The Tundra Lodge is located on the subarctic tundra outside the small Canadian frontier town of Churchill, Manitoba near the edge of Hudson Bay. This unique, custom-built rolling hotel is strategically positioned in an area of high polar bear density at the beginning of each polar bear season, which runs from October through November.
Exclusive permits allow the Tundra Lodge access to the best bear-viewing area in a private and remote location. This location sits where the ice first begins to form on the bay, attracting polar bears at the very beginning of the bear-viewing season. Tundra Lodge offers an immersive and personalized Arctic wilderness experience, putting guests in prime polar bear habitat around the clock without sacrificing comfort. There is simply nothing else like it.
Tundra Lodge Review
AdventureSmith Explorations’ Tundra Lodge review includes a detailed description and photo gallery. Our adventure travel experts can help compare the Tundra Lodge with other Arctic land adventure lodges on Arctic tours and Canada adventure travel.
Choose the Tundra Lodge for a unique and authentic Canadian Arctic experience with unmatched polar bear viewing opportunities while enjoying the comforts of the lodge and the expertise of the expedition leaders. For wildlife photographers and enthusiasts, no place offers a better spot for coveted close-up shots of polar bears in their natural habitat.
Common Areas at Tundra Lodge
This custom “train” with two sleeping cars, a lounge and a dining car, is built on wheels, allowing it to be stationed for optimal bear viewing each season. The lounge car has plenty of couches and seating with sliding windows for easy viewing and photography access. There is a television with a DVD player in the lounge, as well as a projector for presentations.
The separate dining car has several communal tables all next to sliding windows, so you never miss the wildlife encounters. The professional chef prepares all meals in the open kitchen next to the spacious dining area. Coffee, tea and snacks are always available in the dining room. The bar provides beer and wine, but those wishing to drink other alcohol are allowed to bring their own.
To optimize up-close and safe polar bear encounters, there are raised outdoor viewing platforms with see-through steel mesh, allowing for a unique perspective to see below. The outdoor viewing platforms are also ideal for aurora watching when the northern lights are visible.
Activities at Tundra Lodge
Although polar bears often come directly up to the Tundra Lodge, specially designed all-terrain tundra Polar Rover vehicles are used on daily excursions to get up close to the largest concentrations of wildlife. In addition to polar bears, other arctic wildlife may include caribou, arctic fox, arctic hare, ptarmigan and snowy owls. The Polar Rover can accommodate 30 guests, but excursions are limited to 16 at a time, guaranteeing everyone has plenty of space to enjoy a window seat, angle for the best photos and enjoy a personal experience with the polar bears.
These vehicles raise guests safely above the bears without sacrificing viewing opportunities: the windows open for unencumbered photography, and there is a back viewing deck for an open-air experience of the tundra. The vehicles, utilitarian in design, are heated and equipped with toilets. Hot and cold beverages, along with picnic meals and snacks will keep you comfortable throughout the excursion.
During the evening, the expedition guides will give enlightening wildlife and cultural presentations in the lounge. On fortunate clear nights, the spectacular auroral borealis can often be seen while far out on the tundra, away from the lights of town.
Guides at Tundra Lodge
Ensuring the richest interpretive experience and exceptional personal attention, two expedition leaders guide this trip. Their in-depth knowledge and experience mean better, closer and more inspiring encounters with the northern landscape and its Arctic wildlife. These expedition leaders have been guiding polar bear trips for an average of 10 years each. They also receive additional training from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) scientists.
Accommodations at Tundra Lodge
This custom “train” offers two sleeping cars with a total of 32 rooms for guests. Each 4′ x 8′ room is a single compartment similar to sleeping quarters on a train, with either a single upper or lower berth. Each room also has a private window, storage area for luggage, small light, charging outlets and a winter parka and boots for each guest. There are six shared bathrooms, each with a flush toilet and sink. Four showers are also shared amongst the guests with shampoo, conditioner, soap and towels provided. These facilities are located between the two sleeper cars.