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March 31, 2021 | Lois Farley

You’ve probably heard of Iceland being referred to as “The Land of Fire and Ice”. It is, without question, an island of extraordinary, natural beauty and attractions like the volcanoes and glaciers that inspired its moniker; stunning waterfalls; caves made of lava and ice; breathtaking fjords and quaint, oceanside towns …

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March 17, 2021 | Ian Kalinowsky

A year into the Pandemic – the future of Travel in Canada— From the news over the past month, it would be reasonable to believe that the Canadian Government has decided to shut down Canada’s largest single industry (travel and tourism) completely. Mandates a shut down of the Canadian Cruise industry …

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March 4, 2021 | Lois Farley

Have you ever seen a really awesome travel deal (and there are some enticing offers out there right now) or perhaps you’ve needed to travel for an emergency and wished that there was some way to pay for your trip over time? Well, now there is! Introducing Uplift, a new …

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Iceland’s Explosive Volcanoes

March 31, 2021 | Lois Farley

You’ve probably heard of Iceland being referred to as “The Land of Fire and Ice”. It is, without question, an island of extraordinary, natural beauty and attractions like the volcanoes and glaciers that inspired its moniker; stunning waterfalls; caves made of lava and ice; breathtaking fjords and quaint, oceanside towns and villages. But, for the last few days it’s certainly living up to the “fire” part of its nickname!

Iceland sits on top of the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates, two of the largest on the planet, which are moving in opposite directions. (You can even snorkel or scuba dive in Silfra Ridge, with the plates on either side of you). This separation of the two plates makes Iceland a seismic and volcanic hotspot!

Since early February, several weeks of nearly continuous earthquakes of varying intensity (more than 50,000, compared to the usual 1,000-3,000 registered each year since 2014), had given scientists at the meteorological office (IMO) in Iceland reason to believe an eruption of a volcano in the Krysuvik volcanic system on the Reykjanes Peninsula was imminent, the first in the area for nearly 800 years. Read More >

A Note from our President, 17 March 2021

March 17, 2021 | Ian Kalinowsky

A year into the Pandemic – the future of Travel in Canada

From the news over the past month, it would be reasonable to believe that the Canadian Government has decided to shut down Canada’s largest single industry (travel and tourism) completely.

  • Mandates a shut down of the Canadian Cruise industry till Spring 2022 – the most severe and punitive regulation of any jurisdiction on earth. In BC alone, the cruise industry generates $2.8 B per year and 18,000 jobs.
  • Shuts down all “sun travel” (Caribbean and Mexico) until the 30 April 2021.
  • Shuts down all but 4 Canadian airports and creates a very convoluted “3-day forced pay” hotel quarantine system – then gives all the business of booking these thousands of hotel nights to an American company, American Express (who then services the requests from their US call centers).
  • Canada – the second largest country on Earth – is the ONLY country on Earth NOT to have a support relief package for airlines. As a result, domestic travel has declined 90% from 2019. Compare this to only a 66% decline in domestic US air travel, where airlines received financial aid from the federal government.

Despite these governments actions and lack of support for the industry, we at Great Canadian Travel are still excited about our future in Travel and Tourism. We have not been idle and look forward to unveiling several new initiatives, new products, new services, and new developments which will increase our ability to serve you, our clients.

Till we can travel again,

 

 

Ian Kalinowsky President & Owner

Uplift – a new way to pay for your travel

March 04, 2021 | Lois Farley

Have you ever seen a really awesome travel deal (and there are some enticing offers out there right now) or perhaps you’ve needed to travel for an emergency and wished that there was some way to pay for your trip over time? Well, now there is! Introducing Uplift, a new way to pay for your travel.

Uplift is the leading Buy Now, Pay Later solution for travel and we are partnering with them to provide our Canadian clients with Flexible Payment Options.

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How many ways can you visit a Polar Bear?

February 17, 2021 | Ian Kalinowsky

So you know you want visit a Polar Bear but you need to figure out the way to visit that works best for you? Well, there are actually several ways that you can have a polar bear experience and I will lay out them out here for you, defining the differences between each one. Read More >

Romantic Film Locations

February 10, 2021 | Lois Farley

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching I was thinking about what makes a trip romantic. Travelling with someone you love is inherently romantic but there really are some places that just seem to hit the romance mark more than others. What better way to show that a place is romantic than featuring it in a romance movie? Here are just a few Romantic Film Locations that you can plan to visit when it’s safe to travel again, and the movie they were featured in. Movie descriptions are pulled from the IMDb website and movie titles are linked to that page.

I know I’ve left off some good ones. What movies would you add to this list?

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Our 40th Birthday Prize Trip Contest

February 10, 2021 | Lois Farley

Wednesday, 10 February: Our 4-week 40th Birthday Prize Trip Contest is now closed. We’ll be tabulating all of the qualifying entries received from our surveys, testimonials and Google reviews and will draw one lucky winner. We had hoped to announce the winner on Valentine’s Day but due to some technological issues we’ll have to wait until next Wednesday.  So, check out our February 17th newsletter for the prize announcement.

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We’ve said “goodbye, au revoir, tavvauvutit, farvel, adiós, γειά σας, bless, slán leat, farvel, до побачення, do widzenia, arrivederci” and “don’t let the door hit you on your way out” to 2020! I think most of us are happy to see it go and look forward to the New Year of 2021 with hope and optimism that things will get better as the year progresses.

Now that the busy holiday season is over, we decided to turn our attention to celebrating our 40th Birthday. We turned 40 on November 21, 2020 and, unlike a lot of people that turn 40, aren’t the least bit depressed about it. In fact, it’s a great reason to have a celebration!

For 4 weeks, starting January 13th, we’ll be sending out a newsletter featuring our 40th Birthday Prize Trip Contest. If you click on the link in the newsletter and complete the Prize Trip Survey you’ll be entered into the draw for a chance to win a Polar Bear Daytripper tour for 2, departing from Winnipeg on October 23, 2021.

P.S. Don’t you wish you were on that beach, writing “Happy Birthday” in the sand? We sure do!

The Fine Print: Rules of Prize Trip Contest

From our Travel Partners – 40th Birthday Wishes

February 08, 2021 | Lois Farley

Everyone loves sharing their birthday celebrations with family and friends, and that’s exactly how we feel about our travel partners. Some we’ve dealt with for nearly 40 years, others perhaps only the past few years. But, no matter how long we’ve known one another, we are so grateful for your partnership and thank you for the birthday wishes!

 


“Happy 40th  Birthday to Great Canadian Travel. As you provide fantastic tours to some of the most remote and unique areas of the world this is a most impressive achievement.”  – Don Finkbeiner, Owner/Manager Heartland International Travel & Tours.

 


“Congratulations to and very best wishes to our colleagues and friends at The Great Canadian Travel Company on their 40th year celebrations.  Wishing you every success in the coming years and the next 40 years, from all of us at Abbey Ireland & UK in Dublin & Edinburgh.” – Dermot O’Neill, Senior Business Development Managerof Business Development / Adventure Canada

 

 


 

Happy Birthday Team – what a great achievement.  May many more adventures be on your horizon. All the best – Donna Duggan, Director / Maasai Wanderings Ltd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Happy Birthday, GCT! – Matthew James (MJ) Swan, Director  – Adventure Canada

 

 

 


Ride the birthday train for as long as you can! This is a huge accomplishment; congratulations! All of us at Rocky Mountaineer wish our friends at Great Canadian Travel a very happy 40th birthday, with many more years of success and travel to come! – Lisa Otterman, Business Development Manager, Western Canada / Rocky Mountaineer

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Video greeting – Chuck Edwards, Business Development Manager Manitoba & Saskatchewan / Globus Family of Brands & Avalon Waterways 

 


Congratulations on your 40th anniversary. We will like to express our gratitude for your trust in using our ship Sarfaq Ittuk as part of your costumers travel in Greenland. We are certain that the trip along the coast resulted in some great experiences. We hope you will choose us in the future to maintain our fruitful cooperation. – Erna Møller, Teamleader / Arctic Umiaq Line

 


We at Íshestar Riding tours in Iceland wish you a very happy birthday. We hope you had the chance to celebrate in the best way possible.  – Erla V. , Sales & Marketing department / Íshestar

 

Contest Rules – 40th Birthday Prize Trip

January 13, 2021 | Lois Farley

Contest rules:

Beginning at 9:00AM (CT), January 13 to 11:59PM (CT), February 09, 2021 you can enter the Great Canadian Travel Group Inc.’s 40th Birthday Prize Trip Contest (the “Contest”).

Just complete and submit our Contest Survey linked in our newsletters, for 4 weeks beginning on January 13, 2021.

If your name is drawn as the winner of the Contest you will win a trip for 2 on our Churchill Polar Bear Daytripper departing Winnipeg on October 23, 2021.

Read More >

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 >

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.

Read More >

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