Road Scholar : Home
Lords of the North: Ecology of Hudson Bay's Polar Bears

Program Number: 6290RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/12/2014 - 10/19/2014; 10/27/2014 - 11/3/2014;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Price starting at: $4,195.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Science & Nature; Natural History
Meals: 18; 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Low Salt    

As autumn fades, the polar bears of Hudson Bay gather to await the sea ice that signals winter’s return. Alongside a leading authority on this precious population, journey onto the tundra aboard specially fitted vehicles to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Lectures, field trips and museum visits will help you understand not only the life of the polar bear, but also the challenges of global climate change, local conservation issues and the future of the arctic ecosystem.




Highlights

• Take part in a dog sled adventure and observe caribou, Arctic fox, snowy owl and other Arctic species.
• Examine research and conservation efforts conducted by the new International Polar Bear Conservation Centre.
• Go behind the scenes at the Manitoba Museum to view pieces from the Inuit collection and discover the history of the at the Hudson’s Bay Company.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles on frozen terrain.




Date Specific Information

10-12-2014

Small Group Departure
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



10-27-2014

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Independent arrival Winnipeg, 2 nights; flight to Churchill, 5 nights; flight to Winnipeg, independent departure.




Winnipeg

Established on the site of an aboriginal trading center on the eastern edge of the Canadian Prairies, the capital of Manitoba is an international hub for finance, manufacturing, culture and tourism. Arts-minded residents and visitors can patronize the provincial theater, opera and ballet, and the city hosts annual festivals of music and the arts.



Churchill

The Polar Bear Capital occupies a peninsula where the Churchill River meets the Hudson Bay at the juncture of the boreal forest and Arctic tundra. Once traversed by a variety of nomadic tribes, the region also hosted an 18th-century fur-trading post and today attracts wildlife enthusiasts to view beluga whales and more than 200 species of birds.



Accommodations
Winnipeg: Downtown hotel. Churchill: Research facility in the heart of polar bear country.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Michael Goodyear

A wildlife biologist by training, Michael Goodyear is executive director of the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. In the high Arctic, he has researched the ecology of the ringed seal, the preferred prey of the polar bear. He stresses the close relationship between the wildlife of Churchill and the unique landscape it calls home. A private pilot and a year-round resident of Churchill, Michael also volunteers with the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) and the Canadian Network of Northern Research Operators (CNNRO).
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites - Winnipeg Downtown
  Winnipeg, MB 2 nights
   Churchill Northern Studies Centre
  Churchill, MB 5 nights
 Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites - Winnipeg Downtown
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Holiday Inn in downtown Winnipeg is located in the heart of downtown near the University of Winnipeg and MTS Center. Close proximity to the Assiniboine River and many scenic parks. You can visit numerous Winnipeg attractions, including Assiniboine Park, take the Haunted Winnipeg Tour, catch a concert at the MTS Center and visit the Forks.
  Contact info: 360 Colony Street
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2P3 Canada
phone: 204-786-7011
web: www.hiwinnipegdowntown.com/
  Room amenities: Our accommodations feature new crisp, white linens and your choice of pillows that are individually marked soft or firm , 37" flat panel TVS, and complimentary wired and wireless Internet access. Free morning newspaper, iron/ironing board, hairdryers and coffee makers in room.
  Facility amenities: Indoor pool, whirlpool and Fitness Centre. On-site restaurant, lounge and coffee shop. Complimentary high speed Internet access, business center,
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel for rates. Please contact the hotel directly.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Type: Field Station
  Description: Founded in 1976, the Churchill Northern Studies Centre is an independent, non-profit research and education facility located 23 km east of the town of Churchill, Manitoba. The Centre provides accommodations, meals, equipment rentals, and logistical support to scientific researchers working on a diverse range of topics of interest to northern science. In addition to research, the Centre facilitates a wide range of educational programming ranging from general interest courses for the visiting public to university credit courses for students. The Centre is ideally situated along the Hudson Bay seacoast at the meeting of three major biomes: marine, northern boreal forest, and tundra. To the east lies Wapusk National Park which protects the inland denning area of the polar bear. Farther to the southeast lies the Hudson Bay Lowland, the largest peatland in North America. Because of this complex of biomes, one can see a tremendous diversity of plants, birds, mammals and human cultures. Active biological research station. Polar bear resistant facility with window bars and security lighting.
  Contact info: 1 Launch Road
Churchill, MB R0B 0E0 Canada
phone: 204-675-2307
web: www.churchillscience.ca
  Room amenities: Each room accommodates up to four guests in two bunk beds (upper and lower). Guests with mobility concerns may request a lower bunk. Rooms are gender specific. There is individual closet space, a small writing desk, bedside shelves and individual reading lamps. The dorm is often filled to capacity during the summer research season and the fall polar bear season.
  Facility amenities: The Churchill Northern Studies Centre is an active research facility in the heart of polar bear country. Bunk-bed dormitories with two to four guests per room, shared washrooms (separated by gender) with private showers. High-speed internet, fitness room, gift shop and library. Clean, modern facilities in a new state-of-the-art green building. Scenic views from all rooms. Second floor outdoor deck for safely watching wildlife and northern lights. Enjoy hearty, home-cooked meals with guests and visiting scientists in the on-site cafeteria. SPECIAL MEALS NOTE: Gluten free and most other special dietary requests can be accommodated at the CNSC with advance notice.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Separate female and male washrooms are equipped with toilets, sinks, and private showers.
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrival and transfers to the program hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Check-in after 3:00 p.m. Dinner is at 6:00 pm. You will be staying at Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites - Winnipeg Downtown that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at the airport in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Approximate arrival at airport is 2:00 pm. Independent departures from Winnipeg, MB. You will be staying at Churchill Northern Studies Centre the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. A valid passport is required for all air travel to/from the US (by land, sea or air). Visit www.travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html for up to date information. A signed waiver is required from participants.
  Parking availability:
Long term parking at the airport. Contact the hotel regarding parking at the hotel or nearby.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Winnipeg, MB
  Nearest city or town:  Winnipeg
  Nearest highway: Trans Canada Highway
  Nearest airport:  Winnipeg International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location:  Churchill, MB
  Nearest city or town:  Churchill
  Nearest highway: Only accessible by air or rail travel.
  Nearest airport:  Churchill
Travel Details
 

Winnipeg

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $25 - $30 CDN (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

 

Winnipeg

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $5 - $7 CDN (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

1 mile

 

Winnipeg

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Flight from Churchill to Winnipeg airport

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Drop off is at Winnipeg airport
Prices are subject to change.

   

Participants will fly back to Winnipeg International Airport, approximate arrival at airport is 2:00 p.m. Departures from Winnipeg airport.

 
Driving Directions
  Trans Canada Hwy (#1) Exit overpass at Portage Ave; Follow Portage Ave to City Centre. Left at Balmoral Street. Right curb onto Colony Street. The Holiday Inn & Suites Winnipeg Downtown will be on your right.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Check-In/Welcome Dinner/Introductions
(Sunday, October 12)
   
 Afternoon: Arrivals and independent transfers to the program hotel. Check-in is 3:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Following dinner, you will meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites - Winnipeg Downtown
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Manitoba Museum/Inuit People/Behind the Scenes at Hudson's Bay Company Gallery
(Monday, October 13)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Set sail on a thrilling voyage of excitement and discovery at The Manitoba Museum. Only here can you travel through time to the roaring 20's, explore a 17th century ship, and view treasures from around the world. The Manitoba Museum’s Award-winning Galleries tell the story of Manitoba through the ages, from the northern Arctic coast to the southern prairie grasslands. The universal interrelationship of people and their environment comes to life in displays of artifacts and specimens, and in the dramatic walkthrough settings that seem to make time stand still.
 Lunch: At the museum.
 Afternoon: Join us as we take you behind the scenes of the Hudson’s Bay Company Gallery and discover the history of HBC along with the traditional lifestyles of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and their unique adaptations to the world of the commercial fur trade.
 Afternoon: This interactive program, led by Museum Interpreters, will give you an understanding of the traditional lifestyles of the Inuit people. Learn about the Inuit as hunters, gatherers and fishers and their seasonal dependency on migratory game. The artifact study and gallery tour focusing on the Arctic/Sub-Arctic gallery will demonstrate how the limited resources of fur, skin, stone and bone were integral to their way of life.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare, or join your group leader for dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites - Winnipeg Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: International Polar Bear Conservation Centre/Flight to Churchill/Introduction to Polar Bears
(Tuesday, October 14)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Meet with a representative from the International Polar Bear Conservation Center (IPBCC) and visit the new Journey to Churchill exhibit. As the sea ice continues to diminish, scientists anticipate an increased number of polar bears in need of help. Hear about how the Centre is preparing for the challenges ahead and the unique and invaluable role it will play in establishing and coordinating polar bear rescue efforts. This role includes transitioning orphan polar bear cubs to life as animal ambassadors, actively participating in education of visitors to polar bears and polar bear conservation, and conducting research that assists in the conservation of polar bears in the wild. The IPBCC and Journey to Churchill are world class developments that will bring together researchers and the public towards the common goal of maintaining healthy Arctic ecosystems.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Flight to Churchill; arrive in Churchill during the late afternoon. Check-in to the Churchill Northern Studies Centre followed by a group safety briefing and orientation. Enjoy an interpretive walk around the property and an orientation of the building and a natural history video before dinner.
 Dinner: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
 Evening: The evening program begins at 7:30 p.m. with a welcome and an introductory lecture on "The Polar Bears of Churchill". Learn about the polar bear population in Churchill, polar marine ecology, and marine mammals. Hear about research and studies of the population of polar bears in western Hudson Bay in relation to climatic change.
   
Accommodations: Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Polar Bear Viewing/The Science of Polar Bears
(Wednesday, October 15)

Note: The Tundra Buggy® trip is six hours in duration. The vehicle is pretty large, so when it is not moving there is enough space to walk around and go on the back deck to take pictures. We will have our lunch on board with hot cocoa and coffee and there are washroom facilities on board. There is a flight of wooden stairs that goes up to a landing that connects all the tundra buggies. To get on the buggy itself, there are no steps involved, as the buggies are level with the docking point.



   
 Breakfast: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
 Morning: Travel out onto the tundra to view polar bears from specially designed Tundra Buggies®. Travel into the Churchill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for wildlife viewing and photography. Venturing out on a set of established trails to minimize the impact on the tundra, the Tundra Buggy® will take you into areas with a high probability of wildlife sightings. These areas are the best locations in the Churchill area to experience wildlife in their natural environment.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the Tundra Buggy.
 Afternoon: Polar bear viewing continues during the afternoon. The Churchill Wildlife Management Area is the largest wildlife management area in Manitoba - almost 850,000 hectares - and is the summer resting area for the province’s yearly polar bear visitors. Polar bears aren’t the only residents of this subarctic habitat - the Churchill WMA boasts a wide variety of plant-life and wildlife all year round for visitors to see.
 Dinner: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
 Evening: Enjoy an evening lecture on "The Science of Polar Bears".
   
Accommodations: Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Current Research at CNSC/Conservation Challenges/Politics of Polar Bears
(Thursday, October 16)
   
 Breakfast: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
 Morning: A presentation will highlight the "How's and Why's of Polar Bear Research" at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
 Lunch: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
 Afternoon: Embark on a dogsledding excursion into the boreal forest. Dress warmly, moderate amount of walking/standing. Warming hut and outhouse on site.
 Dinner: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
 Evening: This evening's lecture will focus on "The Politics of Polar Bears".
   
Accommodations: Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Polar Bear Viewing/Aboriginal Culture and Heritage
(Friday, October 17)

Note: The Tundra Buggy® trip is six hours in duration. The vehicle is pretty large, so when it is not moving there is enough space to walk around and go on the back deck to take pictures. We will have our lunch on board with hot cocoa and coffee and there are washroom facilities on board. There is a flight of wooden stairs that goes up to a landing that connects all the tundra buggies. To get on the buggy itself, there are no steps involved, as the buggies are level with the docking point.



   
 Breakfast: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
 Morning: Another fun-filled day of polar bear viewing on the tundra. Also, look for arctic fox and other northern wildlife in their natural environment.
 Lunch: Lunch on the Tundra Buggy.
 Afternoon: Bear viewing and interpretation on habitats, species behavior and conservation issues continues.
 Dinner: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
 Evening: This evening's cultural presentation is with Dene Elder Caroline Bjorklund.
   
Accommodations: Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Town of Churchill/Eskimo Museum/Farewell Social
(Saturday, October 18)
   
 Breakfast: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
 Morning: Travel by bus in and around the town of Churchill for an area visit. Watch out for arctic foxes and arctic hares!
 Lunch: Lunch in the town of Churchill at participants' own expense. The cost is approximately $10-15.
 Afternoon: Spend the afternoon in Churchill, Manitoba - Polar Bear Capital of the World. Visit the Eskimo museum, home to one of the oldest and most comprehensive collection of Inuit artifacts and sculpture in Canada. The Museum is dedicated to advancing knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Northern culture and history with an emphasis on the Canadian Inuit. Then we visit the Parks Canada Interpretive Centre, located in the Churchill Heritage Railway Station. Exhibits, information and audio-visual presentations focus on the history of the fur trade and exploration of human and natural history.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner and festivities at Churchill Northern Studies Centre will feature wine and traditional food tasting including arctic char, caribou and homemade bannock served with locally made jams and jellies.
 Evening: An evening presentation will discuss "Living with Polar Bears" and their challenges for the future.
   
Accommodations: Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Flight to Winnipeg/Program Concludes
(Sunday, October 19)
   
 Breakfast: Share a final breakfast together at Churchill Northern Studies Centre. Optional walk and video prior to departing for the airport for our flight back to Winnipeg.
 Morning: Our flight back to Winnipeg leaves Churchill at 11:00 a.m. Approximate arrival time at Winnipeg International Airport is 2:00 p.m. Independent departures from Winnipeg as per individual travel plans. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Polar Bears


Author: Ian Stirling


Description: Polar Bears - by Ian Stirling, with photographs by Dan Guravich, published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside, is one of the definitive books on Polar bears by a well known bear biologist. ISBN 1-55041-466-6 (200+ pages).



White Bear of the North: WAPUSK


Author: Rebecca L. Grambo


Description: White Bear of the North: WAPUSK. Photographs by Dennis Fast, text by Rebecca L. Grambo, published by Heartland Press. A lovely coffee table book with lots of beautiful photographs and text to compliment captures the life cycle of Canada’s best known polar bear population. Heartlands Associates Inc. ISBN: 1-896150-32-2



The World of the Polar Bear


Author: Norbert Rosing


Description: The World of the Polar Bear by Norbert Rosing. “An informative and entertaining text complements Rosing’s beautiful photographic work, transporting the reader…” Firefly Books ISBN: 1-55209-068-X.



Polar Bears


Author: Nikita Ovsyaniko


Description: Polar Bears by Nikita Ovsyaniko, published by Raincoast. It is a very good coffee table book about the polar bears of Wrangel Island, in the eastern Russian Arctic.



Encounters on Hudson Bay, Churchill Region


Author: Lorraine E. Brandson and Bonnie Chartier


Description: Encounters on Hudson Bay, Churchill Region compiled by Lorraine E. Brandson and Bonnie Chartier, published by the Diocese of Churchill Hudson Bay. General Information on the climate, flora and fauna with interesting anecdotes about the flora and fauna from Aboriginal legends, and early explorers to present day researchers. Available for purchase in most stores in Churchill, but may be hard to find elsewhere.



Reaching North: A Celebration of the Subarctic


Author: Jamie Bastedo


Description: Reaching North: A Celebration of the Subarctic, by Jamie Bastedo, published by Red Deer College Press ISBN: 0-88995-170-5. Great stories by Yellowknife naturalist Jamie Bastedo that impart good environmental understanding of the North.



Turmoil and Triumph


Author: Ian Bickle


Description: Turmoil and Triumph. Ian Bickle. Published by Temeron Press. The story of the Hudson Bay Railroad. ISBN: 1-55059-107X. This is a great read, especially if you are headed back on the train. It gives an explanation for all of the intriguing sign-posts you see along the way.



Ancient People of the Arctic


Author: Robert McGhee


Description: Ancient People of the Arctic by Robert McGhee ISBN: 0-7748-0854-3, published by UBC. “Makes the story of continent-wide migrations, adaptations to harsh environments, and dramatic climate change comes alive…appeal (s) to anyone with an interest in the North and its history.” John Wilson, Quill and Quire.





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768