Travel to Churchill

There are a few ways to get to Churchill… dogteam, stowing away on a ship, driving a car up the rails… but the easiest options are flying or taking the train.  Here are some tips.

Last Update: January 2013



The only real inexpensive option for travel to Churchill is the Economy Fare by train. A sleeper on the train is actually almost as expensive as the flight from Winnipeg which is already kind of expensive. Still, polar bears, beluga whales and Hudson Bay are worth it when its all said and done.


Polar bears can be found on land from late July until late November with peak season occurring from October 25th until November 15th.


Beluga whales visit the Churchill River each summer. Here, you can go whale-watching or even snorkel with the whales.


I did not have a ‘life list’ before I moved to Churchill, now I own expensive binoculars and a bunch of bird books. A seven day trip in the spring can result in 100 plus species…


34 Responses to Travel to Churchill

  1. Ruggero says:

    Hi, wonderful blog full of infos! Thanks for the help you give us travellers :D
    Just one question, we are planning to go to Churchill and see polar bears the 8th and 9th of October 2014, we will book with Great White Bear Tours, is it too much early?
    It will be our “once in a lifetime” travel …

  2. Howard says:

    Thanks for this. My wife and I are planning a trip and we really want to see Polar Bears and other wildlife. However the only time we can come is end of Fevruary and the begiginning of March and having read your article and the posts I understand it’s not a good time. Will we be able to see any Bears? (or whales?)

  3. Pam says:

    Hi, going to Churchill this Oct and wondering if Thomson is worth a one night stop on route? Any advice is appreciated.

  4. Jill says:

    I am planning on going to Churchill October 14th, now I read that the best time to go is after October 25th. Not sure whether to cancel?

    • munck says:

      Peak polar bear viewing is the end of October, early November. October 14th would be considered ‘early’ but there should still be polar bears and there would be other wildlife viewing opportunities as well.

      All depends on where you are going – Seal River is good early in the season, Tundra Buggy has the best chance at viewing early season arrivals…

  5. ティファニー 店舗 says:

    Cheers! Loads of tips!

  6. Nos ha parecido interesante la web, volveremos sin duda, un saludo desde salamanca,

  7. Thank you so much for taking free time in order
    to publish “Travel to Churchill | Polar Bear Alley – Guide to the Polar Bears of Churchill”.

    Thanks yet again -Jean

  8. nan says:

    I am planning to go to Churchill during this coming Christmas with my girlfriend. I am living in Ottawa now so basically our departure location is Ottawa. I check the flight from Calmair. They have the flight from Ottawa directly to Churchill, which is even cheaper than to Winnipeg. Is it possible and better we fly from Ottawa to Churchill directly?

    • Helen says:

      While this is not a response to your question I am keen to know if you saw any polar bears during your trip in December 2012.
      We are planning Christmas in Winnipeg this year (from Australia) and want to visit Churchill.
      Hope you can help.

  9. Sam says:

    Is there cable tv in Churchill? I won’t go anywhere without Fox News

    • Smart A says:

      Don’t waste money and time by traveling! Stay at home! Who wanna watch TV at an amazing holiday town !!!!

  10. chowanietz says:

    Could you help me to find an accomodation in Churchill for 3 nights in October.
    All the hotels I have tried, seem already full.
    Is there an Internet site, which could give me the rooms disponibility in Churchill

  11. Alexandre Wells says:

    If you want to know about churchille, there is this video I found, about “life in churchille”… URL is:

    If you want to know about via rail, and what they offer, you can use their website… This is the Winnipeg- Churchille train page. From here you can find the schedule, accomadations, menu, activities, as well as the tourist info for Winnipeg and Churchille. URL:

  12. Jocelin Kagan says:

    Does Churchill have a supermarket? If so I would so appreciate its telephone number and /or email address.


  13. Jianfeng Geng says:

    I’m planning to go to Churchill in January, could you give me some suggestion?

  14. Howard Geer says:

    I didn’t actually stay in Thompson, but fellow train passengers did & they said they left their car at the Days Inn with no parking fee after they stayed there. I would give the hotel a call if you are thinking of doing this.

  15. Jayson Kuang says:

    I still hav a question, if I drive form winnipeg to thompson, where can i park my car safely, then enjoy the train?

  16. ahmad SG says:

    Thanks for the info, very useful!!

    Also, James is right… cost and duration are simple things to search… show some initiative folks…

    Here is a Q better suited… when is the best time to go to Churchill?

    I can go one of the next two upcoming weekends… here is to hoping that it falls in the range! :-)

  17. Pingback: Canada Railroad Travel: VIA Rail Canada | Simply Wanderlust

  18. James says:

    All of the folkes here asking questions need to show a little initiative and get the answers yourselves. It’s not hard. Life must be easy when others just do things for you.

  19. mizza says:

    i live in michigan and im planing to get on a train from Windsor to Churchill ,( i want a great journal on a train

    do u have any idea how much does it cost for round trip (viarail)?

  20. David Busuttil says:

    I am planning a trip for two,can you tell me the best time to go either early or late september?Can you tell me how much it will cost for two tickets from Thompson?Thanks David.

  21. Roberta says:

    As a local woman who has travelled by train my whole life I can give one more suggestion on what to bring on the train, I never get on the train without lysol wipes or some reasonable substitute. Some one in their infinate wisdom thought men and women should share washrooms on a moving train and for some reason men feel they need to stand to use the toilet.

  22. John Tolmosoff says:

    We will be in Winnipeg around June 15 , 2011.
    Can we travel to Churchill on a road on my SUV ?.
    Or do we travel by train ?.

    • Me says:

      You cannot travel by SUV or car to Churchill. Train or airplane are the only options from Winnipeg.

    • Tim Ednie says:

      there is’nt any roads going to can drive to thompson,mb and take the train from there,or you can take the train from winnipeg.another option is to fly on calmair,but you miss the experience of the total wilderness…

    • Cassie says:

      You cannot drive to Churchill, you need to either drive to the pas or Thompson. Then take the train or plane.

  23. Frank Fidyk says:

    Could you please advise departure times Winnipeg to Churchill and return for month of October 2011. Also cost for two senoirs sharing a bedroom.

  24. carmen says:

    Could you please send me departure times from Winnipeg to Churchill for the month of April/May 2011
    Thank you, Carmen

  25. Connor Woods says:

    I am into animals if you catch my drift ;) and I was wondering if there is a special deal where you could get an hour alone with a polar bear? anything goes? also is parking free?

  26. munck says:

    Surprisingly, I haven’t come across this request until now. I’ll check on the parking deal.

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