Churchill, Manitoba is called the “polar bear capital of the world”. There are about 15,000 polar bears in northern Canada, and 1,200 or so of them pass by or through this town from September to November. The town is located where the Churchill River flows into the Hudson Bay, and the bears gather there, waiting for the ice to freeze so they can start hunting for seals – and …most importantly, get their first good meal in months!
We all know that hungry bears are dangerous, and that can create some problems for people in Churchill. They used to shoot the troublesome bears, but now there is a 24-hour Polar Bear Alert Program to keep track of intruders, and believe it or not, they have a bear jail where offenders are locked up until the bay freezes over. If the jail gets full, pesky bears are trapped – then flown out of town by helicopter and released where they won’t cause trouble. I find this fascinating!
We have found that the most fundamental element of fully enjoying an outstanding nature expedition is in a small group environment. By limiting registration for this Interlude to ten guests, we ensure that each and every individual has plenty of space to spread out, angle for that perfect photo and completely enjoy that once in a lifetime, up close and personal experience with the polar bears!
However, before you go exploring the Polar Bears, you will be staying in the very old, but extremely elegant Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg. Built to provide first class accommodations at major rail stops, the 1930’s hotel boasts the distinctive green copper roof, stone walls and a beautiful, highly polished marble lobby. As was the custom, the rooms are small by today’s standards, but you will find every detail perfectly achieved. The sumptuous linens and gorgeous pillows make the bed exceptionally comfortable and please be sure to take advantage of the collections of soaps and lotions! The staff is well trained to be helpful and pleasant and attend to your every need.
Among the many extraordinary services offered are 24-hour room service, as well as a 24-hour Concierge, complimentary high speed WiFi internet, and complimentary laptops for Internet access at the front desk. They also boast a fully equipped fitness center featuring an indoor pool, whirlpool, steam room, and jogging track plus a Spa offering a luxurious full complement of therapeutic and rejuvenating facial and body care treatments. Every explorer needs a little pampering.
I have it on the best authority that frequent guests of The Fort Garry praise the hot buffet breakfast — which has become somewhat of a legend. The Gallery & Gift Shop is open around the clock for confectionaries and grab-n-go snacks, while the Palm Lounge is the place to relax with live jazz nightly as well as light culinary fare – if you are so inclined. You will be well positioned to begin your expedition with the Polar Bears after this elegant beginning to your tour.
Please review the complete itinerary and don’t be left out of this small group excursion. The Polar Bears will delight you and the hotel will enthrall you and that’s only a sampling of all that is included in this adventurous Interlude; dog-sledding, museums, and maybe even the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Don’t dally or you could easily miss your chance!
Eadie, Interlude Blog Team
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