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Seal River Heritage Lodge, Churchill and Northern Manitoba, Canada

Seal River Heritage Lodge is located 65 kilometres north of Churchill, Manitoba. Built on the shores of Hudson Bay, near the Seal River estuary, it is home to some of the best whale and polar bear watching in the world. The lodge is only accessible by float plane or helicopter and has exclusive access to the surrounding wildlife. The Hudson Bay estuary, a short boat ride from the lodge, is home to thousands of beluga whales in the Summer.

Once you are checked in to the lodge, you can take advantage of its lovely sitting rooms, cosy fireplaces, expansive picture window and modern amenities. There will be other guests enjoying the experience with you (maximum 16 guests). Here you will be served full service gourmet meals, which are so good that they have even produced their own cookbook; try almond crusted Arctic char or jalapeno goose breasts!

In the evenings you will have plenty of opportunities to relax around the fireplace, enjoy a glass of wine and recount your day's experiences with the other guests. Whilst the lodge is very remote it has electricity for eight hours per day and also uses natural gas and wood heat to keep you warm. There is also a gift shop and a library with wildlife information and maps.

The guides are all experts in their field and include photographers, biologists and polar bear experts with whom you will not only watch the wildlife, but learn from as well. The remoteness and complete lack of tourist traffic ensures that the wildlife is relaxed in your presence. There is also a viewing tower to take in the expansive tundra landscape and its wild inhabitants.

Polar bears can be seen in the Seal River area throughout much of the summer. The bears, like people, are interested in the belugas (though for slightly different reasons) and they've been seen attempting to hunt the whales from coastal rocks. They are often found around Seal River Heritage Lodge - there is a theory that it might be the smell of Jeanne's cooking? Whatever the reason, you will be undoubtedly awestruck. For the more adventurous, it is actually possible swim with the belugas! The lodge supplies dry suits, and for those willing to give it a try, will be suited up with a full snorkel set, so that you can see them up close and personal. Belugas are among the friendliest of whales and are just as curious about people as people are about them! Together this forms one of the most unique and thrilling wildlife experiences in the world. Many guests regard their stay here as life changing.

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    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.