At first glance, the frozen little Canadian town of Churchill doesn’t suggest much in the way of a terrific vacation spot.
Located in northern Manitoba, Churchill is a small town at the southwestern crook of the Hudson Bay. No road goes there, only a single rail line and a handful of flights per day during the “tourist” season. It’s bitterly cold during the winter months, while summertime finds it uncomfortably infested with mosquitos. Words like “desolate”, “flat” and “remote” could equally be applied to its existence. Shopping -- more accurately called "outfitting" -- is limited but fun. It's a standard issue, run of the mill, northern Canadian village which annually hunkers down against the cold
But what makes Churchill unique, what makes the town a destination special to travelers, is its place in the world of nature. During the winter months the town is ground zero for the polar bear communities’ annual migration onto the frozen Hudson Bay in search of their favorite food source: seal.
Our tour took us out, onto the tundra, to the Tundra Buggy Lodge. Frontiers North offers two different Tundra Buggy experiences: one is based, as ours was, out in the lodge. Though a bit more expensive than the town-based tours, staying on the lodge gives you a better sense of arctic isolation, and a head start on the bear watching as other groups come in from town. The lodge avoids that, since it’s based right next to one of the roads that the buggies traverse.