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CANADIAN TRAVELLER

VELLER C ANADIAN TRA

FA L L 2 0 1 2

WHere NexT? CARIbbEAN: USA:

CANADIAN FAVOurITes

AFRICA:

eLePHANT CeNTrAL

LONgsTAys VACATIONs

GERmANY:

CHrIsTmAs mArkeTs

PATAGONIA:

Publications Mail Agreement 40623544

CruIse THe FjOrDs

WIN

A VIP VACATION TO FRANCE


Sandals® Resorts makes designing a dream wedding an interactive reality with our easy-to-use Wedding Designer. This online tool lets you plan every aspect of your special day, from the destination and color palette, to the flowers, décor and cake. And once you book your resort stay, a Sandals Wedding Planner will be there every step of the way, taking care of all the details so that you can focus on what’s truly important—each other.

Call your Travel Agent or 1-877-SANDALS www.sandals.com/weddingdesigner


Good things come to those that don't wait. Book now and get our best price.

The first step to a great vacation? Lock in the lowest price early. With WestJet Vacations Price Guarantee* you can be certain you'll get the best price for your vacation package even if prices drop after you book. That’s right, if the identical WestJet Vacations package drops in price, give us a call and we’ll refund you the difference. Our guarantee is valid up to 21 days before travel and can be used multiple times should the price continue to drop. So book your WestJet Vacations package early and enjoy our lowest price guaranteed. Book by October 31, 2012 for travel between September 4, 2012 to June 27, 2013. To book your vacation package visit westjetvacations.com or call your travel agent. *Offer valid on a minimum 3-night WestJet Vacations booking made between July 15 and October 31, 2012 (11:59 p.m. MT) inclusive for travel from September 4, 2012 until June 27, 2013 inclusive. Price Guarantee is valid up to 21 days prior to departure when a lower price on the identical WestJet Vacations is found and verified by WestJet Vacations. Reimbursement will be granted when guests call 1 877 737 7001 with their booking reference number to notify WestJet Vacations of the lower price while the price is still available online. Change must be for a minimum of $25 including taxes. Price Guarantee may be used an unlimited amount of times for the same booking as long as the minimum $25 variance and outside 21 days prior to departure requirements are met. Approved reimbursements will be issued in the original form of payment and are non-transferable. Any promotional added values may be forfeited when Price Guarantee is exercised. Valid for Mexico, Caribbean and U.S. bookings only. Offer not valid on group bookings. No name changes from original booking allowed. WestJet reserves the right to amend or discontinue the offer at any time. Some restrictions apply. See westjetvacations.com for full offer details.


, N U F S Y A ke. i D l e S r a E U If T S D N E K ine what WEE are this

imag

the week. ery day of ev y da es t Tu zz and the eans, it’s Fa hplace of ja In New Orl rt bi e th is city d because the light aroun Perhaps it’s use and de am to g in eth ct here’s som ation, conta cocktail. T more inform r Fo . er rn . lestoned co every cobb leanscvb.com zella@newor an m m at a ll Maria Manze


Only an hour north of Los Angeles, VenturaCountyWest is a land of endless, inspiring choices where all your senses will be invigorated. Three distinctly different cities stretch 22 miles along the coast and offer everything from whale watching and Channel Islands National Park to championship golf, world-class shopping, wine tours, and one of the best year-round climates in North America. Visit VenturaCountyWest – California’s great coastal value.

Camarillo + Oxnard + Ventura

venturacountywest.com/ct


Editor-in-ChiEf/PublishEr Rex Armstead

25

a SPeCial SuPPlemenT To

VELLER C ANADIAN TRA

CANADIAN TRAVELLER

Editor Janice Strong staff WritEr-toronto Merle Rosenstein dEsign and Editorial ProduCtion Fusion FX Design & Marketing Inc. www.fusionfxdesign.com assoCiatE PublishEr Brad Liski assoCiatE PublishEr EastErn north amEriCa Jennifer Prendergast Tel: (416) 907-7524 WEstErn rEgion salEs managEr Myles Armstead Tel: (866) 699-9933

FALL 2012 • VoLume 27 • Issue 10

Where Next? 14 CArIBBeAN Living La vida LocaL A Personal Take On Our Annual Caribbean Favourites Round-Up

28

aCCount managEr Joanne Tichborne Tel: (416) 907-7524 rEgional rEPrEsEntativE mExiCo Leticia Garcia Tel: (55) 5683-5569

All e-mail addresses: firstname+initialoflastname@ canadiantraveller.net PublishEd by

AFrICA ELEphant cEntraL

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66

south AmerICA advEnturE ahEad A Timid Trekker’s Cruise Through Patagonian Waters

44

uNIted stAtes sEttLing in Where To Go, What To See & What To Do On A Winter Long-Stay Vacation

CoNtest Enter To Win A VIP Trip For 2 To Rhône-Alpes, France

Pachyderm Spotting In Botswana With Orient-Express

intEgration managEr Kahlil Yeates subsCriPtions Subscription@canadiantraveller.net

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sNAp shots 10 Cooking in Belize…touring 12

europe Looking For christmas

North Korea…sailing sisters Vatican after hours… Blue Train luxury…at ease on Easter Island.

Discover The Joys & traditions Of Christmas Markets Along The Danube

44 ChiEf ExECutivE offiCEr Rex Armstead PrEsidEnt Brad Liski WEstErn Canada: 201-2080 Hartley Avenue Coquitlam, BC Canada V3K 6W5 Tel: (866) 699-9933 Fax: (604) 699-9993

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EastErn Canada: WaterPark Place 11th Floor, 20 Bay Street Toronto, ON Canada M5J 2N8 Tel: (416) 907-7524 Fax: (866) 250-6839

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Subscription Rates: Canada: $36 Per Year USA: $54 Per Year • International: $72 Per Year

Printed in Canada Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40623544. Postage paid at Vancouver, BC. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Circulation Dept., 201-2080 Hartley Avenue,Coquitlam, BC V3K 6W5. Contents © copyright 2012 by ACT Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved. Editorial submissions must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. The publisher assumes no responsibility for lost material.

ISSN 1207-1463

ON THE COVER: Canadians absolutely love the Caribbean. Turn to page 14 to check out a survey of our favourite places and find out what’s hot and what’s new this winter. PhoTo CrediT: ShuTTerSToCk/TaTiana PoPova

www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer • sePtemBer 2012

7


The place where moments become memories.

A new era begins at rivieramaya.com


BELIZE

mojitos.

BelCamPo lodge

SnapShotS

Some Things Are Worth It

Cacao.

the resort features a luxury 12-room hotel, a 404-hectare sustainable farm and a 4,848-hectare rainforest preserve, but most important for gourmet adventurers, it offers a series of culinary courses sure to whet any appetite. “we wanted to share the

incredibly rich and nuanced cultures of these sought-after products by offering our guests the chance to have a handson experience with our on-site experts as well as leaders from each field,” says General manager mara Jerningan.

scheduled to run from november to may. One-day courses in coffee, cacao and rum are $85 per person, while master classes run between three and five days and start at $2,664. www.belcampoinc.com/bz

NORTH KOREA

NORWAY

Way Off The Beaten Track Small-group-tour specialist Adventures Abroad Worldwide Travel has launched a series of tours to North Korea that proved a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit this secretive country. organizing and leading small-group tours to “offthe-beaten track” locations is familiar territory to the folks at Adventures Abroad according to product manager rick unrau. “we were among the first north American operators to run tours to Yemen in the 1990s, then Libya, Iran and syria when they were accessible, and our current schedule includes less-visited destinations like Indonesia, colombia, Papua new Guinea, the caucasus and west

Africa. We are meticulous in our research and uncompromising when it comes to client safety.” the company also added Iraqi Kurdistan tours to its line-up this year, where unrau accompanied the reconnaissance team that created the itineraries. Adventures Abroad was recently recognized by national Geographic as one of the best travel companies in the world. www.adventures-abroad.com

New Year’s Up North Hurtigruten pulls out all the stops when it comes to celebrating the 2013 New Year when two of its sister ships – the 644-berth MS Midnatsol and 646-berth MS Trollfjord –spend New Year’s together in the “Paris of the North’ – Tromsø, also known as the gateway to the Arctic. 347 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, the city has the highest number of old wooden houses in northern norway as well as attractions that include the Polar museum, and norway’s largest planetarium, the science center of northern norway.

10

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net

Flikr/karl Baron

new Year’s eve celebrations kick off with a special service in the Arctic Cathedral, one of tromsø’s most famous landmarks. Added to this is a wonderful dinner, dancing and Champagne toasts – wrapped up with a mountain-side fireworks display.

The de-militarized Zone between South and north korea.

The arctic Cathedral, Tromsø

the 12-day departures, whether from Bergen (december 27) on the ms midnatsol or Kirkenes (december 30) on the ms trollfjord, are priced from us $2,203 to us $7,657 per person, double.

www.hurtigruten.us

hurTigruTen/ maTThiaS hulTSCh

BelCamPo lodge

The locavore dining movement has deep roots in Canada, but there are some daily indulgences even those most devoted to the 100 Mile Diet aren’t able to locally source. Belcampo Lodge Belize is ready to help food lovers indulge their passions for coffee, cacao and rum.


A Short Drive for Some Big Savings! Save money and time with Allegiant’s direct flights and affordable vacation packages!

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SnapShotS

The Vatican After Hours

EASTER ISLAND

Now you can skip the long lines, enjoy VIP privileges and peek into the Vatican’s private places on a collection of tours with Dark Rome Tours and Walks. the Vatican VIP tour (us $279) includes a 30-minute guided tour of the sistine chapel after it closes to the public, followed by access to secret rooms of the Vatican Museums normally closed to the public, like the Bramante staircase, the niccoline chapel, the chiaramonti museum, the Gallery of the statues, the room of the Animals, and the open Loggia.

dark rome TourS and WalkS

the extended Vatican tour (us $112) features no wait Access, regularly toured rooms, a guided

tour of the sistine chapel, plus access to locked rooms of the Vatican. You'll get the chance to move at your own pace while viewing the Bramante staircase, the etruscan museum and the chiaramonti museum. Also included are the sights of the Vatican Art Gallery like Leonardo da Vinci’s unfinished St. Jerome in the Wilderness – the only work by Leonardo da Vinci still housed in Rome. For more information, visit www.darkrome.com.

The Bramante Staircase.

SOUTH AFRICA

The Blue Train

luxury coach, the Blue Train.

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net

Responsible Relaxation As the most remote inhabited land in the world, few destinations on the planet are as ecologically and culturally sensitive as Easter Island and the island’s newest accommodation, the Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa respects both. each of the 75 rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and terraces with sea views, but it’s the technology that keeps it all green: Led lights, state-of-the-art systems that save on water and electricity consumption and minimize noise and keep the rooms pollution-free. more than 75 per cent of the staff is local and ethnic rapa nui and the Village supports local educational programs. onsite amenities include an outdoor pool, two

restaurants and the Manavai Spa where the signature treatment is a sand sauna that mimics an ancestral technique traditionally used for spiritual cleansing. the Hangaroa eco Village & spa offers “B&B” rates for lodging and breakfast only, and “Premium” packages that include lodging, excursions and all meals and beverages. For more information visit www.hangaroa.cl.

Blue Luxury

Guests travelling on the Blue Train now have their choice of one complimentary night’s stay to be used either pre or post journey in Pretoria or Cape Town, where the train departs and terminates. In cape town the five-star Taj, a true definition of luxury, offers a combination of rich history and elegant contemporary architecture. the the boutique hotel 131 on Herbert Baker, one of Pretoria’s hidden treasures situated close to the city centre, the retreat offers exquisite interiors, impeccable service, and exceptional attention to detail. Both hotels offer one complimentary night, breakfast and transfer between the station and hotel. the offer applies to all new bookings for travel on any Blue train departure in 2013.

The Blue Train.

12

manavai Spa, hangaroa eco village & Spa.

the Blue train is considered the most lavish on the planet, offering the ultimate in luxury and personal service. the finest bed linen, marble tiles and gold bathroom fittings contribute to the luxurious onboard experience. the 27hour train journeys include one night of blissful luxury with private butler service, gourmet cuisine and awardwinning wines and spirits. For more information, write to info@trumarketing.com.

hangaroa eCo village & SPa

ITALY


Caribbean

Living La vida LocaL a Personal Take on our annual Caribbean Favourites round-up

BY melanie reFFeS

St maarten.


There’s The vida loCa and There’s The vida loCal, and you Can find a liTTle of boTh on The islands of The Caribbean. from The wildesT Carnival sTreeT CelebraTions To The mosT Tranquil luxury villas, whaTever you wanT when ever you wanT is how iT rolls in The Caribbean.

Up

BoTToms

In The Leewards

person when I arrived 20 years ago from Dominica,” she says, pouring a frosty beer for a thirsty tourist. “I came for romance but fell in love with the island and dumped the guy after six days.” The self-proclaimed Master of the Margarita, Cheryl has little time for modesty. “I’m part-psychiatrist and part-bartender,” she quips. “I offer a shoulder to cry on and an icy margarita that packs a punch.” Affectionately dubbed ‘Dr. Cheryl’, she also knows how to cure a hangover like nobody’s business.

“My advice is to drink in the morning what you had the night before,” she explains, flitting

about the bar like a butterfly. “And if that doesn’t work, a shot of crème de menthe is the ultimate cure-all.”

Ask Laurent Fanget anything about French St. Martin and you’ll get an earful about the fabulous sandy beaches, croissants hot from the baker’s oven and his icy café glace perfect on a sunny afternoon. At the Sunset Café at the Grand Case Beach Club, the server extraordinaire knows what each guest will enjoy. “A bowl of chilled gazpacho would go very well with the iced coffee,” he tells a tourist from Montreal with his charming ooh-la-la French accent. A seashell away from St. Maarten/St. Martin, the allure of Anguilla is in her villas that snuggle the sapphire blue ocean. Aptly named, Ultimacy is the ultimate super villa with eight bedrooms, three living rooms, recreation room with a classic Wurlitzer jukebox, Butler Ryan who caters to every whim and Chef Shane whose omelettes are island-famous. “With our unsurpassed amenities,” smiles Sherille Hughes, co-owner, “there is no need to leave the property.”

More inforMation

DR. CHeRYL

– part-psychiatrist and part-bartender.

m. reFFeS

With a smile as wide as the sea, Elizabeth Attidore Cheryl lords over the Pool Bar at the Sonesta Maho in St. Maarten as if it were her own living room. “I knew just one

by melanie reffes

www.sonesta.com www.grandcasebeachclub.com www.ultimacyvilla.com

LAUReNT FANgeT

m. reFFeS

- ask him anything.

www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer • sePtemBer 2012

15


Jamaica is Gold

http://medfordcraftworld.com/

Heart of tHe art in

BarBados

by melanie reffes

If you’ve ever sampled chicken from a roadside vendor who had a barrel propped up and cut open, you’ve enjoyed Jamaican drum pan chicken.

by melanie reffes

Working in his studio on a picturesque hillside overlooking BridgetoWn, reggie Medford is one of the island’s national treasures. His gallery, aptly named Medford Craft World, showcases the unique sculptures he crafts from mahogany wood found in Barbados. “Historically, all the plantation houses in Barbados would use this type of wood for their furnishing,” he said polishing one of his masterpieces. “When I entered this trade I found myself using only mahogany and have used it for the past 36 years with absolutely no regret”.

Served in aluminum foil without utensils, the smoky flavour distinguishes pan from the betterknown jerk style of grilling. Saluting the island’s pan chicken chefs, the Caribbean Broilers Pan Chicken Festival is for connoisseurs of pan and those who cook it. Staged on the waterfront in historic downtown Kingston for the first time, the tasty fete includes a series of regional competitions that lead up to the grand finale on Sunday, November 18, one of a wide array of events celebrating the island’s golden anniversary. Applauding 50 years of independence from Britain this year, Jamaica is abuzz with cultural events, reggae marathons, street jams and yes, chicken competitions. “Canadians are experiential travellers who want to engage in authentic activities while on the island,” said John Lynch, director tourism. “Jamaica offers plenty of unexpected and off-the-beaten-track things for a visitor to experience; from biking tours through the Blue Mountains to untouched white sand beaches and hidden waterfalls.”

A labour of love for the gracious sculptor, he was once a student of the sciences but followed his heart to the world of art. “During my last year of school, I was getting prepared for exams when I realized that I would rather work for myself because too many people are not doing what they really want to do.”

pan chicken –

CB ChiCken

as Jamaican as jerk.

For Marley fans, a pulsating pilgrimage aboard a Zion Bus Line Tour to the village of Nine Mile, where the reggae superstar penned some of his most iconic tunes, is a must-do. Guides share all kinds of Marley trivia while a soundtrack of his greatest hits and shots of potent rum punch keep the party going as the bus snakes along the winding roads of St. Ann. www.islandroutes.com/. And for music lovers who like to run, Reggae Marathon on December 1 is a staple on the international road race calendar. Now in its 12th year, runners opt for a full race, shorter tenkilometre run or a curbside perch for cheering on the winners.

www.reggaemarathon.com. Zion BuS Line tour

– a pulsating pilgrimage.

d roBerTS

www.jamaica50.com.

Inspired by the coconut palms growing in the yard where he grew up, his passion turned to art and the rest is island history. “I wanted to find something that reggie’S ScuLpture I will grow to – a labour of love. love. At that point, I had no idea what that was, I was drifting until I started to fiddle around with coconut shells, hacksaw, varnish and sandpaper,” he smiles. Fiddle he did by cutting the shell in half and then crafting exquisite pieces of jewelry from earrings and bracelets to distinctive necklaces that he still makes today. Reggie Medford has carved out a life and a legacy and is delighted to share his vision with visitors to Barbados. “Travellers should be able to see unique sites, eat unique foods and purchase unique gifts,” he adds proudly. “And that is just what they do when they visit my shop.”

reggie eggie Medford

16

d roBerTS r rTS

iSland rouTeS

– a national treasure.

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net


the soul of

– historical heart of a walled city.

Santo Domingo

dominiCan rePuBliC TouriSm Board

Zona coLoniaL

by melanie reffes

There is no country in the world that produces as many Major League baseball players as the Dominican Republic. For sports fans, nothing beats watching Santo Domingo’s

two home teams play ball every weekend at the Estadio Quisqueya ballpark. Away from the tourist meccas of Punta Cana and Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo iS the Caribbean’S Caribbean’S moSt moSt t popupopu eal in the Dr D with dozens of mumu louS City anD the real Deal seums, vibrant arts scene, spirited bars, historic sites like the ColumColum bus Lighthouse where the explorer’s remains are said to be buried and parks where wannabe ball players practice their pitch. For art shows, merengue concerts, watching old timers show off their handmade sombreros and snapping photos of the last speck of sun as it sinks behind the horizon, The Malecón is the place to go. The charming sea-fronting boulevard where time seems to stand still, at least for a sunny afternoon, is the Dominican road less travelled.

BaSeBaLL

– nothing beats watching Santo domingo’s two teams.

dominiCan rePuBliC TouriSm Board

At the historical heart of the walled city is the CiuDaD Colonial or Zona Colonial where strolling un un-hurried down cobblestone streets that conquistadors once walked centuries ago or dining in a gourmet restaurant buried in a cave once used by pirates is part of its charm. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1992, the city is a charming hybrid of the old and the new with fancy sports cars parked next to well-worn scooters and street vendors who dish up traditional la bandera dominicana, a scrumptious platter of chicken, rice and beans with a side of plantains. And for a seaside respite, an hour east of Santo Domingo is boCa ChiCa beach with a coral reef-protect-ed lagoon, shallow surf and snow-white sand that is lapped by turquoise water.

www.godominicanrepublic.com www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer • sePtemBer 2012

17


The Cayos of Villa Clara are Cuba’s newest tourist destination. These cays, located 300 kilometres east of Havana, have become hugely popular with Canadians. Just as this area was a refuge for pirates in the 16th century, today they are a refuge for tourists, who, like Ernest Hemingway in the 50s, find it a perfect place to unwind.

catch of the day

– aquatic adventure at the dolphinarium.

The beaches? Spectacular! Resort guests rave about the kilometres of white, sugar-fine beaches and crystal clear calm waters. This is the beach I dream about in February. buT waiT, There’s more! The 90-minute transfer itself is like a tour, a fascinating journey through the city of Remedios, a glimpse of yesterday with oxen plowing the fields, fabulous old cars, a look at today with some new homes, and others sporting a fresh coat of paint. I love the reasonable excursions. Havana, for instance, is heavily booked. Guests can do an overnight or a day trip. Perfect if you want a beach holiday AND some culture.

There are also day trips to Trinidad and Santa Clara. Hiking, bird watching, cycling tours, sport fishing, 4X4 wildlife expeditions are just some of the ecotourism choices. Right next door to Memories Paraiso Beach Resort is a tourist village called La estrella. A large spa, bowling alley, shops featuring the increasingly attractive handicrafts, a night club and restaurants makes this a popular outing, with the added pleasure of the hotel pickup by a painted trolley. New on Cayo Las Brujas is a dolphinarium where there are numerous choices for a fun day, and an excellent restaurant. The catamaran tour is a fantastic day. Big plans are afoot for this area, including a golf course, and many new hotels that will join those already there. Did I mention the beach?

Cuba CuBa TouriST Board

by sam ion

cuBa’S BeacheS

– the stuff of February dreams.

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sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net


Give your family the star treatment in Mexico.

Wave pool at Iberostar Paraiso Maya and Iberostar Paraiso Lindo, Mayan Riviera.

Treat your family to the ultimate in setting and service. Gracing the most breathtaking shores of Cancún, Riviera Maya and Cozumel, in Mexico, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts offer the Caribbean’s best hospitality, endless amenities, all inclusive dining, extended programs for your kids and a huge variety of recreational options. From wave and sparkling pools to the stunning beaches, from challenging golf courses to relaxing spa, Iberostar has created one –of –a kind, all inclusive playground where every member of your family will be treated like a star.

Iberostar Cancún

Iberostar Cozumel Paraíso Beach

Iberostar Paraíso Beach

MEXICO · JAMAICA · DOMINICAN REPUBLIC · CUBA

iberostar.com - contact your travel professional

Enjoy being a star


anTigua & BarBuda TouriST oFFiCe

Top ATTrAcTion: 365 beaches, St. John’s Saturday Morning Market, Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, touring a former sugar cane plantation like Betty’s Hope in St. Peter parish, nightlife around Falmouth and English harbours. > HoT plATe: The naTional diSh, knoWn aS ‘Fungi and PePPerPoT’, a ThiCk vegeTaBle STeW made WiTh Yam, SquaSh, okra, eggPlanT, daSheen leaveS (Similar To SPinaCh), PlanTainS, and PumPkin, Served WiTh SalTed meaT and Fried Cornmeal dumPlingS. > HoT Buy: Cavalier muSCovado rum and Wadadli, a Pale lager named aFTer The anTiguan Word For Beer.

> HoT plATe: keShi Yena, a SPiCY mixTure oF ChiCken and PePPerS, CaPerS, oliveS and TomaToeS TradiTionallY Baked in a gouda CheeSe Shell.

are the top attraction in antigua.

> HoT Buy: aruBa aloe.

whiLe freSh Seafood iS aLwayS on the Menu in the

Bahamas, conch (pronounced konk) fritters, a blend of meat, celery, peppers and spices, deep fried and served with a spicy dipping sauce are a national passion.

arikok nationaL park’S rugged interior boast wild plant and animal life and a network of biking, hiking and walking trails to show it all off.

Top ATTrAcTion: Pirates of Nassau, an interactive museum, pub and gift shop, depicts the Bahamas’ storied past as home to the world’s most famous pirates. > HoT plATe: ConCh FriTTerS.

www.BahaMaS.coM.

BerMuda roBYn Fleming

aruBa

Aruba claims near-perfect weather, natural wonders, historic sites and museums.

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net

Visitors revel in a variety of water activities and fun on land. Paradise and Grand Bahama Islands are the main islands, but the hidden gems of The Outer Islands beckon to the more adventurous traveller. Check out the “People-to-People Experience”, where visitors spend time with locals.

> info: 1-800-667-3777,

www.antigua-BarBuda.ca.

20

BaHaMas

> HoT Buy: STraW haTS and BaSkeTS.

> info: 1-800-547-3055,

Top ATTrAcTion: Arikok National Park’s rugged and wild interior offers a wide variety of biking, walking and hiking trails through more than 52 square kilometres of wild flora and fauna, as well as impressive cave and rock formations and swimming at the Natural Pool.

> info: 1-800-To-aruBa, www.aruBa.coM.

aruBa TouriSm

Three hundred and sixty five beaches surrounded by translucent turquoise sea offer peace and tranquility with just that gentle touch of sophistication. Antigua is the largest of the Englishspeaking Leeward Islands and includes largely-undeveloped Barbuda and Redonda, an uninhabited island nature preserve.

three hundred and Sixtyfive BeautifuL BeacheS

BahamaS TouriST oFFiCe

antigua & BarBuda

WHAT’s neW: The Caribbean’s Longest Linear Park is being constructed along the island’s south side which will include pedestrian areas and bike paths, restaurant terraces and outdoor dining, walkways to connect museums/cultural attractions and outdoor areas to showcase local Aruban art.

BerMuda iS hoMe to More goLf courSeS per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world.

Located just under three hours from Toronto, this midAtlantic jewel is an enticing year-round destination. The island is home to more golf courses per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world, a vibrant arts scene, close to 400 wreck dives, and spa treatments. Top ATTrAcTion: Walking tours of St. George, PGA Grand Slam of Golf October 22-24 and the Royal Naval Dockyard.


WHAT’s neW: Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina joined the Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, making it the first Autograph Collection hotel in the Caribbean; the BVI VIP Club has a new website where repeat visitors to the BVI can apply to join online (www.bvivipclub.com).

Wouldn’t you rather be here?

Bvi TouriST Board

WHAT’s neW: The Bermuda Corporate Games will take place October 25-28, offering an array of athletic activities. The Endless Summer promotion provides an extra night free for bookings made through October 30 at participating hotels. Travellers can

the BathS iS an otherworLdLy SeaScape in the Bvi

where gigantic boulders are scattered around the beach and in the water.

reserve tee times through the web, e-mail or iPhone mobile app at six of the island’s top courses at www.golfnow.com/ Bermuda. > HoT plATe: FiSh ChoWder. > HoT Buy: rum CakeS. > info: 1-800-Bermuda, www.gotoBerMuda.coM.

BritisH Virgin islands

Sixty islands, tranquil beaches and outstanding sailing and diving conditions have earned the BVI a reputation for natural Caribbean charm and hassle-free hospitality. Top ATTrAcTions: The Wreck of the Rhone, the most famous dive site in the Caribbean, and the Baths, an other-worldly seascape where gigantic boulders are scattered around the beach and in the water.

> HoT plATe: anegada SPinY loBSTer.

Life is better on vacation.

> HoT Buy: WorkS From TalenTed loCal arTiSanS SuCh aS PoTTerY, PainTing, PrinTS, PhoTograPhS and BaSkeTS. > info: 1-800-835-8530, www.BvitouriSM.coM.

CayMan islands

This trio of islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman – is a premier destination for discerning travellers, honeymooners and families. World renowned for its beaches and diving spots, the Cayman Islands are also referred to as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean”. Top ATTrAcTion: Stingray City allows visitors to interact with Atlantic southern stingrays in their natural habitat.

> HoT plATe: ConCh FriTTerS and FreSh FiSh Served CaYman-STYle (PrePared in a SPiCY TomaTo SauCe WiTh SWeeT PePPerS and onionS).

We are...

as well as in many other vacation spots where you’d rather be this winter. From Myrtle Beach golf and beach getaways, romantic escapes of historic southern cities of Charleston, St Augustine and Orlando or even all-inclusive sailing vacations throughout exotic islands of the Caribbean, GoFestiva.com will take you to your happy place this winter…

Book your winter getaway and save 15% with promo code: CNT Book online at www.GoFestiva.com Certain restrictions apply, call for details.

855-533-7848

www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer • sePtemBer 2012

21


> info: (416) 485-1550/ 1-800-263-5805, www.cayManiSLandS.ky.

Curaçao

Stingray city in the Cayman Islands allows visitors to interact with atlantic southern stingrays in their natural habitat.

Curaçao boasts 38 exquisite beaches, more than 60 world-class diving sites, and is located on the outer fringes of the hurricane belt, making it the perfect yearround destination. The historic downtown area of Willemstad features more than 750 sites and monuments, including Mikvé Israël-Emanuel Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere.

the winter-tiMe curaÇao Carnival boasts parades with floats, Jump ups (outdoors), Jump ins (indoors) and outrageous costumes.

> info: 1-800-3-CuraCao, www.curacao.coM.

grenada

Grenada bills itself as the ‘Spice of the Caribbean’, with good reason – cinnamon, allspice, cocoa and nutmeg scent the air of this three-island country. Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique offer beaches, sailing, hiking and 300 years of history and culture. Grenada is an eco-conscious destination, protecting the nesting habitats of the leatherback turtle and is also famous for its diving. Top ATTrAcTion: From May to September, hundreds of leatherback turtles trudge on to Levera Beach to lay their eggs.

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Puerto riCo

grenada BiLLS itSeLf as the ‘Spice of

the caribbean’, with good reason – cinnamon, allspice, cocoa and nutmeg scent the air of this three-island country.

> HoT plATe: keShi Yena, a mixTure oF ChiCken and PePPerS, CaPerS, oliveS and TomaToeS TradiTionallY Baked in a gouda CheeSe Shell. > HoT Buy: Blue CuraCao liqueur, made From The Peel oF SPeCial laraha orangeS.

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net

> HoT Buy: grenada iS one oF The World’S largeST ProduCerS oF nuTmeg. > info: (416) 595-1339, www.

grenada TouriST Board

WHAT’s neW: Curasub at Substation Curaçao, a mini-sub that can travel to depths that divers are unable to reach.

> HoT plATe: grenada’S naTional diSh, oil doWn, iS a one-PoT meal, Cooked SloWlY over a Fire.

grenadagrenadineS.coM.

PuerTo riCo TouriSm ComPanY

CuraCao TouriST Board

Top ATTrAcTions: Carnival!, Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, the colourful Handelskade in downtown Willemstad, diving, LGBT community offerings.

WHAT’s neW: Caribbean Airlines now offers twice weekly direct flights to Grenada (yearround). (www. caribbeanairlines.com)

CaYman iSlandS dePT TouriSm

> HoT Buy: Bring home a BoTTle oF Seven FaThomS rum WhiCh iS aged in oak BarrelS underWaTer or head To The ToWn CenTre aT Camana BaY For a Wide varieTY oF ShoPS Selling unique houSeWareS and FaShion.

In Puerto Rico there is something for everyone, from the history and culture of Old San Juan to the wonders of the El Yunque Rainforest. For golf aficionados, Puerto Rico offers 25 courses – more than any other island in the Caribbean. Top ATTrAcTion: Old San Juan, the only walled city in the Caribbean. WHAT’s neW: Toro Verde, a zipline park, the W Retreat and Spa on Vieques Island and the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort – Rio Grande. The Condado Vanderbilt Hotel opens Fall 2012; and the Dorado Beach, A Ritz Carlton Reserve opens in December. > HoT plATe: PuerTo riCo’S oFFiCial diSh iS aSoPao, a hearTY SouP made WiTh ChiCken, riCe, SoFriTo (a ZeSTY SeaSoning PoPular in laTin CuiSine) and vegeTaBleS. > HoT Buy: rum and CoFFee. > info: 1-800-866-7827 or 1-800-9817575, www.Seepuertorico.coM.

st. Kitts the StreetS of puerto rico’S

old San Juan offer and entertaining mix of art, architecture and dining in the only walled city in the Caribbean.

Spotted by Columbus in 1493, the island’s heritage is traced to the arrival of the British in 1624 and the sugar trade. Tours in St. Kitts take in lava formations, tropical forests, lagoons and an historic sugar train, the only scenic passenger train in the Caribbean. Top ATTrAcTion: Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The will to do better

Responsible tourism Since its founding 25 years ago, Transat has grown to become one of the world’s largest tour operators. Our vision inspired by the principles of sustainable tourism sets us apart, and we are engaged in a wide range of initiatives to foster the preservation of natural and cultural heritage in our destination countries. Our objective is for the travel industry to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of communities that host tourists. When you travel with us, you are supporting our actions and helping to make sustainable tourism a reality. To learn more about our many initiatives, visit our corporate responsibility site, resp.transat.com.

Commitment to Children

■  Co-operation in destination countries: our partnership with SOS Children’s Villages Transat is a partner of SOS Children’s Villages, an international humanitarian organization that provides welcoming, safe and stable family environments for orphaned and abandoned children. Some 560 SOS Children’s Villages are found in 133 countries and welcome more than 80,000 children. ■  Combating the sexual exploitation of children Transat has made a concrete commitment in support of efforts to thwart all forms of child sex tourism. In partnership with the organization Beyond Borders (ECPAT Canada), we have begun raising awareness among our employees, customers and partners of issues related to this worldwide problem.

SUPPort For CommUnitieS

■  Sustainable tourism projects at destination: 15 initiatives in 10 countries Transat provides financial support to local initiatives that protect and enhance natural and cultural heritage or seek to maximize the socio-economic benefits of tourism.

PArtner AWAreneSS

■  Launch of the Transat hotelier program In 2010, Transat set up an awareness program that encourages its hotelier partners to adopt exemplary management practices in the area of environmental and social responsibility. It covers a total of 55 practices in 8 different fields.

enVironmentAl ProteCtion

■  Fuel management program As early as 2003, Air Transat began significant efforts to lower its CO2 emissions, implementing an ambitious fuel management program. In 2011, Air Transat was named the number one airline in the long-haul category in a new environmental performance ranking, the Atmosfair Airline Index. ■  A platinum head office for Air Transat Air Transat, which adopted an environmental policy in 2007, was awarded LEED-EB® Platinum certification for its headquarters in 2011, the first such distinction in Canada.


ST kiTTS TouriSm auThoriTY

train, the only scenic passenger train in the Caribbean. other island excursions include lava formations and tropical forests, lagoons.

toBago cayS is Svg is a protected wildlife reserve renowned for sailing, snorkelling and diving on coral reefs.

> HoT plATe: STeWed SalT FiSh, SPiCY PlanTainS, CoConuT dumPlingS and SeaSoned BreadFruiT. > HoT Buy: handmade BaTik ProduCTS. > info: (416) 368-6707/ 1-888-395-4887, www.StkittStouriSM.kn

st. luCia

Svg TouriST oFFiCe

St. Lucia boasts lush and dramatic scenery, like the famous Pitons (twin volcanic peaks and the region’s only drive-in volcano) and a vast rainforest interior, complemented by spectacular waterfalls, breathtaking views and friendly locals. Although St. Lucia is a renowned romance destination, families are welcome too.

the faMouS trinidad feStivaL

typically falls in February, but come anytime and and enjoy the lively beat of calypso and soca music, and the city's many nightclubs.

Top ATTrAcTion: Pigeon Island National Park is a popular day trip for north shore vacationers. The island also houses Fort Rodney, an old British military base and the site of many of St. Lucia’s festivals, like the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. > HoT plATe: green Fig (green BananaS) and SalT FiSh. > HoT Buy: ChoColaTeS, SPiCeS, hoT SauCeS and rum. > info: 1-800-869-0377,

TTTdC

www.StLucianow.ca.

st. VinCent & tHe grenadines

Vincent and The Grenadines is a collection of 32 unspoiled islands and cays in the secluded Southern Caribbean. Families, couples and adventurous explorers find a qualified line-up of tour operators, charter companies and dive shops ready to help coordinate itineraries. 24

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net

WHAT’s neW: New ownerships: Comfort Suites is now Ports of Call Resort; Turks & Caicos Club is now the Beach Club Resort.

Top ATTrAcTion: The Tobago Cays, a protected wildlife reserve of five islets bordered by a giant horseshoe reef, is a renowned sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving mecca. WHAT’s neW: SVG’s first international airport is scheduled to open in late 2013; Buccament Bay Resort, the largest in St. Vincent; free iTunes mobile app (Discover St. Vincent and the Grenadines) continuously updated to provide in-depth information on SVG. > HoT plATe: roaSTed BreadFruiT WiTh STuFFed JaCk FiSh, Cooked BY oven or oPen Flame. > HoT Buy: hairoun Beer, SunSeT rum or handCraFTed model Sailing BoaTS. > info: (416) 630-9292, www.diScoverSvg.coM.

trinidad & toBago

Lively Trinidad boasts a bustling capital city, Port of Spain, with galleries, restaurants and museums, gorgeous beaches along the north shore and lush interior forests. Serene Tobago has quiet beaches on its north coast while its eastern side is home to the oldest protected forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere. Top ATTrAcTion: The excitement, fun and drama of making mas in Trinidad and Tobago at Carnival. > HoT plATe: douBleS. > HoT Buy: angoSTura rumS/ BiTTerS. > info: (212) 529 8484, www.gotrinidadandtoBago.coM.

turKs & CaiCos

The Turks and Caicos Islands offer world-class resorts, spas and restaurants, historical laid-back culture and tranquil nature-based islands. The Islands provide some of the world’s best scuba diving and snorkeling in the world. Top ATTrAcTion: Grace Bay Beach – voted #1 Beach in the World by Condé Nast and Trip Advisor.

> HoT plATe: ConCh – PrePared in So manY diFFerenT WaYS. Plan To viSiT For The annual ConCh FeSTival – novemBer 24 and 25 or viSiT The World’S onlY ConCh Farm anYTime. > HoT Buy: loCal BamBarra rum, ConCh ShellS or loCallY made STraW haTS, PurSeS and BaSkeTS > info: (416) 642-9771, www.turkSandcaicoStouriSM. coM.

hiStory coMeS aLive at Whim museum on St. croix, among the original early 18thcentury plantation buildings of oldest sugar plantation museum in the virgin islands.

uSvi

aLL aBoard St. kittS’ historic sugar

WHAT’s neW: Carambola Beach Club, a fine dining venue set right on the beach; Fairview Great House and Botanical Garden, a meeting and special event venue with its onsite Nirvana Restaurant; Sky Safari St. Kitts, Ziplining Tours; Beaumont Park horse and greyhound-racing facility; St. Kitts Destination Specialist Program for agents with Travel Agent University.

u.s. Virgin islands

St. Croix is one of the few places where you can dive a reef, a wall, a wreck and a pier in one day. St. Thomas is the best known, with its cruise ship terminal and fabulous shopping in Charlotte Amalie, while St. John, the smallest, sits within the Virgin Islands National Park. Top ATTrAcTion: Relive the past at Whim Plantation on St. Croix, shop ‘til you drop on St. Thomas and experience nature at its best in the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John. WHAT’s neW: Daily flights to St. Thomas and St. Croix are now available through WestJet in conjunction with their code share agreement with American Airlines. > HoT plATe: FiSh and Fungi – Boiled FiSh along WiTh a deliCiouS Cornmeal mixTure WiTh BuTTer, SalT and PePPer. > HoT Buy: eleCTroniCS, CameraS, linenS, FaShionS > info: (905) 235-9091, www.viSituSvi.coM. v


Photo Credit: www.insandoutsofsvg.com

Unplugged. Unspoiled. And naturally, yours. www.discoversvg.com St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the unplugged and unspoiled Caribbean. Great diving, beaches, sublime sailing, wonderful hotels. Call 1-416-630-9292 or visit www.discoversvg.com. ST. VINCENT, YOUNG ISLAND, BEQUIA, MUSTIQUE, CANOUAN, MAYREAU, TOBAGO CAYS, UNION ISLAND, PALM ISLAND AND PETIT ST. VINCENT


Pamper yourself inTexas.To plan your ownTexas adventure or to order your FREE Texas State Travel Guide, Accommodations Guide and Texas Map, visit Travel Tex.com.

© 2012 Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.


Elephant central Pachyderm sPotting in botswana with orient-exPress By Jacqueline Swartz


boTswana

in The doubLE

comfort Safari cLub,

alexander mCCall smiTh’s reCenT novel feaTuring PreCious ramoTswe, The ProPrieTor of boTswana’s no.1 ladies’ deTeCTive agenCy, There’s a sCene where PreCious and her assisTanT journey Through boTswana’s okavango delTa by Canoe. They are aT an uPsCale buT environmenTally CorreCT eagle island CamP (www. eagleislandCamP. Com), surrounded by waTerways, grasslands and Teeming wildlife.

WelCoMe to BotsWana – the elephant capital of africa.

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29


MaLeS waLk away aLone,

females arrive with their adorable little ones.

Precious ramotswe, the first ram

female private detective in Botswana who names her agency accordingly, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, is the heroine of Alexander McCall Smith’s globally popular series of detective mystery stories. The novels are all set set in and around Gaborone, Botswana and weave tales of the everyday mysteries of life that simultaneously reveal Precious’ modern, liberal views and those of traditional Africa. The first in the series, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, was published in 1998 and the 13th, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, in 2012.

it’s Precious 30

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net

Distracted by the exotic birds and the beauty of the lily-pads punctuating the water, at one point these two “traditionally built” ladies notice that the rim of the canoe is perilously close to the level of the water; meanwhile, the poler is telling them stories of hungry crocodiles and grumpy hippos. It brought me back to my own Botswana experience. It happened during a night safari ride in an open jeep in the bush near the Khwai River Lodge, situated in the eastern region of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, a spectacular game viewing area with forests and marshes, giraffes and birds. On this dark night ride, everything seemed hyper real: the blackout sky was crammed full of stars, and our open jeep swayed like a camel on the sandy path that served as a road. The daytime palette of tan-

coloured savannah punctuated with acacia trees had morphed into a ghostly green, and the

sounds gave eerie hints of invisible bird and animal life. An elephant nonchalantly crossed in front of our jeep - was it real? To the left, we could make out a group of dark, bulky hippos standing by a marshy pond. Hippos are much more dangerous than people think, our guide was saying when we stumbled upon a jaw-dropping sight: lions, lots of them, sprawled out just ahead. “It was touch and go for awhile,” I said that evening over dinner, expansively recounting the event over a fine local Pinotage, a South African blend of Pinot Noir and Hermitage wines.


world

elephant day

rustiC-luxe

Decades ago, we might have arrived in pith helmets, high boots and shotguns. Add to that steamer trunks and valets, for this five-star pinnacle of rustic-luxe is part of the Orient-Express. No trains here, just an experience of Africa, wild and at the same time safe. It’s no accident that the Orient-Express chose Botswana, a country where peace reins and animals roam freely. Surrounded by Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, Botswana’s two million people live in a country about the size of Texas. Diamonds fuel the economy but the plan is to augment mining with a major diamond cutting, polishing and finishing centre next year in the capital of Gaborone. The country’s numbers are impressive: the GDP grew 7.5 per cent in 2010 and the literacy rate is 84 per cent. Cell phone service covers this mostly rural country. The bad news

illegally slaughtered every day for their ivory;

and in the past two years, it’s believed that poaching has surged to unprecedented levels due to demand from foreign countries – despite the international ban in ivory trading in place since 1990. Today, Africa is home to less than 400,000 African elephants who continue to face the threat of habitat loss, human-elephant conflict, mistreatment in captivity and most recently, the legalization of the ivory trade (through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, as an ironic way to regulate poaching). Join the community at www.facebook.com/ worldelephantday

BoTSWana TouriSm organiZaTion

“All these lions were blocking our path,” I continued. “We couldn’t just shoo them away so we had to veer left, and we woke them from their sleep. Who knew if they’d attack us?” The lions were there all right, but they did little more than raise an eyebrow before going back to their snoring. My safari mates grinned at the tall tale. We were in the perfect place to tell safari stories – the wooden, wall-less bar at the Khwai River Lodge (www.khwairiverlodge.com).

August 12, 2012 was the inaugural World Elephant Day, a new movement aimed at getting the word out about what is happening to the world’s elephants - and bringing people together around the complex issues affecting elephants. It is estimated that 100 African elephants are

www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer • sePtemBer 2012

31


“these two “traditionally built” ladies notice that the rim of the canoe is perilously close to the level of the water; meanwhile, the poler is telling them stories of hungry crocodiles and grumpy hippos.”

is there is a major AIDS problem, but anti-retrovirals are paid for by the government. And when it comes to tourism, preserving the environment and the wildlife is at the top of the list. At dinner (the three Orient-Express safari camps are all-inclusive), the menu aimed for a kind of African fusion. There was chakalaka soup, an African spiced vegetable soup, followed by chicken stew and bream fillets, accompanied by pumpkin stuffed with baby corn. Other nights I sampled kudu meat and ostrich carpaccio.

elePHant Central

Khwai has a small spa, and a certain chic ambiance. But when I long to return to Botswana I think of the Savute Elephant Camp, less marshy and forested, than Khwai. Welcome to the elephant capital of Africa. Over 80,000 of them live in the

10,000-square kilometre Chobe National Park. In the northern part of the park, a rugged, semi-

arid wilderness, is the 5,000-square kilometre Savute area. This is prime wildlife territory. Zebras migrate through here, and you can see the endangered wild dog, as well as giraffe, cheetah, imapala (a snack for lions, I was told) and kudu; recently leopards have been sighted. But the chance to see an amazing number of elephants living out their natural lives is what makes this place a magnet for people partial to pachyderms. The Savute Elephant Camp (www.savuteelephantcamp. com) is situated on the banks of the mysterious Savute channel. It’s a mystery – no one knows why it flows for several decades and then suddenly stops, sometimes for decades. It stopped flowing in 1982 and then one January morning in 2010 it started again, suddenly making the camp an instant waterfront property. It includes 15 tents that on the inside look and feel like boutique hotel rooms. Each one has a deck with a hammock. They’re clustered around a main building, roofed but without walls. It’s a combination dining room, lounge and meeting place. Everywhere in the camp local materials are used – wood, straw, stone; even the chandelier is made of ostrich eggs.

BOTSWANA’S BIg FIvE Originally the term “Big Five” was used by hunters in reference to the five most difficult animals to track and successfully hunt. Today, cameras have replaced guns in pursuit of the “Big Five”. In Botswana the list is: • African Elephant • Lion • Cape Buffalo

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• Leopard • Black Rhinoceros

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net

BoTSWana TouriSm organiZaTion

Who doesn’t love a good list?


The colours, here and at the other Orient Express camps are tan, sand, ecru, just like the land itself. The hut-like tents and the lounge on stilts fit right into the wilderness. (What a horror it would be to see a sprawling luxury resort and golf course.) There are no concrete foundations, all the better to be able to Even the heaviest pull up stakes in case the 15-year lease is not renewed by the government (no land elephant walks can be sold in conservation areas). The harmony of the lion-coloured land and silently, as if the the aesthetic, African-style furnishings, made me feel a kind of nostalgia for some sound had been kind of unruined past. It’s as if we were in a sepia photograph. turned off. Just outside the camp, in plain view, the elephants drink, wash, jostle and splash each other in the water; they come and go, exchanging greetings with their trunks. Even the heaviest elephant walks silently, as if the sound had been turned off. Males walk away alone, females arrive with their adorable little ones. It is the female elephants who live communally, aunts caring for their sisters’ offspring, while the males, from adolescence onward, are on their own. The younger ones do not even know who their fathers are, and try to attract a male mentor by showing off. So much elephant behaviour is going on that it’s tempting to just sit on the deck and watch. But there are other animals to see. At 6:30 am, we

KALAHARI DESERT & THE SAN

take off in the open jeep. Our guide, the camp’s resident environmentalist named Onx, scrutinizes the animal tracks and easily finds zebra, gazelle and giraffe. This is not a big zoo; it’s the unfenced wild, one of the best places in Africa to see animals. The same might be said of the whole country.

useful inforMation

• The Okavango Delta has a variety of lodgings and prices. However, in the region of the Khwai and Savute safari camps, also in the north, there are fewer camps and many of these are high-end (4 and 5 stars). The vast Kalahari desert to the south includes a game preserve which offers wildlife viewing in some of the most remote, unspoiled wilderness in Africa. This is not five-star territory, and low-priced lodgings and camping is available. • Air Botswana (www.airbotswana.co.bw), a thoroughly modern airline with more amenities than many North American carriers, flies often from both Johannesburg and Capetown. For the Okavanga Delta and the Chobe area, the best place to land is the town of Maun. It contains both banks and goats (shepherds bring their herds to market) and is safari central. Here is where you take small planes to the various safari camps (Mack Air is one, at www.mackair.co.bw), and rent four-wheel vehicles. The capital, Gaborone, is in the south and is closer to the Kalahari area. v

BotsWana is home

FliCkr/Frank vaSSen

to one of the oldest cultures in the world – that of the Bushmen or San, who make their home in the Kalahari desert. Not a typical desert, the Kalahari, which covers most of the country, is well vegetated and receives rain, though unpredictably. The desert is home to a number of game reserves like the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the Khutse Game Reserve and Gemsbok National Park boasting the Big Five as well as hyenas, giraffes, warthogs and various species of antelope.

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California’s

Central Coast

Of all the world’s great coastlines, none can compare to California’s—

for its truly unique combination of beauty, variety, and accessibility and the extraordinary range of ways to enjoy the landscape. These are only a few of the reasons that California’s Central Coast is known as the home of The Original Road Trip.

Boasting 350 miles of the world’s most gorgeous coastline,California’s Central Coast stretches from Ventura County just north of Los Angeles to Santa Clara County south of San Francisco. Visit here and you’ll find that the Central Coast’s four regions offer everything you desire from a California vacation—unspoiled coastline, rolling vineyards and golden hills. The regions of Channel Islands, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey Bay encompass everything you expect from the California coast, with miles of rocky shoreline, dreamy beaches and panoramic views of the Pacific.

Each of the four regions has busy and thriving wine industries and gorgeous towns notable for their classic architecture, history, and contemporary dining and shopping scenes. Anyone who loves the outdoors will find plenty of things to do on the Central Coast including surfing, kayaking, biking, and fishing. For that matter, the Central Coast’s food scene is as diverse as its outdoor recreation, with fresh seafood restaurants in harbor towns and sophisticated bistros.

So if you’re looking for the real California—unspoiled coastline, rolling vineyards, and golden hills—then the Central Coast is the place for you. Visit TourTheCentralCoast.com!

The Original Road Trip


adventur ahead a timid trekker's journey through patagonian waters by janice strong

“We stood listening to the wind whistling across the water, the birds calling overhead and the ancient ice cracking and groaning as it grinds its way to the sea.”

36

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net


boots and a life jacket, i’m thinking “What on earth

have I got myself Into?” i’m no sailor, not really into outdoor adventure, either, but here i am getting ready to muster for my first shore excursion from cruceros australis’ Stella auStraliS.

CruCeroS auSTraliS

ure

struggling to get into snow Pants, winter jacket,


BOOKeND CITY

Punta arenas, Chile

as it turned out, i was into an

BOOKeND CITY

AMAzINg jOURNeY THROUgH THe ReMOTe WATeRWAYS of

USHUAIA, ARgENTINA “Huddled in the shadow of the majestic, snow-capped Martial Range, Ushuaia is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world.” Huddled in the shadow of the majestic, snowcapped martial range, ushuaia is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. A former penal colony and an important naval base, this pretty city on the Beagle channel is now an important adventure centre. Visit an outfitter in town and enlist the services of a local guide to explore the wonders that surround – walk along the aquamarine waters of Lago Roca, take a trek up to one of the nearby glaciers, or swoop down the slopes of cerro castor on skis or a snowboard.

Tim JohnSon

And if the weather is foul – as it is wont to be this far south – pay a visit to the fascinating Museo Marítimo & Museo del Presidio; housed in a former prison, it showcases penal life in ushuaia. And, this being Argentina, the city is also home to plenty of places to raise a glass, including Kaupé, an intimate spot with great seafood and an extensive list of Argentinian vino.

Patagonia, cruising between Punta arenas in CHile and UshUaIa in argentina. That morning’s adventure was to Ainsworth Bay in Alberto de Agostini National Park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountain Range are a striking background to our trek into the developing forest created from a retreating glacier. Along the way, we passed a family of elephant seals basking on their own private island. Our guides were knowledgeable and passionate about the environment, and very good at explaining what we were seeing and why we were seeing it. While the setting was impressive, the truly magical moment came when everyone put their cameras away, and we all stood and listened to the sounds of the surrounding forest. The rain played a symphony on the leaves, bark, rocks – even the hoods of our jackets. Unforgettable. That afternoon it was back in the snow pants and life jacket for a bouncing Zodiac trip to Tuckers Islets where we observed Magellanic penguins and cormorants at their nesting sites. And how was I doing as an adventurer? Absolutely loving it!

ShuTTerSToCk/ChYrko olena

SAILINg SOUTH  Ferdinand Magellan: the man who captained the world’s first circumnavigation, magellan piloted his fleet through the broad strait that now bears his name way back in 1520. unfortunately, his personal voyage would not finish on fair shores – he was killed in the Philippines before completing the circumnavigation.

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Tim JohnSon

“it seeMs fitting that the final day of the cruise stops at the “end of the earth”, Cape horn national Park, also a uneSCo World Biosphere.”

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net

“A visit to the municipal cemetery is also worthwhile – a mix of the extravagant tombs of the very wealthy and workingclass mausoleums that resemble tenement housing blocks.” SeT DIReCTLY ON the cobalt waters of the strait of magellan, Punta Arenas (at 53 degrees south) is the largest city below the 46th parallel. while remote, this is no far-flung village – with 120,000 residents, it’s a city in every sense of the word, a regional capital complete with an international airport, a bustling shopping district and a port that serves as the primary launch point for ships headed even further south, to Antarctica. And although it is a rugged place (windswept, with corrugated steel the primary building material), it is home to a number of worthwhile attractions. take in the impressive statue of Ferdinand Magellan in the centre of town (and tarry awhile to pick up some knick-knacks from the local sellers that gather there), then head to the engaging regional museum, a mix of curiosities (think two-headed calves and fourhorned rams) and authentic items of historical interest, including a replica of darwin’s Beagle and artifacts from the mountaineer priest Alberto de Agostini. And speaking of curiosities, a visit to the municipal cemetery is also worthwhile – a mix of the extravagant tombs of the very wealthy and working-class mausoleums (that resemble tenement housing blocks), with each small square decorated for its occupant.

A number of great explorers navigated the difficult waters of this region. Here are three of the greatest.

 Sir Francis Drake: A knight, a sailor and a privateer, drake sailed through the magellan strait – en route to the world’s second circumnavigation – in 1578. And while he would make it back to queen and country, his voyage was also plagued by hardship – losing a number of ships from his fleet, and many men.

 james Cook: one of the greatest explorers of all time, cook came this way more than once – on the way to tahiti on his first voyage, in 1768, and even further south, to the fringes of Antarctica, in 1774.


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That afternoon I suited up and boarded the Zodiac for the last time. Destination? Wulaia Bay, one of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. This is where Charles Darwin first made contact with Yaghan aboriginals and where Cruceros Australis is transforming an old naval radio station to a centre to preserve the area’s historical and archaeological heritage. Back on the dock in Ushuaia, I felt like a seasoned adventurer. The scenery may look untouched, but no traveller can return from Patagonia without being a little changed.

BEFORE & AFTER If you’re looking for even more adventure, here are a few Patagonian experiences that you can explore pre- or post-voyage. THe PeNgUINS PeNg OF PUNTA TOMBO: T TOM BO:

onBoard Built in 2010, the Stella

this Argentinian town is home to one of the world’s important most impor colonies of magellanic penguins, who migrate here to incubate their eggs. ShuTTerSToCk/galina BarSkaYa

Australis boast 100 cabins spread over three decks and can accommodate 210 passengers. Life aboard ship is relaxed, with lectures in the afternoons and documentaries and films screened in the evenings. The food was excellent, with breakfast and lunch served buffet style and a formal dinner service, with menu choices, in the evening. Safety, so prominent in the news these days, was foremost throughout the cruise. Briefings were held before the ship sailed, and all excursions were scouted by ship’s staff for weather and shore conditions before

ShuTTerSToCk

In fact, I couldn’t wait for the next day’s excursion, which was a visit to Pia Glacier in Pia Fjord. Once again we climbed aboard the Zodiac boats (an exhilarating trip itself) and headed for shore where we marveled at the expanse of the icefield, stretching from high in the mountains right down to the ocean. We had another of those magic moments when life seems to stand still. Again everyone put the cameras and the conversations down and we stood listening to the wind whistling across the water, the birds calling overhead and the ancient ice cracking and groaning as it grinds its way to the sea. It made me feel just a little insignificant. Back onboard, the cruise continued along the northwest arm of Beagle Channel through Glacier Alley. We alternated between the warmth of the ship’s Sky Lounge and the windswept upper deck, watching glacier after glacier slip past. There were five in all – Romanche, Gemany, France, Italy and Holland. It seems fitting that the final day of the cruise stops at the “End of the Earth”, Cape Horn National Park, also a UNESCO World Biosphere. At the top of the 160-step staircase are the Cape Horn Monument, unbelievable views, a gift shop and a lighthouse. Although it seems lonely, the keeper and his family told us they would find it hard to leave when their tour of duty was up.

DUDe RANCH: Become a vaquero for a few days, saddling up and riding at one of several working ranches that dot the spectacular countryside, including estancia telkin, Argentina, near the chilean border ShuTTerSToCk/alFredo Cerra

STALK THe PReHISTORIC:

ShuTTerSToCk/PiChugin dmiTrY

Head to the northwest corner of the Patagonia and travel along the dinosaur route, a string of fascinating archeological sites and museums.

HIKe "THe W": this popular trekking route (a three-tofour day journey) takes those looking for a hardcore hike through Parque nacional torres del Paine in chile, past some of the most stunning scenery in the world.

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sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net


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Looking

forChristmas discover the joys & traditions of christmas markets along the danube

FliCkr

By Aaron Saunders


I’ve always secretly longed for an old-fashioned, traditional

Christmas spent in the narrow cobblestone streets of a centuries-old European Christmas market, sipping hot mulled wine while the sounds of carollers mingle with the scents of roasted chestnuts and spiced lebkuchen.

www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer • sePtemBer 2012

45


A JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF THE HUNGARIAN CAPITAL OF BUDAPEST WOULD CONCLUDE THIS GREAT JOURNEY. SIMILAR ITINERARIES ARE OFFERED DURING THE SUMMER HIGH-SEASON MONTHS, BUT SETTING THIS JOURNEY APART WOULD BE THE INCLUDED VISITS TO SOME OF THE OLDEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN EUROPE.

as We sailed past

sail down the legendary Danube River, bound for the German cities of Regensburg and Passau before crossing into Austria for visits to Linz, Melk, and historic Vienna. A journey into the heart of the Hungarian capital of Budapest would conclude this great journey. Similar itineraries are offered during the summer high-season months, but setting this journey apart would be the included visits to some of the oldest Christmas Markets in Europe. Embarking the 109-metre AmaLyra was a snap, lasting only as long as it took for me to walk up the gangway at our Nuremberg berth. Inside her gleaming navy-blue and white hull, the AmaLyra is elegantly decorated, with plenty of marble, dark woods and elegant accents throughout. During our first morning of exploration in Nuremberg,

I realized that my biggest misconception about river cruising was the assumption that I would be bored. Instead, my week

aboard the AmaLyra was one of the most active trips I’ve ever taken. Not only did I have the ability to choose the excursions I wanted to participate in, but groups were split into “active” and “gentle” walkers, ensuring you could move

aaron SaunderS

the brightlylit hungarian Parliament to the strains of Strauss’ The Blue danube, i realized that not only had i discovered a new way to cruise; i’d experienced the Christmas i always secretly wanted.

It was a fairy-tale world I never knew existed until last December, when I boarded AmaWaterways’ AmaLyra in Nuremberg, for a weeklong “Christmas Time Cruise” adventure along the Danube. Built in 2009, the AmaLyra is one of six nearlyidentical sister ships constructed for California-based AmaWaterways, which has been taking the river cruise industry by storm since their founding in 2002 by Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst and Jimmy Murphy. With the launch of AmaPrima in April 2013, a total of 15 AmaWaterways vessels will sail throughout Europe, Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Africa. Not a bad accomplishment for a company that has only been in existence for a decade. This was to be my first river cruise experience, despite having logged hundreds of days’ at sea on deep-ocean cruise ships. And it didn’t take long for me to realize that I loved it. My itinerary was seemingly taken straight from a Christmas fable. Beginning in Nuremberg, we would

46

sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net


AMONG MY FELLOW PASSENGERS, I WAS SOMETHING OF AN ANOMALY DUE TO MY NOVICE STATUS. at a comfortable pace in keeping with your abilities at all times. Nearly all excursions ashore are provided in the price of your cruise; a huge savings when you think about all the admissions, motor-coach transfers, and qualified guides you’re treated to. If you want to do your own thing, AmaWaterways has complimentary bicycles available for guests to use ashore – even in December! Alas, I wasn’t brave enough to take them for a spin in Regensburg when I spied them sitting by the gangway, choosing instead to enjoy a hearty pint of beer and some spectacular bratwurst and sauerkraut at the Wurstkuchl, a 500-year old tavern near the Stone Bridge that still serves up the same delicious meals workers have enjoyed since the Middle Ages. Among my fellow passengers, I was something

onboard, i was far from the only person trying to figure out how to bring 10 mugs back in my luggage.

AmaLyra Built: 2009 at scheepswerf Grave b.v., netherlands. Length: 110.0 meters Width: 11.45 meters Crew: 41 Staterooms: 75, including four suites. Passengers: 148 elevator: one, with service to cello deck and Violin deck. Public Rooms & Amenities: sun deck with one whirlpool; walking track; main Lounge with 180-degree views; bow seating area; Gift shop; reception area; massage and Hair salon; aft-facing Lounge; Fitness room; restaurant with openseating breakfast, dinner and lunch.

remarked that they no longer buy each other gifts anymore, choosing instead to sail the waterways of Europe during the Holiday season. What I didn’t expect, though, was just how young the average passenger was. Five guests, including myself, were in their mid-to-late twenties, while the vast majority of passengers were working professionals in their midforties to late fifties. They were active, adventurous, and decidedly young-at-heart. Europe in December so closely resembles that storybook version of Christmas that we all secretly envision that it becomes nearly impossible to resist the sounds of carollers strolling near St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, or the spicy aroma of hot Gluhwein wafting through the air in Nuremberg. At every market I visited,

Complimentary Onboard Features: Free-pour wine, beer and soda with dinner; complimentary bottled water, tea and coffee served 24-hours. wi-Fi access throughout the ship. Bicycles for use ashore. Interactive television system in every stateroom featuring first-run Hollywood movies, classic films, travel videos, music channels and satellite television. nearly all excursions ashore included in cruise price. 2012 Christmas Time Cruises: Itineraries can be booked beginning in nuremberg, Germany or Budapest, Hungary. An optional cruise & Land package can be booked that includes a two night stay in Prague. dates listed here are embarkation dates. PRAgUe OR NUReMBeRg TO BUDAPeST november 21 - AmaLegro* november 29 - Amacerto december 5 - AmaLyra december 13 - Amacerto december 27 - Amacerto* Budapest to nuremberg or Prague november 28 - AmaLyra december 6 - Amacerto december 12 - AmaLyra december 20 - Amacerto* single supplement (cruise only): 50% of twin price; Junior suites & suites 100% of twin price. FliCkr/Ben geaCh

single supplement for Land: $260 per person.

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sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net

*most christmas markets run between november 25 and december 21, with some lasting through until december 24. Website: www.amawaterways.com

aaron SaunderS

Registry: switzerland.

of an anomaly due to my novice status. Most of them had taken river cruises several times before, and many had several Christmas Markets voyages under their belts. One couple

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at eVery MarKet i

visited, friends and families would gather well into the night to enjoy the candies and treats offered at every market, and the atmosphere is abuzz with festive cheer.

in nureMBerg, figures made

out of nuts and prunes were some of the most highly soughtafter souvenirs.

friends and families would gather well into the night to enjoy the candies and treats offered at every market, and the atmosphere is abuzz with festive cheer. I was thrilled to discover no two markets are created equal. In each, the traditions of years gone by have been passed down from generation to generation, creating a totally unique experience that only exists in December. Vienna alone has a number of distinct Christmas Markets – so many that you’d be hard-pressed to see them all. Outside Vienna’s City Hall, the Rathausplatz Christkindlemarkt is easily one of the most beautiful. Festively-decorated trees and light displays stand in the shadows of the massive Rathaus, or City Hall, that was constructed between 1872 and 1883. The market itself is a beehive of activity. It’s also loaded with food choices, making it the perfect place

to grab a light lunch or dinner. Rich chocolates are featured in nearly every stall, and the smell of spices and roasting sausages wafts over the entire square. Yet, less than a 10-minute walk away is the equally breathtaking Christmas Market at Maria-TheresienPlatz, sandwiched between the Natural History Museum and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, home to artworks spanning seven millennia. It’s quieter here and, for whatever reason, the rumpunsch is substantially (and pleasantly) stronger. There are more hand-crafted wares like ornaments, decorations and intricate woodcarvings and less of an emphasis on food. These two markets exist just blocks away from each other, yet their look and feel are completely unique. On my way back to the ship, I accidentally stumbled across the Christmas Market in Freyung Square. Handmade wares were the name of the game at this triangular

square, and it didn’t take much imagination to envision this same setting hundreds of years ago. Of course, I had to stop and sample the Gluhwein. The most popular drink served at each market, Gluhwein – or mulled wine – varies just as much as the markets themselves, and can be enjoyed mit Schuss (an additional shot of alcohol added). As a bonus, you can even keep the custom mug for a few Euros more; each city (and sometimes each market within a city) has their own distinctive cups. From my discussions onboard, I was far from the only person trying to figure out how to bring 10 mugs back in my luggage. For the kids, kinderpunsch is a great non-alcoholic alternative commonly made from hot, spiced apple juice that can come in just as many variations as Gluhwein, with different booths adding their own unique spices and juices.

GluHWein Gluhwein recipes can vary wildly, but this is an excellent starting point. 3/4 cup water

1 orange

3/4 cup white sugar

10 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 (750 ml) bottle red wine

combine water, sugar, and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer. cut the orange in half, and squeeze the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange peel, and place peel in the simmering water. continue simmering for 30 minutes, until thick and syrupy.

FliCkr/Tim luCaS

amaWaTerWaYS

AMONG MY FELLOW PASSENGERS, I WAS SOMETHING OF AN ANOMALY DUE TO MY NOVICE STATUS. MOST OF THEM HAD TAKEN RIVER CRUISES SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE

Pour in the wine, and heat until steaming but not simmering. remove the clove-studded orange halves. serve hot in mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water (cold glasses will break.)

aaron SaunderS

Sourced from all recipies.com

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sePtemBer 2012 • cAnAdIAn trAVeLLer www.cAnAdIAntrAVeLLer.net


The markets also have some unexpected finds, like one chocolatier in Passau who specialised in sweet treats made to resemble wrenches, nuts, bolts, hammers, and other industrial tools and equipment. In Nuremberg, figures made out of nuts and prunes were some of the most highly soughtafter souvenirs. In fact, they were prominent in nearly every stall and shop I went to in the Hauptmarkt square. There truly is something for everyone. After spending just half an hour wandering each market, you’ll wish you had brought a second suitcase with you. A definite highlight of the trip was the opportunity

to visit the Thurn & Taxis Romantic Christmas Market, located on the historic grounds of the Palace of St. Emmeram in Regensburg, Germany. Fire-lit torches lined the gravel pathways

Rich chocolates

Flickr

are featured in nearly every stall, and the smell of spices and roasting sausages wafts over the entire square.

that cut through this collection of former monastic buildings, all of which were built between the 11th and 14th centuries. And as I strolled the grounds, admiring the wares in the handmade wooden booths and listening to the soft strains of classical music coming from somewhere in the palace courtyard, I realized that my visit here was more than worth the 15-minute walk from the pier. In typical AmaWaterways’ fashion, the line made it easy for all guests to have this stellar opportunity: they paid the entry fee for each and every one of us who wanted to visit, and they did so with a smile. Of course, one of the best advantages of river cruising is that you only have to unpack once. Each evening, I was whisked to another city or town along the Danube, each more magical in appearance than the last. I was

52

SEPTEMBER 2012 • Canadian Traveller www.canadiantraveller.net

Flickr/ben geach

Among my fellow passengers, I was something of an anomaly due to my novice status. Most of them had taken river cruises several times before

Christmas Market “Must-Have’s”: • Prune and nut figurines • Hand-blown glass • Hand-painted Christmas ornaments and decorations • Hand-made angels

• T raditional children’s toys made of wood and metal •H  and-crafted candles •G  ingerbread •C  hocolates

glued to the outer decks following our departure from Passau and our first cross-over into Austria; ever other minute it seemed as if we were passing a vineyard stepped high into the hillside or passing a picturesque town, each with its own church and small cluster of houses. Smoke from chimneys betrayed the chill of an otherwise sunny day, and the AmaLyra continued to glide in near-silence down the river. On one memorable evening in Vienna, Santa Claus came to aboard, bringing gifts for each and every passenger. Santa was actually Dennis, our witty Russian waiter with a penchant for greeting guests with a hearty, “Good Afternoon” as they came down for breakfast each morning. His increasingly hoarse cry of, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” as he went about the Lounge had passengers laughing until there were tears in their eyes. Winter had definitely arrived by the time we sailed into Budapest, Hungary. There was a new crispness to the air that forced me to tie my scarf just a little tighter and while there was no snow on the ground, the darkening skies indicated it wouldn’t be long before both Buda and Pest were blanketed in a soft layer of white powder. As we sailed past the brightly-lit Hungarian Parliament to the strains of Strauss’ The Blue Danube, I realized that not only had I discovered a new way to cruise; I’d experienced the Christmas I always secretly wanted. v


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Florida

thE 411 sceNic ByWAys: a1a scenic & historic Coastal Byway, Big Bend scenic Byway, Florida Black Bear scenic Byway. AVerAge temperAtUres: 27°C.

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Florida has many distractions to keep everyone occupied from visiting museums to shopping, entertainment, relaxing on the beach and the sport of people watching. For families, there’s Orlando with its themed attractions. the everglades national Park, with its swamps, offers an insight into some nature-based offerings of the state. in celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Kennedy space Center is offering rare access to the launch Control Center. running through the end of the year, this tour will take visitors into the room that has controlled the launch of 21 space shuttles since 2006. AnnuAl EvEnts • Art Deco Festival, Miami Beach: raises awareness and appreciation of the art Deco era (January). • Florida State Fair, Tampa: saluting the best in agriculture and equestrian (February). • Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City: Features parades, exhibits, entertainment and youth programs (March). • American Sand Sculpting Championships on Fort Myers Beach: One of the longest running sand sculpting competitions worldwide (november). • Winterfest Celebration, Fort Lauderdale: Multi-cultural festivities include Winterfest Black tie Ball and shoreline Decorating extravaganza (December).

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Golf • Seminole Golf Club, Juno Beach. • Trump International Golf Club, West Palm Beach. • Black Diamond Ranch, Lecanto. • TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach. • Sharks Tooth Golf Club, Panama City Beach. BEAchEs • Clearwater Beach: Family-oriented. • Amelia Island: explore historic Fernandina beach in a carriage ride, segway or trolley tour. Fishing, water sports available. • Cap San Blas: Peninsula curved around st. Joseph Bay. activities include horseback riding, eco-excursions, kayaking and snorkelling. • Canaveral National Seashore: longest expanse of pristine shore in Florida; sanctuary to threatened animals including nesting sea turtles. • South Beach, Miami: Colourfully designed life guard outposts. • Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel: an unspoiled island sanctuary.

WhAt to Do • Paddle board Walton’s County’s Coastal Dune lakes. • Birding: the Florida Birding and Wildlife trail has 500 birding sites with about 510 species. • Visit the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola: into its 101st year; features the elite Blue angels flight demonstration squadron. WhAt to sEE • Walt Disney World Resort. • Busch Gardens. • SeaWorld. • Universal Orlando Resort. • LEGOLAND Florida. MAjor shoppinG Districts lido Key (close to sarasota), Worth avenue (Palm Beach), Bal harbour shops, adventura and Dadeland Mall (Miami), sawgrass Mills (Fort lauderdale), silver sands Factory stores (Destin), Fifth avenue south (naples), Pensacola’s historic district. insiDEr info • Best breakfast: Old Fort lauderdale Breakfast house (a.k.a. O-B house). • Best lunch: Back Porch seafood & Oyster house, Destin. • Best sunset bar: Marina Bar & Grill, sandestin.

© 2012 univerSal orlando reSorT

kennedY SPaCe CenTer

niCholaS a Collura-gehrT

Clearwater has transformed itself from spring break destination to vibrant coastal city where the beach is still the main attraction. Find great food, sun, sand and cool attractions like Clearwater marine aquarium at Clearwater Beach.

in celebration of its 50th anniversary, the kennedy Space Center is offering rare access to the launch Control Center.


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nATIOnAL PARK

The Canadianamerican days Festival in march is a two-week celebration of our friendship with our neighbours to the south and includes military band concerts, parades and history days.

With 102 public access courses like dunes golf and Beach Club, including seven of golf digests 100 greatest Public Courses, myrtle Beach is truly a golf smorgasbord.

ripley’s aquarium in myrtle Beach, at Broadway-at-the-Beach is much more than aquarium. view sea creatures in a variety of habitats, peek behindthe scenes to see how it all works, check out the dinosaurs, shop and dine.

Myrtle Beach, South carolina

Two hours north and a million miles away from Las Vegas, this National Park favorite will amaze and inspire you! Hiking and biking, horseback riding, jeep tours, rappelling, atv & more. Don’t forget your camera!

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A winter golf destination with lots of options for every golfer’s skill level, schedule and pocketbook! Lower rates than other desert locations. Book your custom package at RedRockGolf.com.

Fly Delta via SLC or United via LAX 60

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Myrtle Beach’s development as a resort started in 1901 when the beach’s first hotel, the Seaside Inn opened. Visitors have a wide variety of water-based activities to choose from, including freshwater and saltwater fishing. Often called the golf capital of the world, it is home to some of the finest courses around that are frequently listed under the top 100 courses in the country. AnnuAl EvEnts • canadian-American days festival: two-week-long festival with military band concerts, athletic tournaments and history days (March). • coastal Uncorked: Myrtle Beach’s premier food and wine festival (april). • Blue crab festival: Features live music, arts and crafts, and the tasty, sweet blue crab (May). • Beach Boogie and Barbeque festival: south Carolina’s official BBQ competition (september). • loris Bog off: a parade and a top-notch cooking competition celebrates the heritage of chicken bog (October). Golf • Dunes Club. • Barefoot Dye Club. • Tournament Players Club. • Bald Head Island. • Caledonia. BEAchEs • little river: Features arts and crafts, entertainment and booths selling blue crab inspired food. • North myrtle Beach: the shag (dance) originated here.

• myrtle Beach: home to hotels, restaurants, attractions, retail stores and other hospitality businesses. • surfside Beach: Family beach with a fishing pier. • garden city Beach: Popular area for fishing, crabbing and other water sports. WhAt to Do • Deep sea fishing. • Boat tour. • Paddle board yoga. WhAt to sEE • Ripley’s Aquarium. • Magiquest. • Wonderworks. • Skywheel Myrtle Beach. • Family Kingdom. MAjor shoppinG Districts • Broadway at the Beach, Coastal Grande Mall, tanger Outlets, Pawley’s island hammock shops, the Market Common. insiDEr info • Best breakfast: sea Captains house restaurant. • Best lunch: Drunken Jack’s. • Best sunset bar: Bubba’s love shak.

thE 411 sceNic ByWAys: Business 17 Kings highway – most scenic and oldest road in the area. AVerAge temperAtUre: 15°C to 24°C.


real cowboys

ExpEriEncE thE Real SouthwESt

For group tours, contact Judy Wood at jwood@visitTucson.org

visit Tucson.org


haWaii TouriSm JaPan

hTa/Tor JohnSon

kapalua, on maui, is home to two courses: the Plantation Course, home to the Pga Tour’s hyundai Tournament of Champions; and the Bay course, home to the 2009 kapalua lPga Classic.

hvCB/linda Ching

Watch the landscape change at hawaii volcanoes national Park on hawaii The island. The Park is home to kilauea volcano, one of the most active on earth.

The aloha Festivals on oahu in September are a state-wide festival that showcase hawaiian music, dance and history.

hawaii

WhAt to Do

leArN to sUrf in Wakiki. WAtch the sUNrise or sunset at haleakala, Maui.

TexaS TouriSm/ kennY Braun

stArgAziNg at Mauna Kea, Big island.

each of hawaii’s four major islands – Oahu, hawaii, Maui and Kauai – have their own unique offerings ranging from alluring beaches to active volcanoes that are constantly expanding the landmass. then there are the lesser known, rural and tranquil islands of Molokai and lanai. in Molokai, getting to the Kalaupapa national historical Park is an adventure in itself. it is accessible via flying, hiking or riding a Molokai mule down a five-kilometre trail dotted with 26 switchbacks before descending 488 metres to the peninsula. it is said to be the most beautiful and inspirational place in hawaii. nearby lies the island of lanai. Featuring two luxurious resorts and many secluded beach areas, it is an ideal destination for a romantic getaway. there are also two challenging and stunning championship golf courses. AnnuAl EvEnts • maui Whale festival: highlights include guided excursions with marine biologists (February).

texaS GulF coaSt

Comprising 1,004 kilometres of coastline with warm waters for swimming and water-based activities, the area See feedings, training has some of the best beaches in the u.s. sessions and diver shows, Most of the Great Texas Coastal Birding and get personal with sharks and stingrays at the Texas Trail sites are located here, the Rio Grande State aquarium in Corpus Valley being the nation’s top bird-watching Christi.

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• Waimea town celebration, kauai: events include the Kilohana long Distance Canoe race (February). • merrie monarch festival, Big island: hawaii’s most venerable hula celebration (March/april). • Aloha festivals, oahu: Cultural celebration of hawaii’s music, dance and history (september). • kona coffee cultural festival, Big island: Celebrating the coffee harvest; features tastings, farm tours, parades (november). Golf • Kapalua, Maui. • Prince Course, Princeville, Kauai. • Mauna Kea Golf Course, Big Island. • The Challenge at Manele, Lanai. • Turtle Bay Golf Course, Oahu.

• hanalei Beach park, kauai: natural beauty that’s featured in songs, hulas and travel posters. • kalapaki Beach, kauai: ideal for swimming and sailing; also features freshwater tropical lagoons that serve as a sanctuary for exotic wildlife. WhAt to sEE • Pearl Harbor, Oahu. • Haleakala National Park, Maui. • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island. • Napali Coast, Kauai. • Waimea Canyon, Kauai. MAjor shoppinG Districts ala Moana Center & Ward Centers, Oahu, Whalers Village & Shops at Wailea, Maui; King’s shops & Queen’s MarketPlace, Big island; Downtown Kapaa, Kauai.

BEAchEs • North shore Beaches, oahu: among the most famous in the world, attracting world-class surfers during the windy winter months. • Waikiki, oahu: Best known beach in hawaii. • kaanapali Beach, maui: there’s a reason why luxury hotels and resorts are built here.

insiDEr info • Best breakfast: Cinnamon’s, Oahu; Plantation house, Maui; holuakoa Cafe, Big island; Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company, Kauai. • Best lunch: hailis hawaiian Food, Oahu; Cafe Pesto, Big island; the Feral Pig, Kauai. • Best sunset bar: Duke’s Waikiki, Oahu; Mama’s Fish house, Maui; huggo’s on the rocks, Big island; tahiti nui, Kauai.

venue. Giant sea turtles including the endangered Kemp’s ridley, can be found around South Padre Island. Visitors can see these creatures in the wild under the watchful eye of sea turtle, inc., a organization dedicated to rescuing and protecting marine turtles.

weekend of every month). • mardi gras! galveston: 3rd largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country (February). • Bucdays: Pirate-themed festival (april-May). • friday Night fireworks, south padre Island: held every Friday at 9:15 p.m. (end May-early september). • Brewmaster’s craft Beer festival, Galveston: largest craft beer festival in texas featuring over 400 specialty and craft brews (september).

AnnuAl EvEnts • corpus christi first: largest outdoor market on the water in texas (first


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WhAt to sEE • Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. • USS Lexington, Corpus Christi. • Schlitterbahn Beach Resort & Waterpark, south Padre island.

TexaS TouriSm/kennY Braun

AVerAge temperAtUres: 27°C high, 18°C low.

BEAchEs • North packery Beach, corpus christi: Popular surfing and kiteboarding spot. • padre island National seashore, Corpus Christi: home to nesting Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. • stewart Beach, galveston: Popular family beach. • east Beach: Galveston’s most popular hang-out; only beach on the island where alcohol is allowed. • south padre island: nationally recognized as texas’ top beach.

MAjor shoppinG Districts laPalmera Mall, Water street Market & lamar Park, Corpus Christi; Strand Street, Galveston insiDEr info • Best breakfast: hester’s Café, Corpus Christi; Bernardo’s Restaurant, Galveston. • Best lunch: executive surf Club, Corpus Christi; Rudy & Paco Restaurant, Galveston; Blackbeard’s south Padre island • Best sunset bar: tavern on the Bay at harrison’s landing, Corpus Christi; rum Shack, Galveston.

TexaS TouriSm

sceNic ByWAys: Bay area loop in Corpus Christi, Queen isabella Causeway, south Padre island.

WhAt to Do • Visit Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi to see marinelife from the Gulf of Mexico. • Join in Hotel Galvez’s “Ghost Tour Dinner”, Galveston. Features a paranormal investigation of the ghost bride in room 501 followed by dinner. • Hop onboard a dolphin watch cruise around south Padre island.

With a tropical climate, miles and miles of beaches and plenty of entertainment after the sun goes down, it’s now wonder Winter Texans flock to South Padre island.

arizona

thE 411

sceNic ByWAys: Coronado trail, the red rock Byway, apache trail, route 66. AVerAge temperAtUre: desert 20°C highs, 10°C lows.

arizona is the only state in the u.s. where parts of four deserts – Great Basin, Mojave, Chihuahuan and sonoran, can be found. Deserts aside, arizona’s geography also includes mountains, rivers, valleys and lakes. From native americans to spanish conquistadors to cowboys and gold miners, arizona certainly has an interesting history. On the Wild West front, the frontier town of tombstone is where the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place while Prescott is home to the World’s Oldest rodeo. the state is known for its Western and native american art and ancient artifacts. AnnuAl EvEnts • Barrett-Jackson classic car Auction, Scottsdale: international car auction featuring antique/classic cars, one-of-a-kind collectibles and rare “automobilia” (January). • Accenture match play golf Championship, Marana: Considered the cornerstone of the World Golf Championship series with a purse of us $7.5 million (February). • 124th Annual prescott frontier days, World’s oldest rodeo: Celebrates

Set amid the deep canyons and spectacular scenery of glen Canyon national recreation area, lake Powell boasts more than 3,100 kilometres of meandering shoreline – perfect for a quiet drink as the desert sun goes down. 64

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cowboy culture with parades and rodeo performances (July). • Navajo festival of Arts and culture, Flagstaff: showcases ancient legends and traditions through art, stories and customs (august). • red rock fantasy of lights, sedona: holiday lights festival that features over one million lights (november). Golf • Troon North (Pinnacle), Scottsdale. • Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain (Saguaro/ tortolita), Marana. • TPC Scottsdale (Champions), Scottsdale. • Seven Canyons, Sedona. • Superstition Springs, Mesa. • Ventana Canyon, Tucson.

DEsErt ExpEriEncEs • great Basin: Iconic Monument Valley landscape; catch snowflakes in winter while standing in the desert. • the mojave desert: Go boating on Lake havasu or rafting the Colorado river while in the driest desert in north america. • chihuahuan: View migratory birds. • sonoran desert: experience spring with saguaro blossoms and wildflowers.

galveston celebrates mardi gras with spectacular parades, masked balls, flamboyant costumes and live entertainment in the historic downtown district.

WhAt to Do • Touring the red rocks of Sedona via jeep. • Heli-tour over the Grand Canyon. • Horseback riding through the Sonoran Desert. WhAt to sEE • Grand Canyon National Park. • Historic guest ranches in southern Arizona. • World-class resorts, hotels, restaurants and museums like the Musical instrument Museum (MiM) and the heard Museum. • Verde Valley Wine Trail. • Lake Havasu for water sports and the london Bridge. MAjor shoppinG Districts arizona Mills, hopi arts trail, navajo reservation for arts & Crafts. insiDEr info • Best breakfast: El Tovar Lodge, Grand Canyon national Park. • Best lunch: Poolside at a destination spa. • Best sunset bar: lake Powell on your own houseboat. v aoT

thE 411

Golf • Newport Dunes, Corpus Christi. • Gabe Lozano Golf Course, Corpus Christi. • Moody Gardens Golf Course, Galveston. • Galveston Country Club.


Photo Courtesy swiss-image.ch/Valais/Christian Perret

PICNIC ON A PEAK? f ind www

your a d v e n t u r e … .adventure.travel/CT

SWITZERLAND www.canadiantraveller.net Canadian Traveller • SEPTEMBER 2012

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YOUR CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE ARIZONA

Win A Trip For 2 To Sunny Arizona

There really is nowhere else on Earth like Arizona. Sunny skies, natural wonders, golf, golf golf and spas, spas spa, rich cultural history and a warmth that comes just as much for the people and the weather.

The Prize:

• Five Nights Stay at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak • Arizona Renaissance Festival Admission for 2 • Arizona Helicopter tour for 2 • Rainbow Ryders, Inc. Balloon Ride for 2 • McCormick Ranch Golf Club 2 rounds of golf • Travel Golf Center 2 golf club rentals

Always a Pointe Perfect Stay

Entry Information Complete all information and fax to the number below or visit http://www.canadiantraveller.net/Contests/2011Arizona Toll Free Fax: 1 866 562-4405 Questions 1. Today ________________________ is brimming with art galleries, antique and one-of-a-kind shops, cooking schools and adventures like the Queen Mine tour. 2. The McCormick Ranch Golf Club was awarded _________________________________ Certification by the National Golf Course Owners Association. 3. Aspiring country and western stars – including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Barbara Mandrell and Asleep at the Wheel – have stopped to play ____________________ while chasing fame and fortune from Nashville to Las Vegas. 4. I pull out binoculars and gaze down at the brown ribbon of water that snakes along the canyon floor. From above, the ____________________________ looks tiny. 5. ________________________ was named by a member of the Navajo Nation whose aunt owns the grazing rights to the land – its namesake is the mysterious and haunting television show, The X-Files. Terms and Conditions 1. To enter the contest, the entrant must be a bona fide travel agent actively working in the industry, a resident of Canada who has reached the age of majority in the province in which he/she resides, who is not an employee of, a member of the immediate family of, or domiciled with, an employee of ACT Communications Inc., its agents or distributors, or any of the prize donors. Note: Contest is not valid in any jurisdiction where prohibited by law. Odds of winning are contingent upon the number of entries received. 2.

Entrants must complete all questions, and include their name, telephone number and signature.

3.

Mail or fax entries to “Arizona Contest” Canadian Traveller, 201-2080 Hartley Avenue, Coquitlam, BC V3K 6W5. Fax: 1 (866) 562-4405. Entries must be received by December 31, 2012.

4.

The draw will be made January 15, 2013 from all correct entries received. All questions must be answered. The solutions can be found in the Arizona Destination Guide.

5.

One prize will be awarded consisting of 5 nights at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak for 2; admission for 2 to the Arizona Renaissance Festival; helicopter tour for 2 with Arizona Helicopters; balloon ride for 2 with Rainbow Ryders; 2 rounds of golf at McCormick Ranch Golf Club; 2 golf club rentals from Travel Golf Center.

6.

The prize redemption dates will be provided to the winner. It must be accepted as awarded, is not redeemable for cash and is not transferable.

7.

The winner will be advised by telephone during the week of January 15, 2013 and announced in the March issue of Canadian Traveller.

8.

All entries become property of Canadian Traveller which assumes no responsibility for printing error or lost or misdirected entries. No communication will be entered into except with the winning entrant.

9.

One entry per person. Duplicate entries will be disqualified.

10. If more than one agent in your office wishes to enter, please photocopy this page.

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G. Lebois ; P. Smit ; OT Annecy / B. Voisin; JL Rigaux; P. Fournier; M. Perrin / OT Lyon; Alliaé

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Canadian Traveller Fall 2012  

CT - Canadian Traveller Fall 2012 issue.