The Spectacular German Christmas Markets

There is nothing quite like it. The charm of the traditional German Christmas markets casts a magical and delightful spell on both tourists and locals alike.

Join Travac as we explore Christmas markets and festivities in both Germany and Austria. While these centuries old Christmas markets are held in many locales throughout both countries, Travac has selected the very best markets and towns to visit to make sure your experience is second to none. You’ll start in Vienna, a city that hosts five separate markets. You’ll then travel to Innsbruck, high in the Alps before heading to Nuremburg, the granddaddy of Christmas markets and one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Along the way you’ll also visit Munich, the Neuschwanstein Castle with its “Walt Disney” façade and Heidelberg, famous for its romantic medieval castle.

We look forward to having you join us for this special experience.

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart Ottawa on your overnight flights to Vienna.

Day 2

Vienna’s magnetic charm is found on every corner during its colourful Christmas season. On the drive to our hotel you will have a chance to acclimatize yourself to your new vibrant surroundings. You will be able to check your bags at the hotel and enjoy a bit of free time in the heart of Vienna, possibly stopping at one of its world-renowned coffee houses for a “sachertorte.” After check in (early afternoon), the balance of your day will be at your leisure. Your Travac Tours Director will be happy to make suggestions for dinner.

Vienna 3 nights.

Day 3

Your sightseeing of Vienna will begin with a guided tour of this great metropolitan centre led by a professional local guide. You will have a chance to see Hofburg Palace, the official residence of the President of Austria and a former home of the Hapsburg Dynasty. You will also see the famous Opera House, one of the most beautiful in the world, St Stephen’s Cathedral and Schonbrunn Palace, the summer home to the Hapsburgs. Your afternoon will again be free to discover some of the city’s incredible virtues. An optional concert will be available this evening. (B)

Day 4

From mid-November to Christmas, Vienna’s prettiest squares transform into magical Christmas markets. The aroma of Christmas bakery items and hot mulled wine creates a wonderful pre-Christmas atmosphere. It is a tradition that has been going on since 1294 and brings delight to the locals as well as attracting visitors from all over the world. This evening you will be off to the Vienna Woods for a special Viennese dinner. You will enjoy home-style cooking with top-rated Austrian wines in an idyllic ambiance. The estate of the restaurant, which dates back to the 12th century, will charm you with its cozy rooms, historic vaulted cellars and romantic garden. You’ll be entertained by wandering musicians passing from table to table during your dinner. (B, D)

Day 5

This morning you will depart Vienna and make your way south to the “post card” city of Innsbruck. Along the way, we’ll be stopping in Salzburg. Here you can truly experience romance in Mozart’s birthplace. Salzburg’s “Old Town” is internationally renowned for its baroque architecture and is one of the best-preserved city centres north of the Alps. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

Christmas is always in the air in Salzburg and you will enjoy shopping the many quaint shops that populate the old town. Its Christmas market is unique and centrally located. The town itself offers a great combination of food and shopping from traditional inns to centuries old family businesses all within easy walking distance of each other. You will then depart for Innsbruck where you will overnight. (B)

Innsbruck 2 nights.

Day 6

Innsbruck is in the centre of the Tyrolian Alps. In fact, the surrounding mountains provide exceptional vistas that really can’t be compared. Nowhere else are alpine experiences and urban joie de vivre so closely connected.

There is something special about a mountain view Christmas market. That’s why the Innsbruck Christmas markets are great spots from where to wrap your hands around a warm cup of glühwein (mulled wine) while keeping an eye on snow-covered Alpine peaks. The shops here will offer you a different experience than you have enjoyed so far and there will be an abundance of shops around the narrow streets that encompass the Christmas markets in this enchanting Austrian town. The Swarovski Christmas tree on the market square sparkles with more than 17,000 Swarovski crystals. (B)

Day 7

Our journey continues from Innsbruck to Munich in the heart of Bavaria. Along the way we will be stopping at the Neuschwanstein Castle. The Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited castles in all of Germany and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. This fairy tale castle was the model used by Walt Disney in fashioning Cinderella’s castle and is one of the icons that we associate with all Disney productions.Without doubt this will be one of the highlights of your Christmas experience. (B)

Munich 1 night.

Day 8

This morning we will make our way to Nuremberg. With over 400 years of tradition, the Nuremberg Christmas market is one of the most famous in all of Europe. There is an unforgettable atmosphere in the old town. Almost every building is decorated in its Christmas regalia and tempting aromas fill the streets and alley-ways.

Travac’s visit to Nuremberg goes beyond the markets. Nuremberg is distinguished by its medieval architecture, red-roofed buildings, its castle and of course its Nazi rally grounds and the site of the Nuremberg trials. (B)

Nuremberg 2 nights.

Day 9

Today we will be visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This well-preserved medieval town has become a destination for tourists from around the world. It is part of the romantic road through southern Germany. Beyond its Christmas markets is its wonderful Christmas museum.

Ultimately it is the small-town atmosphere that will become a cherished memory of your Christmas market experience.

Upon returning to Nuremberg you will have some free time to continue exploring this enchanting town. (B)

Day 10

After breakfast we will travel to Heidelberg. Heidelberg is a town on the Neckar River in southwestern Germany. This university town is easily among Germany’s most beautiful cities, but to see the picturesque old town and the castle illuminated by fairy lights during the Christmas season is the icing on the cake. Time permitting, we’ll also visit some of the surrounding villages that offer their best during the Christmas season. (B)

Heidelberg 2 nights.

Day 11

A visit to Heidelberg is not complete without a visit to Heidelberg Castle. Nestled in the hill 300 feet above the city sits this breath-taking castle. The castle itself, has a history almost as old as the city itself. Not only does the castle offer wonderful views of the city, its gardens that surround part of the castle were considered to be among the finest when they were first commissioned and still impress. It is also home to the largest wine keg in all of Europe (standing over two stories tall and holding 220,000 litres of wine). (B)

Day 12

This morning we will make our way to Frankfurt for our return flights to Ottawa. (B)

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Hotel Information


Vienna: Austria Classic

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Praterstraße 72
Wein, Austria

+43 1 211 30-0


Innsbruck: Hotel Grauer Bär

Hotel website

 


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Universitätsstraße 5-7, 6020
Innsbruck, Austria

+43 512 59240


Munich: Hampton by Hilton Munich City Centre West

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Landsberger Str. 114, 80339
Munich, Germany

+49 89 1598500


Nuremberg: IntercityHotel Nuremberg

Hotel website

 


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Eilgutstraße 8, 90443
Nuremberg, Germany

+49 911 24780


Heidelberg: Holiday Inn Express Heidelberg City Centre

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Kurfürsten-Anlage 23, 69115
Heidelberg, Germany

+49 6221 42840



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Malta- Winter 2020


A lovely year-round climate, 7000 years of history and a Mediterranean lifestyle that is second to none.

Malta is a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea with a rich history and a tranquil ambiance that summons tourists from around the world. While its population is just over 400,000 it is a deeply religious country that is 98% catholic and boasts 365 churches… one for every day of the year.

History lovers will be in their element in Malta, discovering man-made structures older than the Egyptian pyramids, some of which date back 7000 years.

Due to Malta’s geographical position it has been of great strategic significance over the centuries and is dotted with forts, defensive walls and towers, as well as an excellent National War Museum. The Royal Canadian Air Force played a significant role in Malta in World War II during the island’s darkest days.

Malta’s historic 17th century capital, Valletta, has over 300 monuments each with special significance.

Travac wants you to enjoy the balmy weather of Malta on our semi- inclusive holiday as you stay and relax on some of the island’s best beaches. You will be able to explore a whole host of natural and man-made sights, from the caverns of the Blue Grotto to 5,000-year-old underground necropolises and megalithic temple complexes. Shopping is excellent as are the choices of restaurants and pubs.

Your hotel during your stay is The Seashells Resort at Suncrest. This welcoming hotel on Malta’s north-east coast offers accommodation and features complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property.

Your included meals are served buffet-style where you can watch live action cooking. After dinner you might want to treat yourself to a drink at the beach bar.

The hotel itself features two outdoor pools as well as an indoor pool.

All rooms in the hotel are air-conditioned and feature a flat screened T.V., tea and coffee making facilities, as well as a small fridge. Sea view rooms are available at a supplement. Entertainment is available most evenings.

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

This afternoon you will board your connecting flight from Ottawa to Malta.

Day 2-14 (Feb 26-Mar 9) or Day 2-21 (Feb 18-Mar 8) or Day 2-22 (Mar 3-Mar 23) (depending on departure date)

This afternoon we will have an orientation meeting. Malta is very diverse. The history is still evident today and dates back as far as the Neolithic period. Many temples are scattered around the island and “Ggantija” is said to be one of the oldest surviving, free-standing monuments in the world, predating Stonehenge by around 1,000 years! Thanks to their strategic position in the Med, the Maltese islands have played a crucial role in the making of history too, including the wars between Rome and Carthage, the Second World War and the Cold War, but it was perhaps the period of the Crusades which left the biggest impression. When the Knights Hospitaller of St John were driven out of Rhodes and handed Malta by Charles V, they bequeathed palaces, forts, cathedrals, an abundance of art and, of course, the Maltese Cross.

Malta is also a very exciting destination. You can enjoy boat rentals and plenty of beach activities. If you’re a movie buff “The Da Vinci Code” and “Troy” with Brad Pitt along with many others were filmed here. You can take a full day tour of the sets for the series “Game of Thrones”.

Our local representative will be happy to give you even more options for visiting the island.

Day 15 (Mar 10) or Day 22 (Mar 9) or Day 23 (depending on departure date)

Begin your return to Canada

Your Travac Tours representative will go over details of your flight from Malta to Frankfurt.

Overnight stay in Frankfurt-area hotel *or similar*

Day 16 (Mar 11) or Day 23 (Mar 10) or Day 24 (depending on departure date)

Return to Canada from Frankfurt

Check out of *Frankfurt area* hotel. Transferred to Frankfurt airport for return flight home.

Your Travac Tours representative will go over the flight details for your connecting return flight to Ottawa.

 

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Hotel Information


AX Seashells Resort at Suncrest

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Dawret il-Qawra
St Paul's Bay SPB 1902, Malta,

+356 2157 7101



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Shaw Festival & Come From Away (September Departure)

 

Travac Tours is pleased to announce that it will be offering a special program to see “Come From Away” the award winning musical about Newfoundland’s generosity during the 9/11 crisis along with Lerner and Lowe’s “Brigadoon.”

“Come from Away” is a Canadian story that literally moved the world. It is opening to the biggest advance ticket sales in Canadian theatre history. In fact, most spring and summer dates are sold.

Kelly Nestruck of The Globe and Mail wrote of “Come From Away” that “the heartwarming musical lives up to the hype” and that “the accessible story, strong emotional core and gorgeous songwriting should not distract from how original and smart this gem of a musical is.” Robert Cushman of the National Post called the production “outstanding.” Liz Braun of the Toronto Sun gave the show a perfect 5-star review.

“Brigadoon” is a musical by Lerner and Lowe. Stumbling upon a magical village that appears out of the Scottish mist for one day every century, Tommy, a modern boy, meets Fiona, a girl from the past. Should he stay with her in Brigadoon, or return to the world he knows and never see her again? This feast of song and dance from Lerner and Loewe (the team behind My Fair Lady) has been entrancing audiences for more than seven decades.

Travac’s Shaw Festival and Come From Away holiday is affordably priced at only $679 per person based on double occupancy + plus HST of $88.27. Total cost per person with HST is $767.27.

Your holiday includes round trip transportation by deluxe chartered coach, 2 nights’ accommodation in St. Catharine’s at the Best Western, 2 breakfasts, 1 dinner, orchestra seating for both plays, and the services of a Travac Tours Director.

Early booking is essential.

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

This morning you depart Westgate Shopping Centre for Toronto. A rest stop will be made enroute. Expect to arrive in Toronto in time for lunch ($) before your matinee performance of “Come from Away”. After the play we will depart for your hotel in St. Catharine’s. This evening the bus will transfer us to Niagara Falls for our included dinner. After dinner we will return to the hotel. (D)

Day 2

After breakfast we will depart for Niagara Falls with free time for shopping and dinner. Your performance this evening will be the hit musical “Brigadoon”.

The coach will transfer us to the Shaw Festival theatre for this evenings show.

After the show the bus will return us to the hotel. (B)

Day 3

We depart in the morning for Ottawa. Expect to arrive in Ottawa in the late afternoon. (B)

**Itinerary and hotel are subject to change**

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Agawa Canyon and the Route of the “Group of Seven”

AN ARTISTIC TRIP ON THE RAILS THEY RODE

See what they saw and capture your own moment in Algoma.

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie

This morning you will depart for Sault Ste. Marie. You will arrive in time for dinner. There are several options for dinner close to the hotel.

Day 2

The Agawa Canyon Train and the “Group of Seven”

After breakfast we depart your hotel for the Algoma Central Railway Terminal where we board the train for the Agawa Canyon. Your lunch is included on board. Your rail trip takes you 114 miles north into the forests and hills of the Canadian Shield. Upon reaching the observation point you will have a chance to get off the train and enjoy the spectacular views. Along the way you will pass areas where the “Group of Seven” painted. Our local guide, a “Group of Seven” specialist, will be on board the train to enhance your experience. The train will have you back to Sault Ste. Marie in time for dinner.

Day 3

The Path of the “Group of Seven”

Our journey today covers some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of the Great Lakes. From secluded bays on the shoreline of Lake Superior to sandy beaches, campgrounds and ancient aboriginal paintings, the drive from Sault Ste. Marie north will follow the route that the Group of Seven followed in 1918. Several stops will be made where the Group of Seven stopped themselves and created some of the most iconic images in Canadian art. This may be the most picturesque of all driving tours in Ontario. Indeed, the scenery is nothing short of spectacular.

Day 4

Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury

Leaving Sault Ste. Marie, we head to Sudbury. One of the great attractions in Sudbury is the Big Nickel where a stop is included. We will also venture to Science North. Science North is an internationally renowned science centre offering hands on exhibits encouraging visitors to play and explore. It tells the story of northern Ontario like no other museum in its class. Your evening will be free. (B)

Day 5

Sudbury to Ottawa

Regrettably, you will begin your journey back to Ottawa today. Our route takes us into Huntsville for a brief stop. Expect to arrive in Ottawa in the late afternoon.

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Hotel Information



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Lavender Festival in Prince Edward County

Departing Ottawa early in the morning, we will drive directly to the Lavender Festival in Prince Edward County.

You will have 2 ½ hours at the Festival to enjoy the lavender fields, music and food ($). Learn about the process of essential oil making and sample delicacies in the tasting tent. There is a retail store to purchase all types of herbs and lavender products.

After the festival we will head to the quaint village of Wellington for your included lunch.

We will then depart Wellington for two delicious local wine tastings.

Approximate arrival time back into Ottawa is 6:00pm.

**Itinerary are Subject to Change**

South Africa – Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Madikwe Game Reserve

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart Ottawa by bus to Montreal to catch your flights to Cape Town. Times are subject to change.

Day 2

A warm welcome to Cape Town, South Africa!

We will be transferred directly to our hotel on arrival.

Overnight: Cape Cadogan Standard or Luxury Room: https://www.capecadogan.co.za/

Situated in the heart of the ”Capetonian’s” Cape Town, away from tourist congestion. There are a wide variety of boutiques, restaurants and bars in the neighbourhood. The hotel is in close proximity to Table Mountain (10 minutes), Clifton Beach (15 minutes) and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (10 minutes).  Free daily scheduled Waterfront transfers.

Day 3

Full day Table Mountain and City Tour – Cape Town

Today you will proceed to Table Mountain (weather permitting).

Often described as magical and mystical, Table Mountain is Cape Town’s most prominent feature and a world-famous landmark. This majestic mountain is visible from almost everywhere in Cape Town and is often used as a beacon by which to find direction. The mountain is sculpted from sandstone and rises 1086 metres at its highest point, Maclears Beacon, above the bay. Its flat summit measures nearly 3km and provides breathtaking views over the city and its beaches. The panorama stretches from Table Bay to False Bay and around the mountain to the Hout Bay Valley and Kommetjie. On a clear day one has a magnificent view across the Cape Flats to the Hottentots Holland Mountains.

Afterwards, travel to the Company Gardens and view the oldest museum in sub-Saharan Africa. The South African Museum (SAM) has been adding to their collections for nearly 200 years and was established in 1825.  Collections here range from fossils to insects and fish found as recently as a week ago; there are Stone Age tools, over 120 000 years old, side by side with displays of traditional clothes from the last century.

Continue to the Castle of Good Hope.  The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. Built between 1666 and 1679, this pentagonal fortification replaced a small clay and timber fort built by Commander Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 upon establishing a maritime replenishment station at the Cape of Good Hope for the Dutch East India Company, better known as the VOC (Verenigde Oos-Indische Compagnie). Included lunch will be at a local restaurant.

Overnight: Cape Cadogan Standard or Luxury Room (B, L)

Day 4

Full day Cape Point tour – Cape Town

This is an awe-inspiring tour to the towering headland known as Cape Point. Magnificent beaches, breathtaking views, and picturesque coastal villages are to be seen along the way.

Today you will view the exclusive suburbs of Sea Point, Clifton and Camps Bay before continuing via Llandudno to the fishing harbour of Hout Bay. If calm seas prevail, join a launch cruise to view the Duiker Island seals and cormorants at close quarters (Time and weather permitting – $ Own Account).

Then we’ll travel along the spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive to Kommetjie and enter the Cape Point Nature Reserve where you will be taken to the best vantage point to view what is erroneously said to be the meeting place of two mighty oceans.

After your lunch stop ($ Own account), we will follow the coastline along False Bay. We’ll return to Cape Town by way of Simon’s Town, where we visit the penguin colony at Boulders Beach (for own account), Fish Hoek fishing village and Muizenberg. Before our return, we’ll stop at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens for a short walking tour of the beautiful gardens. We return to Cape Town, passing the University of Cape Town, Rhodes Memorial and the Groote Schuur Hospital.

Overnight: Cape Cadogan Standard or Luxury Room (B)

Day 5

Full day Winelands – Cape Town

We will start our day by visiting Stellenbosch.  It is easy to understand why Simon van der Stel decided to settle a village amongst the mountains. The backdrop of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, the white gabled Cape Dutch homesteads and the oak lined streets and lanes all blend in to give this place a charm that will not be forgotten.

Proceed to Paarl where you will visit Anura at 10:00 for a cheese and wine tasting.

Finally, we make our way to Franschhoek with a photo stop at the Groot Drakenstein Prison where Nelson Mandela was released in Feb 1990. The village of Franschhoek nestled amongst the mountains, can easily be mistaken as being in Switzerland. After a short tour of the little town, there will be time for another wine tasting.

Overnight: Cape Cadogan Standard or Luxury Room (B)

Day 6

Free day in Cape Town

Today is a relaxing day, you might want to visit the V & A Waterfront with all its great restaurants and shops. There will be an optional visit to a beach today. If you’re interested your Travac Tours Director will advise you of the details.

Overnight: Cape Cadogan Standard or Luxury Room (B)

Day 7

Cape Town to Johannesburg

After breakfast we will depart the hotel to the airport. Our flight today will take us to Johannesburg, flight time is approximately 2 ½ hours. Once we arrive we will be transferred to our hotel for the day.

The rest of the day will be at leisure in Melrose. Experience a passionate sense of style and service at the Melrose Arch Hotel. Situated in the new Melrose Arch development in Northern Johannesburg, the Melrose Arch Hotel offers easy access from the airport to the best that Johannesburg has to offer, day or night. The world-renowned March Restaurant, legendary swimming pool, inviting library and modern, comfortably appointed rooms conspire to make your visit to the Melrose Arch Hotel unique and unforgettable.

Feel the pulse of urban Africa, set the course for your business, or just lay back in designer luxury – the choice is yours at The Melrose Arch Hotel where service excellence, absolute luxury and superb facilities are the order of the day.

Overnight: Melrose Arch Hotel (B) http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/jnbml-african-pride-melrose-arch-hotel/

Day 8

Full day Soweto and Apartheid Museum – Johannesburg neighbourhoods

You will be collected from your hotel after an early breakfast for your full day tour of the Soweto and Apartheid Museum.

Soweto is a sprawling township, or more accurately, a cluster of townships on the south-western flank of Johannesburg. Soweto was created in the 1930s, with Orlando the first township established. In the 1950s, more black people were relocated there from ‘black spots’ in the inner city – black neighbourhoods which the apartheid government had reserved for whites. With a population of over 2 million, the township is the biggest black urban settlement in Africa with a rich political history. Soweto was the centre of political campaigns aimed at the overthrow of the apartheid state. The 1976 student uprising started in Soweto and spread to the rest of the country. Many of the sights on this route therefore have political significance. From the footbridge of the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the largest on the continent, one can get a panoramic view of Soweto.

Visit the Hector Pieterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto, built in memory of the people who died that day, 16 June 1976. Nelson Mandela’s humble little house in Orlando West, Soweto, now called the Mandela Family Museum, is an interesting stopover for those keen to imbibe a slice of authentic history on the world’s most famous former prisoner. The museum, a house comprising four inter-leading rooms, contains a rather eclectic assortment of memorabilia, paintings and photographs of the Mandela family as well as a collection of doctorates bestowed on Nelson Mandela from universities and institutions around the world. You can also have a glimpse of the mansion belonging to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in an affluent part of Orlando West. Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s house and the Sisulu residences are in the same neighbourhood. The Apartheid Museum tells the story of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Whoever you are, you cannot but come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of this country, its darkest days and its brightest triumphs. The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. The racially prejudiced system that blighted much of its progress and the triumph of reason which crowned half a century of struggle. The Museum has been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, film-makers, historians and designers. An architectural consortium comprising several leading architectural firms, conceptualized the design of the museum on a seven-hectare site. The museum is a superb example of design, space and landscape offering the international community a unique South African experience.

Overnight: Melrose Arch Hotel Superior Pool Facing Rooms (B)

Day 9

Johannesburg to Madikwe – Madikwe Game Reserve

This morning you are transferred to Madikwe Safari Lodge. (Approximately 4,5 Hours)

Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West province, is one of South Africa’s largest Big Five game reserves and features a variety of lodges and camps, ranging from comfortable to luxurious. Set in a malaria-free area in the historic North West province, near the border with Botswana, the 76 000-hectare (187 800 acre) Madikwe Game Reserve supports a diverse combination of bushveld and the semi-arid Kalahari.

Madikwe is famed for Operation Phoenix, the world’s largest game translocation exercise. Established almost 20 years ago, the reserve successfully reintroduced more than 8 000 animals of 28 species, including lion, elephant and buffalo, as well as black and white rhino. This area is now home to the famous Big Five, as well as the endangered African wild dog and 350 bird species. Tonight, will embark on our first game drive!

Overnight 4 nights: Madikwe – Lelapa Lodge -ALL INCLUSIVE (Including: all meals, tea, coffee and mini bar in room, selected beverages alcoholic and non-alcoholic, two daily game drives (time and weather permitting). And a few surprises along the way! http://www.madikwesafarilodge.co.za/our-lodges/madikwe-lelapa-lodge/

Day 10-12

Madikwe Game Reserve Here is an example of the daily events at Madikwe (times are approximate and subject to change)

  • 05h00   Wake-up call
  • 05h30   Tea/Coffee and game drive departs
  • 09h00   Game drive returns, breakfast/brunch is served
  • At leisure          Bush walk or activities of personal preference
  • 16h00   High tea
  • 16h30   Game drive departs
  • 19h30   Game drive returns and dinner follows

Day 13

Madikwe to Johannesburg

Today we will enjoy our last morning game drive!

We will return to have breakfast and lunch at Madikwe Lelapa Lodge. We will have to vacate our rooms just before lunch. After lunch we will check out and head back by coach to Johannesburg to catch our overnight flight back to Montreal.

Day 14

Upon arrival in Montreal, a bus will transfer us back to Ottawa.  

 

Times on this itinerary are subject to change. You will be notified by Travac Tours staff or your Travac Tours Director.  

 

Electricity

  • The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ.
  • Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins. If an adaptor is called for, consider bringing one with you, although they can be purchased locally.
  • US-made appliances may need a transformer.
  • Most hotel rooms have 110-volt outlets for electric shavers and appliances.

 

Telecommunications

  • For outgoing international calls, dial 00 plus the country and area codes of the destination concerned. Refer to telephone directors for international dialing codes or obtain 24-hour assistance by calling 10903.
  • For incoming international calls, the code is +27 followed by the city code or cell phone code, dropping the first 0.
  • Some local city dialing codes: 011 – Johannesburg; 012 – Pretoria; 021 – Cape Town; 031 – Durban; 041 – Port Elizabeth.
  • 08 numbers are free to the caller; 0860 numbers are charged at local rates; 0861 numbers are charged at a flat rate.

 

Tipping

  • Tipping for your game reserves, local guides, and your local drivers are all included.
  • Tipping for your Travac Tours Director is not included. It is customary to tip your Travac Tours Director $5.00/day per person as a token of appreciation at the end of the tour. Gratuities are at your discretion and are always very much appreciated.
  • Tipping is widely practiced in South Africa. In restaurants and bars, 10% is the accepted tipping standard.

 

Visas:

  • Visit the South African Department of Home Affairs comprehensive website www.home-affairs.gov.za. This website details which nationals are exempt from visas, and which are obliged to make application.  Enquiries regarding South African visa info can also be obtained from South African missions in your country, or the nearest one to you. VISAS ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR CANADIAN CITIZENS TO ENTER INTO SOUTH AFRICA.

 

What to Wear:

  • We’re generally laid back in South Africa, so no need to haul out your best silks and diamonds when you head for our shores.  Here’s some clothing advice when in South Africa:
    • The fall/winter season is generally mild, comparing favourably with European summers. But we do get some days when temperatures sky-dive, especially in high-lying areas such as the Drakensberg, so be prepared with jerseys and jackets.  If you are going to the Cape, rain gear will be needed in this season.
    • Always bring a hat – the sun can be strong even in the winter months. Make sunglasses, a hat and sun block a firm part of your skincare kit.
    • Walking shoes are a good idea all year-round, with warm socks in the winter.
    • For game viewing, neutral-toned items are the best. Nothing too colourful.
    • For the evening, if you are dining at an upmarket restaurant or seeing a show, go the smart-casual route.

 

Customs:

  • South African Customs regulations afford visitors to the country the opportunity to bring in certain goods without incurring duties and value added tax (VAT).  These are limited in quantity and value. On arrival, you can take the green ‘nothing to declare’ channel if you stick to these allowances:
    • Personal effects
    • Other new or used goods not exceeding R3 000 (Additional goods, new or used, exceeding R12 000 will incur a duty charge of 20%)
    • Wine not exceeding 2 litres per person over the age of 18
    • Spirits and alcohol not exceeding l litre per person over the age of 18
    • Cigarettes not exceeding 200 and cigars not exceeding 20 per person over the age of 18
    • 250g cigarette tobacco or pipe tobacco per person over the age of 18
    • Perfumery not exceeding 50ml and toilet water not exceeding 250ml per person
  • But, if you have goods in excess of these allowances, take the red channel and declare your items, where you will be billed at the applicable rates by representatives of South African Customs. Note also, that if you are importing for business and commercial intent, you will also not qualify for these allowances, other than personal effects.
  • Customs in South Africa further stipulates that when you leave the country you are permitted to take up to R500 in South African Reserve Bank notes.  A 20% levy is charged on higher amounts.
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Cruise: Frontiers and Glaciers, Oceania Cruise Lines

Book with Travac Tours and choose one FREE “O’life Choice” amenity per stateroom at the time of booking:

  • FREE – 6 shore excursions (standard only; no OS categories)
  • FREE – Beverage Package (includes wine and beer with lunch and dinner only)
  • FREE – $600USD shipboard credit

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

*Flights from Ottawa to Vancouver flight schedule TBA*

Vancouver, British Columbia Canada (Embarkation at 1pm – Departs at 7pm)

By far the largest port on Regatta’s Alaska cruises, Vancouver offers every imaginable big-city attraction. Explore the Museum of Anthropology and the Vancouver Art Museum for culture. History flourishes in the Gastown district, which borders vibrant Chinatown. Or enjoy a break from the bustle in Stanley Park, one of North America’s largest urban parks.

Day 2

Cruising the Inside passage

At sea international waters. (B, L, D)

Day 3

Ketchikan, Alaska Arrive at 7am – Depart at 11pm

Totem poles are one of Ketchikan’s chief attractions, and the best places to view them are Saxman Village and Totem Bight State Park. Drop by the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center to learn about the local cultures and ecosystems. (B, L, D)

Day 4

Wrangell, Alaska Arrive at 8am – Depart at 5pm

Once a Tlingit Indian stronghold, then a Russian outpost, and finally an American settlement in 1867, Wrangell has endured dramatic change and honors it. See a preserved tribal house on Chief Shakes Island. Learn about the three gold rushes that transformed the area in the Wrangell Museum. Behold the ancient petroglyphs carved into the rocks on the nearby beaches. (B, L, D)

Day 5

Juneau, Alaska Arrives at 8am – Depart 11pm

For a state capital, Juneau maintains a surprising small-town charm, in part because it can only be reached by sea or air due to the surrounding wilderness. Collections from the indigenous people are displayed in the Alaska State Museum. Visit Mendenhall Glacier for outdoor adventure. (B, L, D)

Day 6

Skagway, Alaska Arrives at 7am -Departs at 11pm

Skagway’s spectacular natural setting encourages a walking tour of this well-preserved gold rush town. See the Moore House, built in 1897, a year before the gold rush, and the Gold Rush Cemetery, where famed Old West desperado Soapy Smith is buried. Visit the Trail of ’98 Museum for a more in-depth look at Skagway’s freewheeling history. Or take a ride on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad and see the trail the gold rushers etched into the high mountain pass. (B, L, D)

Day 7

Haines, Alaska Arrives at 8am- Departs at 8pm

Nestled along America’s longest fjord – the gorgeous Lynn Canal – Haines was first settled by Tlingit Indians. Totem poles are sprinkled about town, and fascinating artifacts from the Tlingits and the early pioneers are displayed in the Sheldon Museum. But nature is Haines’ chief draw. Brown bears, moose and bald eagles are plentiful. (B, L, D)

Day 8

Icy Strait Point (Hoonah) Alaska, Arrives at 8am – Departs at 7pm

Hoonah means “where the north wind doesn’t blow” in the language of the Tlingit Indians, who make up about 70% of the population of this village on the lee side of Chichagof Island. However, wildlife outnumbers everyone, so watch for bears, eagles and humpback whales, which migrate here in the summer. (B, L, D)

Day 9

Sitka Alaska, Arrives 7am – Departs at 5pm

Called “Shee Atika” by the Tlingit Indians, then “New Archangel” by the Russians who ousted them, Sitka boasts a multicultural heritage. Two dozen of its attractions are on the National Register of Historic Places, including Castle Hill and Building 29, a structure built by the Russians in 1835. The Sheldon Jackson Museum exhibits one of Alaska’s oldest native culture collections. (B, L, D)

Day 10, 11, 12

At Sea, International waters (B, L, D)

Day 13

Kodiak, Alaska Arrives at 7am – Departs at 6pm

The tiny village of Kodiak clings to the “Emerald Isle” of Kodiak, which is known for its breathtaking natural beauty. In summer the island is a mosaic of flora that includes wildflowers, moss-laden spruce, Pacific red elder, and blueberries, which the brown bears feast on. You may also spot puffins, red foxes and killer whales. (B, L, D)

Day 14

Homer, Alaska Arrives at 7am – Departs at 5pm

Founded by gold miners in 1896, Homer still attracts adventurous travelers who love the great outdoors. It’s particularly beautiful during the summer, when wildflowers are in bloom and the hills behind town are lush green. A great starting point is the Pratt Museum, featuring exhibits on native culture, history and fishing. (B, L, D)

Day 15

Seward, Alaska Disembarkation at 8am

While most cruise ships merely turn around here, Regatta actually calls on Seward, which is named for the U.S. Secretary of State who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. The Seward Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts. The Alaska SeaLife Center showcases the abundant marine life, and nearby Chugach National Forest is a natural paradise.

Shore excursions on the first and last day of a cruise are not available. (B)

Flights from Sward to Ottawa, flights-schedule TBA

 

** Please note that you are required to have a valid Canadian passport with you. Non-Canadians may require a visa. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have such a document if required. Any other nationality other than Canadian persons must identify themselves to the booking agent for verification of documents required. IF YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR DEPARTURE POINT WITHOUT PROPER ID YOU WILL BE DENIED BOARDING. **

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Cruise: Coastlines to Canals, Oceania Cruise Lines

Book with Travac Tours and choose one FREE “O’life Choice” amenity per stateroom at the time of booking:

  • FREE – 6 shore excursions (standard only; no OS categories)
  • FREE – Beverage Package (includes wine and beer with lunch and dinner only)
  • FREE – $600USD shipboard credit

 

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Transportation from Ottawa to Barcelona Spain.

Flight schedule TBA 75 days prior to sailing.

Day 2

Barcelona, Spain (Embarkation at 1pm – Departs at 6pm)

Visit the magnificent Gothic cathedral and the amazing La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece. Enjoy the lovely Montjuic Gardens, Gaudí’s other fabulous structures, the charming squares of the old Gothic Quarter and the Ramblas, Barcelona’s famed downtown promenade. Or visit beautiful Montserrat and its monastery in a breathtaking setting high in the mountains. (D)

Shore excursions on the first and last day of a cruise are only available for guests who are combining back-to-back voyages to create a longer cruise. Those guests may organize custom tours through the Destination Services Desk on board.

Day 3

Monte claro, Monaco, Arrive at 12pm – Depart at 10pm

Drive along the famous Grand Corniche with its stunning views of Monaco and the Old City; then stroll through this marvelous quarter and its pink Grimaldi Palace. And don’t forget the Casino. Explore the wonderful old villages along the Côte d’Azur from Nice to medieval Eze or Cannes, Grasse and lovely St. Paul de Vence – each one a jewel to be savored. (B, L, D)

Day 4

Florence/Pisa/Tuscany (Livorno) Italy, Arrive at 8am – Depart at 8pm

Spend a glorious day amidst the fabled architecture of this Renaissance city. See the Duomo with Brunelleschi’s dome, the famous baptistry, Michelangelo’s magnificent David, the bridge over the Arno and the astonishing Uffizi Gallery. Visit Pisa’s superb Campo dei Miracoli and its beautiful cathedral and famed campanile. Or enjoy the Tuscan countryside, Siena and San Gimignano, renowned for its medieval towers.

Shopping: Find leather goods, lingerie, gold jewelry, Florentine mosaic, lace, marbled paper items, antiques and fine art.

Dining: Savor the prosciutto, pecorino cheese and infinite variety of breads, cakes and salamis. (B, L, D)

Day 5

Rome (Civitavecchia) Italy, Arrive at 8am – Depart at 8pm

Travel to Rome and revel in the magnificent monuments, from the ancient Roman Forum and Coliseum to the splendor of St. Peter’s Basilica with Michelangelo’s Pietà and his breathtaking frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Or enjoy a drive through the lush farmlands of the Roman countryside to lovely medieval Castelgandolfo. (B, L, D)

Day 6

Naples/Pompeii, Italy, Arrives at 8am – Depart 6pm

Spend a day exploring the fabulous ruins of ancient Pompeii or Herculaneum with their stunning temples, frescoes and mosaics. Explore fascinating Naples and its famed museums, visit charming Sorrento or take a boat trip to the beautiful Isle of Capri. (B, L, D)

Day 7

At sea international waters (B, L, D)

Day 8

Kotor, Montenegro, Arrives at 8am- Departs at 4pm

Kotor is a beautiful walled medieval city of twisting, pink-paved streets, markets and architecture reflecting Byzantine to Venetian influences. Stroll through the compact old town, admire the impressive walls and tour the imposing St. Tryphon Cathedral, consecrated in 1166. (B, L, D)

Day 9

Zadar, Croatia, Arrives at 10am – Departs at 7pm

A hidden gem of the Adriatic, Zadar offers beautiful beaches, charming promenades, preserved ancient architecture and fascinating historical monuments. Roman aqueducts, forums and temples surround the old town, which features medieval churches and monasteries. The archaeological museum offers more than 80,000 exhibits from the Stone Age to the late Middle Ages, and it is one of the most important museums in Croatia. Stroll along the paved waterfront and enjoy stunning views of the Adriatic Sea or lounge in one of the many cafés. (B, L, D)

Day 10

Koper, Solvenia, Arrives 8am – Departs at 11pm

Originally built on an island surrounded by swampland that was later drained, Koper was known as “Goat’s Island” when it was under Venetian rule. Today the once fortified Old Town of Venetian-influenced Koper has retained much of its grand architecture from the 15th to 18th centuries. The Praetor’s Palace, a blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles, proudly rises above the gray limestone main square. Nearby the Postojna Caves are the most popular underground attraction in Europe, and the Predjama Castle was carved out of a limestone cliff. (B, L, D)

Day 11

Venice, Italy, Arrives at 8am

Savor the majestic beauty of this amazing city as you glide along its canals and under its bridges, opulent palazzi and elegant churches lining the route. Discover Venice’s secret quarters down narrow alleys opening into spacious campos. Admire the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. Visit lovely Burano and the glass factories on Murano. Or enjoy the scenic countryside with its stunning Palladian villas. (B, L, D)

Day 12

Venice, Italy Disembarkation at 8am

Shore excursions on the first and last day of a cruise are only available for guests who are combining back-to-back voyages to create a longer cruise. Those guests may organize custom tours through the Destination Services Desk on board. (B)

Flight itinerary TBA  

 

** Please note that you are required to have a valid Canadian passport with you. Non-Canadians may require a visa. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have such a document if required. Any other nationality other than Canadian persons must identify themselves to the booking agent for verification of documents required. IF YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR DEPARTURE POINT WITHOUT PROPER ID YOU WILL BE DENIED BOARDING. **

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New Orleans and the Songs of the South – November 2019

New Orleans is a multicultural, dynamic city with a special Creole energy that flows through its streets, clubs and restaurants. The city was first settled by the French in 1718 and highly influenced by the Spanish who also occupied it for several years. Today “The French Quarter” with its distinctive architecture and multicoloured buildings is an icon of the south. Bourbon Street and the city’s Mardi Gras are visited by millions of enthusiastic tourists every year. Whether you are walking along its enchanted streets, strolling “The Riverwalk” on the Mississippi River, or riding the St. Charles streetcar through the Garden District, the city’s charm is inescapable.

Many people come to the “Big Easy” for its food – a colourful and tasty mix of Cajun and Creole traditions that can be easily found in many of the city’s fine restaurants and inexpensive sidewalk cafes. Many more come for its Jazz. It is of course the birthplace of Jazz heard throughout the French Quarter and Bourbon Street both day and night. The history and friendly charm of its people add to the universal appeal of this great city.

Travac’s tour to New Orleans includes much more than just New Orleans. You’ll stay at the Drury Inn & Suites Hotel in the heart of the Arts District, convenient to the French Quarter. You will visit one of the stately plantation homes that drove the economy of this state in the 19th century. After lunch you’ll visit Bayou Country and enjoy a pontoon swamp tour. Travac’s adventure to New Orleans is exceptionally well priced and will sell out fast. Join us as we explore the colour and charm of this vibrant city.

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Today you meet your Travac Tour Director at the Ottawa International Airport for your flights to New Orleans. Upon your arrival in New Orleans you will be transferred to your hotel. The balance of your day will be free.

Day 2

Depart hotel for your included bus tour of New Orleans which will take you from Canal Street to the French Quarter. You will also visit “Riverwalk” and the Garden District, Jackson Square, where the Louisiana Purchase was signed and “Faubourg Treme,” the oldest black neighbourhood in America. You’ll also see where Jean Lafitte, the pirate, lived and carried out many of his illicit activities. You may want to consider a stroll along Riverwalk to visit and shop in its many unique shops and sidewalk cafes. The balance of your day will be free.

Day 3

Explore and shop the streets of New Orleans on your own today.  Your hotel concierge will be happy to offer suggestions or make dinner reservations for you.

Day 4

This morning we will leave New Orleans for a drive to Bayou country.  Many Acadians made their way to Louisiana and settled into the various Bayous throughout the state.  Here they lived freely practicing their own customs and beliefs.  We will visit one of the stately Plantations that drove the economy of this state in the 19th century. After lunch you’ll enjoy your swamp tour of these beautiful wetlands.

Day 5

Today is a free day to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of this great city!  Music is never far from the streets of New Orleans.  You may wish to explore some of the musical heritage of the “Big Easy” today.  You can also relax in one of its many sidewalk cafes or restaurants and enjoy some of its Creole cuisine.  New Orleans also offers excellent shopping.  If gaming excites you, Harrah’s operates one of the largest casinos in the south right in the heart of New Orleans.

Day 6

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your return flights back to Ottawa.

 

Itinerary Subject to Change

Tipping is included for the bus driver and luggage handling at the hotel. Most bus tours often recommend that each person tip their Travac Tour Director $5 per person per day, and $3 per person for each guided tour. While we at Travac do not stress a tipping policy, any gratuities provided are greatly appreciated.

 

Duty Free

Allowance for duty free coming back into Canada is $800 CAD per person. This allowance includes your duty-free purchases. Persons must be 19 years or older to purchase alcohol.

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Hotel Information


Drury Inn & Suites New Orleans

Hotel Website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
820 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA
70112
504-529-7800



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Halifax – Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo

Travac Tours would like to invite you to join us as we travel to Halifax for the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo

The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is a show inspired by Military Tattoos given by military bands and display teams.

The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is unique among other Tattoos in the world in that it is more theatrical in nature with a mixture of both military and civilian performers.

It takes place in the Halifax Metro Centre’s hockey arena, a venue that, to some degree, resembles a traditional theatre in the round. The show is heavily costumed and intensively rehearsed with technical staff, choreographers, assistant directors, wardrobe staff and designers as part of the production team, which also sets it apart from traditional Tattoos.

This spectacle is one of the highlights of a Nova Scotia summer.

Travac’s visit to the Tattoo includes round trip airfare from Ottawa to Halifax, 4 nights’ accommodation at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront, a tour of Halifax including visits to Lunenburg, Chester and Peggy’s Cove, Reserved seating at the Royal International Tattoo, free time in Halifax and the services of a Travac Tours Director.

Space is limed to 15 couples.

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

This morning you will depart for Halifax.  Upon your arrival in Halifax you will be transferred to your hotel. The balance of your day will be free to explore Halifax on your own.  From your hotel it is an easy walk to some of the fine restaurants and shops that are in the area.

Day 2

Today is your day to enjoy The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Over the years, the show has been seen by well over 2,000,000 spectators and has hosted tens of thousands of performers from 21 countries. In terms of annual economic impact, it generates tens of millions for the province of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality. Indeed, it will be a most enjoyable day.

Day 3

Your day will begin with a professionally guided tour of Halifax.  Attractions in Halifax are plentiful! From iconic lighthouses to urban gardens, stunning galleries and museums and a waterfront science centre.

Continuing the tour, you’ll move on to Chester, Lunenburg and finally Peggy’s Cove.  The village of Chester, situated on a peninsula halfway along the coast of Mahone Bay, is one of the most picturesque communities anywhere in the Maritimes. 

Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site – with its narrow streets and unique architecture – is also the home port of Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, the Bluenose II. This graceful ship is a replica of the original fishing boat.

Your final stop, before heading back to Halifax, will be Peggy’s Cove. Famous for its lighthouse, Peggy’s Cove is one of the most iconic images in Eastern Canada.

Day 4

Your day is completely free to wander among the many sites that attract people to Halifax.  Your tour director will have plenty of ideas on how to spend your day.

Day 5

After a most enjoyable experience in Halifax, you’ll make your way back to Ottawa.  Your tour director will advise you on your departure time from the hotel.

Itinerary Subject to Change

Tipping is included for luggage handling. Most bus tours often recommend that each person tip their Travac Tour Director $5 per person per day, coach driver $3 per person per day and the local guides $3 for half-day tours. While we at Travac do not stress a tipping policy, any gratuities provided are greatly appreciated.

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Hotel Information


Halifax Marriott Harbourfront-or similar



Hotel Address
1919 Upper Water St
Halifax, NS
B3J 3J5
(902) 421-1700



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