Canadian World Traveller / Summer 2016 Issue


Egypt Section Rick Steves’ Europe Cruise News Evian




J i a n g x i

The Amazing


Summer/Fall 2016


C h i n a



Hotels & Resorts China section Tokyo Nebraska Arkansas Florida Las Vegas

Lufthansa Airlines Utah Crystal Cruises G Adventures Viking River Cruise Tropical Tidbits

Come With Us & See The World!

Welcome to

Canadian World Traveller

In this issue, we start our worldwide tour in

the amazing province of Jiangxi, China, just

in time for the very colourful Rapeseed

bloom before we explore the fabled Chinese

‘Maritime Silk Road’. While in Asia, we also visit

the ever exciting city of Tokyo and then head off

to relax in two wonderful hotels in Thailand.

In Europe, we follow Rick Steves to Munich and

discover this great city and its local customs. We

then head off to the charming French Alps town

of Evian and the classy city of Lyon to start a

cruise with the wonderful Viking Cruises on the

Rhone River. We finish our European tour with

another fabulous cruise with the Crystal Line,

visiting some marvellous Mediterranean cities

in France and Italy. Close by, we head off to

explore the beautiful, intriguing and mysterious

land of Egypt before jetting off to the New


In the Caribbean, we find out all there is to see

and do in these beautiful tropical islands. In the

American west, we visit the picturesque national

parks in Utah and Colorado, and the always

exciting Las Vegas before heading to see the

migratory birds in rural Nebraska and the

quaint city of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Finally we

head to the southern shores of the ever popular

beach communities in Florida, and we will even

take some time to investigate the everglades.

Happy Travels!

Published by

Canadian World


5473 Royalmount, Suite 224

TMR (Montreal) , Qc Canada H4P 1J3

Tel.: (514) 738-8232


Publisher Michael Morcos

Editor-in-chief Greg James

Contributing Editor David J. Cox

Graphic Artist Al Cheong

Advertising Leo Santini

Marketing Tania Tassone

Distribution Royce Dillon

Contributors: Natalie Ayotte, David J. Cox,

Susan Campbell, Jessica Percy-Campbell,

Camille Fodi, Ilona Kauremszky,

Steve Gillick, Mathieu Morcos, Ron Paquet,

Johanna Read, Dwain Richardson

Jennifer Merrick, & Rick Steves.

Front Cover Photo by Michael Morcos:

Jiangxi, China

Disclaimer: Canadian World Traveller has made every

effort to verify that the information provided in this publication

is as accurate as possible. However, we accept

no responsibility for any loss, injury, or inconvenience

sustained by anyone resulting from the information contained

herein nor for any information provided by our


Why spend days recovering when you can take this

homeopathic remedy during the flight and feel

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C o n t e n t s

Hot Springs, Arkansas


Jiangxi, China




Rick Steves’ Europe 16

Tropical Tidbits 40





River Cruise





Stay & Play

Around The World 68



Superyachts & River Cruising 50

Florida 74



Crystal Cruise


Nebraska 76





Article & Photography by Michael Morcos


Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Located in the southeast of China,

Jiangxi province spans the banks of the

Yangtze river in the north into hillier

areas in the south. For the world traveller,

this is a perfect place to visit in China, as

most foreigners in China visit other, better

known provinces. During our visit, this ‘road

less travelled’ offered us less of the crowds

that are found in the other popular Chinese


Here we visited ancient villages, climbed

mountains, feasted on wonderful cuisine,

partook in tea ceremonies and witnessed the

once-a-year blooming of the very colorful

rapeseed flower fields.

Located to the northeast of Shangrao City,

Mount Sanqingshan was added to

UNESCO's World Heritage List on July 6th,

2008. Considered a “treasure of the world",

this would prove to be an amazing place to

visit on our first day.

The views from the top of the mountain are

breathtaking, but to experience them, the trip

up the mountain is long, but not overwhelming.

We had to take a gondola to get part of the

way up, a ride that provided lovely panoramic

views, and that was followed by hours of


Even though the hiking was on paved steps

and paths, and was easy for just about anyone

to accomplish, the long walk made our

thighs burn with effort and pain. Luckily, we

had lunch at a wonderful restaurant. Here we

were treated to a spicy douchi (fermented

black beans) and tofu (beancurd) stir fry

which offered us a delicious and relaxing

break from the first trail we did, and gave us

energy for the second longer, though less

demanding, trail that afternoon.

All around was pure nature, a good thing

since China is so populated and land is so

over used. An amazing place and great

photo ops all round!

We spent an entire day exploring the Mount

San Qing Shan National Park. Marked by the

concentration of fantastically shaped pillars

and peaks - 48 granite peaks and 89 granite

pillars, many of which resemble human or

animal silhouettes – the magnificence of this

most unique park makes it a must visit for

any serious traveler!

The natural beauty of the almost 2 kilometerhigh

Mount Huaiyu is further enhanced by

the combination of granite features with the

vegetation and the particular meteorological

conditions which make for an ever-changing

and impressive landscape.

Famous as a cultural and ecological tourist

county, Wu Yuan County has several nicknames,

including “the Hometown of Books”,

“the Hometown of Tea”, and even “the most

picturesque village of China”! Many routes

are available for travellers to explore.

Eastward are some attractive and protected

ancient villages of the Ming and Qing

Dynasties placed among a lovely pastoral


Covered with forests, the northern route features

Dazhang Mountain and the Wolong

Valley, scenic and tourist friendly. The valley

is home to over 4,000 different species and

also houses more than 150 highly endangered

giant pandas

The west route contains an ecologically protected

area and is one of the largest wild

mandarin duck habitats in the world. We had

great timing, as the rapeseed plants were in

full bloom and would prove to be another

highlight of this trip.

Endless fields of amazing yellow coloured

flowers, which, on a sunny day, were an

incredible site that made me want to sit there

all day and soak in the beauty. It was yet

another great photo back drop.

Right in the middle of this part of the province

was the small, ancient village of Yan, where

time stands still and the locals are warm and

welcoming. Picture-perfect, it offers visitors a

glimpse of rural china. We walked through

small alleyways and saw the locals going

about their day. Some were cleaning, others

preparing meals and enjoying the quiet life.

A moment of peace and tranquility for a busy


Wangkou Village is surrounded by rivers

and mountains on three sides, and features

ancient residences that have stood for more

than 1,000 years. Within its borders are the

famous ancient Yu Family Ancestral Hall, and

many other attractive scenic spots like Yijing

Hall and Maode Hall which are essential

parts of this village.

We again got lucky, as we witnessed a wedding

with our guide who explained the proceedings.

The ancestral temple serves a

major symbolic function and during the wedding

rites, the bride and groom worship at

the groom's ancestral shrine, bowing 4 times.

The first is for Heaven and Earth, second bow

for the ancestors, a third bow to parents and

the fourth bow to their new spouse.

In ancient times, this village was an important

trading post where thousands of merchants

would share their treasures. The village

is careful to preserve this history, and

when you visit the village, you can sense the

ages through the ancient halls, merchants’

residences and bookstores that fill the streets.

One memorable trip was a tour of the Gu

Yan Factory (an ancient kiln) in Jingdezhen,

where they have been making ‘China’

(ceramics) for centuries, still crafted today as

it was hundreds of years ago. The factory is

a very popular place, and it was interesting

to watch the workers at different stations

crafting such artistic items, from the raw clay

to the finished painted pieces, glazing and

firing. Everything from plates to elaborate

vases are made and offered for sale here.

Many westerners have come to the factory to

find out how they were so good at porcelain,

and later brought these techniques to Europe

to start new industries there. Also known as

the “World Capital of Porcelaine”, this large

complex contains many buildings in a natural

setting. Near the end of the tour, we

were treated to a music show were all the

instruments were made of ceramics - bells,

flutes, violins...astounding and unique to say

the least!

To end this wonderful day we visited the

Ceramics Museum housed in a brand new

modern building. There were priceless pieces

that dated back centuries from the Dynasty

emperors themselves!

Another fine day, another majestic area. The

Poyang National Wetland Park contains

Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake in

China, as well as Poyang Lake wetland,

which is the largest wetland in Asia, and

serves as a breeding ground for over 50

kinds of rare birds. We were treated to a boat

tour of the massive park and got to see white

cranes and swans and an enormous diversity

of plants and other animals. In 2011, it

became one of China's first state-level wetland

parks and is a clear example of China's

fishing and farming lake culture.

After that, we switched gear and visited

Nanchang, the capital city. Some estimates

state that this area was populated as much

as 50,000 years ago!

There is so much to do in this massive city of

5 million, including the Star of Nanchang,

which was the world's tallest Ferris wheel

from 2006-2008, Tengwang Pavilion, a towering

pavilion dating back to the year 653

(one of "the Four Great Towers of China"), the

People’s Park ( the largest park in downtown

Nanchang), Bayi Square and Memorial,

commemorates the 1927 uprising, which led

to the formation of modern China in 1949.

Our visit also included the Sheng Jin Tower, a

major attraction here. The building has been

built and rebuilt many times, as fire had

destroyed previous builds. This multi-level

pagoda right by the river offers a lesson in

Chinese history, a good walk and an amazing


In contrast to all these landmarks was the

ultra-modern mall with many upscale brand

name designer shops in side –not expected

at all, and quite amazing in itself!

All the way through this trip we had fabulous

meals with choices for many different vegetarian

and meat plates and always eaten

around traditional round tables where there

is no head to the table.


Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Photo: Go Tokyo

Keeping Pace with Tokyo

Article & Photography by Steve Gillick

Tetsuro Koyano’s great-grandfather

was a renowned sword master. Five

years ago Koyano decided to turn

emotion and passion into reality and accomplishment,

by starting a collection of historic

Samurai armour, helmets, guns and swords.

In 2015 he opened the Samurai Museum in

the Shinjuku district of Tokyo to allow visitors

to get up close and personal with the world of

the samurai, and for the action-oriented, the

opportunity to practice stances, glares, threats

and thrusts (using wooden swords) alongside

the resident sword master.

It’s a pretty thrilling museum but only one of

many Tokyo activities that respond to the

needs of today’s traveller to realize value in

every vacation experience as well as to get

involved in, and connect with the destination,

to better understand what makes it tick.

In the Monzen Nakacho area of Tokyo we

headed to Orihara, a stand-up sake bar on a

busy side street. The plastic milk crates piled

on top of each other and topped with a

square of wood laminate serve as tables outside

the entrance, while inside the bar lies a

treasure trove of up to 150 different sakes

(depending on the season).

Takeshi Hashimoto the manager, explained

that the bar features the products of small

sake producers throughout the country to

show not only the diversity of the brews but

also the creative talents of sake brewers.

Patrons can sample and quaff to their heart’s

content as they seek sakes that best match

their mood and their palate.

Not too far away in the Shimbashi area, a

building full of small eateries and stand-up

sake bars features Shinshu Osake Mura. This

bar specializes in sakes from the Nagano

region but to stay in touch with the latest

trends, it has recently become a magnet for

craft beer aficionados who enjoy the refreshing

complexity of flavours that craft beers

have to offer. In fact while we were in the

bar, several tourists dropped by to purchase

bottles as gifts and souvenirs.

And with taste in mind, we attended a Bento

Making class with True Japan Tour, to learn

about the allure of the ubiquitous ‘bento’ box.

‘Bento’ means ‘convenience’ and usually

refers to a lunch box, divided into sections,

each containing a different food item. They

are sold in food courts, convenience stores,

bus terminals, train stations and airports, with

each type of box featuring different food


Under the tutelage of Miss Sayoko Noma and

Miss Naoka Eguchi, our goal was to fill each

of the six sections of our bento box with a different

tasty treat. We started off making a

Japanese omelet in a square frying pan, and

continued with a dish of pumpkin and okra

boiled in dashi broth. This was followed by

chicken tsekouneh: minced chicken, gently

fried and glazed with sugar, soy sauce and

cooking sake. Another dish consisted of

deep-fried marinated chicken strips, and then

a touch of colour was added to the meal with

delicately-arranged green beans (edamame)

and cherry tomatoes. We made Onigiri as an

addition to the Bento meal, consisting of rice

balls wrapped in Nori (seaweed); one with

flaked salmon inside and one with kelp. And

then finally for the last dish, we turned apple

quarters into ‘rabbit-ear apples’ with the

“ears” standing up on the rabbit’s head; a

sure lunch winner for kids (and adults too!)

But in Tokyo, refined tastes come in all shapes

and sizes as we discovered later in the afternoon

when we took our seats in the

Taiwanese Pineapple Cake Shop in the

Omote Sando area to taste the delicate sweet

dessert. We were not in the shop due to

hunger, but because we were on an architectural

discovery tour of the Omote Sando

neighborhood with our City of Tokyo guide

Miss Akiko Enoki.

The building in which the shop is located is

referred to as “Sunny Hills” and was designed

by Kenzo Kuma, one of Japan’s most celebrated

architects. Sunny Hills stands out with

its striking wooden construction amidst a fairly

ordinary-looking residential neighbourhood.

Kuma’s trademark is the melding of

nature with modern construction, and the

nearby Nezu Museum, with its wall of bamboo

trees is one example, while the new

Stadium that Kuma is designing for Tokyo’s

2020 Olympics and referred to as the “habitable

forest” is another attempt to use architecture

to showcase the harmony between

man and nature.

A few streets over we saw another Olympic

connection in the Prada Building, designed by

Herzog and de Meuron who also designed

Beijing’s Bird Nest Stadium for the 2008

games. Our guide pointed out other important

buildings in the area that showcased the

work of architectural luminaries such as Jun

Mitsui, Tadao Ando and Tyo Ito (the latter

designed Tod’s Building on the main strip, to

mimic the zelkova trees that line the streets of

the Omote Sando district). And other architectural

wonders are spread throughout the

city including the Cocoon Building and

Metropolitan Building in Shinjuku, the Audi

Forum, known as the Blue Iceberg in Shibuya

and the iconic Tokyo Sky Tree in Sumida.

In fact, Tokyo’s neighbourhoods are a source

of adventure and discovery on their own.

One can get off at just about any subway station

and, armed with curiosity and a camera,

discover picturesque streets, small specialty

shops, unique Izakayas and bars, and the

neighbourhood ambiance. We found this to

be true on the narrow streets of Shimo

Kitazawa, in the old shops along the main

street of Ningyocho, and in Monzen Nakacho

where we had dinner at Uosan, an inexpensive,

extremely popular (line-ups begin at

4:00 pm) seafood restaurant. In Kappabashi,

where you can purchase just about anything

that relates to kitchens and culinary preparation,

you can also find Wasuke, a small

Izakaya with a friendly atmosphere and excellent


Getting actively involved in a destination

inevitably involves the arts, and Tokyo has a

wealth of excellent theatres and museums,

from the Kabuki Theatre in Ginza to the Edo-

Tokyo Museum in Ryogoku and on to traditional

and contemporary art galleries spread

throughout the city. One of the more interesting

was a visit to the Mori Art Museum in

Rappongi Hills where the featured exhibit was

Takashi Murakami’s masterpiece, the 500


In Buddhism the word ‘arhat’ refers to a person

who is far advanced on the path to

Enlightenment. After the 2011 tsunami and

earthquake that devastated the Tohoku

region, Murakami wanted to do something to

help people recover from the despair. His

response was a 100 metre long painting,

divided into four panels, that portrayed the

500 Arhats and emphasized 500 ways of

healing human suffering, as was done in the

old days, through stories, legends, mythology,

spiritual beliefs and even humour.

The successful blending of the old and the

new in art, architecture, cuisine, museums

and neighbourhoods is the hallmark of a

dynamic city. Keeping pace with the everevolving

city of Tokyo is a pleasurable challenge

and a boon for travellers who are

searching for new, exciting and meaningful

discoveries and experiences.


Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Munich at its Best:

Small-Town Charm and Free-Flowing Beer

by Rick Steves

New Town Hall, with its beloved glockenspiel--only

100 years old--that recreates a

royal wedding from the 16th century.

Nearby, you can experience small-town

Munich at the Viktualienmarkt, long a

favorite with locals for fresh produce and

friendly service. While this expensive real

estate could have been overrun by fast food

places, Munich keeps the rent low so these

old-time shops can carry on.

The oldest church in town, St. Peter’s, a few

steps from Marienplatz, is part of the soul of

the city (according to a popular song,

“Munich is not Munich without St. Peter’s”).

And wherever you walk, you’ll see the twin

onion domes of the Frauenkirche, the city’s

iconic church. Along with much of Munich,

the church was badly damaged in World

War II, then lovingly rebuilt and gloriously


After the war, people who lived in

Germany's heavily bombed cities debated

how they'd rebuild. Should they reconstruct

the old towns, or bulldoze and start over

from scratch? Frankfurt voted to go modern

(and is today nicknamed "Germany's

Manhattan"), but the people of Munich

rebuilt their old town center.

City leaders took care to preserve Munich’s

original street plan and recreate the

medieval steeples, Neo-Gothic facades,

and Neoclassical buildings. They blocked

off the city center to cars, built the peoplefriendly

U-Bahn (subway) system, and

opened up Europe’s first pedestrian-only

zone--which let’s you stroll peacefully right

through the old center. Only now, more

than 70 years after the last bombs fell, are

the restorations finally wrapped up.

Despite its population of 1.4 million,

Munich (or “München,” as

it’s called in German) feels

small. This big-city elegance is possible, in

part, because of its determination to be

pedestrian- and bike-friendly, and because

of a law that no building can be taller than

its church spires. There’s ongoing debate

about changing this policy, but there are

still no skyscrapers in downtown Munich.

Walking through Munich, you’ll understand

why it is consistently voted one of

The twin green domes of Munich’s Frauenkirche

overlook the city’s bustling main square, Marienplatz.

Photo: Pat O’Connor, Rick Steves' Europe

Germany’s most livable cities--safe, clean,

cultured, a university town, built on a people

scale, and close to the beauties of

nature. Though it’s the capital of Bavaria

and a major metropolis, Munich’s low-key

atmosphere has led Germans to dub it

“Millionendorf”--the “village of a million


Dawdling in the sunlit main square called

Marienplatz (“Mary’s Square”), I love to

take in the ornate facades of the gray,

pointy Old Town Hall and the Neo-Gothic

As Germany's beer capital, Munich offers

classic beer halls complete with cheap

food, noisy fun, oompah music, and rivers

of beer. While the boisterous and belching

Bavarian atmosphere can be extremely

touristy, everybody's having a great time.

Connoisseurs have their favorite brews--

and to get it, they simply go to the beer hall

that serves it.

When I was in Munich recently, my local

guide, Georg, took me to his favorite beer

hall, Der Pschorr. At some beer gardens,

they have a big wooden keg out on display,

but actually draw the beer from huge stainless-steel

dispensers. At Der Pschorr, every

few minutes you hear a “whop” as they tap

a classic old wooden keg. Hearing this,

every German there knows they're in for a

good fresh mug.

I asked if they sell half-liters. Georg said,

"This is a ‘Biergarten,’ not a kindergarten!"

He ordered us each the standard full Mass,

or liter glass (about a quart, nearly what

we'd call “ein pitcher”--but it’s meant for

one person). Waitresses carry armloads of

these heavy mugs seemingly with ease.

While we enjoyed our time at Der Pschorr,

first-time visitors shouldn’t miss the

Hofbräuhaus, a place that really lives up to

the name “beer hall.” Although it’s

grotesquely touristy, it’s a Munich must. The

smoke-stained ceiling, repaired and

repainted after WWII bomb damage, is an

evocative mesh of 1950s German mod--

Bavarian colors, chestnuts, food, drink, and

musical themes.

There are plenty of other intoxicating

Munich beer halls. Spatenhaus is the

opera-goers’ beer hall, serving more elegant

food in a traditional setting on the

square facing the opera and palace. The

trendy Andechser am Dom, at the rear of

the Frauenkirche, serves Andechs beer--my

favorite--and great food to appreciative

regulars. Nürnberger Bratwurst Glöckl am

Dom, just across from Andechser am Dom,

is popular with tourists for its delightful little

sausages. Dine outside under the trees or in

the dark, medieval, cozy interior--patrolled

by wenches and spiked with antlers.

The partying gets turned up a notch every

fall, when the city celebrates Oktoberfest.

The festival lasts just over two weeks (Sept.

17–Oct. 3 in 2016), starting on the third

Saturday in September and usually ending

on the first Sunday in October (but never

before Oct. 3--the day Germany celebrates

its reunification).

Oktoberfest kicks things off with an opening

parade of almost 8,000 participants.

Every night, it fills 32 beer tents with more

than 100,000 people. A million gallons of

beer later, they roast the last ox.

The Theresienwiese fairground (south of the

main train station), known as the Wies’n,

erupts in a frenzy of rides, dancing, and

strangers strolling arm-in-arm down rows

of picnic tables, while the beer god stirs

tons of brew, pretzels, and wurst in a bubbling

cauldron of fun. The triple-loop roller

coaster must be the wildest on earth (best

before the beer-drinking).

Munich is so into its beer culture that it even

has a Beer and Oktoberfest Museum, which

tells the origins of the city’s Oktoberfest celebration.

While it may be a museum, the

exhibit comes with a malty bias and seems

designed to make two points: beer is truly a

people’s drink, and you’ll get the very best

here in Munich.

Wandering through the legions of


happy, companionable drinkers in

the beer halls and enjoying the

relaxed, small-town atmosphere of the

Marienplatz, I mused that Munich is about

as gemütlich as it gets. Gemütlich is a

unique word for Bavaria's special coziness

and its knack for savoring the moment. You

can feel it anytime you spend an evening

clinking frothy mugs with new friends, or

wandering the atmospheric lanes of this city

that respects its past while looking energetically

into the future.

© 2016 Rick Steves' Europe. All rights reserved.

Rick Steves ( writes

European travel guidebooks and hosts travel

shows on public television and public radio.

Email him at

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


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Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Take a Hike to Celebrate

US National Parks’

100th Year Anniversary!

If you want to worry less and feel good,

take a hike.

Studies have proven that simply taking a

walk in nature produces brain waves similar

to those that occur in meditation and

significantly reduces stress, boosts immune

function and improves memory and mental


There are many places to lace up your

boots, but to celebrate America’s National

Parks’ 100th birthday, I’d like to share with

you a couple of phenomenal hikes I recently

had the pleasure of doing at two of the

United States’ most iconic natural wonders-

-The Grand Canyon and Zion National


South Kaibab Trail at the

Grand Canyon (South Rim)

Photo: Zion National Park

I have to admit that my first impression of

the famous canyon wasn’t as grand as I

thought it would be. Walking along the rim

on the evening we arrived, there were so

many people. Yes, it was gorgeous, dramatic

and certainly a sight, but it didn’t take

my breath away. I wasn’t filled with the awe

I thought I would be. Perhaps it was just too

vast, the multi-colored rocks too faded

from the distance. Or maybe my expectations

were just too high. Luckily, my first

impression wasn’t my last.

Early the next morning, taking the shuttle

bus from the visitors’ center, we set off on a

hike on the South Kaibab Trail. As we

descended into the canyon, the awe that

had been missing the evening before

began to fill me. After an hour’s hike, we

reached Cedar Ridge Point, and ventured

onto the pick rock that jetted out into the

canyon. For a while, we sat completely

alone, just us and the canyon that grew

more magnificent by the second. The colors

of the layered rock formations changed

continuously, sparkling in the sun, revealing

a glimpse of its millions of years of geological

history. Here the Grand Canyon

exceeded all of my highest expectations.

Back at the top of the South Kaibab

Trailhead, we walked part of the Rim Trail,

a 12-mile accessible path that runs from

this trailhead to Hermits Rest. This section

of the trail was also virtually empty; and

once again I was filled with wonder and

glad we took time to explore a bit instead

of just passing through.

Article & Photography by Jennifer Merrick

If you go: We stayed at the Best Western

Premier Grand Squire Inn in the Grand

Canyon Village, approximately 7.5 miles

from the park’s entrance. Helpful staff and

ultra-comfortable beds made it an ideal

base for our hiking trip. We also loved the

vintage photos of early tourists exploring

the canyon in the rooms and hallways.

Accommodations inside the park include

the historic El Tovar and Bright Angel

Lodges. For the true adventurer, there is

Phantom Lodge that lies at the bottom of

the canyon. Reservations are necessary and

can be made up to 13 months in advance.

The Narrows at

Zion National Park

Unlike the Grand Canyon, I knew very little

about Zion National Park in Southern Utah.

But as I planned our Grand Canyon road

trip, I came across stunning photos of this

wilderness area and knew it was somewhere

we had to include in our road trip.

Zion was named when Nephi Johnson, the

first permanent European- American settler,

declared, “A man can worship God among

these great cathedrals as well as in any

man-made church – this is Zion.” Its heavenly

landscape does look like it’s been

carved from above with its fiery red and

orange sandstone cliffs and canyons.

Warning: It’s very hard to keep your eyes

on the road as you drive through it.

Hiking in the 229 square mile national

park can range from easy paved trails like

the Lower Emerald Pool Trail to the challenging

Angel Landing, where you’ll have

to navigate steep switchbacks and vertigo

inducing cliffs to reach the summit and the

reward of a jaw-dropping vista of Zion


We decided to do one of the parks most

famous hikes, The Narrows, an excursion

that’s different than most as the trail is a

river. With cold water that can be up to

waist-high deep and varying currents, it’s

essential to prepare for this hike.

Fortunately, there are several outfitters in

the nearby town of Springdale that can set

you up for a Narrows hike. We visited the

Zion Outfitter, just outside the park’s

entrance, and came out wearing a bib dry

suit that looked like rubber overalls, neoprene

socks and water shoes and holding a

wooden walking stick. Among the other visitors

wearing shorts and a t-shirts, I felt

somewhat conspicuous as I boarded the

park shuttlebus to the Temple of Sinawava,

our point of departure and last stop of the

shuttle. “They’re doing The Narrows hike,”

I heard one woman whisper to her friend.

“That’ll be the day,” I heard the friend whisper

back. Although she could have said,

“I’d like to do that one day”. I was a little

worried about what I was getting myself


The hike began with the Riverside Walk, a

paved trail that follows the Virgin River. But

instead of turning back at the end of the

trail, we stepped into the water and proceeded

from there. Because of the currents

and varying depths, we’d often wait for

others to cross before we tried to traverse a

particular stretch. Other hikers did the

same and at one point, where the water

seemed particularly fast, another couple

stopped. We all looked at each other with

the unspoken question hanging in the air:

“Who’s going first?” It didn’t matter in the

end, since not far behind us were a group

of young college students who crossed

effortlessly. I tried to follow their lead, but

my knuckles were white from gripping the

walking stick so tightly.

It was well worth the effort, however, for the

incredible soaring views. The deep orange

cliffs towered above us at heights of up to

200 feet and the width could taper to 20

feet at spots. I felt completely dwarfed by

the grandeur of it all. We trekked for about

two hours before turning back, but more

ambitious and athletic hikers could go as

far as Big Springs (a five-hour hike) without

a permit.

However the hike was enough time for me

to forget any problems at home, work or

what’s on the nine o’clock news. Enough

time to appreciate just how incredible these

National Parks are. And to know that I need

to spend more time hiking.

If you go: We stayed at the Best Western

Red Hills in Kanab. Once again it was a

comfortable base for our South Utah excursions,

and the helpful staff gave us excellent

recommendations for dining and hiking

within town. The town of Kanab is an

ideal hub for exploring as it’s in easy driving

distance of some of America’s most

scenic wonders including Lake Powell,

Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand

Staircase/Escalante National Monument

and, of course, Zion National Park.


Photo: Tom Till - Zion National Park

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Temple of Ramses II, Abu Simbel




At the Crossroads of History, Culture & Civilizations

by Dwain Richardson

Join us as in these eight-pages as we explore this

most beautiful, intriguing and mysteries corner of the world.

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


King Tutankhamun's Mask

Egypt has been steeped into history

for the longest time. Because

there has been a lot of interest in

Egypt’s history, historians coined the term

“Egyptology,” which is the study of

pharaonic Egypt. Egyptology spanned the

period between c. 4500 BCE and CE 641.

How did Egyptology begin? Scholars going

with Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of

Egypt published the Description de l’Égypte

(1809–1828); this publication made huge

quantities of source materials about

ancient Egypt available for Europeans.

Did you know that written Egyptian documents

dated to c. 3150 BCE? This was the

first time that pharaohs developed the

hieroglyphic script in Upper Egypt. These

scripts provided the source material for

Egyptological study.

Following the Arab conquest, only the

Copts kept the ancient language alive (written

in Greek characters). Coptic texts taken

Egypt during the Renaissance awakened

interest in the Egyptian language. German

Jesuit Athanasius Kircher published a

Coptic grammar in 1643; European travellers

returned to Egypt with antiquities and

stories of wondrous ruins. What’s more,

Egyptology became an academic discipline

in France, England, and Germany.

American museums opened Egyptian collections

in the late nineteenth and early

twentieth centuries. The University of

Pennsylvania, the Metropolitan Museum of

Art, and the Brooklyn Museum are some of

music collections that have done a lot of

work in Egypt.

On the geographical front, Egypt has two

coastlines on the Mediterranean and Red

Sea. It borders Libya to the west, the Gaza

Strip and Israel to the east, and Sudan to

the south.

Egypt has an area of 1,001,449 square

kilometres. The longest straight-line distance

from north to south is 1,024 kilometres,

and the straight-line distance from

east to west is 1,240 kilometres long. The

country’s maritime boundaries measure

more than 2,900 kilometres of coastline

along the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of

Suez, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Red Sea.

Most of the country is made of desert.

Thirty-five thousand square kilometres

(3.5%) of the total land area is cultivated

and permanently settled. Most of Egypt is

located within the desert zone that runs east

from Africa’s Atlantic Coast and connects

with southwestern Asia.

Four leading geological regions are present

in Egypt: Nile Valley and Nile Delta,

Western Desert (also known as Libyan

Desert), Eastern Desert (an extension from

the Nile Valley until the Red Sea Coast),

and Sinai Peninsula. Of the geological

regions, the Nile Valley and Nile Delta are

the most significant areas, though they

cover only 5.5% of the country’s total area.


While you’re in the country’s capital, be

sure to visit the following attractions:

Great Pyramid of Giza

This is the oldest and largest of three pyramids

in the Giza complex. It borders El

Giza. The Great Pyramid is one of the

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and is

the only structure that has remained intact

over the years. The Great Pyramid has

three chambers. The lowest chamber was

cut into the bedrock, which served as the

chamber’s foundation and was left unfinished.

The Queen’s and King’s Chamber

are the second layer of this structure. Lastly,

the upper layer is made of buildings that

used to include two mortuary temples to

honour Khufu, Egypt’s second pharaoh of

the fourth dynasty, three smaller pyramids

for Khufu’s wives, a “satellite” pyramid, a

raised causeway to join the two temples,

and small mastaba tombs. (Mastaba

means “house for eternity” or “eternal


Great Sphinx of Giza

This is a national symbol for ancient and

modern Egypt. The sphinx is carved from

the Giza plateau’s bedrock. If you look at it

carefully, you’ll see that it looks like a lion’s

body. The head looks like that of a king or

god. The sphinx symbolizes wisdom and

strength. Visitors would be pleased to note

that the sphinx has been recently restored.

You can find the Great Sphinx at the Nile

River’s west tip, located near Cairo. While

visiting, let yourself be amazed by the many

temples that surround the sphinx. Some of

these temples contain multiple sphinxes.

Egyptian Museum of Antiquities

This is Egypt’s largest museum. It opened in

1902. Visitors will be greeted with 107

halls, huge statues (on the ground floor

level), small statues, jewels, Tutankhamon

treasures, and mummies (all on the upper

level). Interested in photos? The Egyptian

Museum of Antiquities has dedicated a section

to photography. And if you like books,

periodicals, and other written material,

you’ll be able to visit the library. Lastly, the

museum dedicates seven sections to treasures

and monuments in chronological

order. See Tutankhamon’s treasures in the

first section. All pre-dynasty and Old

Kingdom monuments are found in the second

section. The third section presents the

first intermediate period and Middle

Kingdom monuments. In the fourth, check

out the Modern Kingdom monuments. In

the fifth section, find all the late period

monuments (including those of the Greek

and Roman periods). Find coins and

papyrus in the sixth section, and sarcophagi

and scrabs in the last section.

Mosque of Muhammad Ali


You can see this Ottoman mosque from a

mile away. It was built in the nineteenth

century and in honour of Tusun Pasha,

Muhammad Ali’s oldest son, who passed

away in 1816. Architect Yusuf Bushnak

completed the structure in 1848. The

mosque and citadel are some of many

attractions and landmarks in Cairo. Step

inside the mosque and you’ll see that its

architecture is typical of Turkish style. The

mosque has a main dome surrounded by

four small and semicircular domes. The

minarets are cylindrical and have two balconies

and conical caps (you’ll see these on

the mosque’s western side). The mosque is

made primarily of limestone. The lower

storey and forecourt, however, are made of

alabaster. The mosque’s western entrance

leads to the open courtyard. The courtyard

is surrounded by rounded arcades with

small domes. You will notice a marbled

fountain in the middle of the courtyard,

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


built by Ismail Pasha in 1828. One last

detail about the courtyard: Note an iron

clock on the western wall, presented to

Muhammad Ali by King Louis Philippe


The Hanging Church

(St. Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church)

This is one of Egypt’s oldest churches. The

history of this particular church dates back

to the third century A.D. Why is this attraction

known as the Hanging Church? It is situated

above a Babylon Fortress gatehouse,

and its nave is suspended over a passage.

Unlike most churches that may have as

many as ten steps, the Hanging Church has

twenty-nine. Be prepared for a long hike

up! Once you enter the church, be prepared

to see 110 icons. Of these icons, the

oldest dates back to the eighth century. The

others, however, hail from the eighteenth

century. The iconostases within the church

are made of ebony and ivory, just like the

main altar. The icons depict a number of

religious personalities, including the Virgin

Mary, the Twelve Apostles, and St. John the


Khan el-Khalili

Care to do some shopping during your stay

in Cairo? You’d want to stop by Khan el-

Khalili. This bazaar district is the city’s main

attraction for residents and tourists alike.

The bazaar, which was first a mausoleum,

used to be the heart of Cairo’s economic

activity; sultans would build businesses

nearby. Today, most Egyptians run businesses

here. Take advantage of buying

local products (souvenirs, antiques, jewellery).

But there’s more: take a sip of coffee

or shisha at one of the many coffeehouses

along the strip. If you’re feeling

hunger pangs, many restaurants are at

your fingertips. If you prefer to buy foods,

you’ll come across many food vendors

throughout the market.

Sinai Peninsula

Ras Muhammed National Park

This is the most famous park in the country

known for scuba diving. As you dive below

the crystal waters of the Red Sea, you’ll see

many coral reefs and various species. The

sea walls are breathtaking, too. Ras

Muhammed National Park became a protected

area in 1983. Divers, please note:

You cannot dive anywhere you please. You

need to dive in selected areas only. Another

important tip: Visitors must vacate the

premises by sunset. The best places for

scuba diving? Shark and Yolanda Reefs.

Both reefs are mountain-like peaks rising

from a sandy sea bed spread out below the

surface. You can also scuba dive at Satellite

Reef if the sea current isn’t too strong.


St. Catherine’s Monastery

Its official name is Sacred Monastery of the

God-Trodden Mount Sinai, and is located

at the foot of Mount Sinai. It is part of the

Church of Sinai, which is a member of the

wider Eastern Orthodox Church. Like other

churches in the country, St. Catherine’s

Monastery teems with iconic art, particularly

mosaics. Most of the art is in the form of

hot wax painting. In addition to mosaics,

visitors will find several liturgical objects,

chalices and reliquaries, and church buildings.

A few other points of note: The

monastery has the oldest operating library.

St. Catherine City, located around the

monastery, is a small town with hotels and

swimming pools. The monastery is a

UNESCO World Heritage Site.


This is a city located on Sinai Peninsula’s

southern tip and along the Red Sea coastal

strip. This is the economic hub for the country’s

southern governorate, and includes

cities such as Dahab and Nuweiba. You’ll

find St. Catherine’s Monastery and Mount

Sinai nearby. Most importantly, Sharm-el-

Sheikh is a holiday resort for tourists.

Watersport and scientific tourism enthusiasts

will appreciate this southern city a

great deal: it is possible to do snorkelling

and scuba diving, and those interested in

species will be happy to note that there are

250 various coral reefs and one thousand

types of fish. And let’s not forget the

resorts: Aqua Blu Sharm Resort is one of

many resorts tourists can choose from for

accommodation and meals. For the curious,

Aqua Blu is a four-star hotel resort.

Nile River

Many boating companies offer cruises

along the Nile River. Some companies of

note are Avalon Waterways, Emerald

Waterways, and Memphis Tours. Visit the

company websites for information on fares

and booking.


Located in Upper Egypt and often characterized

as “the world’s greatest open-air

museum” (characterized as such because

the temple complex ruins in Luxor and

Karnak are in the modern city). Temples

and museums grace Luxor’s east bank.

Temples also make up the many attractions

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


in the west bank. In addition, you’ll find two

valleys of note—Valley of the Kings and

Queens—Tombs of the Nobles, Deir el-

Medina (workers’ village), and Malkata

(palace for Amenophis III, ninth pharaoh of

the eighteenth dynasty).

Valley of the Kings

This is the place where people constructed

tombs for pharaohs and powerful nobles

for five hundred years (sixteenth to eleventh

century B.C.). Visitors can find this valley on

the Nile’s west bank. The valley is divided

in two: East Valley and West Valley (most

tombs are in the eastern zone).

Unfortunately, most tombs are not open to

the public, and the tombs that are open

may sometimes close whenever restoration

work must be done. Only one tomb is

accessible to the public in the West Valley.

Visitors must have a ticket in hand to see

the site. Guides will show you around the

tomb, but they cannot talk while visiting

inside. Sorry, camera lovers: photography

is no longer permitted inside the tomb’s


Karnak Temple Complex

Come see a mix of temples, chapels,

pylons, and other buildings at this complex.

Construction began during the Middle

Kingdom period and continued into the

Ptolemaic period. Did you know that

Karnak is a common name in popular culture?

It’s been the feature location for a

number of movie scenes in Transformers:

Revenge of the Fallen and The Mummy

Returns. Agatha Christie’s Death on the

Nile takes place aboard the S.S. Karnak

steamship. And a number of music groups,

including the British symphonic metal band

Bal-Sagoth, make mention of Karnak in

songs like “Unfettering the Hoary Sentinels

of Karnak.” This is a UNESCO World

Heritage Site.


This is another southern city in Egypt. What

makes Aswan special? It teems with tourists

year-round. In fact, Aswan is an ideal winter

destination for many, since the Nile

River offers breathtaking views. The river

flows through granite rocks, round emerald

islands covered in palm groves, and tropical

plants. And like most Egyptian destinations,

Aswan does not fall short of sites or

monuments. Interested in visiting the Agha

Khan Monastery? Sail across to the Philae

Temple. If you want to see more attractions,

why not take a trip to St. Simeon’s

Monastery? Another feature of this city is

culture. Take a bite into local fish produce

at a restaurant while listening to Nubian

music. Want to spice up your food? Stop by

at a local market and purchase local

spices. Up for a tattoo? You can get a

henna (flowering plant) tattoo while you’re

here. If you want to take a bit of Aswan with

you as you return home, be sure to buy

souvenirs and African handmade goods at

the Aswan Bazaar. Finally, if you ever have

arthritis or any type of pain during your

stay, you can bury your body aches in the

city’s sand. Aswan also has a number of

sites for people to relax and rejuvenate.

Abu Simbel Temples

These are two massive rock temples located

in Abu Simbel, a village in Nubia, near

the Sudan border. You can find the temples

on the western bank of Lake Nasser, 230

kilometres southwest of Aswan. To avoid

being submerged by Lake Nasser, the temples

were relocated in 1968. This is a

UNESCO World Heritage Site; the complex

is coined the “Nubian Mountains,” since

they run from Abu Simbel to Philae, near

Aswan. Two temples await visitors upon

their arrival. The Great Temple is the

largest. When you arrive at the entrance,

you will see a bas-relief representing two

images of the king worshipping Ra

Harakhti, a falcon head. Step inside the

temple and take a look at the layout. It is

triangular in shape, as are most ancient

temples in Egypt. The hypostyle hall is characterized

by pillars representing Ramses

linked to Osiris, the underworld god. This

indicates the pharaoh’s everlasting nature.

You’ll also see colossal statues; some of

them bear a white crown of Upper Egypt,

and others wear a double crown of Upper

and Lower Egypt. A pillared hall follows the

hypostyle hall. The pillared hall features

various scenes of royalty and victories in

past wars. The Small Temple is known for

its statues of a king and his queen. Here’s

one particularity with the Small Temple:

scenes with the queen playing instruments

adorn the walls. (The instrument in question

is the sinistrum.) Pillars and bas-reliefs

depict various scenes with pharaohs,

queens, gods, and goddesses.

The Western Desert

Siwa Oasis

This is an Egyptian oasis sandwiched

between the Qattara Depression and the

Egyptian Land Sea in the Libyan Desert. It is

one of the country’s most isolated settlements

with a population of 23,000.

Agriculture is the main industry in the oasis,

though tourism has become a runner-up in

recent times.

With respect to culture, Berber inhabitants

in the oasis were talented in creating

basketry, pottery, silverwork, and

embroidery crafts. Dress styles were

also of major significance, especially bridal

silver and silver ornaments/beads women

wore at events. As roads and television

services made headway in the Siwa Oasis,

all silver ornaments were eventually

replaced by gold ornaments.

Like most parts of Egypt, the Siwa Oasis

has its share of festivals. The Sihaya Festival

is by far the leading festival in the area. It

honours Saint Sidi Sulayman, the town’s

traditional patron. What happens during

this festivity? The local men assemble on a

mountain to eat, sing songs of thanks to

God, and make peace with one another.

The women remain in the village and celebrate

by singing, dancing, and playing


Here’s a brief list of sights you might want

to check out as you visit the Siwa Oasis.

Mud-brick houses in Shali, an old town

Desert sand dunes south of Siwa

Siwa salt lake

Temple of the Oracle of the Amun


Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Around The World

(in 12 pages)

Travel Back in Time with these

Luxury Historic Train Rides

Rocky Mountaineer

Happy Birthday Natchez, Mississippi

One of the oldest cities in America, in 2016 Natchez will celebrate its

Tricentennial Anniversary, recognizing 300 years of heritage shaped by

people of African, French, British and Spanish descent. The anniversary

will be celebrated throughout the year with a wide range of events,

major conferences, special “birthday” events, unique festivals, historical

reenactments, musical tributes and more.

In addition to holding the title of “Bed and Breakfast Capital of the

South,” Natchez is a pedestrian-friendly cultural hub home to more

than 40 authentic antebellum homes and Victorian buildings, art galleries,

live music, authentic southern cuisine (it’s the “Biscuit Capital of

the World!”) and a full calendar of events and festivals.

Rich in history and scenic beauty, luxury train travel has become

one of the finest and most enjoyable ways to discover the majestic

splendour any country has to offer. From one-of-a-kind excursions

and world-class cuisines to unimaginable sunset hues and

playful wildlife, travellers receive an unforgettable experience

only train travel can provide. With so many amazing train journeys

to be taken, we wanted to share some of the world’s most

historic routes.

Indian Pacific, Great Southern Rail, Australia

Stepping aboard the mighty Indian Pacific, you’ll feel a great

sense of anticipation as this unforgettable Australian adventure

begins to unfold. A journey across the longest stretch of straight

railway track in the world, guests will travel through history on a

route that saw its first passenger back in 1917.

First Passage to the West, Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

China Tourism Introduces New Brand Logo

China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) has made

“Beautiful China” the tag line of its tourism and introduced a

new global brand logo. With an overall look as a stamp, the

new logo integrates modern messaging with the ancient

Chinese art form of calligraphy. The hieroglyph in the background

means “travel” in ancient Chinese language, which

shows a flag guiding a couple around. The blue color represents the sky, delivering China

tourism’s concepts - vitality, harmony and green travel. The red color gives tribute to the Chinese

civilization that has been going on for thousands of years. Illustrating an international vision, the

“Beautiful China” logo represents China’s promising and welcoming tourism industry.

This legendary route along the Canadian Pacific track is famous

for uniting the country and connecting British Columbia to

Canada more than 125 years ago. The only passenger rail service

to travel this historic route, guest will transverse the

Continental Divide, while experiencing the majestic Rocky


Trans-Siberian Express, Golden Eagle, Russia

Undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest railway journeys, the

Trans-Siberian Railway runs like a steel ribbon across Russia,

connecting east and west from Moscow to Vladivostok. Having

had its inaugural run exactly 100 years ago, there is no better

time to experience this historic trip.

Cape Town Journey, Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rediscover the old pioneering trail of the Great Karoo on this

1,600 km journey throughout the spectacular mountain ranges

and scenic winelands of the Cape.

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


G Adventures Introduces New Active Adventures

Cultural trekking in Bhutan, a first-ofits-kind

multisport trip in Japan,

cycling through rice fields in China,

and rafting and cycling in Patagonia,

Argentina, are all new experiences in store

for travellers with the launch of G

Adventures’ 2016 Active brochure.

In addition, the small group adventure

operator, which is the largest on the Inca

Trail, has experienced an increase in

demand for the Lares Trek as an alternative

option to the Inca Trail in Peru, and is now

offering the Lares Trek on all of its trips taking

travellers to Machu Picchu.

Each new Active trip includes a mixture of

different activities and often uses camping

as its main accommodation option to get

travellers up close to nature.

New trips for 2016 include:

Bhutan Trekking

Where else but the happiest country in the

world can travellers trek the Himalayas

smiling all the way? This 11-day cultural

trekking trip has travellers visiting some of

the most gorgeous temples and monasteries

in the world. Here they will trek the

sacred mountain passes of the celebrated

Druk Path, ascend to the profound

Taktshang Monastery (Tiger's Nest), and

explore the unique beauty of the city of


Japan Hike, Bike & Kayak

This first-of-its-kind active trip has travellers

hiking along the UNESCO-listed

Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route where

Kyoto's ancient emperors once prayed to

deities in the trees and rocks. Next cycle

across stunning islands following the

world’s largest series of suspension

bridges, known as the Shimanami Kaido.

Finally travellers will kayak around the

Bay of Miyajima to see its main attraction,

the floating Itsukushima Shrine.

Cycle China

Enjoy five days of cycling through the back

roads and countryside of China, stopping

to marvel at scenery that has captured the

minds of poets and painters for centuries.

This varied active trip will also have travellers

hiking along the hills and terraces of

China’s rural regions as well as experiencing

the iconic Great Wall of China,

historic Tiananmen Square, and the

sprawling Forbidden City.

Patagonia Multisport

This varied active trip sees travellers

trekking in Torres del Paine National Park,

cycling out to Laguna Sofia, kayaking

alongside the Grey Glacier, and cycling

among the peaks of Patagonia.

Lares Trek gains popularity as

Inca Trail alternative

G Adventures is also now offering the

three-day Lares trek beginning outside

Cuzco, Peru to travellers who may be looking

for an alternative way to reach Machu

Picchu. The Lares Trek has fewer ascents

and descents, but is at a higher altitude,

and is often described as the less discovered


“The scenery, which is as awe-inspiring as

its famous counterpart, takes travellers off

the beaten path and much closer to the

indigenous Quechua people,” says Denise

Harper, Director of Sales, Canada, G


“Starting in Ollantaytambo trekkers make

their way through the Lares valley on an

undulating path that rises higher than the

Inca Trail. The Lares Trek also offers opportunities

for insight into rural Andean life as

the trail itself passes through very remote

mountain communities.”

Travellers on the Lares Trek will visit a number

of G Adventures for Good projects

along the way, including a communityowned

campsite featuring composting toilets,

solar showers, and a solid-waste management

system, which is the first of its kind

in Peru.

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Refreshing in Evian-les-bains

Article & Photography by Michael Morcos

Evian-les-Bains, also known as just

Evian, is most famous for the curative

property of the waters and the

bottled water it exports around the world.

But the area offers more than a drink, as it

is filled with enough history, luxury and

Haut-couture to captivate any world traveller.

Modern facilities are placed side by

side with hundred year-old buildings, creating

a wonderful mix to enjoy.

Any visit would be incomplete without tasting

Evian water from the source!

We drank from a fountain in the city. The

water comes from the Alps and is said to filter

naturally through the mountain rocks

and soil for over 15 years. Evian water is

processed at a nearby factory and gets all its

water from one of the many natural sources.

Not far away we could see the mountain

used for the iconic Evian water logo label!

Evian has also built its reputation on the

healing properties of their springs. Created

in December 1859, the Cachat mineral

waters SA (Société Anonyme des Eaux

Minérales de Cachat) began the transformation

of this small town into a spa-center.

Nowadays, the spas in town are filled with

top of the line equipment, and a new health

center for therapeutic message and cleansing

of the body.

Due to these spas and Evian’s location, the

town has become a hotspot for the rich and

famous, as witnessed by the stylish boutiques,

restaurants, wine shops and the

Evian town hall, which is a marvellous stone

building that rivals any in Paris! The Palais

Lumiere Evian is another grand old building

that once served as a spa, but has now been

turned into a museum. Aside from the spas

and waters, there is also a full casino where

the rich come to play in luxury cars and

amazing yachts anchored in the port!

On top of everything, there is also good outdoor

fun, including downhill skiing, swimming

and hiking. Once you are tired out,

enjoy a lovely trip on an old clog train that

starts at the bottom of the town and takes

people to almost the highest point in town. It

is offered for free and is a wonderful way to

take in the view of the entire city and its lake.

There is also a short (all electric) boat ride

which tours a reclaimed natural water garden

built on a lot that was once the property

of a wealthy Parisian banker. The garden

is a true example of how nature can take

care of itself when left alone. If you are

lucky, you can also enjoy a Farmer’s market

and feast on fabulous wines, sausages and

French fromages!

This small and charming town sits on the

shores of Lac Geneva (the French call it Lac

Leman). Evian is situated in a perfect spot in

Europe, as it is across the lake from

Lausanne, Switzerland, home of the

Olympic committee (IOC), and has a ferry

crossing that operates all day between the

two countries. Another short trip and visitors

can find their way to Geneva as well!

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Las Vegas

The famous Las Vegas Strip is probably

the last place you’d expect to find an

eco-park but then again, when it

comes to this city you never know what to

expect. So on a recent visit I wasn’t all that

surprised to find a brand new green oasis, I

was however surprised at the gigantic sculpture

that punctuates it!

The Park Vegas

The US $100 million development is simply

called “The Park Vegas” and was built solely

by MGM Resorts International, It’s secreted

away between New York-New York and the

Monte Carlo right on the Strip. It was built

with locally sourced stones and is full of desert

blooms, waterwalls and nature surrounded

resting areas. Shade is provided by 16 giant

sculptures inspired by the desert cactus flower.

There are also half-a-dozen brand new eateries

there with al fresco options. It has a very

European café culture atmosphere, and that’s

exactly what Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO

of MGM Resorts International had envisioned.

On opening day last April 4th, 2016, he

enlightened the media about its design. He

said, “One common theme I’ve often noticed

in my travels is that all those great cities have

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016

An Unexpected Place to Park

by Susan Campbell

Photo by Barry Toranto

gathering places, piazzas, parks, plazas…

I’ve long thought, in my 18 years here, that

Las Vegas could use such a place.”

But the true enchantment there happens at


Beautiful Bliss Dancer

That’s when they light up the gigantic cactus

flower sculptures and you get the most

impressive view of “Bliss Dancer”- a 40 ft. tall

sculpture of a naked woman that punctuates

the park without apology. Though she is hard

to miss by day- 7,500 pounds of mesh steel

shimmering in the sun- after dark she totally

unavoidable as that’s when the sculpture continually

changes colors illuminated by 3,000

led lights. And she was built with a message.

Created by artist Marco Cochrane he dedicated

it to his childhood female friend who had

been sexually assaulted when she was young.

He wanted to create something larger than

life that empowers women and celebrates

their right to express themselves freely. The

idea behind her lack of clothes is to de-objectify

the female form and view the true spirit

shining through. I would say he has succeeded.

The grand unveiling was very emotional,

especially since his muse and actual model

for the artwork Deja Solis was there for it. She

is now an entertainer and surprised the crowd

with a touching song as they lit up the statue

for the very first time.

New T-Mobile Arena

The new park is also designed to accommodate

the expected overflow of visitors and

locals alike who will be attending events at the

brand new 20,000 seat T-Mobile Arena- a

joint venture between MGM Resorts

International and the Anschutz Entertainment

Group. It’s a fabulous modern space – almost

a work of art of its own- absolutely stunning

like a huge magenta spaceship. The arena

opened on April 6th, 2016 with a concert

from well-known local band The Killers and

Vegas icon Wayne Newton. And directly

across the street from The Park is a brand new

5,000-seat theater under construction at

Monte Carlo slated to open later this year.

This entire non-gambling focused development

seems to signal a new direction for the

city already most famous for its world-class


Photo by Francis and Francis Photo by Francis and Francis


Eight Places To Visit Before They Change Forever

by Contiki Tours

Before you know it, some the world’s most

beautiful and unique destinations could be

unrecognizable. Climate change, plastic pollution

and overpopulation are having devastating

effects on our planet. Earth Month,

which celebrated its 46th anniversary this year,

is a global initiative that aims to drive awareness

around environmental issues.

In support of Earth Month 2016, youth travel

specialist Contiki is hoping to raise awareness

of global environmental issues by highlighting

some traveller bucket list destinations we are

in danger of losing forever. Leading up to next

year’s Earth Day celebrations, Contiki has

compiled eight traveller favourite destinations

Canadians need to see before they disappear.


Venice is one of our favourite island paradises,

but it’s no secret that the city is sinking, and

it has been for centuries. High tides, rising sea

levels due to climate change and boat traffic

are three of the main reasons why the buildings

are eroding and slowly being claimed by

rising water levels. The effect is a few millimetres

a year which may not seem like a lot, but

look ahead a few decades and it’s more than

a bit concerning. With floods becoming more

frequent efforts are being made to control the

water levels going forward. And no, stilt walking

for all is not a realistic option.

The Taj Mahal

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016

Not only are fees to visit this marble-ous

palace increasing in an effort to limit tourists,

but it’s moving towards not looking so marble-ous

at all. Pollution is causing the Taj

Mahal to turn from white to yellow, and something

tells us as time goes on, the white marvel

won’t really have the same postcard worthy

affect that draws visitors from all over the

globe. Groundwater levels and general tourist

traffic have also been creating some structural

damage to the palace which has led to whispers

of public access being restricted in the

near future.

The Maldives

Who hasn’t dreamt of their honeymoon taking

place amongst the sapphire-blue seas of the

spectacular Maldives? Well you better find

your future husband or wife quick smart

because the beautiful island nation could be

completely engulfed by water within the next

100 years. The chain of islands is considered

the lowest-lying country on earth making it

vulnerable to rising sea levels. The risk has

become some real that the Maldivian government

has actually purchased land in other

countries for citizens who face displacement!


Spanning nine nations and making up more

than 50% of the remaining rainforest in the

world, the Amazon is seen as one of the top

places to travel for wildlife and tree lovers –

but for how much longer? Climate change –

drought, wild fires and greenhouse gas emissions

– as well as deforestation are causing an

alarming loss of forest cover that have many

wondering how long it will be until it’s

destroyed completely.

Cuba is known as a cultural gem in the

Caribbean, but this is all expected to change

now the US travel ban has been lifted. Tourism

numbers have been manageable without the

addition of American visitors for years, so now


many are worried about how the impending

influx of tourists will affect the cultural integrity

of the island.

Whether it’s solely climate change or climate

change combined with cyclical change in the

area, melting ice on this fascinating continent

is a big problem. Not only is this an issue for

glacier enthusiasts and wildlife that call the

Antarctic home, but the resulting rising water

levels put many coastal cities and islands

worldwide at risk of flooding.

The Dead Sea

The literal death of the Dead Sea is something

that has started to cause major alarm. The

evaporation of the water combined with the

declining water flow from the Jordan River into

the sea (due to irrigation use) means seriously

decreasing water levels. This loss of water has

caused a sinkhole problem that also makes

the surrounding area risky for lakeside strolls.

Great Barrier Reef

Ever wanted to dive with Nemo and Dori in the

stunning Great Barrier Reef? Well, you could

be running out of time as rising ocean temperatures

and an influx of pollution may mean

this natural wonder is destroyed within the next

100 years.


Tourism Australia Darren Jew


Tropical Tidbits

by Sue C Travel

Award-winning travel journalist Sue Campbell is based in Montreal but makes it her business to be on

top of everything cool, hot, and new under the sun throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

Canadian World Traveller welcomes her as a new regular columnist. Follow her on Ttwitter @suectravel.

Summer is Prime Time for

Caribbean Travel!

Now that we Canadians are finally getting

our fair share of warm weather during our

criminally short summer, one might think

that it’s not the time to head to tropical

climes. But there are some very good reasons

to do so.

For one, top resorts in paradisiacal locations

typically cut their rates to the bone

during low season, sometimes throwing in

extra nights or kids-stay-free packages and

even going so far as to offer airfare credits,

too! Another good reason is the parties!

Some islands have their biggest blowouts

during this time of year like Anguilla’s

August Summer Festival and Barbados’

Crop Over. You haven’t really experienced

authentic Caribbean until you’ve learned to

“jump up” with the locals!

But one of my favourite reasons for heading

south during the summer is to experience

sea turtles in the wild! Summer is sea

turtle nesting time on beaches throughout

the Caribbean and Mexico. This is when

the female turtles return to the beach where

they were born to lay their eggs, and many

resorts have sea turtle protection and conservation

programs to protect them that visitors

can participate in. Witnessing hatchings

and helping baby sea turtles reach the

sea in release programs when they need

protection are truly magical experiences

that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Dominican Republic Targets More

Adventurous Travellers

Canadians love to travel to the Dominican

Republic to escape winter due to the excellent

deals and affordable all-inclusive

packages, but today’s savvy traveller also

wants to explore beyond the resort and discover

the surrounding communities and

landscapes. And according to Dominican

Tourism authorities the government is out to

help make that easier.

I learned about these plans at the recent

2016 Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange

(DATE), the country’s official and biggest

trade show for media and the travel industry.

Strategies include new roads throughout

the country connecting the lesser known

interior regions and new activities focusing

on nature explorations to get visitors off the

beaches and into more active adventures.

Tour operators will be offering more activities

such as river rafting, mountain biking,

zip-lining, paragliding, rappelling and hiking.

Also planned is increased air access to

lesser-known tourism destinations like

Puerta Plata and Samaná. Plus, resorts like

the new Sunscape Puerto Plata are offering

excellent opening deals and packages with

direct flights from Canada by Air Transat.


Photo: Jamal Gumbs Anguilla

Photo: Turtugaruba

Photo: Dominican Republic Tourism

Photo: Dominican Republic Tourism

New Sunscape Puerto Plata is Alluring

and Affordable

I had the opportunity to attend the

Sunscape Puerto Plata’s opening in the

Dominican Republic last March, and I was

very impressed. It’s a lovely family friendly

and very affordable all-inclusive resort on

picturesque Playa Dorado beach. They also

offer an adult-only section and pool, which

adds to its allure for those seeking a more

serene escape. It’s not a new complex, but

it has been beautifully refurbished to

enhance the grand colonial style charm

and it also crests an inviting Robert Jones

Trent designed 18-hole golf course.Though

none of the 585 rooms are oceanfront

since a protected mangrove forest separates

the resort from the sea, it’s a very

short walk to the beach and the trek

through the ancient trees is well worth it.

They also have an excellent kid’s club and

they were putting the finishing touches on a

their new Spa by Pevonia which will be

comprehensive and luxurious when complete. .

Canadian Connections in the


Photo: Sunscape Puerto Plata

I’m always seeking out fellow countrymen

(and women) who have decided to start a

new life in spots where snow is a foreign

concept. If you are visiting these destinations

seek out these ex-pat Canadians

doing great things in their new island


Ontarian Bryan Horne works with the

unique 4-person submersible called

Curasub at the Curacao Sea Aquarium

complex (founded by ex-pat Canadian

Photo: Substation Curacao

Adrian “Dutch” Schrier) where visitors can

go 1,000 ft. below to witness magnificent

marine life without even getting wet! It’s a

bucket-list experience. They’ve also used it

for marine life research and have discovered

new species of fish! In St. Maarten,

Olivier Auvrey from Montreal runs the popular

snorkel excursions called Rhino Riders,

or if you check-into the St. Kitts Marriott,

look for General Manager Jacques Hamou

also from Montreal.

On Anguilla, the founder of the Arijah

Foundation’s Blossom Centre- a school for

the island’s children with special needs is

Renuka Harrigan from Ontario. And the

centre is always happy to welcome visitors

seeking to volunteer while on holiday.

Expat Canadians are also really embedded

into the culinary scene throughout the

Caribbean. Chef Tim Tibbetts and his sommelier

wife Rebecca - both from Canadaare

making big waves on the fusion front at

their trendy award-winning restaurant

Flying Fish in Freeport, Bahamas. And if

you visit Grand Turk by cruise, walk right on

by the too touristy Margaritaville to find

Jack’s Beach Bar for authentic island BBQ

and superb hand crafted cocktails made by

Janet Batchelor from Quebec’s eastern


Photo:Flying Fish

On “Provo” (Turks and Caicos’

Providenciales) it seems you can’t throw a

seashell without hitting an expat “canuck”.

There are SO many of them they even have

their own hockey league! (Though they

skate on roller blades due to lack of ice.)

The gorgeous new dining room off Grace

Bay beach at The Somerset is run by

acclaimed Canadian chef Brad Townsend,

and the owner the famous Da Conch Shack

Photo: Cuba’s Cookin'

is Torontonian John Macdonald. And


if you’re on Aruba, visit Cuba’s

Cookin’ for a surprisingly authentic

taste of Old Havana on “One Happy

Island”, and say hi to owner Douglass

Markus originally from Montreal.

A New Nature Focused Panama Stay

Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Photo: Jessica Percy Campbell

Last January I’d been invited to be a

keynote speaker at the annual Latin

American Travel Writer’s conference in

Panama City, Panama. It was a great event

in the heart of the bustling, cosmopolitan

city, and my adult daughter who also writes

travel as the “Vegan Vacationista” had

joined me. But once it was over, we were in

dire need of some beach time and downtime

in nature. Fortunately, the new upscale

Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa

had just opened nearby so it was a natural

choice to check out.

All 310 rooms are oceanfront overlooking

a gorgeous water circuit with a seaside

infinity pool and a peaceful protected bay

ideal for kayaking. And the surrounding

rainforest and mountain beside it are alive

with tropical wildlife including adorable little

monkeys and ever-smiling sloths! Like

all Secrets resorts they are adult-only allinclusive

offering an Unlimited-Luxury®

experience that includes gourmet food, top

spirits, no-reservation dining and 24/7

room service. They also have a luxurious

full-service spa. It was just the kind of pampering

we needed for a few days before

retuning home, but we will certainly return

for a longer stay another time.


Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016

Atlantic Arctic Indian Pacific Southern Ocean





Cruise News - page 44


Viking River Cruise, Lyon to Avignon - page 48

Superyachts & River Cruising - page 50

Italian Treasures on the Crystal Symphony - page 52

The Rise of the River Cruises - page 54

Eight Reasons to River Cruise - page 56

Photo: Crystal Esprit superyacht.

Adriatic Aegean Mediterranean Caribbean Baltic Black South-China Sea

Danube Main Mekong Moselle Nile Rhine Rhône Saône Seine Yangtze

Come With Us & Sail The World!


AmaWaterways Avalon Azamara Carnival Celebrit

C r u i s e N e w s

Discover the Caribbean like never before on the S/V Mandalay

The S/V Mandalay sails weekly, boarding in Grenada on Sunday and returning

on Saturday. Aside from weekly cruises to and from Grenada, the S/V

Mandalay offers special cruises taking in different Caribbean Islands, such as

St. Lucia and St. Maarten throughout the year!

The S/V Mandalay is also available for private

charter. The Captain can arrange a

personalized itinerary to meet your charter

needs including stops in the Grenadines,

which may include, Grenada, Carriacou,

Union Island, Mayreau, Tobago Cays,

Bequia, St. Vincent and possibly some

other stops along the way!

Rainforest Cruises

Launches Luxurious

Amazon Riverboat

Rainforest Cruises has launched

their new 43-passenger Amazon

Discovery riverboat with five-star

features including luxurious

accommodations, gourmet dining

and a spa. With just 22-

suites, the boat offers an intimate

and personalized experience

with floor-to-ceiling windows for

taking in jungle views.

The craft is small enough to travel deep into the tributaries of the Amazon on four and

seven-day cruises and activities include expeditions to spot pink river dolphins, jungle

walks, Peruvian cooking classes, and nightly local entertainment.

Redesigned Victoria Jenna Launches on China’s Yangtze

Victoria Cruises is celebrating the inaugural voyage of its newest build, the Victoria

Jenna, after its first major renovation since its launch in late 2009. The six-year-old

ship benefits from a complete redesign featuring motifs of modern elegance and a

brand new appearance intended to bring the vessel up to speed with the rest of

Victoria Cruises' five-star fleet.

Exploring extreme parts of the world

while enjoying a five-star service unique

to the Polar regions is the concept created

by PONANT that has become its hallmark.

From November to January 2018,

PONANT has 11 outstanding cruises on

offer, including two unusual routes seeking

out wildlife not found anywhere else

in the world in their natural habitat.

Aboard Le Boréal, Le Soléal and Le

Lyrial, with luxurious 122 to 132 staterooms

and suites under the French flag,

all with the international Green Ship

label and designed specifically for polar

cruises, passengers have access to strictly

protected locations only accessible to

small capacity ships.

The emphasis here is on total flexibility;

with zodiac outings taking passengers as

close as it is possible to be to the wildlife,

with time to linger in iconic sites, make a

detour to admire the acrobatics of a

humpback whale, or land on a beach to

greet a vast colony of penguins.

These cruises offer unique moments

enlightened by the expertise of

renowned South Pole specialists, who

share their passion and expertise on

polar lands they have been roaming for


New | Beyond the Polar Circle

Ushuaia to Ushuaia

New | Antarctica to Africa

Ushuaia to Cape Town

Royal-Caribbean Seabourn SeaDream Silvers

y Costa Crystal Cunard Disney Holland America


2017 Expedition Season

Adventure Canada Announces 2017

Expedition Season in Most Beautiful

Catalogue to Date

Just in time for the summer sailing season, Adventure Canada

is proud to announce the launch of a new brochure, highlighting

expeditions to the Canadian Arctic, East Coast and

Greenland, headlined by the company’s fabled Northwest

Passage departures. Chock-full of superb images from a talented

roster of award-winning photographers, the Expeditions

2016 & 2017 brochure is the leading Arctic and Maritime

expedition company’s most beautiful yet.

To embrace Canada’s 150th Anniversary in 2017, Adventure

Canada has created a sailing season which celebrates its specialty:

Canada’s most remote, pristine, and wild places.

Building on the impending 2016 season, the 198-passenger Ocean Endeavour will once again start its summer journey in Quebec

City in 2017. The season begins with the Mighty Saint Lawrence voyage, one of National Geographic Traveller’s 50 Trips of a

Lifetime. Next is the Sable Island expedition, the only travel itinerary featuring the mysterious 42-kilometre sand island off the coast

of Nova Scotia. The Ocean Endeavour will then circumnavigate Newfoundland before sailing north up the coast of Labrador to

Greenland. Explorations of the Inuit hamlets of Baffin Island and coastal Greenland follow, as with sailing to Nunavut’s northernmost

National Parks and wildlife havens—all hallmarks of Adventure Canada’s programming. The season finishes with two sailings

of the company’s Canadian Signature Experience, The Northwest Passage.

Viking Announces

10 New Ocean Cruise Itineraries

With the newly christened Viking Sea now part of its growing

ocean fleet, Viking Ocean Cruises® announced the addition of

10 new itineraries to its offerings for 2017 and 2018 sailings.

Adding more than 30 ports of call to Viking’s portfolio, the new

itineraries will explore destinations throughout Europe, the

Americas and the Caribbean, including Cuba.

Viking’s new ocean itineraries will bring guests to more iconic

destinations around the world, providing rich cultural experiences

with each port of call. With sailings from Bergen,

London, New York, Puerto Rico, Venice and more, guests can

choose itineraries ranging from eight-day to 22-day multicountry


Also recently announced, Viking’s fourth ship, Viking Sun, will

set sail on its maiden voyage in December 2017 for the company’s

first-ever world cruise, spanning 141-days and visiting

five continents, 35 countries and 66 ports. Sailing from Miami

to London, this epic Viking journey will explore the world’s legendary

cities, ports and will allow guests to immerse themselves

in the rich cultures around the world.

New 2017-2018 Itineraries

Trade Routes of the Middle Ages – Bergen to Barcelona

Venice, the Adriatic and Greece – Venice to Athens

South America and the Caribbean – San Juan to San Juan

New York, Bermuda and the Western Indies – New York to San


Cities of the Western Mediterranean – Barcelona to Rome

Central American Shores and Cuba – Miami to Miami

Caribbean to the Amazon – San Juan to San Juan

Southern Mediterranean Discovery – Rome to Barcelona

British Isles Explorer – Bergen to London

Italian Sojourn – Rome to Venice

MSC Norwegian Oceania Paul Gauguin Ponant Princess Regent

ea Star-Clippers Uniworld Viking Windstar


Perfection with

Viking River Cruises

Photo: Viking River Cruises

Article & Photography by Michael Morcos & Natalie Ayotte

AAs a Canadian World Traveller,

spring has become a favorite time

for travelling abroad, particularly

the month of May! Most Canadians are

itching for some new adventures after a

long winter, and travelling to Europe is

often a top choice. Our plans this year

were to travel to France, and with so many

great French destinations to choose from,

we finally decided on the regions of Rhone-

Alps and Provence. For us, there is no better

way to experience some of the best there

is than on a Rhone river cruise.

River cruising has become the new way of

travelling for many North Americans, and

savvy travellers know what they want. A

new destination each morning without having

to look for hotels, pack and unpack luggage,

drive through unknown roads, find

parking… Viking has taken all the guess

work and hassles out. It is truly a perfect

way to travel, so much so that the only thing

to do is remember what time the boat

leaves. Even the pick up at the airport is

seamless, offering a taste of the fun, relaxation

and memorable trip to come.

It is no wonder that Viking River Cruises

leads the way with more than 50% of all

river cruises, they have many of the most

modern ships and have now moved into

ocean cruising as well.

What to expect on a Viking cruise

If you have high expectations, don’t worry,

they will be met!

The ship cabins are well thought out and

are decorated to make your journey a

relaxing experience. Viking cabins are

organised to maximise space and include

all amenities you would expect from a high

end cruise company, including a bottle of

chilled bubbly waiting for you as a welcome

gift. It’s easy to fall in love on the spot.

Interacting with the crew is a great experience

in itself. Our crew was courteous,

helpful, fun and funny, and by the end of

the trip we felt like friends! On top of their

friendliness, the crew were experts at keeping

things tidy and passengers happy.

As you can imagine, cruising through

France offers some great gastronomic

experiences! On this cruise, we were treat-

Photo: Viking River Cruises

ed with themed meals based on the regions

we traveled through. For example, in Lyon it

was a Rhone-Alps meal which offered

Bresse poultry and many varieties of

cheese, including Tomme de Savoie, Bleu

de Bresse and Reblochon. Even better? We

were treated to the wines of the region,

including the very famous Beaujolais, Côtes

du Rhône and Savoy. As we moved closer to

Provence, the palate became lighter with

salads, melons, fresh fish and delicious

breads coupled with the Grenache, Cinsaut

and Mourvèdre, and Cabernet Sauvignon

wines from the region. The meals can be

enjoyed in two different places, the main

dining room and the Aquavit on the upper

deck. The Aquavit can be open-air when

the weather is good and closed with large

glass window doors when it became cold or

windy. There is also a Lounge that offers

pre-meal cocktails and nightly entertainment

for passengers who wish to relax to

some soothing sounds in a quiet venue.

As with most cruises, there is a daily briefing.

In 15 or so minutes, the cruise program

director presents the following day’s

activities, tours and what to expect from the

cruise and the port of call. One of the main

reasons to go on a river cruise is the

Guided and Optional tours. All tours are

included in the price of the trip for everyone

and they are very well organized with professional

local guides and brand new

buses. Most tours are a half day long and

in the morning, returning to the ship for

lunch. All the tours are worth it, as they are

the best way to see a destination in a short

amount of time. For those who want to take

a break from visiting and touring, the onboard

activities include cooking lessons,

shopping with the chef and French language


Day one

The first day of your cruise was all about

getting settled in and it usually takes a good

day for all passengers to board the ship.

Depending on your arrival time, you can

enjoy a light lunch buffet before you decide

what you wish to do for the rest of the day.

You can join a guided walking tour of

Lyon’s city center, lounge on deck while

enjoying a cocktail, or catch up on some

rest from jet lag – it’s really up to you!

There is no need to rush and discover Lyon

immediately, as you will have a full day for

visiting this marvelous city.

Touring Lyon with Viking

The worldly city of Lyon is a great place to

start a cruise. There is a mix of cosmopolitan

and small town feel just a few blocks

apart. Lyon is France’s third largest city and

straddles the Rhône and Saône Rivers and

includes a narrow peninsula island called

the Presqu'ile. As you visit the old city of

Lyon, you will see many reminders of its

Roman origins, including the Famous

Roman Theatre on top of Fourvière Hill,

founded in 43 BC by the Romans.

Over the centuries, Lyon has enjoyed economic

prosperity, including being one of

the most active printing centres in Europe in

the 15th century and then the silk manufacturing

capital of Europe in the 17th century.

You can visit many boutiques that still produce

exceptional silk products.

Included in your Viking city tour is a drive by

the many outdoor painted walls, such as

the « Fresque des Lyonnais ». These are

murals that depict all the famous people

from Lyon, from antiquity with Emperor

Claudius, through modern times with figures

including Paul Bocuse and the Lumière

family, known for having shot the first moving

picture and responsible for Lyons world

famous lumière festival.

The tour closes with a walk in the old city.

Visitors enjoy the little hidden Traboules

(passageways made for merchants in

medieval times) and the choice of world

renowned Bouchon restaurants, known for

serving traditional Lyonnaise cuisine of

sausages, duck pâté and roast pork. You

will not go hungry in Lyon, which is known

as France’s gastronomic capital!

In the afternoon you can choose from two


optional tours. There is a Lyon cooking

workshop where you can learn the secrets

to making fine pastries by a French pastry

Chef, or choose a tour to the timeless Town

of Pérouges, a medieval stone village located

some 30km northeast of Lyon as we did.

Perched on a small hill, Pérouges enjoys an

outstanding view overlooking the French

Alps. Founded around 1167 by a Gallic

colony, Pérouges was a craftsmen commune,

particularly farmers and linen

weavers. Complete with cobble stone

streets, you can’t help but be transported

back though time. Pérouges is also where

the famous three musketeers’ movie was


There is plenty worth exploring in and

around Lyon that it needs more time or a

second visit. Places of interest include the

heritage-laden Musée des Beaux Arts,

Quartier Saint-Jean and Quartier Saint-

Georges the old town, the beautiful architecture

and monumental town squares of

the Presqu'ile District and the Basilique

Notre-Dame de Fourviere,

The Rhone

With so much to see and do in seven days,

it would be best to leave the wonderful

Viking destinations beyond Lyon to a second

article in our next issue. The fabulous

locations of Macon, Vienne, Tournon,

Viviers, Arles and Avignon will just have to


Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Superyachts & River Cruising

By: Tully Luxury Travel

Crystal Cruises megayacht - Artist Concept

Superyachts Are Here to Stay (And

Why It’s Your Turn)

From cool and unlikely concept yachts to

tabloid-worthy celebrity yachts, we’re fascinated

with these worlds on water. And yet,

you no longer have to be rich and famous

to enjoy one. Whether it's a boutique yachting

experience that catches your eye, or

extreme adventure that you're after, the latest

launches prove there's something for


“Some people won’t go on a sailboat

because of the movement. And some don’t

want to be around too many people on a

cruise,” says Mary Jean Tully, Founder &

CEO of Tully Luxury Travel, of the appeal of

yachting. Fortunately, a new crop of ships

offer guests fresh ways to see the world,

Esprit Marina

opening up a new era for yachts—in which

bigger is better, and adventure is more

extreme. With Crystal Cruises' new superyachts,

more people can now enjoy the

pleasures of an intimate sailing experience

on the high seas in high style—and to more

remote destinations than ever before.

R&R more your speed? Sit back and enjoy

a drink with friends and unbeatable views

aboard Crystal Esprit's superyacht.

Launched in December 2015, the 62-guest

ship boasts its own mini spa and casino, as

well as six-star dining and suites outfitted

with king size beds, spacious closets and

double vanity sinks. Such plush environs

are certainly an ideal way to see dreamy

hot spots like the Seychelles islands and

Adriatic coast.

Thirsting for more adventure?

In March, Crystal Cruises announced what

promises to be the largest megayacht the

world has ever seen: an expedition ship

that can cruise the Arctic just as well as it

can more tropical destinations.

Debuting in August 2018, Crystal Endeavor

measures 600 feet (183 meters) long and

includes 100 guest suites. It will also have a

full-service spa, yoga, Pilates, salon and

wellness centre; an infinity pool; six dining

options and a 200-seat theatre. At 400

square-feet-plus (including balcony), suites

are spacious, but there are two Owner

Suites each boasting a whopping 3,122

square feet (1,615ft2 interior and 1,507ft2

balcony) should you feel the need to spread

out a little more. Oh, and there’s butler

service for all, in addition to one-to-one

crew-to-guest ratio.

But it’s the toys that truly make this ship a

gem. Whether you’re looking to enjoy

water sports or discover remote islands,

Crystal Endeavor has everything you could

ask for to experience adventure at sea—

from zodiacs, jet skis, wave runners and

SEABOBs to helicopters and its very own 7-

person submarines.

As the first purpose-built Polar Code compliant

yacht in the world, the Endeavor is

also uniquely built for global expedition

cruising and comes with exciting itineraries

to the Arctic and Antarctic. “Everyone is

looking for a wild, extraordinary experience,

and the Endeavor is so 21st century,

so different,” says Mary Jean. “It has a helicopter

and an icebreaker—it’s an expedition

ship. It’s totally unique.”

Be it easy cruising or extreme adventure,

your superyacht experience is sure to be a

trip to remember.

Explore Europe’s Ancient Highways


Lyon, France

See UNESCO World Heritage Sites

by River Cruise

There’s something particularly romantic

about taking a river cruise. The feeling is

something akin to what explorers and

tradesmen must have felt as they pulled up

to various ports, discovering new places

and visiting old friends.

As the saying goes, what’s old is new

again, with river cruises booming and

more options than ever to explore these

historic waterways. Whether it’s gently sailing

past vineyards and castles that appeals

to you, or the chance to see multiple cities

in a single itinerary without having to pack

and unpack, river cruises offer a scenic and

relaxing trip along the route of your


“River cruising is a comfortable and easy

way to travel to many of Europe’s most

notable towns—some that would be impossible

to reach by ocean travel,” says Lore

Doick, a Travel Designer with Tully Luxury

Travel. “In many cases, you’re docked right

in town, walking distance to restaurants,

cafes and museums. You don’t have to

worry about renting a car, finding your

hotel or looking for a nice place to have

dinner. It’s all taken care of for you—the

hardest thing is picking an itinerary!”

Uniworld’s SS Maria-Theresa

Since rivers were the highways that connected

Europe long ago, cruising on these

legendary waterways gives travellers the

unique opportunity to explore many of the

towns and landmarks—including UNESCO

designated sites—nestled along the shore.

And while some of the tours in the past may

have been limited in amenities, the recently

unveiled Crystal River Cruises fleet promises

to take river cruising to new heights

with its six-star service, superior dining,

spacious suites, expertly curated itineraries

and fascinating shore excursions.

Visit Must-See UNESCO Sites

The first Crystal River Cruise, Crystal

Mozart, debuts this July and offers guests

the chance to get up close and personal

with not one but two UNESCO sites. On the

tour, experience Austria’s picturesque

Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage

site featuring terraced vineyards, ancient

ruins and that’s also home to the magnificent

Schallaburg Castle.

As a special bonus for 2016 and 2017

trips, Crystal Mozart will also offer guests

the chance to experience the Belvedere

Palace in Vienna, one of Europe’s most

stunning baroque landmarks and a

UNESCO World Heritage site. The evening

promises unparalleled private access to the

Palace’s impressive collections of art,

including Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. The

event also includes a concert of Viennese

compositions in the legendary Marble Hall,

where the Austrian State Treaty was signed

in 1955, re-establishing Austria as a sovereign

state following World War II.

Other stops on the itinerary include wine

tastings in Dürnstein, tours of Salzburg—

Mozart’s birthplace—and the imperial

splendours of Budapest, as you cruise the

Danube. The roundtrip Vienna itinerary

allows guests to spend more time in this

spectacular city, with the opportunity to

extend their stay before or after the cruise.

Experience the Future of River Cruising

In 2017, Crystal launches its Crystal Bach

river cruise, which visits the Upper Middle

Rhine Valley, another UNESCO site,

notable for its breathtaking Rhine Gorge

and iconic Lorelei Rock. Cruise the Rhine

and Moselle rivers exploring the cities and

villages of Belgium, Germany, the

Netherlands and Switzerland along the


Crystal Mozart Suite

Three other all-inclusive, butler-serviced

river cruises are slated for 2017, including

Crystal Debussy, which takes guests on a

tour of the best of Paris, Seine River and

Normandy. Wine aficionados will want to

book with Crystal Ravel, which explores the

wine region of Bordeaux. On Crystal

Mahler, cruise the Danube and Rhine rivers

as you visit the Netherlands, Germany,

Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

From breathtaking scenery to UNESCOdesignated

historical sites, Crystal’s river

cruises promise a memorable voyage of

refined elegance.

Established in 1987, Tully Luxury Travel has longstanding

relationships with the finest travel and tourism

suppliers, and we offer world-class customer service

through our three divisions: Cruise Professionals,

African Dreams and Private Travel Designers.

Why Contact a Cruise Professional?

· Exclusive Amenities offered on ALL sailings

· VIP access to sites often closed to the general public

· Condé Nast Traveler “World’s Top Travel Specialist”

since 1999

· Crystal Cruises’ largest-producing agency worldwide,


Find out which is the best itinerary for you and receive

exclusive amenities when you book with a Cruise

Professional by Tully Luxury Travel.

Call today at 1-844-308-5114.

Crystal River

Cruises Yacht

Artist Concept

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Italian Treasures on the

Crystal Symphony

Photo: Crystal Cruises

Article by Ilona Kauremszky, Photography by Stephen Smith/mycompasstv

Iam on the Crystal Symphony luxury

cruise liner in search of Italian treasures

as we cruise past a myriad of coves and

inlets along Italy’s west coast.

Earlier in the day, my beau Stephen and I

were whisked from the palatial setting of

Rome’s historic Hotel Eden to Civitavecchia,

the departure port city for our seven-day


We chose this fine 51,000-ton gal for a few

reasons. Back in 2006 Crystal Cruises completed

a US$23-million overhaul to the

922-passenger vessel which was the shipping

company’s most extensive interior

refurbishment to date. We also were interested

in discovering the allure of the Italian

Riviera made famous by Roman emperors,

European princes and Hollywood jet setters.

Still, the other reasons were the guest-space

ratio for guaranteed sheer seclusion and

the great guest to staff ratio for pampering

and finer details.

Upon arrival Victor, our personal butler,

escorted us to our penthouse suite.

Complete with balcony, lounge chairs and

uber chic interiors, the suite had a “serenity

now” ambiance propelled by a bucket of

the finest, chilled GH Mumm Cordon

Rouge Champagne. There amid crystal

light fixtures, crisp Egyptian cotton sheets,

honeyed inlaid wooden cabinetry, and cool

sage and rich burgundy accents, I knew we

had arrived to our home away from home.

It was the perfect introduction for our prowl

to explore the playground of the rich and

famous. “Please know I am here for anything

you wish,” replied our white-gloved

butler who turned in his tuxedo tails and


The cruise had only just begun.

A typical Crystal Symphony voyage takes

about 6-18 days but we were on a shorter

one-week version, perfect for brief escapes.

At the Gala Welcome reception we were

ushered into the stylish Starlight Club for

Photo: Crystal Cruises

medleys, hors d’oeuvres and flutes of

champagne as guests donned tuxedos,

pearls and sky-high Manolo Blahniks.

Darwin, our server, mysteriously knew my

name. And so it went for the rest of our


We dined in the Crystal Dining Room amid

Riedel crystal and fine Villeroy and Boch

china. I enjoyed the chef’s suggestion of

sautéed jumbo shrimp, northern crab soup

with brie cheese, followed by broiled fresh

Norwegian salmon fillets, a homage to our

Norwegian captain. As we dined we sailed

past the isle of Corsica, Napoleon’s birthplace

to the Ligurian Sea.

Our first stop was the picturesque seaside

village of Portofino. Weathered buildings in

sunflower, peach and pale blue hues

enveloped the brightly bobbing fishing

boats or gozzi. The Romans named this

coastal sanctuary Portus Delphini, “the Port

of the Dolphins.” These days it is an exclusive

stomping ground for wealthy and aristocratic

Italians. Shore excursions are

available but we ventured on our own to

tour the town and its neighbouring city,

Santa Margherita. We hiked the promontory

laden with canopies of aromatic jasmine

and ascended the cobbled stone steps to

visit the Castello Brown, a medieval castle

overlooking the harbour then finished our

tour with a gelato at the lighthouse.

Life along the Italian Riviera is pure La

dolce vita from the cuisine to the spectacular

scenery to the azure blue Mediterranean

Sea. The piazzas are filled with sun-glassed

patrons of Prada sipping cappuccinos.

Their only burden was lugging shopping

bags from Pucci, Gucci and Ferragamo. It’s

a cocktail of elegant social life and

supreme privacy behind luxe villas that

cling to the cliff tops.

The Symphony then sailed effortlessly to our

next stop Monaco where fairytales really do

come true. The world’s second smallest

kingdom after the Vatican was made

famous by starlet Grace Kelley who stole

Prince Rainier’s heart in 1955 on a visit to

Cannes during the premier of the Hitchcock

classic, To Catch A Thief. With the Cannes

Film Festival in full swing and the Monte

Carlo Grand Prix a few days away we chose

to avoid the crowds and took a group shore

excursion along the famous Cote D’Azur to

Nice, France.

Considered the capital and queen of the

Riviera, Nice sits on a stage surrounded by

a natural amphitheatre of mountains that

reign over the Baie des Anges (Bay of

Angels). Lavish hotels and a casino erected

during the Belle Epoque period make Nice

a constant rival to Monaco. You can still see

vestiges of the old days along the famous

Promenade Anglais that skirts the famous

pebble beachfront.

Matisse’s studio was here and overlooked

the frenzied street market in the old city.

There’s a caricature statue of Miles Davis

outside the exclusive Hotel Negresco. Bono,

Elton John, Tina Turner and Bill Gates all

have heavenly pads between Monte Carlo

and this exclusive seaside resort town.

After a lunch of wine and cheese samplers

in the historic old Jewish quarter we

returned to the ship. At night, passengers

reminisced and romanticized about the next

day’s stop in Livorno, a popular cruise port

for visits to Florence, San Gimignano, Pisa

and other Italian hillside villages.

Later that evening, snuggling in matching

Frette bathrobes and sipping a robust

Merlot from Napa Valley we cued Under

The Tuscan Sun, a complimentary DVD

rental from the ship’s library to prep us for

the upcoming sights. But really we were

counting down the hours to see our friends

the next day in Florence.

Over a simple penne pomodoro and white

wine from Santa Margherita, our Florentine

friends Amy and Duilio described their

thrilling adventure done a week before to

see the island of Capri and Pompeii. In

Capri, the couple traipsed through the

imperial villa of Tiberius, the ruin a silhouette

against the blue sky that continues to


dominate the island’s skyline. Duilio

explained few passersby visit this stretch of

Via Tiberius which starts in the Piazzetta

and meanders up the terraced gardens and

whitewashed villas passing million-dollar

estates named, “Serenity” “Calm” and


“You could spend all day roaming the ruins

of Pompeii,” they suggested and recounted

how the ancient port city in its hey days contained

mammoth-sized buildings of forums,

amphitheatres, a gladiator court and a stadium.

Uncertain of our own plans, Stephen and I

high-tailed it back to our ship, contemplating

our visit to our final coastal city,

Sorrento, which hugs the dramatic Amalfi

coast. We were to spend two days there so

there were boundless opportunities to

explore the area. “I’ve heard so much

about Sorrento,” I murmured leafing

through my Rough Guide and Lonely Planet


But come early next morning, a copy of the

daily newsletter “Reflections” made its way

to our doorstep. The sightseeing dilemma

was solved. “Hey, we’ve got a chance to

visit the Isle of Capri and Pompeii,” I raved

about our good luck as both destinations

were outlined, making this dream now possible.

We both smiled broadly and knew there

were more Italian treasures yet to discover.

Photo: Crystal Cruises

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


The Rise of the River Cruises

Sail Iconic Rivers While Visiting Distinctive Corners of the World

Photo: Avalon Waterways

Article by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)

How can travelers leisurely explore several

countries and discover multiple

cultures in a matter of days? The

answer is sailing on an iconic river aboard a

river cruise. According to Cruise Lines

International Association's (CLIA) 2016 State

of the Cruise Industry Outlook, the demand

for the river cruise experience is at an all-time

high; as of 2015, there were 169 river CLIA

member cruise ships* on the water.

“These intimate voyages allow passengers to

experience multiple, memorable destinations

in a short amount of time all while travelling

the world’s most famous, historic rivers,” said

Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “As

the demand for river cruising grows, there are

now more experiences and destinations than

ever before. In addition to cruising through

Europe on the Rhine or Danube rivers, passengers

can take river cruises through South

America, Asia, Africa and even the U.S., offering

access to some of the most authentic and

treasured travel destinations in the world.”

From Egypt to Asia, following are six iconic

rivers around the world made easily accessible

by river cruising:

The Magic & Mystery of the Nile: One of the

world’s most famous waterways, spanning

more than 4,000 miles, the Nile River offers

unbelievable sights of ancient temples, lush

rainforests and impressive mountains. Avalon

Waterways offers a 9-day river cruise from

Cairo that takes cruisers on a voyage through

5,000 years of history, visiting temples built in

the time of Cleopatra, the famed Sphinx and

the Great Temples of Giza.

The Battles & Beauty of the Mekong:

Stretching through thousands of miles of

authentic Asian rice paddies and fish farms,

the Mekong River’s beautiful deltas have been

site to famous battles, specifically during the

Vietnam War. Now, the peaceful waterways

provide the perfect atmosphere for cruising.

New options in Vietnam and Cambodia

include AmaWaterways’ 15-night Mekong

upstream and downstream itineraries. The

voyage takes cruisers along the fabled

Mekong River for an unforgettable authentic

experience exploring rural villages, floating

markets, and a Buddhist monastery. The itinerary

includes Ho Chi Minh City with additional

stops in Siem Reap, Hanoi and Ha Long


The “River Sea” of the Amazon: The longest

river in South America and world’s largest

resource of fresh water, the Amazon offers

thousands of years of tropical history and

beauty. Seabourn offers the chance to blend

the beauty of both river and ocean, including

sailing along the iconic Amazon River with a

15-day Amazon & Caribbean Isles Cruise.

This cruise takes passengers on a luxurious

journey along the Amazon with excursions

into the jungle and beyond.

A Trek through American History on the

Mississippi: The Mississippi River is drenched

in rich American history weaving through 1.2

million square miles and multiple states.

Adventurers on American Cruise Lines sail on

a Mississippi River Cruise paddlewheeler journey

taking them along the famed domestic

waters and through 10 states. Guests experience

the jazz of New Orleans, Frenchinspired

beauty of Natchez, the Gateway Arch

of St. Louis and more.

A Rise Along the Rhine: Known for enchanting

castles and dramatic landscapes, the Rhine

River has been crossed by the likes of Julius

Caesar and George Patton. CroisiEurope’s

Christmas Market Cruise celebrates the holidays

along the Rhine, visiting multiple

Christmas markets in the European capital of

Strasbourg, the “Christmas Cities” of

Nuremberg and Rudesheim which feature the

Christmas Market of Nations. Tauck’s Rhine

and Moselle cruise blends the beauty of two

historic rivers and allows passengers to experience

the Netherlands to Switzerland,

through Germany, France and Luxembourg.

Cruisers can pay tribute to the fallen in the

Battle of the Bulge at the Luxembourg

American Cemetery and Memorial, view

medieval masterpieces like Bernkastel, Trier

and Cochem, and experience an exclusive

dinner at a medieval moated castle in


The Gorgeous Ganges: Boasting the highest

population of any river basin in the world and

winding through India and Bangladesh, the

sacred Ganges River is not only gorgeous but

constantly changing. The river is slowly

changing its path, naturally shifting 2.5 kilometers

since 1990 so the river offers a truly

once-in-a-lifetime course. Uniworld Boutique

River Cruise Collection exclusively offers a

chance to sail this fertile and unique waterway

with India’s Golden Triangle & Sacred

Ganges river cruise and tour. Highlights

include Delhi’s Humayun’s Tomb, the Taj

Mahal, the Agra Fort, Jaipur’s City Palace,

Mother Theresa’s home and tomb in Kolkata,

Verdic temple in Mayapur, and Kalna’s

Rajbari Temples.

“River cruising is the ultimate experience

offering an immersive, cultural and pampered

vacation, complete with exceptional

land excursions and vessel amenities,”

D’Aoust continued. “Travelers can sail on storied

waterways and discover new pockets of

the world.”


Eight Reasons to River Cruise

River Cruising allow passengers to experience multiple, memorable destinations in a short amount of time all

while travelling the world’s most famous, historic rivers.

Article by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)

1. Daily Discoveries—River cruises stop at new ports almost daily

offering passengers an itinerary full of unique destinations to discover.

5. Maximum Return on Experience —River cruises offer a fantastic

return on experience and investment, by allowing the chance to see

multiple destinations under one price tag.

2. Scenic Sailing—While river cruise lines do not spend a full day cruising,

there is typically no shortage of time to take in the beautiful scenery

when passing through scenic stretches such as the Danube's Wachau

Valley and the Rhine's River Gorge.

6. Local Tastes—Travelers get whisked away and drenched in local

cultures with unique excursions and culinary experiences available

only on river cruises, including experiences at historical sites and tasting

masterpieces made with locally sourced ingredients

3. All-Inclusive— Most food, beverages, and often excursions are included

in the overall price, allowing travelers to enjoy a decadent vacation

without the stress of planning every detail and pinching every penny.

7. Love for Luxe—River cruises offer an exclusive, luxurious option for

travelers. A smaller vessel means a more intimate vacation setting with

staff focused on each guest.

4. One-of-a-Kind Experiences—With access to narrow ports and through

shallow waterways, river cruising offers a cruise for travelers who love to

experience new cultures, visit historical sites and relax in cruise luxury

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016

8. New Options—River cruising allows travelers to visit more intimate

corners of the world and experience lands previously thought hard to

get to by cruise.


Hot Springs, Arkansas

A spa town with a difference

Article & Photography By Johanna Read,

Iwas so looking forward to this trip. Who

wouldn’t want to go to a town so famed

for its relaxing thermal mineral waters

that it is named Hot Springs? But I was surprised

by how much more Hot Springs has

to offer.

The springs

Both the town and the national park are

named Hot Springs. One side of the town’s

main street is in fact inside the park. Like in

most national parks, you can hike, mountain

bike and enjoy forested trails and wonderful

views. Unusually, you can tour historic

buildings and get a massage too.

The earliest bathers soaked up the soothing

waters under the sky. By the mid 1800s,

bathhouses became the preferred location.

Soon Hot Springs’ bathhouses were grand

edifices rivaling those of European spas.

Today you can visit many of these restored

buildings along Bathhouse Row, and even

“take the waters” in two of them.

Many claim the water from the 47 different

hot springs is healing. Until just a few

decades ago, physicians would recommend

their patients come to treat ailments

from rheumatism to syphilis. It became so

popular that the government eventually

provided a clinic with a free bathhouse, so

that people of any income could follow

their doctor's advice.

As medical science evolved, the popularity

of the baths waned. Today there’s no scientific

evidence of health benefits from the

springs. But I can vouch that lazily soaking

in a pool of hot water (where phones are

not allowed) is an excellent treatment for

our hurried modern way of life.

The spring water is also delicious to drink.

Filling stations line the edges of the national

park welcoming you to fill a jug with Hot

Springs’ perfectly neutral pH7 water, all for

free. Unlike most water from thermal

springs, there is no iron or sulphur. The

water comes out of the ground at about

62°C and doesn’t need treatment to make

it safe to drink. Many believe that drinking

the water is good for you too.

The Quapaw Baths & Spa feature four mineral

pools at varying temperatures. At

Quapaw, you can add on massages, body

treatments and facials, plus visit the steam

cave. The cave feels like a combination of

sauna and steambath. I sat on a cedar

bench in the man-made cave, designed to

gather the heat coming off the underground

springs below. While I didn’t see

clouds of steam, I very quickly felt the moist

therapeutic heat. I ended my 20-minute

session relaxed and well-glistened (a lady

glistens, not sweats, in the South).

Lots to do

After soaking up the waters, drive just out of

town to the Garvan Woodland Gardens. I

strolled through ever-changing gardens

featuring waterfalls and hundreds of thousands

of tulips and daffodils. Kids (and

kids-at-heart) delight in the exploration

cave, crawdad hole and maze. Architecture

fans marvel at the glass walls and angles of

the 6-story Anthony Chapel, designed by

Maurice Jennings and Fay Jones. I was

enchanted by Garvan’s resident peacock.

He loves to show off his full plumage whenever

anyone points a camera at him. You’ll

need a keener eye to spot Garvan’s other

70 bird species.

The Hot Springs area is full of attractions for

a week of family fun. Watch thoroughbred

racing at Oaklawn Park, ride a riverboat,

go mini golfing and regular golfing, play

laser tag, zipline, kayak, spend a day at the

waterslides and the immense roller coasters

at Magic Springs amusement park, visit the

wax museum, and even an alligator farm.

Tour the Gangster Museum to learn all

about infamous mobsters like Al Capone

and Lucky Luciano who used Hot Springs as

a retreat.

Shoppers love the independent shops on

Central Avenue selling art, antiques, vintage

candy, uniquely flavoured popcorn

and housewares. Pop into The Savory

Pantry for artisanal chocolates, bitters,

sauces and jams, and (my favourite)

Lambrecht’s southern pecan toffee.

Food and drink

If you want to stay in a town for any length

of time, you want there to be great food.

Hot Springs does not disappoint.

More than a month after my visit, I’m still

craving the pizza from DeLuca’s Pizzeria.

Chef/owner Anthony Valinoti brought top

pizza techniques from his native Brooklyn.

He uses the best ingredients from Hot

Springs, including the mineral water, for his

classic and creative pies. His pizzas alone

are enough of a reason to visit Hot Springs!

Craft-beer fans love Superior Bathhouse

Brewery and Distillery. In one of the old

buildings on Bathhouse Row, they make

beer on site using the national park’s

spring water. They serve fantastic non-alcoholic

root beer too, as well as lunch and

dinner highlighting seasonal locally-grown


Famous for being Bill Clinton’s favourite

barbeque joint, McClard’s Bar-B-Q serves

7000 pounds of hickory-smoked beef, pork

and chicken weekly, all smothered in their

secret sauce. This place is so popular they

won’t even reserve a table for the Clintons

(though they do get invited into the kitchen

to eat there).

I learned the secret to eating southern pancakes

at The Pancake Shop. The pancakes

fill an entire dinner plate. To ensure my lap

wasn’t covered in syrup, I followed the server’s

instructions to cut a hole in the centre

of the stack before filling it with butter and

warm syrup. Delicious!

There’s live music every night at the Ohio

Club, right on Central Avenue. This historic

club dates to 1905 and is the only original

club still open. During Prohibition, it was

called the Ohio Cigar Store; if you knew the

right password, you were allowed into the

drinking and gambling area hidden behind

the false wall. I spent a Wednesday night

listening to The Hump Day Blues Band. If

past bands were as good, it is no wonder

that the Ohio Club was frequented by

celebrities like Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis

Jr, Babe Ruth, Al Jolson and Mae West.

Where to stay

History-buffs favour The Arlington, a

“grand old hotel”. The hotel has views of

the national park and Bathhouse Row, and

famous guests like Al Capone (who had his

own suite, complete with secret escape

route) and home-town son Bill Clinton in

the presidential suite. The restaurants serve

classic dishes and the lobby bar innovative


If you prefer more modern decor, choose

The Hotel Hot Springs & Spa. Attached to

the convention centre, this 14-story hotel

was completely renovated in 2016. Its

rooms are spacious and come with extras

like a microwave and large mini-fridge.

Breakfast with delicious biscuits and honey

is included in rates.

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn is a boutique

option just outside of town, on Lake

Hamilton. With views of the lake, the

Ouachita Mountains, and garden waterfalls,

you’ll be sure to relax at this B&B.


Johanna Read is a Vancouver-based freelance

writer and photographer specializing

in travel and food. Follow Johanna on

Instagram @TravelEaterJohanna and on

Twitter @TravelEater. All her travel writing is


Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016

Most of us know China for its

great landscapes, numerous

bodies of water, architecture,

and history. But do we know about the lesser

familiar attractions? Perhaps one of the

lesser familiar attractions is the maritime Silk

Road, located in the country’s southeastern

coastal areas, making connections with

neighbouring countries.

Traditionally, this tourist route was divided

into two: the East China Sea Silk Route

and the South China Sea Silk Route. The

former connected China with Japan and

Korea. This portion of the route, which dates

back to the Zhou Dynasty, was known for its

silkworm, silk reeling, and weaving techniques

— techniques that seeped into Korea

through the Yellow Sea. Silk production was

eventually Korea’s main commodity. This

led to building many ports for exports to

Japan. Moreover, Korea became the centre for

technology. Because of the Haijin policy

under the Qing Dynasty reign, however,

business along the Silk Road declined. This

policy prohibited maritime activities. The latter

portion of the route connected China with

other countries. As its route name specifies,

this route surrounded—and still does

today—the South China Sea. Guangzhou,

Quanzhou, and Ningbo were the main

departure cities when construction workers

built this route. Like the eastern route, the

southern route thrived during five dynasties

(Qin, Han, Sui, Tang, Song) and declined

during two of them (Ming and Qing). The

decline was more noticeable during western

wars, but the route renewed itself in the late

Tang and Song dynasties with the rise of

navigation and shipbuilding technologies. It

connected with Southeast Asia, Malacca, the

Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and Africa.

What exactly is the Maritime Silk Road? It’s

a Chinese strategic initiative designed to

increase investment and foster collaboration

through the Silk Road (former network of

trade routes that connected Asia to other eastern

and western localities).

The Maritime Silk Road consisted of eight

Chinese provinces: Hebei, Shandong,

Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Guangxi,

Fujian and Hainan as well as two municipal

areas of Tianjin and Shanghai.

Special Eight-Page Section on the Maritime Silk Road

by Dwain Richardson




Hebei-The Imperial Summer Villa of Chengde

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016



This is one of the country’s northernmost

provinces. Hebei means “north of the

river.” Coincidentally, this province is

north of the Yellow River. Surprisingly, this

province is only eighty-eight years old!

The central government founded it in


Hebei borders on a number of cities,

countries, and geographical terrains

(seas, rivers, plains, grasslands).Its climate

is typical of a monsoon: Winters are

cold and dry, while summers are hot and

humid. For example, temperatures soar


This province is in the easternmost region

of China, running parallel to the Yangtze

River and bordering the Huanghai Sea.

Nanjing is the province’s capital.

The province’s climate borders on a temperate

and subtropical zone. Winters are

the coldest in January and summers are

the warmest in July. Jiangsu can receive

anywhere from 800 to 1,200 millimetres

of rain—precipitation is the greatest during

summer months.

Local products are plentiful in the Jiangsu

province—and yes, there’s lots of local cuisine

to be had. Fish, chicken, seafood, and


This city, which literally means “above the

sea,” is an international port metropolis

renowned for its economic, financial, cultural,

scientific, and technological industries.

Many cultures converge in this eastern

China city: modern and traditional, oriental

and western. The mix of cultures

isn’t new to Shanghai. Following the

Treaty of Nanking in 1842, inhabitants

from western and eastern Europe flocked

to the port city to open businesses and

build houses and mansions. Like many

other destinations in China, many

etween –16°C and –3°C in January. In

July, temperatures range from 20°C to

27°C. Given the high heat and humidity,

it comes as no surprise that most rain

falls during the summer months.


Ming Great Wall: The site runs from Jiayu

Pass in the west to the Shanhai Pass in the

east (the walls measure 8,850 kilometres

in length), and through to Manchuria,

located in northeastern China. The walls

consist of trenches and natural barriers

such as hills and rivers.

Bedaihe Beach Resort: A ten-kilometre

attraction from the Yinjiao Pavilion to the

start of the Daihe River. Let yellow sand

glide over your feet and step into shallow

waters. While you’re having fun on the

beach, let yourself be dazzled by caves,

secluded paths, and winding bridges.

Chengde Mountain Resort: A complex

made of imperial palaces and gardens.

Seventy-two scenic wonders await,

including the “Tower of Mist and Rain.”

Be prepared to see many grasslands,

forested mountains, and valleys among

the many buildings. This resort is on the

UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.


liquors are in every locality, and some of

these staples are found in meals, including

pork meat patties and broken bone fish’s



Classical Gardens of Suzhou: These nine

eleventh- to nineteenth-century gardens

are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site

list. They recreate miniature natural landscapes

and reflect the importance of natural

beauty. Visitors can find residential

zones among the gardens.

Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty:

One of China’s biggest imperial tombs

located in the easternmost zone of

Nanjing. The mausoleum’s key feature is

the Sacred Way, a long path stretching

1,800 metres. You can see many animal

sculptures like lions and elephants. Visitors

can also see columns carved with dragons.

Scenic sculptures also greet visitors. Like

the gardens in Suzhou, the Xiaoling

Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty is listed on

the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Zhouzhuang Water Town: What makes this

attraction so popular? Look around you

and you’ll see many old buildings and

bridges, crafts, and of course, lots of water.

This water town is an hour and half away

from Shanghai and Suzhou. Tourists

should ideally visit this attraction in the

spring (April/May) and fall

(September/October). While you’re visiting,

you can drop by local shops and marvel

at traditional Chinese culture.

European architectural wonders await

when travellers set foot in this city.


The Bund: A well-known waterfront in

Shanghai. Located on the west bank of

Huangpu River, the Bund flows from the

Waibaidu Bridge to Nanpu Bridge (length

of 1,500 metres). You can find twenty-six

architectural sites on the Bund’s westernmost

end. Architectural styles range from

Gothic to Renaissance. If you’re a night

owl, you should stop by the Bund, for

you’ll see colourful lights shining in the

river and flashing on the farthest side of

the river. This attraction was named the

“Shanghai Top Ten Night Light Views” in


Nanjing Road: Hear ye, hear ye, shoppers

and foodies! Looking for major

brands, new fashions, great foods, open

bars? This is the place to be. You’ll see

many upscale stores such as Tiffany and

Dunhill. Is traditional shopping your cup

of tea? You can still drop by a number of

specialty shops and traditional stores featuring

silk products and embroidery, not

to mention clocks, jade, and wool. If you

prefer evening strolls, why not have a pint

of your favourite beverage and listen to

music by street performers? There’s much

to see and do along this 5.5.-kilometre

route that stretches from the Bund in the

east to Jing’an Temple in the west.

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016



This is one of China’s eastern provinces. Its

capital is Hangzhou. Nestled along the East

China Sea, Zhejiang will charm you with its

numerous islands, gardens, and landmarks

such as the five-storey Leifeng Pagoda.

Take a moment to look around you when

you arrive in Zhejiang. You’ll notice that

most areas are hilly, though you will definitely

encounter valleys, plains, and islands

along the province’s coastlines.

The province has four seasons with different

climates: Spring is generally rainy, especially

in March. Summers are long, hot, humid,

and wet. (Heads-up: The typhoon threat is


A southeastern province reputed for its

mountainous and coastal cities. Rivers are

plentiful, and are considered important

because they were used as transportation

routes for centuries. Fujian faces Taiwan

(further east). It’s south of Zhejiang, west of

Jiangxi, and north of Guangdong. Its capital

is Fuzhou.

Fujian’s climate is semitropical along the

coastlines (hot in summer, cool in winter).

It’s cool between November and February,

warm from March to May, and hot

between June and October. Like Zhejiang,

a risk of typhoons is great during monsoon


Guangzhou: Gateway to the Silk Road. Of

all the Chinese harbours, Guangzhou was

the largest, and the only one to make connections

to foreign countries. It also had

historical significance: Three voyage routes

originated from Guangzhou. In addition, in

1784, the American vessel Empress of

China sailed to this city, which led to the

first transportation route between the

United States and China, and eventually

giving way to trade.

On the cultural scene, most associate

Guangdong with cuisine and music. This is

considered the birthplace of what westerners

call “Chinese food” (Cantonese food).

Grab the authentic taste of sweet and sour

considerable in late August due to great

accumulations of rain.) In contrast, the fall

is dry, warm, and sunny. With the exception

of the far south, winters are short but cold.

Average temperatures range between 15°C

and 19°C. Depending on the seasons, however,

temperatures vary slightly. For

instance, they hover between 2°C and 8°C

in January and 27°C to 30°C in July.


Baoguo Temple: A Buddhist temple, and the

oldest surviving wooden structure. This

attraction houses various exhibitions: statues,

bronzes, Ningbo furniture, carved

stone screens, to name but a few.

Admission: 20 CNY ($3.97 CAD) per person.

Be prepared to pay an extra fee if you

want services by a tour guide.

Yandangshan: Mountains galore! This area

has a northern and southern zone. You will

find the highest peaks in North Yandang.

This is where you’ll find Mount Yandang, an

area known for its vertical rock faces and

pinnacles, mountain slopes and its lush

forests and bamboo groves, and streams

filled with clear water, waterfalls, and caves.

You’ll come across several shrines and temples

as well.

Qiandao Lake: Akin to the Thousand

Islands region located between Kingston

and Cornwall, Ontario (1,078 islands on

the lake and other thousands scattered

about). Bird Island, Snake Island, and

Monkey Island are some of the many

islands you’ll visit. Did you know that

Qiandao Lake is used to produce mineral



season (expect between 1,270 and 2,030

millimetres of rain along the coast and in

western mountainous areas). Average temperatures

range from 11°C to 29°C.


Sānfāng Qīxian: This architectural site,

located in the downtown core, is a set of

ancient buildings coined “Three Lanes and

Seven Paths.” The site was first built during

the Jin Dynasty (around the twelfth century).

Meander through the white-walled

streets, shop at one of many local stores,

or take a coffee along the canal.

Wŭyí Shān Scenic Area: Enter this area via

Wŭyí Gōng, approximately 200 metres

south of the Wŭyí Mountain Villa. Trails

contained in this area connect with major

sites. Are you up to walking a lot? Stroll

along the 530-metre Great King Peak (via

main entrance), or try walking along the

410-metre Heavenly Tour Peak (enter via

Nine Twists River). If you plan to take the

Great King Peak, walk with appropriate

shoes, for trails may be slippery and wet.

Ānxī Cháyè Dàguānyuán: Would you like a

cup of tea? The mountainous Ānxī County

is known for its Iron Buddha tea. It is characterized

by a thick fragrance and floral

sweetness. This tea farm produces roughly

fifty tea brands from China, Japan, and

Taiwan. While you’re on site, take a free

tour of the small museum and processing


pork, wonton soup, and dim-sum. The

food is plentiful, delicious, and inexpensive,

and few travellers can leave this city hungry.


Mount Danxia: Bring a camera and be

dazzled by plenty scenic, mountainous

sites. You’ll also see a number of temples

scattered about. A river winds through the

mountains, allowing visitors to ride a boat

during their stay. This site is on the 2010

UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

Seven Star Crags: Find most crags around

Star Lake. The lake has five distinct sections,

and has small land and walkway

strips. Like many attractions in China,

there’s no shortage of Buddhist and Taoist

sculptures around the lake. While you’re

here, why not check out the many fantastic


Chen Clan Ancestral Hall: A magnificently

preserved example of nineteenth-century

architecture. It was the ancestral shrine of a

wealthy family, and now is a museum with

many items and articles, including ivory

sculptures and artistic statues.

Today, visitors can see more than twenty

attractions along the Silk Road. Some of

them include the Temple of God of South

Sea, Huaisheng Mosque, the Temple of

Bright Filial Piety, the Muslim Sage’s Tomb,

Hualin Temple, and Lotus Tower. Like many

countries, the Silk Road is showered with

European architecture, especially when

tourists set foot in Shameen

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016



An autonomous region in southern China

bordering Vietnam. Its capital is Nanning.

Guangxi’s climate is subtropical, just like

many other localities in the country (long,

hot summers).

Parts of this autonomous region are mountainous,

especially areas in China’s northeast,

north, centre, and southeast sectors.

Guangxi is known for its many rivers that

cut through mountains, forming what we

know as the West River.


This is China’s smallest and southernmost

province. Hainan Island is the main island.

Its capital is Haikou. Aside from islands,

Hainan boasts of many rivers and lakes,

including the Wanning and Changhua

Rivers. Unlike other areas of China, natural

rivers are few in number in this southernmost


Hainan’s climate ranges from subtropical to

tropical. Haikou’s climate is subtropical, as

are other areas in northern Hainan. The

farther south you travel, however, the climate

is more tropical (warmer temperatures

are the norm). Winter temperatures range

from 16°C to 21°C; summer temperatures

A few cultural notes:

Guangxi and Guangdong mean “Western

and Eastern Expanse.” Traditionally,

Guangxi has had a close connection with

Cantonese culture and language. These

influences are noticeable in the easternmost

areas of the region.

Three varieties of Chinese are spoken in

Nanning: Southwestern Mandarin, Yue,

and Pinghua.


Lijiang River: The eighty-three-kilometre

green river flows from Piled Festoon Hill to

Bilian Peak in Yangzhou. Marvel at the

steep peaks, luxuriant flowers, and green

hills that reflect in the blue water.

Reed Flute Cave: This attraction, located

five kilometres west of Guilin, got its name

from verdant reeds that grew outside the

cave (flutes are made with this type of

reed). Walk inside this water cave and

explore many stalactites, stone pillars, and

rock formations. Don’t expect to see complete

darkness: You’ll be greeted with many

coloured lights as you tour the site.

West Street: This ancient street is found in

the heart of Yangshuo County. It has been

the centre of eastern and western cultures

since the 1980s. Walk along the marbled

streets and enjoy the simple styles and

courtyard-like settings. While you’re here,

have a coffee on a patio, purchase a number

of souvenirs, or take a bite into local

cuisine (the beer fish dish is worth a try).


are between 25°C to 29°C. As tourists

would expect, summers are hot. This is particularly

true in northern areas of Hainan.

A few notes about local cuisine:

Dig in on seafood! Chefs prepare many

meals with shrimp, lobster, crab, and other

sea life creatures.

Wenchang chicken: a drier meat with lots of


Hainan chicken rice: a dish with rice marinated

in chicken soup.


Five Officials Temple: Built in honour of the

five Tang (618–907 AD) and Song dynasty

officials (960–1279). This site is southeast

of Haikou. The temple complex has many

buildings, including the Guanjia Hall,

Xuepu Hall, East and West Hall, and the

Ancestral Hall of the Two Fubo Generals.

Yangpu Ancient Salt Field: An archaeological

heritage site in Yantian Village. See

more than one thousand stones that evaporate

seawater to produce salt (stones are cut

on top). Stones are equipped with a thin rim

to contain water.

Yanoda: A rainforest located near Sanya.

The Chinese government has reserved

forty-five square kilometres for the Cultural

Tourist Zone, while the rest of the rainforest

(123 square kilometres) is fully protected.

China’s tourism department has rated this

attraction AAAAA, the highest rating on the

country’s rate scale.

Kaiping Diaolou and Villages, Guangdong

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Luxury Hotels...Grand Resorts...Charming B&B...Opulent Villas...Quaint C

New Boston Hilton Garden Inn

S t a y & P l a y Sweet Dreams Around The World

CVK Park Bosphorus Hotel - Istanbul

Istanbul, historically known as Constantinople, is Turkey’s largest city and the country's

economic, cultural, and historical center straddling the Bosphorus strait that

separates Europe and Asia.

A key to any visit is finding a base of operations, aka, a hotel. The CVK Park

Bosphorus Hotel offers everything a traveller could ask for. With design details that

reflect the majesty of the Turkish palaces that can be found around the city, this fabulous

property also grants guests magnificent views of the Bosphorus straight, the

city and the far side which is the Asian part of Istanbul.

The luxurious nature of the hotel is evident from the moment you set eyes on the

building. Modern lines and architecture on the outside of the building leave visitors

anticipating the best out of this hotel. They will not be disappointed.

Once you pass the elegant entryway, guests are greeted in the grand lobby of the

hotel, with its impressive marble and granite finishings to make your arrival a grand

one. Every step of the way you will find friendly, accommodating staff and a dedication

to service that is second to none. There is no doubt that this hotel deserves to

be among the properties in the ‘Preferred Hotels and Resorts’ group, which represents

a collection of the world's best luxury hotels and resorts in more than 85 countries.

The spacious suites feature separate living spaces, private terraces, and hot

tubs. The washrooms are a dream, with a large stand alone white tub, lots of light

and a wonderful rain shower head. To top it off, the toiletries were high end and


This is the place to see and be seen with guests from all over the world. There are

great restaurants and bars, serving a variety of cuisine, with spicy tastes of Morocco

to the ancient flavours of the Ottoman Empire! Delicious.

On top of the beauty and comfort of our room, the CVK Park Bosporus Hotel is very

well located, just minutes away from Taksim square and the famous Istiklal pedestrian

street where just about anything can be found!

This is not only a street for locals, there is so much to see and do that it is also a

major draw for tourists. Visitors can spend an entire day shopping, eating and being


After a hard day of tourist-ing, enjoy some relaxation at the CVK Safira Spa & Fitness

& Wellness Center. A first of its kind in Istanbul, this Spa offers a variety of special

services to its guests including VIP massage rooms, an indoor heated swimming

pool, personal spa areas, baths and hot tubs.

Ideal for Business Stay, or

Explore and Play

by Jessica Percy-Campbell

A stone’s throw from the airport with free

24-hour shuttle service, the new Hilton

Garden Inn Boston Logan Airport provides

a perfect base for visitors coming to explore

the city or do business in downtown Boston.

It’s also an economical choice for families

arriving for weekend trips to take in a Red

Sox game or fun attractions like the New

England Aquarium. It’s 10 minutes downtown

by car and a five-minute walk to the

subway. The fresh, new complex also boasts

a heated indoor pool and a 24-hour fitness

center. It’s ideal for conventions and groups

as well with a 24-hour business center and

large modern meeting facilities. The elegant

décor of the Garden Grille & Bar makes it a

great place to enjoy an early breakfast or

an evening cocktail, and all guests have

access to coin-operated washers and dryers.

There’s also a convenience store on

site. But it’s the front-desk staff at this new

hotel that makes it exceedingly special; they

go above and beyond to make guests feel

at home. They’re also very knowledgeable

about nearby attractions and happy to help

you plan your days out.

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Zemi Beach Resort, Anguilla

A Shining New Star on

Stunning Shoal Bay

Anguilla is a tiny island in the Eastern

Caribbean, a few miles from St. Maarten

with some of the most beautiful beaches on

the planet.

Being a beach fanatic, I was concerned

when I heard a brand new resort had taken

root on Anguilla’s Shoal Bay, what I consider

to be one of the most glorious strips of

sand in the world. Part of the exceptional

appeal of this little island is that it’s sparsely

developed. There is a handful of five-star

resorts and a smattering of high end villa

rentals, a few mid-level stays and the odd

B&B, but basically it’s a tiny community of

some 15,000 residents living on an arid

rock fringed with surreal aqua waters and

scenic cliffs. As they say, Anguilla rhymes

with vanilla but it’s twice as sweet!

However, upon my arrival to the new Zemi

Beach Resort I could instantly confirm that

any concerns I had about this new development

were unfounded. It’s a glorious addition

to the postcard perfect scene, and

smartly designed to allow its unparalleled

surroundings be the true star.

Outside, their bright white-multi-tiered complex

cascades down the hill and spills fluidly

into the sea via a serene infinity pool with a

glassed in wall- and there is also an adultonly

pool and lounge area on a separate

level. Overall there are 54 beautifully

appointed guest rooms and nine two and

three-bedroom suites- all beachfront with

oversized balconies. And the activities on

that glorious beach include hobie cats and

snorkeling- there is a pair of resident sea

turtles living right out front- and they also

offer weekly mermaid lessons! That’s right!

Zemi is one of the hosts for the new

Mermaid School International where

women, men and even children can learn to

swim with a tail and a monofin! I tried it,

and it was such fun! They also have a wonderful

children’s club with innovative activities

and state-of the-art tennis courts.

For on-site dining there is Stone- an upscale

Asian and Caribbean fusion enclave, and

20 Knots- a more casual indoor/outdoor

beachside eatery with fabulous breakfast

buffets and the a surprise of a brick pizza

oven. Their pizzas were divine with a creative

choice of gourmet toppings like the

local spiny lobster Anguilla is famous for.

And their Rhum Bar is exquisite. A classy

lounge where you can try some the

Caribbean’s best. I especially enjoyed their

rhum education and tasting class. But

beyond the spectacular beach, it’s their

Zemi Thai House Spa that impresses the


Set apart, behind the resort, the focus is on

an authentic 300-year-old Thai rice house

that was rebuilt piece by piece. It is the

nexus of this soothing oasis that features

the island’s only hammam, a meditation

pond amid a tropical garden, many multifunction

treatment rooms, a fresh juice bar

and a wellness boutique. It really is worth a

visit all on its own. Very unique.

And overall, I can’t say enough about their

super warm, friendly and highly efficient

staff. They really know how to do upscale

without the snooty. If you’ve never been to

Anguilla before, I highly recommend your

first stay there should be at Zemi Beach

Resort to discover what barefoot luxury is all

about. Problem is, you might never return!

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S t a y & P l a y Thailand

Articles by Mathieu Morcos & Camille Fodi

The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

The heat of the sun as we landed would be a preview of the

warmth we would get from the staff at the Tongsai Bay

Resort. Comfort and pleasure is the name of the game, and

upon arrival at the Koh Samui airport, a staff member was there to

welcome us and chauffeur us to the resort.

The receptionist gave us a tour of the hotel and its amenities along

with a map to find our way. We were informed that we would be

offered an upgrade to a seafront pool villa!

The hotel offers to all their guests a complimentary escort (golf cart)

from the lobby to their rooms or from their rooms to wherever they

wish to go within the resort. It may seem silly, but it is quite appreciated

in the heat, especially considering the resort’s size.

Our seafront villa was simply stunning! Nice cold towels infused

with a lovely fragrance and a refreshing herbal iced tea awaited us.

Stepping into the room, you will immediately notice the very large

balcony, which includes a private pool facing the sea. Alongside the

swimming area, two sun loungers invite guests to sunbathe with a


If you are trying to avoid the sun, the balcony also has a shaded

resting area containing a 4 poster bed with mosquito screens, a

bath tub, dining table and a large pantry which includes a bar with

sink and a fridge. As for the room itself, it is divided in two, where

the bedroom and TV room both offer seafront views.

The resting area and bathrooms were modern and built for two

adults to have enough space to get ready at the same time. Every

detail in the room was thought out and guests will have every need

met. If you’re a picky sleeper, they even have a choice of pillow.

The hotel staff is as friendly as they are helpful. Throughout the

resort the rooms are tidied up twice a day and mid-day snacks,

fresh fruits and ice are complimentary.

We each had the pleasure of a 90 minute Thai massage at the

hotel’s spa. The spa is extremely charming with an entranceway that

makes you feel as if you are stepping into a jungle with its decorative

waterfall and pond. Upon entering, the spa manager explained

their offer in detail, including the extent of the massage, along with

our choices of oils (hot or room temperature) and fragrances (6

choices). The massage itself was delightful and relaxing.

At night, we had dinner at the resort’s restaurant located right on

the beach. The sound of the waves crashing into the shore was

soothing and made the romantic ambiance all that better. To get a

true experience of what the restaurant had to offer, we asked the

manager for his recommendations and he did not disappoint. The

fried calamari and scallops were both excellent choices for appetizers.

As for the main course, the grilled sea bass was meaty, fresh

and very tasty. The Australian steak and chips was cooked to perfection

and can certainly fill even the hungriest of guests. Desert was

a traditional Thai delicacy, sticky mango rice. Turns out it was

mango season, the fruit was tender and sweet, simply delicious!

The Tongsai Bay resort went above and beyond our expectations, it

was definitely one the highlights of our trip in Thailand.


The Landmark, Bangkok

When arriving at the Landmark Hotel, guests immediately realize

how it got its name. The location is pristine, and this beautiful,

tall building that stands out in the heart of Bangkok,

which is saying something as the city is ripe with magnificent buildings.

The lobby’s cathedral ceiling and marble floors give the impression of

a luxurious Las Vegas hotel, lavish and lush. The receptionist greeted

us and took us to the 31st floor, all the way to the top, where we met

with the hotel’s management. After giving us in depth details about our

stay at the Landmark and all the generous complimentary perks that

came along with it, we headed back down to the 24th floor to see our


Although the Landmark was built almost 30 years ago, most of the

rooms have been recently renovated and our room was simply gorgeous,

from the enormous king size bed to the modernized bathroom,

every detail in the room was carefully chosen for comfort and style.

pool located on the 9th floor. Its privacy makes you almost forget that

you’re in the heart of the country’s capital. After cooling off in the pool,

make sure to visit the sundeck, located a stairway away. A small bar on

the sundeck serves refreshments throughout the day while you enjoy

the lounging in the sun. The fitness room is modern and can help you

feel less guilty about all those pastries you’ve been having at the breakfast


At night, we would eagerly visit the 31st floor where you can relish a

view of the city from up on high, while enjoying complimentary drinks

and snacks.

The evening buffet is very diverse and was simply delicious. We were

also given a wonderful token of appreciation, rebates on the hotel’s

steakhouse, bar and spa. Chocolates and the teddy bears that represent

the Landmark’s mascot were left on in our room, simply a kindhearted


Every morning, we would receive an English copy of the local

Newspaper outside our door before heading to the breakfast buffet.

The buffet’s variety was broad to say the least. If you wanted Western,

Chinese, Thai or even European choices, it was all there. The buffet

chefs offer to make a fresh omelette with ingredients of your choice, as

well as pancakes and waffles made on the spot, delicious! Fresh fruits,

cold cuts and cheese are also at your disposal. We would enjoy our

daily iced coffee while reading that newspaper.

Further into the day, you might feel the need for some quiet time by the

The staff was supportive, knowledgeable and positive from start to finish,

from helping us find local restaurants and directions for entertainment,

all the way to securing our luggage while we waited for our


We got to meet the director of marketing communications who insured

that our stay had met our expectations. It obviously had, as we would

definitely recommend The Landmark and visit again in the future!

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


S t a y & P l a y in Rhone-Alpes, France

Fourviere Hotel Lyon

Millions of dollars and a beautiful renovation have

reinvented the old Convent of Visitation built in

1854 and turned it into a real gem of a hotel. The

Fouviere is situated down the street from a roman-era

amphi-theatre and the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière,

and its hilltop placement offers wonderful views of the city

and the surroundings help guests feel like they are in the


This boutique style hotel takes good care of their guests and

the artistic feel is juxtaposed with the building`s walls of

solid stone. The reception area has a marble alter and frescoes

on the ceiling harkening back to times when the hotel

was still a convent. The renovations have created well-lit

rooms and bathrooms that are extra large.

The hotel offers unique gastronomic experiences to push

your taste buds to the limit. The Restaurant Les Téléphones

serves bistro-style cuisine while overlooking the glorious

courtyard. Guests can also relax with a hot drink at Le Kfe,

a comfortable area where you can read a book, newspaper

or your emails. Another niche is down the hotel’s own “traboule”

passageway to discover Le Bar, where many wines

from France and elsewhere await you. Finally, you can enjoy

authentic Lyonnaise cuisine experience at the Bouchon, the

hotel’s unique restaurant.

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016

Annecy Bonlieu Hotel

Amagnificent view of the Alps in the distance, seen best from

the top floors of this new, modern and contemporary hotel,

is just start of guest attractions at the Annecy Bonlieu Hotel.

This property is located in the heart of town and minutes away from

the famous lake and old quarters. It has easy access to all of

Annecy’s cultural and tourist attractions, including historical locals,

the lake and town centre, and the mountains are a short ride away.

With so much to do and see in this beautiful city, the hotel is an ideal

base to sleep, shower and plan daily schedules. As breakfast is

included, a guest’s day can start out perfectly.

The Littoral

In the heart of Evian and just metres from the shores of Lake

Geneva, the Littoral-Evian boutique Hotel welcomes visitors to

enjoy its light, airy and comfortable rooms. A welcoming staff,

an Alpine-esque décor and a delicious European continental breakfast

with great cold cuts, many different cheeses, jams, breads and

fresh apple or orange juice. Room prices are reasonable for everything

is offered and there are options for one child or two.

Outside the door, guests are treated to a magnificent view of Lac

Leman while being caressed by the cool breeze on a hot day. Steps

away, guests will find the main pedestrian street, with the city’s casino

and the town hall waiting for the visit.


Photo: St. Lucie County Media Relations and Office of Tourism

Vacation Gold on Florida’s Treasure Coast

Article & Photography by Jennifer Merrick

On July 31st, 2015, divers struck

gold when they found 4.5 million

dollars’ worth of Spanish

coins off the coast of Vero Beach, 170 miles

southeast of Orlando. It’s just a fraction of

the loot that was lost when 11 ships laden

with jewelry and precious metals capsized

during a hurricane in 1715, exactly 300

years earlier, on their return to Spain.

Those riches have been washing up on

Florida’s mid-eastern coast ever since, and

it’s why this region, which encompasses St.

Lucie, Indian River and Martin counties, is

known as Florida’s Treasure Coast.

Though we didn’t unearth any gold coins

on our recent trip, we did discover a treasure

trove of vacation gems. Here were

some of our favourites.

Indian River County

“We are now entering Osprey Alley,” said

Captain John, and we were treated to the

sight of several large nests and their feathered

inhabitants. We marvelled at mothers

taking care of their fledglings, fanning

them to keep them cool. These graceful

water birds were just one of many wildlife

sightings on this unforgettable airboat tour

of Blue Cypress Lake. We also spotted alligators,

turtles, eagles, great blue herons

and the adorable two-day-old moorhens.

Lunch was also memorable at Capt.

Hiram’s Resort’s Bahamian-styled Sand

Bar. Surrounded by palm trees, our feet

sunk in the warm white sand, it was the

ideal island ambiance for noshing on

conch fritters and mahi-mahi tacos. The

best part is you can eat as much as you

want because the magic mirror in the

women’s washroom makes you appear

20lbs thinner. “I want to take it home,”

murmured one patron while admiring the

distorted, but oh so flattering view.

Our next boating excursion was straight out

of a James Bond movie on the aptly named

yacht, ‘Moonraker’. Fully equipped with

kitchen, showers, a BBQ and even a hammock,

this 40-foot catamaran sailboat can

be chartered for a couple of hours or an

entire day. We sailed on a sunset cruise, a

picture-perfect introduction to Vero Beach,

a destination often referred to as Florida’s

Hamptons. We capped off this fine evening

at Ocean Grill, a local institution known for

its seafood, ocean view and stately atmosphere.

St. Lucie County

“Great weather, horses, and a beach -- it

just doesn’t get any better than that,” said

Allen Hayes, owner of Horseback on the

Beach. He was right. The excursion that

took us along the water’s edge on

Hutchinson Island felt like a scene right out

of a movie with a cool ocean breeze,

turquoise water and the most good-natured

horses imaginable. The beach was virtually

empty except for us and I assumed it was

private. It wasn’t. It’s one of St. Lucie

County’s 21 miles of beach that are more

popular with sea turtles than crowds.

Nature lovers can enjoy 11,000 acres of

parks and preserves, and eco-sites such as

the Manatee Observation Center, Great

Florida Birding Trail and the Oxbow Eco-

Center. Hungry after all that activity? Head

over to the seaside fishing village of Fort

Pierce, where you’ll find several restaurants

that showcase the turquoise water of the

River Lagoon. We stopped in at On the

Edge and found the atmosphere of this

open-air thatched eatery as good as its

fresh seafood.

During our time in St. Lucie, we stayed at

the Club Med Sandpiper, which is a destination

in and of itself with its full roster of

activities that includes everything from flying

trapeze and circus school to more traditional

leisure pursuits of tennis and golf.

This all-inclusive resort is especially known

for its food and entertainment. “Dining is a

focal point for us,” said Ralph Cipollo,

executive chef, and after sampling their

Alaskan salmon with shitake mushrooms,

we wholeheartedly agreed.

Martin County

“Look down the boardwalk to your left and

up. That’s what a 1000-year-old Cypress

tree looks like,” said Chuck Barrowclough,

our guide at the Barley Barber Swamp. For

a few moments our normally boisterous

group is silent as we took in its majesty.

Adorned with Spanish moss and with vines

wrapped around the silver-barked trunk,

it’s the star attraction of this 400-acre

nature reserve that shelters a diverse ecosystem

and indigenous flora and fauna. We

were thrilled to spot alligators and bald

eagles. But the ancient tree enthralled me

most, and I couldn’t help but think what

stories it would be able to tell if it could.

Remarkably, this worthwhile tour is free

although donations are encouraged to

continue its conservation work.

Though the cypress couldn’t tell its story, we

found someone at our next stop that

regaled us with tales of a Florida of yesterday.

Jonnie Flewelling, innkeeper of the

Seminole Inn, has strong family ties to the

area. Her grandmother was the first post

mistress of Indiantown, and they still retain

post office box number one. Jonnie is a

gifted storyteller and her accounts of the

Seminole natives, early rancher ‘crackers’

and of her inn riveted me. The Seminole

Inn has been welcoming guests since 1926

and has been in the Flewelling family for

40 years. Stays can be as relaxing as rocking

on the wooden chairs on the porch or

as adventurous as hunting for wild hogs.

But what they are best known for is their

country brunch. “We draw people in from

Jacksonville to Miami and often book out,”

says Jonnie. After partaking in their southern

fare of biscuits, meatloaf, collard

greens and the crispy fried chicken, I could

understand why.

“My mother stood over me for 20 years

before she let me make it myself,” said


These recipes, and more importantly the

stories that permeate every detail of the

Seminole Inn, is a legacy to be proud of,

and are perfect examples of what riches

visitors can find on Florida’s Treasure


If you go: Most visitors fly to either Orlando

or Fort Lauderdale and drive to the

Treasure Coast. Driving distance is 60 to

90 minutes depending on the destination.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn in both Vero

Beach and Stuart and were impressed with

their convenience, service and full breakfasts.


Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016



Plains and Cranes

Article & Photography by Ron Paquet

Placed in the heart of America,

Nebraska has boundless grasslands,

which is used for the major

industries of the state, beef, pork, corn and

soybeans. Farming and ranching engage

most of the some 2 million residents, but

there are many other reasons to visit this

Great Plains state.

As beef farming is a major industry in

Nebraska, all local restaurants serve copious

amounts of beef steak for very reasonable

prices. With so much choice, it’s hard to pick

a favorite, but must highlight Alley Rose in

Kearney, where their 16-ounce prime rib can

be had for a mere $18. The town of about

30,000 is known for the trains that cross

through the downtown area every seven

minutes, for a total of 190 trains over a 24

hour period!

Our trip took us to McCook, in the far western

region of Nebraska to view the Prairie

Chickens. They are difficult to find in the

wild and it is quite a procedure. You have to

climb out of bed before dawn to settle into

one of the blinds, which is basically a horse

trailer with portholes, to view the chickens. It

is quite a ritual, as the males puff themselves

up, strut, fight and dance on the lek (the traditional

display ground) and begin trying to

attract a mate. There is usually only one

female for every 10 or more males, so they

all have to flaunt their best. This show goes

on for a couple of hours and lasts for several


However, the real highlight of Nebraska

tourism is viewing the Sandhill Cranes, which

draws upwards of 30,000 people each year

to reserves like the Crane Trust Sanctuary in

Wood River near Grand Island, and the

Audubon Society's Rowe Sanctuary in

Gibbon near Kearney. Crane season lasts

for six weeks from the beginning of March

until mid April, and the very shallow Platte

river features the largest gathering of

Sandhill Cranes in the world during their

Spring migration from wintering on the Gulf

Coast to their summer time breeding

grounds in Northwestern Canada and


For a mere $35, you can spend three hours

watching over 400,000 cranes as they all

chatter in unison before taking off in great

groups headed for surrounding corn fields.

They spend their days eating corn left from

harvests of fields near the river, building their

strength for the long flight north; at night

they sleep islands in the river perched on one

leg. Before dawn, the murmuring begins and

thousands of Cranes begin filling the skies as

they head off for a day of feeding.. Flash

photography and talking is not permitted in

the blinds (viewing stations) as this will scare

the birds away.

The Audubon Row Sanctuary and the Crane

Trust Sanctuary (both charitable organizations)

offer the best viewing opportunities

with blinds located very near the birds. The

Crane Trust offers overnight packages priced

at $1,000 a night, including a private cottage,

all meals and multiple Crane viewings.

Devoted bird watchers will also enjoy a drive

south from Kearney to the Harlan Reservoir

near Republican City to see the White

Pelicans who are also returning to the state at

this time of year.

Once the bird viewing is over there are

numerous heritage museums dotting the

countryside where you can view early 19th

century history with all its artifacts.

Indigenous peoples lived in the region for

thousands of years before European exploration.

Once European exploration, trade,

and settlement began, both Spain and

France sought to control the region. Artifacts

from the periods are found in small museums

throughout the state, but there are all

sorts of interesting stops.

Kearney hosts a classic car collection of

some 200 vintage and modern cars, including

the 130 cars automobile collectors

Bernie and Janice Taulborg donated to the

museum. It includes a wide range of gangster

and vintage cars, including a one of a

kind 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith Limo, two rare

Locomobiles and three Pierce Arrows. Also

on display are two rare Lincolns from the Full

Classic era, a 1930 Convertible by LeBaron

which is one of only 80 produced and a

1930 Dual Cowl Phaeton, which is one of

only 20 manufactured worldwide. These are

accompanied by similarly rare models from

Packard and Cadillac, Buick and LaSalle.

There are many rare brands, including some

that most of us have never seen before, like

Moon, Gardner, Maxwell, Jewett, Gray and

Metz. Among these you will also find wonderful

models from Studebaker, Hudson,

Mercury and Chrysler.

The collection also showcases exquisite and

over the top 1950’s cruisers, from the huge

tailfins on a 1959 Cadillac to the stylish

overload of an exquisite 1957 Mercury

Turnpike Cruiser and 1958 Studebaker

Golden Hawk, and of course, the timeless

Thunderbird. Their Muscle Car collection

includes several rare Mopar cars made by

Chrysler, a very rare supercharged Shelby

Mustang GT 350 developed by Carl Shelby,

and early Pontiac GTO. Other rare sports

cars are also on display from Ferrari,

Porsche, DeLorean, Lancia, Bricklin, MG and

Triumph. Our 1930 MG Boattail Roadster,

with its wood framed, fabric covered body is

a wonderful look at the origin and history of

the sports car.

A trip through Gothenburg will let you visit a

piece of transportation history by seeing an

original Pony Express way station. They

promised mail delivery to the West within 10

days; however, the service was discontinued

in 1891 after a year due to the introduction

of the transcontinental telegraph!

To obtain a sense of America and how it

grew requires a drive to Pioneer Village in

Minden which includes 28 buildings, showcasing

more than 50,000 objects from the

second quarter of the 19th century. It features

household appliances such as stoves,

refrigerators, washing machines and bathtubs,

the development of lighting, firearms,

money, radios and televisions.

The museum also features the largest collection

of farm tractors and other farm machinery

in the world, more than 350, beginning

with a 1897 steam car. Other historic vehicles

include an ox cart, a prairie schooner, a

stagecoach, horse-drawn street car, electric

trolley, and all varieties of buggies, carriages,

coaches, and carts, along with bicycles

and even airplanes!

Another exciting visit to be had is the Stuhr

Museum in Grand Island, which brings you

back in time to the 1890s. The museum is

home to over 100 buildings devoted to this

time period. You can view a 1901 steam

locomotive, an 1871 coach and a 1912


It also features some 200 antique horse

drawn carriages, steam-powered engines,

tractors, threshers and trucks that represent

the birth and evolution of the state's agricultural

heritage. There are sixty 100 year-old

shops, homes, and other structures and a

seven-acre rail yard depicting the history of

steam railroading in Nebraska. A real trip

down memory lane!

Unique to North America is Nabraska`s

Great Platte River Road Archway which spans

high across the I-80, resembling a covered

bridge between two towers. Within its towers

you can revisit 150 years of American history.

Finally, it is worth mentioning some of the

exceptional restaurants throughout the plains

of Nebraska. The Coppermill Steakhouse

and Lounge Restaurant in McCook is worth a

visit to enjoy a great Nebraska steak dinner.

Another incredible dining experience can be

found at the Chances R restaurant, featuring

one of the largest salad bars in Nebraska

with a variety of cold meats and vegetables.

From bird watching to visiting unique museums

and fine dining, Nebraska offers something

for everyone. The annual Sandhill

Crane migration, one of the ten great animal

migrations in the world according to internationally

famed naturalist Jane Goodall, who

comes every year, is the perfect reason to

make the trip.


Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016


Clear Blue Skies

Lufthansa Airlines

Afavorite of world travellers, Lufthansa is

constantly pushing the limits of comfort,

style and technology.

The aviation giant has been in existence in one

form or another since the early 1900s! Adapting

to changing times, from oil crises to training the

first female pilots, Lufthansa has been a leader at

every level.

Their fleet complies with the highest level of noise

reduction and are at the cutting edge of environmental

technology, and with almost 600 aircraft,

they are in exclusive company with the largest US

aeronautical giants. And though the Lufthansa

Group has 540 subsidiaries in logistics, MRO,

Catering and Other business segments, their

main focus has always been on flying people

around the world in style and elegance.

Visiting Germany has never been easier! With hundreds

of flights from their hubs in scenic Dusseldorf, historyladen

Berlin, the financial centre of Frankfurt and others,

Lufthansa flies throughout the country and beyond.

Lufthansa has been operating in Canada for over 50

years, and whether you want to ride in the visually stunning

first class or comfortable economy, there is space for

everyone. Lufthansa has six from Canada to Germany,

including Montreal-Munich, Toronto-Frankfurt, Toronto-

Munich, Vancouver-Frankfurt , Montreal-Frankfurt and


Named “Europe’s Leading Airline” for the fifth time in a

row at the 2015 World Travel Awards, this amazing company

offers one of the best travel experiences available!

Canadian World Traveller Summer/Fall 2016

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