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(2017 - Spring/Summer Issue)


Known as the “Manatee Capital of the World,” Crystal River, Florida, is the only place in the world where you can legally swim with manatees—a bucket-list experience you do not want to miss. It is home to dozens of springs, which serve as warm havens to the manatees, especially during the winter months. Bordering the Gulf of Mexico to the west, Crystal River is the perfect place for angling adventures year-round. Between June and September, the area is also one of Florida’s top destinations for scalloping. Swimmers float in warm 22 C water less than two metres deep looking for scallops hidden in swaying sea grass and surrounded by colourful subtropical fish, seahorses, sponges and corals. And, of course, there are the beaches and natural scenery. DiscoverCrystalRiverFL.com

Just in time for Montréal’s 375th anniversary, WestJet is adding new routes and 105 more flights a week to Montréal and Québec City. In March, WestJet launched twice-daily service between Montréal and Halifax. Starting June 15, WestJet will offer four daily flights between Montréal and Québec City for the first time. In mid-October, the Calgary-based carrier will begin twice-daily service between Montréal and Boston. In addition, the airline is also increasing its number of non-stop flights from six to 12 per week between Montréal and Vancouver and from 14 to 19 flights per week between Montréal and Calgary. westjet.com

Ocean Riviera Paradise recently opened its doors to welcome couples and families to one of the most beautiful destinations on Earth. Located just six kilometres from the heart of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, the new resort features 974 modern spacious junior suites, 10 restaurants, 12 bars, a spa centre and more. The resort has four zones. The Daisy area is specifically designed for families with children four to 12 years of age. The Privilege area is ideal for those seeking an exclusive and personalized treatment. The Eden area attracts guests who prefer close access to the beach, and the El Beso was created for guests 18 and over seeking tranquility and fun in a very social environment. oceanrivieraparadisecancun.com

Cunard’s Queen Victoria is undergoing a US$40-million refit this spring in Palermo, Italy, but is expected to be back in service by early June. The refit keeps the elegance of the ship’s art deco past while introducing 43 spacious Britannia Club balcony staterooms in a prime midship location on Decks 7 and 8. At the new Britannia Club restaurant, guests can dine whenever they choose. All Britannia staterooms are being refreshed, and the ship’s majestic Grand Suites and Deck 8 aft penthouse suites will be completely redesigned, with the addition of a new Chart Room bar. Gin and fizz is the theme at the new Midships Lounge, featuring Prosecco, Cava and Champagne alongside premium gins and spirits. cunard.com

Airlines at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) are on the move so it’s important to verify your arrival and departure terminal if you’re travelling to or through LA. From May 12 to 17, the largest relocation of airlines in LAX history took place, affecting 20 carriers. As of May 17, Air Canada, Virgin America, XL Airways France and Boutique Air now operate out of Terminal 6 while Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Allegiant, Frontier and Sun Country have relocated to Terminal 5. Ten other airlines, including Aer Lingus, Avianca, Copa, Hainan Airlines, Interjet, Qatar Airways, Thomas Cook, Volaris, Southwest and Virgin Australia, now fly out of Bradley International Terminal. A map showing these changes is posted online and airport staff will be on hand to help direct passengers. LAXishappening.com

Jackson-Triggs in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, recently announced its 2017 summer concert lineup. The Sam Roberts Band kicks off the season on June 8 while folk music icon Gordon Lightfoot takes centre stage July 21 and Blue Rodeo veteran, Jim Cuddy wraps up the season on September 8. Other performing artists include Amanda Marshall (June 17), Chantal Kreviazuk (July 8), Whitehorse (July 22) and so many more. The Jackson-Triggs Amphitheatre concert series presents a unique way to enjoy Ontario’s wine country while catching Canada’s premier talent under the stars as you sip award-winning wines and savour Niagara’s outstanding local fare prepared by chef Tim MacKiddie. greatestatesniagara.com

The Wailea Beach Resort at the Marriott Maui is the oldest hotel in Wailea and the newest following a recent US$100-million “re-imagination.” This contemporary retreat on the edge of the Pacific Ocean includes Maui’s hottest new restaurant, Humble Market Kitchin by Roy Yamaguchi, with unforgettable ocean views. Try Hawaii’s longest resort waterslide, measuring 100 metres, along with kayaking, scuba diving and snorkelling in the dive pool located at the water’s edge and just steps from your room. The new Luau Gardens gives locals and guests a chance to learn about Hawaiian history and culture. waileabeachresort.com

Curate your own European adventure with a Eurail Pass. With the Eurail Rail Planner App, travellers can move about like a local, hopping on and off trains and seeing a lot more. New this year, the Eurail France Pass is valid for three to eight days of rail travel in a two-month period. Prices start from around $193. The new Italy–Switzerland Pass is valid for four to 10 days of rail travel in a two-month period with prices starting from about $378. It includes the panoramic Glacier Express train through the Swiss Alps, which requires advance seat reservations. Spain and Scandinavia are also hot destinations for train travel, and the Italy One Country Pass was Eurail’s top seller in 2016. Passes can be booked up to 11 months before use. eurailgroup.org  

Enjoy an Italian vacation by first-class, high-speed rail organized by Monograms, sister company to Globus. The 10-day Rome, Florence & Venice trip begins in Rome, where you’re escorted to your hotel and met by a knowledgeable local host. Your three-day stay includes a half-day sightseeing excursion comprised of a viewing of Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel, a VIP entrance to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Then you’re off to Florence, where you’ll skip the line to see Michelangelo’s David. Stroll through Cathedral Square, Piazza della Signoria and Santa Croce Square. In Venice, watch a glassblower at work and wander through St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, the Doges’ Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. monogramstravel.ca

With Brightline high-speed train service set to launch in South Florida this summer, the Palm Beaches—a collection of 39 cities and towns stretching from Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta on the Atlantic coast—are now more accessible than ever. Situated along I-95 and home to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), the area offers unparalleled water sports and eco activities, numerous golf courses, endless dining options, shops galore, unique cultural attractions and access to more than 75 kilometres of pristine beaches. Pair all this with summer savings at top hotels and resorts for a memorable vacation in paradise. thepalmbeaches.com; gobrightline.com

Princess alert! The popular London Pass includes entry to more than attractions. Many have a strong connection to the Royal family and the lives of Britain’s best-loved princesses. Visit Kensington Palace, home of Princess Diana, which is currently hosting the exhibit, Diana: Her Fashion Story, until February 28, 2018. Or how about Westminster Abbey, the historic coronation church of the British Royal family since the 11th century, where Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953? Perhaps Windsor Castle or the Tower of London are more intriguing. Entry to all is included with the London Pass. A one-day London Pass costs £62 per adult and £42 per child. Two-, three-, six- and 10-day passes are also available. londonpass.com

From June 23 to September 4, Vancouverites can fly direct to Boston on Air Canada’s new direct flight aboard a 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. The new summer service will shave two hours of travel time between Canada’s West coast and the U.S. Eastern seaboard. Leave at 8:55 a.m. and arrive in Boston at 5:03 p.m. The flight complements Air Canada’s existing flights to Boston from Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa and Halifax. aircanada.com

Cavendish, PEI is the place to be July 7 to 9 when the annual Cavendish Beach Music Festival takes the stage. More than 70,000 country music fans are expected to attend this year’s festival, presented by Lotto Max. Highlights include the Zac Brown Band, Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Brandy Clark, Kip Moore and Chad Brownlee. Bring the family and set up a tent or camper to enjoy the area’s red sand beaches, the warmest water north of the Carolinas and soaring cliffs. Cavendish is also a short drive from Charlottetown, home to some of Canada’s freshest, most delicious seafood. cavendishbeachmusic.com      

Le Mount Stephen, in the heart of Montréal’s Golden Square Mile, is set to dazzle the city’s hotel scene with a luxurious experience tailored to business and leisure travellers alike. The high-end hotel was once known as the Mount Stephen Club, where the mansion’s owner Lord George Stephen hosted some of history’s most elite figures and the city’s haute monde. Transformed into a modern, elegant hotel with exceptional architecture, Le Mount Stephen boasts 69 rooms, 16 suites, four sky-lofts and one royal suite. Dine at Bar George, which pays homage to Stephen’s British roots, and book a facial at the Mbiospa Prestige. hotelmountstephen.com

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