If you haven’t heard yet, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are coming to Ottawa Read more →
February 28, 2014
If you haven’t heard yet, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are coming to Ottawa
It’s official. William and Kate, the new stars of the Royal family, will be visiting Canada this summer and will be front and centre as hundreds of thousands gather in Ottawa to celebrate Canada Day this July 1.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be welcomed to the Capital by The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.
Already one of the most popular times to visit Ottawa, Canada Day this year promises to be filled with more pageantry and a heightened sense of excitement and celebration as the Royal Couple kicks of their first foreign visit as a married couple. It marks the second year in a row that Ottawa has welcomed a Royal Couple for Canada Day – Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip presided over the 2010 festivities.
For 2011, organizers are planning a celebration fit for a future king, with a full day of activities and entertainment showcasing the best of Canadian traditions and culture. Downtown streets surrounding Parliament Hill will be closed to traffic, allowing revellers to roam from venue to venue – and to catch a glimpse of the Royals.
Ottawa hotels are already booking up fast. Canada Day this year falls on a Friday, which will allow visitors to extend their stay over the weekend.
February 18, 2014
The Caribbean maintains its position as the most popular cruise destination in the world, capturing more than 40 percent of all the passengers, despite the build up in the Mediterranean, South America and Australia.
Caribbean port authorities and tourism officials have taken up the challenge by upgrading their facilities and building new ports to accommodate the largest of the new ships.
Across the Caribbean, destinations are responding to industry growth with improved and expanded infrastructure, although as one port official told Cruise Industry News, “cruise lines must remember that they (the island) are not Dubai.”
And that may be happening. Barbados is in the final stages of a bid for the expansion and redevelopment of its cruise pier. There are also plans to build new piers in St. Kitts and Nevis, Curacao and Aruba. Other upgrades are underway in Guadeloupe, Martinique, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
2010 broke both cruise passenger records and overall tourist arrivals in the Caribbean. With more ships, the trend continues up as Cruise Industry News estimates a record-breaking 7.5 million passengers in the region for the calendar year 2011, up 1.4 percent from last year. The bulk of the cruise business in the Caribbean occurs during just four months, which also raises the level of competition (and congestion) among the islands.
May 2, 2013
Langham Hospitality Group has recently announced that the former Delta Chelsea – Canada’s largest hotel, located in downtown Toronto – will be officially re-branded Eaton Chelsea, Toronto beginning July 1st. The hotel will be the first of its kind in Canada and joins other Eaton Hotels located in Hong Kong, Shanghai and New Delhi.
A multi-million dollar investment program for the hotel has already begun and includes beautifying the exterior, refurbishing the lobby and Market Garden Restaurant, and extensively upgrading the interiors of the banquet and meeting facilities.
As Canada’s largest hotel with 1,590 guest rooms, Eaton Chelsea, Toronto is centrally located and steps from the city’s best shopping districts, world-class theatres, vibrant nightlife and exciting attractions. A full-service urban resort, Eaton Chelsea has room types to suit everyone and the hotel offers five restaurants and lounges, separate adult and family recreation areas and pools – including the “Corkscrew” – downtown Toronto’s only indoor waterslide.
As a premier family destination, the hotel offers a full range of services including the Family Fun Zone with Camp Chelsea, Kid Centre and Club 33 Teen Lounge. For more information or to make reservations, please call 1-800-CHELSEA (243-5732) or visit chelsea.eatonhotels.com.
February 25, 2013
For as long as can be remembered, human kind has been fascinated with where we came from. Echoes of Earth: Finding Ourselves in the Origins of the Planet explores this fascination and follows two intrepid travellers as they journey to some of the most remote regions of the world and discover the beauty of ancient rock formations that hold the secrets of our origins.
“We expected to bring back only images for a photo-essay book,” says author Sue Baugh. “We did not expect to be transformed as artists or to discover that our human origins lie hidden in the story of the oldest stones. Our bodies carry ancient minerals deep without our bones and ancient life within our human cells.”
Baugh and her colleague Lynn Martinelli travelled by airplane, camper car, fishing boat, float plane, and river raft to photograph some of the oldest rock and mineral sites on the planet. The final product is an incredible compilation of images and narrative that capture the beauty and magic of a world untouched by time.
“The power and beauty of these ancient sites radically changed our perception of the world and humanity’s place in it. We invite you to explore the mystery of what we encountered, that we carry the long history of the planet within us. We are all echoes of Earth.” – Sue Baugh
February 12, 2013
Panama City, or simply ‘Panama’ to the locals, is a city to keep your eye on in the next five years. New Panama City’s high-rise skyline and swanky nightlife contrasts the pastel colonial Casco Viejo district. In whimsical Casco Viejo, fauna grows freely in the dirt that once was tiled floor. Markets are held in the crumbling ruins of plaster buildings and narrow cobblestone streets are framed by caving sidewalks, only wide enough for one person to trod.
Kuna Women, collections of beaded bracelets adorning their calves, sell molas in open-air markets. Brightly colored birds and geometric designs composed of fabric and carefully stitched thread hang from carts and tables. Motifs can be seen throughout the hand-crafted molas but each one remains an original. Prices range from USD$10.00 to hundreds for the larger or more ornate pieces. It’s best to purchase these iconic artworks directly from the Kuna people. Purchasing molas at a gift shop means risking authenticity. The Kuna are recognized as one of the most well-preserved indigenous cultures. Purchasing molas directly from a Kuna person ensures funding this culture preservation.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Casco Viejo’s facelift is well underway. The restoration of popular attractions such as Teatro Nacional means doors are closed to the public while construction is underway. The current state of Casco Viejo is a necessary annoyance to preserve the historic district. Scaffolding and barricades can be found on nearly every street. Early-morning jackhammers ring through the alleyways and, inevitably, into the windows of the neighborhood hostels, hotels and B&Bs.
As in any city, take caution when walking at night. With all the construction, it’s easy to find yourself in the slums that boarder Casco Viejo to the east. Remnants of what used to be the entire district, residents of the barrio sleep on pieces of cardboard in homes hardly as large as one-car garages but of similar stature. English can be hard to come by even with the tourist police force.
As a whole, Panama City is a hot spot that should be on everyone’s “To Do” list. Casco Viejo is a special slice of the city. Still free of chain restaurants and hotels, a traveler can enjoy boutique-style cafes and quaint accommodations. Though at the moment, its a bit of a beautiful mess, paying a visit to Casco Viejo has a way of making one thankful for the noisy, dusty, inconvenient construction. The Panamanian government is polishing the diamond that is Casco Viejo so this pastel facet of Panama City can get the recognition it deserves.
February 8, 2013
Although it has undergone many changes since first celebrated in 2000 B.C., the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, remains the most important social and economic holiday in China.
Originally tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar, the 15-day celebration is a time to honor household and heavenly duties, as well as ancestors. It is also a time for the family to gather and feast.
January 7, 2013
It’s true. Metropolitan Touring has just announced a new incentive for the Canadian market: Travel aboard La Pinta on either the January 18 or February 01 departures and your airfare from Quito or Guayaquil to/from Galapagos is free. Each departure is 8 Days / 7 Nights and you are assured to be amazed by the natural beauty and wildlife of the Galapagos.
Plus, you will receive two free nights at Casa Gangotena in Quito, Ecuador.
For more information, contact Francisco at Metropolitan Touring today!