cloud 9

new-look, interactive digital edition
Inspiration for unforgettable holidays | Jan 2013

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4 WINDOW SEAT 6 iceland

elcome 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.


William Gray, Editor

Explore big new horizons in Alaska, Discover the World’s latest destination

Seeing red? Give it a

Click here to see the new Hotel ION and our latest Iceland holidays PLUS whale watching and hiking

The new go-slow, fullimmersion way to experience New Zealand

If you haven’t seen the northern lights yet, now’s your chance. Click here for

The great outdoors by air, sea, road, rail and sledge

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.

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Hot short break: Superjeep Volcano Adventure PLUS self-drive in Europe’s very own Middle Earth

late availability trips and next winter’s highlights

How to get the most from this digital edition of Cloud 9

Q tell me about it
Will Gray chats to Clive Stacey, Discover the World’s MD, about travel and the weather

If you wondered where our summer went, the answer is Iceland! They had the best weather on record


Did the northern lights live up to all the media hype? Yes, absolutely and some of the experts are saying that it will continue to increase in intensity right through next winter and beyond! What’s on your travel wishlist? It’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.


Alaska sounds fun. Tell me more. Icelandair are flying there, via Reykjavik, twice a week from midMay 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.

reader poll
What’s on your travel wishlist for 2013? Click below to vote



If we get another summer like last year, where would you go to escape wet Britain? If 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…


DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013



window seat
Inside the volcano!

Click here to find out about our acclaimed Schools Programme – Iceland to China

Hans Strand

Burning issue
Discover the World’s threenight Superjeep Volcano Adventure was so popular

Click here to explore the Lofoten Islands

New departures on our Iceland Superjeep Volcano Adventure, now May to September
last year that it’s been extended to run from May to September during 2013. Combining the thrill of exploring Iceland by Superjeep with a unique tour inside the colossal magma chamber of a dormant volcano, this is surely the hottest short break out there!

The drive of your life
Book early for Around Lofoten Self-drive A spectacular blend of jagged peaks, steep fjords, fishing villages and Viking heritage, Norway’s Lofoten Islands are the setting for some of Europe’s most breathtaking selfdrive routes. Be sure to book early, though, as availability for the summer is very limited.

This is the only place on earth where a volcanic magma chamber is accessible and safe to explore

Click here to find out more about this tour

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100% guaranteed
Once I book with you, is my money safe? Yes. 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. 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.

When you book your holiday with Discover the World, you are in very safe hands thanks to their 100% Guaranteed unique pledge
with us as part of your holiday goes bust, then we will make alternative arrangements or provide a full refund.


We hear about rising fuel costs all the time. Does that mean I might have to pay extra, even at short notice? We 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



What about all those other ‘unknowns’ like cancelled flights? If 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


But I guess volcanic eruptions and ash clouds are ‘Acts of God’? Specialising 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!


And what happens if I lose my job? We can help with that too! Click the red button above for full details of our pledge.

DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013




NEW Glacier Lodge

NEW Holidays

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 tailormade hiking service and a unique summer adventure based at Hotel ION.



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Look inside Hotel ION

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.

Visit website

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.

Visit website

Glacier Lodge

Exclusive to Discover the World

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.
DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013

Visit website


How it all began


Celebrating 21 years of whale watching in Iceland A special weeklong departure of the hugely popular Killer Whales & Northern Lights holiday, WhaleFest 2013 (now fully booked) will celebrate Discover the World’s 21st anniversary of pioneering whale watching trips in Iceland. An exciting programme of whale watching, talks from cetacean experts and time to explore Snaefellsnes, WhaleFest returns in February 2014, so be sure to book your place early for this exclusive trip.

Visit website

Killer Whales & Northern Lights Orcas 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.

Play video clip of orcas in Iceland

Sailing & Wildlife Adventure
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.

A voyage to the remote Western Fjords

Visit website

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Pick your Peak!

Clic ur wa yo

rt id sta g hol TH o t n k ki l

lk Y g wa WA nin IS plan ay

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 tailormade 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.

Visit website
DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013





Sightings of the Aurora Borealis have been spectacular so far this winter – and there’s still time to book a holiday to see them in the next few months

green light:


Book now for late availability

Top 5 northern lights holidays

our f bor avourit eali ea far t s imag urora e his win s so ter



Northern 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.


Northern Lights Adventure Special, Iceland Hiking spectacular trails by day, hunting auroras by night, this five-day active break includes guided day walks and time to visit classic sites.


Swedish Lapland Too cool for words, the ICEHOTEL has 10 new Northern Lights suites this year, while winter activities range from husky sledging to aurora hunting by snowmobile.

Icehotel Break,

In Pursuit of the Aurora, Norway A week’s northern lights odyssey, this trip includes a voyage along the wild Finnmark coast, plus stays in aurora-bathed Tromso and Kirkenes. Available in March only.


Lapland Adventure Weekend, Sweden Enjoy a night in the legendary ICEHOTEL, before transferring to cosy Camp Ripan for more winter activities (moose safari anyone?) and aurora gazing.

If 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.

Click here to see more northern lights holidays

DISCOVER THE WORLD | cloud 9 | Jan 2013





Putting the wild in wilderness, Alaska is new from Discover the World and can be easily reached on new summer flights via Iceland
Plan your trip on our interactive Alaska map

Listen to the Robert Service Poem

Click here for photo gallery

From gold-rush stampeders to wilderness seekers, Alaska has long been the ‘magnetic north’ of the United States


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 >>

DISCOVER THE WORLD | cloud 9 | Jan 2013



The Arctic North

B r o o k s

e R a n g

cle Arctic Cir






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Denali National Park

Fairbanks WrangellSt Elias National Park

Katmai National Park

ange R k a Anchorage s la

Bering Sea
i en

Kenai Fjords Kodiak Island

Prince William Sound


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Gulf of Alaska


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Click on the map circles to explore Alaska

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.

Cruise - Inside Passage: Alaskan Discovery

Cruising into Prince William Sound

Glacier Bay National Park Juneau

Ra Rail il – Alas road k Adv an Ride entu Alas re k Ra ilr oad a’s famo f u rom to Se s A w Fjord ard, cru nchorage is s ra il t , then co e Kena i o n NP a Talkeetn tinue by a, De nd Fa nali irban ks.

5 ways to go

Wildlife – G Grizzlies laciers, & Whale s From Jun eau, visit the majestic Mendenh all Glacie and take r a floatpla ne safari in search of bears. Then fly to Gu stavus, g ateway to Glacier B ay, for en counters with iceb ergs and whales.

Alaska’s Self-drive – ders Natural Won e national Combine thre i Fjords, Denal parks – Kenai on – t Elias and Wrangell-S venture with ad k ee a two-w included, like lots of extras ts, wildlifebushplane fligh oric tours. st hi cruises and

as s


tion a l Fo


Pacific Ocean


Perfect for first-timers, this weeklong tour takes in the scenic, cultural and wildlife highlights of Denali NP, Portage Glacier and Kenai Fjords.

Escorted – Alaska by Rail & Coach

Click here for our full range of Alaska holidays

DISCOVER THE WORLD | cloud 9 | Jan 2013



Lake Tarawera

•travel less • see more•
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

New Zealand modules

Y go our sa slo tick ve vourw tr et t Ne ry b ing ave o w l Ze est the , al of an d

An alternative to touring, Discover the World’s new modules offer a more relaxed, in-depth way to experience New Zealand’s highlights
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 best visitor experiences in each area. A choice of three types of accommodation feature in each itinerary, as well as a range of excursions and walks.

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Salt Air flying safari over Roberton Island


Coromandel & Auckland

How they work

1 Take your pick from
Central North Island Taranaki & Wanganui Tongariro

Hawke’s Bay

Wellington & Wairarapa

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.

Click on the circles to explore each module
DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013



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. by rail When it comes to classic train journeys, the Rocky Mountaineer is among the world’s finest. Soak up the views from glassdomed 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. ON FOOT 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.

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by floatplane 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 naturelover’s dream, made all the more special by its subtle link to the outside world by floatplane from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. by sea kayak 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. by boat 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.
DISCOVER THE WORLD | Cloud 9 | Jan 2013

here to see more fabulous ideas for your Canadian holiday


by SLEDGE 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 fiveday 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.



cloud 9
In the next issue:
South Island New Zealand Great adventures Norwegian Fjords Iceland self-drive Greenland
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Discover the World Ltd
Arctic House, 8 Bolters Lane, Banstead, Surrey SM7 2AR Email Fax +44 (0) 1737 362 341 Twitter @DTW_Holidays
Writing & design William Gray |

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