Visitors to Churchill on the coast of Hudson Bay in Northern Manitoba, known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World”, will have another unique way to view beluga whales up close starting next summer.
Earlier this month, the local tour operator Lazy Bear Expeditions unveiled their new tour boat that owner and founder Wally Daudrich said is „the only one in northern Canada with under-the-sea viewing windows below deck, providing next level adventures for guests“. This enhancement brings an exciting new way to experience viewing beluga whales and other aquatic life as never before in Churchill.
The 23-metre catamaran cruise vessel is named after First Nations leader Matonabee who guided the English explorer and fur trader Sam Hearne in the 1700s. It carries up to 65 people and features comfortable seats, large windows, a spacious viewing deck, a fully serviced galley complete with espresso machine, as well as two large wheelchair-accessible washrooms. It has the unique ability to deploy rigid inflatable boats (Zodiacs) for both exploration and viewing expeditions into remote areas of Hudson Bay that are closer to shore. Underwater lighting allows to perform evening cruises where guests can take in beautiful displays of the northern lights. The $6 million project took 3 ½ years to complete.
Daudrich and Manitoba’s Premier Heather Stefanson christened the new boat by smashing a bottle of sparkling water against its keel at a dry dock near the Port of Churchill.
Lazy Bear Expeditions has been operating in Churchill for nearly 30 years. The Churchill tour operator creates incredible opportunities to see the subarctic wildlife, including - but not limited to - beluga whales, polar bears, bearded seals and more, as well as other natural wonders like the Aurora Borealis.
During polar bear season in autumn, their wildlife viewing is carried out by Arctic Crawlers on land. In summer, guests are taken along the coast of Hudson Bay by boat, offering great chances to discover polar bears and other subarctic animals - including the friendly beluga whales – from water. The curious white whales can also be encountered particularly close by kayak or AquaGliding™ adventures on floating mats.
Guests of Lazy Bear Expeditions stay at the rustic Lazy Bear Lodge, centrally located in Churchill. Hand-built by Wally Daudrich, the family-run log cabin-style lodge has 33 comfortable rooms and is home to the cozy Lazy Bear Café.