The Best Ways to See Polar Bears

by Jan 20, 2020Destinations0 comments

Polar Bears are beautiful creatures and live mostly in the Arctic region. They can be a challenge to spot – but not when you have a partner like Bell & Bly Travel! If getting to see polar bears in the wild is on your bucket list you’re in the right place.

polar bear family

Planning

How to get there

Bell and Bly Travel can help you plan and execute this adventurous trip with experienced guides. Our partners are not only experts in polar bear trips, but they also have exclusive permits and custom-built Polar Rovers to ensure the best viewing. Pro tip: start planning 9 to 12 months in advance!

Who is it forviewing polar bears

This kind of trip is certainly adventurous, but you don’t have to be an athlete to cross this bucketlist item off your list. You will spend much of your time in the polar rover looking for the bears and limited time walking around. This makes it the ideal trip for travelers of all ages!

When’s the best time to see polar bears

During October and November, the world’s largest concentration of polar bears gathers at the edge of the Hudson Bay waiting for the ice to form so they can hunt seals.

Don’t miss

Dog sledding in Manitoba, it’s a fantastic opportunity for families!

Prepping

Packing

He might be the King of the Arctic, but no need for formal attire. In fact, the dress code is very casual during a polar bear trip, and you don’t really need much. Our partners provide boots and parkas, but you should pack your own gloves, hats, layers, and comfortable warm shoes. We highly recommend you get a great pair of binoculars too, reach out to us if you need a good bino guide for wildlife viewing!

Know before you go

It will be cold! You are going to see polar bears… so it WILL be cold! There is also limited cell reception and wifi once you’re out on the tundra. If you prepare yourself mentally for these two things you’ll be in great shape!

The Experience

Where to stay

Winnipeg is a great base to start from and the hotel we recommend is a charming, historic spot. Once you get to Churchill, accommodation are much more basic but afford a comfortable place to rest after a day of bear scouting!

Activities

If you arrive a day early, you can explore Winnipeg and see the capitol building, nature preserve, and natural history museum. As for Churchill, life in town changes dramatically when the polar bears are in season! For some fun facts 

  • The population goes from 200 people to 2000 during polar bear season
  • You can’t lock your car door in Churchill when the polar bears are around in case someone needs to get in your car for refuge from a polar bear
  • Volunteers watch for polar bears wandering into town during the day until 10 PM. After that, you must stay inside to steer clear!

Other activities in Churchill include dog sledding, wildlife spotting, and learning about Native Canadian or First Nations history. 

Arrival

When you land in Winnipeg, our guides will wait for you at the airport and get you to the hotel. From Winnipeg, you will fly via a privately chartered plane to Churchill with the other travelers in your group.

Polar bear viewingpolar bear close up

To spot polar bears, you will go out in custom-built, heated Polar Rovers! These vehicles have a rear viewing platform made of grate and plenty of windows. Often times the bears come right up to the rover and peer up at you through the gate!

Other wildlife to spot

There is plenty of other wildlife to spot while in Churchill as well. Look out for the arctic hare, arctic fox, red fox, caribou, and many different birds. Of course don’t miss those cute husky pups if you have the chance to go dog sledding!

Learning

This is a wonderful learning opportunity for travelers of all ages. In addition to seeing polar bears, you’ll get to learn from expert naturalist guides about the ecosystem, environmental changes, other wildlife, and natural history. On average these naturalist guides have over 10  years of expedition experience! 

As you start to plan your visit to the Arctic, please reach out. We would love to help this dream come true for you!

polar rover

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