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Some Of The Best Ways To Explore Churchill - Manitoba, Canada

Updated on August 13, 2013
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Canada happens to be among the best counties that most visitors desire to visit. Since it happens to be a part of the northern hemisphere, there is tons of snow. The sea and the natural beauty of this place make it a unique combination of heavenly beauty - almost a paradise on earth.

Churchill in Manitoba is world famous for its marquee summer activities mostly involving the exciting beluga whales. Apart from the thrills alongside the river, the place has much more to offer like snorkeling, kayaking, boat tour, tundra, historic sites and dog sled. The place is replete with entire modern-day infrastructure that enables you to enjoy the outdoor adventures thoroughly.

Source:by Nik, Juno inspiring Ann  Day 5: Mystic Aquarium, Marine Mammal Institute
Source:by Nik, Juno inspiring Ann Day 5: Mystic Aquarium, Marine Mammal Institute

The Beluga Whale Tour

More than 20,000 beluga whales, make the Hudson Bay home’s western portion their home every summer. Almost 3000 whales spend major part of their summer in the estuary where the Hudson Bay and the Churchill River meet.

What surprises you is the way these whales move their neck. They have un-fused neck vertebrae that can move their neck, laterally! This enables them to look at you directly face to face. Well, if you are not prepared for this direct approach it can come as a shock to you. It is difficult to come close to a calf whale when the mother belugas are around. The senior belugas are used to snorkeling challenges and cautiously maintain a distance of eight to ten feet from your gear nudging and directing their grey half-sized babies along with them.

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Snorkeling With The Sea Canaries

Snorkeling with these whales is an experience you will never forget. You can find all the gears you need for snorkeling here such as mask, snorkel, booties, hood, mitts and two 7 mm layering up wetsuits. You are taken in the midst of the estuary by a small zodiac. The moment you see a large pod, you have to get inside the water, pick up a towline and patiently hold on.

The experience is both thrilling and frightening at the same time. The moment the frigid water of the estuary hits your face, it distorts your vision and in a few seconds brightens up your conscience. Soon enough you forget about the cold surroundings when the chirpy vocalizations of the belugas hit your ear. These whales are also known as “sea canaries” for their vocal renderings. They also squeal, whistle and click.

The trip in the chilly water is fun as long as you can bear it- for an hour or even more. You can float alongside the belugas or stand watching them move beneath you losing in the wonderful world of the belugas.

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The Boat Tour

If you are not interested in putting your feet in the cold waters of the estuary, you can still enjoy your visit by opting for a whaleboat tour. You will be treated to a magnificent view of white whales and can spend good amount of quality time just observing their activities. The boat is a great comfort if the polar bears and the seals are also present. You can seek guidance of a local tourist a guide with the boat who can point out the presence of seals and polar bears.

If you simply want to have a relaxed time and discover nature's wonders as you are on the go, just seek guidance of all that you should remain prepared of. It is good to explore all by yourself but it is mandatory that you go prepared.

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Sea Kayaking In the Churchill Waters

Sea Kayaking is another must-have experience here. It is usually arranged via different travel and tourist companies. You can either follow the whale pods or start tapping your kayak or you can make your calls in your own style. These active belugas will definitely come to investigate your side of kayak. If you want to tap the belugas whales, you need to have bit information about their behavior.

These whales are small and live in shallow water. They travel in pods. You can observe them when they come up on the surface to breathe from the shores. Therefore, with belugas, patience is must.

If you intend to have, more fun you should get inside the water. However, always check for any beware signs informing presence of polar bears. You can opt for twin or single sea kayak and paddle around to visit the beluga pods that come up on the surface every now and then to feed on the capelin and breathing. You can arrange for a zodiac escort who can tow you back to the shores in case you get tired paddling.

A markerThe Prince of Wales Fort -
The Prince of Wales Fort,Churchill, Manitoba
get directions

The Prince of Wales Fort, a national historic site in Canada is a part of the boat tour. The place was designed to care for Polar Bear Fur Business

The Prince of Wales Fort

A visit to the Prince of Wales Fort of Wales-a national historic site is must while you are in Canada. This visit is a part of the boat tour. The Bay Company of Hudson built the Fort in 1700 with the aim to protect its fur-trade growth. The fortress is made up of stone and is currently undergoing restoration and preservation. You can see the archaeologists conducting research in the vicinity with masonry work going on continuously. A guide can properly explain you the various sections of the fortress and their importance.

The Prince of Wales Fort,  Hudson Bay ,The Churchill, Manitoba
The Prince of Wales Fort, Hudson Bay ,The Churchill, Manitoba | Source

Admire The Polar Bears

Usually, the polar bears come to these parts during the winter month of October-November. However, this world capital of polar bear also exhibits decent population of these bears even during the summer. Viewing the polar bear is a part of the whaleboat package. While you are visiting the fortress, you can come across group of polar bears right beneath the rocks down the fort.

Whether you catch a single polar bear, sitting alone on the rock or group of eight to ten the view is bound to be spectacular especially with the fortress as the backdrop. You can observe them from the fortress or from close quarters through your boat windows. Mostly the polar bear is a lonely animal and you rarely see them in groups. However, here in the Churchill River in Manitoba you can catch them in groups and see them playing together if you are lucky.

Source via commons.wikimedia.org  By Author Teresa from México
Source via commons.wikimedia.org By Author Teresa from México | Source
Common Redpoll at Churchill, Manitoba
Common Redpoll at Churchill, Manitoba | Source

The Special Tundra Tour

If you are really interested in exploring the whole river and estuary region, you can opt for a special Tundra tour. A Tundra Buggy of nine ton takes you through the polar-bear safe region letting you explore the vast and wide sub-Arctic Tundra.

The place is also known as birders paradise. More than 250 species of birds migrate or nest in this region. The place is famous for some native species like gyrfalcons, peregrine falcons, tundra swans, snowy owls, gulls and Arctic terns.

It also displays diversified range of flora. More than 400 plant varieties are found in this region, the most famous being the showy wildflowers. You can take a close view under the direction of your guide who will first check for the presence of polar bears before letting you get closer to these plant species.

edited by Vinita Amrit
edited by Vinita Amrit | Source

When is the best time to visit Churchill, Manitoba?

Services of tourism are available in both summer and winter.

If you are interested in snorkeling, kayaking and getting closer to the beluga whales then, the best time to visit is between July to August.

The winter season from October to November is prime polar bear season.

In this season, you can enjoy the frozen tundra tours, stunning Aurora borealis and dog sledding.

Foreign tourist must carry their passport and tourist visa documents with them.

A Spin With The Sled Dogs

If you started feeling that there is nothing royal about this destination, you can check out the adventures that runs the sled dogs both in summer and in winter. The only difference is that during the winter the dog sleds, while in summer season, they pull wheeled carts.

An adventure company that first founded the sled ride that is named Hudson Bay Quest. It was a 250 miles long spread sled race that runs from Churchill to Arviat. You can hear of this fascinating race from the other races while you are on the ride.

The ride is definitely thrilling and takes you to the replica trappers cabin that lay hidden in the bush capped with preserves and locally made bannock.

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    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 3 years ago from Australia

      This was a great read, that makes me want to pack my bags and book my plane ticket :) thank you so much for adding a must see to my list :)

      Voting up and sharing on!

    • profile image

      The Happy Guy Marketing 3 years ago

      Only problem...the map is a map of Yellowknife. I have never been to Churchill, but I have been to Yellowknife, and even at a glance I recognized the map.

    • VinitaAmrit profile image
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      Vinita Amrit 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hello The Happy Guy Marketing,

      Thank you for pointing out that error on Map. However, if you would notice carefully, I did pin it to "The Prince of Wales Fort - The Prince of Wales Fort,Churchill, Manitoba". I have no idea how did this turn in to Yellowknife. I guess you should ask that to Google. :)

    • Sharlee01 profile image

      Sharon Stajda 16 months ago from Shelby Township Michigan

      Well done, interesting read. Loved your photos.

    • VinitaAmrit profile image
      Author

      Vinita Amrit 16 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Rare are those who inspire others and you happen to be one of them.

      Thank you so... much

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