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(2019 - Spring/Summer 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, Reykjavik, 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 mayor of Chicago has designated 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre. The year-long celebration will honour all forms of performance arts, including improv, dance, opera, puppetry and more, through special events at cultural venues, theatres, parks and neighbourhoods. Chicago is the birthplace of storefront theatre and improv, and home to some 250 theatres. It boasts five Tony Award-winning theatres, the largest touring Broadway organization in the United States and more world premieres than any other city. One of the most innovative new spaces is The Yard, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s third venue in its Navy Pier campus. ChicagoPlays.com

Planning a trip to Newfoundland and Labrador this summer? Add a little cruising to your adventure and book a ferry trip with Marine Atlantic. As the only year-round daily ferry service connecting the mainland (Nova Scotia) to the island of Newfoundland, Marine Atlantic is the gateway to a world of wonder. This year’s schedule will continue to include the popular overnight and morning crossings. Choose from a variety of delicious dining options on board, watch the sun set on the port deck or recharge in one of their private cabins. It’s a wonderful way to relax and let someone else do the driving. MarineAtlantic.ca 

Just 90 minutes north of Toronto, Blue Mountain Resort welcomes summer with two new family-friendly outdoor attractions. The first, the Wooden Ball Track, is located along the Easy Rider ski run. Visitors follow a wooden ball as it makes its way down three 30-metre sections of track, passing through various twists, turns and obstacles along the way. The second new attraction is a netted forest adventure, comprised of bounce nets, treehouses, slides and a watchtower suspended under the trees near the bottom of the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, close to the Timber Challenge High Ropes. It should be open by mid-July. To better serve guests, the resort is improving its public washrooms and shade structures and opening a shop dedicated to Blue Mountain logo products. BlueMountain.ca

St. Lawrence Cruise Lines is undertaking an ambitious renewal program to enhance the comfort and services provided on the M/V Canadian Empress. The upcoming season will feature renovations to the main dining room, upgraded staterooms and new observation windows throughout the vessel. Additionally, cruise packages will now feature complimentary beer/wine with all meals. Rates start as low as CAD$1,673 per person based on double occupancy. The 2019 cruise season starts on May 12 with departures from Kingston, Ottawa and Québec City. Be sure to inquire about special offers on their spring cruises between now and June 18. StLawrenceCruiseLines.com

British Airways has unveiled its new business class Club Suite, which is expected to roll out on all long-haul flights on October 1. The sophisticated new Suite offers direct-aisle access, a door for privacy and luxurious flatbed seats. Expect more storage, a vanity unit and mirror and larger entertainment screens with gate-to-gate HD programming. As well, a new 56-seat World Traveller Plus cabin offers plush new pillows and quilts, new amenity kits and a truly fine dining experience. High-speed Wi-Fi allows travellers to browse the internet on their personal devices. New routes being launched this year include Osaka, Pittsburgh and Charleston. BritishAirways.com

From in-depth neighbourhood art and culinary tours of Toronto to guided hikes through the maple hills and remote terrain of Algonquin Park, a new luxury tour company called Guided Toronto has international visitors, VIP guests, business travellers and newcomers in mind. Trips include tailor-made private tours and black-car customized getaways. The one-day Best of Toronto tour takes visitors from the Distillery District and St. Lawrence Market to neighbourhoods like the eclectic Junction. The exclusive Old Town and Island Picnic starts with a bike ride to Harbourfront and ends with an island picnic overlooking Toronto’s skyline. The new 30,000 Islands walking tour explores Georgian Bay, with optional kayak lessons, boat tour or an Indigenous cultural experience. GuidedToronto.com

Book an in-depth cultural tour this summer in southwest Colorado’s Mesa Verde Country. Experience the high desert, meet local farmers and learn about the area’s agricultural history on the Farm & Ranch Tour. Mesa Verde National Park, one of the world’s cultural wonders, also offers self- and ranger-guided tours, from the 700 Years Tour of ancestral Puebloan times to summer and fall solstice tours. The 90-minute sunrise tour at Balcony House is also popular, taking you up a cliff face and through tunnels. Identify constellations in the dark sky as part of the free astronomy program at Hovenweep National Monument. Be sure to book in advance as tours fill up quickly. MesaVerdeCountry.com; recreation.gov; nps.gov/hove/planyourvisit 

History happens at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. The official residence and workplace of the Governor General of Canada is situated in an idyllic, 32-hectare oasis just minutes from Gatineau and our capital’s downtown core. It is the only official residence in the national capital that is open to the public and visitors are welcome to tour the historical site and its expansive grounds year-round. In fact, why not plan to spend the whole day? A wide array of free activities for all ages is offered on-site every summer and it’s the perfect place for a picnic. The site is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from May 18 to September 2. www.gg.ca/en/visit-us/rideau-hall   

Head off the beaten track to discover New Zealand’s hidden gems. In the Wairarapa region of the lower North Island, the Putangirua Pinnacles loom. Don’t miss the Castlepoint Lighthouse, a 90-minute drive from the Wairarapa town of Martinborough and a great place to spot fur seals, dolphins and small whales. For dramatic views, trek the 16-kilometre (one way) Cape Brett Track through native bush and book a cosy hut for an overnight stay. Walk through ancient rainforest to the massive limestone Oparara Arch in Kahurangi National Park. Visit the Motueka Saltwater Baths, built in 1930, best experienced at high tide in the early morning or at sunset. Or view wild kiwi on the celebrated Rakiura Track on remote, beautiful, and often overlooked by tourists, Stewart Island. NewZealand.com/ca

Those seeking sustainable travel options are looking to brands and resorts that maintain the ecological integrity and natural beauty of the landscape, while also respecting the local culture and environment. By 2021, Club Med seeks to have 100 per cent of its eligible resorts Green Globe Certified. The Green Globe certification is a merit earned when day-to-day operations meet the highest standards of sustainability. Criteria categories to achieve this standard include sustainable management, community development, incorporation of culture and resource conservation. As part of this commitment, Club Med resorts in the Americas, including the highly anticipated Club Med Québec Charlevoix, are working to be single-use-plastic free by 2020, and the brand is also seeking to remove plastic straws from all of its resorts globally through its Bye Bye Single-Use-Plastics initiative. ClubMed.ca

Ontario-based tripcentral.ca is the first Canadian travel company to offer a new payment option. The partnership with California-based Uplift allows travellers to pay for their dream vacation in monthly instalments. It’s simple to use. Book your trip, fill out a loan application online and check the rate. Once the loan is confirmed and you’ve booked your trip, you’re free to travel any time, even before you’ve paid off the balance. There’s no penalty for paying off the loan early. Uplift is already available on U.S. websites such as kayak.com and Norwegian Cruise Line. tripcentral.ca; uplift.com

Latin America’s leading resort developer and tourism operator is taking to the sea with the debut of Vidanta Cruises, scheduled to be launched in fall 2019. The group’s first ship, Vidanta Elegant, offers 149 spacious, luxurious staterooms and suites with a personal concierge assigned to each cabin. The ship is outfitted with six public decks and dining areas, 11 bars and lounges, a full-service spa, a fitness centre and a top deck pool. Award-winning French chefs guarantee gourmet dining experiences. With just one check-in, travellers can seamlessly split their trip between the cruise ship and Mexico’s Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta for a combined cruise-and-resort vacation. vidanta.com

WestJet celebrates summer 2019 with a new route between London, Ontario, and Montréal. Daily service will be offered from June 24 through October 15 on WestJet Encore. The airline also operates flights from London to Calgary and Toronto. From Montréal, take advantage of 23 daily summer flights including two to Vancouver, three to Calgary, one to Edmonton and Winnipeg, 13 to Toronto and two to Halifax. By peak summer, WestJet will be operating more than 750 daily flights to 92 destinations. westjet.com/flight-schedules-new

The Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada recently launched its new website, Photostories Canada, a searchable resource of more than 800 photostories created between 1955 and 1971 by the National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division. Meant to inspire a variety of audiences, ranging from teachers to the general public and academics to photojournalists, these photostories depict charming scenes of small-town life across Canada and offer Canadians the opportunity to learn more about each other as well as engage in, share and appreciate our nation’s history from coast to coast to coast. photostories.ca

Orlando, Florida, is always reinventing itself and this year the Theme Park Capital of the World is welcoming new immersive experiences for all ages. A new Sesame Street-themed land at SeaWorld Orlando as well as the Lego Movie World at LEGOLAND Florida Resort opened in spring 2019. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens late fall 2019. New thrill rides and family-friendly attractions include an all-new rollercoaster at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and a Mickey-themed ride-through attraction called Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway as well as Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Beyond the theme parks, check out Dezerland Action Park, Wild Florida and, for ages 13 and over, Epic Axe Throwing.  VisitOrlando.com

Whether you’re into whale watching, enjoying an outdoor concert in the mountains or catching a baseball game in Boston, Massachusetts has much to offer visitors. With the historic Freedom Trail alongside modern museums and a thriving food and drink scene, Boston is well worth exploring. North of Boston, explore the gorgeous shoreline filled with stunning beaches and cultural stops. Visit Cape Cod and the iconic islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. South of Boston beckons with nearly 400 years of history, charming fishing villages and more beaches. North Central Massachusetts invites you to explore Johnny Appleseed Country on exciting outdoor adventure activities. Take in the fresh mountain air of Western Massachusetts at Tanglewood in the Berkshires. massvacation.com

The only zip line on the Las Vegas Strip, FLY LINQ now gives riders four ride styles that can launch simultaneously on 10 side-by-side lines. Riders have the option to fly seated or prone backward whereas before they were only able to fly frontward. The thrill begins when guests take an elevator designed to provide Strip views from The Vortex at The LINQ Hotel & Casino to the top of the 34.7-metre launch tower above The LINQ Promenade. On the launch deck, they are fitted for gear before travelling 341 metres through the promenade to the landing tower and disembarkation near the base of High Roller. FLY LINQ is open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight and internet admission prices start from US$25.  caesars.com/linq/fly-linq

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