Polar Bear Watching Holidays
Come nose-to-nose with a polar bear
Canada is one of the only places in the world where you can see polar bears in the wild. The tundra buggies take you out over the ice and right up to the bears. Getting nose-to-nose with the world's largest land predator is an experience you won't forget in a hurry!
How to Book
Speak with our experts
Call our experts
Thinking of booking a polar bear holiday in Canada? There is no greater thrill than seeing a majestic polar bear in the wild. Give our friendly team a call and to talk through exactly what you are looking for from your trip. Churchill is quite a remote location but we can help get you there easily. We can book your flights, transfers, polar bear lodge accommodation and excursions to make sure you have the best experience.
Where to see bears
Where to spot polar bears in Canada
Canada is one of the only places in the world where you can spot polar bears in their natural habitat. A trip to remote Northern Canada is not your typical holiday, but for those that wish to experience it, the journey will be the adventure of a lifetime! Our tours take you straight into the communities of Iqaluit, Nunavut and Churchill, Manitoba. Local guides help you find the bears and give an insight into the culture and customs of Canada's North.
Known as the "Polar Bear Capital of the World", your best chance of seeing polar bears is in Churchill, Manitoba. Canada is home to 17,000 of the world's 25,000 polar bears and the biggest accessible concentration of them is in Churchill. Their presence of the edge of Hudson Bay is guaranteed every year as they wait for the sea ice to freeze. Our tours include internal flights from Winnipeg up to Churchill, with stays in the best bear lodges.
Akpatok Island, Nunavut
Akpatok is a very remote, isolated and uninhabited island in Ungava Bay, between Quebec and Nunavut. It is separated from Baffin Island by the Hudson Strait. While you can spot seals, walruses, arctic foxes and caribou, the main draw of visiting this stark landscape is the polar bears. They seek out the island to feast on bird eggs and seals around the jagged limestone cliffs.
Wilderness lodge retreats
Lazy Bear Lodge
Lazy Bear Lodge sits in Churchill, on the warmer south-eastern shore of Hudson Bay - known as the "accessible arctic". It's slightly easier to get to than a few other lodges but it doesn't compromise on wild authenticity. Churchill still inhabits a world barely touched by human hands. The lodge itself is rustic and homely, made from reclaimed wood with a history. With Lazy Bear, we can offer tours to view polar bears (and beluga whales) in their pristine environments.
Tundra Buggy Lodge
How would you like to sleep among the polar bears? With Frontiers North Adventures, we can offer you just that. The Tundra Buggy Lodge is an incredible mobile lodge, located in the heart of polar bear country. The lodge offers bunk-style accommodation, a dining cart, a lounge and a rooftop viewing platform. It's rustic, it's wild and it's unforgettable. You can view bears day and night and sleep beneath the aurora. Plus you'll get to spend time with like-minded adventurers.
When to see the bears
You might associate bears with cold weather but the summer is actually the best time to see them. Bears spend the winter out hunting on the sea ice. When the sea ice thaws in summer, the bears don't hunt and instead, indulge in a little vacation on the shores of Hudson Bay while they wait for the ice to return. They stroll, sleep, sun themselves and dip in the sea. July and August are the best times to visit Churchill.
Bear habits and behaviours
It's no wonder that the largest land carnivores in the world are so popular to see. Magnificent polar bears roam the Arctic hunting seals from the sea ice platforms of the frozen Arctic Ocean. During the summer, they can be spotted as they wait for the sea ice to return. Mother bears den in October or November and emerge with their cubs around April, so the summer is a great time to see young bears.
How to dress for the Arctic
The north may be warmer than you're expecting in the summertime, with temperatures between 11°C and 21°C in July and August. Layers are key, as it can sometimes be cool and windy. There can be lots of insects in the summer so insect repellent is essential. Long sleeves and trousers are better for staying protected. Remember, this is the wilderness where there are no billboards, no high street chains and few people in general! Nobody minds what you are wearing.
What to expect
What to expect from the Tundra Buggy Lodge
Think polar bears, think Tundra Buggies. These all-terrain vehicles have become iconic as the transport which lets you come face-to-face with polar bears. The sturdy trucks are specifically designed to handle the challenging terrain of the tundra, making it safe and easy to explore. Tundra Buggies are perfectly protected from polar bears and offer large windows and outdoor vestibules so you can take the perfect photos.
Sleeping in the Tundra Buggy Lodge
Taking a Tundra Buggy tour to watch bears is an unforgettable experience. But rather than going back to your lodge at the end of the day, why not sleep aboard the Tundra Buggy? Some tours let you sleep on the specially adapted Tundra Buggy Lodge. The Lodge consists of up to 6 Tundra Buggies linked together, providing bunk-style sleeping areas (with heating, curtains and charging points), bathrooms and showers, a dining car and even a lounge to relax and learn.
Bears & Belugas
See whales on your holiday
See polar bears & beluga whales
You might think polar bears are special enough, but Churchill has even more wonders to offer. Visit in the summer and you can combine your polar bear watching holiday with beluga whale watching. These intelligent, curious and inquisitive white whales flock to Churchill every summer in their thousands. A boat tour will let you cruise alongside the whales and you can even listen to their "songs". Their repertoire of clicks and whistles earns them the nickname "canaries of the sea"!
See Churchill's polar bears for yourself
Watch these inspiring videos for of glimpse of the incredible wild experiences you could have in Arctic Canada
Polar bear watching in Churchill
Canada is one of the best – and only – places in the world where you can view majestic polar bears safely in their natural environment. Seeing polar bears in Canada is one for the bucket list, and to see them you’ll need to head North. A trip to remote Arctic Canada is like no other. An expedition to see Churchill’s polar bears isn’t your average holiday but it’s easier than you think and will offer a hugely rewarding experience that is unlike anything else out there. The iconic Tundra Buggies rumble out over the frozen landscape on giant wheels, offering a lofty perch for the best views. It’s not uncommon for polar bears to come right up to the vehicles! Your friends won’t believe the photos.
Our small group polar bear tours take you straight into the communities of Iqaluit, Nunavut and Churchill, Manitoba. Local guides and local people will give you a true insight into the unique customs and cultures, so you can get a real understanding of life in the true north of Canada. This beautiful part of the world allows you to seek out animals that you’d very rarely have the chance to see anywhere else. As well as polar bears, Churchill in Manitoba is home to Arctic foxes, snowshoe hares and the ghostly beluga whale. The Hudson Bay area is teeming with life, and the tundra is guaranteed to offer a completely new and beautiful landscape.
The highlights of polar bear watching holidays in Canada
With spectacular frozen landscapes, beluga whales and wildlife like arctic foxes, a holiday in Arctic Canada has even more beyond polar bears
The Northern Lights
Thanks to its location so far north in Arctic Canada, Churchill is one of the best places to spot the Northern Lights. You can combine your polar bear watching holiday with an aurora tour too. As the polar bears gather in October and November, it’s the right time of year for those dark skies and the start of the Northern Lights season.
Polar bears aren’t the only incredible animals here. Pure white Arctic foxes prowl the tundra, their fluffy white coats glistening in the low sun.
Churchill is a world-renowned hotspot for bird watching. There are 250+ species here, from snowy owls to tundra swans to peregrine falcons.
This region is a hotspot for majestic grey wolves. If you’d like to expand your wildlife watching further, head out on a tour and join the pack
The Hudson Bay seas are fantastic for marine life. Otters, walruses, whales, ringed seals, bearded seals and harbour seals all live here.
The other major draw to the Hudson Bay area is its abundance of beluga whales. Some 60,000 of them congregate here to feed every year. The ethereal whales come during the summer, while the best time to spot the polar bears is in winter. However, it is possible to see them both on a tour of the tundra.