2019 | 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 …

+READ MORE
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.        …

+READ MORE
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 …

+READ MORE

Newsletters – 2019

December 31, 2019 | GCTG Marketing

If you want to keep up to date on product news, promotions and specials we send out a newsletter by e-mail every couple of weeks. To be kept in the loop just sign up from our website, at the bottom of each page in the red “footer” or email us to be added to the list to receive updates from us. You can always unsubscribe at any time if you change your mind later on!

Newsletter Archives:

December 31st newsletter – Happy New Year in 2020!

December 18th newsletter – Happy Holiday Greetings!

December 05th newsletter – Winter Escapes

November 21st newsletterBlack Friday & Cyber Monday sales.

November 07th newsletter – Travel With a Purpose.

October 24th newsletter – Under the African Sun.

October 09th newsletter – Thanksgiving.

September 25th newsletter – Multi-Generational Cruises.

September 11th newsletter – All-Inclusive Resorts.

August 28th newsletter – Group Travel.

August 14th newsletterNorthern Lights.

July 31st newsletter – Stunning South Pacific.

July 17th newsletter – Award-Winning Portugal.

July 4th newsletter – Let’s Celebrate Canada!

June 19th newsletterIceland & Fun in the Summertime.

June 5th newsletterEscorted African safari.

May 22nd newsletter – European Escorted Tours.

Promos & Specials – May 15, 2019 – 2nd edition

May 08, 2019: The ABCs of Great Canadian Travel

Promos & Specials: May 01, 2019 – 1st edition

April 24, 2019: Our Nordic Adventures

Promos & Specials: April 17, 2019 – 2nd edition

April 10, 2019: A Spring in Your Step

Promos & Specials: April 03, 2019 – 1st edition

March 27, 2019: Ireland & the UK

Promos & Specials: March 20, 2019 – 2nd edition

March 13, 2019: Sales on Sails

Promos & Specials: March 06, 2019 – 1st edition

February 27, 2019: International Polar Bear Day

Promos & Specials: February 20, 2019 – 2nd edition

February 13, 2019: Love is in the Air

Promos & Specials: February 06, 2019 – 1st edition

January 30, 2019: Top of the World

Promos & Specials: January 23, 2019 – 2nd edition

January 16, 2019: Warm Destinations

Promos & Specials: January 9, 2019 – 1st edition

January 2, 2019: Happy New Year!

Karen’s Best Days Ever! Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

December 09, 2019 | Karen Pearson

My partner Chris had told me so much about Salar de Uyuni. The photos from his previous trips were stunning. I was so excited to see the salt flats that I didn’t even mind waking up around 4:00am. The drive from our accommodations to Incahuasi Island took about an hour. In the dark, the salt seemed so much like snow on a gravel road that I felt like I could have still been on the prairies. That feeling was reinforced when the sun came up and everything I could see for miles was white and flat. It was like being on Lake Winnipeg in January, and I felt completely at home. Even some areas where the salt was shallow looked like when the lake starts to melt in the spring and there is a layer of water and slushy snow on top of the ice. The only indication that it was not snow was in one area where the water was bubbling up like a geyser, and around it the salt looked like sand. Read More >

Tianna’s Best Days Ever!

December 04, 2019 | Archived Blogs

My best day ever started at sunrise in the Negev Desert at the Khan Be’erotayim Eco-lodge. After a quick and delicious traditional Bedouin breakfast it was time to begin my first camel riding adventure. The Khan is home to a herd of beautiful camels and after introductions and a safety briefing it was time to climb aboard.

photo credit: Israel Ministry of Tourism & Eyal Harel

Camels are very tall and I am not, so getting onto my camel was a challenge of its own. After a helpful hand and a gentle push up, I successfully made it onto the camel! It was time for some pictures and the start of the journey. If you have ever seen a camel, you will know how they fold in on themselves when they sit and the steep angle and jolting motion as they stand was startling. It was also at this moment that I took notice of how high up I was sitting and how far down the ground was and while it was a little unsettling the views of the desert from this perspective made it all worth it.

Read More >

International Indigenous Travel Conference – One to Remember!

November 27, 2019 | Allison Silvaggio

After attending 7 travel conferences over the past 10 years, the International Indigenous Travel Conference is one to remember.  All of the amazing people met, and amount of knowledge gained.  And mainly due to the cultural & emotional experiences that touched each of us.

It began with a very moving talk from the first Inuk to every play in the National Hockey League; Jordin Tootoo from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.  In 2011 Jordin established the Team Tootoo Fund, a non profit organization addressing suicide awareness and prevention.  Jordin shared his personal struggles with us, and spoke about the loss of his older brother Terence, who died at the age of 22.

I am looking forward to reading Jordin’s book; ‘All the Way, My Life on the Ice.’  Jordin continues to support the fund, and speak throughout Canada at different events expressing that there is help, and we need to accept it.

 

 

 

We also experienced a very powerful presentation from the beautiful Sarain Fox, dancer, choreographer, activist and television host.  Her talk helped open our eyes to just how proud we should be to share the amazing Indigenous culture and travel experiences that Canada has to offer.  We are very fortunate to have these experiences offered through every province and territory of this great country.

And when the audience seemed exhausted from information over-load, who better to get us all up on our feet, than ‘Double the Trouble.’  Identical 15-year old twin fiddlers along with their father on guitar, from Winnipeg, MB who delivered a fantastic musical performance.

Indigenous Tourism Canada made a very special announcement during the conference.  They have signed a contract and will now be using an Indigenous owned travel agency, Indigeno Travel,  for all of their leisure and corporate travel arrangements.  We are very excited to begin this new venture with them.

The message relayed during the 3-day conference was return to your land and take care of it for the generations to come.  This is a very strong message with everything going on in our world, and what we can do to protect it.

I am also very happy to report that the 2020 International Indigenous Travel Conference will be held in my home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Hope to see you there!

Lois’ Best Days Ever!

November 12, 2019 | Lois Farley

Over my many years of travelling, both for work and on vacation, there have been lots of Best Days Ever. But, this is definitely one of the best!

My two daughters and I recently took a trip to Ireland. We started out in Dublin, and had a couple of days in that fun city, where’s there’s so much to see and do. Then, we picked up a rental car and off we went, road warriors! The self-drive trip itself was great, although I admit to being a bit too ambitious in my planning. Trying to fit in everything that all three of us wanted to see was just not possible. We did manage to see a lot of awesome places, though (and even some we didn’t intend to, thanks Google maps!) But, I always say, when you’re on holiday you never get lost, you just take scenic detours. And sometimes those detours work out great. Note to self, just because a road in Ireland looks straight on the map (there are one or two, but that’s probably it) does not mean it’s flat (as our Prairie brains automatically equated it to be). There was one in particular that was a real roller coaster! Read More >

Ian’s Best Days Ever!

November 12, 2019 | Ian Kalinowsky

Iceland Scuba Diving – one of my Best Days Ever!

I am a Scuba Diver. I have dived hundreds of times in Mexico, Roatan, Belize, Cuba, Thailand and Canada. But, my single best dive was at the Silfra Dive site in Iceland with my eldest son David.

  Silfra is a fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates in Thingvellir National Park. It was formed by earthquakes in 1789 when the tectonic plates tore the earth apart and created this fissure. It is a “living” dive site in that the continents drift apart at a rate of 2cm per year. Silfra is the only place in the world where you can dive (or snorkel) directly in a crack between two continents.

The Silfra fissure cut into the underground spring and filled with glacial melt-water from the nearby Langjökull glacier. The water is filtered through porous underground lava for 30-100 years before reaching the spring that feeds into Silfra. The water is therefore extremely pure by the time it reaches the north end of Thingvellir lake and it allows for underwater visibility of over 100 meters in Silfra. For reference good visibility in the ocean is about 100 feet (33 meters). The underwater visibility of the water in Silfra will rarely, if ever, be surpassed. Silfra is said to have the clearest water in the world. Read More >

Allison’s Best Days Ever!

November 11, 2019 | Allison Silvaggio

‘Arriving on my 7th Continent’

With so many fantastic travel experiences, its hard to choose just one.  However, I think of this day often.

After a two-day sailing across the Drake Passage, I have finally arrived; my 7th continent! The anticipation of stepping onto the Antarctic  Peninsula for the first time……solid ground is wonderful!

Not long after our arrival, we experienced the true Antarctic greeting, as some curious penguins waddled by along the shores.  We enjoyed a snowshoe with the most breathtaking scenery surrounding us.  The peacefulness was so serene, that we decided to stop and sit for a bit.  To take the time to absorb our surroundings and appreciate the silence.  The only sound was the waves against the shore and our penguin friends.  The weather was perfect, with a cool breeze on your face, and the sun trying to peak through the overcast clouds.  Light flurries were falling, which made the experience even better.

After returning to our expedition vessel, I enjoyed a warm beverage and some wonderful conversation with our fellow travellers.  Followed by an amazing dinner, paired with some fantastic wines from Argentina.

The solitude, serenity and scenery make this my best day ever!!

 

Corina’s Best Days Ever!

November 10, 2019 | Corina Parisien

One of my Best Days Ever was at an all-inclusive resort in Cuba. We booked a Swimming with Dolphins excursion. We started the day on a catamaran and sailed out to a beautiful spot where we stopped and went snorkelling.  I absolutely loved snorkelling!  I think I was one of the last people back to the boat.  I just found it so beautiful and relaxing.

From there we went to an island and had a lobster lunch with time to go relax on the beach and have a swim.

After that, back onto the catamaran and to the dolphin swim where I met Oscar.   Oscar the dolphin swam around and showed off his skills and swam up close so we could all say hi.

As we were coming out of the water, the trainer asked if I wanted to swim with Oscar and, of course, I did!  I got back in the water and I got to go for a swim with 2 dolphins.   The swim ended with dolphin hugs.  It is an experience I will never forget.

Nicole’s Best Days Ever!

November 10, 2019 | Nicole Fell

Vancouver Island – a west coast beauty thriving abundantly with lush greenery and flowers blooming effortlessly. An oceanic coastal scene mingled beautifully with deep forests and soaring mountains. I visited for my first time last year for my best friend Amelia’s wedding. I didn’t know what I was expecting when I landed in Nanaimo, but I did not expect to be as overwhelmed and taken aback by its tucked away charm as I was. Growing up on the Manitoba prairies and never really travelling to any of my neighbouring provinces did leave me wondering. and unaware, of the vast diversity of our country from one province to the next.

I returned to Nanaimo again this May for another visit. I am going to highlight just one day I spent on the island. We started off by picking up a coffee in Nanaimo and sitting by Departure Bay, where we watched the ferries coming and going from the port. Once we were caffeine infused we headed out on the road, passing by town after town down the coastal highway. I remember staring out the window as we drove down the winding highway, passing towering trees that went on for miles and, when there was a break in the trees, ocean and mountains. It was completely serene and peaceful.

One of the moments that stood out the most was visiting Cathedral Grove, an old forest in MacMillan Provincial Park with towering ancient Douglas fir trees. Some of the trees are over 800 years old – their trunks are broad and thick, they almost looked wise with their weathered and strong bodies upholding for so many years. It was one of those rare moments where I felt truly small, surrounded by these giant trees that towered overhead, with their branches creating a blanket of leaves high above.

There was bright green moss that grew freely over branches and broken down logs, the sun light filtered through the leaves and the spaces between the trees, washing over every surface. The forest had a very mysterious and whimsical feel, you cold easily get lost in your thoughts wandering and admiring its magnificence and raw beauty.

After, we stopped at a farmer’s market where we bought fresh produce and sipped on iced coffee from a hole in the wall coffee shop by the side of the road. We hit two different beaches and ending up in several towns. We took time to explore and embrace the fresh air by the water and watch the mountains in the distance. We wearily made the drive back to Nanaimo and ended the day with a glass of wine.

My experience of Vancouver Island was one of wonder, fascination, and happiness. I am always looking for an adventure and a new place to discover. The island gave me all of this and more which is why I can say this was one of my best days ever.

Natalie’s Best Days Ever!

November 10, 2019 | Archived Blogs

My “Best days ever” started was when I was 18. It was the year 2000. I was fresh out of high school and ready to conquer adult life, move out of province and go to law school.  My Church had opened registrations to join the St-Boniface Diocese to send 75 youth to Italy for the World Youth Days and lucky me, I was chosen from my community.

Close your eyes and picture yourselves among a few million people in St. Peter’s Square.  You’re squished, you’re holding your travel partner’s hand and back pack very tightly so as not to get separated and your eyes are locked on the flag overhead held by your flag bearer, a.k.a “group master”.  Do this successfully and you won’t get lost.

So, there we all are, in the middle of chaos and Pope John Paul II is miles away, like a little dot you can kind of see, waaayyy over there.  Suddenly, the crowd parts just like Moses parting The Red Sea and our group is standing there in the middle, on the cobblestone pathways to the Vatican. The guards are yelling at us and they take our group master’s flag pole away!  OMG, what is happening?  The guards start to move us and, just like that, we are ushered on stage to sit with Pope John Paul II. Thus was the start of the World Youth Days opening ceremonies and my travel career!

I never went to law school…I became a travel agent!

By the way – the flag pole that was stolen from us, well Sister Norma dared me to jump the iron gate to retrieve it, which I did. I saved the day, something I always seem to end up doing when I travel (see other blogs).

We were four sharing that tiny room together in Rome: Sister Norma, Monique, Mariève and I.  For the past 19 years we’ve been getting together every few months for lunch.  We lost Monique a few years ago to a long battle with MS and other health issues, but when I close my eyes, I see the four of us right there in the middle of all the chaos, and I am filled with so much peace, love, and desire for my next adventure!

X

CONTACT US