Churchill Polar Rovers


After our charter flight from Winnipeg to Churchill, we "boarded" a giant Polar Rover to head out to the Tundra to see Polar Bears and other wildlife. These are BIG vehicles (originally used for airport crash rescue and modified by Don Walkoski at Great White Bear Tours) that carry up to 40 people and are built like tanks. Since Churchill is Polar Bear Country, safety and reliability are critical. We had 29 on our trip, but split into separate groups for the day trips, so there was always plenty of room. The viewing experience is phenomenal with the large sloping front windshield, side windows, and a rear deck area where you can actually have a Polar Bear breathe on your hand!

Polar Rover "stuck in traffic" on the Tundra! ;-)

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Polar Bear says hi to our driver Devin from two different camera angles

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Our School Bus pulls up next to the Polar Rover for an easy transfer

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Cynthia and Gary about to board the Polar Rover

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Polar Bear Guides Rinie and Leah with smaller Polar Rover - mouseover images to see in action

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Devin did a great job driving the 4 days we used the Polar Rover - super guy

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Beautiful landscape through the front windows of the Polar Rover

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Hudson Bay behind the Polar Rover

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Lots of room in the Polar Rover - mouseover image to see closeup

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And when Polar Bears are on the left side, everyone just slides over!

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So it's very easy to stick your big camera lens out the side windows of the Polar Rover

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Devin, Rinie, and Leah served up a darn good lunch

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Even while eating lunch, we were seeing and photographing Polar Bears

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Jan says the cookies were especially good - mouseover image to see her taken another!

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There is a restroom on board as you can't "go" outside where the Polar Bears are
Mouseover image to see Rinie "demonstrate" how it is used! ;-)

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Rinie was always on the lookout for Polar Bears

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Other Polar Rovers out on the Churchill Tundra

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Devin transfers some trash in the middle of the Tundra

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Russel and Bonnie taking pictures on the back deck of the Polar Rover in the late afternoon

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Russel checking his Nikon DSLR - mouseover image to see him take a picture

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Lots of room on the back deck for Bonnie to join in with her Canon DSLR - mouseover image to see closeup

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Jan on the other side of the Polar Rover back deck

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Polar Rover in action on the Tundra in Churchill, Canada

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Polar Rover in action

Russel silhouetted as the sun is about to set - mouseover image to see closeup

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Bonnie captures the sunset from inside the Polar Rover - mouseover image to see closeup

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Clive, Bonnie, Will, Jill and everyone had their cameras out for the glorious view

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Jan and Cynthia take a break to pose for the camera

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Approaching the Tundra Lodge (where I stayed for four nights) outside of Churchill
Mouseover image to see without Polar Rover brake lights

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Polar Bears are still active at night

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The group split in half for day trips - Leah does some show-n-tell for us

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Will was quite the character and with his white beard, even looked like a Polar Bear!

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The Polar Bear Skull was pretty popular

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Valerie thought the Polar Bear Stuffy was the Cat's Meow! ;-)

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An old wooden lookout tower on the Tundra

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A mirage on the snowy Tundra due to temperature inversion - mouseover image to see it change

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Solitary Polar Bear - mouseover image to see 'em walk across the Tundra

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Mouseover image to see closeup of Polar Bear tracks

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Danielle took this wide-angle picture

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Leah and Jill also taking pictures of the Polar Bear prints in the snow

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Another Polar Rover stops for a Polar Bear ... they have the right-of-way! ;-)

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This Polar Bear approached us from behind

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It then passed us - Jan takes a picture - mouseover image for wide-angle view

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Jan has no worries about waiting for the Polar Bear - note 2nd one over her left shoulder

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The next morning, Devin is ready to take the Polar Rover out before sunrise - mouseover image for landscape picture

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Janet "brings up" the sun as we board the Polar Rover

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Departing from the Tundra Lodge (back right) as the sun comes up

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Devin "checking traffic" as he backs up the Polar Rover

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TRAFFIC JAM - Polar Bear in front of the Rover! ;-)

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Polar Bear (and his buddy) get up to check out the Rover - mouseover image to see 'em finally get down

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Polar Bear says hi to our driver Devin
Mouseover image to see another camera angle

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Paul taking pictures of the polar bear spectacle

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Janet, Russel, Marjorie, Clive, Brent, and Bonnie were also photographing it

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Later that day, Paul says "hello" to a Polar Bear standing up to the back grate
The Polar Bears will even breath on your hand as seen in this video! ;-)

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Some fighting Polar Bears behind the Rover

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Polar Bear researchers out on the Tundra

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The Polar Rover's huge front windshield provides a nice view of Sunset on the Tundra

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Jill taking pictures with every camera she has

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Polar Bear Guide Rinie and Driver Devin

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A rare picture of Devin without his hat on - mouseover image to see it back on while driving

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Devin stepped out to lock the hubs, so I grabbed the wheel! ;-)

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Polar Rover after sunset from the Tundra Lodge with town lights of Churchill in the background

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Polar Bear saying "hello" to the Polar Rover driver!
Mouseover image to see another camera angle

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Tundra Lodge Staff Beverley, Ed (taking picture), and Jocelyn say goodbye as we depart on the Polar Rover

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Everybody took pictures of them and also our Polar Bear Guides Leah & Rinie

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Hi-Def Polar Rover Videos: driver - passengers - Polar Bear roadblock - at sunset - nighttime Polar Bear roadblock
We spent a lot of time on the Polar Rover and needless to say, it was pretty darn cool. Our other "home away from home" was the Tundra Lodge where we spent four night.
Comments on the Polar Bear Pics - send me an Email with your questions/comments - how to order prints