How to Plan a Trip to See Polar Bears | Brownell Travel

How to Plan a Trip to See Polar Bears


Getting to see polar bears in the wild is a bucket list adventure. These beautiful creatures live in the Arctic region and can be a challenge to spot – but not when you have partners like ours! Natural Habitat Adventures has been taking people to see the King of the Arctic for 30 years. Learn more about how to plan a trip to see polar bears and what Natural Habitat does differently below.


How to Go

A group of Brownell Advisors during a trip with Natural Habitat Adventures

You will want to plan your polar bear experience with a reputable, experienced company. Our partners at Natural Habitat Adventures are not only experts in polar bear trips, but they also have exclusive permits and custom-built Polar Rovers to ensure the best viewing.

Who Should Go

Even though a polar bear trip is an adventure in a remote area of the world, you don’t have to be in great shape to go. The trip is actually pretty sedentary, and you spend much of your time in the Polar Rover looking for polar bears.

When to Go

During this time of year, the world’s largest concentration of polar bears gather at the edge of the Hudson Bay waiting for the ice to form so they can hunt seals.

When to Start Planning

9-12 months in advance

Don’t Miss

Dog sledding in Manitoba



The dress is very casual during a polar bear trip, so there is no need to pack a ton. Natural Habitat Adventures provides boots and parkas, but here other items to pack:

  • Gloves
  • Binoculars
  • Hat
  • Layers
  • Comfortable, warm shoes to wear at night

Know Before You Go

  • It will be cold! You are going to see polar bears after all.
  • There is limited cell phone service and Wi-Fi when you get into the tundra.



  • Winnipeg: The hotel in Winnipeg is a charming, historic hotel.
  • Churchill: In remote Churchill, the hotels are much more simple but a comfortable place to rest after polar bear viewing.


  • Winnipeg: If you arrive a day early, you can explore Winnipeg and see the capitol building, nature preserve, and natural history museum.
  • Churchill: Polar bear viewing, dog sledding, wildlife spotting, native history


As soon as you land in Winnipeg, Natural Habitat Adventures will help you navigate the airport and get you to the hotel. From Winnipeg, you will fly via a privately chartered plane to Churchill with the other travelers in your group.

Polar Bear Viewing

To spot polar bears, you will go out in Natural Habitat Adventures’ custom-built Polar Rovers. These heated vehicles have a rear viewing platform and plenty of windows so you can spot the polar bears.


A polar bear peeking up at the rear viewing platform


Natural Habitat Adventures has only the best Expedition Leaders. You will learn all about polar bears, other Arctic wildlife, and natural history from the experts. On average, the Expedition Leaders have 10 years of guiding experience and are there to answer any and all of your questions.


Life in Churchill changes dramatically when the polar bears are in town! Did you know…

  • The population goes from 200 people to 2000 during polar bear season.
  • You can’t lock your car door in Churchill when the polar bears are around in case someone needs to get in your car for refuge from a polar bear.
  • There are volunteers that watch for polar bears during the day until 10 PM. After that, you must stay inside in case a polar bear is wandering through town.

Other Wildlife to Spot

Arctic hare, arctic fox, red fox, caribou, birds

Click here to start planning your adventure to see polar bears.

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