2017 | The Great Canadian Travel Co.

STAFF PICKS

September 21, 2020 | Shauna Cook

This past winter I had the opportunity to stay at the Snowhotel in Kirkenes, Norway. I stayed on December 1st for one night. The actual Snowhotel wasn’t quite finished construction yet, so we stayed in the equally unique Gamme Cabins, and they were fabulous! We flew about 2.5 hours northeast …

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September 20, 2020 | Karen Pearson

With Covid-19 curtailing our plans, my partner and I have been missing travel. To help with that, one day while Chris was at work, I decided to surprise him by making a dinner with Peruvian and Bolivian foods so we could relive one of our favourite trips.        …

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August 19, 2020 | Shauna Cook

When I was researching interesting things to see in Moscow, the Moscow Metro System kept on popping up.  So I booked a metro tour before I left – and it certainly did NOT disappoint!! Our guide led our small group (10 people) through the extremely busy, but equally beautiful metro …

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Glaciers and Ice

December 20, 2017 | Allison Silvaggio

Did you know that about 10% of land area on Earth is covered by glacial ice? Antarctica is the world’s largest ice sheet, and is so large that it even covers mountain ranges and a bunch of volcanoes. Yes, volcanoes… underneath the ice. So as the world’s fifth largest continent, and on average, the highest AND coldest out of the seven, Antarctica and its glaciers are a sight to see. Just don’t forget your long underwear! Read More >

West Greenland

December 19, 2017 | Shauna Cook

I was so excited to visit West Greenland.  I departed Copenhagen airport, and flew with Air Greenland to Kangerlussaq, Greenland.  Kanglerlussaq is a nice little village in the heart of Western Greenland.  It has a well-equipped international airport as it was formally a US Airbase.  For the larger planes arriving from Denmark, this is the only place in Greenland they are able to land.  Once we arrived in Kangerlussuaq, we had about 3 hours to wait until our next flight north to Ilullisat left.  There is not much in the way of airport security if you are travelling domestically in Greenland – nothing at all in fact!  We went outside and did a little walking tour of the area including some really unique gift shops and the local police station.  When it was time to meet our flight, we made our way back into the airport and readied ourselves for our flight north!  Read More >

Sailing the Drake

December 15, 2017 | Allison Silvaggio

No, this is not a reference to Drake, the Canadian-born rapper, with song titles that are actually quite fitting for a post about Antarctica. I’m pretty sure this isn’t what he meant, but I’m going to go with it anyway. Read More >

Northern Ireland and Hurricane Ophelia

December 11, 2017 | Karen Pearson

In October, I was part of a group of travel agents who went on tour jointly sponsored by Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland. We were so fortunate, as this was the first familiarization trip that combined both countries. It was a whirlwind trip, quite literally, and so much fun. I was lucky enough to travel with a fabulous group of people from all across Canada, from Vancouver to St. John’s. In no time, it was like we’d always known each other.

You can fly into Belfast, but Northern Ireland is just as easily accessible from Dublin airport. With WestJet, Aer Lingus, and Air Canada all flying into Dublin, there are so many options for flights. We flew WestJet via Toronto, and although the landing in St. John’s was bouncy due to the wind, I can’t complain about the extra stop. It broke the trip up so it didn’t seem quite so long. I experienced the same friendly service and on-time flights that I have come to expect from WestJet.

On arrival in Dublin, we were met by our guide, Lynn Corken, who was very welcoming and informative. Her Northern Irish accent is lovely, although it does take a bit of getting used to. For quite a while, we all wondered where this Kine-ty Dine (rhymes with ninety-nine) was located, then laughed at ourselves when we realized that’s where we currently were, County Down.

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A Dinner Invitation

December 05, 2017 | Ian Kalinowsky

Hey there! We would like to invite you for dinner!

Sounds great – when would you like to go?

What are you doing in March?

Um, I don’t know? That’s pretty far in advance.

Well, this place is pretty spectacular and reservations fill up fast.

Sure, I can mark it on my calendar so I don’t book anything else that day – when is it?

Well, that’s the thing. It’s Monday, March 5th, but you won’t be home until the 6th.

I’ve never heard of dinner taking two days…

It’s actually 1000 km North of Winnipeg. I have already made you a plane reservation on CalmAir.

I am intrigued. A thousand km north of Winnipeg? Like Churchill?

Yes, but dinner is not actually in Churchill.

We have to go somewhere else?

Yes, a tundra buggy is going to come and pick us up and head out of town.

Cool so we are going to eat sandwiches in a tundra buggy.

No, in a tent.

What? A tent – isn’t the temperature about -20C?

It’s about -21C today, but the tent will be warm because it’s inside a massive 250-year stone fort.

So let me get all this straight. We are having dinner –  in a tent –  inside a fort – reached by a truck called a Tundra Buggy – after taking a 2-hour flight north from Winnipeg. Anything else I should know?

Oh, the tent is clear so we can watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky, in a location that NASA says is the best on the planet.

This is an amazing surprise. Do I even ask what is for dinner?

Actually, it’s a surprise. Chef Mandel Hitzer, from the celebrated Winnipeg restaurant Raw: Almond, will prepare a dinner inspired by the type of ingredients that explorers, adventurers and First Nations folks would have used in their meals 250 years ago while at the Prince of Wales Fort.

Ok! I’m fired up and ready to go!

One last thing: don’t wear heels.

Five Things Travel Has Taught Me

December 04, 2017 | Pearl McCallum

I have been in the travel industry for many years and have travelled to many different places. And in all these years and all the different places, I have learned quite a lot. Here is my top five things that I have learned while travelling: Read More >

The Wildlife of Antarctica

November 30, 2017 | Allison Silvaggio

Most travellers head to Antarctica to complete their 7th Continent, for the amazing scenery and ice, and for the wildlife. Just having returned 4 days ago, I remember all of the amazing wildlife.

With just under 2 days from Ushuaia to cross the Drake Passage, much of this time was spent on board enjoying the bird life which included; Wandering Albatross (which just happens to have the longest wingspan of any bird on the planet, reaching up to 3.5 metres across!), Southern Giant Petrel and Southern Fulmar. Read More >

Day three: Last Day on the Northern Frontier

November 28, 2017 | Archived Blogs

I woke up at 6:09 according my phone clock. I pack up what belongings I have taken out and head off to the shower. A push of the button gives you 2 minutes of hot water. It’s their way of conserving the water that needs to be brought in (and out) from town.

I got dressed and put on my fuzzy slippers and make my way to the lounge car. Not many people are awake yet, so I find myself a table and a cup of coffee and enjoy the views outside the window. As people trickle in, the volume gets louder and the space becomes full of people. Breakfast of french toast and bacon is served. And coffee. There is always coffee. Read More >

It’s a Small World, After All

November 23, 2017 | Pearl McCallum

Vietnam is a wonderfully diverse country offering experiences that are found nowhere else. Its storied history has resulted in a unique blend of language, tradition, even religion. My friends and I began our adventure in Ho Chi Minh City, with its bustling markets, underground maze of tunnels, and ever-present traffic. Our Canadian eyes were opened to an entirely unfamiliar way of life, and of course that is the reason we travel in the first place. Delicious pho is found at too many restaurants to count, and for those so inclined there is a high end shopping district. Read More >

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