Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Air Canada Vacations - Travel Blog

24 May

By

Fun for the Family

May 24, 2016 | By |

Grenada is the perfect choice for your family with beautiful beaches, fascinating wildlife, and enough adventure for even your most energetic little traveller.

Seafaris Powerboat Adventure

This custom built powerboat is a thrill a minute as you race across Grenada’s coastal waters. Stops include secluded bays where you’ll learn about the unique marine wildlife, and an opportunity to snorkel at the famous Underwater Sculpture Park, designed to help regenerate the coral population.

Spice Island Waterpark

Grenada’s first waterpark is a hit with kids of every age. On Morne Rouge Beach, your kids will love the great choice of oversized inflatable water toys and structures. This is a very quiet bay where the water is always calm and warm – perfect for every level of swimmer.

Turtle Watching

A life-changing experience for every member of your family. Between April and August the magnificent Leatherback Turtle comes ashore to lay their eggs. Join a guided excursion for an unforgettable encounter with this amazing creature.

24 May

By

The Island à deux

May 24, 2016 | By |

Getting away for some quality time with that special someone? Grenada reignites the flame with beautiful scenery, lots of fun, and plenty of quiet moments.

Champagne Sunset Cruise

This is the definition of romance; a glass of champagne, a glorious sunset across the Caribbean Sea, and a warm evening breeze. The luxurious Shadowfax catamaran takes you and your loved one on a romantic journey around some of Grenada’s most scenic coastline.

Sulphur Springs

Dive into Grenada’s volcanic origins with a dip into a warm, soothing and therapeutic sulphur spring. There are a number across the island but the easiest to reach is the Claboney spring in Grenville. The gentle hike through the rainforest makes the final destination all the more rewarding.

The Belmont Estate

The Belmont Estate began as a sugar cane plantation in the 17th century. It survives today as an inspiring story of organic tree-to-bar chocolate production, nutmeg farming and agri-tourism. A day here is a unique celebration of Grenada’s past, enthusiastic present and vibrant future.

24 May

By

Magdalena Knows Chocolate

May 24, 2016 | By |

Magdalena Fielden is a leading figure in the Grenadian chocolate movement. She shares her unique experience of the food industry that’s taking the world by storm, one bar at a time.

Why are you so passionate about chocolate?

I was born in Mexico. I remember my grandmother making amazing hot chocolate, cakes and chicken mole. After living in Grenada for many years and looking for new experiences for our guests at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort, I asked Mott Green to share his story. That was the beginning.

What does Mott Green’s tree-to-bar legacy mean to you?

Mott had the vision of creating the first tree-to-bar organic, ethically produced and sustainable chocolate bar in the world. Mott put Grenada on the map.

Why is Grenadian chocolate so special?

The unspoiled ecosystem around the plantations help the final chocolate have fantastic notes and flavours. Grenada is one of eight countries where all the cacao production is “fine quality”.

What should we look for in next year’s Grenada Chocolate Festival?

We’ll see more workshops about chocolate and cacao. More participation from schools and farmers. One of the main goals of the festival is to create more farmers and chocolatiers in Grenada.

What was the inspiration for the new House of Chocolate?

After organizing the second Chocolate Fest and seeing all the enthusiasm, I felt it was necessary to have a place where we could continue to showcase Grenadian cacao and chocolate.

As a visitor, what will surprise me most?

The aroma of cacao, chocolate and spices. But also what it takes to produce an ethical bar of chocolate. You will never see chocolate the same way again!

Do you have a favourite chocolate treat we should all try?

Difficult question… I love it all, but probably the Grenada-style cacao tea with a scoop of our homemade nutmeg ice cream.

24 May

By

It’s Always a Good Time for Grenada

May 24, 2016 | By |

Welcome to the island of Grenada, a beautiful, secluded piece of paradise in the southern Caribbean. Whether you’re travelling as a couple, a family or with friends, you’ll discover an exciting island with a rich culture and joie de vivre.

Be sure to check out the local tree-to-bar organic chocolate movement, spend a day at a breathtaking beach, and broaden your horizons with an experience of one of the Caribbean’s most pristine rainforests.

Air Canada Vacations flies year-round to Grenada and has some great resorts with all the best activities, so it’s always a good time to try something new.

20 Apr

By

Cuba with the kids

April 20, 2016 | By |

Cuba with the kids is one of the best choices you’ll ever make: tons of activities, warm, calm waters, and resorts for every style.

Havana

The largest city in the Caribbean welcomes you with rich heritage, glorious colonial architecture and a lively atmosphere of love, music and life. Be sure to wander the streets of Old Havana, a fascinating World Heritage Site.

With the Kids: Lenin Park

Inaugurated by Fidel Castro in 1973, this sprawling park makes for a great day for the family with an amusement park, an aquarium, pools and lots more.

Choose from 20 hotels & resorts

Holguin

Christopher Columbus called this area “the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen.” Explore pristine reefs, spectacular beaches, rolling hills and a provincial capital full of life and history.

With the Kids: Bahia de Naranjo Nature Park

A beautiful natural aquarium lets you swim with dolphins and watch trained sea lions. Be sure to enjoy some great home cooking, the mini-zoo and the lovely nature trails.

Choose from 10 resorts

Varadero

One of the world’s greatest beaches! Glistening white sands stretch on forever, touched by turquoise waters and cool breezes. Here, you’ll find lots of family-friendly resorts and activities for everyone.

With the Kids: Boca de Guamà Crocodile Farm

Cuba’s largest crocodile farm is great fun for everyone, offering a unique experience of these incredible animals in a facility that has saved two species from extinction.

Choose from 33 resorts

Cayo Santa Maria (Santa Clara)

Ringed by the whitest, softest beaches you’ve ever seen, this pristine island is a vacation paradise. Spend your time relaxing on the beach, dining at your stylish resort or exploring the wonderful natural world.

With the Kids: Swim with Dolphins

At the Dolphinarium Cayo Santa Maria you get to swim, interact and have your picture taken with these graceful animals. Now, that’s a pretty great childhood memory.

Choose from 11 resorts

Cayo Coco / Cayo Guillermo

Tucked away in the brilliant King’s Gardens (Jardines del Rey) archipelago, these two islands offer a getaway full of white-sand beaches, great resorts, watersports, pristine nature and lots of family fun.

With the Kids: Catamaran Tour

For a new perspective, take to the water onboard a smooth-sailing catamaran. Many tours include snorkelling and lunch, so you can make a day of it.

Choose from 12 resorts

20 Apr

By

Sabrina is in the Know

April 20, 2016 | By |

Sabrina Brassard is the Air Canada Vacations Destination Supervisor in Varadero, Cuba. She’s the one that makes sure your vacation is full of all the things you want to see and do. She tells us why she has the best job and why you’ll love Cuba.

What makes this the best job?

This is the best job because it’s different every day; I’m always learning something new. We have an amazing team of destination representatives who love what they do. We all feel great when we help our guests have the best time on vacation.

What do you like most about Varadero? Cuba?

Varadero is an all-in-one kind of place. You can enjoy the beautiful beaches and then go out in downtown Varadero. And you are close to Havana. What’s great about Cuba is that the local people are really welcoming and there’s so much history and culture.

Why will families love this destination?

Almost every hotel has dedicated services for children. Off the resort, there are lots of tours and activities that are fun for kids. And Varadero is very safe.

What’s special for couples, friends or groups?

Lots of our hotels have special packages for honeymooners. For groups, you can book private excursions and activities, and most hotels are open to organizing special group events.

One place we all have to visit?

The Rancho Cangrejo Dolphinarium. It’s in the middle of the Atlantic and you can only get there by boat. All the dolphins were either rescued or born there which makes it extra special.

One thing we all have to try?

A catamaran cruise. You’ll get to go snorkelling, visit a beautiful beach and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch.

20 Apr

By

Cuba, the Great

April 20, 2016 | By |

With so many sights, adventures and ways to have fun, it’s no surprise that Cuba is one of Canada’s favourite vacation destinations. From the cobbled streets of Old Havana to the endless shimmering sand, and gorgeous tropical landscapes, a vacation here is everything you could ever ask for.

Air Canada Vacations flies to five of the best areas and offers resorts for every style and budget, including great options for families. So, don’t wait. Pack your bags and head to all the sun and fun of Cuba, the Great.

Enjoy!

13 Apr

By

7 Reasons You Should Go To Portland

April 13, 2016 | By |

Keep Portland Weird is the city’s unofficial slogan and the drive behind what makes this such an eclectic, inspiring and wonderful place to visit. Here are 7 reasons you should go. And while you’re there be sure to share, hashtag #PDXNOW.

1. Food Is A Way Of Life

Portland basically invented farm-to-table. For delicious local fare, head to Clyde Common or DOC for seasonally inspired Italian like risotto with spinach-pesto-roasted pepitas. Be sure to stop at one of the 600+ food carts conveniently grouped in “pods”. For the best Thai chicken, look for Nong’s Khao Man Gai, or head to Grilled Cheese Grill where the simple classic is taken to new heights.

2. Coffee Culture Second To None

2013 Travel Portland spring/summer shoot. by Jamie Francis jamierafe@yahoo.com 5039755174 jamiefrancis.com

For lovers of good coffee and delicious pastries, take a break at one of the many artisanal cafés serving a mix of independent roasters. Head to Heart Roasters for a lighter Scandinavian-style roast with subtle fruit flavours and pastries from Bakeshop. Coava serves up some of the best single-origin coffee in the city, while Courier mixes micro-roasting and a deep collection of vinyl.

3. World-Famous Wine, Beer and Cider

2014 Travel Portland beer. by Jamie Francis jamierafe@yahoo.com 5039755174 jamiefrancis.com

The Willamette Valley Winery Tour is a great way to discover Portland’s most famous wine region. This self-guided tour includes stops at David Hill Vineyards & Winery, whose 2012 Estate Pinot Gris earned a rating of 91 from Wine Enthusiast, and Tualatin Estate Vineyards, one of the region’s oldest winemakers. You’ll also find urban wineries offering up sophisticated tasting menus in stylish settings like Hip Chicks Do Wine, which opened way back in 1999.

If craft brews are your favourite thing, Portland boasts over 65 local breweries. Pick up The Portland Beerbook for the most essential choices.

Local orchards support a vibrant cider scene, providing a huge selection of fresh opportunities like Reverend Nat’s blend of heirloom apples, or Swift Cider’s spicy barrel-aged creations.

4. A Whole Year Of Events And Festivals

With a full schedule all year long, you’ll definitely find something to pique your interest. How about the Holiday Ale Festival or the Oregon Brewers Festival for a good brew? If music is your travel passion, don’t miss the PDX Jazz Festival or the Waterfront Blues Festival. But if food is your love, check out the Portland Farmers Market and Dining Month every March.

5. The Great Outdoors

Great Outdoors

About 30 minutes from downtown Portland, you’ll find yourself in the untouched wilds of the great north Pacific Coast. Columbia River Gorge is home to 77 warterfalls and extensive trails. Iconic Mount Hood boasts the longest ski season in North America, old growth forest and 1,000 of miles of trails. Head west to the Oregon Coast for scenic shorelines, nautical history and tasty crabbing.

6. No Sales Tax So Shop Shop Shop

The city has no sales tax! So shop as much as you like, it’s a lot more fun this way. Head to Downtown Portland for famous department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s. Pioneer Place has major brands like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. For a bit more local whimsy, try the Pearl District and the Northwest / Nob Hill areas.

7. Urban Green

On March 13th, 2015 the cherry blossoms are in full bloom at the downtown water front along the Willamette River in Portland, OR. (NOT published)

Portland has 288 public parks ranging from the smallest park in the world, Mill End Park, to the sprawling 5,156 acre Forest Park with 113 km of trail right in the city. For a more polished green experience, head to the Lan Su Chinese Garden or the expanded Japanese Garden. For a daylong adventure, try the 4T Trail. It’s a self-guided tour that uses trails, trams, trolleys and trains for a close encounter with urban nature.

Interested in learning more about Portland? Click here to find out more or to start planning your trip today!

28 Mar

By

6 Reasons You Should Cruise with Princess

March 28, 2016 | By |

Princess Cruises is a true original. They’ve built their success on one simple premise: you ask, we deliver. That’s why on a Princess cruise, you’re bound to discover the unexpected onboard, at the table, and on shore.

1. The Itineraries

Let your floating resort take you to the fun and sun of the Caribbean. Or perhaps Europe is more your style with a unique perspective of some of the most fascinating destinations like Rome, Barcelona, and the Greek Islands, with special emphasis on UNESCO World Heritage Sites and late night departures. If nature and wildlife is your cup of tea, how about a cruise to Alaska where you’ll explore pristine waterways, glaciers and humpback whales. And with Princess’ newest enrichment program, “North to Alaska,” you’ll get a deeper sense of the history and culture of Alaska through presentations from lumberjacks, an Iditarod champion, National Park Rangers and signature authentic Alaska cuisine.

2. The Excursions

White Pass Railroad, Alaska, Skagway

White Pass Railroad, Alaska, Skagway

Princess delivers an unbeatable experience on shore with immersive shore excursions for every interest, from wildlife to culture and culinary traditions. They’ve even partnered with Discovery Communications™ to offer Discovery and Animal Planet Recommended tours that bring hit shows to life, like Deadliest Catch and Gold Rush. There are also Discovery and Animal Planet Exclusive tours that have experiences you can only get through Princess.

3. The Dining

On board everything is fresh, authentic and delicious but you asked for more so Princess delivered. Award-winning Chef Curtis Stone serves up SHARE, a new concept in dining, based around the connection between people, food and stories. Be sure to check out the exciting Salty Dog Gastropub, and to take a sip or two of Princess’s own brew, the Seawitch Craft Beer.

4. The Activities

There’s always something to do on board day and night. With Princess@Sea you can use your phone to plan your day’s events and activities, review the ship’s itinerary and port guides, browse restaurant menus, even access your stateroom account! Be sure to check out Festivals of the World that recreate all the splendor of Mardi Gras, Rio Carnival, the Carnival of Venice and many, many more.

5. The Fun for Kids and Teens

Fun for Kids

Princess has activities for every age. Their Youth Centers offer lots of supervised activities for ages 3 to 12. And their Teen Lounges, for ages 13-17, are packed with Play Station games, movies, karaoke, and more. Be sure to drop your kids off for a fun-filled kids-only dinner. They’ll have a blast and you can enjoy a few quiet moments to yourselves.

6. The Luxury Beds

Luxury beds2

Princess has thought of everything, including your wellness. They’ve partnered with leading experts in both the science and beauty of sleep to develop the new Princess Luxury Bed. You’ll enjoy the ultimate sleep at sea and come back from your vacation feeling refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated.

Ready to choose your cruise? Get started today!

23 Mar

By

Barbados for the Whole Family

March 23, 2016 | By |

Barbados is the perfect island for a family vacation because there’s so much to do no one could ever get bored. There’s something for everyone and for every age.

Celebrations of Rhythm

The #1 heritage show in Barbados! Share an evening of Barbadian history and culture complete with food, music, dance and a spectacular show with indigenous folk characters, fire limbo, Moko Jumbies (stilt walkers), drummers, singers and dancers.

Swimming with the Turtles

Perfect for the animal lover in your family. You’ll see a whole new world as you snorkel with these amazing creatures. The clear, blue waters of Barbados make this an unforgettable experience. Try a sailboat tour or a snorkelling picnic to make a day of it.

Island Safari

4X4 Land Rovers guarantee that this is a fun expedition. Discover the exceptional nature, history, culture and folklore of Barbados at captivating places usually inaccessible to ordinary vehicles. You really will see the most strikingly scenic parts of the island.

Segway Barbados

An eco-friendly outdoor adventure. The whole family will love this new way to get out and explore the beautiful scenery, stunning coastlines and natural wonders of Barbados. Plus, you get to enjoy all the fun of smooth-riding Segways.

Spy’s Watersports Flyboarding

The most fun you can ever have! The latest watersports craze is like becoming a real life superhero. Fly into the air, dive into the waves and try some tricks. It’s fun and surprisingly easy to learn. You’ll be a hero in just a few minutes.

Oistins Fish Fry

A true island original. At night, this little town is transformed with music and dancing, the aroma of fried fish and the most sumptuous Bajan dishes. It’s a great chance for the whole family to cut loose, meet some locals and really immerse yourselves in Barbadian culture.