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This week in Features

Malta, Italy & Med Islands: Going on the rails in Italy p37; Katherine Lawrey is charmed by Malta’s quieter neighbour, Gozo p43; Updates, including the MTV Music Festival p45

Holiday Essentials: Delivery firm First Luggage turns 10 p47; How epteca can help clients with holiday preparations p48; News from Avis, plus car hire in Barcelona and Lisbon p50


EVERY YEAR, the Canadian Tourism Commission hosts a Canada Shared event in London, bringing together Canadian Signature Experiences

members and the UK travel trade. There were 52 members at last month’s event in the London Film Museum and I met with a few to hear their news. Great Bear Nature Tours in British

Columbia will have a new floating lodge when the season begins in May. The eight-bedroom lodge will have bigger rooms and en-suite facilities – guests previously shared shower facilities. Owner Tom Rivest told me the Great

Bear Rainforest river valley was an outstanding wildlife viewing location, and the lodge’s sole focus was on bears. “People who want to see bears

know you can’t see too many of them. You can always get a better picture.” Tours are conducted by boat and

on foot. He said it wasn’t customary in Canada for guides to carry weapons. Instead they use their voices and body language to command the bear. “We don’t need walls on our viewing platforms any more,” he said. “The bears are used to us. They just walk by and ignore us. Our guides have pepper spray but I have only ever sprayed a bear once. It’s very unusual.” As well as its bears, Canada is

also famous for its Northern Lights. Torsten Eder, from Northern Tales, a Whitehorse- based adventure operator, told me that sightings had been more frequent in the Yukon this winter than other years. “Not necessarily stronger,” he said. “But they are happening more often.” His company operates Aurora

Borealis tours from August to April,

and he advises clients to stay in the area for at

least three to four nights to have a realistic chance of seeing them. Northern Tales features a range of

accommodation, from luxury lodges to more basic electricity-free lakeside cabins. His guides can also collect

clients from Whitehorse hotels after dinner, and drive them away from the city to view the lights. He said that reactions to the lights were varied: “The Japanese tend to squeak like guinea pigs, northern Europeans are a bit quieter, and the Brazilians get excited and jump around.”

He had some advice for capturing

the moment on film: “Point and shoots don’t work. You need an SLR and you have to set the exposure time manually. Depending on the moonlight, you need between eight and 30 seconds of exposure time… Or you can simply enjoy the moment.”

13.03.2014 35 Canada

To read blogs and reviews from the TTG features team, see


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