Did you Know?

by Barbara Broadbent

AER LINGUS will launch a new direct service between Toronto and Dublin beginning in April 2014.  The Boeing 757 will operate daily for the summer season, then up to 4 flights a week over the winter.

A NEW CUBA CRUISE program will begin in December, offering 7-night departures from either Havana (Cuba) or Montego Bay (Jamaica) over the winter season.  The LOTUS CRISTAL has 480 staterooms, and can carry up to 1200 people.  It will circumnavigate Cuba, making the island’s fascinating ports accessible and affordable for all.  You would visit world-famous beaches, 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 4 National Parks and Preserves, as well as in-depth exploration of Cuba’s dynamic culture.  Cruise only prices start at $586 per person, sharing.  Pre- and post-cruise stays will be offered in Havana and Montego Bay.

RED DEER: Air Canada has started scheduled service between Calgary and Red Deer with 3 daily flights, using an 18-seater Beechcraft.   Flights have been scheduled to enable easy connections to AC’s domestic, U.S. and international networks.

FLY OVER CANADA: the former IMAX Theatre in Canada Place now houses a new attraction “Fly Over Canada.”  Buckle up your seatbelt and explore our great country covering  6000 km. from coast to coast.  See spectacular Iceberg Alley near Newfoundland, gaze at ice-capped mountains, magnificent prairies, dip into deep valleys with wild rivers rushing through.  Marvel at Niagara Falls, the Muskokas (in Ontario), the incredible Rockies, the west coast wilderness and also busy cities and towns … to name but a few highlights. 

The attraction is open 7 days a week, from 10 am to 9 pm.  The total experience, which includes a pre-show uplift, a pre-flight briefing, and the flight itself, takes about 30 minutes.  Ticket prices run from $ 14.95 (children 4 – 12), $ 17.95 (seniors 65+ and youth 12 – 17) and $ 19.95 (adults).

Priority tickets are available for a slightly higher price (e.g. $ 21.95 for adults).  These guarantee admission for a certain date and within a 1-hour window especially nice if you have limited time or possibly on very busy weekends.  (See www.flyovercanada.com)

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: WestJet has introduced daily non-stop seasonal service from Toronto to Port of Spain.  Once there, access to Tobago is an easy 20-minute plane ride away, with departures every ½ hour.  This new destination for Canadians offers some niche markets such as birding and eco soft adventures.  There is kayaking, zip-lining and turtle watching… it being one of just 3 destinations on the planet that receives a visit from the leather-back turtle during the year (main season between April and August).  The area is also gaining a reputation as a preeminent culinary destination.   Their annual carnival (Feb or Mar) focuses on all aspects of creativity—music, costumes, and Caribbean life to the fullest.