Our Blogs | The Great Canadian Travel Co. - Part 2

STAFF PICKS

June 29, 2022 | Lois Farley

Way back in 2017 I wrote a blog in recognition of Canada Day; 50 Great Things Canada Contributed to the World. Since I wrote that blog I’ve been studying about the Indigenous peoples who have lived on this land we now call Canada for millennia – the First Nations and …

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March 17, 2022 | Lois Farley

Saint Patrick’s Day brings Ireland and all things Irish to a lot of people’s minds. And, those of us lucky enough to be Irish or are of Irish descent, particularly so! My ancestors on both sides of my family emigrated to Canada from Ireland back in the mid to late …

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March 1, 2022 | Allison Silvaggio

There are so many things that we miss when it comes to travel, such as exploring new places, trying new things and meeting new people.  What I miss the most, are those extremely peaceful moments where you can just take it all in.  Whether you are enjoying a beautiful hike, …

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Sun, Sand and Surf Getaway Vacations

July 06, 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 you were shovelling snow, not sand. Remember how much you wished you could be on a beach somewhere or on the deck of a cruise ship, sipping a cocktail and watching the world go by?

A recent survey of over 4,000 Canadian “snowbirds” showed that 91% intend to head south this winter, to the southern states in the US, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. 83% plan to be away at least 3 months.

Now is the time to be putting your winter holiday vacation plans into place. Travel is re-opening, slowly but surely. The resorts and hotels that are open, the cruises that are setting sail and flights that are taking off to whisk you away, are rapidly selling out for winter 2021-22. This season there will be much more demand than there is supply, especially as a number of tourism suppliers have ceased operations.

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Heavenly Holidays – Auroras and Solar Eclipses

June 25, 2021 | Lois Farley

We were just so excited about the Summer Solstice and Full Moon this week that we forgot to send out our newsletter on Wednesday, which is the usual day. (And by we, I mean me! My bad! 😉)

All the celestial happenings this week got me to thinking about the travel opportunities to witness astronomical phenomena like the auroras and solar eclipses.

The Auroras

Here in Canada, where we’re located, we are most familiar with the Aurora Borealis, that occur in the Northern Hemisphere. There are great opportunities to see the Northern Lights (as the Aurora Borealis are commonly referred to), in Arctic Canada. Places like Churchill, Manitoba, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon are all easy to visit and offer great Northern Lights programs. As well, we can plan a trip for you a bit further afield to Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Norway. Even the north coast of Scotland and Northern Ireland get a light show from time to time in the winter months. Maybe combine a whiskey tour with some treks to hunt for the lights?

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Canada Tourism Week

May 27, 2021 | Allison Silvaggio

Calling all Canadians to take the 2021 travel pledge to travel in Canada.  It has been a difficult year +, to say the least, and we cannot wait to get out there and see one another again.

With over 20 years in travel, the first half was spent mostly travelling internationally.  And then, the exploration became closer to home.

When looking back, some of my favorite memories & experiences happened right here within Canada.  Kayaking with the Beluga Whales in Churchill, experiencing the Floe Edge in Nunavut, and even drinking a Sour Toe Cocktail in Dawson City.  Exploring Peggy’s Cove to Whistler and everything in between.

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Notes on Booking to Travel in 2021 and Beyond

May 12, 2021 | Lois Farley

There has been lots in the news about travel starting up again from the US and Canada, and countries re-opening for international tourism. We featured a couple of these countries in recent newsletters, namely Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

We wanted to update you on a few things regarding booking travel at this time. It’s important to note that, even though a country has decided to accept international tourists again, the availability of accommodations and tours will be limited. And may be for quite a while.

Using Iceland as an example, a good number of the moderate hotels in Reykjavik have been designated as Red Cross quarantine hotels, so are not available for tourism stays. Read More >

What Not to Wear Travelling

April 28, 2021 | Allison Silvaggio

We all remember Stacy London and Clinton Kelly from their 10 seasons of “What Not to Wear”.  In travel, we read quite a few blogs on how to dress in certain destinations for certain types of tours.  Here is how we can expand on this, advising what we shouldn’t wear.

The first item that comes to mind, mainly due to the safety, is a long scarf or camera strap while viewing wildlife.  If you have travelled to Churchill, Manitoba before to view the polar bears from the Tundra Vehicle, you may have been warned about this.  While on the outside viewing area at the back of the vehicle travellers should not lean over the side, as the bears can stand up which puts their front paws quite close to any loose clothing potentially hanging over.

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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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