Belugas and Bears Adventure by Train

See belugas and polar bears on this summer train tour

Travel by train to Churchill where, during the summer, wildflowers are in full bloom and thousands of beluga whales congregate on the Churchill River. It's a haven for wildlife enthusiasts! If you're lucky, you'll spot polar bears too.

Suggested length

8 days / 7 nights


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When to go

August 2022, July 2023

Time on train

2 days, 2 nights

Highlights of your trip

Enjoy unique whale watching excursions

View sub-arctic wildlife and scenery from a Tundra Buggy

Spectacular photo opportunities aboard a zodiac boat

Exciting activities and guided tours

This trip has limited space and availability - book early!

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Search for Beluga Whales

Take two boat tours on the Churchill River and say hello to playful beluga whales.

Trip Itinerary

Speak to one of our Canadian Insiders about personalizing this trip. Some of our trips can be done in the reverse direction.
Indicates featured activities
Arrive in Winnipeg
Day 01

Arrive in Winnipeg

Your beluga and bears adventure begins in Winnipeg — the gateway to Churchill.

  • Winnipeg City Tour

    Take a tour of beautiful Winnipeg by bus, with stops at the Manitoba Legislative building, the historical exchange district, and the Forks — Winnipeg's most celebrated public space where the Assiniboine and Red Rivers meet.

VIA Rail - Depart Winnipeg
Day 02

VIA Rail - Depart Winnipeg

Board VIA Rail's Winnipeg-Churchill train and begin your journey north.

VIA Rail - Northern Manitoba
Day 03

VIA Rail - Northern Manitoba

Wind your way through Northern Manitoba's remote communities. Residents of these areas still use 'flag stops' to board the train, so don't be surprised if you see passengers waiting by the tracks. Keep an eye out for wildlife, too.

VIA Rail - Arrive in Churchill
Day 04

VIA Rail - Arrive in Churchill

Your journey on board VIA Rail ends as you arrive in Churchill. Only accessible by train or plane, this Manitoba town is a one-of-a-kind destination full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

  • Churchill Town and Area Tour

    On an interpretive bus tour, drive past various points around Churchill. You'll have a chance to photograph the Polar Bear Holding Facility, historical Cape Merry, as well as an impressive Inukshuk.

  • Itsanitaq Museum Visit

    Learn more about Inuit culture at the Itsanitaq Museum. The museum's collection of Inuit carvings and artifacts are among the finest and oldest in the world, dating from Pre-Dorset (1700 B.C.) through Dorset, Thule and modern Inuit times. The museum is also a great place to find unique, locally crafted gifts and souvenirs. 

Whale Watching and Tundra Buggy Adventure
Day 05

Whale Watching and Tundra Buggy Adventure

Today is action-packed! Look for beluga whales on a boat tour, then after lunch embark on an exciting tundra buggy adventure.

  • Beluga Boat Tour with Prince of Wales Fort Visit

    This afternoon you'll encounter hundreds of beluga whales on a boat tour into the mouth of the Churchill River before visiting the historic Prince of Wales Fort, the oldest most northerly stone fort in Canada.  

  • Summer Tundra Buggy Tour

    Today is an exciting excursion in a specially designed Tundra Buggy - the best way to rove across this rugged, sub Arctic landscape. You'll explore the Churchill Wildlife Management Area in search of summer polar bears and other wildlife such as fox and hares. Arctic wildflowers will be in full bloom, so have your camera ready! 

Beluga Zodiac Tour
Day 06

Beluga Zodiac Tour

Hudson Bay is home to over 50,000 beluga whales — around 4,000 of these migrate into the Churchill River during summer. Whizz down the river on a zodiac boat in search of these curious creatures.

  • Beluga Viewing by Zodiac

    Zip up and down the Churchill River looking for pods of curious beluga whales. This is a great way for an up close encounter as the playful whales congregate in the zodiac's wake. 

  • Parks Canada Centre Visit

    Visit the Parks Canada Centre, where you can discover more about Churchill's intriguing history. Explore the interactive displays, wildlife dioramas and historical exhibits.  

Dog Carting and Return to Winnipeg
Day 07

Dog Carting and Return to Winnipeg

Today is your last morning in Churchill. Go dog carting through the boreal forest before heading back to Winnipeg later this afternoon. 

  • Dog Carting Adventure

    This morning, enjoy a thrilling dog-carting ride on a specialized summer sled through the boreal forest. Your expert guide regales you with tales of arctic racing while you meet his loyal sled dogs. 

Depart Winnipeg
Day 08

Depart Winnipeg

All too soon, your Canada vacation comes to an end. 

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Get your personalized quote as prices vary by departure date, train-service level and hotel class. Prices shown are our lowest rates per person, based on double occupancy, and exclude taxes.
Comfort Level
Hotel Accommodations
3 Star
Activities and Wildlife Viewing
Fully Guided
Most meals included
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These are examples of the places you can stay on this trip. Please get in touch to discuss your options and to check availability.
Inn at the Forks hotel exterior, low-rise building with tree on the left side

Inn at the Forks

Example of a Superior hotel in Winnipeg

In the heart of downtown Winnipeg, right where the Assiniboine River meet the Red River, lies the Inn at the Forks. The hotel’s superb location means that the city’s top attractions, including the Forks National Historic Site, are all nearby.

Personalize This Itinerary

Here are some of the most popular ways to personalize this journey.

Explore Rockies by train

Explore Rockies by train

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Your Questions Answered

Find out what is included in your trip and have all your questions answered. We are here to help.

What’s Included

Hotel accommodation
Sleeper train experience in a private cabin
Meals whilst onboard the train
All meals whilst on your beluga and polar bear tour
Whale watching boat/zodiac tour
Wildlife viewing from a specialized Tundra Buggy
Unique guided activities such as dogsledding, cultural tours and more
Train station transfers
Flight from Churchill to Winnipeg
Electronic travel documentation package
Personalized Fresh Tracks Canada customer service support

Frequently Asked Questions

All of our overnight train journeys feature a private cabin on board the train. In addition, you'll typically enjoy the train's viewing areas, common lounges, and dining cars where you can socialize with fellow travelers.

It takes about 48 hours — two full days and nights — to get from Winnipeg to Churchill on the VIA Rail train.

Summer temperatures vary across Arctic regions, due to their elevation, topography and proximity to the sea. Expect temperatures anywhere from 0°C (32°F) to 15°C (59°F). Much of the precipitation at higher altitudes will fall as snow, although you’ll still be able to enjoy the rare Arctic fauna as round-the-clock daylight warms up the ground. You’ll see wildlife such as beluga whales, muskoxen, and even polar bears swimming amongst the icebergs.

Summer is the best time to see beluga whales. Nearly 60,000 of the adorable marine mammals migrate into Hudson Bay and the Churchill River between June and September.

It is possible to see polar bears wandering the taiga and tundra surrounding Churchill during the summer. The bears all come ashore when the sea ice melts and they spend the season resting, fasting and giving birth.

The polar bear migration is a special occasion, and it offers visitors a high probability of seeing the bears in the wild. Our specialized tour operators know the landscape extremely well, and will take you to places where bears are commonly spotted. There is no guarantee of a sighting, however.

A tundra buggy is a large, heated, all-terrain safari vehicle specially designed to travel over taiga and tundra landscape where polar bears live.

Summers in Churchill are mild. Anticipate daytime highs of about 19°C (66°F) in July and August, cooling off to 9°C (49°F) at night. Polar bear viewing season takes place in the fall during October and November. Temperatures vary, from daytime highs of 6°C (43°F) in October to nightime lows of -11°C (12°F) or colder in November. With windchill it can feel more like -20°C (-4°F).

Petit Champlain District of Old Quebec City
Limited Time Offer

Price Freeze On 2023 Trips

Book your 2023 trip now and take advantage of 2022 prices!

  • During this price freeze, enjoy early access to our 2023 rail-trip collection, with the best availability and trip options.

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Insider Tips

Manitoba has a slower pace of life and some of the friendliest people in Canada. While you may know it for its Polar Bear viewing, it's rich and culture and has some great festivals and events. If you prefer nature, the 1110,000 lakes will definitely have something to offer you!

Shannon B


Canadian Insider

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