Cloud 9 | Travel Magazine | Jan 2013


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The first issue of our interactive digital edition of our inspirational travel magazine written by award-winning travel writer Will Gray and packed full of holiday ideas.

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Cloud 9 | Travel Magazine | Jan 2013

  1. 1. 1 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 cloud9Inspiration for unforgettable holidays | Jan 2013 ICELAND • POLAR • AUSTRALIA • SWEDEN • NEW ZEALAND • CANADA • FINLAND • ALASKA • NORWAY new! Alaska Click here for details new-look, interactive digital edition
  2. 2. 2 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 inside 4 WINDOW SEAT The best flights to see the northern lights PLUS why you (and your hard-earned cash) are in safe hands 6 iceland Click here to see the new Hotel ION and our latest Icelandic holidays PLUS whale watching and hiking 10 GREEN LIGHT: GO If you haven’t seen the northern lights yet, now’s your chance. Click here for late availability trips and next winter’s highlights 12 WILD STATE Explore big new horizons in Alaska, Discover the World’s latest destination 16 NZ PICK ‘N’ MIX The new go-slow, full- immersion way to experience New Zealand 18 ICONIC CANADA The great outdoors by air, sea, road, rail and sledge Welcome to the new, interactive Cloud 9 magazine from Discover the World. Going digital is not only better for the environment, but it also means we can bring you more issues each year. We’ve designed the magazine to be as user-friendly as possible, packed with inspiring travel ideas and easy to share with friends. With just a few clicks or taps you could be delving into Discover the World’s new Alaska programme, checking out special places to stay in Iceland or planning an indepth exploration of New Zealand. Enjoy. interactive How to get the most from this digital edition of Cloud 9 Seeing red? Give it a click or a tap to explore more. Throughout Cloud 9 you’ll find links to our website, pop-up image galleries and further info panels, video clips and opportunities to enter competitions and share with friends. win! a £1000 voucher towards your next holiday Click here to enter William Gray, Editor COVERARTWORK:LIZLUNNON
  3. 3. 8 3DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013 QDid the northern lights lived up to all the media hype? AYes, absolutely and some of the experts are saying that it will continue to increase in intensity right through next winter and beyond! QWhat’s on your travel wishlist? AIt’s going to be a very busy year. In January and February I will be visiting Argentina, Chile and Antarctica looking for new ideas. Then it’s off to Iceland for our WhaleFest. In March I’ll be in Lapland for a couple of weeks. May will see me in Alaska on Icelandair’s inaugural flight to Anchorage, which is the basis of our new Alaska programme. QAlaska sounds fun. Tell me more. AIcelandair are flying there, via Reykjavik, twice a week from mid- May to mid-September, providing us with easy access to one of the world’s most spectacular places. We’ve developed a brand new range of Alaska holidays which you can find out about here. QIf we get another summer like last year, where would you go to escape wet Britain? AIf you wondered where our summer went, the answer is Iceland! They had the best weather on record. Some scientists believe the jet stream, which can bring us warm, sunny summers, has moved north… Will Gray chats to Clive Stacey, Discover the World’s MD, about travel and the weather Qtell me about it If you wondered where our summer went, the answer is Iceland! They had the best weather on record reader poll What’s on your travel wishlist for 2013? Click below to vote ALASKA CANADA ICELAND NEW ZEALAND SCANDINAVIA
  4. 4. 4 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 One of the best places in the world to see the fabled northern lights, Lapland may seem remote, but it’s suprisingly easy to reach flights to the lights There’s something slightly surreal but immensely satisfying about boarding a plane at Heathrow and then, three and a half hours later, stepping out into bright Arctic sunshine and scrunching through snow to an Arrivals Lounge deep in Swedish Lapland. Unique to Discover the World, direct charter flights to Kiruna offer the quickest means to reach the ICEHOTEL (just 20 minutes from the airport). With sociable flight times, a full meal service and pre- bookable seats there’s no easier – or more relaxing – way to enjoy a short break in Lapland. As an added bonus, if you book the three-night Icehotel Break departing on 16 March 2013, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win two seats on a northern lights scenic flight timed to coincide with the Spring Equinox. window seat Win two free places on a scenic Northern Lights Flight during your stay at the Icehotel. Click here to enter. Click here to find out about our acclaimed Schools Programme WILLIAMGRAY;XXXX
  5. 5. 8 5DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013 When you book your holiday with Discover the World, you are in very safe hands thanks to their 100% Guaranteed unique pledge 100% guaranteed QOnce I book with you, is my money safe? AYes. Thanks to our various licences and bonds, every possible angle is covered should the worst happen. It’s amazing how often people buy travel arrangements from what appear to be properly licensed travel agents, airlines or tour operators only to find that their particular holiday falls through the net. QWe hear about rising fuel costs all the time. Does that mean I might have to pay extra, even at short notice? AWe do not pass on fuel surcharges once a holiday is booked. We get our suppliers to absorb them or we do so ourselves. The same applies to currency fluctuations, tax increases or anything relating to the dreaded ‘S’ word! We believe that once you place your faith in us and book a holiday you should pay the price agreed. It’s far from the norm in the travel industry. QWhat about all those other ‘unknowns’ like cancelled flights? AIf your flight is cancelled, for whatever reason, we expect the airline to initially look after you. If they won’t, we will — and that means paying for overnight accommodation and, if appropriate, meals until an alternative means of travel is found. If any company whose services you have booked with us as part of your holiday goes bust, then we will make alternative arrangements or provide a full refund. QBut I guess volcanic eruptions and ash clouds are ‘Acts of God’? ASpecialising in holidays to such places as Iceland means that ‘Acts of God’ are all part of the experience and, no, we don’t walk away from these either. Natural disasters, strikes... it makes no difference to us — we look after you come what may! QAnd what happens if I lose my job? AWe can help with that too! Click the red button above for full details of our pledge.
  6. 6. 6 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 iceland NEW FROM From new hotels and lodges to whale watching festivals and hiking adventures, Iceland is looking more exciting than ever in 2013 Discover the World has been pioneering holidays in Iceland for nearly three decades. No other UK operator knows – or loves – the country better. Innovation lies at the heart of its Iceland programme and this year is a particularly rich one. Not one, but two, stunning properties make their debut in 2013: the classy, contemporary Hotel ION and the idyllic Glacier Lodge (exclusive to Discover the World and with views to die for). It’s also 21 years since Discover the World’s managing director Clive Stacey helped pioneer Iceland’s whale watching industry – a milestone celebrated in 2013 by the first ever WhaleFest. New holidays this year include an exciting sailing adventure in the Western Fjords, a tailor- made hiking service and a unique summer adventure based at Hotel ION. NEW Hotel ION NEW Glacier Lodge NEW Holidays
  7. 7. Look inside Hotel ION Iceland Summer Adventure Exclusive short break based at Hotel ION This is the first holiday of its kind in Iceland where you can stay in the countryside and have the option of various excursions without being part of an escorted group tour or having to drive yourself. And what better place to base yourself than Hotel ION. Included are a superjeep safari, dinner at a lobster restaurant, lava caving and a trip to the Blue Lagoon, with optional activities ranging from glacier hiking to river rafting. Hotel ION Luxury and adventure an hour from Reykjavik Brand new for February 2013, Hotel ION buzzes with style. Mountain and lake views pour in through picture windows, the spa has a 10m outdoor hot tub, each of the 46 guestrooms are pure pampered chic and the restaurant serves local flavours with flare. Located near Thingvellir National Park, this four-star beauty is easily reached and makes a superb base, whether you’re looking for a spa break or activity filled adventure. Glacier Lodge Cottage with a view on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula A modern self-catering cottage sleeping up to eight, this is a perfect place from which to explore one of Iceland’s most beautiful regions. Look north from Glacier Lodge and Snaefellsnes rears it snowcapped summit; look south and you’re met by the glittering expanse of Faxafloi Bay. Top it all with aurora displays in winter and activities such as hiking, whale watching and snowmobiling and you have the ultimate Iceland escape. Exclusive to Discover the World 8 7DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013 Visit website Visit website Visit website RAGNARTHSIGURDSSON/ARCTIC-IMAGES.COM
  8. 8. How it all began Killer Whales & Northern LightsOrcas and auroras, January to March No surprises that this four-night break became an instant hit when it was launched in 2012. Orca watching by day, aurora gazing by night, it’s a double helping of Iceland winter treats. The big news this year is that you can now choose either full board hotel accommodation or opt for breakfast basis at the modern and comfortable Guesthouse Grundafjordur, which also offers self-catering facilities and dine out options. WhaleFest 2013 Celebrating 21 years of whale watching in Iceland A special weeklong departure of the hugely popular Killer Whales & Northern Lights holiday, WhaleFest celebrates Discover the World’s 21st anniversary of pioneering whale watching trips in Iceland. Click the tab, above right, to find out how it all started. An exclusive programme of whale watching, talks from cetacean experts and time to explore Snaefellsnes, WhaleFest looks set to become an annual event. Sailing & Wildlife Adventure A voyage to the remote Western Fjords Set sail on the 12-berth Aurora, a spacious, 60ft expedition yacht, cruising the spectacular Western Fjords beneath towering sea cliffs festooned with seabirds. Anchoring in sheltered bays, you’ll be able to venture ashore, hiking pristine coasts and glacial valleys and exploring the wilderness of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve – accessible only by boat. This new 10-day holiday is perfect for lovers of the sea and wild places. 8 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 Play video clip of orcas in Iceland Visit website Visit website RAGNARTHSIGURDSSON/ARCTIC-IMAGES.COM
  9. 9. 8 9DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013 Pick your Peak! New tailor-made walking holidays This country was made for walking... and now you’ve got no excuse not to lace up your boots and stride off into the highlands of Iceland. Following the launch of the new book Summit: 100 Best Mountain Hikes in Iceland, Discover the World is offering keen walkers a new tailor- made service. Simply purchase the book, choose your peaks and and everything will be arranged for you, from flights and accommodation to car hire and guides. walk THIS WAY Click to start planning your walking holiday Visit website
  10. 10. green light: goThe aurora looks set to dazzle again next winter, so be sure to book your northern lights holiday well in advance Experts forecast that we can expect another five years of excellent northern lights while the solar maximum continues to fuel the phenomenon. ® ® ® ® ®
  11. 11. Click here to see more northern lights holidays 6If you’re quick, you might still catch a display of the aurora borealis this winter. Contact us now for late availability on northern lights holidays. 4In Pursuit of the Aurora, Norway A weeklong northern lights odyssey, this trip includes a voyage along the wild Finnmark coast, plus stays in Tromso and Kirkenes – prime spots for aurora hunting. 5Kakslauttanen, Finland Spend three nights in a cosy log cabin or stylish glass igloo, exploring by snowmobile or husky sledge and – with luck – witnessing the aurora above snowclad forest. 1Northern Lights Special, Iceland This three-night escorted break combines the geysirs and waterfalls of the Golden Circle with aurora watching, soaking in the Blue Lagoon and superb accommodation. 2 Aurora Nights, Iceland Base yourself at Hotel Ranga or the equally fabulous Hotel ION – new this month – for three days of free-spirited roaming on this popular Iceland self-drive break. 3Northern Lights at Abisko & Icehotel Swedish Lapland in all its winter glory, this three- day trip features aurora gazing at Abisko and the ICEHOTEL, which this year has ten new Northern Lights suites. Top 5 northern lights holidays Book now for 2012/13! 8 11DISCOVER THE WORLD | cloud 9 | Jan 2013 our favourite aurora borealis images so far this winter See MAINPIC:WILLIAMGRAY;RAGNARTHSIGURDSSON/ARCTIC-IMAGES.COM
  12. 12. ALASKA WILD STATE Plan your trip on our interactive Alaska map Putting the wild in wilderness, Alaska is new from Discover the World and can be easily reached on new summer flights via Iceland
  13. 13. 8 13DISCOVER THE WORLD | cloud 9 | Jan 2013 From gold-rush stampeders to wilderness seekers, Alaska has long been the ‘magnetic north’ of the United States Click here for photo gallery Listen to the Robert Service Poem “I t isn’t the gold that I’m wanting,” wrote poet, Robert Service. “It’s the great big broad land way up yonder. It’s the forest where silence has lease. It’s the beauty that fills me with wonder. It’s the stillness that fills me with peace.” From gold-rush stampeders to wilderness seekers, Alaska has long been the ‘magnetic north’ of the United States. Robert Service craved its vast untouched landscapes, but you could equally wax lyrical over Alaska’s wildlife, its fascinating First Nations culture or the sheer thrill of travelling in this wild state. You can drive there on the Alaska Highway, visiting national parks like Denali and Kenai Fjords. You can charter a floatplane to take you beyond the road’s end, stitch a route between old settler communities on the Alaska Railroad or join an escorted coach trip. For many, it’s the Inside Passage that embodies the lure of Alaska. Cracks in crazy paving. That’s what it looks like on a nautical chart. Except the slabs of paving are thousands of forested islands, wedged against the mainland — and the cracks form a coastal highway stretching 1,000 miles from Seattle to Skagway. The Inside Passage is a lifeline to numerous settlements, including Alaska’s capital, Juneau. It’s also a gateway to vast tracts of wilderness, from ice fields to temperate rainforest. Imagine witnessing humpback whales feeding in Frederick Sound, icebergs calving from a tidewater glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord or totem poles rearing from a Tlingit village. The Inside Passage is awash with natural and cultural spectacles. And yet it is just one facet of this wild and wonderful state. Turn the page to start exploring Alaska >>
  14. 14. Click on the map circles to explore Alaska ALASKA Prince William Sound Fairbanks Anchorage Kenai Fjords Denali National Park Kodiak Island Katmai National Park Y u k o n R i v e r Gulf of Alaska Bering Sea A l a s k a P e n i n s u l a A l a s k a R a n g e The Arctic North Wrangell- St Elias National Park B r o o k s R a n g e A r c t i c C i r c l e
  15. 15. 8 15DISCOVER THE WORLD | cloud 9 | Jan 2013 Glacier Bay National Park Juneau Ketchikan To ngass National Forest 5 ways to go Pacific Ocean Cruise - Inside Passage: Alaskan Discovery Join a small-ship voyage from Juneau to Ketchikan, exploring fjords and islands rich in wildlife and culture. Kayak to hidden inlets and hike in pristine forests. Wildlife – Glaciers,Grizzlies & WhalesFrom Juneau, visit themajestic Mendenhall Glacierand take a floatplane safariin search of bears. Thenfly to Gustavus, gateway toGlacier Bay, for encounterswith icebergs and whales. Rail – Alaskan Railroad Adventure Ride Alaska’s famous Railroad from Anchorage to Seward, cruise Kenai Fjords, then continue by rail to Talkeetna, Denali NP and Fairbanks. Self-drive – Alaska’s Natural Wonders Combine three national parks – Kenai Fjords, Denali and Wrangell-St Elias – on a two-week adventure with lots of extras included, like bushplane flights, wildlife- cruises and historic tours. Escorted – Alaska by Rail & Coach Perfect for first-timers, this weeklong tour takes in the scenic, cultural and wildlife highlights of Denali NP, Portage Glacier and Kenai Fjords. Click here for our full range of Alaska holidays Cruising into Prince William Sound
  16. 16. 16 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 An alternative to touring, Discover the World’s new modules offer a more relaxed, in-depth way to experience New Zealand’s highlights There is nowhere better than New Zealand to hit the road with a motorhome or join an escorted coach tour. Discover the World continues to offer both. There’s a lot to be said, however, for a ‘go-slow’ approach, restricting yourself to one or two carefully selected locations and taking the time to really get to know their individual characters – not to mention enjoying the luxury of spending several nights in one place. ‘Travel less, see more’ is the concept behind Discover the World’s new modules approach to exploring New Zealand. The box, opposite, shows how they work, while the map highlights the modules in North Island (we’ll be featuring South Island’s modules in the next issue of Cloud 9). Click or tap the red circles on the map to get an idea of what each module offers. These quintessential five-night itineraries can be bolted together and have been carefully designed to showcase the very best visitor experiences in each area. A choice of three types of accommodation feature in each itinerary, as well as a range of new and existing excursions and recommended walks. •travel less • see more• New Zealand modules Your ticket to go-slow travel, savouring the very best of New Zealand Lake Tarawera
  17. 17. Click on the circles to explore each module Hawke’s Bay Wellington & Wairarapa Taranaki & Wanganui Northland Coromandel & Auckland Central North Island Tongariro 8 17DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013 NZmodules How they work 1 Take your pick from a selection of five-night modules in key regions of New Zealand. 2 If you like, add three-night extensions in other regions or bolt on additional five-night modules to tailormake your ideal holiday. 3 Choose your accommodation from deluxe/luxury lodge, boutique B&B or standard/superior hotel. 4 A range of excursions showcasing the best of each region are included in each module. Salt Air flying safari over Roberton Island
  18. 18. 18 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 From Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to British Columbia and the Yukon, Canada is ablaze with walking trails. There are plenty of self-guided short walks available on self-drive or independent trips with Discover the World – whether you feel footloose in the forests of Alberta or just fancy a gentle stroll through the winelands of Ontario. When it comes to classic train journeys, the Rocky Mountaineer is among the world’s finest. Soak up the views from glass- domed coaches as the train winds through Rocky Mountain valleys cloaked in forest and studded with azure lakes. Three two-day routes are available from Vancouver – each coupling smoothly with a self-drive or escorted holiday. by road From roaming the Rockies to cruising through Quebec, a self-drive in big, beautiful Canada is all about relaxed, free-spirited travel. Choose a car or motorhome and spend your days exploring Vancouver Island, and the mountain gems of Banff and Jasper national parks or taking a leisurely drive through the equally enticing Atlantic Provinces. can ON FOOTby rail
  19. 19. 8 19DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013 Canada’s ultimate winter-wilderness playground, the Yukon outpost of Whitehorse is just the place to heed your ‘call of the wild’. Dog sledging headlines Discover the World’s five- day Yukon Winter Dream holiday, but you also get to go snowmobiling and aurora hunting, as well as taking a spectacular scenic flight over one of Canada’s most enigmatic regions. Newfoundland is a fascinating blend of crinkle-cut coastline, enticing national parks and rich maritime history. Add a few surprises, like the Viking settlement of L’Anse aux Meadows and the vibrant waterfront city of St John’s, and you have the perfect setting for a nine-day expedition voyage encircling the island during the golden days of fall. Cast away any fears: sea kayaks are suprisingly stable and easy to paddle – and there is no better way to admire the scenery and wildlife of Canada’s coast than by nosing about in sheltered inlets and bays. One of the best places to get afloat is Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island where giant cedars and First Nations culture stand proud. ada Snuggled deep in the wilderness of BC’s Great Bear Rainforest you’ll find a floating lodge with just five guestrooms and where your only neighbours are grizzly bears, wolves, otters and eagles. Great Bear Lodge is a nature- lover’s dream, made all the more special by its subtle link to the outside world by floatplane from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. here to see more fabulous ideas for your Canadian holiday Click by floatplane by sea kayak by boat by SLEDGE
  20. 20. Click here to share this magazine on Twitter Click here to join our mailing list Click here to like this magazine 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 20 Talk to the experts ✆ 01737 218 812 8 cloud9In the next issue: South Island NZ • Great adventures Take a hike • Foodie escapes • Greenland Holidays for special occasions Writing & design William Gray |