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(2018 - Winter Issue)


Heading into 2019, Best Western Hotels & Resorts is getting a makeover to meet the needs of today’s traveller. Best Western hotels offer a smart, sophisticated design and more multi-purpose spaces with integrated technology. The new and improved Best Western Plus offers affordable elegance, with stylish public areas and cosy guest rooms for comfort and relaxation. Best Western Premier hotels, meanwhile, exude luxury in an elegant atmosphere with upscale amenities, upgraded beds and linens and spa-like bathrooms in each spacious guest room. The company comprises 13 brands with more than 4,200 properties around the world. BestWestern.com 

Make the most of Mexico’s resort playground with the new GO Cancun Card, an all-in-one ticket to 23 attractions, tours and activities in and around Cancun for visitors to the Yucatan Peninsula. Buy a ticket for two, three, four, five or seven days and save up to 45 per cent on standard admission and tour prices. Highlights include water sports, surf lessons, parasailing, dolphin encounters, dinner cruises and cultural excursions. Passes for three or more days also include free admission to one of five additional premium attractions. Longer-term visitors can purchase the new Cancun Explorer Pass and enjoy a specific number of attractions over 30 days. gocancuncard.com; cancunexplorerpass.com

Unique family adventures await you in Long Beach, California. Take a backstage look at the workings at the Long Beach Airport. View more than 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Spend a night on board the luxurious ocean liner, Queen Mary. Explore an open-air museum, featuring works of art on the sides of buildings at the annual POW! WOW! LONG BEACH event. Enjoy a nighttime “glow ride” on luminous water bicycles through Alamitos Bay. Head to family-friendly Long Beach with the kids or to Rosie’s Dog Beach with Fido. VisitLongBeach.com/neighborhoods/east-waterfront/

From June 9 to 20, 2019, sail around Ireland aboard the 198-passenger ship, Ocean Endeavour. Visit the Rock of Cashel, Belfast and all the island’s outer edges with the return of Adventure Canada’s Ireland Circumnavigation. Along the way, experience the country’s friendly folk, rolling countryside, charming villages and rugged seascapes. Highlights include Skellig Islands (featured in The Last Jedi), the Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry and the dramatic Cliffs of Moher as well as castles, cathedrals, national parks, Irish cities and pubs. Another highlight will be a visit to remote Tory Island, inhabited by a Gaelic community of fewer than 200 people with their very own king. adventurecanada.com

After undergoing heavy damage in 2017 during Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s Meliá Coco Beach is set to reopen December 15. Located within a gated community and surrounded by reef-protected beaches and El Yunque National Forest, the resort’s multi-million-dollar renovation will result in upgraded amenities, an infusion of local culture and Meliá-branded services such as premium concept THE LEVEL. The hotel is 20 minutes from the airport and offers 480 junior suites and six oceanfront villas. Each room is housed in a two-storey bungalow with picturesque views of the ocean and lush gardens throughout the property. Guests also receive discounts at two 18-hole championship courses. melia.com

Buy a New York Pass or New York City Explorer Pass to save big on 26 added attractions, tours and experiences in the Big Apple. The one- to 10-day New York Pass, with free guidebook, now includes the Ground Zero Museum Workshop, a Catacombs by Candlelight tour at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral and a pedal boat ride around Governor’s Island. Save more than US$200 when you visit three attractions a day and get fast-track entry at some popular sites. If you have more time, the New York City Explorer Pass saves you up to 50 per cent on three, four, five, seven or 11 attractions over 30 days. New events include Spirits on Foot, a beer, spirits and wine bar walking tour, and an Inside Broadway walking tour. newyorkpass.com; newyorkcityexplorerpass.com

Hong Kong’s new 26-kilometre high-speed rail link from Kowloon Station to Mainland China allows international visitors to travel quickly and conveniently between Hong Kong and 44 mainland China destinations, including nine neighbouring cities in Guangdong province, without changing trains. With frequent direct trains linking Hong Kong to Shenzhen and Guangzhou in as little as 48 minutes, travelling within the Greater Bay Area will be faster and more efficient than ever. The new link also makes Hong Kong an ideal starting point for journeys through China. hktb.com; expressraillink.hk/en/home 

To ease the stress of family travel, British Airways has established a permanent family check-in zone and security lane at its hub in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport. Parents travelling with children under two years of age can reserve seats for the whole group at the time of booking and check a collapsible pushchair and a car seat for free. The carrier also guarantees that children under 12 will always be seated with an adult from their group. Kids receive Skyflyers activity packs on long-haul flights and there’s a dedicated Skyflyers Kids’ Zone on the in-flight enter-tainment system. And in-flight, kids eat before adults. britishairways.com/en-gb/information/family-travel

Contiki has unveiled the epic adventure of 2019 for 18 to 35-year-olds—visit all seven “new” Wonders of the World in 82 days. This round-the-world adventure begins March 24 at Delhi’s Taj Mahal and ends June 13 at Rome’s Colosseum. The young explorers will also visit the Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Machu Picchu in Peru, Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and Petra in Jordan. And there’s much more, from a panda sanctuary in Chengdu, China, to a canopy hike through the Amazon jungle, a tango lesson in Buenos Aires, 4x4ing across Wadi Rum in Jordan and a boat trip to Italy’s island of Capri. The price includes 92 meals. contiki.com/ca/en/activity/7-wonders

Eurostar, the high-speed rail service linking the U.K. to mainland Europe, celebrates the season with a new cocktail bar and drinks menu in London’s Pancras station. Then it’s off to the ski slopes in the French Alps. As of December 21, special trains will travel overnight Friday and by day Saturday to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Return to London the following Saturday in the morning or evening. There’s no charge for a pair of skis or snowboard (in a case) plus two pieces of baggage. Passports are checked before you leave London, and buses depart from Bourg to well-known resorts, including Val Thorens and Val d’Isère. Eurostar also introduced a new route from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. eurostar.com

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