It’s a good day for Canadian travellers when another Canadian airline starts flying to Asia. In this case, it’s WestJet which celebrated the departure of flight WS80 from YYC Calgary International Airport to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport Sunday.
“Not only does this new route increase opportunities for business, leisure and cargo customers to expand their horizons in Asia, it also provides an exceptional opportunity to welcome transpacific leisure and business travellers direct to Calgary and Alberta,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer in a press release.
Tokyo service will operate on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner three times per week through October 28, and will return in Spring 2024. WestJet says that guests travelling between Calgary and Tokyo can expect an elevated experience onboard including Western and Japanese inflight meals, Japanese entertainment options and the comfort of Japanese announcements and menus.
“For decades, Japanese travellers have had a special relationship with Alberta. The Calgary-Tokyo flight represents an important opportunity to rebuild that bridge,” said David Goldstein, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Alberta.
WestJet’s non-stop flight to Tokyo is just one of many new direct services launching this spring. Travellers flying out of WestJet’s hub in Calgary can also connect to Barcelona, Edinburgh and five other European nonstop destinations as part of the airline’s international offerings.
When you hear about a Canadian airline pitching all-inclusive holiday packages, you think that they’re going to be talking about places that are somewhere warm, but Calm Air announced this week that they’re offering new all-inclusive packages for tourists seeking a Northern Manitoba experience to places like The Pas, Flin Flon, Churchill and Thompson.
The all-inclusive packages include flights, accommodations, meals, and access to excursions to immerse visitors in nature and experiencing everything from eating moose stew after a sweat lodge to snowmobiling across Lake Apthapapuskow, or watching the aurora borealis while enjoying a six-course meal. Guests will also enjoy guided tours, dog sledding, snowshoeing in the boreal forest, and Manitoba’s one-of-a-kind Tundra Buggy within a variety of packages.
“We partnered with operators from The Pas, Flin Flon, Churchill, and Thompson, with each destination boasting unique experiences,” said Amanda Camara, director of marketing and brand management, in a release.
“For example, The Pas is focused on Indigenous spirituality and education while Flin Flon is focused on eco-tourism and keeping active. Thompson is highlighting their status as the wolf capital of the world and Churchill is focused on the Northern Lights. Four destinations all within Manitoba, yet four extremely distinctive and authentic experiences,”
The new vacation packages are designed to cater to all types of travellers, from adventure getaways, solo travellers to families.
“We are excited that Calm Air will be offering all-inclusive packages to visitors, which will allow them to experience the best that northern Manitoba has to offer,” said the Honourable Greg Nesbitt, Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development. “As our tourist operators continue to recover economically, we believe these packages will not only attract new visitors but also encourage those who fell in love with the North once to return and experience another season or attraction.”
Kind of disappointed that Gillam isn’t on the list. Years ago, my flight was grounded there and a group of us spent the evening at the local Legion and when we left to return to our hotel, we were treated with the most spectacular Northern Lights display you could ever want to see.
Travellers can book their all-inclusive package to The Pas, Flin Flon, Thompson, or Churchill, by visiting calmair.com or call 1-800-839-2256.
Having just bought my first electric vehicle and being a big fan of road trips, I was interested by a recent study in the United States that pitted gas cars against EVs to see which vehicle is truly the most economical on five American road trips.
Examining the time and fuel costs along iconic trails like Route 66 and California 1, the study underwritten by Upgraded Points offered a variety of insights while investigating the central question: Is saving money on gas really worth the tradeoff in travel time?
The study determined that for every 100 miles driven along these popular routes, an EV owner will save $11 but will add 25 minutes, on average. An EV trip increased travel time by over 13 hours on one route, but less than 2 hours on another.
Road Trip Study: Methodology
The study focused on five recognizable U.S. road trips of varying lengths. The routes were mapped out using Google Maps to provide exact mileage counts and travel times. To avoid traffic issues, road closures, and last-minute delays, the travel date was set for a specific weekend in April.
The costs of fuel for both gas and EVs were based on average gas/electric prices from states along each route. Estimates of fueling and charging times were sourced from the Department of Transportation and the American Petroleum Institute. Finally, the study evaluated the best states for EV charging access, using data sourced from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data and Electrek.
Five U.S. Road Trip Routes Travelled In an EV vs Gas Car:
Pacific Coast Highway:Following the California coastline starting from Dana Point and ending in San Francisco, this 523-mile journey takes 11 hours and 37 minutes in a gas car. In an EV, you would save about $65.79 but the trip would take you 2 hours and 8 minutes longer.
The Longest American Road Trip:Beginning in Boston and ending in Newport, Oregon, Route 20 spans over 3,000 miles and multiple states. EV trips will save travellers over $350 in gas, but that is easily surpassed by the time lost—an EV trip would take a whopping 13 hours and 28 minutes longer. On this trip, fuel/charging times were also substantial, with EVs taking nearly 14 hours to charge, compared to less than 20 minutes filling up gas.
Route 66, The Mother Road:Following Highway 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, the Route 66 trip would take just over 51 hours by EV, but saves drivers over $250. Gas vehicles need 7 pitstops for this journey, while EVs are looking at more than 10. Driving an electric vehicle would save about $258, but the trip would take you 10 hours longer.
The Blue Ridge Parkway:From Cherokee, North Carolina to Afton, Virginia, this journey is 470 miles of scenic beauty. Driving an EV down this route would save you about $50, but would add nearly 2 additional hours to your journey.
The Florida Coast:Following the Florida coast from Jacksonville to Key West, Route 1 visits all the major beach towns including Daytona, West Palm Beach, Miami, and more. The EV trip saves drivers over $50 in gas but adds over 2 hours to the drive.
EV Usage and Charging Density, State by State
Access to charging stations is the key to a smooth and successful EV road trip. Located at grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, and other convenient locations, EVSE Ports provide power and charge with several ports per EV charging station. Access to these charging stations varies by state, with Washington D.C. coming out on top with 4 road miles per EV charging port. California offers 1 EVSE port per 10 road miles, followed by Hawaii and Massachusetts.
I’d love to see someone do something similar in Canada. One of these days, I’ll be brave enough to try a road trip with my EV, but for now, I suspect I’ll stick to using my other car which is a traditional gas-powered model.
I’m a fan of good podcasts so I was excited to hear that Parks Canada has unveiled ReCollections, a series that invites listeners to explore the captivating stories behind some of Canada’s national historic sites.
Each episode involves a variety of interviews with experts from across the country, exploring the sites and sharing stories that bring history to life for some of the nation’s most treasured places. There are five intitial episodes that range from a sacred Haida village in Gwaii Haanas, where the rainforest meets the wild Pacific Ocean; to Northern Newfoundland, home to the ruins of a Norse settlement dating back to the Viking age; with a stop in Dawson City, the epicentre of the Klondike Gold Rush, where Parks Canada owns a building that was a former brothel, a unique example of a female-owned and operated business in the northern boomtown; and the story of Canada’s first known Black business woman, Marie Marguerite Rose, who endured enslavement and found freedom at the Fortress of Louisbourg; and finally, a quarantine island in the Saint-Lawrence, the gateway for 4 million immigrants enroute to new lives in North America.
Episodes are available anywhere you typically stream your podcasts, as well as on the Parks Canada YouTube channel and the Parks Canada website. Learn more: https://parks.canada.ca/recollections.
If you’re lucky enough to have seen the Northern Lights, you know how colourful they can be, but if you’re one of the many people who are colourblind, you can’t really enjoy this natural display to its fullest.
Travel Yukon and EnChroma, a leading producer of glasses for colourblindness and low vision, decided to do something about that. They teamed up to make the show-stopping Aurora Borealis more accessible than ever before for the colourblind, and provided one Canadian with the chance to see it in full colour for the first time.
Russell Basilio experiences colourblindness. He sees colour in dull hues, especially red and green, which leaves him to interpret the beauty of the world through shapes and textures. In order to demonstrate the power of this new accessibility, Travel Yukon took Russell on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to experience the northern lights in their truest colourful form.
“Growing up colourblind I always knew I saw the world differently. My sister would describe things to me like the northern lights, but I never really understood what that meant,” said Russell Basilio. “To experience the northern lights in colour with my sister by my side was a gift.”
“With dynamic lights and fantastic hues of greens, purples and reds, the northern lights are one of Yukon’s most beautiful natural phenomena,” said Robin Anderson, Global Marketing Manager at Travel Yukon. “We are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with EnChroma to allow Russell to discover what makes the Yukon one of the best places in the world to experience incredible northern lights viewing.”
Special optical filters in EnChroma glasses expand the range of colours someone who is colourblind can see and make colours more vibrant, clear and distinct to help them experience more of life’s colourful moments and overcome challenges while travelling and in daily life. By coming together, EnChroma and Travel Yukon were able to provide Russell with a week of colourful moments that will last a lifetime.