What's New | The Great Canadian Travel Co.

STAFF PICKS

January 19, 2022 | Lois Farley

When you think of Northern Lights something mysterious and wondrous comes to mind. Have you ever wondered how those bright dancing lights are created? They are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. In the northern hemisphere, they are called Aurora Borealis; in …

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January 4, 2022 | Pearl McCallum

Coming to the end of 2021, another difficult year for travel, I think back over my time in the industry.  More than 20 years ago I went to college to become a travel agent because, well, I loved to travel.  The job was presented as hard work for little pay; …

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December 10, 2021 | Lois Farley

Republishing this blog from 2020 with the revision to include that 2021 was similar to 2020 but was more of a “Stink, Stank, Stuck” kind of year! It seemed like a lot of the year we were spinning our wheels, stuck in a rut of continuing restrictions, lifting of restrictions, …

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November 10, 2021 | 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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What’s New

January 14, 2021 | GCTG Marketing

2022

Our COVID-19 office policy, including hours of operation, is outlined on our Contact Us page. 

Read our current newsletters.

 

 

Company Announcements:

  • We’re very excited to announce that we’ve been named Canada’s Leading Travel Agency 2021 by the voters in the World Travel Awards 28th annual travel awards competition! It’s truly an honour to be recognized by this association and a big “Thank You” to everyone who voted for us to receive this award.

 

 

  • Introducing Uplift! We have recently partnered with Uplift, a financing partner dedicated to the travel industry, to facilitate time payment options for our Canadian clients’ travel bookings. The plan provides for 12 equal payments spread out over a year and allows all travel and associated costs to be financed. It offers clear and simple financing plans; easy, no-obligation quotes and, once approved, the ability to make lump sum payments for any amount due, without penalty. The minimum amount allowed for financing is $500, maximum $15,000 per person. You must be at least 19 years of age, have a bank debit card or a Visa/Mastercard debit card and a mobile phone to qualify. Read our blog or Inquire for full details of this great new payment option.

COVID-19 Resources – Quick Lookup:

If you live in the Winnipeg or Edmonton area ask us for referral to a lab for testing. We have negotiated special rates for our clients who book and tell the lab they were referred by Great Canadian Travel. We can email you full details of lab locations, prices and online booking instructions.

Air Canada Travel Hub
Icelandair Covid-19 Travel Information & Entry Requirements
Sherpa Travel Restrictions
Covid-19 Toolkit – Government of Canada (Canada information)
IATA Travel CentreCoronavirus and Travel Covid Checker
Canada Provincial Travel Regulations for Canadians
Re-Open Europe & EU Map
Skyscanner
Travel Bans
World Health Organization and World Map
John Hopkins World Map
Our World in Data
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US information)
Government of Canada
US Department of State and Country Specific Information
Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) – Benefits of Using a Professional ACTA Travel Agent

(Regulations are constantly changing. These resources can assist you in determining current travel requirements but bear in mind these may not be valid by the time your travel date arrives. We will assist you with keeping up to date on the requirements for your planned trip and change your reservations as needed.)

Special offers & promotions*:

  • News from G Adventures:
    “Vaccinated Tours” program offer trips with only fully vaccinated guides to lead the tour, on which all travellers must also be fully vaccinated (final dose administered at least 14 days prior to day 1 of the tour). Due to the slower roll-out of vaccinations in some of G Adventures destinations, and to support the tour guides in those countries, they will also be introducing ‘Travel-Ready’ tours. On Travel-Ready tours, all travellers and CEOs must have either received a full COVID-19 vaccination, or have a negative PCR test within 96 hours prior to day one of their tour’s departure.
  • Intrepid Tours offer 10% off to travellers 18-29 who book at least 9 months in advance of travel. Have your eye on the trip of a lifetime? Give yourself a bit of time to “get it together”, have something to look forward to and save by taking advantage of this offer.
  • Insight Vacations has launched a new Wander Women series of journeys created for women, by women. One of the tours being offered is a 12-day itinerary, Venice & The Croatian Coast, with two departures, June and September, 2022. These women only tours will offer enriching travel experiences, cater to the diverse interests of female clients and introduce guests to inspiring women in communities across Croatia. Email us to receive information on the itinerary and pricing.
  • Windstar Cruises 7 for 7 specials are limited-time savings on popular cruises sailing in 2022 and 2023. These deals on the best in small ship cruising only last for 7 days or until staterooms and suites sell out. So don’t delay, call us for the weekly itineraries, dates and pricing details.

*All sales and promotions posted on this page are subject to the Terms and Conditions of the operator and may be changed or withdrawn at any time, without prior notice. 

Please note: 2022 and 2023 programs featured on our website are subject to change without notice due to COVID-19 restrictions and depend on the availability of the components of each tour. At the time of your inquiry we will advise you what changes may affect the trip you are looking into and recalculate the price according to the available inclusions. Local COVID-19 restrictions and regulations may change at any time, without advance notice. We cannot be held responsible for such changes, but we will do our utmost to rework your program to give you the best possible experience based on current conditions.


2022 News
:

  • Big Bend National Park, Texasancient petroglyphs thought to be between 4,000-8,500 years old were defaced by visitors who scratched their names and the date of 12-26-21 into the rock, which is positioned in the Indian Head area. The names Isaac & Ariel and Norma & Adrian are clearly visible, scratched overtop of ancient abstract images of geometric forms, circles, and undulating lines. The damage is irreversible. At least 50 cases of vandalism have been recorded at the park since 2005, permanently damaging priceless Indigenous art.
  • All vaccinated travellers who plan to visit the European Union and Schengen Area countries from February 1 at the latest will need to check whether their vaccination is valid for travel to these countries, based on the dates their vaccines were administered. By February 1, all the EU and Schengen countries are set to put an expiry date of nine months at most for all COVID-19 vaccination certificates, the validity of which can be extended as soon as travellers have their booster shots administered. Some countries have already put the requirement into place; some have different requirements for different vaccine types; some have put in place different deadlines for a booster requirement eg. Greece requires a booster after seven months, regardless of what vaccines you received; Latvia requires a booster for one-shot vaccines after five months, but is allowing nine months for double-dose vaccines.
  • Passengers who filmed themselves partying maskless aboard a chartered Sunwing Airlines flight from Montreal to Mexico last week have become pariahs and now face being stranded after two more airlines announced Wednesday they will not fly them home to Canada. Air Transat and Air Canada have both refused to fly the group back to Canada. Guess the multiple cases of Covid-19 amongst the partiers doesn’t help their cause?!
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that pre-departure travel Covid-19 tests to enter England from overseas will be scrapped from 04:00 on Friday, 07 January 2022. The prime minister also added the requirement to self-isolate on arrival in England until receiving a negative PCR test result will also be lifted. Instead people can take a lateral flow test on day two and, if it is positive, a further PCR test will be needed to identify any new variants, plus isolation as normal.
  • Hong Kong will ban flights from eight countries for two weeks from January 8-20 2022m as it seeks to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Flights from the UK, US, Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan and the Philippines are impacted by the move.
  • The number of flight cancellations around the world is up, primarily due to airline staff being impacted by the Omicron variant. The Globe and Mail reports that more than 4,000 flights were cancelled globally on 02 January 2022, mostly in the U.S. Meanwhile, Canadian airlines have also seen their share of flight cancellations. Between 22-26 December 2021, Flair Airlines cancelled 9% of its scheduled flights, WestJet cancelled 7% and Air Canada 4%. This is up from the 1-2% average of cancelled flight in early December. Despite contingency planning and recalling employees from layoff and furlough, airlines are finding themselves unable to operate planned schedules due to the impact of the Omicron impact. Most have made the difficult decision to consolidate flights, thus reducing their schedules.
  • In light of the current pandemic context, Air Canada will be suspending some flights to Sun destinations from January 24 until April 30, 2022. Suspended destinations include Antigua, Aruba, Samaná, Curaçao, Exuma, Grenada, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, Bermuda, Grand Cayman, Havana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
  • Israel has announced that it will reopen to fully vaccinated travellers from “medium-risk” countries, including Canada, as of 09JAN. Foreign travellers from 199 “orange” countries can enter Israel if they can provide proof of full vaccination or have recently recovered from COVID-19. At the same time the announcement was made, Canada, as well as South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, Portugal, and France, would be upgraded from the “red” designation to “orange.” Previously, Israel had banned travel from Canada on 22 December, 2021. Read the full story here.
  • Canadian Airlines Seize New Opportunity Amid Global Supply Chain Delays: With COVID-19 upending supply chains around the world, and grounding passenger jets which carried about half of the world’s air cargo, Canada’s airlines have increased their focus on converting some of their fleets to cargo carriers. One of Air Canada’s Boeing 767s last flew passengers home to Toronto from Mexico City on 01APR 2020, and twenty months later, is taking to the skies after being converted to carry cargo instead. WestJet hopes to receive its first two all-freight Boeing 737-800s by APR 2022, with two more to follow. All of them will be former passenger jets converted to carry cargo. The two airlines are adding air freighters to their fleets in efforts to profit from the rise in air freight demand, while seat sales remain well below pre-pandemic levels, reports the Globe and Mail. Read the full story here.
  • Just as Canadians look to escape the winter for warmer locales, the Omicron variant threatens to undermine the potential recovery for Canadian airlines’ leisure travel business. According to Bloomberg, Canada’s air traffic recovery had already been lagging behind the U.S. before the variant emerged, with traffic at Canadian airport security checkpoints at just 53 per cent of 2019 levels in the first 19 days of Dec. 2021. Now, the outlook is even more uncertain as Omicron forces flight cancellations around the world, as well as new restrictions in some countries. Read the full story here.

What’s New Archives

January 05, 2020 | GCTG Marketing

Read our current newsletters.

Read the updates from our President, Ian Kalinowksy on his blog page.

 

Company News – 2019:

Great Canadian Travel Group signed a partnership agreement with Indigeno Travel, 13 November, 2019: Ian Kalinowsky and Allison Silvaggio are attending the International Indigenous Tourism Conference in Kelowna, BC. It is the largest Indigenous conference in the world. Today, Great Canadian Travel Group signed a partnership agreement with Indigeno Travel, a Winnipeg-based, Indigenous-owned travel agency, Continental travel Group and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) to act as the travel agency for Indigenous experiences across the country. For 40 years Great Canadian Travel has been operating in  Indigenous communities and we are very excited to be recognised for our knowledge and capabilities. We look forward to exciting growth possibilities with this new partnership.
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30 May, 2019: Today marks the 70th anniversary of KLM’s inaugural flight between the Netherlands and Canada, a milestone occasion that the carrier marked with an official water salute by firefighters at Montréal-Trudeau airport. The ceremonial salute was a touching reminder of how 70 years ago, on May 29, 1949, members of the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines crew boarded a Lockheed Constellation 747 to welcome passengers on the first-ever Amsterdam-Montreal flight. The ‘Batavia’ touched down at Dorval airport on May 30, following two stopovers.

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New Location: We’re nicely settled into our new office at 1349 Portage Avenue (north side of Portage between Valour Road and Ashburn Street), which we moved to on the 30 November, 2018, and the weather finally warmed up enough for our signs to be installed. We’re no longer that nameless, light brown brick building on Portage Avenue! If you live in the Winnipeg area we invite you to pop in and see our new digs!

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If you want to keep up to date on product news, promotions and specials we send out an e-mailer every couple of weeks. If you want 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!

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Company News – 2018

Our Winnipeg office is moving! Effective November 30th our new address will be 1349 Portage Avenue. We’ll be on the north side of Portage Avenue between Valour Rd and Ashburn St. Our phone number, fax number and email addresses will all stay the same. We’ll be having a Grand Opening once we’re all settled in our new digs, so watch this space for updates.
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Top 60 Canadian Travel Blogger sites: Great Canadian Travel was just named as one of the top 60 travel blog sites in Canada by Feedspot.com. Blog sites are judged by their search engine ranking, social media influence, social media buzz, Alexa ranking (a division of Amazon that measures web searches and visitors), post frequency and quality scores. We try hard to keep providing interesting and relevant content and it’s nice to see that our effort is being noticed. So, if we keep blogging, will you keep reading?
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And the Michelin Stars keep coming to our favourite places! Dill has been named the best Icelandic restaurant on numerous occasions and can now boast a Michelin Star, the first every awarded in Iceland – way to go, Dill!  “Dill builds on Icelandic traditions and Icelandic and Nordic ideology, and we use only the best and purest of Icelandic ingredients in our cooking,” said Head Chef of Dill, Ragnar Eiríksson. “It’s an enormous honor for all of my fantastic coworkers.” Dill is a small restaurant that sits between 20-30 people, so book your reservation today before the rest of the world hears about one of Iceland’s (and the world’s) best restaurants!
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Congratulations to KOKS restaurant, Kirkjubøur, Faroe Islands on winning your first Michelin star, the first restaurant in the Faroe Islands to do so!  Makes the short drive to this stunning seaside town even more worthwhile (like we needed another reason)!  Run by 26 year-old Faroese chef Poul Andrias Ziska, the young avant-garde team at KOKS use Faroese produce, focusing on innovative, but at the same time, traditional cuisine.  The menu is determined by the season and what they have to offer, transforming the food by using ancient culinary traditions such as drying, fermenting, salting and smoking, into modern delicacies.  Way to go, Poul and your fabulous team at KOKS!

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!

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