Beluga whale

Whales by the Thousand

Churchill, Manitoba, known for its polar bears, is also the “Beluga Whale Capital of the World.” This remote Canadian village—accessible only by airplane and train—offers visitors an opportunity to see whales found solely in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters. In July and August, thousands of them make their way to the relatively warm Churchill River to give birth to their calves.

Nicknamed “sea canaries” for their high-pitched whistles, clicking, and chirping, these whales look from a distance like whitecaps as they continually surface and dive.  

You have several options for observing them. On boat tours, it’s easy to watch the whales as they swim just under the surface, their gray babies by their side. Zodiacs offer a particularly close look, because the whales come right up to them. Kayaking and paddle boarding are other ways to view these intelligent and curious mammals.