a particularly personable and fascinating lecturer who taught us not only the landmarks, or rather the skymarks, by which to navigate the heavens; he also gave us expert instruction on the operation of our own cameras and binoculars to get the best performance out of our personal equipment for viewing and recording our sightings. With an asteroid cruising by Earth and a meteorite exploding in Russia, he had more than just the skies of northern Manitoba to explicate and he did so in a highly informative but entertaining manner. We became so fond of him, that his nightly rousing of us from our cozy bunks in the wee hours with shouts of "showtime" was not just tolerated but eagerly anticipated. Oh, I forgot to mention, it also helps one's enjoyment of this program to be a bit of an insomniac!

Susan from New Cumberland, PA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 03/07/13 - 03/12/13
An amazing program well worth the time and expense to get there! All days were enjoyable, and I found each day more enjoyable than the previous. Presentations were interesting and informative. The outdoor activities were lots of fun, but being comfortable in cold weather is helpful. People could stay inside if they wanted to. The stars were phenomenally beautiful - I've never seen them so big and bright. I saw Auroras every night, but the best didn't usually show until well after midnight. The photographers usually stayed up all night to photograph the auroras. Special clothing and special equipment for photography are both must-haves.

Irene from Issaquah, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/14/13 - 02/19/13
This was the second Road Scholar Program for me and I enjoyed every moment of it. The remote location, the extreme winter weather, the comfortable accommodations, the delicious meals, the knowledgeable instructors, the friendly fellow like-minded particpants, seeing and experiencing the Northern Lights, the dog sled ride, and snow shoeing, to mention just a few of the extraordinary activities, all combined to have made it a truly wonderful and memorable adventure.

Gerald from Villanova, PA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/14/13 - 02/19/13
Very condensed and organized.

Anna from Whitney, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/14/13 - 02/19/13
Wow! This was an outstanding experience.

Marguerite from Athens, GA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 02/14/13 - 02/19/13
Don't let fear of the cold keep you from taking this WONDERFUL trip! The buildings and transportation are warm, and the rented arctic wear truly did its job. With that gear on I was never cold when we had an outdoor excursion. The Aurora did not fail us either. It put on its show all but one evening, saving the most stupendous one until the last night. I don't know how they arranged that!

Rosemary from Bishop, GA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/14/13 - 02/19/13
This was a fabulous program. If you're worried about being cold, don't. The building and transportation are very comfy. The rented arctic gear allowed me to feel warm in cold, windy conditions. Teaching and other staff are all knowledgeable and helpful. The Aurora Borealis and our astronomy instructor, Roger, are stupendous.


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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
8 nights of accommodations
20 meals: 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
7 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips
4 Hands-on experiences
2 Flights during the program

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4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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