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6290
Manitoba

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

Learn about the ecosystems of Hudson Bay from a polar bear expert, enjoying lectures and seeing unique Arctic species in their natural habitat.
Rating (5)
Program No. 6290RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
5,099
Manitoba

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

Learn about the ecosystems of Hudson Bay from a polar bear expert, enjoying lectures and seeing unique Arctic species in their natural habitat.
Length
9 days
Starts at
5,099
Length
9 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
5,099
Program No. 6290RJ

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climate
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 10 - Oct 18, 2022
Starting at
5,099
Itinerary Note

Please note that a single room option is only available for the Winnipeg portion of this program. The remaining 5 nights in Churchill do not offer a single room.

Oct 16 - Oct 24, 2022
Starting at
5,099
Itinerary Note

Please note that a single room option is only available for the Winnipeg portion of this program. The remaining 5 nights in Churchill do not offer a single room.

Oct 22 - Oct 30, 2022
Starting at
5,099
Itinerary Note

Please note that a single room option is only available for the Winnipeg portion of this program. The remaining 5 nights in Churchill do not offer a single room.

Oct 8 - Oct 16, 2023
Starting at
5,749
Oct 14 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
5,749
Oct 20 - Oct 28, 2023
Starting at
5,749
Oct 26 - Nov 3, 2023
Starting at
5,749
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 10 - Oct 18, 2022
Starting at
5,269
Itinerary Note

Please note that a single room option is only available for the Winnipeg portion of this program. The remaining 5 nights in Churchill do not offer a single room.

Oct 16 - Oct 24, 2022
Starting at
5,269
Itinerary Note

Please note that a single room option is only available for the Winnipeg portion of this program. The remaining 5 nights in Churchill do not offer a single room.

Oct 22 - Oct 30, 2022
Starting at
5,269
Itinerary Note

Please note that a single room option is only available for the Winnipeg portion of this program. The remaining 5 nights in Churchill do not offer a single room.

Oct 8 - Oct 16, 2023
Starting at
6,019
Oct 14 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
6,019
Oct 20 - Oct 28, 2023
Starting at
6,019
Oct 26 - Nov 3, 2023
Starting at
6,019

At a Glance

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.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles on frozen terrain.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • 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 Hudson’s Bay Company.

General Notes

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available. This program stays in unique accommodations. Be sure to review the Lodging description for the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. If you enroll in a Single room, it is only available for the two hotels in Winnipeg but not in Churchill.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Nick Lunn
Dr. Nick Lunn is an expert on polar bears and their role within arctic marine ecosystems. A research scientist with the Wildlife Research Division of the Science and Technology Branch of Environment Canada, Nick is chair of the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee and a member of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group. He is actively involved in studies on the population ecology of these animals in the Hudson Bay region in relation to climatic change.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Nick Lunn
Dr. Nick Lunn is an expert on polar bears and their role within arctic marine ecosystems. A research scientist with the Wildlife Research Division of the Science and Technology Branch of Environment Canada, Nick is chair of the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee and a member of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group. He is actively involved in studies on the population ecology of these animals in the Hudson Bay region in relation to climatic change.
Profile Image of Martyn Obbard
Martyn Obbard View biography
Dr. Martyn Obbard is a research scientist for the Canadian government and a professor of environmental and life sciences at Trent University. He has spent much of his career studying the effect of sea ice distribution and duration and its effect on polar bears. His current project includes researching polar bear populations including the Southern Hudson Bay, one of the most southerly polar bear populations in the world. Dr. Obbard remains active with the International Union for Conservation of Nature polar bear specialist group.
Profile Image of David Hems
David Hems View biography
David Hems has had a career centered on the management of cultural heritage sites with a strong focus on interpretation and presentation. After earning a degree in anthropology, he spent nine years working for the Manitoba Historic Resources Branch and 20 years with Parks Canada as an archaeologist and a heritage resource adviser throughout Western and Northern Canada. David was able to follow his passions travel and the sport of ice hockey. He played semi-professional hockey in Germany and another coaching in Northern Italy!
Profile Image of Routes Adventures Mobile Phone
Routes Adventures Mobile Phone View biography
Please call the toll free line at 1-866-745-1690 during regular business hours or for non-urgent matters (Mon - Fri 8:30 - 4:30 EST). The mobile phone #1-613-331-5777 is for after hours and weekends for emergency use only. The phone is carried by a staff member.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
White Bear of the North: WAPUSK
by Rebecca L. Grambo
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
Reaching North: A Celebration of the Subarctic
by Jamie Bastedo
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.
Encounters on Hudson Bay, Churchill Region
by Lorraine E. Brandson and Bonnie Chartier
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.
The World of the Polar Bear
by Norbert Rosing
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.
Ancient People of the Arctic
by Robert McGhee
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.
Turmoil and Triumph
by Ian Bickle
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.
Polar Bears
by Nikita Ovsyaniko
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.
Polar Bears
by Ian Stirling
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).
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9 days
8 nights
21 meals
8 B 6 L 7 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Winnipeg, MB
D
The Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre

Afternoon: Program registration begins at 4:00 pm. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time” and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Manitoba Museum, Human Rights Museum
Winnipeg, MB
B,L
The Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre

Activity note: Walking up to 1.5 miles on pavement and in museum, some standing; snow covered, icy terrain. Dress warmly in layers.

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel which includes hot and cold options, juice, milk, coffee and tea.

Morning: Set sail on a thrilling voyage of excitement and discovery at The Manitoba Museum. 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. An 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 Arctic/Sub-Arctic gallery will demonstrate how the limited resources of fur, skin, stone and bone were integral to their way of life. Go behind the scenes of the Hudson's Bay Company Collection in the vaults to view rarely seen artifacts from the Inuit and Fur Trade Collections.

Lunch: At the Manitoba Museum.

Afternoon: Explore the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which delves into Canada’s commitment to human rights, including failures, successes and ongoing struggles. This museum stands on Treaty One land where archaeologists have discovered more than half a million objects tracing human activity back over 6,000 years. This field trip will be led by Museum Interpreters who will explain the Indigenous concepts for humanity and human shared responsibility.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare, or join your group leader for dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY
3
Fly to Churchill, Polar Bear Conservation
Churchill, MB
B,L,D
Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Activity note: The flight to Churchill is approximately 1.5 hours. Walking up to 1 mile on pavement, snow-covered, icy terrain. Dress warmly in layers. PLEASE NOTE: Churchill Northern Studies Centre will provide a final itinerary once you arrive at the centre. The current schedule is tentative and the order of programming is subject to change because of weather and the presence of polar bears.

Breakfast: A meal to-go consisting of a muffin, fruit, yogurt, and coffee will be available.

Morning: Our journey begins with our flight to Churchill, MB scheduled to leave from Winnipeg, MB.

Lunch: Eat like a researcher! Enjoy a meal at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC). There are several options for starters, main courses, and desserts. Coffee, tea, and water are included. This is a working research center, in which guests are asked to assist with dishwashing and clean-up.

Afternoon: An expert at the Studies Centre will lead a safety briefing and orientation.

Dinner: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.

Evening: There will be an introductory lecture "Polar Bears 101". Learn about the polar bear population in Churchill, polar marine ecology, and marine mammals.

DAY
4
Polar Bear Viewing, Tundra Buggy, Climate Change
Churchill, MB
B,L,D
Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Activity note: The Tundra Buggy® trip is six hours in duration. The vehicle is 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 WMA 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: This evening's lecture will focus on polar bears and the impact of climate change.

DAY
5
Current Research, Dogsledding, Polar Bear Conservation
Churchill, MB
B,L,D
Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Activity note: Participants are not required to be "mushers". Dress warmly, moderate amount of walking/standing. Warming hut and outhouse on site.

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. A short outdoor walk of the former Churchill Research (Rocket) Range, will give us a better idea of how well our clothing holds up to the wind and cold temperatures.

Lunch: Lunch at the centre.

Afternoon: Embark on a dogsledding trip into the boreal forest with a local musher. This authentic experience reflects the culture and history of Manitoba’s north. Dogsledding was the most efficient method of travel, from fur trading to mail delivery. Dogsleds can carry two people, one riding in the “basket” of the sled, while the musher leads the dogs while standing on back runners.

Dinner: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.

Evening: This evening's presentation will focus on "Polar Bear Conservation".

DAY
6
Polar Bear Viewing, Cultural Presentation
Churchill, MB
B,L,D
Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Activity note: The Tundra Buggy® trip is six hours in duration. The vehicle is 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. 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 will focus on Aboriginal Heritage.

DAY
7
Itsanitaq Museum, Challenges in the Future, Traditional Food
Churchill, MB
B,D
Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, on slippery, snowy or ice covered terrain and indoors. Dress warmly for the exploration in the morning.

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.

Afternoon: Spend the afternoon in Churchill, Manitoba - Polar Bear Capital of the World. Explore the Itsanitaq 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. Next 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: At Churchill Northern Studies Centre.

Evening: This evening's presentation will focus on the Challenges for the Future. Then we wrap up with festivities at the centre - wine and traditional food tasting including arctic char, and homemade bannock served with locally made jams and jellies.

DAY
8
Fly to Winnipeg, Farewell Dinner
Winnipeg, MB
B,L,D
Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites

Activity note: The flight to Winnipeg is approximately 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the CNSC.

Morning: We say goodbye to the Churchill Northern Studies Centre and transfer to the airport for our flight to Winnipeg.

Lunch: Boxed lunch from CNSC.

Afternoon: Our flight from Churchill is scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg at 2:50 p.m. (subject to change). Free time to explore on your own or relax at the hotel.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

DAY
9
Program Concludes
Winnipeg, MB
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy breakfast, with coffee, tea, water included. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.