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(2019 - Spring Issue)


Embark on a 12-day journey on board the Ocean Endeavour from Iceland to Greenland with Adventure Canada from July 14–25. Priced from US$4,995 per person, based on double occupancy, the expedition, In the Wake of the Vikings: A Voyage from Iceland to Greenland, departs from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, passing through Vestmannaeyjar (the Westman Islands) en route to Greenland, just as Norse explorers did a millennium ago in open longboats. Along the way, you’ll view the breathtaking fjords of Greenland, a photographer’s paradise, abundant with whales and seabirds; bask in geothermal springs; explore the ruins of a settlement founded by Erik the Red; visit a quaint fishing village and Greenland’s capital, Nuuk; and sail the mighty Sondre Stromfjord to Kangerlussuaq, the gateway to the ice cap, where you will transfer to the airport to board your charter flight to Toronto. adventurecanada.com

The London Pass, featuring more than 80 popular attractions, special deals and fast-track entry, has the perfect three-day itinerary for the first-time visitor to the world-class city. Day One includes St. Paul’s Cathedral; a Beefeater tour of the Tower of London, home of the Crown Jewels; the glass walkway across the Thames; and a river cruise. Day Two starts at Westminster Abbey. Hop on board the Big Bus (red route) to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Stroll through Mayfair then take the blue route to Kensington Palace, where exhibitions honour royal women, including Princess Diana. Escape the city on Day Three to Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth’s weekend home, and St. George’s chapel, where Harry and Meghan married last year. Londonpass.com

Montréal promises to be more fabulous than ever this year. Starting June 1, visit PY1, the larger-than-life multimedia project in the heart of the Old Port initiated by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts is gearing up for Couturissime, a retrospective of the work of Thierry Mugler, visionary couturier, director, photographer and perfumer. The exhibition brings together more than 130 ready-to-wear and haute-couture creations created between 1973 and 2001. Food lovers will be delighted to hear Montréal is the newest city to host a Time Out Market, a centrepiece of a $200-million redevelopment of the downtown Eaton Centre. The market will feature 16 dining spaces, two bars, a demo kitchen, stage and gourmet boutique. mtl.org

With its clear blue skies, warm 24 C days and pre-summer deals, Orlando, the world’s Theme Park Capital, makes an ideal spring escape. Check out the new Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers at Toy Story Land. Enter the world of underground racing alongside the movie stars at Universal’s Fast & Furious – Supercharged. Plunge down the world’s tallest drop river at Infinity Falls at SeaWorld Orlando. Legoland’s The Great LEGO Race is the first virtual reality roller coaster for kids, while the Orlando StarFlyer on International Drive is a giant swing that stands 137 metres tall and spins at speeds up to 72 kph. Disney Springs welcomes the NBA Experience, complete with interactive games. For low-key fun, bike along the West Orange Trail in Winter Garden. VisitOrlando.ca

With four centuries of history and 13.8 million people, Tokyo can appear overwhelming. In the new Talking Tokyo digital magazine, North American visitors uncover a city of neighbourhoods, each with its own shrines, festivals, shopping areas and cosy restaurants where you can eat well and meet locals without speaking Japanese. In the first edition, Air Canada staff describe their favourite restaurants, gardens and hot-spring experiences. A fashion entrepreneur takes readers to Harajuku, the youth fashion hub sandwiched between Shinjuku and Shibuya. As the writers discover, Tokyo both surprises and delights visitors in the way the city interweaves the old and the new. canada-tokyo.ca

Uniworld continues to update its boutique river cruise collection with three new luxurious and eco-friendly vessels. Debuting January 3, 2020, the Mekong Jewel will whisk guests on a 13-day cruise along the Mekong River from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City to Cambodia’s Siem Reap (home to Angkor Wat) and Phnom Penh. On January 6, the S.S. Sphinx, with 42 suites and al fresco dining on the upper deck, leaves Cairo for a 12-day, adventure-filled cruise of the Nile River’s top sites. In March, Uniworld’s S.S. Sao Gabriel begins its first journey through Portugal’s Douro River Valley. The entire deck offers lavishly appointed suites enhanced with butler service, and the menu promises delectable, locally sourced cuisine and spectacular wines. uniworld.com

Calgary-based Swoop Airlines has announced its summer service to five new Canadian cities, two new transborder markets and an extension of two international routes. The ultra-low-cost carrier, owned by WestJet, has also added a seventh aircraft to its fleet. New destinations include London, Ontario; Kelowna, B.C.; and Oakland, California. From London, fly to Halifax, Edmonton or Abbotsford, B.C. New transborder routes include Edmonton to Oakland and Edmonton to Orlando, Florida, while international markets include Hamilton to Montego Bay, Jamaica. FlySwoop.com

Canmore, Alberta, the gateway to Banff National Park, has a new luxury hotel, The Malcolm, a $43-million hotel and conference centre located in the Spring Creek neighbourhood just minutes from downtown. The 124-room hotel offers four-star service and hospitality, an outdoor heated pool and hot tubs, heated underground parking, fitness centre and incredible mountain views. Guests enjoy convenient access to world-class skiing, golf and fishing, hiking, biking and mountaineering. To relax, visit downtown Canmore’s restaurants, cafés, pubs, artisan galleries and boutique shops. The Malcolm is also a five-minute walk from Elevation Place, with its indoor pools, climbing walls, art studio and public library. hotelmalcolm.ca

Stretch your travel budget in one of the world’s most expensive cities with the new Hong Kong Pass. Available online, a two-day pass costs US$127, saving you more than 50 per cent on a selection of attractions, tours and transport in Hong Kong and Macau, together with discounts on dining and shopping. Choices include the Airport Express, Hong Kong Walking Tour, Star Ferry Harbour Tour, Peak Tram Sky Pass, hop on, hop off Hong Kong bus tour, Ocean Park, the sky100 Observation Deck in Kowloon and the Ngong Ping Cable Car tour, which would normally cost US$289. The two- to four-day pass also entitles users to discounts of 10 per cent or more on dining at 19 restaurants across Hong Kong. hongkongpass.com.hk

Blessed with red sand beaches, warm water and soaring cliffs, Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, is hosting the annual Cavendish Beach Music Festival from July 5 to 7, which attracts more than 70,000 country music fans. This year’s lineup includes country music superstar Eric Church, seven-time GRAMMY Award-winning, multi-platinum superstar Carrie Underwood, as well as Russell Dickerson and Cam. The area is a short drive from Charlottetown and perfect for camping and other outdoor adventures. CavendishBeachMusic.com  

Make the most of your holiday with the new stopover programs in Switzerland and Belgium offered by airlines in the Lufthansa group. For instance, SWISS passengers can choose one city as a base, say Zurich, Interlaken or Lucerne, and stay one to four nights in a three- or four-star hotel. Choose from eight customizable travel packages, which include free public transportation, or select a multi-destination package for two to four nights, which includes transportation. Passengers flying Brussels Airlines may opt to stop over in a variety of Belgian cities, all less than an hour apart, for one to five days, and enjoy free access to tourist activities and museums. stopover-switzerland.com; brusselsairlines.com/BelgiumStopOver

Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and its sister company Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline, have released their 2019 season schedules. Among the cruise offerings is the Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard the First Lady. Ranked the No. 1 tour in Chicago based on TripAdvisor user reviews, this 90-minute tour is brought to life by certified volunteer docents who share their passion and knowledge of more than 50 significant buildings along the route. Other summer cruises include the Capture Chicago Photography Cruise on Saturdays and Sundays; the Twilight Cruise, Sunday to Friday; the Yoga Cruise every Sunday; the daily Urban Adventure Cruise; the Chicago by Night! Cruise; and more. All cruises depart from the southeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive near the Chicago Architecture Center. CruiseChicago.com; MercuryCruises.com

Considered the Grand Lady of Dunedin, Florida, the Fenway Hotel has just reopened after a major renovation. A member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the historic hotel offers 83 guest rooms and suites a few blocks from downtown. The Chophouse restaurant features chophouse cuts, a seasonal menu and an extensive whisky and Scotch collection. The Dunedin History Museum will host tours and provide a rotating collection of city artifacts in the lobby. Listen to live music in the lobby throughout the week or head outdoors to the famous lawn for croquet, badminton and Taoist tai chi classes. FenwayHotel.com  

Kind Traveler is the first socially conscious “Give + Get” hotel booking platform to connect travellers to hotels with charitable affiliations. Based on “kind factors,” hotel partners must also select a charitable affiliation that empowers communities or the environment or protects animals. For instance, Stonefield Villa Resort in Saint Lucia uses eco-friendly amenities, offers an organic farm-to-table experience, has a no-plastic-straw policy, composts its organic waste and manages a bee program. For every booking, a US$10 nightly donation is made to the hotel’s charity of choice, Pawasol Pour Ti Mamai, an organization which provides the basic needs in education and health care for underprivileged children thereby empowering struggling Saint Lucian families. By booking Stonefield Villa Resort directly through Kind Traveler, the guest is making a conscientious decision to support a great cause—a triple win shared by the traveller, the hotel and the charity. kindtraveler.com

Visitors to Vienna can now gain access to more than 60 of the city’s most popular attractions, tours and museums—ranging from Schönbrunn Palace to the giant Ferris wheel—directly from their smart phone. The newly launched mobile Vienna PASS sightseeing card can be used immediately and uses the app’s barcode for entry to featured attractions. The app also acts as a digital guidebook, containing details on all Vienna PASS attractions as well as city maps and other essential tourist information. Once downloaded, all content, including the pass, is accessible without an internet connection. Available for one, two, three or six days, prices start at €59 per adult and €29.50 per child (6–18). viennapass.com

Adventure-seeking solo travellers have never had so much choice. If you are a tireless adventurer, a fan of water sports, a lover of nature, animals and other cultures who is always looking for new experiences, this may be just what you’re looking for. Consider a five-day dive adventure in Quintana Roo, Mexico, where you’ll explore the deep blue Caribbean waters and the world’s largest coral reefs. Perhaps learning how to surf off the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica is your idea of a dream trip. Maybe a combined 10-day surfing/yoga retreat on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, is more up your alley. Surely an epic kitesurfing experience in Cabarete in the Dominican Republic will appeal to fitness freaks. imyourtrip.com

2019 marks the world-famous Grand Canyon’s centennial year and, in honour of this grand milestone anniversary, the historical, 90-year-old Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah, is offering an attractive package priced at US$400 for two, which includes two room nights, lunch for two at the Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim restaurant and dinner for two at the Iron Horse Steakhouse and Saloon in Kanab. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Parry Lodge is long known as the “home to the stars” as it has hosted movie stars and crews shooting films amid the area’s stunning scenery. Open from March 1 through November 30, the lodge offers convenient access to the Grand Canyon’s North Rim and is an easy drive from five of Utah’s most revered national parks and monuments. ParryLodge.com

Best Western
Mercer County
South Padre Island
Erie, Pennsylvania
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