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 (4.93)
Program No. 7931RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
3,249
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9 days
8 nights
21 meals
8 B 6 L 7 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Winnipeg, MB
D
The Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the hotel at 6:00 p.m. we will enjoy a buffet meal. Coffee, tea, water included; other beverages 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, Saint Boniface 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: At the hotel, we will enjoy a breakfast buffet that includes hot and cold items; juice, milk, coffee, tea are included.

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: At the Manitoba Museum, we will enjoy a soup and sandwich. Coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will then visit Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum to explore artifacts relating to Western Canada’s French-Canadian and Métis heritage, and to learn about the contributions and interactions of First Nations and religious communities, housed in the former Grey Nuns’ convent houses. This is the oldest structure in Winnipeg and the largest oak log building on the continent.

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: At 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.

Breakfast: We will enjoy a meal to-go ahead of our early morning flight to Churchill, consisting of a muffin, fruit, yogurt, and coffee.

Morning: We will set out at 5:30 a.m. for an early departure for the airport for our scheduled flight to Churchill, departing from Winnipeg at 7:00 a.m. We will arrive in time for lunch in Churchill.

Lunch: At the Churchill Northern Studies Center, we will enjoy a buffet meal, with several options for starters, main courses, and desserts. Coffee, tea, water included. As this is a working research center, we as guests are expected to assist with dishwashing and clean-up.

Afternoon: After transferring to the Churchill Northern Studies Centre and lunch, we will take a safety briefing and orientation from an expert.

Dinner: At the center, we will enjoy a buffet meal with options for starters, main courses, and desserts. Coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: We will be welcomed by CNSC staff and sit for an introductory lecture to the center, the area, and more.

DAY
4
Walk Churchill Research Range, Natural History, 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: At the center, we'll enjoy a breakfast buffet with hot and cold choices including juice, coffee, tea, water.

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

Lunch: Center buffet.

Afternoon: At the center, we will explore the deep natural history of the area through educational videos.

Dinner: Center buffet.

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

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: Center buffet.

Morning: We will take part in a presentation at the center that will examine snow ecology.

Lunch: Center buffet.

Afternoon: We'll embark on an exhilarating snowmobile trip into the boreal forest, with a snow-sampling demonstration led by an expert, snowshoeing through the forest, and photography. We will return to the center for dinner.

Dinner: Center buffet.

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

DAY
6
Film Screening, 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: Center buffet.

Morning: At the center, we will enjoy a screening of a locally-filmed major motion picture related to Inuit life in the Arctic.

Lunch: Center buffet.

Afternoon: In the afternoon we will embark on a dogsledding trip into the boreal forest with a local musher, which offers us an authentic experience that reflects the culture and history of Manitoba’s north. From fur trading to mail delivery, the dog sled was the most convenient way to travel across the snow and is still used by many locals. There are typically two people per sled, each riding in the “basket” of the sled while the musher leads the dogs from a standing position on the back runners. There is no running alongside the sled! We will return to the center for dinner.

Dinner: Center buffet.

Evening: We'll enjoy our nightly evening lecture with an expert, followed by sky watching.

DAY
7
Parks Canada Center, Eskimo Museum, 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: Center buffet.

Morning: We will embark on an interpretive walk of the Churchill area with an expert.

Lunch: On your own in Churchill; bag lunches available.

Afternoon: We'll spend the afternoon in Churchill, Manitoba, known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. First, we'll explore the Eskimo Museum, home to some of the oldest Inuit artifacts and sculptures 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 will visit the Parks Canada Interpretive Center, located in the Churchill Heritage Railway Station. These exhibits and audio-visual presentations focus on the history of the fur trade and exploration of human and natural history.

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

Evening: An Aboriginal cultural presentation with special guests will be part of our final evening and our last glance at the Arctic night sky.

DAY
8
Churchill, Free Time, 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: Center buffet.

Morning: We'll share what we've learned and explore other relevant topics in our morning presentation and wrap-up of our time at the center.

Lunch: Center buffet.

Afternoon: Free time at the center. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Center buffet.

Evening: We will transfer to the airport for our evening flight from Churchill for Winnipeg, departing at approximately 8:15 p.m. Once in Winnipeg, we will check into our hotel for the evening.

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 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 another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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