Churchill Manitoba?

I am trying to plan a unique honeymoon and I thought it might be fun to go to Chruchill.

Has anybody been there?
What are your thoughts on it?
Anything not worth seeing?
What were the highlights?
For those who don’t know, Churchill is a town in Northern Manitoba that’s famous for it polar bears. The honeymoon has to be in August, so it’s not polar bear season, but it is beluga whale season.

If you have been there, would a tour be better or just go on our own and plan our own trip? I found a tour that sounds alright, but maybe a bit rushed.

Then there is this company that offers a 2 hour snorkel with the belugas trip, which sounds great, but we couldn’t do that if we were on the tour.

Is a tour the way to go? Or should we just plan the trip on our own?

If you are interested in spending a few nights shaking, rattling and rolling in a room that shakes, rattles and rolls, book a sleeper compartment on the train.

Hmm that just might be a good thing :smiley:

i loved churchill. wouldn’t mind moving there. it is a nice little town.

i went during polar bear season, so of course i saw polar bears. we were out on the tundra most of the time. when we were in town there were shops to look through, and it is a walkable place. you could always watch ships and boats.

Haven’t been there, but have thought about it. Haven’t really looked into tours, but have researched transportation. You have a couple of options, maybe more airlines, but not at work and can’t check our database. You’d need to get to Winnipeg first. From there, Via Rail runs a train with sleeper compartments. Since it’s a honeymoon, don’t even think about a berth or single bedroom -no privacy in a berth, and a single bedroom has a bed that’s fit for a dwarf that pulls out from the wall and leaves your legs under a bulkhead like being in a partial coffin. Don’t even think about showering on the train - when I did the trip from Montreal to Halifax, I took one look, felt the roll and heave of the train, and decided I could wait until the hotel to do that!

But I digress. Option two is flight, and Calm Air has service to Churchill.

Both options might include a forced overnight in the 'Peg due to timing. Not that that’s a bad thing, there are several airport hotels, and downtown hotels are about a $20 cab ride including tip.

I’m curious as to where you come from that makes Churchill seem like an exciting trip destination?

This seems more of an opinion thread to me.

Moved from MPSIMS to IMHO, and I’ll fix the title while I’m at it.

I’ve spent a great deal of time in Churchill during the past couple of years. I was there just a couple of days ago. The company that I work for has a base of operations at Churchill airport.

It’s a quiet little town with some interesting stuff to see and do. If you’re interested in Canadian history the Hudson Bay Company, the fort, rocket base and port are all remnants of the development of the region and the country.

The landscape and wildlife are unique. Churchill is at the very edge of the tree line. People come from all over the world to see polar bears of course, but there are also some pretty serious bird watchers. The beluga whales are quite a sight. The northern lights are spectacular, but timing is everything as they are not always visible or present.

Personally, I wouldn’t think about taking a train. It’s very slow over the tundra and one mile looks just like the next. However, if that’s your thing don’t let me talk you out of it. But long and uncomfortable and long.

Shameless plug - Kivalliq Air also provides direct service from Winnipeg 6 days per week. No Saturday overnight required. PM me if you want further details.

If I was you, I would make my own travel, hotel and tour arrangements. Package tours are good quality, but you will pay a premium. If you were going on a bear tour in the fall, I would say go with a tour package. Shouldn’t be a problem getting hotel rooms in August, but don’t wait until the last minute.

Keep in mind that Churchill does not have the amenities of a city. There is no cell service (yet). There is a hospital, but if you have anything more than a broken arm, you’re getting airlifted to Winnipeg. Make sure you have insurance covering air ambulance transportation. There are a couple of taxis, but rental cars are few and far between. A couple of restaurants with reasonably good food.

Cost? Expensive. Maybe prohibitive. The tourists who make their way to Churchill are typically wealthy and seasoned travelers. Weather is usually decent, but cool. Be warned that weather systems move into the region and sometimes last for days at a time. This can affect sightseeing and travel arrangements. Be prepared to be flexible with travel.

As you noted, bear season starts a little later in the year, but there may be one or two around for you to see. Be wary if you are out on your own. Polar Bears are smart hunters. And they do hunt humans.

I suggest that if you are going to go to Churchill that you do so because you’re passionate about the idea of going there and research the things that you want to see and do. I think you can see and do most everything once with 3 or 4 full days in town.

Let me know if you want any additional information.

Wow, thanks for all the info!

I will chat with the fiancé tomorrow when he gets home from work.

Here is the back-story for this trip.

My family is from BC, his is from Ontario and we live in Alberta. In the planning stages of the wedding he would joke about having it in Manitoba since it was halfway in-between our families. He insisted that Churchill was the place it should be.

We’re not really tropical beach type of people and currently without passports. So I wanted to do something a bit different within Canada.

I looked up Churchill and fell in love with the idea.

I’ve been to Churchill and there’s really nothing there. Oh sure there are things to see but any town has “Things” to see, you can always find somethings to do. The polar bears are hardly worth it to look at. Go to a zoo to see a bear. The bears come in, on their migration and raid the dumps. You can see that at Yellowstone. So you can see the big grain elevators, big deal. Like I said you can FIND something to see but there’s nothing worth your money

My father used to go to Kenora, he loved it (that’s how we got up to Churchill, I wanted to go) but there’s nothing really there either. It’s a tiny town way up north. There’s a lot of outdoor things and such, but really it’s not worth it.

I would go to Alaska or Whitehorse or other Yukon towns (Dawson is cool) at least you can see real history of the Gold Rush there. Or go further and see the great north and go north of the Arctic Circle, (at least you can say "Hey I’ve been North of the Arctic Circle.) Or try Iqaluit capital of Canada’s newest territory Nunavut. At least they have, Eskimo stuff there.

The only really cool thing being that far north is perhaps you can see the northern lights (but you can see them from Northern Minnesota) or just how long it stays light in summer.

I actually preferred the northern Alaska towns.