Tengku Azmil, chief executive for Malaysian Airlines confirmed that infants are no longer allowed to fly in the first-class section of the company’s airplanes, after receiving complaints from passengers that the crying was keeping them awake.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s most expensive club sandwich commercially available can be found in Cliveden House Hotel, in Taplow, England. This lunchtime staple was added to the menu in March of 2007 under the name the von Essen Platinum Club. Fit for royalty, the 530 gram sandwich, first made by renowned chef James Parkinson, costs a total of £100 ($143.55 USD*) and consists of Iberico ham from a black-footed pig, air-cured for nearly 30 months, poulet de Bresse, 10 grams of white truffles, (£2,500 per kg), quail eggs, semi-dried Italian tomatoes and 24-hour fermented sour dough bread. Due to the rare ingredients, advance notice of 72 hours is required to order the sandwich.
Q: What are some of the best travel apps that I can download for my smartphone before heading out on my trip? – Carl Stahl, Vancouver BC
A: There are over ten of thousands of different travel related apps that you can download for various smartphones, everything from travel guides to flight trackers, many of them free. Here are some of the best.
Flights and hotels
Search and book flights with Kayak’s handy travel app. With its sleek, easy-to-navigate interface, the Kayak app is very user friendly, and best of all, free. It also comes with a helpful hotel and car rental search feature, which rates and locates accommodations and services nearest to you and displays them on a map.
Back for its 25th season, the Halifax Jazz Festival has a new home. The Festival Tent is moving to a new beach-style park on the Halifax waterfront, at the foot of Salter Street. The annual festival, which runs Jul 8 – 16, attracts renowned jazz and blues musicians from around the globe. This year’s highlights include Idle Warship, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Jill Barber. From Jul 20 – 24, Cirque du Soleil takes over the city with Quidam. Since its world premiere in Montreal under the Big Top, this production has toured five continents. The international cast features 52 world-class acrobats, musicians, singers and characters.
This month, Toronto welcomes two stars of the silver screen to perform live on stage. Backed by an 18-piece orchestra, Hugh Jackman performs classic Broadway show tunes at the Princess of Wales Theatre Jul 5 – 17. Just down the street at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Carrie Fisher, best known as Princess Leia from Star Wars, presents her one-woman show,Wishful Drinking, opening July 12, in which she talks frankly about the highs and lows of life in the spotlight.
Every July, the hottest ticket in town is the Calgary Stampede. The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is ten days of rodeos, parties, chuckwagon races, midway rides, deep-fried treats, pancake breakfasts, two-stepping, world-class live music and so much more, Jul 8 – 17. Join the thousands on Parade Day Jul 8 for the famous Stampede Parade where word has it, royal newlyweds Prince William and Kate Middleton will be in attendance. One of the city’s most beloved festivals of the year, the Calgary Folk Music Festival brings acts like Blue Rodeo, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, K.D. Lang and Yo La Tengo to Prince’s Island Park, Jul 21 – 24.
Get ready for an exhilarating weekend of track speeds of over 300km/h at the world-class Edmonton Indy, Jul 22 – 24. The newly designed course will have you closer to the action than ever before. Watch Canada’s own Alex Tagliani, along with other big name IndyCar Series drivers. Or take a stroll down the lively Whyte Avenue strip for Art Walk Jul 15 – 17, this outdoor gallery and studio features over 230 working artists and their artwork in all styles and mediums.
Blue Rodeo, K.D. Lang, and Tegan and Sara are just some of the big name acts appearing at the 38th annual Winnipeg Folk Festival, Jul 6 – 10. Browse the handmade village for artisanal jewellery, stoneware and clothing, grab a bite to eat from varied food vendors and admire the work of local visual artists at this popular music event. On Jul 27, legendary metal bands Slayer and Rob Zombie take the stage together for the first time in a decade in an all-ages show.
Rub shoulders with top PGA golfers as they play the Banff Springs Golf Course during the Jul 25 – 26 Telus World Skins Game. Also, Parks Canada turns 100 on Jul 16, so help celebrate by hitting up Parks Day in Banff and Jasper—have some birthday cake or watch the new totem pole being raised outside the Jasper Heritage Train Station.
Hot summer sun, thousands of cheering fans, and five outdoor stages make for a spectacular concert-going experience at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, which runs Jul 5 – 17. Big names include The Flaming Lips, The Black Keys, Peter Frampton, The Roots, and Blue Rodeo. Starting Jul 6 and running to Sep, the Sound and Light Show: Mosaika will once again be projected onto the exterior of the Parliament Buildings. Bring a blanket and enjoy this free, nightly presentation about Canada, which features music, narration, and stunning visual effects.
The Vancouver Folk Music Festival brings over 60 musicians from around the world to Jericho Beach Park for three magical days, Jul 15 – 17. Enjoy performances by Joel Plaskett & The Emergency, Gillian Welch and Rosanne Cash, while your little ones partake in face painting, storytelling and other fun-filled activities. On weekends throughout the summer, scour the stalls at the Chinatown Night Market for traditional crafts and clothes, and then tempt taste buds with exotic food finds. Don’t miss the live entertainment that ranges from karaoke to opera to live Kung Fu demonstrations.
Head to Squamish for five days devoted to celebrating mountain climbing during the Squamish Mountain Festival, Jul 13 – 17. Newbies and pros master their climbing skills then catch films and photography exhibits before partying the night away at the Howe Sound Brew Pub. Then catch hundreds of mountain bikers showcase their impressive skills in downhill and slalom challenges, while popular musicians K’Naan and Hot Hot Heat entertain the crowd as part of the outdoor concert series at Kokanee Crankworx, Jul 16 – 24.
Catch some of the world’s top street performers, including musicians, fire-throwers, jugglers and a whole lot of clowning, at the Victoria International Buskers Festival Jul 15 – 24, this family-friendly event takes place over six event stages located across downtown.
Going on vacation? Head to the doctor’s office first, experts say
Canadians going on exotic vacations may be forgetting a key part of their travel preparations: a trip to the doctor. Experts say less than a third of travellers seek medical advice before taking off, putting them at risk for unpleasant and potentially dangerous illnesses, infections and parasites.
Q: A friend suggested I go on a “voluntour” this year for my holiday, though she didn’t know much about them. What exactly is a “voluntour” and how do I begin planning? - Sheila McMahon, Calgary, AB
A: A “voluntour” is a term used to describe a vacation where you volunteer your skills to a community abroad in need while immersing yourself in a foreign culture.
What to Book
Many travel agencies, adventure companies, and not-for-profit organizations offer a wide selection of volunteer trips. The types and durations vary considerably—you can do anything from building houses in Africa to researching and taking care of panda bears in Shanghai or working to improve a sea turtle’s chances for survival in Costa Rica. Finding the right trip depends on what you’re looking for, and what your interests are. Consider booking an all-inclusive package that includes your meals, (which can be as simple as campfire cookouts), accommodations (often tenting or staying with a host family), as well as your volunteer activities. Depending on the trip, you’ll often travel in a group with like-minded volunteers, making it a great way to meet interesting people from around the world.
June is perhaps Toronto’s artsiest month, thanks to the annual Luminato festival, which, from Jun 10 – 19 celebrates creativity and innovation by presenting more than 150 ticketed and free theatrical and dance productions, concerts, readings and discussions, and visual art displays. Among the international offerings are a two-part, multilingual performance of the One Thousand and One Nights, and a new, full-length interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, presented by the National Ballet of Canada. Later in the month, music lovers can make the pilgrimage here for the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Opening on Jun 24 with a free concert by Aretha Franklin, the event subsequently offers hundreds of concerts from such renowned artists as The Bad Plus, Dave Holland, Kenny Barron and even The Roots.
Taste the best of Whistler with three-course menus priced at $19, $29, $39 and $49 during Dine In Whistler. On until the end of the month, there are over 30 participating restaurants offering something to delight every palate.
Improvaganza, running Jun 15 – 25 is an improv-based comedy festival spearheaded by Edmonton’s longest running improv theatre. It encompasses a variety of entertainers including sketch comedians, stand-up comedians and improv musicians. The comedy unfolds in the heart of Old Strathcona with four nightly shows in two theatre venues. Get set for the city’s first summer solstice celebration—Utopia Music Festival, a two-day celebration of love, unity and diversity, Jun 17 – 18. Held at the Heritage Amphitheatre in scenic Hawrelak Park, this eclectic outdoor music fest features folk, reggae, electronic and acoustic sounds with a stellar line-up including folk icon Ani DiFranco and former Moist frontman David Usher amongst others.
Multiple circus-style tents at The Forks erupt with shrieks and giggles Jun 9 – 12, as world-class children’s acts entertain enthralled little ones at the 28th annual Winnipeg International Children’s Festival. Local favourite Fred Penner headlines and hands-on activities from clay modelling to face painting keep children grinning from ear to ear.
Pedal power takes over Banff June 16-19 during the Banff National Park Bike Fest. Watch as up to 500 amazing cyclists tackle various bike races including the elite/pro invitational Lake Louise road race, Minnewanka Loop time trial, downtown Banff criterium, Surprise Corner prologue and Tunnel Mountain road race. There’s also a costumed race for kids and family fun events.
Check out the spellbinding musical Wicked as it explores the relationship between Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. This award-winning show is at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre until Jun 26. The annual summer seaside festival Bard on the Beach is back in town until Sep 24. Catch four of Shakespeare’s plays, including As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice, under open-air tents offering views of Vancouver’s skyline.
From Jun 16 – 18, watch in amazement as the National Arts Centre Orchestra teams up with spectacular circus performers for a show that mixes live classic and contemporary music with the acrobatic wonders of circus performers in NACO Pops: Cirque de la Symphonie. Mimes, strongmen, and aerialists perform as the orchestra plays carnival themes like “Night on Bald Mountain.” Meanwhile, Ottawa International Jazz Festival draws scores of jazz fans Jun 23 – Jul 3, from near and far for a jam-packed line-up. Performers to grace the main stage at this year’s event include k.d. lang, Pink Martini, Elvis Costello, and other top-notch acts.
The Calgary Stampeders are geared up for another season on the gridiron. Catch quarterback Henry Burris and his talented squad take on their Western rivals, the BC Lions on Jun 15. Enjoy four days of indie and alternative music acts at this year’s Sled Island Festival Jun 22 – 25, which pits international acts like Thee Oh Sees and Alberta Cross besides locals Smalltown DJs and Fist City.
Continuing through the summer, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street hosts a major retrospective of key works from Jacques Hurtubise’s five-decade career. Hurtubise showcases career highlights, featuring over 60 paintings and prints. The exhibition provides an unparalleled overview of this key figure in abstract art’s history.
Ten hot days of cool jazz fill downtown Victoria later this month when the 27th annual Victoria International JazzFest welcomes some of the hottest artists from around the world, Jun 24 – Jul 3. Highlights include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Mae Moore, Adonis Puentes and more.
We’ve asked our editors from coast to coast where to find some of their favourite street-food vendors and food trucks; from an Andy Warhol–inspired hot dog to fries made from PEI potatoes, you won’t want to miss the results.
Whether you’re looking for that perfect accompaniment for a special dinner on the town, or wanting to stock up your cellar with samples from some of Canada’s best wineries, these wine boutiques offer extensive selections and friendly staff to guide you along your way.
US tour operators visit Egypt hoping to restore large-scale tourism
A delegation of representatives from the U.S. tourism industry visited Egypt over Easter weekend, meeting with officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and the U.S. Embassy in hopes of convincing hesitant international travellers that Egypt is now safe and stable enough to resume large-scale tourism.
Business travellers often complain about the exhausting and stressful rigours of being on the road (or in the air) for much of their working lives. Now a study confirms that frequent business travel leads to increased health risks.
High cost of air travel and unrest in popular ports of call including Egypt and Tunisia have dampened demand for European cruise operators, who will be forced to turn to discounts to fill the ships this summer.