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.
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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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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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 >
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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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 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
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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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 >
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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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.
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