Pictured above: A recent gathering for Switzerland tourism at the Swiss consulate in North Vancouver was attended by (l. to r.) Adrien Genier, director of Geneva Tourism and Congress; Emilie Morard, head of market management for Valais/Wallis Promotion; Ursula Beamish, manager of media relations in North America for Switzerland Tourism; Andreas Rufer, consul general of Switzerland in Vancouver; François Michel, VP of the Lake Geneva Region; and Pascal Prinz, director of Switzerland Tourism Canada.
A recent evening event at the Swiss consulate in North Vancouver, high above the city lights, featured recent tourism news and Swiss cuisine in warm surroundings. The Swiss consul general and Switzerland tourism reps ensured guests were well treated, with Swiss red and white wines and a raclette-style dinner, featuring signature melted cheese.
Tourism reps from the regions of Geneva and Valais Matterhorn took the opportunity to focus on event/attraction highlights for the coming year. For example, sports travellers can consider watching some of the world’s best athletes at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games (Jan. 9-22) in the Lake Geneva Region.
The region will also host the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in Lausanne (May 8-24) and the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Aigle and Martigny (Sept. 20-27).
Those who thrill to mountainside train rides may want to check out the new VerticAlp Emosson rail experience. This steep excursion runs to the dam of Emosson and Mont-Blanc in the heart of Espace Mont-Blanc. It uses three unique rail systems to reach Emosson at an altitude of 1,965 metres.
Cypress Mountain and Grouse Mountain, two of Vancouver’s local ski/snowboard mountains, are now open for downhill business and other snowy activities.
This season Cypress Mountain has made some upgrades to their snow-making capacity, pumping out more of the fluffy white stuff. There’s also a new digital rental system. As well, Family Fun Nights are starting, featuring music, fire pits and warm treats. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snow tubing are on offer for non-skiers and boarders. The resort has 53 runs (some for night skiing) and four terrain parks.
Grouse Mountain has also recently opened for the winter season, including night skiing. It has 33 runs (15 for night skiing) and six terrain parks. Non-skiers can check out the snowshoe trails and skating pond. And the popular Peak of Christmas event is on again this year until Jan. 5.
Natural Habitat Adventures is introducing its first Arctic expedition exclusively for women, with the seven-day Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures trip. It is operating the trips on Feb. 4-10 and Feb. 24-March 1, 2020 in Churchill, Manitoba.
The adventure will pay tribute to contributions by the women of the North through workshops on snowshoeing and igloo-building, plus dog sledding and field research at the Churchill Northern Studies Center. Evenings will be spent viewing the northern lights at four different private locations, including from heated Aurora Domes with 360° views. The trips are priced from US$5,995 per person, including accommodations, excursions, all meals, round-trip private charter flights from Winnipeg to Churchill, cold weather gear and more.