News and adventure to expand your horizons

Travel Bug
By Susan Campbell

Embrace the beauty of the ‘brrrrr’
Though some Canadians often set their sights south during the colder months, others are hard-core fans of frozen tundra adventures all year round. That’s why The Polar Adventure Company specializes in catering only to those seeking bucket-list adventures from the North Pole to the Antarctic Circle. Based in Twillingate Newfoundland, with over 35 years of experience in polar adventures, they partner with only the best operators around the world to ensure your trips are as seamless as they are surreal. Think encounters with penguin colonies, observing polar bears, snorkelling in the Arctic Ocean, kayaking among the icebergs and more. They offer over 500 small ship voyages with the best itineraries to explore the unique beauty that can only be encountered in the cold. Visit:

Get away from the ordinary in Scotland

There’s more to the land of kilts, bagpipes, good whiskey, and great golf than meets the eye if you book with Away from the Ordinary Tours. They specialize in creating highly personal curated journeys throughout the most overlooked and off-the-beatentrack spots. For example, do you know there is a weeklong festival celebrating Viking heritage in the Shetland Islands? Or that there are places to spot dolphins and whales with great surfing to be had? You can also tour by horseback and stay overnight in historic castles. And forest bathing and birdwatching are also big. Founder Aeneas O’Hara excels at ensuring your Scottish adventure is tailor-made to suit your travel style be it
luxury, adventure, easy-going explorations, or a combination of all. Visit:

Whale tail park attracts whales
Maybe it’s one of Mother Nature’s inside jokes but it’s fitting that when the waters miraculously recede at the tip of Costa Rica’s Marino Ballena National Park to reveal “El Paso de Moises” (Passage of Moses), a land path that appears at low tide, it resembles a giant whale’s tail. Fitting because this area around Uvita on the South Pacific coast is one of the best places to spot humpbacks in the world. No one’s sure why this area has been such a humpback hotspot for hundreds of years (maybe they like whale tail design?), but it also attracts three other whale species and three resident dolphin species, too. Eco-friendly tours and treks of the protected park also attract nature-loving visitors yearround. Visit:

Experience St. Martin in grand style

Legendary St. Martin resort La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel, has reopened in grand style with new villas and exciting new experiences. Always known as an oasis of luxury on beautiful Baie Longue’s stellar stretch of sand, they’ve upped their accommodation offerings of 83
rooms and suites with the addition of eight two-level stand-alone private villas they call “Private Sanctuaries.” Highlights include personal infinity pools, full kitchens, and private beach cabanas. And all guests can partake of their creatively curated programs like the Energetic Re-Mastery Escape at their spa, a revolving artist in residence series, and in-depth excursions with nature specialists. They also offer upscale culinary experiences in tandem with Le Cave, one of the most famous and well-stocked wine cellars in the Caribbean. Visit:
w w w. b e l m o n d . c o m / h o t e l s / n o r t h – america/caribbean/st-martin/belmond-la-samanna

Royal Caribbean unveils world’s longest cruise
If you can’t get enough of cruising, then this comprehensive new voyage by Royal Caribbean is for you. It’s called the “Ultimate World Cruise” and the 274-night voyage is aboard their spectacular vessel the Serenade of the Seas®. The epic journey spans seven continents and over 150 destinations in 65-plus countries. Famous bucket list excursions will include 11 great wonders of the world like Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal. It will also visit alluring exotic locations like Morocco, Shimizu, Japan, and Jordan’s lost city of Petra, and remote outposts like Qaqortoq, Greenland. It certainly will be the most comprehensive world cruise available, and 57 of the destinations are new to the Royal Caribbean line. Inaugural cruise departs from Miami, December 10, 2023. Visit: 

Susan Campbell is an award-winning travel writer originally from Ottawa, but now based in Montreal. Her work has appeared in hundreds of major print and web publications throughout North America. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @suectravel.