Cloud 9 | Travel Brochure | February 2014


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We look into a handful of destinations such as Scandinavia, Antarctica, New Zealand, Canada, Alaska and many more in this most recent 'Cloud 9' travel brochure.

Fancy seeing the Northern Lights? How about a wilderness trip in Alaska? We've got everything you need to know here.

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Cloud 9 | Travel Brochure | February 2014

  1. 1. 1 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 cloudInspiration for unforgettable holidays | Feb 2014 ICELAND • POLAR • AUSTRALIA • SWEDEN • NEW ZEALAND • CANADA • FINLAND • ALASKA • NORWAY 9win! a £500 voucher towards your next holiday with Discover the World. Click here to enter
  2. 2. 2 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 INSIDE 3ANTARCTICA New ScotiaArc cruise 4SCANDINAVIA The joys of summer 6NEW ZEALAND With Olly Smith 8NORTHERN LIGHTS Spring Equinox trips 12ICELAND Introducing our brand new iDiscover self- drive touring concept 16CANADA & ALASKA Explore the wild wonders of America’s big country 18ALASKA WILDERNESS Bear watching in Denali 22CALENDAR Plan your 2014 holidays with our month- by-month planner N ow is the time to start planning your summer holiday for 2014. In this issue of Cloud 9, we’ve got exciting and inspiring new ideas guaranteed to banish those winter blues. Scandinavia, for example, makes an excellent summer destination, whether you’re searching for the midnight sun or embarking on a scenic rail journey. In Iceland, we’re launching our new and exclusive iDiscover programme this summer, making your self-drive holidays even more memorable. Canada and Alaska also make fine choices and can easily be combined with Iceland for the ultimate summer adventure. Our calendar on page 22 has even more ideas. Happy travels! William Gray, Editor COVERandTHISPAGE:RAGNARTHSIGURDSSON Cloud 9 is interactive! Click the green links to explore... win! a £500 voucher towards your next holiday with Discover the World. Click here to enter summer highs
  3. 3. Click here to find out more about this tour 8 3Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ A brand new 24-night Antarctic voyage from Discover the World explores the spectacular islands of the Scotia Arc fitting tribute to this year’s centenary of Shackleton’s voyage aboard the Endurance, Discover the World has added an 11th itinerary to its line-up of Antarctic voyages. The 24-night Scotia Arc – Island Explorer Cruise departs on 15 December 2014 and treats passengers to a spectacular succession of remote island outposts, from the Falklands and South Georgia to the South Sandwich, South Orkney and South Shetland Islands – many of which featured in Shackleton’s epic journey. The Antarctic Peninsula is also included, so no shortage of amazing wildlife and scenery. sail south ANTARCTICA WINDOW SEAT Hollywood finds inspiration in Iceland Ben Stiller’s recent movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty tells the story of day-dreamer Mitty escaping his humdrum New York office life for adventure, romance and heroism. Seven Icelandic locations star in the movie. Mitty is seen skateboarding towards Seydisfjordur in the Eastfjords, while the Snaefellsnes and Reykjanes Peninsulas also hit the big screen. Burial Rites Set against the stark landscape of rural Iceland, Burial Rites tells the chilling tale of convicted murderess, Agnes Magnusdottir in a story of hidden truths, hardship and moral dilemmas. Buy your copy in Waterstones now. Club members have a chance to win a trip to Iceland!
  4. 4. 4 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 Norway, Sweden and Finland make superb summer holiday destinations – and now we have a new brochure aimed at helping you get the most from sunny Scandinavia t’s warm, the sun can shine 24 hours a day, the scenery is breathtaking and there’s a wealth of things to do – from self-drive tours and wildlife safaris to city breaks and independent odysseys by ferry, train and bus. Small wonder that Scandinavia is becoming such a popular summer destination. Discover the World’s new Scandinavia Summer brochure is packed with holiday inspiration – including the four trips opposite. LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN SCANDINAVIA ABOVE Night light – witnessing the midnight sun from North Cape at the tip of Norway is just one of the rewarding experiences of a summer trip to Scandinavia
  5. 5. Click here for our full list of talks & events 1In Pursuit of the Midnight Sun From mid-May to the end of July the Nordic sun barely sets – a golden backdrop to this seven-night trip, starting in Tromsø (pictured) and cruising north by Hurtigruten ferry towards Kongsfjord and North Cape. MAINPHOTO:AndersPeter;1:Destination Tromso,2:RAUMARAILWAY;3:ANDREWSHEARER 2Rail Explorer Train travel is one of the most relaxing ways to enjoy Norway’s breathtaking scenery – and this rail journey ranks as one of the world’s finest. The six-night trip takes you south from Andalsnes on the famous Rauma Railway, and then on to Lillehammer and Oslo. 3Capitals of Scandinavia Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen – see all four urban beauties. 4Island Escapades Sweden’s Koster Islands are an idyllic spot for hiking, boat trips or simply relaxing. 8 5Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ WINDOW SEAT Four of our new Scandinavia Summer holidays Order your new Scandinavia Summer brochure
  6. 6. We sent wine expert, columnist and presenter Olly Smith to the Bay of Islands to sample one of our five-night ‘Travel Less, See More’ itineraries was up early to take a trip to see the dolphins. If the conditions are right you can get in the water and swim with them, but on this trip we were lucky enough to see a baby dolphin, which precluded taking a dip. I will treasure the memory of just seeing so many of them jumping, diving and splashing off the gloriously green coastline though. Heading ashore, with the rest of the day ahead, I took the local car ferry to Paihia for my stay at The Sanctuary, which is run by Yogi, Glynnis and Charlie the spaniel. The view over the woodland to the shore is 6 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 ABOVE All smiles – Olly Smith is the wine editor for the Mail on Sunday and appears regularly on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen A toast to NORTHLAND NEW ZEALAND
  7. 7. Click here for our full list of talks & events Enjoy this little snifter of Olly’s experiences? We’ve decanted the full-bodied version onto our website. Click here to read it jaw-dropping, with more spectacular views to be had from every window and from the cosy infinity pool. No wonder my hosts were so warm and kind; living with that much beauty must rub off. Picking up on my love of craft beer, my hosts bought me a cold Mac’s Hop Rocker Pilsner (5%) which was as zesty, bouncy and snappy as a golden crocodile on a trampoline. “Every day is a good day,” smiled Yogi, “but some are better than others.” If only they could bottle him! The Sanctuary lives up to its name; it’s Yogi and Glynnis’ home, their world, and they make you feel like family. For my final day, I’d hoped to travel up to Cape Reinga on a scenic flight, but alas the weather didn’t play into our hands. Instead, I booked myself a jet ski safari in Paihia – by far the most exhilarating excursion of my life... 8 7Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ WINDOW SEAT Click here to plan your New Zealand holiday OLLYSMITH
  8. 8. New! Kangos Guesthouse Find out more here 8 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 If you’re quick, there’s still time to see the northern lights this season. In fact, March is a great month for aurora hunting... ong hours of daylight, milder temperatures and enhanced northern lights sightings predicted around the time of the Spring Equinox – March could well offer your best chance for sighting the aurora borealis. Whether you’re staying at the Icehotel, visiting the Aurora Sky Station at Abisko, exploring the winter wilderness at Kangos or watching orcas in Iceland, things are starting to warm up in February and March. As well as milder temperatures, the Kaamos (polar AURORAS OF THE SPRING EQUINOX NORTHERN LIGHTS Book your northern lights holiday for March. Spring is one of the best times for aurora watching. Click here for details xxx
  9. 9. Although it’s still somewhat of a mystery to scientists, the period around the spring equinox (20 March) is often considered the peak of northern lights activity 8 9Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ WINDOW SEAT Choose your perfect aurora holiday using our path finder night) is over – which means more daylight hours to take part in the numerous activities on offer. In Scandinavia, you can try ice-driving, snow-shoeing and ice-sculpting, mush your own team of huskies, go snowmobiling, or join a horseback safari in search of moose. In Iceland, as well as orca watching, you can explore craggy volcanic landscapes, hike on glaciers, visit frozen waterfalls, and relax in natural hotsprings. RAGNARTHSIGURDSSON
  10. 10. 10 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 FOUR BRIGHT IDEAS NORTHERN LIGHTS Book early With NASA predicting that the solar maximum will continue into next winter, we’re already seeing a surge of bookings for northern lights holidays. Be sure to book soon to avoid disappointment. New departures Due to popular demand, we’ve added three new departures in March 2014 for our Killer Whales & Northern Lights holiday (18th) and Northern Lights Special escorted tour (13th and 27th). New holidays Full board and with all activities included, the three-night Wilderness Break at Kangos Guesthouse is great value for money and makes a relaxing base for experiencing Lapland. Visit the ICEHOTEL There’s still time to visit the ICEHOTEL and see spectacular ice suites, like Mind the Gap (left).
  11. 11. The green lights danced across the sky, rapidly changing shape and colour. We were all totally engrossed in this magical experience and when the lights finally came to an abrupt end, we just stood there completely speechless Q 8 11Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ Ms Turner Abisko Sky Station Plan a visit to the Aurora Sky Station, Abisko WINDOW SEAT How well do you know the myths and legends of the northern lights? Click here for five of our favourites
  12. 12. 12 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 Add a new dimension to your Iceland self-drive tour in 2014 iDiscover ICELAND
  13. 13. 8 13Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ This summer, Discover the World introduces 15 new self-drive trips, each one portrayed in brilliant detail on an iPad – provided with your rental vehicle – to help you get off the beaten track and discover Iceland’s hidden gems New!iPad touring in Iceland, exclusive to Discover the World Click here to find out more RAGNARTHSIGURDSSON
  14. 14. 14 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 ICELAND: iDISCOVER Click here for full details of iDiscover and our range of Iceland self-drive holidays in 2014 vailable from May 2014, iDiscover is a fully integrated information system, embedded into an iPad, loaned to Discover the World travellers when they collect their rental vehicle in Iceland. Pre-loaded with one of 15 detailed itineraries, including seven new tours for 2014, the iPad will reveal a wealth of hidden gems as you tour the country. The iDiscover iPad has free WiFi and cellular connectivity (available throughout most of Iceland) and even comes with a guidance system to aid navigation. A range of apps and weblinks will prove invaluable for weather forecasts, checking local road conditions or translating and pronouncing Icelandic. From time to time, Discover the World will push messages to travellers with information about activities, festivals, weather alerts and special offers from local businesses. You’re free to check your emails, surf the internet and keep in contact through social media – and there’s also an activities area for children called Mission: Explore (click on the box, right). iDiscover has been specially designed by Discover the World to give travellers all the information and tools they need to maximise the freedom of a self-drive holiday in one easy to understand, portable format. It also allows for more in-depth itinerary recommendations. Each self-drive holiday is brimming with insider tips and ideas for getting off-the-beaten-track. Written by Iceland experts, there’s typically a choice of 10 different places to visit, or experiences to enjoy, every day. These range from outstanding hikes and scenic drives to hot volcano baths and remote beaches. History and folklore feature throughout, as well as places only locals might know of, such as a hidden canyon or jewellery workshop. Click here to find out more about our Family Fun programme Click here to see more images RAGNARTHSIGURDSSON
  15. 15. 8 15Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ New hiking tours Discover the World can tailor-make your perfect hiking holiday in Iceland – but we’ve also got plenty of suggestions for getting you on track – from a seven-day jaunt along the rugged and diverse Laugavegur Trail to a 34-day Coast-to-Coast hike-of-a-lifetime. Order your copy of our new Iceland & Greenland Summer brochure by clicking here New self-drives The four-night Volcanic Explorer offers an unforgettable glimpse of Iceland’s fiery side, while the 16-night Iceland Odyssey revels in the country’s breathtaking landscapes, showcasing volcanoes, fjords, lava fields, glaciers, icebergs and waterfalls. Capturing the beauty of Iceland and Greenland in stunning photography, our new Summer brochure has 100 pages of inspiration and information for planning your self-drive, escorted group tour or tailor-made holiday New group tours Absolute Iceland, our 16- day flagship small-group tour circumnavigates the country in a luxury 4WD minibus, exploring the wilder side of Iceland and allowing plenty of time for daily hikes of one to two hours. Highlights include Snaefellsnes, the West Fjords and Vatnajokull.
  16. 16. Order a copy of your new Canada & Alaska Summer brochure 16 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 Our new Canada & Alaska brochure is big on ideas – from scenic cruises and wildlife encounters to escorted tours and independent self-drives. New flights mean you can even plan the ultimate big trip by combining Iceland with Canada Big country CANADA & ALASKA Order your new Canada & Alaska brochure t’s a big decision. Will you focus on Canada – touring the Rockies by road and rail perhaps, or bear watching at Knight Inlet on the Pacific Coast. How about a cruise along the Northwest Passage, or a self-drive across Newfoundland? Or does Alaska loom large in your holiday plans? We’ve got an equally grand line-up of escorted and self-drive itineraries taking in highlights such as Denali National Park, Kenai Fiords and the Inside Passage. You can also combine Canada and Alaska, or stop over in Iceland. This year, Icelandair adds Edmonton and Vancouver to their existing North American destinations of Anchorage, Toronto and Halifax.
  17. 17. 3Glaciers, Grizzlies & Whales Discover Alaska’s wildlife from Glacier Bay to Admiralty Island. 5The Northwest Passage See polar bears, deep fjords and huge glaciers on this adventure cruise. 1Hiking the Yukon & Alaska The sheer grandeur of the Yukon and Alaska is best appreciated on foot. This 13-night small-group tour includes short walks and full-day hikes in some of the region’s most head-spinning wilderness areas. 2Passage through the Rockies A classic journey from Calgary to Vancouver, via Whistler and Victoria. 4Ultimate Pacific Coast Experience This 10-night self-drive offers chances for seeing bears and orcas. This is just a taster of the trips on offer. We can tailor-make a holiday just for you. Chat to one of our experts or visit our website 8 17Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ
  18. 18. 18 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 William Gray explores the wild wonder of Denali National Park, home to grizzlies, caribou and North America’s tallest peak rizzly bears aren’t fussy. In Denali National Park, they’ll eat anything from caribou calves and ground squirrels to roots, blueberries and salmon. The bear we’d stopped to watch, however, seemed intent on getting duck onto the menu. Five hours into our bus journey along the 137km park road, we were about to descend to Wonder Lake – renowned for its reflections of the Alaska Range – when the driver brought us lurching to a halt. A young grizzly was cavorting in a kettle pond next to the road, rolling on its back, diving underwater and lunging at a lone duck. The bird seemed unfazed, swimming towards the floundering fur-ball just close enough to elicit a chase, before easily TheHighOne ALASKA ABOVE Early morning sunlight sets the Alaska Range aglow, with Wonder Lake mirroring the 6,194m peak of Denali – Athabaskan for ‘The High One’ or ‘The Great One’ Click here for a wildlife calendar to Denali NP
  19. 19. Click here to view our Wilderness Map and explore other areas to witness Alaska’s abundant wildlife 8 19Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ paddling out of range. Eventually, the bear tired of the wild duck chase, climbed out of the pond, shook itself like a wet spaniel and sloped off across the tundra. Denali’s ‘big five’ (moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolf and grizzly bear) can often be seen from the park road – the sole vehicle access into the heart of Denali. The duck-chasing bear was our fifth grizzly sighting, while our caribou tally had reached double figures. During another stop, we spied Dall sheep on a ridge high above the Toklat River. And at the Eielson Visitor Centre – tucked into a mountainside overlooking the Muldrow Glacier and Alaska Range – the slopes were riddled with the burrows of ground squirrels. >> WILLIAMGRAY POP-UPMAPADAPTEDFROMWILD TRAVELBYWILLIAMGRAY(FOOTPRINT)
  20. 20. There was something almost celestial about cresting the summit of Mt Busia and looking up to see Mt McKinley towering above the snowy ramparts of the Alaska Range Q 20 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 OPPOSITE From top left: grizzly taking a dip, Denali Backcountry Lodge, bald eagles, bull caribou, driving into the park, hiking on Mt Busia, blueberries, grizzlies, Moose Creek, fireweed, The High One, bull moose Every now and then, one of the rodents would pop upright, vying for attention with the scenery. Etablished in 1917 as Mount McKinley National Park, Denali takes its name from the Athabaskan word for ‘The High One’. North America’s highest peak lords over this 24,300-sq-km wilderness – the glaciers and valleys of the Alaska Range sweeping down to vast tracts of lake-studded tundra, gilded with braided rivers and softened with a tentative stubble of boreal forest. For day visitors to Denali, it’s a long time on one of the official buses, travelling in and out along the park road. Also, a day trip doesn’t always give you enough time to experience the park’s true sense of wilderness. For that you need to stay into the backcountry. Located at the road’s end, Denali Backcountry Lodge – a cluster of cedar cabins along Moose Creek in the old gold-mining community of Kantishna – makes a comfortable base in the wilderness. Activities include gold-panning, mountain biking and fishing, as well as daily hikes led by naturalist-guides. One morning, during a three-hour stroll up Mt Busia, our guide paused often to reveal the small wonders of the tundra. She showed us purple monkshood, the white plumes of grass of Parnassus and the dainty nodding heads of harebells. We picked blueberries and lingonberries, the tart fruits fizzing in our mouths. Heads bowed on our botanizing ramble, there was something almost celestial about cresting the summit of Mt Busia and looking up to see Mt McKinley towering above the snowy ramparts of the Alaska Range 50km to the south, its ice-fluted peaks etched against a vivid blue sky. Bears chasing ducks are memorable, but a view of The High One is the crowning glory of a visit to Denali. ALASKA: DENALI Start planning your own Alaska adventure here PHOTOSOPPOSITE:WILLIAMGRAY;ALASKATOURISTBOARD
  21. 21. 8 21Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ
  22. 22. MARCH Wilderness Break at Kangos Guesthouse Stay full-board in a cosy cabin, with husky sledding and a northern lights tour included. also consider... Killer Whales & Northern Lights Snaefellsnes, Iceland. 22 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 ?where will you go in 2014Your monthly guide to holiday highlights SEPTEMBER Grizzly Bear Adventure at Knight Inlet Spend two nights at a floating lodge in the heart of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. also consider... Bergen and Hardanger Fjord Explorer, Norway A five-night self-drive. AUGUST NEW: Absolute Iceland Circumnavigate the country in a luxury 4WD minibus on our flagship escorted tour, with plenty of opportunities for walks. also consider... Secret Archipelago Discover a hidden gem on Sweden’s west coast. JULY Arctic Quest Voyage Cruise from West Greenland to Canada, experiencing the wildlife and Inuit culture of Baffin Island and Hudson Bay. also consider... Finland Wild Brown Bear Adventure Go wild in the taiga forest. win! a £500 voucher towards your next holiday with Discover the World. Click here to enter
  23. 23. JUNE Hiking in East Greenland Explore the Ammassalik district on day walks through spectacular mountains and fiords. also consider... Alaska’s Natural Wonders Two-week self-drive. MAY Iceland iDiscover: Around Iceland Go full circle around Iceland on this two- week self-drive, with our exclusive iPad touring aid. also consider... Norway Rail Explorer Admire the scenery from the Rauma Railway. APRIL Alberta Northern Lights Break There’s a 90%-plus success rate of seeing the lights during this short break in Fort McMurray. also consider... ICEHOTEL, Abisko & Lofoten, Sweden Seven-night odyssey. 8 23Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ AUGUST:RAGNARTHSIGURDSSON;OCTOBER:DestinationRotorua DECEMBER New Year in Iceland Celebrate the arrival of 2015 in Reykjavik, before enjoying a break in the countryside at a comfortable lodge. also consider... Hike & Drive Stride out on New Zealand’s Great Walks. NOVEMBER Off the Beaten Track Cruise, Antarctica Adventure cruise with time for kayaking, camping, snowshoeing and other activities. also consider... Great Ocean Road Tour one of Australia’s most scenic routes. OCTOBER New Zealand Ultimate Explorer Tour Travel on 28 October 2014 for free pre- and post-tour hotels, plus save £125 per person. also consider... Polar Bear Kingdom Travel to Churchill to see the ice bear up-close.
  24. 24. Pin with us on Pinterest Subscribe to our e-newsletter Join us on Facebook @ Discover the World Ltd Arctic House, 8 Bolters Lane, Banstead, Surrey SM7 2AR Email Fax +44 (0) 1737 362 341 Twitter @DTW_Holidays 8 24Subscribe to Cloud 9 and our e-newsZ In the next issue: • Summer Scandinavia • Iceland’s Hidden Gems • Whale watching worldwide • Independent New Zealand • Walking & hiking Writing & design William Gray | cloud9 Outstanding tailor made holidays since 1984 win! a £500 voucher towards your next holiday with Discover the World. Click here to enter