Jasper National Park

peyto-lakeJasper National Park is the largest of Canada’s Rocky Mountain Parks and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Jasper spans 10,878 square kilometres (4,200 square miles) of broad valleys, rugged mountains, glaciers, forests, alpine meadows and wild rivers along the eastern slopes of the Rockies in western Alberta.  There are more than 1,200 kilometres (660 miles) of hiking trails (both overnight and day trips), and a number of spectacular mountain drives.

Jasper joins Banff National Park to the south via the Icefields Parkway.  This parkway offers unparalleled beauty as you travel alongside a chain of massive icefields straddling the Continental Divide.  The Columbia Icefield borders the parkway in the southern end of the park.

Why not drive through this magnificent landscape on World Discovery’s classic ‘Canadian Pacific’ itinerary?

Cheap flights to Canada from London Gatwick

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Canadian carrier WestJet has announced the introduction of no less than 6 new routes from London Gatwick, starting on May 2016.

With fares starting at around just £100 one way to St John’s Newfoundland, the new flights will make Canada more accessible and more affordable to thousands of UK passengers.  Destinations to be served are Toronto (daily), Vancouver (6 days a week), Calgary (5 days a week), Edmonton (2 flights a week), Winnipeg (once a week) using new Boeing 767-300 aircraft.  These planes seat 262 guests and have a range of approximately 11 hours.  The flights to St John’s (daily) will be aboard the smaller Boeing 737-800 planes.

“We’re taking the same approach to our London flights that we brought to air travel within Canada 19 years ago. That is, we find ways to keep the fares low, and give you control of what you pay for”  said a WestJet spokesman.  As well as the main cabin (238 seats witha 2-3-2 configuration), there is also the excellent Plus Cabin, which has wider seats arranged 2-2-2 with increased legroom and a deeper reclind.

westjet-hotmeals-plus-620x414WestJet maybe a ‘no-frills’ airline, but it offers a more complete service than other competitors in the category.  Even in the main cabin there are complimentary light snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, with the option of purchasing more substantial snacks and meals.  In the Plus Cabin (pictured left) you will enjoy a welcome drink, hot towel service, and hot meals served with wine or beer (except on the flights to St John’s, where hot food is not available – a premium meal box will be served instead, complete with deli-style sandwich, dessert and beverages).

There are few things more enjoyable on a flight than kicking back and watching a few of your favourite movies or perhaps one you’ve never seen before.  WestJet Connect, the airline’s new inflight entertainment and connectivity system, houses hundreds of on-demand movies and TV programmes, and live TV channels you can enjoy at no extra cost.  There will also be a selection of premium movies and internet access available for a fee.

WestJet Connect is streamed via the WestJet app on your smartphone or tablet, or to your laptop. There are USB outlets at each seat in the main cabin, and 110-volt power outlets at each seat in Plus.

Make summer 2016 the time to take that Canada trip you’ve always promised yourself!

Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

Panaormic views of the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park from one of the many lookoffs between the communities of Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay

Panaormic views of the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park from one of the many lookoffs between the communities of Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is known for its spectacular highlands and ocean scenery.  The Cape Breton Highlands are the most striking feature of northern Cape Breton.  Steep cliffs and deep river canyons carve into a forested plateau bordering the Atlantic Ocean.  One third of the Cabot trail, a world-famous scenic highway, runs through the national park along the coasts and over the highlands.

The cool maritime climate and rugged landscape of the park permit a unique blend of Acadian, Boreal and Taiga habitats, plants and animals.  This special mix of northern and southern species is not found anywhere else in Canada.  Within the park, several dozen species of rare or threatened plants and animals can be found, as well as old growth forests of international importance. Small populations of arctic-alpine plants left over from the last ice age can also be found here.

Check out World Discovery’s 13 day Self-drive Nova Scotia tour from £1970 per person.  As we specialise in tailor-made holidays, this can be adjusted to your own wishes, including a longer stay in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

£1,000 per couple off our Polar Bear Migration holidays!

Churchill polar bearsNo, you’re not imagining it.  This is an offer that can’t be repeated…

If you book on one of our naturalist-guided Polar Bear Migration holidays in October or November this year, we’ll reduce the cost by £500 per person!

Staying on the shores of the Hudson Bay in comfortable lodge accommodation in the town of Churchill, often referred to as “The Polar Bear Capital of the World”, you will travel through a pristine wilderness aboard a specially designed, heated, ‘Tundra Buggy’ to get close to the bears – an experience you will never forget.

The Polar Bear Holidays are led by professional Canadian naturalists with extensive experience with both the natural and cultural heritage of the Churchill region. The Manitoba-based specialist company we use has over 25 years experience in conducting Polar Bear viewing in Churchill.

You’ll need to book by the end of this month, however (31 July 2015) to qualify for this amazing reduction.

The offer applies to the following departures

6 day Polar Bear Migration:  12, 15, 17, 18, 21, 24, 30 October: 7 November.

7 day Polar Bear Adventure : 2, 10, 11 November.

Don’t delay!

 

Via Rail Canada – Relive the Romance of Train Travel

Canadian - RockiesJust imagine!  Three days and four nights crossing Canada’s vast expanses while being pampered by VIA Rail’s dedicated staff.  A delicious meal with northern lakes rolling by.  A 360-degree view of the golden prairies.  An aperitif at the foot of the Rockies. These are just some of the pleasures that await you on board the Canadian, VIA Rail’s great transcontinental train.

You wake up and open the curtains to be greeted by the majestic Rocky Mountains slowly emerging from a veil of clouds.  You prepare quickly for breakfast, spurred on by the gentle rocking of the train and the promise of freshly brewed coffee.  After leisurely savouring your breakfast omelette, you collect your book and head to the Skyline car.  There, you’ll sip, read, socialise… and scan the panoramic view for a glimpse of elk moving across the valley.

The Toronto-Vancouver train, which takes four days to travel between one of Canada’s largest cities and the Pacific Coast, lets you see the breadth of the country like never before.  Take in boreal forests reflecting on the surface of the Great Lakes. Prairie sunsets painting vast skies in shades of fire.  Mountain peaks towering above as the train winds through the Rockies.

You can choose the relaxing ambience and attentive service of budget travel in Economy class, but we highly recommend an upgrade to the pleasures of a cosy bed, a gourmet table and exclusive access to stylish lounges in Sleeper Touring Class.

World Discovery can put together a variety of tailor made itineraries to incorporate an unforgettable journey on Canada’s Via Rail trains.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Head-Smashed_cliffIt’s always been one of our favourite place names, but there’s more to this historical site than an amusing moniker.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is an archaeological site known around the world as a remarkable testimony of the life of the Plains People through the millennia. The Jump bears witness to a method of hunting practiced by native people of the North American plains for nearly 6,000 years.

In 1981, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump as a World Heritage Site.

Located 18 km north and west of Fort Macleod, Alberta, at a location where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains, one of the world’s oldest, largest, and best preserved buffalo jumps can be found. Head-Smashed-In has been used continuously by aboriginal peoples of the plains nearly 6,000 years.

Further information: http://history.alberta.ca/headsmashedin

World Discovery offers a range of Canada Holidays.  We can put together a tailor made programme to include Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

The loveliest town in Ontario – Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara on the LakeStroll back through history and enjoy world class theatre, fine dining, shopping, estate wineries, farm markets and historical sites.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, often called the loveliest town in Ontario, has a long and distinguished history.  Site of the old Neutral Indian village of Onghiara, it was settled at the close of the American Revolution by Loyalists coming to Upper Canada, many of whom had been members of the much feared Butler’s Rangers based during the American Revolution at Fort Niagara, then under British control.

In 1781 the British Government purchased land from the Mississaugas, a strip of land 6 miles wide along the western bank of the Niagara River, for “300 suits of clothing”.  By 1782, 16 families had become established and had cleared 236 acres.  In 1791 part of the military reserve at the mouth of the river was chosen as the future townsite.  In 1792, Newark – as it was named by Governor Simcoe, became the first capital of the newly-created colony of Upper Canada, and the legislature met here for five sessions, until Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe moved the capital to York (later Toronto).  By 1796, 70 new homes were built, and the town continued to prosper as the economic, administrative and judicial centre for the Niagara Peninsula.  The physical appearance of the town, with the exception of the powder magazine at Fort George was virtually erased by the burning of the town by the Americans during the war of 1812.

Source and more information: www.niagaraonthelake.com

World Discovery can tailor make arrangements in Niagara-on-the-Lake, just down the road from the spectacular Niagara Falls, on their Canada Holidays collection.

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Beluga 2Adventure at 74°N – Raw and Untouched

Calling all adventure seekers!  The unique Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge is a wilderness basecamp for those looking for the extraordinary.  Located on Somerset Island, Nunavut, this most northerly lodge in Canada is an all-encompassing arctic safari on the polar bear migration path.  Arctic Watch offers rare wildlife views and dazzling arctic landscapes, daily activities, all-inclusive adventure options, and some of the best beluga whale-watching on the planet.

Experience:

Included, fully-guided adventure activities
Unique, iconic arctic wildlife viewing
A world-class beluga whale observation site
An immersive Polar Photography programme conducted under a 24-hour sun
Canadian inspired 5-star cuisine

You can book a week at Arctic Watch with World Discovery.  What’s more, if you make a booking at Arctic Watch by 30 April 2015 we’ll give you a special reduction of £300 per person!

Québec City – A UNESCO World Heritage Treasure

There are some places in Canada you just have to visit and Québec City is one of them!  As much a symbol of Canada as the Rockies, it blends the past and present in a compelling ode to the shared English and French heritage.

5.0.2The jewel in Québec City’s crown is Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure.  Home to historic landmarks, strollable streets, galleries and boutiques, and so much more, graceful Old Québec will enchant you with its timeless appeal.  Uncover the secrets of some 400 hundred years of history in Canada’s birthplace.  Sample the restaurants and shops of Petit-Champlain, Canada’s oldest commercial district.  Explore the city’s artistic and cultural heritage.  Here you can immerse yourself in the past as you experience an unforgettable present.

With such a vibrant culture, there’s always something happening in Québec City.  All summer long, a bevy of concerts, shows, and festivals sweeps the city up in a festive spirit of revelry.  Be sure to catch the renowned Québec City Summer Festival and it’s colourful performers and live musical acts.  There’s also the SAQ New France Festival , which recreates the early days of New France in the heart of Old Québec.

Set in a natural environment of rare beauty, Québec City also offers a host of outdoor activities.  Lakes, rivers, and mountains unfold in such a dazzling succession of vistas, you won’t believe you’re so close to town!  Experience the excitement and adventure of the great outdoors with rafting, canoeing, climbing, camping, hiking, biking, and swimming and other activities that will have you coming back for more.

Discover Québec City with World Discovery.

Hotel Tadoussac, Québec

Hotel TadoussacWith its whitewashed walls, red roof, maritime colours, dormer windows and cupola, Tadoussac Hotel calls to mind an earlier era.  Overlooking Tadoussac Bay and the St. Lawrence River, the hotel is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, family holidays, couples on a romantic getaway, or corporate groups looking to do some team building.

Three hours from Quebec City, Tadoussac is a town rich in history, nature, and its diversity of activities.  With fabulous whale watching, an abundance of marine life, impressive dunes surrounding the bay, and the landscape of the Saguenay Fjord, Tadoussac retains is natural untamed character.

Whale-watching at TadoussacFor thousands of years the whales have come to the St. Lawrence River spending the summer diving to the bottom of the river to feed on the rich marine life before migrating to the Atlantic Ocean in the fall.  World Discovery include a 3 hour whale-watching excursion on their self-drive Inns of Québec itinerary, a comprehensive tour of this fascinating French-speaking province.  A two night stay is included at the Hotel Tadoussac, although you may wish to stay longer in this lovely spot.