• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Iceberg Alley – Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Vicki Tester

 

When it comes to viewing icebergs, Iceberg Alley is one of the best places in the world. On a sunny day, view these 10,000-year-old glacial giants from many points along the northern and eastern coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador in every shape and size. The colours of each iceberg differs ranging from snow-white to the deepest aquamarine.

There are a number of ways to experience these amazing natural spectacles. Go on a boat tour, paddle along in a sea kayak or hike along parts of the 29,000 km of coastline and watch a sparkling spring berg parade down Iceberg Alley.

 

Quirpon Island Zodiac Iceberg

Picture courtesy of ACTP

 

To mark this occasion an Iceberg Festival takes place every June on the Great Northern Peninsula. It celebrates the coming of spring in the north and the annual arrival of icebergs. The festival features music, food, entertainment, history, culture, great hospitality and of course icebergs. Dip your toes into the North Atlantic! Have a dance! Eat seafood fresh from the sea! If you want breathtaking landscapes and seascapes, fantastic fare and good company, you belong at the Iceberg Festival!

Nor is that all you can do while in this beautiful region. Here nature is very much to the fore and the scenery is spectacular. The people very welcoming and it is still one of those places that is well off the well trodden holiday destinations.

If you would like more information on tailor made holidays to Canada then please call us on Tel: 01323 446550 or Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Green Gardens, Gros Morne National Park

Picture courtesy of ACTP

Iceberg Near Triton Island, Green Bay

Picture courtesy of ACTP

Puffins

Picture courtesy of ACTP

Two Countries, Three Cities – Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver

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Vicki Tester

 

On this trip you will combine the fascinating cities of Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver over 11 nights.

Summary

Two Countries, Three Cities

On this trip you will combine the fascinating cities of Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver over 11 nights.  There are plenty of options to add if time allows – self drive through the Canadian Rockies, add Washington State to include Mt Rainier and the Olympic Peninsular, or through Oregon reaching Crater Lake and the fantastic coast.

Day 1: Seattle

Day 4: Victoria

Day 7: Vancouver

Day 10: Seattle

Description

Description

In this itinerary you’ll explore three great cities, using a variety of transport methods as you travel between the USA and Canada, and between mainland and Islands. These three diverse cities, are all in fantastic oceanside locations, with great scenery and activities within easy reach.

 

Day 1 Seattle: Start with your flight to Seattle today. The city is a sophisticated blend of art, nature, technology and culture.  Take a stoll or food tour around Pike Place Market. Head up the Space Needle where the Observation Deck and restaurant offer a unique 360 degree view of mountains, Puget Sound and the City. Nearby, Chihuly Garden and Glass, showcases the career of glass artist Dale Chihuly with galleries, garden and the Glasshouse.

Visit historic Pioneer Square, shop at the Westgate centre and downtown area, and take Bill Speidels Underground Tour, strolling through the passages that once were the main roadways showcasing first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle prior to the Great Fire of 1889, and the subsequent rebuilding of Seattle on top

Three nights Seattle

Day 4 Victoria: Today take the Victoria Clipper passenger only ferry between Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia. It’s less than a three hour cruise through Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Canada and into Victoria’s Inner Harbour – the heart of the city. Arrive and pass through Canadian immigration at the ferry terminal.

Double-decker buses, horse-drawn carriages, formal gardens and tearooms show off Victoria’s apparent British history. Victoria’s Inner Harbour is at the very heart of the city, and with plenty of attractions within easy reach. Have afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel, head out on a whale watching cruise – Victoria and its surrounding waters are world renowned for the many species of whales and the wildlife tours offered. Stroll around the exhibits and collections in the Royal BC museum.  Enjoy a cycle tour of the city.

Around 30 minutes drive from the city you’ll find Butchart Gardens – a National Historic Site of Canada.

Three nights Victoria

Day 7 Vancouver: A thrilling 30 minute seaplane flight is your transport to the Canada’s mainland and the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Coming into Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre, located on Canada Place, you are just a short distance from many attractions in the city.

Stroll through diverse neighbourhoods or relax on sandy beaches. Visit the aquarium, take a city tour, cycle or stroll around the seawall in Stanley Park as you follow marked trails.  Head up Vancouver’s Lookout for a birds eye view over the city. Take a mini-tugboat ferry across False Creek to Granville Island where the biggest attraction is the Public Market – perhaps take a walking tour.

Head over to the North Shore for more adventure – Grouse Mountain has plenty of outdoor adventure. Take the Skyride – an 8 minute ride from the Valley Station to the summit. Also on the North Shore, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, suspended above the river and amongst the trees. Also here are the Cliffwalk and Treetops Adventure.

Three nights Vancouver

Day 10 Seattle: End your journey here with a flight out of Vancouver International Airport, or alternatively continue your travels with a train journey between Vancouver and Seattle – bus is another option. You’ll pass through US Immigration and customs as you enter Seattle. Spend one final night in the city.

One night Seattle

Day 11 Fly Home: Say goodbye to Seattle as you make your way back to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Day 12 Arrive Home

Float planes at Vancouver – Credit CTC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Space Needle - Seattle

Picture courtesy of Port of Seattle

Floatplanes Vancouver

Credit Yvonne Dann

Totem Pole Victoria – Credit Yvonne Dann

Butchart Gardens Victoria – Credit Yvonne Dann

Butchart Gardens – Credit Yvonne Dann

Vancouver by air – Credit Yvonne Dann

Little Gems

Little Gems

A little gem of Seattle is the famous Pike Place Market, and the perfect way to see it is on a walking tour. See behind-the-scenes and experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic 100+ year old landmark.

Pike Place Market

Credit Helen Wibley

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The Lighthouse Route of Nova Scotia, Canada

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Vicki Tester

 

Region: Atlantic Canada

 

Come and celebrate the timeless romance of the sea, in the stunning scenery of Atlantic Canada. The Lighthouse Route journeys through an unforgettable landscape of coastal beauty and historic charm that has captured the hearts and minds of travellers for generations. Imagine the landscape as it was when Champlain and de Monts first arrived here four centuries ago. Follow shoreline roads past rugged, wave-carved headlands and tranquil, island-studded bays. Discover historic towns and weathered fishing villages where legends of the sea come alive and the rhythm of life moves in harmony with the tides.

The Lighthouse Route follows Nova Scotia’s South Shore, where the past is a part of everyday life. You’ll find it along quiet country roads where ox teams still haul lumber, and coastal villages where fishermen still row wooden dories out to sea. Explore towns like Liverpool, with its privateer legends, and Lunenburg, where a working blacksmith still plies his trade amidst the beautifully preserved buildings of the old town district. And yes, they do have lighthouses, over twenty of them, from the dramatic beauty of the famous lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove to Yarmouth’s towering Cape Forchu light.

This is a wonderful self drive destination, with B&B and small hotels along the way to make your journey special. The owners of these places will be more than happy to suggest places to visit locally and where to enjoy the local produce. Summer is the key time to go but late spring and early autumn are also well worth considering.

Call or email us for more information on tailor made holidays to Canada: Tel: 01323 446550 or Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Shelburne on Nova Scotia's Lighthouse Route

Picture courtesy of Nova Scotia Tourism Culture and Heritage

Lunenburg waterfront on Nova Scotia's Lighthouse Route

Picture courtesy of Nova Scotia Tourism Culture and Heritage

Gastronomic Tour of Nova Scotia

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With over 500 festivals celebrating its rich diverse culture, dramatic beautiful scenery, outdoor adventure, a fascinating maritime history, warm hospitality and a superb gastronomic reputation, Nova Scotia is the perfect fly drive destination.

Summary

Gastronomic Tour of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, one of the four Atlantic Canada provinces, is perfectly located to make full use of the abundance of marine life around it. Add to this numerous restaurants and cafe’s, with excellent menu’s and wine lists and a simple self drive tour turns into a gastronomic experience.

Day 1: Halifax
Day 3: Lunenburg
Day 6: Antigonish
Day 6: Mabou
Day 7: Cabot Trail
Day 8: Baddeck

Day 9: Louisbourg
Day 11: Charlos Cove
Day 12: Depart Halifax

Description

Description

Day 1: Halifax
Fly in to Halifax and the start of your gastronomic tour of this fascinating region. While sampling your first meals, why not get involved in the lively music scene of Halifax which is truly diverse. Two days of exploring the city – not forgetting to visit the oldest Farmers Market in Canada.
Halifax 2 nights

Day 3: Lunenburg
Pick up your vehicle and set off along the Lighthouse Route along the South Shore stopping to visit some along the way. Have lunch at pretty Peggy’s Cove before continuing to Lunenburg for a two night stay. Lunenberg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and here, enjoy the fruits of the sea and land. Nova Scotia is famous for its fresh quality food. Why not join the Cooking School based here to hone your skills and watch masters at work!
Lunenburg 2 nights

Day 6: Antigonish
Head due East to your next destination Antigonish, perhaps stopping at the University town of Wolfville with its excellent cafes and restaurants. If time allows, consider visiting one of the many vineyards in this area. You will be amazed at the rise/fall of the sea in the Bay of Fundy up to 46 feet – one of the biggest in the world.
Antigonish 1 night

Day 6: Mabou
Cross the Causeway to Cape Breton island – the further end of Nova Scotia province and follow the Ceilidh Trail for an overnight stay at Mabou. In early October this area comes alive with the sound of music as the Celtic Colours Festival takes over the whole area. Some of the freshest and tastiest fruits of the sea can be found in little pubs and restaurants in this region.
Mabou 1 night

Day 7: Cabot Trail
As you continue north east, the Ceilidh Trail joins the Cabot Trail – you are on your way to one of the most spectacular drives in Canada
Cabot Trail 1 night

Day 8: Baddeck
Complete the Cabot Trail to Baddeck and take time to relax and explore the cultural life that is centred on the Bras d’Or Lakes of Cape Breton Island.

Baddeck 1 night

Day 9: Louisbourg

Continue on to the National Historic Site of Louisbourg and stay in the pretty seaside town.  Use the full day to drive to Louisbourg and explore the historic town that helped shape the history of the region – with a little more time, include this as a three night stop.

Louisbourg 2 nights

Day 11: Charlos Cove
Return to the mainland, now joining the Marine Drive, for your final night stay at Charlos Cove. Time for a final gourmet meal and splendid accommodation before you think about packing for the last time and heading home.
Charlos Cove 1 night

Day 12: Depart Halifax
Back to Halifax for your return journey home or to continue your adventure …

All photographs by kind permission of Nova Scotia Tourism

NS Musicians in Mabou      NS Peggy's Cove      NS Skyline Trail

Little Gems

Little Gems

Cape Breton Island, linked to the mainland of Nova Scotia by the Canso Causeway is a must.  Plan your visit to coincide with the Fall colours and the Celtic Colours music festival.  Plan carefully though as some of the visitor attractions close at or about Canadian Thanksgiving!

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Algonquin Park Wolf Howl Canoe Trip

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Vicki Tester

 

Is this for you?

Have you ever thought of combining a canoe trip with camping in the pristine nature of a National Park? Well Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada has a 2 night/3 day trip that is proving popular. Nor do you have to be a canoeing expert – this is a beginner friendly experience.

Your trip starts with an overnight stay in one of the Park’s unique forest cabins and then you set off. Imagine paddling through the early morning mist on the lake and then taking a walk through the forest on one of the numerous forest trails looking out for the animals and birds that live here.

After setting up camp and getting the fire going, you all gather by the lakeside and send out a group wolf howl. This is very often answered by the nearby wolf pack, which should send a tingle down your spine.

Wolves at Yellowstone

Picture courtesy of Helen Wibley

If you go in the autumn you will have the extra benefit of seeing the beautiful fall colours as well.

To make this part of your bespoke tailor made holiday to Eastern Canada please give us a call on 01323 446550 or email  info@experienceholidays.co.uk or if you would like information on other tailored holidays to Canada.

 

Destinations Show, Olympia

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Vicki Tester

 


Photograph by kind permission of UnCruise Adventures

Don’t forget we will be at Destinations Show at Olympia, London, on February 02, 03, 04 and 05. Find us on Stand AC32 which we are sharing with the American company Uncruise Adventures. Most of the team will be there over the 4 days and would love to see a friendly face or two. This is one of the biggest travel shows in the U.K and a great place to find new destinations and experiences that would suit you. If you have a particular place in mind for your holiday next year (or the year after) give us a call to book an appointment with our team expert for that part of the world. However we will be very pleased to see you as and when you are free.

For your free tickets to Destinations Show, please go to: http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/form/registration  and then type in MSC97 in the appropriate place.

We look forward to seeing you at either event.

Help Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary in 2017 – by Canoe

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Vicki Tester

 

Lake Superior

Naturally Superior Adventures are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday by recreating the fur trade experience on Lake Superior. The route starts in Sinclair Cove in Lake Superior Provincial Park and finishes on Old Fort William in Thunder Bay.

The canoeing will be in 6 stages varying from 5 to 10 days starting on July 02 and ending August 19. You can elect to join for the whole journey or for just one or two stages. This is canoeing just as the fur trade voyageurs did two centuries ago in the very stable and seaworthy canoes – 12 metres long which carry 12 to 14 paddlers. The size of the crew allows for a mixture of experienced and novice paddlers. You are guided by well experienced trip leaders who have an intimate knowledge of the coastline, including the best campsites, and are talented wilderness chefs!

Lake Superior – Photo courtesy of Naturally Superior Adventures

For full details please get in touch. We have the details of each stage, the equipment included and how to join at different points. A true adventure based in some of the most pristine areas of Canada.

We look forward to hearing from you, please call us on Tel: 01323 446550 or email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Lake Superior – Photo courtesy of Naturally Superior Adventures

Lake Superior – Photo courtesy of Naturally Superior Adventures

Canada takes over the TV this week

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Vicki Tester

 

This week the BBC are showing a few series which are all based in Canada showing what a fabulous place North America really is and certainly not to be missed.

We hope you caught Dan Snow last Sunday night with Operation Gold Rush in the Yukon. More jaw dropping scenery to follow next Sunday night (21.00 BBC2) in part 2.

Arctic Live started Tuesday on BBC 2 from 20.00 – 21.00 live from Churchill and continues on Wednesday and Thursday with Kate Humble, Simon Reeve and Gordon Buchanan.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2016/44/arctic-live-1

Finally if this is all too highbrow for you we have Buble at the BBC on Thursday BBC1 at 20.00. This will be similar to the show Graham Norton did with Adele last year which had over 4.5 million viewers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b081vcx0

Canada eTA Requirements

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Vicki Tester

 

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Latest news on the Canadian eTA requirements…. Leniency period for Canada’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation has been extended. To give travellers and airlines more time to prepare for the changes when flying to or transiting through Canada, the Canadian government is extending the leniency period for the Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) requirement until November 9, 2016.

Spectacular Polar bear sighting at Seal River Heritage Lodge

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Vicki Tester

 

Picture courtesy of Dennis Fast and Churchill Wild

Picture courtesy of Dennis Fast and Churchill Wild

We have just received news from the above Lodge that this year’s numbers of Polar Bears around the Lodge are the best they have ever known.  The best day they have had was 21 bears sighted between the Lodge and their whale swim point.  The ice pack, which was still visible a week ago, has now dispersed pushing the bears back on to the coastline.

Additionally all the bears are looking fit and healthy making for very special photo opportunities – especially when you have an expert on hand to help with how to make the most of your chances.

Picture courtesy of Dennis Fast and Churchill Wild

Picture courtesy of Dennis Fast and Churchill Wild

 

Picture courtesy of Bill Lyne and Churchill Wild

Picture courtesy of Bill Lyne and Churchill Wild

 The other news from the lodge is that the Beluga whales are back in huge numbers as well.  Imagine jumping off the back of the Zodiac in a wet suit and snorkel and listening to the whales singing to you.  They even seem to answer your own attempts of singing to them!

As this a very special destination and places are limited you need to be getting in touch with us now to ensure you are there for next year’s spectacular.

For more information on the lodge or to make this part of your own bespoke, tailor made holiday please call us on Tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

 

Picture courtesy of Ian Johnson and Churchill Wild

Picture courtesy of Ian Johnson and Churchill Wild

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