Polar Bear Question for fellow travelers that have Gone on this Tour

We have been on many Tauck Tours. Every year we look at the Manitoba tour, especially for the Polar Bear experience. Although all activities sound great like several have expressed, we are wondering: is one day enough for the Polar Bear excursions? Or would you have preferred to have at least a second day devoted to the Polar Bear experience?

Thanks in advance for your opinion on this.


  • It has been several years since I was on Tauck's Manitoba Polar Bear tour, but loved it (I have been on 42 Tauck tour to date). One of many interesting experiences on that short tour. One day the group was out on the Tundra with the transporter vehicle (we did see quite a few polar bears along the way). We stopped around midday to drink some hot chocolate on the transporter; I believe that most, if not all, of the windows on the vehicle were closed. While I was outside at the back of the vehicle, I heard a loud "thump." I looked around the side of the vehicle and saw this hugh polar bear up on its hind legs with its paws against the transporter and its face looking from the outside against one of the windows on the transporter. Apparently, it had smelled the hot chocolate and decided it was time for lunch! LOL. :-). I do not know whom inside the tundra transporter was sitting near that window, but he/she probably had a heart attack when that polar bear's face was at that window! LOL. :-). I am sure that one of those obsessed photo takers missed a golden opportunity then. LOL. :-)

  • tomh
    ... (I have been on 42 Tauck tour to date)

    Your 42 is the largest number of tours that I've heard of anyone having been on!!!

    What year was your first Tauck tour and what tour was it?

    Do you show up in any of those videos about the history of the Tauck company? Just kidding. You've been very lucky to live what is obviously a passion through your 42 tours. Hopefully you'll reach 50 before too long.

  • Smiling Sam, I was just talking about that trip yesterday! I have also seen the polar bears in Manitoba and it was a fantastic experience. Be prepared for ice cold weather. I do have to mention that we didn't go with Tauck; we went with Natural Habitat Adventures in 2004. As much as I love Tauck, I based my decision on how often we went out on the Tundra vehicle(s) to see the polar bears as well as other factors. It really is a small window in November. I know friends that went out on the Tundra for two days in a row and weren't able to see the bears and then on their third day, they were able to view them. It is not a guarantee that you will see the bears everyday. One day we were not able to go out because of bad weather and on that particular day, the helicopter ride was also cancelled. On one day, my husband befriended one of the small hotel owners and he took my family to see the polar bears at the town dump in Manitoba where there were several going through the trash! I don't know if anyone would do that now. We have traveled with various tour companies and our first Tauck trip was in 2008, Egypt and Jordan and we are still enjoying the Tauck lifestyle. You will also be able to see other arctic wildlife. I hope I answered some questions.

  • edited February 2022

    We went to Manitoba in 2016 to see the polar bears and wore our bright red Antarctica parkas, having just been in February...perfect weight and warmth. We were fortunate to see the bears and even two cubs with their Mama...It is a short trip but we loved it...the lodge is wonderful and loved the experience. Churchill is very modest, one street in length and quite remote as you can tell by the map. Like Our Travels said, it's cold but we were fortunate to enjoy sunny days and loved the experience!

  • We’ve come across people on other tours who highly recommended this trip

  • I'd like to echo OurTravels34. We also traveled with Natural Habitat Adventures, in 2007. We took bear excursions over three days, and each day was different ranging from "saw a few lethargic bears" to "experience of a lifetime." Your itinerary appears to have a full day on the tundra Day 3, and half a day on Day 4. That would give you two chances for favorable weather, favorable bear sightings. You'll have to decide which is more important: the top-notch trip planning and execution of Tauck, or a different tour company that gives you more chances to see bears. (Natural Habitat Adventures was excellent back then, we have no recent experience.)

  • Rick S. Fabulous pictures of the bears. They look similar to mine along with Arctic foxes and Arctic hares. We also traveled with Natural Habitat Adventures to Costa Rica and it was also a good trip. I still get their catalog. Weather permitting, you'll have an opportunity to see the Northern Lights. I"m not sure anymore if the post office in Churchill will stamp your passport with a Churchill bear. You might also see the Polar Bear compound where bears are kept when they meander into town and then transported back to the ice or tundra. We also had a wonderful tour of Winnipeg.

  • TRAVELAM28, some other good points brought up by OurTravels34: the possibility of seeing other wildlife (I was the only one on our trip who got to see an arctic fox) chance of northern lights (we saw them, but they were just a dim hazy green) and polar bear management in the town of Churchill (we saw them helicopter a sedated bear out of town). You will not regret this trip!

  • Rick S. OMG. Fabulous pictures. That arctic fox is adorable. Those bears are looking for food when they stroll into town and the townspeople have some pretty scary stories when they've encountered a bear like this. We were there in 2004 so quite a long time ago, and I also forgot to mention that we also did Natural Habitat Adventures in 2007 to see the Grizzly Bears in Alaska along the Katmai Peninsula; another wonderful experience. We've traveled with all different tour companies and, for me, it is the quality of the tour company as well as the experience. It can be hard decision as you mentioned to pick the right tour company for a specific tour, and on the other hand, this tour is very short and I wanted to see as much as possible. Also, except for dinner and drinks, there isn't anything to do in the evening.

  • edited February 2022

    Smiling Sam. A number of those 42 tours also included a few "Tauck Events" as well (Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, etc.). The first one (o/a 2008) was Tauck's Western Canada tour; I only planned to travel occasionally, but after the first one, I was able to take a number of different Tauck tours each year (being retired then). As a result, I have traveled with Tauck all over Canada, the U.S., and most of Europe until late 2018, when I had to stop for some Total Knee Replacements on both knees. I will repeat one of my Tauck riverboat cruise tours (I have been on 3 or 4 of them with Tauck in Europe, too) in December 2022, if the Germans and Austrians have there acts over there together by then ("Christmas Markets on the Danube riverboat cruise"). As long as the money and health hold out, I am hooked! LOL. :-). BTW, during one of my Tauck Events, I heard that there were at least two ladies who had been on more than 100 Tauck tours (they had traveled with Tauck with their husbands, when they were alive, and the ladies continued to travel with Tauck afterwards as well).

  • tomh - I wonder if those ladies with more than 100 tours even have a house. Perhaps they are the equivalent to people that I've heard that just live on cruise ships by booking cruises back-to-back-to-back...

    Now that you have good knees again perhaps you can pick up your pace slightly and shoot for that 100 tour goal.

    It seems like if anyone has taken 100 tours with Tauck that they should get one free tour per year for the rest of their lives!!

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