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Event Dates: August 9-14, 2023
Total Cost: $3,039.00 CDN
Imagine hiking the coast of western Hudson Bay, an ancient and rugged landscape where boreal forest meets Arctic tundra. Daily walks will lead you through a wide variety of habitats, including tundra, boreal forest, inter-tidal zone, fen, beach dune, and coastal pond. Walk from Sloop’s Cove to Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site, tracing the footsteps of first peoples and early European fur traders. Included are visits to the Parks Canada Interpretive Centre and the world-famous Itsanitaq Museum, an afternoon of kayaking, and evening presentations on topics in northern ecology. And there might be a chance to see a polar bear or aurora borealis! This is our most active program, offering the full magic of a Churchill summer.
As you arrive in Churchill, you will be greeted by a staff member from the CNSC at the airport or train station. If you’ve arrived early in Churchill to get a head start on exploring we will meet you at your accommodations. Once gathered, we will leave the town of Churchill and make our way to the CNSC located 23 km east of town in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area.
After arriving at the CNSC, you will be welcomed and checked in. Settle into the space with an orientation to the LEED-certified facility, and then head out for your first outdoor adventure! A tour of the Research Rocket Range will give you a historical overview of Canada’s only research rocket range, and the Ramsay Trail will take you through the forest tundra and a discussion of the ecology of the plants and animals that make this area their home. Soak in the wild sights and sounds of the Subarctic before you head back just in time for dinner! Dinner will be provided onsite at our wonderful and spacious cafeteria, where there is always something good cooking! After dinner we will have our first lecture which introduces us to beluga biology, and gets us excited for our day tomorrow!
After breakfast we make our way over to the science side of the building and our Rocket Greens display cabinet. There we will be able to see where Churchill’s very own fresh greens are grown and harvested every week from a hydroponic system – learn about the important sustainability initiatives happening at the CNSC while getting a taste of something delicious. We then depart the CNSC and make our way over to the Port of Churchill for a Port Authority Facility Tour, and learn about the history and current state of the Churchill Port. After the tour we will have a lovely picnic lunch on the beach and get ourselves ready for some kayaking! After an orientation by Sea North, we will get into kayaks and spend the entire afternoon kayaking with belugas! Kayaking with the whales is a unique and special way to get to know these whales. For those who are feeling adventurous (and have a great sense of balance),stand up paddleboarding is offered as an alternative to kayaking. Back at the CNSC we will be having dinner followed by a lecture on flora and fauna of the low Arctic – This will prepare us for tomorrow’s adventures!
We will start our morning extra early, so that after breakfast we are able to depart the CNSC to Sea North Tours where we will be having an orientation to today’s tour. After a quick river crossing by zodiac, we will arrive at the historic Sloop’s Cove, overwintering site of explorers. From here we’ll walk along the shore to the Prince of Wales Fort, learning about the historic and ecology of the area as we walk. The hike will take all morning, and we will be having picnic lunch at the beach to continue taking in the sights and sounds of our outdoor adventure. We will then head out to Goose Creek where we will tour the area and have a chance to climb the observation tower to look out over the creek – keep your eyes peeled for some of the hundreds of species of migratory birds that use this area in the summer! Dinner will be held back at the centre, followed by a lecture on Arctic ecology.
After breakfast one of our in-house research staff will give us an overview of current research going on at the CNSC. We will then depart to go to Twin Lakes, where we will spend our morning hiking and exploring the area, especially the boreal forest! After lunch back at the CNSC we will go on a green building tour of the CNSC and then head out for a walk along the Hudson Bay coast and explore a bit of the surrounding natural area! Dinner will be held back at the centre, where we will end our evening with a lecture on polar bears and caribou.
We will depart the centre after breakfast to head into town, where our first stop will be the Cape Merry National Historic site tour, followed by the Parks Canada interpretive tour at the Railway station. Lunch will be held in town, followed by an interpretive tour at the Itsanitaq museum, where we will learn about Inuit history and explore various carvings, tools, and artefacts throughout the museum. The rest of our afternoon will be spent exploring the town, where we can go around shops and explore the streets! In the evening, our final dinner will be held back at the CNSC, where we will be treated to a cultural presentation and a farewell gathering before our final night.
After a final breakfast at the CNSC we will check out of our rooms then transfer to train, plane, or other accommodations. Make sure to look out as you head your way to your final destination and take one last look at the wild Subarctic environment before you head on to your next adventure!
Please note that this is a sample itinerary only. All inclusions listed will be offered but may happen on different days than listed and may be slightly different than described. Lecture topics will vary depending on the guide and their area of research. Occasionally due to events beyond our control certain activities may need to be delayed or cancelled for safety reasons.