Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge

Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge

124 Kelsey Boulevard, Churchill, Manitoba Canada
Arctic fox
Traveller (150)
Our food sure smelt good to everyone!!
Dining (13)
Lodge is located in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area, the middle of polar bear country
Room & Suite (9)

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4.5
#2 of 5 lodges in Churchill
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.3 of 5 bubbles
Value
The Tundra Buggy(R) Lodge, situated in the heart of polar bear country, offers an unique, immersive experience where guests can fall asleep and wake up with polar bears right outside the window. The lodge consists of two brand new (2012) accommodation units, a lounge and cafe, and staff quarters. Viewing platforms connect each unit and allow for outdoor photography. Situated far from the lights of town, the Tundra Buggy(R) Lodge is the perfect place to view bears all day long and have optimal northern lights viewing at night (weather permitting). The lodge is also equipped with exterior field lights that enable us to continue to watch the bears even after the sun goes down!
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Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Wifi
Free breakfast
Breakfast buffet
Non-smoking hotel
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Quaint
Luxury

Location

124 Kelsey Boulevard, Churchill, Manitoba Canada
Getting there
Somewhat walkable
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 60 out of 100
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Metropolitan Area Airport
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Detailed Reviews
Gregory K wrote a review Oct 2022
Port Saint Lucie, Florida144 contributions46 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Just completed the 2 nights Winnipeg, 1 night Churchill, 3 nights on the Tundra Buggies excursion. Everything went very well. Our guide, Bryan, and driver, Alex were very knowledgeable and worked very hard to make sure all 20 guests were well cared for. The staff on the Lodge Buggies also provided great service and the food far exceeded expections, especially considering where we were. We were fortunate to see Polar Bears, Artic Foxes, and Willow Ptarmigan each day on the buggy excursions. With only 20 people on the buggy designed for 40, we had plenty of window access for watching or photographing the animals.
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Date of stay: October 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Frontiers North, Agency / Consultant at Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge
Responded Oct 31, 2022
Hi Gregoryk682, Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are elated to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and staying out at the Tundra Buggy Lodge. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the hospitality and food during your adventure. We will pass along your review to Bryan, Alex and our Tundra Buggy lodge staff. Kind regards, Frontiers North Adventures
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Gillian Chase wrote a review Aug 2021
Winnipeg, Canada12 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Spectacular experience seeing many polar bears in their natural habitat. Highly recommend Frontiers North. Their trained eyes could spot the bears far off on the horizon, and they would kill the motor on the buggy to allow the bears to come to us if they chose to, and to keep the experience as natural as possible, for us and the bears.
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Date of stay: October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
DS14640 wrote a review Oct 2023
Cockeysville Hunt Valley, Maryland117 contributions31 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was a life-changing experience for my son and me. Seeing polar bears in their natural habitat was simply extraordinary. Our guide Ward and Tundra Buggy driver Markus were incredibly knowledgeable and a pleasure to be with. We saw polar bears, including a mother and her cub, artic fox, red fox and a variety of birds. The accommodations in the lodge were great; although you sleep in bunk beds with shared bathrooms, it's actually very comfortable and the service and food are excellent. Frontier North is the company that you should use when visiting the polar bears of Churchill. They innovated the concept and have it down to a science. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
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Date of stay: October 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Alex Cupeiro, Agency / Consultant at Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge
Responded Nov 15, 2023
Hello, Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are elated to hear that you enjoyed the expertise of Tundra Buggy Driver Markus during your time out on the tundra. We are glad that you had a comfortable stay on the Tundra Buggy Lodge and enjoyed the dining experiences. We hope you will visit us again someday. Kind regards, Frontiers North Adventures
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Sarah B wrote a review Nov 2022
Toronto, Canada22 contributions14 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
If going to Churchill for the Tundra Buggy polar bear experience the Tundra Buggy Lodge is a must stay!
What a fantastic experience! 5 star food and very cozy accommodations.
The staff is top notch and very lovely.
Joyce is one of the happiest hospitality workers I have ever met. She truly loves her job!
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Date of stay: November 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Bring ear plugs if your a light sleeper. And maybe an eye mask as there is no window covering in...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Frontiers North, Agency / Consultant at Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge
Responded Nov 7, 2022
Hi H5032PPsarahb, Thank you for sharing your experience with us we are elated to hear you enjoyed your accommodations and dining experiences at the Tundra Buggy Lodge. We will pass along your praise to Joyce. Kind regards, Frontiers North Adventures
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NayaPed wrote a review Mar 2022
Copenhagen, Denmark541 contributions66 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Stayed there for 3 days in october 2021 and it was the best choise for my trip. The logde is cosy, the beds are great, the food is excellent and the service is top class. I warmly recommend staying at the logde when in Churchill.
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Date of stay: October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Frontiers North, Agency / Consultant at Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge
Responded Apr 27, 2022
Hi Naya P, Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at the Tundra Buggy Lodge. Kind Regards, Frontiers North Adventures
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Tony R wrote a review Nov 2022
Ellicott City, Maryland5 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
What a great trip! I saw at least 96 Polar Bears. I went dogsledding. I drove the Tundra Buggy! Food was gourmet. Mark was a wonderful guide.

Frontiers spared no expense to make us happy. I spent 6 days smiling.

I AM HAPPY!
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Date of stay: November 2022Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Frontiers North, Agency / Consultant at Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge
Responded Nov 10, 2022
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your Churchill adventure with us and left happy! Kind regards, Frontiers North Adventures
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
50jacquiew wrote a review Nov 2022
Sudbury, Massachusetts220 contributions107 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was the adventure of a lifetime! The Lodge was a unique experience that my husband and I shared with 17 fellow adventurers. Good food, comfortable bunks, and a very accommodating staff. Wish we could have stayed a few more days! One of our best trips ever!
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Date of stay: October 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Frontiers North, Agency / Consultant at Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge
Responded Nov 7, 2022
Hi 50jacquiew, Thank you for sharing your experience at the Tundra Buggy Lodge with us. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed a comfortable stay out on the tundra. Kind regards, Frontiers North Adventures
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
A Tripadvisor Member wrote a review Jan 2002
2.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed in the Tundra Buggy Lodge in November of 2001. I was on a trip to Cape Churchill to see polar bears, we never got there even though we paid a premium price for the experience there was no refund for not reaching our destination. The mobile lodge couldn't be towed out because of weather conditions. Apparently this happens much of the time. We stayed in close to Churchill with all of the other tourists. The "lodge" is old and in serious need of repairs. The toilets (buckets with plastic bags) smelled badly. International Wildlife Adventures did not produce what they advertised.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
KarinJ wrote a review Oct 2006
Melbourne3 contributions44 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We booked this polar bear trip a year in advance and couldn't wait. We decided to deviate from the 'program' and took the train from Winnipeg to Churchill. We didn't receive the promised itenary beforehand, and upon arrival in Churchill; with the max temp being -11 degr C and the wind howling at 70-90 km/h, there was no one to meet us. I managed to get hold of a Tundra Buggy Guide about half an hour later and he abrubtly informed us that our group was supposed to meet at the gift shop at 4pm. We had no idea where the gift shop was....

Anyway, we eventually met up with the rest of the group and off we went. The first night on the buggy we were served spagetti bolonaise, which, according to the Canadians on the trip, was from a tin! OK! Now for the sleeping arrangements: there were 2 'dorms', each with 10 bunkbeds (ie it houses 20 people) with ONE shower and 2 toilets per dorm. Just to elaborate on the toilets; they were 'long-drops' but with the long-drop part being a normal black plastic rubbish bag. Not really a long drop at all. They were cleaned once a day but the smell by the next morning was totally overwhelming and enough to put anybody off their food... (Has the owner/s ever looked into the possibility of converting the toilets to the chemical, user-friendly ones found on boats????????)

So our overall impression was that we paid (over a thousand dollars per person per night) super duper inflated 5 star prices for what was effectively backpacker accomodation.
Yes, it is 'exclusive'. But we still can't help this overwhelming feeling of being ripped off.
Especially after we heard from 2 independent sources that the lodge is owned by a banker who is only interested in skimming off the fat and is not into the nature/conservation idea at all! Just as well we went this year, apparently there is a 30% price hike planned for 2007!

On a positive note; the food did improve after the first night, the lodge itself was warm and toasty and our guide Chris was a star. He was very knowledgable and went out of his way to make our bear viewing as exciting as possible.

Our recommendation is to go to Churchill, stay in one of the comfortable motels and hop on the Tundra Buggy daytrips.
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Date of stay: October 2006
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesCheck-in / front desk
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
TravelingLemur wrote a review Nov 2008
Calfornia73 contributions239 helpful votes
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Well, as there are only 2 outdated reviews for the Tundra Buggy Lodge on TripAdvisor, I can see that it's high time for an update...

We just got back from a 5 night stay at the Tundra Buggy Lodge at "Polar Bear Point" near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. I will say at the outset that this is an adventure, more than a hotel stay. As far as the adventure end of it (and the setting) it's a 5-star experience. The actual accommodations are more of a 3-star rating. However, I thought the experience was excellent, and well worth any minor annoyances of staying in bunk beds, so I'm rating the whole experience as 4-stars.

We booked a 7-day "Nature Specialist" trip with Tundra Buggy. This consisted of 1 day of travel (from our US hometown to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where we stayed overnight in private rooms at the Sheraton Four Points). Once in Winnipeg, we had a get-acquainted dinner that with our 17 fellow Naturalists, as well as the 18 "Photo Specialists" (once you get out to the Lodge, the next day, each group stays in its own sleeping car at the lodge.) On day 2 we flew by private charter plane to Churchill, Manitoba (a 1 hour 40 minute flight), and spent a half day in Churchill. Then we caught a bus to the Tundra Buggy pick-up point, then transferred to an actual Tundra Buggy. Transit time from the small town of Churchill to the Tundra Buggy Lodge: 2 hours. We were at the Lodge for 5 nights (with 4 full days of seeing the bears, 8 hours per day). On day 6 we drove back to Churchill for 1/2 day, then flew back to Winnipeg. On day 7 we flew back to our home in the US (from Winnipeg, Manitoba).

The "Lodge" is really 6 mobile Tundra Buggy units that are strung together like a train (see photos). The living quarters remain stationary throughout your visit. Mobile units dock at the lodge, to pick up guests and take them out on the tundra to see the bears. The Lodge experience is very similar to being on an unmoving train, and the sleeping quarters are similar to a Pullman car. There are two dorm cars (sleeping cars with bunk-beds, 20 beds in each car), one lounge car, one dining car, a kitchen and staff sleeping quarters. The beds in the bunks are comfortable enough... better than those at the average summer camp. Each bunk is equipped with a small window, a set of curtains for privacy, and an overhead light for reading. Also, an outlet is provided in your bunk space (for charging camera batteries, running your laptop, etc.) Also, there is a shelf that runs the length of the bunk for storing essentials, and storage space for your luggage under the bunk. Each of the sleeping cars has 2 flush toilets and one shower with nice, hot water. Please note that the toilets on the Tundra Buggy sleeping quarters have been updated... they are no longer the "long-drop" (port-a-potty) style, but they are now flush toilets that are clean and have very little smell. (I did not notice any smells at all, and I was a bit worried about this after reading the 2 other [outdated] reviews on TripAdvisor). Guests are requested, for both eco- and sharing reasons, to take short showers. All the train cars are warm and cozy, and we were certainly never cold inside the Lodge. In fact, at night on the first night, I was actually a little too warm!

There is no Internet service at the Lodge, and in fact, no phone service either. They do have communication with Churchill via satellite phone. There is a hospital in Churchill in case of emergencies.

After you return from the Tundra touring each day (at about 4pm) red and white wine and hors d'oeuvres are served in the Lounge Car. There is also plenty of bottled water on hand, and the water in the taps at the Lodge was great... sparkling clear spring water.

The food at the Tundra Buggy lodge was quite decent, especially considering that all food has to be flown in from Winnipeg, then driven out to the Lodge by Tundra Buggy, and the Lodge is a 2-hour drive from Churchill. (Add to that, that both the Tundra Buggy Lodge and the town of Churchill either fly out or ship by train all of their garbage and recycling.)

Dinner entrees at the Lodge included bison bolognaise, baked fish, elk kabobs and chicken Kiev. Dessert is also served -- the carrot cake was superb! Breakfast is usually around 7am, and is hearty and filling (toast, eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc). Mid-morning coffee, tea or hot chocolate is served on the (mobile) Tundra Buggy, and is repeated in the mid-afternoon, usually along with delicious fresh-baked cookies. Lunch is also served on the mobile unit, and is usually a piping hot (and delicious) soup, followed by a make-your-own sandwich. To be honest, the biggest concern at the Tundra Buggy Lodge is eating too much!

After dinner each evening there is a lecture/presentation. For example, one night the Photographic Specialist in residence (National Geographic freelancer Daniel J. Cox) gave us a presentation on nature photography, and one night a man from the World Wildlife Fund came to educate us about the plight of polar bears in Canada.

The deal at the Lodge is that you are staying here so that you can maximize your time seeing and photographing bears. Tours are arranged so that you are on the mobile Tundra Buggy (tdriving all around the area near by the Lodge... roughly a 2-mile radius) for around 8 hours a day, from 8am to 4pm. Also, there are polar bears wandering around the Lodge itself 24/7. Once you get into the Tundra Buggy (a 1/2 hour bus-ride from Churchill) you never set foot on the ground till you come back to Churchill. Be aware that yes, you will likely be a bit more comfortable for sleeping arrangements in Churchill proper, but then you have to drive 2 hours each day TO the tundra (and the bears) and then 2 hours BACK to Churchill to get back to your hotel. So, instead of seeing bears for 8+ hours a day (at the Lodge), you would see bears for a maximum of 4 hours a day & you'll spend 4 hours a day in transit (if you stay in Churchill at a hotel). Also, be aware that if you are interested in photography, you will not get any of the early morning or late afternoon good lighting for photos if you stay in town.

The whole point of being at the Tundra Buggy Lodge is NOT to revel in posh accommodations... it is the rare and wonderful opportunity to see polar bears, arctic foxes, arctic hares, ptarmigans and snowy owls up close and personal. There is probably no where else on earth that you can get this same experience. Yes, you can see polar bears at Svalbard (Norway), but you cannot get very close to them. We had polar bears, at times, only a few feet away from us, but we were never in any danger, as the Tundra Buggy is higher than a polar bear can reach.

During the day you are out on the mobile Tundra Buggy seeing and photographing the bears. I found this to be a very comfortable experience. The mobile Tundra Buggy is much wider than a regular bus, with seats and windows on each side. A toasty heater is fired up in the back (which looks like a gas fireplace), and keeps the vehicle plenty warm. There is a toilet on board, with a plastic bag attached to collect waste. Yes, it is similar to a port-a-potty, and I noticed that the staff worked very hard to keep this room smell-free (they refreshed the toilet several times a day a liquid deodorizer.) I never noticed any bad smells from the toilet in the mobile unit. At the back of the mobile tundra buggy is a sort of unroofed (open air) viewing deck for getting a different view of the tundra and the animals (see photos). If you are on the Naturalist tour, you will have a Naturalist guide on board to answer questions about the animals, their behaviors, and to provide some informative short lectures. If you are on the Photographic tour, you will have a Photo Specialist on-board to answer your questions about photography, and provide tips and tricks for white-on-white photography and photo composition.

There are 2 different tour companies that do a Lodge experience at Churchill: Tundra Buggy and Great White Bear Tours. Tundra Buggy was there first, and therefore has the prime Lodge spot at Polar Bear Point (further out on the Tundra, and better potential to have more bears around you.) Be aware that polar bears are heavily discouraged in Churchill, so if you are staying in Churchill, odds are you will almost certainly not see a bear there. If a bear is caught near the town, it is rounded up and placed in the "polar bear jail" -- an old military bunker. Bears are kept here until they can be flown out of the area. This action is taken to discourage bears from coming into town, and thereby minimizing bear/human contact. If a bear attacks a human, it must be killed. Obviously, Churchill wants to minimize anything like that, and they have worked hard to find a balance.

We booked a helicopter tour through Tundra Buggy Lodge, and that was a terrific experience. We had a 1 hour tour out over the tundra, the ice forming on the Hudson Bay, and a short way inland, where we saw a silver fox and a number of moose.

Our Tundra Buggy driver was excellent (thanks, Trevor), as was our Naturalist Guide (fantastic job, Angele). The 2 women who run the kitchen did a super job in a tight spot (awesome job, Julie and Bree!)

If you are interested in seeing polar bears in their natural environment, the Tundra Buggy Lodge is the place to do it. Estimates are that polar bears will no longer exist in Churchill in 30 years, probably much less than that. We purchased our spots 1 year in advance (on the day tickets were available), and with only limited spots, the Tundra Buggy is always sold out far in advance.

Yes, it is expensive, but it's a trip of a lifetime.

(Please do not use the attached photos without my permission.)
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Date of stay: November 2008
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesCheck-in / front desk
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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ALSO KNOWN AS
tundra buggy hotel churchill
LOCATION
CanadaManitobaChurchill
NUMBER OF ROOMS
40
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Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge - Reviews & Photos

Frequently Asked Questions about Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Itsanitaq Museum (0.6 km), Prince of Wales Fort (3.6 km), and Miss Piggy Plane Wreck (5.3 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and breakfast buffet.
What food & drink options are available at Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast during their stay.
What are some restaurants close to Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge?
Conveniently located restaurants include Tundra Pub, Lazy Bear Cafe, and Seaport Hotel.
Is Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.8 km away from the centre of Churchill.
Are there any historical sites close to Frontiers North Adventures' Tundra Buggy Lodge?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Prince of Wales Fort (3.6 km).
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