Venturing North on the WestWorld Tours Churchill Explorer

This tour is offered annually – information on next year's tour available soon.

 

In July 2016, Garry and Sharon Nerbas journeyed on the week-long WestWorld Tours Churchill Explorer. Churchill, Manitoba is at the juncture of three ecoregions – the boreal forest, the arctic tundra and Hudson Bay.

The area has 250+ species of birds, and, a variety of animals including rabbits, foxes, wolves, lynx, moose, caribou, whales, seals, otters, walrus, and polar bears. In the fall, polar bears move from inland toward the shore looking for food – sometimes directly through town.

Manitoba Conservation has established a year-round Polar Bear Alert Program, with a 24-hour hotline, that locals can call when a bear is spotted near or within town. “A Conservation Officer was on site in Churchill to protect the residents and visitors,” explained Garry. If a polar bear wandered into town, for the safety of the people and the bear, the bear would be captured by conservation officers and temporarily housed in the polar bear jail until it could be released safely.

There were no polar bears in town when we visited, but, I snapped a great photo of a female bear and her cub walking along the shoreline while we enjoyed the Tundra Buggy outing,” said Garry. The Tundra Buggy vehicle allowed for safe viewing of the polar bears in their natural habitat.

Garry and Sharon loved the whale watching expedition through Sea North Boat Tours. “It was an unforgettable experience - seeing these beautiful, white whales, and hearing them communicate with each other underwater - via an underwater microphone,” explained Garry. Beluga whales can grow to up to 18 feet long and weigh up to 3,500 lbs.

Another highlight for Garry and Sharon was an excursion to Fort Prince of Whales. Originally built from logs in 1717, the fort was named the Churchill River Post. In 1719, the post was renamed Fort Prince of Whales and in 1731 construction began to convert it to stone. “There were cannons mounted on the stone walls surrounding the fort that were used for protection back then,” said Garry.

Other stops on the tour included shopping for souvenirs at the Arctic Trading Company which sold leather goods and furs, and traditional Inuit artwork and wall hangings, plus hand-carved sculptures made from soapstone, antler and ivory. They also visited the Itsanitaq (Eskimo) Museum which has a large collection of Inuit art and historical artifacts that dated back to 1944.

We had a great time,” said Garry. “WestWorld Tours handled all of the details so we could just sit back, relax and enjoy!”

Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with this northern Canadian adventure! Visit www.westworldtours.com.

 

 

Garry and Sharon Nerbas at Churchill standing in front of an Inukshuk, a figure made of piled stones constructed by the Inuit.

 

 

Garry took this photo of a female polar bear and her cub walking on shore near Churchill.

Garry and Sharon saw and heard the underwater sounds of a pod of beluga whales while on the Sea North Boat Tours expedition.

This tour is offered annually – information on next year's tour available soon.