Polar Bear Photography Tours in Churchill Manitoba

Join Churchill Polar Bear Photography Guide and Wildlife Photographer Michael Bertelsen for an incredible opportunity to photograph Polar Bears and other Arctic wildlife at ground level.

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Safe with Mom
This polar bear photography workshop is specifically designed for the serious wildlife photographer looking for high quality images of polar bears, arctic hare, red, arctic, silver and cross fox. Willow and rock ptarmigan, gyrfalcons, snowy owls, wolves, wolverine and the northern lights. Churchill is the world's premiere location to experience migrating polar bears. On this trip you will be on the ground, eye level with the bears. Michael Bertelsen is a trained and very experienced Manitoba licensed guide with WMA permits. Michael has worked with National Geographic as well as BBC Films. He will offer you the very finest possibilities to capture stunning images of the animals that call Northern Canada home.

Quality not Quantity
Small groups of only 5 photographers shooting on the ground, With only 5 in a group, this allows everyone access to a door in the 4X4 van. Very important for a quick exit to photograph a fast moving fox or bear. Or for safety if a bear is approaching and we must enter the vehical quickly. With such a small group, this will also offer the ability to move and choose a better background or angle. Overall feeling is more intimate. Feel more in tune with the surroundings and its species.

Safety and
Michael has 15 years experience guiding and guarding photographers for Polar Bears. Five of those years was spent in Northern Hudson Bay working with and learning from Inuit guides. Understanding bear patterns and behaviour is the key to success and safety. Both Michael, Julia & Erik carry firearms for safety but have yet to use them in the Churchill area.

The Churchill lodge is exclusive to our small group of photographers. Quiet times are between 9pm and 5:30am (no doors slamming & people talking in the hallways) thus allowing everyone a restful sleep. Each room has a private 3 piece bath and refrigerator along with comfortable beds and individual thermostats for personal preference. There is a communal kitchen and room for gathering, working on images and sharing stories about the day.

Equipment Recommendations
Wide angle lens for landscapes & northern lights. Your most used focal length for wildlife will be in the range of 300 to 600mm. If possible bring 2 camera bodies and a sturdy tripod.

Clothing Recommendations
Temperatures range from +2C to -20C during this time. Insulated boots, warm winter coat, insulated pants to wear over your inside pants. large warm mitts, thin gloves you can use camera buttons with, warm hat and wool socks.

Other Considerations
Low to medium level of fitness is required. Very short walks in snow depth of less than a foot. Icy conditions may occur. Bathroom breaks are available throughout the day.

Itinerary for 6 Day Trip
Day 1
Morning fly from Winnipeg to Churchill, Manitoba. Michael & Julia will pick you up at the airport and take you directly to the lodge. One hour safety and orientation and some winter photography tips. Coffee, tea and a light snack is provided before you head out in search of polar bears. Each evening a dinner is planned at one of Churchill's finer restaurants.
Day 2,3,4 and 5
Early breakfast then out in search for polar bears, arctic fox, cross fox, silver fox, red fox, arctic hare, snowy owl, gyrfalcon and ptarmigan. Possible wolves and wolverine as well. All day landscape photography if light and clouds offer the opportunity. Break for a short lunch then we head back out for the afternoon and evening shoot. Dinner together and review the day. Northern lights are a possibility when the sky is clear. Michael will offer an in-field Aurora workshop.
Day 6
More photography in the morning. Michael and Julia will take you to the Churchill airport where you will fly back to Winnipeg.

Price Includes:

All WMA permits and licenses.
Personalized photography Instruction offered at all times.
Continental Breakfasts.
Use of communal kitchen and common room.

6 Day trip includes 5 nights accommodations.
5 Days of photography(4 full and 2 half days)
7 Day trip includes 6 nights accommodations. 6 days of photography (5 full days and 2 half days).

Not included:
Alcoholic drinks, and snacks.
Hotel rooms in Winnipeg.
All flights to and from Churchill.
Lunch (typically guests purchase their own snacks at the local grocery store and eat in the field. If we are close to town we may have lunch at the lodge.)
We don't supply dinner. With no meal plans you can choose anything on the menu. Please join Michael and Julia for evening meals at Churchill's best restaurants. Michael has lots of good stories and bad jokes to share with you.

Available Dates

7 Day Trip - October 12 - 18, 2024 - $6,745.00

6 Day Trip - October 18 - 23, 2024
- $5,745.00

6 Day Trip - October 23 - 28, 2024
- $5,745.00

6 Day Trip - Oct 28 - Nov 2, 2024
- $5,745.00

7 Day Trip - November 2 - 8, 2024
- $6,745.00

6 Day Trip - November 8 - 13, 2024
- $5,745.00


Booking Terms
6 Day Trip
Cost $5,745.00 cdn funds + 5% Manitoba tax
$2,000.00 cdn deposit required at time of booking.
Remaining amount due 90 days prior to departure date.
Single occupancy available for $1,025.00 + 5% Manitoba tax.
7 Day Trip
Cost $6,745.00 cdn funds + 5% Manitoba tax
$2,000.00 cdn deposit required at time of booking.
Remaining due 90 days prior to departure date.
Single occupancy available for $1,200.00 + 5% Manitoba tax.

Payment, Registration and Refund Policy A deposit is required to reserve your spot. Once the deposit is received your spot on the trip is confirmed, and an email that includes a detailed itinerary will be sent to you. Balance in full is due 3 months before the tour start date. A reminder will be sent to you via email, but it is the sole responsibility of the participant to remember this due date. If the balance is not received in time, we will attempt to fill your spot from the waiting list. If the spot is filled, you will receive a credit towards another trip. deposit. Fees are based upon double occupancy. Single rooms can be arranged for an additional cost if they are available. We do our best to pair participants up with a roommate, but if a roommate is not found, the single occupant will be charged for the single supplement. Checks can be made payable to Wild Outdoors Limited and sent to Michael Bertelsen P.O Box 1012, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, R0B0E0. Payment can be made through Paypal (add 3.5% surcharge) or e-transfer

Travel Insurance
Whenever travelling with Wild Outdoors Photography travel insurance and health insurance is highly recommended.

Wild Outdoors Photography does not accept responsibility for any losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike or other causes. The tour participants shall bear all such losses and expenses. Wild Outdoors Photography will take all reasonable steps to ensure that services provided are of high standard. Wild Outdoors Photography will not accept liability for physical injury, loss, damage or expense resulting from
circumstances beyond our control. By agreeing to participate in a Wild Outdoors Photography workshop, each participant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless Wild Outdoors Photography, its agents, employees, shareholders, directors, attorneys, and contractors as more completely set forth in the liability waiver that will be provided. The waiver must be signed and received by Wild Outdoors Photography prior to participation.
Contact Michael if you have further questions or to check availability and to request a booking.

Michael, Thank you so much for all your assistance with the shoot and for being so accommodating with the many questions we fired your way. Katy and Tom both had a great shoot with you and they really valued your knowledge and expertise. Looking forward to working with you again, Susan S, BBC FILMS

I am a first time participant in one of Michael's workshops and boy did I luck out and choose the right one. First of all, I am veteran of photography workshops and this was by far one of the best for many reasons which I will summarize. We had a small group of wonderful people who got along extremely well (large groups are hard to shoot with). The transportation and lodging was prearranged including airport pickup personally. He arranged our wonderful meals and he was our driver, guide, bear guard and entertainer all in one. Michael is extremely affable and easy to talk to and ask questions and he pointed out tips in technique when necessary. He always ensured we got first crack at the shots before he even pulled out his camera. Foremost, he is an honest and ethical nature photographer. We had such a great time together and had so many memorable photo ops that I am going to sign up for more of his workshops. Thank you Michael! Karl C

Michael, A short note to say THANKS! I had a great time. The photo opportunities were fantastic. Your help on where to stand or kneel was invaluable in taking some great photos. Let the post processing begin. Randy S

It was an exciting and fantastic trip. You and Julia did a fantastic job making all of us feel at home and comfortable in Churchill. My guys couldn't be happier. In fact you were able to put together a group that was fantastic. I am still missing my daily poached eggs!! BTW, I am getting some great shots but the silver fox on Saturday afternoon was not the same fox we saw in the week! Please keep in touch. Cheers, Bill B

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