Even though the train was inactive this summer the wildlife and sights in Churchill were out of sight..well not really, they were very much in sight…but you know what I mean. These summer round – up photos are a summary of what Churchill summer is all about… iconic landmarks with incredible natural beauty. Sometimes we take this environment for granted though it never fails to expose more treaures every season. Can’t wait for this polar bear season to give us more wondrous sights and stories!
Beluga in the Churchill River with sun streaks through the clear water. Alex De Vries – Magnifico photo.
Ice floes on the coast in Churchill. Alex De Vries Magnifico photo.
Miss Piggy with a sky full of northern lights. Alex De Vries Magnifico photo.
Sunset over the Precambrian shield. Alex De Vries- Magnifico photo.
Inukshuk in Churchill at sunset. Alex De Vries – Magnifico photo.
Beluga in the clear Churchill River. Alex De Vries – Mgnifico photo.
Enjoy this awesome short video from National Geographic with interesting facts about majestic Beluga Whales and their environment. Churchill Summer travelers are currently experiencing these magnificent animals right now in the Churchill River and Hudson Bay. We will be posting updates, photos and videos from Churchill periodically as the summer progresses. Stay tuned for all the exciting news from the “beluga capital of the world”!
The Photo of the Week comes from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut taken by Dustin IInik. The magnificence of the northern caribou herd is striking when viewed across the wide open tundra of northern Canada. I personally, at some point, would like to try and film footage from within the migration itself by possibly rigging a fixed camera in a position where it wouldn’t get destroyed. Churchill summer and Arctic summer on the whole reveal incredible wildlife experiences that show themselves when you least expect them to. Enjoy!
Dorota Walkoski of Great White Bear Tours captured this harbinger of spring image in Churchill. Caribou, snow geese and Canada geese fill the landscape and feed on the bounty which the north provides this time of year! Bountiful Churchill summer will be upon us soon and avid explorers will flock to town for birding excursions, beluga whale charters and tundra exploring in search of fox, polar bears, Arctic hare and even wolves. This summer on the Hudson Bay is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent years. Stay posted for all the news and photos from the north!
Traveling from Winnipeg to Churchill to experience the incredible natural wonders found in the frontier town has limited options. You can, of course, fly via the small airlines and hope the weather provides a window in and out of Churchill. You cannot drive, unless you have ample time and are on a four wheeler or a dogsled…closest you can get is Thompson or a bit farther on gravel road. In fact, my favorite mode of travel is by train.
When I guided Churchill Summer beluga whale adventures for about 10 years, I would take the train one -way, as Natural Habitat does now in summer and winter both, with small groups of 12-15 travelers. The memory that stays with me the most from those days is without a doubt the interactions with thousands of beluga whales in the chilly waters of the Churchill River and Hudson Bay. I still feel the pull to return each summer as if I were the one migrating to warmer waters as the whales do from the Hudson Straits in the north.
However, the other thrill that clearly stands above many of my most treasured memories is the train journey from Churchill to Winnipeg. The anticipation for each trip would build until we boarded, in Union Station in Winnipeg at around 9:00pm at night. Traveling northwest through some prairie – land into Saskatchewan and back into Manitoba was better done at night. Once morning arrived and the group was waking in their sleeper births the landscape changed to more deciduous trees and slowly transition into boreal forest then taiga and tundra. Lakes and rivers were all over the land as we slowly rocked north and slowed even more as permafrost rested below the tracks.
All in all the trip was scheduled for 36 hours though quite often an additional four or five would put us in Churchill around noon or later. This allowed for guests to sleep in and enjoy a nice breakfast on board while Churchill slowly appeared on the horizon. What a way to ease everyone into “tundra time” as Churchillians call the calming pace of life in town. By the time we reached Churchill everyone was more able to search patiently for wildlife on land as well as enjoy the surreal interactions of beluga whales on the water.
This video filmed and produced by Natural Habitat Adventures guide Brad Josephs during a northern lights trip this season gives an inside and outside view of one of the most exciting and relaxing trips on rails you can experience! Whether the landscape or wildlife or even northern lights are your passion, chances arise throughout the journey to experience all or some of these.