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(2013 - Spring Issue)


A three-day Waikiki Romance Package is available at the Aqua Hotels & Resorts in Hawaii where guests can choose from among any of Aqua’s 10 stylish hotels in Waikiki. Priced from US$142 per night, the package includes a Getaway Love Kit consisting of vanilla crème oil, a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts (air fare is extra). At properties on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Hawaii, Aqua invites guests to island-hop with its Island Sampler package, which offers 10 per cent off best available rates at participating properties. Guests must visit a minimum of two hotels during consecutive night stays, however no minimum night stay is required at each hotel. Packages are available until December 31. aquaresorts.com

Spring has arrived and it’s time to toast the season and the almighty grape in style. Ontario’s Wine & Herb touring passes to 27 distinctive wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake are now on sale at a cost of $43 per person. Or tour the famed wine region year-round with convenient Winemakers’ Selections Tasting Passes priced at $28 each (HST applies). For a truly memorable experience in this quaint, historic town—recently ranked the top food and wine destination in Canada and rated among the top 25 must-see Canadian destinations by TripAdvisor—why not stay at one of more than 130 unique bed and breakfasts, country inns or vacation cottages available in Niagara-on-the-Lake? wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com; niagarabedandbreakfasts.com

This March, Tel Aviv became one of the world’s first cities to provide free citywide Wi-Fi connection near 80 major locations around the city, including the city’s Mediterranean promenade, Florentin Street, Park Hayarkon and Old Jaffa, as well as major city streets, parks and tourism sites. Also new is a bird and ecology centre, which recently opened at the Neot Kedumim Reserve, also known as the Biblical Landscape Reserve, in the Ben Shemen Forest located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The centre offers birding and ecological tours within a biblical context, and presents research including a bird banding station for long-term monitoring of migrations. goisrael.com; neot-kedumim.org.il

Fans of the Outer Banks, the 100-mile island chain off the North Carolina coast, know it as a popular place for kiteboarding, windsurfing, birdwatching, hang-gliding and cycling. Renowned for its fabulous beaches and historic lighthouses, the destination is also where Orville and Wilbur Wright made the world’s first powered flight at Kitty Hawk. Visitors to the area can enjoy a busy calendar of events and festivals throughout the year including: the Duck and Wine Festival, April 27; Hatteras Storytelling Festival, May 3–5; Rogallo Kite Festival, June 8–9; Hatteras Day at the Docks, September 19–22; Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, October 4–6; and the Outer Banks Seafood Festival, October 19. OuterBanks.org

Xanterra Parks & Resorts, which owns Windstar Cruises, has purchased three luxury cruise ships from Seabourn: Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Spirit. Under the brand Global Windstar, the expansion will double the size of Windstar’s three recently renovated, luxury sailing yacht fleet. Delivery of the all-suite ships, which hold 208 passengers each, will take place over the next two years. Seabourn Pride will be the first ship to enter into Windstar’s fleet in April 2014. It will be renamed and spruced up and then set sail a month later in May 2014. Voyages are expected to go on sale in May. Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Spirit are scheduled to start sailing in May 2015. Under Global Windstar, Windstar will be returning to Tahiti in May 2014, one of the company’s top re-quested destinations. WindstarCruises.com

Ka’anapali Beach on the island of Maui was recently named the top beach in the United States in TripAdvisor’s 2013 Travelers’ Choice Beaches Awards. Set on five kilometres of white sand beaches, the Ka’anapali Beach Resort offers 11 hotels and condominiums, a shopping centre, world-class spas, golf courses, tennis courts and enough water sports to please the water baby in us all. Ka’anapali Fresh Food & Wine Festival, August 31–September 2, showcases Hawaiian cuisine and fresh, local ingredients. Events include tastings, chef demonstrations, market tours, coffee tours and entertainment. kaanapaliresort.com; gohawaii.com/maui

Air Canada will debut Premium Economy seating on its Montréal-Paris route on July 11 on board their new Boeing 777-300ER. Premium Economy provides passengers with priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling; a wider seat and more recline; seven inches more legroom; a larger screen for viewing more than 600 hours of entertainment options; and a power outlet at your seat for all your tech gadgets. Extra onboard comforts include a premium meal service, hot towel service, a larger pillow and an amenity kit. Passengers also earn Aeroplan Miles and new Altitude Qualifying Miles. Premium Economy seating will also be available on Air Canada rouge flights starting July 1, 2013, between Toronto and Athens, Toronto and Venice, Toronto and Edinburgh and Montréal and Athens. aircanada.com

Investments of more than $8 billion in Washington, D.C., are creating new visitor-friendly developments in key areas such as the downtown core and the National Mall as well as D.C.’s 12 distinct neighbourhoods. For example, CityCenter D.C. will open in phases beginning this year offering more hotel, dining, shopping and nightlife options. The Capella Georgetown Hotel opens this spring. Capitol Riverfront is quickly becoming one of D.C.’s most buzzed-about entertainment districts. Already home to the Washington Nationals’ Park, the 464,515-square-metre development project is set to include a hotel, restaurants, a craft brewery, retail and residential components. The H Street corridor streetcars in Northeast D.C. will connect retail, restaurants, offices and attractions on one of the city’s trendiest streets. The Howard Theatre, the historic landmark of African American entertainment in D.C. that launched the careers of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Marvin Gaye, has returned to its former glory with a multi-million dollar restoration. destinationdc.com

Co-presented by the British Museum, the premiere North American engagement of Mesopotamiaopens at the Royal Ontario Museum June 22 and runs until January 5, 2014. The ancient civilization of Mesopotamia encompasses present-day Iraq, northeast Syria and southeast Turkey. The exhibithighlights benchmarks of the society’s social and technological developments as well as the emergence of city-states in ancient Sumer (4000–2000 BCE); the dominance of the Assyrian World Empire (1000–600 BCE); and the dramatic rise and fall of Babylon (600–540 BCE). More than 170 objects are showcased including gold jewellery found in tombs at the Royal Cemetery in the city of Ur; several artifacts illustrating the accomplishments of famed lawgiver King Hammurapi (1792–1750 BCE); a statue of King Ashurnasirpal II; and, from the ROM’s own collections, the Striding Lion, a terracotta relief that once adorned the throne room façade of the palace of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar II (604–562 BCE)—the very palace where Alexander the Great later died. rom.on.ca

Lured by the food-rich waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, the mid-Atlantic’s largest population of bottlenose dolphins migrates off the Virginia Beach coast from April through October each year. Visitors are welcome aboard dolphin-watching cruises sponsored by the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and narrated by a museum educator. For those who desire a more daring adventure, several outfitters offer dolphin-watching kayak trips on the ocean. There are also plenty of spring festivals such as the East Coast She-Crab Soup Classic, April 27; the PANorama Caribbean Music Fest, May 10–11; and the Pungo Strawberry Festival, Memorial Day Weekend, May 25–26. visitvirginiabeach.com; virginiaaquarium.com

Effective June 3, EgyptAir will start a new direct service four times a week between Toronto and Cairo, with convenient connections to the airline’s wide network in Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. EgyptAir will be operating B777-300ER aircraft, equipped with full flat bed seats in Business Class and personal entertainment systems in all classes. As a member of the Star Alliance partnership with Air Canada, the airline will be able to transport passengers from any Canadian gateway to Egypt. On board the 13-hour flight, customers will be served three meals that suit their tastes and preferences. Moreover, those joining the airline’s frequent flyer program, EgyptAir Plus, will enjoy many special benefits and services, such as priority check-in and boarding and more, and gold cardholders will have access to more than 1,000 lounges around the world. egyptair.com

Brimming with events and festivals, spring is a wonderful time to visit Massachusetts. The Brimfield Antiques Show, May 14–19, is the largest outdoor antiques show in the country, with more than 6,000 dealers and more than 130,000 visitors. Often referred to as “The Show,” it takes place three times a year including July and September. Based on the book, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, children and their families retrace the steps of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their eight ducklings during the Duckling Day Parade in Boston on May 12, led by the Harvard University Marching Band. With the help of the White Elephant hotel, the Nantucket Wine Festival, May 15–19, includes a grand tasting, Harbour Gala, wine and food seminars, a lunch symposia, and a celebrity chef and winemaker auction dinner. Other great events include American Craft Beer Festival, May 31–June 1 in Boston; Cape Cod Chowder Fest, June 9, in Hyannis; and the Annual Oak Bluffs Harbor Festival, June 22, in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard Island. brimfieldexchange.com; nantucketwinefestival.com; massvacation.com

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