Canada 101 the essentials

Canada is in demand and ready to meet the expectations of clients in 2022. Below are our essential starting pointers as to why Canada is perfectly positioned to fulfil that dream trip

Flight options

There are non-stop, direct flights between the UK and Canada, with both scheduled flag carriers and low-cost airlines. These include Air Canada, British Airways, WestJet and Air Transat.

Time difference

Canada is closer than many think! The flight time is between five and 10 hours, depending on whether you are flying to the east (St John) or west (Vancouver) coasts. The flying time to Montréal is around seven hours and 15 minutes. Time differences vary between five and eight hours behind GMT.

Languages

Canada is both an English- and French-speaking destination – an interesting cultural mix for visitors. French is the mother tongue of 7.2 million Canadians (about 20% of the population), with most of these living in Québec.

Infrastructure

Wherever your travels take you in Canada, there is (a) a modern health system and (b) a well-developed road, transport and tourism infrastructure – which makes travelling around the country both easy and a pleasure. Driving is relatively stress-free with most roads usually quieter than those in the UK.

UK/Canada ties

Due to the historic close links between the UK and Canada, visitors have always been guaranteed a warm, friendly and genuine welcome – but this will be more evident than ever in 2022 after the many ‘missed’ months of tourists due to Covid.

Looks familiar

Those shared historic links and Commonwealth ties between Canada and the UK provide a reassuring familiarity! After all, Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch of both countries!

Indigenous tourism

burgeoning Indigenous tourism industry makes for unique and authentic experiences. In every province and territory, festivals, events and immersive experiences showcase the culture and history of Canada’s First Peoples through a unique and authentic Indigenous lens.

Unique culture

However, Canada is still a unique country with its very own diverse history, traditions, sports – such as hockey, curling and lacrosse – and activities, culture, cuisine and, most importantly, people.

Typically Canadian

These cultural traditions are also illustrated in major annual events. These include the Calgary Stampede, a celebration of the Canadian West and its pioneering spirit featuring rodeos, parades, concerts and more, and the New France Festival in Québec City, which celebrates the arrival of the first Europeans and includes costumes artistic, and culinary events. Across the country, world-class museums feature arts and crafts that pay homage to Canada’s nature, sweeping landscapes and mosaic of cultures.

Fabulous food

Lobsters, halibut, bison, wild foraged mushrooms, Alberta steak, French Canadian maple syrup, oysters, scallops, and berries all contribute to an exciting culinary scene being driven by internationally trained chefs. Then there is some of the best Chinese, Japanese, and Korean food outside of Asia.

For something more homely, warm up with a hot chocolate and a beavertail (a type of donut) or tuck into a plate of poutine (cheese curd and gravy served over chips).

Room to move

Canada offers space – lots of it! It is the second-largest country in the world, with 10 provinces and three huge territories – many of them several times the size of an average European country – to explore, it is easy to get off the well-trodden tracks and take yourself far away from the crowds.

The population density in Canada is as low as four people per km2 (the UK is around 275 per km2) (Source: Statista).

Bucket list

Canada is a Bucket List Destination that features several ‘must do’ experiences such as the Northern Lights, Dark Sky reserves, icebergs, iconic train journeys, natural wonders (such as Niagara Falls and The Canadian Rockies) and more.

Go on safari

Canada lays claim to some of the world’s greatest untamed lands and wilderness areas which provide a shelter to a range of impressive animals. Think black, brown (or grizzly), and polar bears, and whales species including Orca, Humpback and Narwhal.

Great outdoors

Within just an hour or less of most major cities and towns, Canada’s great outdoors awaits, with its abundance of fresh air, the scent of trees, lakes, rivers and oceans and pritine beaches. It’s a country where it is easy to enjoy all four seasons – whether the backdrop landscape is coastal, prairie, mountain or Arctic.

Adventures

Canada is an adventurers’ outdoor playground. In summer, enjoy road and mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, white-river rafting, angling, golf, surfing and more. In winter indulge in world-class skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, husky dog rides – even ice fishing and ice climbing. In autumn wonder at the riot of colours in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Québec.

Cruise the country

Several cruise companies operate itineraries that provide a great introduction to the country’s regions and highlights. Cruise the east coast, perhaps on a fall colours cruise, taking in Nova Scotia and Québec, or sail the waters off British Columbia up to Alaska’s Inside Passage.

Canada specialists

Canada-specialist tour operators offer a wide range of packages and tailor-made holidays to suit the occasion or client – whether that’s a bucket list trip, milestone visit, solo adventure, romantic getaway or a celebratory family multi-generational trip.

Covid regulations

Be fully up to date with the latest requirements for entry via Canada’s official government site: travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/exemptions.

Entry rules

British visitors to Canada must obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (eTA), which once obtained stays valid for multiple entries for five years. Apply online at Canada.ca/eTA.

It is also mandatory for passengers to provide information before and after arrival into Canada via the ArriveCAN app or web-based platform canada.ca/ArriveCAN. The app simplifies the process of providing information and is available via the Apple Store and Google Play.

Become a specialist

To become a Canada Specialist agent and qualify for benefits and possible fam trips, sign up to Destination Canada’s new CSP training platform is now live at canadaspecialist.co.uk.