As the northernmost of Manitoba’s great rivers, the Seal River flows freely, unhindered by dams and other developments. Its path spans 260 km from its source (Shethanei Lake) to Hudson Bay, yet it is roughly 200 km from the coast that the waters are first greeted by eager and unexpected ambassadors of the ocean: harbour seals. In this location, the river’s namesake animal likely strays further from their marine environment than anywhere else on earth. Carving a path east through untouched subarctic forest, the surrounding landscape plays host to black bear, wolf, fox and wolverine, as well as moose, beaver, otter, eagle, osprey and boreal songbirds. The scents of spruce and lichen mingle as the landscape transitions to tundra and to the peat rich soils of the Hudson Bay lowlands, North America’s largest wetland.

This trip is run in co-operation with Black Feather.

Trip at a Glance

Whitewater wilderness canoe trip
Length: 16 days
Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Dates: July 1 to 16, 2021
Trip Fees: $7695 CAD
Trip Rendezvous: Thompson, Manitoba
Trip Departure: Churchill, Manitoba

Trip Description

Our trip on the Seal River will start with a charter float plane into Shethanei Lake. From here, we’ll head downstream, tracing the watercourse to Hudson’s Bay. We will encounter some rocky ‘pool and drop’ rapids, a number of small canyon sections and some longer rapids that are technical. As we will be paddling in early season, the water could be fairly high and cold. As we near the coast, the trees will dwindle, and we’ll enter the Arctic tundra. We also expect that there will be a healthy supply of mosquitos and black flies! At the coast, we’ll meet our boat shuttle across Button Bay to Churchill. During this ride, we’ll have our eyes peeled for Polar Bear and beluga whales. Once in Churchill, we’ll check into our hotel for a hot shower and enjoy a dinner and overnight.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 Thursday, July 1st, 2021 - Travel to Thompson, Manitoba
 - Pre trip meeting, gear check, dinner, overnight in Thompson (own expense)

Day 2 Charter to Seal River
 - Breakfast, charter flight to Tadoule Lake
 - Set up camp, canoe skills review

Day 3-14 Paddle the Seal River
 - The Seal River flows through a mix of boreal forests at the southernmost edge of Canada's tundra. Because it travels through this transition zone, the river travels through dense forests, as well as portions of the barren and rocky subarctic wilderness. The Seal River offers an outstanding wilderness white-water canoeing experience that only a small number of adventurers undertake each year. The challenging river trip includes cold-water lake paddling, long sets of rapids and a boulder-strewn tidal estuary. Hikes to the tops of eskers reward visitors with a 360 degree vista of a totally natural environment. We will camp each night on a rocky outcropping, or by a sandy esker. Finally, we will arrive at the tidal estuary, where we will meet our boat shuttle across Hudson’s Bay to the town of Churchill.

Day 15 Thursday, July 15th, 2021 - boat shuttle to Churchill, Manitoba
 - Optional Group Dinner and overnight in Churchill (own expense)

What is Included in the Trip Price

•Guides - 5:1 ratio
•Trail Meals
 • Excellent meals from Day 2 lunch to Day 15 lunch
 • Snacks
•Canoeing Equipment:
 • 17’ Prospector expedition canoes
 • Paddles, PFD, helmets (you may bring your own)
 • Throw lines and other safety accessories
• Camping Equipment:
 • Tents - free standing custom expedition dome tents - 2 per tent
 • ‘Kitchen’ - tarp, fire box, cooking stoves, utensils, dishes, etc
•Safety Equipment:
 • First aid and repair kits, communications equipment (satellite phone)
 • Canoe rescue gear
•Local Transportation:
 • Charter flight to Tadule Lake on Day 2
 • Motorboat shuttle from the mouth of the Seal River to Churchill on Day 15
 • Transportation of guides, group gear, canoe etc to and from trip

What is not Included in the Trip Price

• Manitoba tax: 12% of the trip fee
• Personal clothing and gear - a recommended clothing & equipment list will be provided
• Travel between your home and the trip rendezvous - Thompson and Churchill, Manitoba
• Accommodation and meals in Thompson and Churchill (Day 1, Day 15)
• Any additional expenses or costs incurred as a result of delays to the trip caused by factors beyond our control - i.e. wind, waves, unsafe paddling conditions, forest fire, pandemic, etc
• Any costs associated with your emergency evacuation from the trip - please contact us at CRCO for more information
• Gratuities - we recommend $12-$15 per day per guide

The weather is affected by it’s proximity to Hudson Bay, and the area gets most of it’s annual precipitation in July. Expect temperatures to range from freezing (0 C) to 30 C, but averaging from 15 to 20 C. A good rain suit is recommended along with thermal protection, paddling suit, wet suit or dry suit.

Frequently Asked Questions

YES, we highly recommend you to purchase 1) Emergency Medical/Evacuation Insurance, 2) Trip Interruption Insurance and 3) Trip Cancellation Insurance. Many credit card companies offer limited interruption/cancellation insurance, so please consult with yours before you book your trip to ensure you are adequately covered. Please also note that some types of insurance are only valid if they are purchased within a short time of making a non-refundable payment towards a trip. More information about these can be obtained through your preferred insurance provider. Prior to confirming your trip’s departure, we will ask you to sign a waiver stating you have either purchased adequate insurance or that you will be personally responsible and financially liable for any costs incurred as the result of any delays/cancellations/evacuations to you on your trip.