loading spinner
7931
Manitoba

Into the Arctic Skies: Aurora and Astronomy in Churchill

Come for the chance to fulfill a dream and witness the northern lights beneath the brilliant skies of Churchill, Manitoba.
Rating (4.91)
Program No. 7931RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
4,799
Manitoba

Into the Arctic Skies: Aurora and Astronomy in Churchill

Come for the chance to fulfill a dream and witness the northern lights beneath the brilliant skies of Churchill, Manitoba.
Length
9 days
Starts at
4,799
Length
9 days
Rating (4.91)
Starts at
4,799
Program No. 7931RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Feb 11 - Feb 19, 2023
Starting at
4,799
Feb 16 - Feb 24, 2023
Starting at
4,799
Feb 21 - Mar 1, 2023
Starting at
4,799
Mar 8 - Mar 16, 2023
Starting at
4,799
Mar 20 - Mar 28, 2023
Starting at
4,799
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Feb 11 - Feb 19, 2023
Starting at
5,059
Feb 16 - Feb 24, 2023
Starting at
5,059
Feb 21 - Mar 1, 2023
Starting at
5,059
Mar 8 - Mar 16, 2023
Starting at
5,059
Mar 20 - Mar 28, 2023
Starting at
5,059

At a Glance

The clear skies of Churchill’s winter will thrill and challenge any sky watcher. With over 300 nights of auroral activity, Churchill is the best spot on the planet to view the northern lights. Our instructor will lead you through the fascinating world of comets, deep sky objects, meteors and northern lights. Visit the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg for an in-depth study of the region’s natural history and an introduction to the vast subarctic region of Northern Manitoba.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Activities may include dog sledding, snowmobiling and walking, dependent on weather.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Discover the world of comets, deep sky objects, meteors and northern lights in the planet’s top viewing spot.
  • Spend an afternoon dog sledding in the boreal forest.
  • Take an exhilarating ride by snowmobile into the boreal forest and experience snowshoeing.

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
Alan Dyer
Alan Dyer is a writer and producer of planetarium programs for the TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary. He is one of Canada's best-known astronomy writers and serves as associate editor of SkyNews magazine, Canada's magazine of stargazing. Alan also takes the opportunity as often as possible to visit the southern hemisphere to pursue both interests under southern skies. His other obsession, eclipse chasing, has taken him to every continent, chalking up 15 total solar eclipses. Asteroid 78434 is named for him.

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

Profile Image of Alan Dyer
Alan Dyer is a writer and producer of planetarium programs for the TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary. He is one of Canada's best-known astronomy writers and serves as associate editor of SkyNews magazine, Canada's magazine of stargazing. Alan also takes the opportunity as often as possible to visit the southern hemisphere to pursue both interests under southern skies. His other obsession, eclipse chasing, has taken him to every continent, chalking up 15 total solar eclipses. Asteroid 78434 is named for him.
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.
Arctic Dreams
by Barry Lopez
A dazzling meditation on the Arctic, breathtaking in scope. Lopez draws on his travels throughout the North, including Baffin Island, the Chukchi and Bering seas, Alaska, the Yukon and Greenland, interweaving natural history, accounts of early exploration, anecdote and lore into an indelible portrait of place.
Our Ice Is Vanishing / Sikuvut Nunguliqtuq: A History of Inuit, Newcomers and Climate Change
by Shelley Wright
Wright charts the history of the Inuit and the experiences of recent Arctic immigrants alongside reflections on current conditions and devastating climate change.
What We Know About Climate Change
by Kerry Emanuel
MIT atmospheric scientist Emanuel outlines the issues, causes and concerns about the fate of our climate. This second edition covers the latest from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the lack of will in the United States to tackle this vexing issue.
The Northern Lights, Celestial Performances of the Aurora Borealis
by Calvin Hall (Photographer), Daryl Pederson (Photographer)
Shot in Alaska, one of the best places to watch the northern lights, these images capture the natural phenomenon in all its splendor and majesty. Hall and Pederson’s 160 photographs were taken with ultra-HD cameras during a period of unusually high solar activity.
The Arctic Guide, Wildlife of the Far North
by Sharon Chester
Written for travelers and naturalists alike, this comprehensive guide to the flora and fauna of the Arctic covers 800 species. Each profile features color illustrations, range maps and full descriptions.
Northern Lights, A Practical Travel Guide
by Polly Evans
With helpful advice on viewing the Northern Lights in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and Alaska, this Bradt guide has essential information on forecasts, the science behind the lights, photography and how to dress.
The Northern Lights, The True Story of the Man Who Unlocked the Secrets of the Aurora Borealis
by Lucy Jago
The compelling story of Kristian Birkeland, the turn-of-the-century Norwegian scientist who devoted his career to understanding the aurora borealis, this book also covers the science, history, myth and romance of the phenomenon.
Auroras, Fire in the Sky
by Dan Bortolotti, Yuichi Takasaka (Photographer)
These 80 color photos by Yuichi Takasaka celebrate the beauty, history, folklore and science of the northern lights.
A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic
by E.C. Pielou
Our bestselling book on the Arctic, this guide covers the geography and climate, plants, birds and wildlife of the Circumpolar North.
Ancient People of the Arctic
by Robert McGhee
In this nicely illustrated overview of the Paleo-Eskimos, Robert McGhee, an archaeologist, brings vibrantly to life North America's first settlers and their culture.
Northern Lights
by Calvin Hall (Photographer), Daryl Pederson (Photographer), George Bryson
These color photographs capture the dazzling majesty and mystery of the aurora borealis while journalist George Bryson provides a short essay on the history of the phenomenon.
Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye
by Zac Unger
A captivating look at the battle between man and nature from the vantage point of Churchill, Manitoba, the Polar Bear Capital of the World.
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
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: Enjoy a meal at 6:00 pm at the hotel. Coffee, tea, and water are included. Other beverages are available for purchase.

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, Planetarium, 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: We will transfer by motorcoach to immerse ourselves in the stunning beauty of Aurora Borealis by watching a live planetarium presentation at the Manitoba Museum, recorded over seven months in the Arctic Circle.

Lunch: Enjoy a soup and sandwich at the Manitoba Museum. Coffee, tea, and water are included. Other beverages are available for purchase.

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 Aboriginal concepts for humanity and human shared responsibility.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: The evening is yours to enjoy at your leisure.

DAY
3
Fly to Churchill, Safety Briefing & Orientation
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: We will enjoy breakfast at the hotel which includes hot and cold options, juice, milk, coffee and tea.

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: A meal with options for starters, main courses, and desserts will be available at the CNSC. Coffee, tea and water are included.

Evening: We'll take part in an evening lecture with an expert and then venture out for some sky watching (weather permitting).

DAY
4
Current Research, Film Screening, Sky Watching
Churchill, MB
B,L,D
Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, some standing. Dress warmly in layers.

Breakfast: Breakfast with hot and cold options will be provided at the CNSC. Coffee, tea, water and juices are included.

Morning: Learn about current research at CNSC and explore the "green building" on a walk around the property with a resident staff member.

Lunch: Enjoy a meal at the Centre

Afternoon: Watch a screening of an award winning documentary on climate change.

Dinner: Dinner will be at CNSC

Evening: We'll take part in an evening lecture with an expert and then venture out for some sky watching (weather permitting).

DAY
5
Snow Ecology, Snowmobile Trip, Snowshoeing
Churchill, MB
B,L,D
Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, on slippery, snowy or ice covered terrain. Dress warmly in layers for several hours outside.

Breakfast: Breakfast at CNSC.

Morning: Learn about the subarctic in winter during a presentation at the CNSC.

Lunch: Lunch at the Centre.

Afternoon: Embark on an exhilarating trip within the tree-line transition zone and see a snow sampling demonstration. We’ll ride sled-shuttles pulled by snow mobiles into the nearby forest across packed trails and gain an understanding of the different kinds of snow during a snow sampling. Learn about depth, density, the various layers of snow, and about snow crystals. Choose to walk back to the CNSC on groomed trails or ride in comfort on the sled-shuttle. Those who prefer, may relax and enjoy the amenities of the CNSC.

Dinner: CNSC dinner.

Evening: An illuminating lecture by a local expert will expand on the program’s theme before we enjoy a relaxing evening of sky watching (weather permitting).

DAY
6
Research Rocket Range, Dogsledding, Sky Watching
Churchill, MB
B,L,D
Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile, on slippery, snowy or ice covered terrain. Dress warmly in layers for several hours outside. Warming hut and outhouse on site.

Breakfast: CNSC breakfast.

Morning: This morning’s field trip will feature exploring the former Churchill Research (Rocket) Range with a local expert who will give us a better idea about how well our clothing holds up to the wind and cold temperatures.

Lunch: CNSC lunch.

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: CNSC dinner.

Evening: Enjoy a lecture by a local expert prior to sky watching (weather permitting).

DAY
7
Itsanitaq Museum, Parks Canada Center, Sky Watching
Churchill, MB
B,D
Churchill Northern Studies Centre

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

Breakfast: CNSC breakfast.

Morning: Enjoy an interpretative walk of the Churchill area with an expert.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is an opportunity to explore the many diverse culinary experiences available. A bagged lunch is available.

Afternoon: Study some of the oldest Inuit artifacts and sculptures in Canada at the Itsanitaq museum. This museum prizes the advancement of knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Northern culture and history. Visit the Parks Canada Interpretive Centre, situated in the Churchill Heritage Railway Station. Exhibits and audio-visual presentations focus on the history of the fur trade and explore human and natural history.

Dinner: Enjoy an evening social with a wine sampling and a meal featuring local wild game and other unique cuisine (arctic char and homemade bannock served with locally made jams and jellies).

Evening: Partake in an Indigenous cultural presentation beneath the Arctic night sky.

DAY
8
Churchill, Free Time, Fly to Winnipeg, Farewell Dinner
Winnipeg, MB
B,L,D
Courtyard by Marriott Winnipeg Airport

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: Bag lunch from CNSC.

Afternoon: Our flight from Churchill is scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg at 4:15 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 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.