2020 | The Great Canadian Travel Co.

STAFF PICKS

September 13, 2021 | Shauna Cook

Iceland COVID-19 Regulations – info updated 13 September, 2021. Please note: The information provided is subject to change without notice by the government agencies of Iceland, the US and Canada. We cannot be held responsible for any expenses incurred due to changes in testing requirements either before or during your …

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September 3, 2021 | Sandra Jensen

It is my passion to plan holidays, for myself as well as my clientele. In 2006 that started with a plan to visit Europe while attended a FIFA World Cup soccer match in Hamburg. Match tickets were not that easy to get. They were done on a lottery draw basis, …

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July 6, 2021 | Lois Farley

It might seem a bit odd for us to be talking to you about sun, sand and surf holidays when most of North America is suffering through extreme heatwaves. But, turn your mind back to those days in January and February, when the wind was howling, the air brisk and …

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Season’s Greetings from Ian and Margot

December 09, 2020 | Ian Kalinowsky

2020 is nearly done! Like us, we’re pretty sure you won’t be sorry to see this year go!

It’s been a tough year for a lot of people, for small businesses and entire industries. We would never have dreamed when we welcomed in 2020, that the year would so dramatically affect the entire world’s travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.

And though the year has been very tough on our staff and their families I am very grateful to have them by my side, assisting clients with past issues and helping fulfill their travel dreams for the future. Read More >

Newsletters – 2020

December 09, 2020 | 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 week or two. 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:

09 December, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Season’s Greetings & Our 40th Birthday Gift Card Bonus Promotion

25 November, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Our 40th Birthday, American Thanksgiving & Black Friday Sales

11 November, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Remembrance Day

28 October, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Halloween & Day of the Dead

15 October, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Africa

30 September, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Scotland

23 September, 2020 – Polar Bear Tours still Available for western Canadians

16 September, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Videos to Inspire

02 September, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Wildlife Viewing

19 August, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Greenland

05 August, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Iceland

22 July, 2020 – Up2Date with Charlene Underhill and Diane Monnier

15 July, 2020 – Up2Date with Trish Middleton

08 July, 2020 – Up2Date with Arnie Hydamaka

01 July, 2020 – Up2Date with Amelia Bearhart

24 June, 2020 – Up2Date with Margot Kalinowsky

17 June, 2020 – Up2Date with Yvonne Sacilot

10 June, 2020 – Up2Date with Ian Kalinowsky

03 June, 2020 – Up2Date with Lindsay Ruffeski

27 May, 2020 – Up2Date with Karen Pearson

20 May, 2020 – Up2Date with Sandra Jensen

13 May, 2020 – Up2Date with Allison Silvaggio

06 May, 2020 – Up2Date with Lois Farley

29 April, 2020 – Up2Date with Shauna Cook

16 April, 2020 – Spring Ahead to Your Best Days Ever!

01 April, 2020 – Active Getaways & April Fools Day

18 March, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

12 March, 2020 – Luck of the Irish

27 February, 2020 – International Polar Bear Day

13 February, 2020 – Romance on the Rails

29 January, 2020 – Top of the World

15 January, 2020 – Sun, Sand and Surf

Travel Insurance Covid-19 Coverage

December 07, 2020 | Pearl McCallum

Many of us are eager to begin exploring the world once again, but may be hesitant because of uncertainties surrounding travel these days. The most frequent question asked by our clients is, “What happens if the unexpected happens?” Fortunately, Great Canadian Travel has the answer!  Our two insurance partners offer coverage that ensures you receive the care needed in case of illness, even Covid-19, while travelling.

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December, a Month of Celebrations & Why 2020 “Stink, Stank, Stunk”

December 01, 2020 | Lois Farley

I think we can all agree, 2020, in the words of the Grinch, “Stink, Stank, Stunk”!

Even though this year we can’t get together in large groups with family and friends, as we usually would be for December festivities, there is still much to be thankful for and to celebrate.

December is truly a month-long time of celebrations, spanning many religions and beliefs. So, on this 1st day of the month, Happy December! And no matter what holiday traditions you celebrate in your household, may you stay healthy and safe.

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday

November 24, 2020 | Lois Farley

The term Black Friday was first used to describe the financial crisis of Friday, September 24, 1869, the day the US gold market crashed. It was indeed a “dark day”.

The modern use of the historic term Black Friday started in the consumer-goods-crazy, post-war 1950’s. People started taking the Friday after Thanksgiving Day off in large numbers to hit the stores and start their holiday shopping. The sheer volume of shoppers caused traffic accidents and violence amongst shoppers waiting in line to get into the stores or fighting over merchandise. Because of all of the problems caused store owners started calling it Black Friday.

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Our Wall of Honour

November 10, 2020 | Lois Farley

This Remembrance Day we’d like to honour members of our own families and friends who have served during war time and in regular military service.

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Remembrance Day

November 10, 2020 | Lois Farley

“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we will remember them.”

Who and what exactly are we remembering?

The First World War was ignited by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, on the 28 June, 1914. This sparked unrest and soon led to the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and the Ottoman Empire) invading several European countries. When Germany failed to meet the ultimatum from Great Britain to withdraw its troops from Belgium, as of the 4 August, 1914 the Allied Powers (Great Britain and her colonies including Canada, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States) were at war with the Central Powers.

Due to new military technologies such as machine guns and tanks, trench warfare and use of poisonous gas, WWI was the costliest conflict in Canadian history, and claimed the lives of more than 60,000 Canadian citizens.

The poignant Irish ballad, Green Fields of France, captures the tragic and terrible cost of this war, on a very personal level as it asks questions of a young 19-year-old soldier who was killed in battle in 1916.
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My Remembrance Day Honourees

November 10, 2020 | Shauna Cook

Edward William Cook (my husband Martyn’s Great Grandad) – 
Edward William Cook and was born in Dover. Kent, England on the 29/07/1911 and lived in the north of England from his teenage years.  He joined the Royal Navy at Chatham Kent on 14/ 9/1939 as a Sickbay attendant. He wore a peaked cap, black tie, jacket and trousers, not blue square collar and bell bottom trousers.  He spent 1940 & 41 at Newton Abbot Hospital in Devon where they took in lots of injured people from the military in the west of England and the eastern north Atlantic.

His first ship at sea was HMS Quilliam, a destroyer, in Autumn 1942. There were 8 of these “Q” ships built in the north of England and with 3 other Qs they formed a squadron with HMS Quilliam as senior ship.  They left England in November 42 and did not return until the end of 1944. By this time he was a Leading sickbay Attendant as he was on his own looking after the needs of the crew.  That means he wore an Anchor badge on the left arm of his uniform. They travelled as a squadron to the following places and scenes of battles: all around the British Isles; Norway; Iceland; North Atlantic; Gibraltar; north Africa; Malta when the siege was on; Corsica; Sardinia; Italy; Crete; Egypt; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Madagascar; Aden; and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

When they reached Burma he was transferred to HMS Caradoc, a cruiser, before coming home late 1944 on HMS Renown, a heavy battle cruiser at speed via the Suez Canal and Mediterranean. By this time he was promoted to Petty Officer with 2 crossed anchors on his left arm.

 

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George Henry Hambley, Canadian Light Horse Brigade, WWI

November 10, 2020 | Lois Farley

George Henry Hambley (1896-1983)

My Uncle George enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at age 18, on the 13 October, 1915 at Camp Sewell (which later became Camp Hughes), near Carberry, MB. He served in France, Belgium, and Germany and was involved in some major battles including Ypres, Mons, Cambrai, and Vimy Ridge.

Some of these battles involved trench warfare where poisonous gas was used. For the remainder of his life, until his death at age 86, his sleep was disrupted from the effects of the gas attacks he had lived through. Sometimes we’d be sitting at the kitchen table talking and Uncle George would suddenly just go to sleep. He’d wake up a few minutes later, not missing a beat in our conversation, as if nothing had happened. I think he felt himself very lucky that this was the worst injury he came home with, after all the horrors of war he’d seen.

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Max Ward, a True Canadian Aviation Pioneer

November 04, 2020 | Lois Farley

When I read the news reports yesterday saying that Max Ward, the founder of Wardair had died at age 98, I felt very sad and nostalgic. It feels like the end of an era in Canadian aviation, the passing of an honourable gentlemen of aviation and royalty in the Canadian travel industry.

A northern bush pilot who built a regional carrier into Canada’s largest charter airline has died.
   Max Ward collapsed Monday at his Edmonton home and died in hospital shortly after surrounded by family. He was 20 days shy of his 99th birthday.

‘He’d been in failing health for some time,” said family friend Jacquie Perrin, who confirmed Ward’s death. He did his best to hang in for the 99th, but he didn’t quite make it.’
   It was a rare example of Ward not reaching his goals.”
-The Canadian Press, November 04, 2020

Back in the late 70s and 80s, when I was in the early years of my career in travel, Wardair was the preferred airline for Canadians going on holiday to Mexico, the Caribbean and especially to Hawaii. Later they’d become first choice to the UK as well. Their planes were nicely decorated, well maintained and perfectly groomed; their staff obviously loved the company they worked for; onboard service was top notch, with delicious meals served on china and the champagne flowed like water.

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