After nearly a year and a half, Canada has begun the process of reopening its borders to tourists. With fully vaccinated Americans allowed to visit as of August 9th, it’s safe to say our northern neighbor is about to get a whole lot of attention. From cosmopolitan cities to pristine, untouched wilderness, there is a lot to love.Here’s our guide to the best things to do and places to stay. Let’s break it down, season by season.
Fall in Canada is a time of changing foliage and crisper temperatures. It’s also the perfect time to hop aboard one of Rocky Mountaineer’s luxury trains for their "Journey into the Clouds" experience. Starting in Vancouver and ending in Jasper, highlights of the two-day journey (which is of course, customizable) include cruising along the mighty Fraser River, taking in views of the stunning Pyramid Falls, and even catching a glimpse of Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.
End your journey at the Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge. Inspired by safari-style glamping, you’ll stay in a luxury camp, completely free to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Canadian wilderness.
Left: Lake Louise Ski Resort | Right: Post Hotel and Spa
The seemingly obvious answer to a winter vacation in Canada is skiing. While many Americans will gravitate towards large resorts like Whistler, checking out a less-trafficked area like Lake Louise Ski Resort is ideal for anyone still easing back into the travel experience.
Spectacular scenery awaits at Lake Louise with uniquely beautiful terrain that is both vast and varied. Located in the heart of majestic, historic Banff National Park, Lake Louise is truly legendary and offers the world's finest terrain. With 4200 skiable acres, Lake Louise is one of the largest ski areas in North America.
Left: Basilique Notre-Dame | Right: Montreal Botanical Garden
While Canada is known for its outdoor activities, visitors can’t forget its cities. The largest city in the Québec province, Montreal is a perfect late spring destination for its mild weather. Spend an afternoon wandering the streets of Old Montreal and its 18th-century buildings. The Basilique Notre-Dame, the Hôtel de Ville, and the Old Port are all notable sites. The Montreal Botanical Garden is also at its peak this time of year—with ten greenhouses, each tailored to a specific theme.
Left: Toronto Skyline | Right: Toronto Islands
Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is best visited in late summer (around September) when the sudden rains and humid temperatures begin to settle. A fantastic family-friendly destination, it’s easy to keep the kids entertained with visits to the Toronto Zoo and Toronto Islands—which are home to an amusement park and plenty of outdoor recreation facilities.
No matter what season you choose to visit Canada, there truly is something for every kind of traveler.
Sustainable hotels are at the forefront of environmentally friendly practices within the travel industry. Below is a shortlist of hotels showcasing the efforts of many. These properties are lean, green, luxury machines!
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Inkaterra Hotels Collection - First founded in 1975, this collection of seven stunning hotels in the Amazon and Andes Mountains was the first Peruvian business to be certified carbon-neutral. Founder Jose Koechlin explained that his company’s greatest asset to staying green is the natural environment surrounding each property. Each hotel also boasts one facility onsite dedicated to conservation and biology. Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica has a butterfly house, while Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo has a rescue center for South America’s only native bear species.
Turtle Bay Resort
Turtle Bay Resort - A mainstay of Oahu’s North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort has been devoted to sustainability for over a decade after establishing a Green Committee in 2009 to reduce the property’s carbon footprint. Their efforts are widespread, from installing a solar roof to partnering with the surrounding community to source fresh produce. After a year-long closure, Turtle Bay reopened this July after a series of significant upgrades. Guests can enjoy a new lobby, adult-only pool, and ocean bungalows with an exclusive concierge service.
Forestis Dolomites - A Small Luxury Hotels of the World designated property, Forestis Dolomites effortlessly blends contemporary design with the property’s natural surroundings. Locally owned and designed, the hotel runs entirely on renewable energy. In addition, each of the 62 guest rooms is equipped with biodegradable amenities. Visitors can rest easy knowing that luxury doesn’t come at the cost of the environment.
Interested in finding out more about these properties or looking for a sustainable brand in a destination you love?
Adventurous travelers can finally check some of the boxes on their bucket lists with this hot new trend. Expedition-style cruising is the best way to get up close and personal with some of the wildest places on earth without sacrificing any of the luxury boutique cruises are known for.
A pioneer of eco-tourism for the past 50 years, Lindblad Expeditions is an industry-standard for expedition travel. Founder Lars-Eric Lindblad brought the first group of non-scientific travelers to Antarctica. Since then, their expanding fleet has brought guests to experience the wilds of the Galápagos, Alaska, Costa Rica, Panama, and much more. A 100% carbon-neutral operation, Lindblad hopes to inspire travelers to explore and protect the planet.
Silversea Cruises is known for curating adventures for the curious traveler. With Silversea Expeditions, guests are whisked off to some of the most remote corners of the world, like the Russian Far East, all without sacrificing their high standard of luxury. By day, you’ll kayak along the coast with one of the onboard experts. By night, guests can enjoy lectures alongside gourmet cuisine and unwind in your expansive suite.
Founded 35 years ago, Seabourn is a mainstay of luxury cruising experiences. However, there’s exciting news on the horizon. This brand will be launching expedition-style cruises this December on the Seabourn Venture. This ship can go where few others can—the Arctic, the Amazon, and Antarctica with state-of-the-art advanced maneuvering technology. With an onboard Expedition Team of historians, scientists and naturalists, guests will leave not only with unforgettable memories but a wealth of knowledge.
With so many incredible experiences to choose from, knowing where to start can seem daunting. That’s where we come in—to help you select the cruise line and destination that fits with your style of travel.
If you didn’t spend your time in lockdown flipping through the pages of your passport, gazing at those international entry stamps simply to relive trips overseas, then it’s time to make sure your ticket to ride is still valid.
Whether frequent flyers let their documents expire during the pandemic or some other circumstance required applying for a new or replacement passport, the State Department is currently projecting an 18-week delay as it faces a backlog of applications, according to an article by AARP. Even those who pay for expedited service face a wait of up to 12 weeks.
If planning more immediate travel, CIBTvisas is an excellent resource to get your documents processed more quickly. Regular turnaround can be as little as six to eight weeks, while expedited service can get you a new passport in as little as five days as long as you have proof of a booking.
Whatever your circumstances, having us on your side is the key to stress-free vacation planning. Have additional questions about the passport renewal process?
Departure Lounge is proud to announce a new partnership with the Parking Spot. Your Departure Lounge advisor can prebook your parking at a special 10% discount off retail rates. Be sure to ask your advisor about the Parking Spot while planning your next vacation; you can even have your vehicle detailed while you travel.
Preferred Partners Offers
Here are a few of the current promotions available to Departure Lounge clients:
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort Maui, Hawaii • Book now to receive every consecutive 6th night free on stays from January 3 - December 20, 2021
• $100 Resort credit in Awili Spa & Salon
• Early check-in, late checkout, and upgrade based on availability.
Conrad Punta De Mita Riviera Nayarit, Mexico • Stay 7 nights with discounted rate
• Roundtrip transportation
• $200usd food and beverages credit
Farmhouse Inn Sonoma, California • Exclusive California resident rate • $50 dining credit to FARMSTAND
Hotel Jerome Aspen, Colorado • Receive a $100 nightly resort credit when you book an Executive Suite or One Bedroom Suite to enjoy your choice of iconic dining, relaxing spa treatments, or signature cocktails.
La Cantera Resort & Spa San Antonio, Texas • Resort Accommodations
• One Round of Golf at the Palmer or Resort Course per Registered Adult per Night
• Signature La Cantera Golf Cap (1 per adult) Provided at Golf Check-In • Daily breakfast for two (up to $30 value per adult)
Madeline Hotel & Residences Telluride, Colorado • 4th night free
• For stays beginning May 26, 2021
• Blackout dates may apply and are subject to change
Nizuc Resort & Spa Cancun, Mexico • Includes a daily breakfast at our restaurant for up to two people per room
• Valid only during breakfast hours 7am-12pm
• Travel through December 19, 2021. Some restrictions may apply.
One&Only Cape Town Cape Town, South Africa • Exclusive accommodation rates
• 25% off food and beverage
• 10% off laundry services
• Complimentary 60min massage per person at the One&Only Spa every week
• Round airport transfers
One&Only Mandarina Riviera Nayarit, Mexico • Book 3 nights in one of our eco-designer Treehouses, Cliff Villas, and Villa Banderas, and stay the 4th night on us, with delicious daily breakfasts.
• For stays in the Ridge Treehouse, Ocean Treehouse, Cliff Villa, Ocean Cliff Villa, or Villa Banderas the offer includes:
• One complimentary night with our Stay 4, Pay 3 offer
• Complimentary Full American Breakfast, daily for two
• Minimum 4 nights
One&Only Palmilla Cabo San Lucas, Mexico • Stay 21 nights
• Exclusive accommodation rates
• $500 weekly resort credit to be enjoyed at any of our F&B, Spa and Retail outlets
Royal Palms Resort & Spa Phoenix, Arizona • Stay 3 or more nights and save 15% off.
The Lodge at Blue Sky Park City, Utah • Receive a $100 per night resort credit to apply to an adventure, wellness or culinary experience
• Minimum 4-night stay
• May 1 - October 31, 2021
The Palms, Turks and Caicos Turks and Caicos Islands • Up to 40% off • This offer applies to all suite and penthouse categories. • Book now for stays until December 19, 2021. • Certain Restrictions apply.
The Shore Club at Turks & Caicos Turks and Caicos Islands • Save 25% on 4-, 5- and 6-bedroom oceanfront villas through December 21, 2021. • by June 30, 2021.
Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve Raton, New Mexico • Vermejo's 4 Peaks in 5 Days Tour
• July 10, 2021 - July 16, 2021
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Cabo San Lucas, Mexico • Stay 3 nights and enjoy a complimentary fourth night • Full breakfast for two each morning in our signature restaurant Don Manuel's, two breakfasts per bedroom • Round trip airport transfers to and from San Jose del Cabo Airport (SJD), including a personal greeting by our airport host and escort to your private car (1 Luxury Vehicle for up to 5 people)
Hotel Esencia Tulum, Mexico
• 4 Nights length of stay: 15% off room rates
• 5 Nights length of stay: 20% off room rates
• 7 Nights length of stay: 22% off room rates
• 9 Nights length of stay: 25% off room rates
Contact your Departure Lounge Travel Advisor now to explore the best offers.