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TravelChurchill Wild: Where luxury meets polar bears – at ground level

Churchill Wild: Where luxury meets polar bears – at ground level


Deep in the heart of polar bear country at three remote “Arctic” luxury ecolodges on Canada’s Hudson Bay coast, Churchill Wild offers an unparalleled wilderness experience from March through November: walking with polar bears.

Churchill Wild co-founders and owners Mike and Jeanne Reimer pioneered the world’s first polar bear walking safaris in 1993 at Seal River Heritage Lodge, but their family history on the Hudson Bay coast goes back over 80 years. Blending luxury and wilderness adventure into 11 unique, all-inclusive polar bear walking safaris, Churchill Wild has garnered over 460 five-star reviews for their lodges on Tripadvisor, and numerous prestigious travel awards.

Your journey with Churchill Wild begins with a flight from Winnipeg to Churchill, Manitoba, where you will soon be able to stay at their newest property, the Blueberry Inn, before boarding a flight to one of their three fly-in polar bear lodges: Seal River Heritage Lodge, Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, or Dymond Lake Ecolodge. All three beautifully finished lodges were built with local lumber and refurbished materials and are powered primarily by solar. They are also located directly on the Hudson Bay coast, along the “polar bear highway” that the bears travel from July through November.

Seal River Heritage Lodge is situated 60 kilometers north of Churchill, and offers sightings of polar bears, beluga whales, Arctic foxes, and more. Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge is located 250 kilometers southeast of Churchill at a convergence of three different ecosystems represented by the Boreal forest, Hudson Bay, and the vast sweeping tundra plains, making it the only place in the world where polar bears, black bears, moose, and wolves co-exist. Dymond Lake Ecolodge, 30 kilometers north of Churchill, offers sightings of polar bears, moose, snowy owls, and wolverines. Northern lights are also seen regularly at the lodges.

A stay at any of the Churchill Wild lodges is characterized by exceptional comfort, warm, family-style customer service, and delicious tundra-inspired cuisine.

The Churchill Wild lodges offer cozy, well-appointed rooms with private ensuite bathrooms, beautiful timber frame lounges with fireplaces, and picture-window views of the Hudson Bay coast. The culinary experience at the lodges is based on the award-winning “Blueberries & Polar Bears” cookbook series written by Jeanne Reimer’s mother Helen Webber and her friend Marie Woolsey. Meals are crafted using locally sourced ingredients and fresh produce from their Prairie Wild orchard and gardens.

Walking with polar bears at the Churchill Wild lodges is a meticulously planned and safely managed ethical wildlife viewing experience. Their extensively trained polar bear guides are among the best in the world and lead guests on daily walking excursions, maintaining a safe distance and using a series of non-invasive deterrents to manage any overly curious bears. Their specially designed three-guide system and safety protocols have resulted in a pristine safety record spanning over three decades.

Churchill Wild’s commitment to excellence is reflected not only by repeat guests and its presence among luxury travel providers, but also in its numerous accolades. Both Seal River Heritage Lodge and Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge were among the original members of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection, and Churchill Wild has also received the PURE Life Experiences Award for Contribution to Experiential Travel, the Transat Sustainable Tourism Award, and several TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

Churchill Wild’s lodges are the world’s preferred destinations for filmmakers and professional photographers seeking rare ground-level encounters with polar bears and wolves. Footage from the lodges can be seen in films from National Geographic, BBC, and most recently the National Audubon Society, among others. Churchill Wild also has a very active social media presence on Instagram and Facebook — the latter of which features the Churchill Wild Women’s Travel Group — and additional social profiles including YouTube, Twitter, Threads, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

The allure of Churchill Wild’s polar bear safaris lies not only in the unique opportunity to walk with polar bears, but also in the exclusivity and immersive nature of the experience. Unlike traditional polar bear tours that rely on buggies or ships, Churchill Wild’s intimate ground-level encounters allow small groups of guests to connect deeply with polar bears and other Arctic wildlife in their home environment. This type of luxury is not about opulence, but rather the rarity and authenticity of the experience.

Churchill Wild sets the Gold Standard for polar bear tours and safaris. With its luxuriously remote accommodations, exceptional customer service, an unparalleled safety record, and the opportunity to see polar bears at ground level, it offers an experience that is immersive, exclusive, transformative, and rare.

For those seeking a bucket-list luxury wilderness adventure, Churchill Wild provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to walk with polar bears, and create cherished memories…

That will last forever.

Now booking for summer 2024 and 2025. Limited availability.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Churchill Wild.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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