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Canada’s World Renowned Polar Bear Capital

In the vast north of Canada, easily accessible only at this time of the polar bears year is when these majestic animal are so consistently seen. We plan a two night sleeper train to get there, two full days of tundra buggy exploring and the chance to go dog sledding.

 

CHURCHILL WHERE POLAR BEARS ROAM Although you can see polar bears in the area as early as June, the prime time to see polar bears in their natural habitat is during late October and November when the polar bear population around Churchill is at its highest. Tundra Buggies are large vehicles that can safely maneuver the rough terrain of the tundra, while still allowing you to have amazing wildlife viewing opportunities “Wildlife and weather are unpredictable which means we can never guarantee wildlife

sightings. However, we have an excellent track record and our team of Tundra Buggy drivers work together in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area to ensure our guests have the best viewing opportunities possible. Most often spotted: polar bears, arctic fox, red fox, ptarmigan, snow geese, gyrfalcons, snowy owls and a plethora of birds and wildlife” – Frontier North

Your travel itinerary

Friday 06 November

Auckland -Chicago

An evening departure on Air New Zealand, cross the dateline, early evening arrival in Chicago and transfer to our central hotel.

Welcome to Chicago, the third largest city in the United States, with a population of nearly three million people. The City covers an area of 60,000 hectares and sits 176 meters (578 feet) above sea level on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. It’s extensive parklands, including 3,000 hectares of city parks attract an estimated 86 million visitors annually.

 

Saturday 07 November

Chicago Sightseeing

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

This morning we have a guided city tour that will include admission to one of the tall tower observation decks. Some free time in Michigan Ave. ‘The Magnificent Mile’ boasts more than 460 retailers, including popular brands; major department stores; international luxury labels and designers; and three vertical shopping centers

Sunday 08 November

Chicago – Winnipeg

Breakfast iconBreakfast

This morning we transfer to O’Hare airport for a mid-morning on arrival we transfer flight to Winnipeg. On arrival we transfer to our central city hotel. Rest of day free.

Winnipeg - Gateway to the West, situated where three rivers meet and the prairies begin, Manitoba’s capital it was the heart of the fur trade in its earlier days. A population of around 750000, it considers 

 

Monday 09 November

Winnipeg Sightseeing

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

Today will begin with a highlights of the city tour. Afternoon free to explore. This evening we join our Frontiers North Guide for a Welcome Dinner.

Did you Know

That the childhood character Winnie the Pooh was named after a bear at the Winnipeg Zoo? And if you love caviar, Winnipeg exports over 25,000 pounds of award winning caviar to some of the world’s top restaurants.

Tuesday 10 November

Winnipeg – Train

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

We meet for breakfast before checking in at the train station for an early afternoon departure to Churchill. Overnight on the train. The next two days we travel through three different biospheres including the prairie grasslands, boreal forest of the Canadian Shield, and last but not least the tundra of northern Manitoba.

VIA Rail Sleeper Class:  Cabins are designed for two people. During the day they are the seating area and fold down into single beds for the evening. Each cabin includes a private washroom with toilet and sink. Each sleeper car has one shared shower. Meals are included

Wednesday 11 November

Train

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

Full day on board the train with a chance to stretch your legs in Thompson, a major stop on the route Overnight on the train.

Thursday 12 November

Churchill

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Enjoy an early-morning breakfast on board before finally arriving in Churchill. Upon arrival we have lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the Itsanitaq Museum, home to one of the most extensive collections of Inuit art in the world. Free time this afternoon to see Churchill, or view the surrounding area’s wildlife from a different point of view by booking an exciting one hour

helicopter tour. Dinner is at a local restaurant and the evening can be spent exploring Churchill’s authentic shops, enjoying a beverage at the local pub or relaxing at the hotel.

Friday 13 November

Tundra Buggy Wildlife excursion

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

Following an early morning breakfast, we will depart for our first full-day Tundra Buggy adventure exploring the Churchill Wildlife Management Area on a network of established trails in search of polar bears, arctic fox, ptarmigan and other sub-arctic wildlife. Lunch and refreshments will be served on board. We will return to Churchill for dinner at a local restaurant before finishing the day with a presentation from a local resident on the culture, history, wildlife and lifestyle of the Churchill area.

Saturday 14 November

Dog Sledding and local sightseeing

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

This morning we will be transferred beyond the town limits to Churchill’s boreal forest to enjoy an interpretive program paired with a thrilling dog sled excursion. Hosted by a local Churchill resident and dog sledding expert, guests will learn about the history associated with dog sledding as well as enjoy a mile-long ride on a custom-built sled behind a strong team of huskies. Back to town for lunch before making a stop at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre, located in Churchill’s historic train station where we will step back in time during an interpretive program about Churchill’s human and natural history.

Sunday 15 November

Tundra Buggy – flight to Winnipeg

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

After breakfast transfer to the Tundra Buggy dock for a second and final fullday adventure. After a day of exploring the tundra, bid farewell to Churchill as we transfer directly to the airport for an evening flight back to Winnipeg. A light meal will be served. Upon arrival in Winnipeg overnight at Winnipeg’s international airport.

Monday 16 November

Winnipeg – Calgary – Los Angeles

Breakfast iconBreakfast

Mid - morning departure from Winnipeg, change planes at Calgary to arrive early evening at Los Angeles airport, change planes, depart on Air New Zealand

Tuesday 17 November

Cross dateline.

Wednesday 18 November

Arrive Auckland

Early morning arrival at Auckland airport

Inclusions

  • Economy air flights as outlined
  • Sleeper Class on VIA Rail
  • Transfers as outlined
  • Breakfast Daily
  • Lunch & Dinner as outlined
  • Frontier North Interpretive Guide
  • All meals as specified
  • Sightseeing tours in Chicago, Winnipeg and Churchill
  • Two full days - Guided Tundra Buggy Adventure
  • Dog Sledding excursion
  • Jim Murphy as tour escort

Cost

Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle
   $15,990   $18,060
Premium Economy Class Upgrade $2,309
Early Booking Discount ( 10/01/2020 ) $250
Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount $200

*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment

Exclusions

  • Travel Insurance is recommended– please ask us for a quote
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Items not specified
  • Gratuities
  • Airport and airline taxes (approx. 305NZD)
  • Canada provincial & Govt tax (approx.723NZD)

Booking Conditions

  • A non-refundable deposit of $1000 per person will secure a place on this trip
  • Full payment is due no later than 03 July 2020

Cancellations and Refunds

  • From the date of booking until 03 July 2020– loss of deposit
  • After 03 July 2020 - no refund

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

General Information

Documentation

  • A current passport is required, valid six months beyond date of travel
  • An ESTA visa is required for entry into US. We can assist with this (US$14)
  • A Canadian ETA is required (CA$07)

Climate

Throughout polar bear season during October and November, Churchill’s temperatures tend

to be very cold, ranging from -16°C to 7°C. Our time on the tundra is in heated Tundra Buggy

vehicles, but with windows being lowered for photography, you should expect interior

temperatures to range from -1°C to 16°C and will want wear sufficient layers to remain

comfortable at that range. As with any location, temperatures in Churchill can vary widely, the

streets and sidewalks in Churchill can become very slippery with layers of ice and snow.

 

Weather                     Max                 Min

  • Chicago                       11°C                -2°C
  • Winnipeg                    7°C                  -9°C
  • Churchill                     0 °C                -16 °C

 Clothing

Closer to departure date, extensive information will be provided – a brief summary is as follows:

• Waterproof parka

• The Golden Rules are: Layers, layers, layers – base, mid, outer

• Wear breathable fabric – not cottons

• Waterproof – not water repellent

• Protect your extremities

• Remember the SPF

 

Currency / Money

• Canadian Dollars are used in Canada while in Chicago the currency is the USD

• ATMs are readily available

• Visa and Mastercard are

Health and Fitness

A good standard of health and fitness is required and clients should be independently mobile with the ability to walk unaided on uneven surfaces and negotiate stairs.


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change

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