Beluga Whale Tour
Thousands of beluga whales descend upon Churchill every summer and this two day Beluga Whale Tour with Classic Canadian Tours is the perfect way to enjoy this amazing experience.
The charter flights to Churchill will depart from a private departure lounge in Calgary. After your flight you will venture out onto the Churchill River and experience the beluga's, the historic Prince of Wales Fort and the beauty of the Canadian north. Enjoy an evening at the Lazy Bear Lodge and the midnight sun.
The second day, the town of Churchill and the tundra is yours to explore. A cultural and heritage tour takes you to historic Cape Merry, where the Churchill River spills into the bay. Several short hikes can be taken along the coastline before our flight returns home, non-stop to Calgary on Sunday evening.
The port town of Churchill, Manitoba has the flavour of a northern Arctic community. Historically the town was the meeting point between the Inuit/Dene and some of the first European explorers and later fur traders. A large stone fort, Fort Prince of Wales, was constructed in the 1730's to protect British and Hudson Bay Company interests. The French captured the fort in the late 1700's and destroyed many of the walls. The fort was reconstructed by Parks Canada starting in the 1930's.
Churchill also lies within 5 different ecological zones. These include wetland, tundra, boreal forest, freshwater and marine coastal ecosystems. Within Hudson Bay there are an estimated 57,000 beluga whales. Every summer 3,500 beluga whales utilize the Churchill River. They come to give birth to their calves, moult their outer white skin and feed on breeding capelin, a small smelt sized fish. They show no fear and readily approach the tour boats.
In addition to the marine ecological zone there are 4 other major zones worth experiencing. (Marine, tundra, northern boreal forest, Hudson Bay lowlands). There are large flocks of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and song birds. While Churchill is better known for its fall concentration of polar bears, the bears sometimes can be spotted at a distance during the summer. The Churchill area also contains interesting geological formations, palaeontology deposits (fossils) and remnants of the last ice age (permafrost, polygons, raised beaches, isostatic rebound).
Churchill also has a long military history that ran from the 1950's to the mid-1980's. Of particular interest is the Fort Churchill Rocket facility from which 3,500 rockets were launched to test the aurora borealis. The town also has a wonderful Eskimo museum, a historic Anglican Church that houses the Lady Franklin window and a variety of souvenir shops, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Visiting Churchill during the summer will never be easier. Join Classic Canadian Tours for a Beluga Whale Tour departing from Calgary. In 2017, we offer one tour from Calgary departing Thursday, July 6th.
Brian Keating is our guest naturalist on this tour.