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(2022 - Winter/Spring Issue)


Your senses can get a jolt when you open NOVICA’S Undiscovered Artisan Box. The tastefully wrapped gift box available by subscription has an assortment of locally-made indigenous handcrafts that have been mindfully selected to help showcase various regions from around the world. Destinations like Peru, Bali and Costa Rica will be featured this spring by the world’s largest online impact marketplace. The company also has launched a new Canadian shopping website, NOVICA.ca, for more impactful online shopping journeys. Find something for yoga and meditation, the art collector, the bee lover, and even earth-friendly artisanal items that are bright and cheery. undiscovered-artisan-box.com

Travel to the Azores Islands in style with Azores’ Airlines MyUpgrade service. Passengers who book a seat in Economy class to this magical chain of nine volcanic islands in the mid-Atlantic are invited by email to make an offer within a pre-determined price range for a business class seat up to 24 hours before the flight. Think larger seats, extra baggage allowance, priority check-in and delectable meals. Passengers can also purchase an upgrade for a fixed amount or try their luck with a spontaneous offer through the MyUpgrade area on the airline’s website. azoresairlines.pt

Winnipeg’s historic downtown Fort Garry hotel is the ideal place to relax, replenish and refuel this winter. From now until April, book a luxurious Wellness Weekend Retreat and give your mind, body and soul all the nurturing it needs through guided activities, spa treatments at Ten Spa and delicious meals from the newly restored Oval Room Brasserie. Led by experts in each field, choose your preferred method of restoration—from meditation, mindfulness and sound bathing to a couple’s yoga retreat. Bring a friend or arrive solo for an active bootcamp weekend or spend two days practising hygge (pronounced hoo-gah), the Danish lifestyle concept of cosy comfort and enjoying life’s simple pleasures. fortgarryhotel.com

Alaska-based UnCruise Adventures isn’t about big ships and urban ports of call, it’s about small ships with an average of 60 to 70 passengers that bring you close to nature and encourage you to be adventurous. It’s also focused on sustainability. Depending on time of year, the UnCruise fleet sails to Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Galapagos, Hawaii and more. Cruises are all-inclusive, casual and comfortable with inviting cabins and spacious common areas. Alaska expeditions sail from May to September. Activities range from walks on the beach to kayaking, hiking and snorkelling. unCruise.com

Connect with nature and relax deeply at the two new Banyan Tree well-being sanctuaries in southern Thailand. A select number of pool villas and suites at the company’s Koh Samui and Krabi resorts combine a leisurely vacation with a daily program that includes nutritious meals and personal consultations to enrich mind, body and soul. Guests fill out a questionnaire before their visit and choose their own activities, from meditation to Thai boxing, massage to hydrotherapy, nature trails to sailing lessons. Staff members continue to check in and provide suggestions after guests return home to their daily routines. wellbeing.banyantree.com

Escape the pandemic with a rejuvenating wellness stay in Bermuda. Practice sun salutations on a dramatic cliffside overlooking turquoise waters and pink-sand beaches. Test your balance atop a stand-up paddleboard in a gentle bay. Book a massage in a natural cave at Grotto Bay Beach Resort’s Natura Spa, where the sound of dripping water mingles with soft, soothing music. Or join a foraging tour with Wild Herbs and Plants of Bermuda. For a more active trip, explore the 29 kilometres of paths along the Bermuda Railway Trail. Hike to pristine Spittal Pond, the island’s biggest nature reserve. You may need a week! GotoBermuda.com

Whether you’re a fledgling birder or a veteran, British Columbia’s location on the Pacific Flyway provides some of North America’s best birdwatching opportunities. Millions of migratory birds travel this route twice a year, usually in spring and fall. With the addition of two new trails, the BC Bird Trail now offers four self-guided itineraries through the province. Each trail includes information on attractions, activities and accommodations related to birdwatching year-round. Possible sightings include Alaska-nesting Pacific golden-plovers embarking on their non-stop flight of over 8,000 kilometres, or the migrating snow goose. BCbirdtrail.ca

Renowned Quebec sommelier Kristine Mansuy founded Kikico Wine Events in 2016 to share her passion for Canadian artisan winemakers and for Canadian wines. From a base in the Eastern Townships, Kikico offers private guided tours in Quebec’s most beautiful vineyards along with tailored travel itineraries in the wine regions of Ontario’s Prince Edward County and B.C.’s Okanagan Valley. Mansuy also organizes high-end private and corporate events including wine tastings, cocktail parties, wine and food pairing workshops, wine training sessions and master classes. Last fall, she represented Canada at a prestigious international wine tourism conference in Portugal. kikico.ca

Scenic Eclipse now offers even more fabulous entertainment aboard its river and ocean cruises. Enjoy musical theatre to opera, contemporary pop and modern jazz to world-class headliners, guest speakers, instrumentalists and dancers. The ultra-luxury yacht, which debuted in 2019, hosts up to 228 guests and offers a 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio plus butler service. Services at the on-board wellness centre range from aerial yoga and Pilates to Tibetan sound bowl healing classes. New dining experiences feature night-market and street food from Asia, India and the Middle East. Download a brochure at  Scenic.ca

Beer lovers heading to Montreal this spring or summer can explore the city’s vibrant downtown while taking part in beer-themed tastings, cruises, guided tours, shows and more. Buy a passport for discounts at many breweries and restaurants. One popular event is the 45-minute tour of Brasseur de Montreal followed by beer and food pairings in its resto-pub. Activities are being held in different parts of the city from museums and cinemas to microbreweries, pubs and parks, all accessible by public transit, bike or on foot. Montreal’s international beer festival is scheduled for May 19 to 22.  Montrealcentrevillebrassicoleculturelgourmand.com

Bahamas’ Grand Isle Resort and Spa on Great Exuma features 78 spacious and stunning villas situated along miles of crystal clear water and ivory beaches. With so much to do and experience from sport fishing, sailing and kitesurfing to diving and snorkelling, guests will never be bored. If lounging by the pool, visiting the spa or playing 18 holes of golf at a championship course designed by PGA pro Greg Norman is more your thing, the Grand Isle has you covered. Meet Exuma’s social media darlings, the swimming pigs, or join an expedition to tag sharks, a brand-new adventure from the marine conservation group, Beneath The Waves. grandisleresort.com

San Juan, Puerto Rico is celebrating its 500th anniversary in style with concerts, festivals, tours and more until June. Travel back in time along the cobblestone streets of this walled city to the El Morro fortress, built in 1533. Then visit Puerto Rico’s Museum of Contemporary Art, housing one of the Caribbean’s largest collections. Find handmade souvenirs and art pieces in the eclectic art galleries and gift shops of Old San Juan or shop at Plaza Las Americas, the island’s largest shopping mall, located at the end of San Juan’s Hato Rey District. The streets are alive with music, and La Placita is the hotspot for dining, dancing and socializing. Some of the island’s most popular and picturesque beaches are located right in the city. DiscoverPuertoRico.com

A new private charter service offers convenient flights between Torres del Paine and Patagonia National Park in Chile near the southern tip of South America. The flight connects two remote luxury Explora lodges in vastly different regions. The Explora Torres del Paine, set in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is surrounded by glaciers, lakes and open steppes. Explore the rugged remote area with local bilingual guides on horseback, a hike or pedal the terrain using a mountain or e-bike. The 20-room Explora El Chaltén in Argentina, reached by van, is the expedition company’s first foray west of the Andes in a territory renowned for world-class trekking. Explora.com

Visitors to Lapland, Finland’s most northern region, can now experience the spectacular Northern Lights from the comfort of glass-roofed cabins. The luxurious igloo-style cabins built on Arctic tundra are included in the new six-day “Stars of Scandinavia” experience, created by Scandinavian company, Off the Map Travel. Starting in Tromso, Norway, the tour takes you to two Finnish villages. In Kilpisjärvi, the two-storey luxury cabins sleep up to four people, with the master bedroom enclosed in glass and lit with soft red light so your eyes adjust to the night sky. During the day, guests will experience the region’s culture and wilderness through dog sledding, a fat bike tour and a snowmobile adventure to the border of Norway, Finland and Sweden. Expect to meet up with reindeer and learn about Sami culture. offthemap.travel

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