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(2017 - Winter Issue)


Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, has completed a three-year, US$140-million renovation of its 2,267 guest rooms and meeting space and Dolphin Resort lobby. Guests will soon be able to check out from their room and cast their own video-streaming services from their personal tablets and mobile devices to their in-room TV. The new Dolphin Resort lobby features a grand chandelier glowing with 10,000 individual crystals and a new restaurant called Fuel, offering quality grab-and-go options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The lobby’s new 150-seat bar Phins offers wine, beer, cocktails and appetizers. The project concludes just as Toy Story Land prepares to open nearby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. swandolphin.com

Adventure Canada, a specialist in Arctic and East Coast cruises, has announced a new wilderness canoeing adventure along the Keele River in Canada’s Northwest Territories. From July 12 to 26, 2018, take a floatplane north and paddle in smooth or bouncy turquoise waters through the rugged Mackenzie Mountains as you gradually head down to the Mackenzie River. Along the way, enjoy panoramic mountain views and keep an eye out for caribou, moose, grizzly and black bears. Catch a fish for dinner, relax at the campsite or take one of many hikes available. There are no portages and few bugs to worry about. adventurecanada.com

Millennials keen to see Europe with a group without the structured itineraries of the past will love Contiki’s new Independent Insider program for 2018. Designed for freedom and flexibility, the new trips let travellers pick their start and end cities and choose three-night stays in the places of their choice, including Nice, Copenhagen, Budapest, Mykonos, the Amalfi Coast and Porto. Itineraries can be created for up to a full 12-night trip. Authentic food experiences include memorable meals with VizEat, the Airbnb for food. Along with unique local experiences, each trip includes exclusive activities designed around each person’s interests. contiki.com 

Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, a stylish new resort in the heart of Waikiki Beach, is set to open in December 2017 just steps from the water. The former Pacific Beach Hotel has been transformed after a US$115-million redevelopment. The Aloha-chic design features 839 guest rooms and suites and a pool deck with a saltwater infinity pool, luxury cabanas and an outdoor bar overlooking the beach. Iron chef Masaharu Morimoto helms two restaurants, while the lobby’s O Bar features a 1,060-cubic-metre oceanarium filled with more than 1,000 marine creatures. alohilaniresort.com

The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts presents Once Upon A Time ... The Western from now until February 4. This major exhibition offers a new interpretation of the Western film by examining its links to more than 400 paintings, sculptures, photographs, artifacts, film stills and excerpts to show how the genre has evolved from the mid-1800s to today in the U.S. and Canada. The exhibition, co-produced with the Denver Art Museum, also explores themes still relevant today, from the battle of the sexes to prejudice against First Nations peoples. mbam.qc.ca

Carnival Cruise Line and Dr. Seuss Enterprises have teamed up to offer fun, educational shipboard activities inspired by the beloved children’s book Horton Hears a Who! to promote kindness, compassion and generosity among young ones. The new Be Kind/Dare to Care program encourages kids and their families to write down kindness pledges with prizes awarded for the most creative and heartfelt submissions. Kids can also create friendship bracelets and participate in the Seuss-a-Palooza Parade down the ships’ promenades followed by an interactive reading of the book in the main show lounge, with guests portraying different characters. There’s also a Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends. carnival.com 

 Louis Riel’s walking stick, on display at the Manitoba Museum since January 2017 as part of the Legacies of Confederation: A New Look at Manitoba History exhibit, was recently donated by Royal Winnipeg Rifles Regimental Museum to the Manitoba Museum where it will remain on permanent display. Louis Riel’s walking stick will play a central role in the revitalized Grasslands Gallery as part of the museum’s Bringing Our Stories Forward project. The museum is committed to telling the story of Louis Riel and continues to work closely with the Friends of Upper Fort Garry, the Manitoba Métis Federation and the Louis Riel Institute to advocate for and support the creation of Métis National Heritage Centre. manitobamuseum.ca

Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles are decking the halls with festive holiday experiences for families and friends. Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will light up Hogwarts castle in spectacular fashion, while the quaint town of Hogsmeade village shines with glowing storefronts. “Grinchmas” returns December 2–3 and 9–10, and daily from December 15–31 with energetic musical numbers from Martha Who-vier and boy-band The Who Dolls beneath an 18-metre “Grinchmas” tree. UniversalStudiosHollywood.com

Air France welcomes Joon to its airline family. A cross between a traditional and low-cost carrier, Joon, based in Paris, offers a personalized travel experience for a new generation of travellers. The on-board menu offers 60 treats, 20 per cent of them organic, while free water, juice, coffee and tea are available throughout the flight. Through YouJoon, customers can access in-flight streaming of TV series, WebTV and kids’ programs. On the ground, take advantage of Joon’s network of partners including TravelCar, Airbnb, exclusive tours of Paris through Le BHV Marais and weekend packages through Waynabox. From December 1, fly Joon from Paris to Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon or Porto for 39 euros including tax.  flyjoon.com 

Found along the most sought-after sugar-white sand beaches and emerald-green waters of Florida’s Panhandle, Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island are at the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast. Whether you’re looking for peace and quiet, fun mainland activities for the whole family, the ideal course on which to practise your golf game or a place to exchange wedding vows, Florida’s Emerald Coast is a premier year-round destination. Dining options offer visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy fresh seafood straight from the Gulf of Mexico at a variety of restaurants as well as authentic ethnic dishes served at fine-dining, award-winning establishments. And accommodation choices range from affordable to luxurious. You’re sure to find the right place for your well-deserved vacation. EmeraldCoastFL.com

Air Canada recently announced new non-stop services from Toronto and Montréal to Bucharest, Zagreb and Porto, with a new route between Montréal and Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Seasonal non-stop Air Canada Rouge services start in June 2018 to Bucharest from Toronto and Montréal, to Zagreb and Porto from Toronto, and to Lisbon from Montréal. A non-stop Air Canada service between Casablanca and Montréal will be launched June 1, 2018, while year-round flights between Toronto and Buenos Aires commence May 2, 2018. aircanada.com

Just a short drive north of The Palm Beaches and featuring 54 interesting and exciting holes designed by Pete Dye and Jim Fazio, the PGA Golf Club is ranked a top-75 golf resort by Golf Digest. The Ryder Course meanders over rolling hills and past majestic pine trees, while the Wanamaker presents a risk-reward element that’s hard to forget. Considered among Florida’s 20 best courses by Golfweek, Pete Dye’s design challenges even the most experienced players. On-site a 1,858-square-metre clubhouse filled with artifacts graces the organization’s 100-year-old history. pgavillage.com

Club Med, the renowned pioneer of all-inclusive resorts, recently announced plans to create its first-ever Canadian four-season resort in the picturesque setting of Le Massif in Charlevoix, Québec. Plans for the $120-million project include 300 rooms to provide a haven for family and couple getaways as well as for groups, with spaces to accommodate seminars and events. This new all-inclusive mountain resort will join a list of more than 20 sites already established in France, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and China. Club Med and Groupe Le Massif forecast the new resort will open by the end of 2020. clubmed.ca/l/le-massif-resort

The Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls has a new permanent exhibit called Saving the Pollinators; Our World Depends on It. Visitors to the bilingual, family-friendly exhibit will learn how tiny species, from bees to hummingbirds, play a major role in maintaining our environment. One 3D exhibit shows a flowering plant seen through human eyes set against the same plant seen through the eyes of a pollinator. Visitors will learn the risks if these valuable species decline and how they can help make a difference in protecting and preserving natural habitats. niagaraparks.com

Experience the thrill of seeing the world aboard a fully rigged tall sailing ship when you book an adventure with the Star Clippers fleet. Book now for a newly released 2018 or 2019 voyage and save 65 per cent off the brochure price plus receive a free one-category cabin upgrade with prepaid gratuities. Routes include the popular seven-night Caribbean cruise, or venture to exotic Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. From May to October 2018, sail to beautiful Bali as part of an Indonesian islands cruise. Popular Mediterranean cruises include the Greek isles and the yachting paradise of the Adriatic and the Balearics, where you’ll discover picturesque beaches, quaint seaside towns and fishing villages. starclippers.com 

If you’re planning a winter vacation on the West Coast, be sure to take in the annual PuSh International Performing Arts festival, Vancouver’s signature winter arts experience. Of the many performances in this year’s lineup, one of the most anticipated is the February 3 production of The Eternal Tides from Taiwan’s celebrated Legend Lin Dance Theatre, on its first-ever Canadian tour. Choreographed by Lin Lee-Chen, considered one of the world’s top contemporary choreographers, the piece celebrates the ebb and flow of the ocean and its connection to the cycle of life and gives new meaning to the phrase poetry in motion. pushfestival.ca

In recognition of its quality, environmental sustainability and social responsibility, the International Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI) announced the Thompson Okanagan Region as the first destination in the Americas to earn the prestigious Biosphere Destination certification. Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) and their members successfully met 137 benchmarks that contain sustainability measurements that track such standards as affordable, clean energy and water use; human rights and social justice; gender equality; cultural diversity and equality; labour standards; health and poverty standards; and sustainable communities. The designation allows the TOTA to market the region globally as one of the world’s most sustainable and responsible tourist destinations. TOTA and its members welcome over 3.5 million visitors per year, generating more than $2 billion in direct economic impact annually. totabc.org

CityPASS has launched a Mobile Ticket Option for Tampa Bay, which works in the same manner as printed CityPASS ticket booklets. Users simply scan their phone instead of a printed ticket at the attraction. The Tampa Bay mobile pass provides access to some of the area’s most popular attractions, including Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the Chihuly Collection and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. CityPASS booklets currently deliver savings of up to 50 per cent on admissions and some line-skipping perks to top attractions in 12 North American destinations. The goal is to provide the mobile pass in multiple languages to all the existing cities and to add in new destinations by the end of 2018. citypass.com

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