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Air Canada Vacations - Travel Blog

23 Sep


Fun for Everyone

September 23, 2016 | By |

Beaches Negril Resort & Spa knows that you want a stress-free and fun vacation. That’s why everything, for everyone is all included, all the time.


Pirates Island Waterpark

Beaches has the best waterparks in the Caribbean and Beaches Negril is no exception. Kids of all ages will love this 18,000 square foot beachfront fun-filled park with 200-foot waterslides, 650-foot lazy river, splash deck, water cannons, whirlpools and swim-up soda bar.


Room for Everyone

Beaches Negril boasts over a dozen spectacular room categories including the incredible Together Nest Suites®. These luxurious suites and villas are the perfect home-away-from-home for couples or for families up to 12 and include world-class amenities and butler or concierge service.


ATV Safari Negril

Head out to explore the scenic Jamaican countryside. Your ATV is easy to handle and the perfect way to navigate the rugged terrain en route to a small Jamaican village and a historic Presbyterian Church. On the return trip, stop for some amazing views across the Caribbean Sea.


Sunset Horseback Ride and Swim

Enjoy a relaxing horseback ride from a private beach to an 18th-century sugar plantation and a unique experience of Jamaica’s history and culture. Then, ride bareback in the warm Caribbean Sea before toasting the sunset with a glass of bubbly.


Water Sports and Scuba Diving

Only Beaches includes motorized and non-motorized watersports in your vacation. Whether you want to try windsurfing, snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding or waterskiing, it’s all unlimited, all the time. If you’re PADI certified, enjoy two free scuba dives every day. If you’re not, the resort course will get you diving like a pro in no time.


Land Sports

The list of things to do at Beaches Negril is almost endless with activities for every age and member of your family, from beach volleyball and tennis to a state-of-art fitness centre.

23 Sep


Adrian Knows Families

September 23, 2016 | By |

Adrian Whitehead is the General Manager of Beaches Negril. He prides himself on delivering a family vacation that’s beyond expectation, where every member of your family, no matter how old or young, will find something unforgettable.


How do you help kids and teens have an amazing vacation?

We have programs for kids of every age group, from infants, toddlers, pre-teens and teens, as well as for children with special needs. There are activities designed to entertain them all.


How do you help parents get away for a few hours alone?

Our certified nannies are able to care and entertain the children while the parents spend time together. They can enjoy serious pampering in our Red Lane® Spa or dine on the beach with a romantic candlelight dinner.


Of all the Sesame Street® activities, what’s the most popular?

The parade is the most popular; it leads our guests around the resort to a beach party. The daily Sesame Street® stage shows and individual activities with all the characters are a big hit as well.


What will teens find in Trench Town?

There are fun arcade games including foosball, air hockey, electronic basketball cages and it is a great hangout spot for all teen gatherings and parties.


What’s new at the Xbox Play Lounge?

Both the Xbox Live and Xbox One are the most popular. There are weekly dance competitions and the Xbox Olympics that lead you to be the Ultimate Controller in our scheduled events.


Have you ever tried your hand at Scratch DJ Academy®?

Yes, DJ Whitehead is fully trained and actually won a spin-off against the General Manager from Sandals Negril at our year-end staff party.

23 Sep


Beaches® Brings Everyone Closer Together

September 23, 2016 | By |

Welcome to an all-inclusive vacation where worrying is the last thing you’ll do. At Beaches Negril Resort & Spa on the famous Seven Mile Beach, you can be carefree and casually cool because everything for every age is included, from the beachfront Pirates Island Waterpark, to nine gourmet specialty restaurants, and unlimited land and water sports including scuba diving.*

With everything taken care of, you and your family can focus on what’s important – having the time of your lives together. And with non-stop flights from across Canada, Air Canada Vacations can take you there any time you like. So, why wait?


*PADI certification is required to dive, but not included. PADI dive courses, night dives and kids’ dive programs are available on resort for a nominal fee.

19 Sep


Discover Another Side to Dublin

September 19, 2016 | By |

Dublin and Ireland are great destinations for fall and winter travel. The summer crowds are gone and you can really connect with the unique character of the city and its surroundings. You’ll discover an incredible array of cutting edge cuisine, fascinating history and lively festivals to fill your days. And remember, November to January averages 7ºC in Ireland, it almost never snows, and spring starts in February!

As a guide for the famous Irish Food Trail, Paul Kavanagh knows Dublin. He tells us why fall and winter is the best time to go.


Why is fall and winter such a special time in Ireland and Dublin?

This is a magical time of the year. The long summer evenings are just starting to leave us behind. Fall has arrived and the autumn leaves are changing colour. The cities are a lot quieter and everyone is just more relaxed.

Plus, there’s some great seasonal produce. The first Kerr pink potatoes of the autumn season are hitting the tables and they are delicious!


What festivals and special events can we look forward to?

Winter and fall have so much to offer. My favourite festival of the year is the Bram Stoker Festival in time for Halloween. Four days of living stories and four nights of deadly adventures. On the same weekend we also have the Cork Guinness Jazz Festival so you’ll be spoiled by choice.


Three places in Dublin we have to visit?

You have to visit some history. 2016 marks 100 years since the 1916 Rising that eventually lead to the Republic of Ireland. So no visit would be complete without the Kilmainham Gaol Museum and the General Post Office, the main stronghold of the Irish Volunteers.

The second place you have to visit is the Teelings Whiskey Distillery. It’s the only working distillery in Dublin’s city centre and the first distillery to open its doors in over 125 years.

Lastly, why not join me on one of our popular food trails. We offer a taste of traditional Irish fare and some of the newest cuisine.


The Irish Food Trail is an experience of the amazing food scene in Dublin. What are the most popular restaurants on your tours?

The Woollen Mills, The Winding Stairs, and Gallagher’s Boxty House are definitely some of the most popular. They offer seasonal Irish cuisine and know how to do it well. The Woollen Mills offers cockles and mussels on our tour. People really seem to love this.


Some call what’s happening with food in Ireland a complete cultural revolution. How do you feel about that?

What a great question. You just have to walk the streets of our cities and towns to see the level of great food on offer. We have just seen some new restaurants receive Michelin Stars in Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford and Belfast and we have a growing number of celebrity chefs on TV shows across the world.


The best place for live music?

The most authentic live music is at the Cobblestone in Smithfield, Dublin. If you want something different why not try my local pub, Darky Kelly’s. It is just around the corner from our office and right next door to Christchurch Cathedral. They have live music every night.


The best place for a cozy afternoon?

The Black Sheep Dublin on Capel Street. You can sample the best modern Irish beers from the Galway Bay Breweries. There are 23 craft beers on tap and over 110 craft brews in house. It also has great food and chatty staff.


One historical fact that will surprise us?

The potato only arrived in Ireland about 450 years ago and came from South America thanks to Sir Walter Raleigh.


Three places outside of Dublin we all have to visit at least once this fall and winter?

Cork is the food capital of Ireland and a “must do” for any visit to the Emerald Isle. This is where the land meets the sea and local rules.

The famous Cliffs of Moher on the Atlantic coast are definitely not to be missed.

But for me the real treat is up north, in Donegal. You can watch the winter sun set over the Atlantic Ocean from the Slieve League Mountains. The sea cliffs here rise 1,972 feet above the ocean.


Ready for a your Ireland adventure? Check out our website to start planning today. #EatDrinkExplore

24 Aug


3x the Fun

August 24, 2016 | By |

The three Sandals Resorts in  Saint Lucia create the perfect  moment for you, whether that’s fine dining with dishes from around the world, endless water sports, or soaking in the natural beauty of the island. When you stay at one Sandals in Saint Lucia, you can play at all three.

Your vacation includes:

  • 3 Luxury Included® resorts
  • 27 restaurants with 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining
  • 22 bars
  • 10 pools
  • Round-trip transfers between the resorts

Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa

Saint Lucia’s most glamorous resort

This magnificent 220-acre estate on a half-mile, crescent-shaped beach is the ideal spot for your Luxury Included® vacation. Play a challenging round on the executive-style golf course. Relax in your stunning oceanfront suites. And indulge with 5-Star Diamond French cuisine at this incredible resort known as the sparkling jewel of the islands.

Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort

Grand views on its own peninsula from sea to shining sea

Nestled between Rodney Bay to the west and the majestic Atlantic to the east, the magnificent Sandals Grande St. Lucian offers breathtaking views from every angle. Wander the mile-long beach. Let loose with endless water sports. And soak up the natural beauty and rich history of this picture-perfect postcard.

Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort & Spa

A true Garden of Eden by a tranquil sea

This intimate sanctuary is the essence of its name, halcyon: tranquil, peaceful and calm. Escape completely with refined service, classic island architecture that brings the outdoors in, and vibrant seaside gardens full of birds of paradise and exotic fruit trees. If ever there was a resort that embraced the quintessential Caribbean, this is surely it.

24 Aug


Adventure Island

August 24, 2016 | By |

There’s so much to do and see in Saint Lucia you’ll never want to stop. Island Routes Caribbean Adventures has some of the best excursions on the island so you’ll never waste a second.

Private Soufrière Getaway

Your expert guide will take you on a romantic excursion of the island. Enjoy a scenic drive passing through the fishing villages of Anse La Raye and Canaries before arriving in the ancient capital, Soufrière. Enjoy time alone together to wander the winding streets and quiet shops of this enchanting town.

Hiking the Pitons

The iconic Pitons soar straight from the sea’s edge to nearly 3,000 feet.
A hike here is a winding journey through misty forest and boulder-strewn mountainside, but it’s the view that will take your breath away. After your triumph, take a refreshing dip in the sea before a sumptuous lunch at a local restaurant.

Soufrière Adventure Cruise

Enjoy a light breakfast as you cruise down the island’s west coast to Soufrière where you can stroll the lush botanical gardens and see how cocoa is made. For lunch, enjoy local creole specialties before heading to the sulphur springs for a rejuvenating mud bath. The last stop is time to snorkel over a protected reef in Marigot Bay.

Horseback Ride ‘n Swim in Saint Lucia

Saddle up as you set off to explore northern Saint Lucia on horseback. Your destination is a sandy beach on the Atlantic coast to take your horse for a refreshing swim. Enjoy some down time on the beach before the ride back to the stables. A unique way to experience a new side of Saint Lucia.

24 Aug


Andre Knows Best

August 24, 2016 | By |

When you stay at a Sandals Resort in Saint Lucia, you get access to all the services and facilities of the other two resorts. It’s a great vacation and a great way to experience the island. Andre Dhanpaul is Regional Director for the Eastern Caribbean at Sandals Resorts. He knows everything about Saint Lucia and takes us on a tour to get you inspired.

What do guests like most about the Stay at 1, Play at 3 program?

The 27 dining options, free shuttle service between all 3 resorts and the opportunity to spend the day at a different location at no extra cost.

Of all the dishes at all 27 restaurants, do you have a favourite?

Soy Sushi at Sandals Halcyon is off the charts! The chefs there are outstanding.

Any pro-tips for a round of golf at Sandals La Toc?

The course challenges even the best of golfers, so, take a cart, listen to your caddy, because they are awesome, and hit the ball straight!

There are 21 dive sites here. What can we look forward to?

Simply beautiful aquatic life. A must-do is “The Pitons” to see a variety of crustaceans, critters and lots of schooling fish.

One place in Saint Lucia we all have to visit?

Soufrière, the ancient capital of this island nation. Mount Soufrière has great hiking. Anse Chastanet for snorkelling. And there’s always lots to do in the Rodney Bay area.

One thing that will surprise us?

The topography is stunning. It’s a volcanic island with a mountainous south  and hilly north; together it all forms spectacular scenery.

23 Aug


Luscious Saint Lucia

August 23, 2016 | By |

Saint Lucia is an amazing island, full of charm, history and natural beauty. From the iconic Pitons to volcanic sulphur springs, and the Caribbean flare of Castries and Soufrière, there is wonder and joy wherever you turn.

Sandals® Resorts offer you three inspiring Luxury Included® resorts with 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining, impeccable service and endless water sports on the most beautiful beaches. Plus, with Sandals Stay at 1, Play at 3 program you can enjoy all the facilities of all the resorts. It’s like three vacations in one.

Complete your Air Canada Vacations package with the award-winning service of Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge and you might just have the perfect vacation.

23 Aug


Meet Rodolfo – ACV Cayo Santa Maria (Santa Clara) Rep

August 23, 2016 | By |

rodolfo edited

Planning a trip to Cayo Santa Maria (Santa Clara), Cuba? From travel tips to local recommendations, get the skinny from someone who knows it best.

1. Name

2. How long have you been an ACV destination rep?
6 years

3. Describe Cayo Santa Maria in 3 words.
Secluded, charming, the perfect hideaway.

4. Why should people visit?
It has a nice temperature year round and it’s quiet. It offers an incredible colour of the ocean and there is fine sand all over the island for everyone to enjoy.

5. How is Cayo Santa Maria different from Varadero, Holguin, Cayo Coco, and Havana?
This is a quiet area, a little far from the city. However, there are two markets 15 minutes from every hotel and lots of interesting tours to discover the surrounding areas.

6. What is a surprising or little known fact?
I’ll give you both! Surprising fact: to get to Cayo Santa Maria, you cross a 48 KM causeway built in the ocean. Little known fact: there are fresh water lagoons as part of a national park to the eastern side of the island.

7. What local dish do you recommend and where is the best place to try it?
The Cuban congri  (rice and black beans cooked together with spices) is the most representative dish from Cuba along with the roasted pork and boiled manioc (yuca in Spanish). The best place is a casa on the main island; you can also try it during the jeep safari tour.

8. Where is your favourite spot to watch the sunset?
In the middle of the ocean on the Sunset Cruise.

9. Are you able to teach us a few local expressions?
¿Como estas?  = How are you?
¿Que bola? = What`s up?

10. In your opinion, what is a must-do in Cayo Santa Maria?
The catamaran excursion, which includes snorkelling in the world’s second largest coral reef and the best lobster lunch ever.

11. What is the best beach and why?
Megano beach at the Iberostar Ensenachos because of its horseshoe shape and because Cayo Santa Maria island shields it from the northern winds, so it looks like a natural pool.

Curious to know more about Cayo Santa Maria (Santa Clara), Cuba? Find out more on our website.

25 Jul


Meet Miguel – ACV Varadero Rep

July 25, 2016 | By |

From travel tips to local recommendations, get the skinny from someone who knows Varadero best.

Miguel - Varadero rep

1. Name

2. How long have you been an ACV destination rep?
Since December 2015

3. What do you love most about your job?
What I like most is the challenge to overcome any issue related to Customer Relations. The fact that one can learn something new every day from all kinds of different people and no single day, week, or month is the same, makes this job a very motivating one.

 4. How is Varadero different from Holguin, Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco, and Havana?
Varadero has more infrastructure than the other beach destinations in Cuba (Holguin, Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco); we have 3 malls, many markets, a big number of night clubs, restaurants and bars, and a golf club. Havana is the top tourist destination in Cuba and it’s the ideal destination to experience city life, but not the beach. The beaches there are not comparable to the ones in Varadero. As Varadero is located only 140 km from Havana, it’s really the best choice for those who want to experience a little bit of everything: sun, beach, city and a local town’s real life.

 5. What is a surprising fact about Varadero?
Varadero is the closest destination to Havana, the capital city of Cuba; it takes only 2 hours by car or by bus. If one selects any other beach destination (Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco, or Holguin), the only way to have a round trip to Havana in 1 day would be by plane.

 6. Describe your perfect day in Varadero.
I would spend the day with my family, going first to the dolphin aquarium, followed by a swim in the ocean. Afterwards, we’d eat grilled fish and we’d end the day by taking jet ski rides.

 7. What local dish do you recommend and where is the best place to try it?
The best dish you can try in Varadero is lobster at Varadero 60.

 8. Where is your favorite spot to watch the sunset?
Any beach in Varadero is good for watching the sunset, but at Mansion Xanadu Terrace, it is unbelievable.

 9. Could you please teach us a few local expressions?

  • Una cerveza por favor. One beer please.
  • Cuanto cuesta ir hasta _________? How much is it to go to…?
  • Podria decirme donde se encuentra_________? Could you tell me where I can find…?

10. In your opinion, what is a must-do in Varadero?
Visitors should not miss the chance to enjoy a concert by Buena Vista Social Club. They perform once a week and it’s a unique opportunity to hear traditional Cuban music played by the absolute best.

 11. In your opinion, what is the best beach and why?
In my opinion, the best beach spot stretches from the Barcelo Solymar resort to the Sol Sirenas Coral hotel. The beach dune, here, is the biggest and the cleanest of all the peninsula. No rocks on the beach are seen in this area.

 12. Any tips for first-time travelers to Cuba?
Cuba is the safest destination in the Caribbean, but valuables still should not be taken outside unnecessarily. Don’t leave the hotel without bottled water, sun block and toilet paper. Do not rent scooters that are not covered by insurance and if possible, don’t rent a car if you don’t know the area since we have a shortage of signs and roads are not in the best condition.