Where should families head to in Canada? Natalie Marsh finds out.
1. City and countryside
A family is looking for a Canadian holiday where they can stay in a city but also explore the rural surroundings. They would like the holiday to have something for everyone, with a variety of activities and some time to relax.
Stuart Rogers, product and commercial manager, Canadian Affair.
“We would recommend Toronto and turn that into not just a city break but also seeing the sights in Niagara as well. Then it’s just under a three-hour road trip to the Blue Mountains, which is a resort tailor-made for families.
Toronto is fantastic. You’ve got the shopping, an array of restaurants, and different food styles in downtown Toronto. And there’s a lot to see and do in terms of sightseeing. With Niagara-on-the-Lake, the more you get to see, the more you enjoy it. It’s a really pretty town that has an old-time feel to it.
The family will have a car so they can go there themselves before they road trip out to the Blue Mountains. They’ll go through southern Ontario landscape, which is absolutely beautiful.
Then they have the opportunity to relax as well as get involved in adventure. There are activities, you can lie by the pool, you can go and trek and enjoy nature.
For agents looking to sell this product, I think this is a family holiday that encompasses everyone. They’re going to have quite a short driving experience, but they get to see the Ontario wilderness. With this holiday, the family doesn’t have to go and spend time looking at what they should do once they’re out there. This holiday takes care of it.”
Book it: Canadian Affair offers a 10-day Ontario Adrenaline Holiday from £955 per person, based on two adults and two children. The price includes return flights from Gatwick, departing on April 8, 2020, nine nights’ accommodation, seven days’ car hire, transfers and selected activities.
Two adults and three children are seeking a once-in-a-lifetime trip, with plenty of adventure. They want to stop by a few different locations but have enough time in each to enjoy what they have to offer. They also want to spot some wildlife along the way.
Denise Hunn, director of Canada tour operations, Prestige Holidays.
“The areas we’ve picked in the west of Canada have so much to see and do. Whistler is an outdoor lovers’ paradise. Here they can do the Peak 2 Peak gondola, they can mountain bike, they can even try out some of the Winter Olympic activities in the summer. It’s very comfortable and very safe for a family. We’ve made sure all the accommodation is in two-bedroom suites, so the family is together.
Moving on to the Rockies, it’s all about the scenery. We’ve put in a couple of wildlife viewing activities, there’s canoeing, there’s hiking, there are gondolas – a real mix of outdoor pursuits suitable for the whole family. The bear-viewing excursion is a highlight for families because Canada offers some of the best bear-viewing opportunities in the world. By doing an organised excursion you know they’re going to take you to where the bears are. Summer would be a lovely time of year for a family to be there, with long nights as well because the sun doesn’t set until after 10pm.
Agents need to understand just what is available for the family and that it’s perfectly put together for a family market. We always recommend take as much time as you can in Canada to make the most of that airfare.”
Book it: Prestige Holidays has a self-drive holiday for a family of five, including stops in Whistler, Kamloops, Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff, for a total of £16,021 based on a July 23, 2020, departure. The price includes Air Canada flights from Heathrow to Vancouver and returning from Calgary, accommodation and car hire.
3. Ski resort
A family is looking to spend the school holidays at a ski resort, with slopes suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers, and other activities for all ages. They are also looking for some quality, family-friendly accommodation in a convenient location.
Harvey Gähl, head of purchasing, Inghams.
“Whistler, which is consistently voted the number-one ski resort in North America, is ideal for a family break. There’s plenty of good skiing – there are just over 8,000 ski-able acres. One of the best things about Whistler is that no matter what chairlift you go on, beginners can still enjoy the higher alpine areas. The younger kids have the Tree Fort on Whistler and the Magic Castle on Blackcomb, which are outdoor adventure play lands that children can access either on their own or with the ski instructor. Instruction is excellent and you can have whole family instruction.
The accommodation, Blackcomb Spring Suites, sleeps up to six, either in a one or two-bedroom. They’ve got all the mod cons in open-plan kitchens, they’ve got fireplaces –everything you need really – and breakfast is included. There’s a complimentary shuttle that runs to and from the hotel into the resort centre on a regular basis so they can easily get into the village. They’ve got amazing things to do outside where they’re staying in the hotel, from ziplining to snowmobiling, dog sledding and snowshoeing. There’s an outdoor skating rink in the centre of the village.
For agents selling this holiday, I’d recommend booking early because you get better offers. We do a lot of flying with Air Canada and the great offer there is that they don’t charge you for taking your own skis.”
Book it: For 10 nights in Whistler, Inghams offers a stay at the four-star Blackcomb Spring Suites, on a bed-and-breakfast basis, from £1,365 per person, based on two adults and two children sharing a suite. The price includes flights from Heathrow to Vancouver and airport transfers, departing on April 8, 2020.
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