Hudson Bay in northeast Canada is a shallow saltwater body approximately 1,242,000 square kilometers in surface area with an island surface area of 83,000 square kilometers. Its border straddles Manitoba, Quebec, and Ontario provinces, plus the Nunavut territory. The Hudson Bay has a mean depth of 330 feet and from north to south it is 900 miles long and 650 miles at its widest.

After the Bay of Bengal, Hudson Bay is the world's second-largest bay. It drains into approximately 1.5 million square miles region mostly into central Canada and the American Midwest. The Hudson Bay connects to the Arctic Ocean through the Northwest Passages and to the Atlantic Ocean through the Hudson Trait. Within it are small islands inhabited by indigenous communities that include the majority of Inuit indigenous people.


History Of Hudson Bay

The Hudson Bay is named after Henry Hudson (1565-1611) an English explorer. Due to his navigation prowess, Hudson was asked by King James I to explore the Arctic territory. While sailing on his Discovery ship in 1610 on Hudson reached a waterway between Baffin Island and Northern Quebec then named Furious Overfall that he renamed Hudson Strait after himself. Sailing further south, Hudson came across a vast bay that is today the Hudson Bay while searching for the Pacific Ocean.  On June 1611 Hudson, his son, and seven men with scurvy were cast out of the Discovery on a lifeboat by his crewmen who led a mutiny against him. From that time Hudson was never heard from again and it's believed they died after being cast away. His efforts of mapping and navigation made England lay claim to the Hudson Bay.

What to do at Hudson Bay

Watch Wildlife

The Seal River Estuary along the Hudson Bay is worth exploring by boat during the summer months. There are boats that offer tours of the sprawling estuary and visitors on them can closely see the beluga whales in the water.  About 3000 beluga whales gather along the seal river estuary stretch to feed on fish, calve and escape the preying killer whales and prepare for winter migration. Visitors also see polar bears, the arctic foxes, caribou, and the snowy owl on the lush and beautiful habitat by the seal river estuary.

Explore James Bay

The James Bay at the southern end of Hudson Bay has abundant recreation activities and sites to see for visitors. Against a lush backdrop of boreal forest, visitors can cycle, go kayaking, boat ride to see whales or enter a ten-day fishing tournament. Tipple lovers can hike a ride on 15 people pedal-powered contraption dubbed The Rolling Barrel that offers two-hour tours to the iconic pubs in downtown Victoria. Visitors keen to experience the Aboriginal lifestyle can visit Nuuhchimi Wiinuu an ecotourism site that immerses guests into the Cree people's culture. There are about 750 Cree people living there. James Bay is a birders paradise while exploring it in various ways, visitors get to see shores birds like eagles, great blue herons, cormorants, osprey, and oystercatchers. Free tours to the imposing and architectural marvel that's the parliament building housing the legislative assembly of British Columbia are offered.

Explore Nunavut Territory

The 808,190 square miles of unspoiled Nunavut Territory paradise allows visitors to experience a pure Arctic adventure in the largest yet least populated of all Canadian provinces and territories. It has a population of about 33,330 people and according to the 2011 census, 84 percent of them are Inuit indigenous peoples. Nunavut Territory was recognized as Canadian territory in 1999. In Nunavut, there are plenty of places to visit and unique activities to indulge in. These include:

  • Bird Watching: Nunavut has over 100 birds species with most of them migratory species. But the raven, snowy owl, and rock ptarmigan reside there permanently. The best months for bird watching start is from May to August when millions of migratory birds flock there.
  • Sport Fishing:  Fish species available for sport fishing excursions at Nunavut are Lake Trout, Arctic Char, Northern Pike, and Arctic Grayling. While fishing visitors get to see polar bears, caribou reindeer, and Musk Ox in the tundra habitat.
  • Floe Edge: Here open water meets the land ice and birds and marine mammals congregate there. Nunavut's Floe Edges enable visitors to see birds, seals, polar bears, walruses, narwhale, beluga, and bowhead whales. A typical chunk of floating floe edge ice can be 6 miles wide. Nunavut guides offer visitors tours to floe edges.
  • Arts Festivals: When the sun returns and winter ends Nunavut Communities stage art's festivals and celebrate through music, dancing, drumming, and games. The festivals also include communal Inuit traditional food feasts for everyone to enjoy.
  • Camping, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, hunting, photography, dog-sledding, and cruises are other activities visitors can engage in while touring Nunavut Territory.

Explore the Coral Harbour

Coral Harbour is nestled in Southampton Island located at the entry of the Hudson Bay via the Northwest Passages. The population of the Inuit indigenous people at the Coral Harbour is about 93 percent. The Coral Harbour has abundant wildlife plus other attractions and sites worth seeing. Among the attractions to visit at the Coral Harbour include the:

  • 16 Mile Brook-Nesting for owls and ideal fishing and hunting spot
  • Bear Island-Artists make beautiful limestone carvings
  • Coats Island-Bird and wildlife watching site
  • Duke of York Bay-Beautiful scenery and fishing and hunting site
  • East Bay Bird Sanctuary
  • Fossil Creek
  • Harry Gibbons Bird Sanctuary
  • Kirchoffer Falls and Bridge-Hunting and fishing Site
  • Native Point-Archaeological Site for Thule People ancestors of the Inuit
  • Rocky Brook-Hunting and Fishing area
  • Ruin Point-Caribou Reindeer and Polar Bears sighting
  • Upper Falls-Fishing and Cliff Diving done here
  • Walrus Islands-A habitat for walrus population

Visitors to Coral Harbour can buy traditionally made products from communities in Southampton Island. These products include winter jackets, jewelry made from walrus tusks, dolls, carvings made from limestone, soapstone, reindeer antlers, whale bones, narwhale tusks, plus drawings, wall hangings, and Inuit prints made during the long and cold winter nights.

How to get to Hudson Bay

Islands at Hudson Bay are best accessed through flights . From cities like Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Churchill, and Yellowknife there are scheduled flights to those islands. Calm Air, Canadian North, Air Creebec, and Thunder Airlines offer flights to some islands in Hudson Bay. Next: Here's Everything You Can Do At Ontario's Thunder Bay During The Winter