Day 1: Winnipeg, ManitobaArrive in Winnipeg and transfer to the distinguished Fort Garry Hotel. Built in 1913 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in the style of a French chateau, it remains the grande dame of Winnipeg hospitality. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your Expedition Leader and fellow travelers.
Day 2: Winnipeg to ChurchillThis morning you may have an opportunity to practice winter photography techniques at a Winnipeg nature reserve, if time permits before your flight to Churchill. On arrival, transfer to your hotel and take a brief tour of this historic settlement that was once a remote fur-trading post on Hudson Bay. As night falls, drive onto the tundra in custom heated Polar Rovers in hopes of a first chance to see the spectacle of the aurora borealis. The display often begins as a pale glow low in the northern sky that slowly begins to shift and undulate. Wavy patterns evolve, colors appear and change, until the lights look like shimmering curtains of green, or sometimes blue, yellow or red. For centuries, the phenomenon of the Northern Lights was a mystery, inspiring a host of mythical explanations. While the aurora is caused by the interaction of the solar wind with the earth’s magnetic field, more poetic stories of their origin linger, including the Hudson Bay Inuit’s belief that the lights are the magical display of their ancestors’ souls dancing in the sky.
Days 3 - 5: Churchill & EnvironsOver the next three days, you are immersed in the Arctic landscape, Churchill's intriguing history and culture, and, of course, photographing the Northern Lights. Enjoy the chance to practice your photography skills at every turn, guided and inspired by presentations and workshops as well as personalized tips from our Expedition Leader. While your nights are devoted to capturing images of the aurora, daylight excursions focus on the austere beauty of the tundra environs. Hope to photograph some hardy northern wildlife, too, such as arctic hare and arctic fox, both artfully camouflaged by their white fur coats. Churchill itself is also full of photo opportunities, with historic buildings and colorful locals. The Hudson’s Bay Company established a fort here in 1717 as part of its fur-trading network across the Canadian North, but indigenous cultures had already been flourishing in the harsh Arctic climate for thousands of years. Explore their heritage on a dog sled ride through the boreal forest, in a visit to the Eskimo Museum, and via cultural programs featuring the arts and traditions of the Inuit and Dene peoples.
Day 6: Churchill / WinnipegThe morning is free to wander Churchill’s main street, where several locally owned shops sell authentic Native handicrafts, from traditional mukluks to sculptures made of caribou hair. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Winnipeg. This evening, gather one last time for a farewell dinner at the Fort Garry Hotel.
Day 7: Winnipeg / HomeAfter breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
Departure dates and itinerary subject to change. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to confirm departure schedule before purchasing air tickets. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Train Schedule: Train timetables are unconfirmed until shortly before each departure. Changes to train schedules may affect the itinerary on Days 2-4.
Feb 15, 2014; Mar 16, 2014
R/T transportation between Winnipeg and Churchill (train and plane); accommodations; all meals (except those taken aboard the train); services of Expedition Leaders and assistants; most gratuities; airport transfers; permits and entrance fees; all taxes.
Travel to and from start and end point of trip; meals aboard the train; alcoholic beverages; some gratuities; optional activities; items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, etc.); optional travel insurance.