During October and November in Manitoba, all eyes turn north to Churchill. The sleepy frontier town (pop. 900) along the shores of Hudson Bay swells in population, transforming into a hot spot for wildlife-seeking travellers geared up to witness the annual migration of polar bears onto the sea ice. Churchill, nicknamed 'the polar bear capital of the world,' is the most accessible place on the planet to view polar bears in the wild. While visitors can see bears any time from July through to November, it's the autumn months that are traditionally considered prime viewing. The normally solitary polar bears, who have been lazing about all summer long, start to socialize along the shoreline as the cold weather descends. They are eager for the sea ice to form so they can resume feasting on seals all winter long until the spring ice thaw in June.
There are a variety tours for viewing polar bears in Churchill in October and November. Deciding on which one is best for you all depends on your level of adventure, your desire for exclusivity....and (let's be honest) your budget. Here's a guide to help breakdown the ways that you can join the polar bear party: