FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Churchill is a small remote community in northern Manitoba, Canada roughly 110 kilometres (68 miles) from the Manitoba and Nunavut border. Churchill is along the Hudson Bay at the mouth of the Churchill River on the 58th parallel north far above most Canadian populated areas. Churchill is far from any other towns or cities, with Thompson, approximately 400 km (250 mi) to the south, being the closest larger settlement. Manitoba’s provincial capital, Winnipeg, is approximately 1,000 km (620 mi) south of Churchill. The small community stands at an ecotone, on the Hudson Plains, at the juncture of three ecoregions: the boreal forest to the south, the Arctic tundra to the northwest, and the Hudson Bay to the north. Churchill lies just south of the parallel of Stockholm, Sweden, and just north of that of Inverness, Scotland.
Churchill is named after John Churchill in1686, the 3rd governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Duke of Marlborough.
There are no roads into Churchill and although the town is accessible by air (and rail maybe in 2018?) it is sometimes difficult making travel arrangements. Please remember that travel in northern Canada is unpredictable; please confirm flight time within seven days prior to departure. Purchase travel insurance for remote area.
Calm Air International flights to Churchill from Winnipeg (Manitoba’s capital city)
for reservations or travel information: Call 1-800-839-2256 (the only airline for Churchill) www.calmair.com
VIA Rail Canada Inc. For reservations or travel information: 1-888-842-7245 or www.viarail.ca
Automobile Thompson, Manitoba is accessible by vehicle. Contact Grey Goose Bus Lines at (204) 982-8747 for prices and scheduling if you wish to travel by bus. Private vehicles can be securely stored at the Thompson City Hall, (204) 677-7910, parking lot with 24 hour security (donation required for local charity) or McCreedy Park Campground, (204) 778-8810, for a nominal fee per day (transportation to and from train station is included). McCreedy Campground is also the only option for large vehicles and RVs. It is an eight to nine hour drive from Winnipeg to Thompson. The next day, fly with Calm Air to Churchill Call 1-800-839-2256.
TRAIN TRIP TO THOMPSON: Visitors can travel by VIA Rail to Thompson, Manitoba. Overnight in Thompson and the next day, fly with Calm Air to Churchill. Call 1-800-839-2256.
TRAIN TRIP TO CHURCHILL (MAYBE IN 2018??) Travel VIA Rail1-(888) 842-7245 www.viarail.com Book your two-night (36-38 hour) journey from Winnipeg to Churchill, at least one week in advance to receive a discount. Also inquire about special rates for seniors and students. If traveling coach, bring a pillow, blanket, ear plugs, bottled water and some entertainment…cards, books, music, etc. Reasonably priced food is available onboard the train, but you may wish to bring some healthy snacks!
AIRLINES TO GET YOU TO WINNIPEG (BUT NOT TO CHURCHILL)
Air Canada (800) 247-2262 www.aircanada.com Canada’s major flight provider offers service throughout Canada
Westjet (888) 937-8538 www.westjet.com Westjet offers affordable, customer-driven service and service many Canadian cities.
All international travellers are required to have passports to enter Canada. Well before your departure, visit the Government of Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration website for more information: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp
If you are a non U.S. citizen check with your local authorities for documents required for entry into Canada. Please visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp for information.
All travellers to and from the United States are required to have a passport. For more info visit: http://travel.state.gov
Visitors are advised to exchange their funds at any financial institution and/or can also use U.S. money as it is readily accepted in Manitoba and in Churchill.
NOTE: You will not be able to exchange any of your currency into Canadian currency once in Churchill unless you have a Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) account with the bank. Visa, Master Card & Interact are widely accepted but not AMEX.
The WIFI in the subarctic can be slow so patience has to be exercised. The Churchill Public Library has several computers available for use but limited to 30 minutes. Accommodations facilities in Churchill have free WIFI.
YES! Please bring your water bottle from home and fill up with the local tap water. No where on earth do we need to purchase plastic water bottles which end up polluting ecosystem.
There is no Laundromat in Churchill so expect to pay for laundry services in Churchill at your accommodation facility.
All tour times are determined around the tides. There are two high tides in 24 hours (12 hours apart) and two low tides in 24 hours (12 hours apart). Thus, the tours are determined around a high and a low tide within 12 hours. The high tide is roughly 6 hours apart from the low tide.
Roughly the tour times move up an hour because the tide times change daily by about one hour.
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun and the rotation of Earth. Therefore, Mother Nature is the BOSS! She tells us when we can put our boats on the water and when to take them off due to the tides. We cannot change the tour times you have to change your itinerary in order to meet the tides. We do advise to book all the water tours first and then book land tours around the whale tours because land tours are not subject to tide limitations.
Yes, you can do a high tide tour and a low tide tour in the same day. High tide tours are: Beluga & Fort, Sloop Cove, Estuary, Snorkel and Private Zodiac charters. Low Tide Tours are: Kayak and Paddle Boarding
4° to 9°C (39.2 to 48.2 Fahrenheit)
No more than six snorkelers in the zodiac and our average is 5 snorkelers in the zodiac. Four snorkelers in the water at one time.
Bring your bathing suit and contact lens (for snorkel mask if you wear eyeglasses). You will NOT be able to wear anything else underneath the 7mm wetsuit. Change room and towels are available at the dock.
Kayaking is a low tide tour so you will get some mud on your shoes. Therefore, do not wear shoes you do not want to get dirty. Water shoes, sneakers or boots are all good. Wear comfortable upper body cloths, not something that will restrict you from paddling. Bring sunglasses (polarized are the best), base ball cap and gloves if you have. Always have your camera on a lanyard. If you do not protect camera it may get splashed at your own risk.
June 7°C (44.7 Fahrenheit)
July 12.7°C (54.8 Fahrenheit)
August 12.3°C (54.1Fahrenheit)
It is possible to see polar bears but it not guaranteed.
Yes, you can see the Northern Lights on a clear night sky.
June average daylight 18.02 hours.
July average daylight 18.22 hours.
August average daylight 16.45 hours
Last estimate 2017 is 6000 beluga whales
60,000 beluga whales.
The best time is starting July 10 to August 24 for the beluga whales.
- Binoculars (water-proof case)
- Polarized sunglasses (cuts water glare)
- Long sleeve shirts
- Short sleeve shirts
- Long pants
- Wind-breaker jacket
- Hat, scarf, gloves (good to have in case it is cold in the boat)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Plastic water bottle or thermos
- Insect repellent (some black flies and mosquitoes)
- Sunscreen/UV protection
- Day pack
- Swimsuit (if you plan to swim or snorkel)
- Eye blind to use for sleeping as some find it hard to sleep with so much daylight, even in the night