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Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Yacht Britannia included bizarre item – what was it for? | Travel News | Travel

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Queen Elizabeth II had use of the Royal Yacht Britannia from 1954 until it was decommissioned in 1997. It was designed as a royal residence to entertain guests around the world but also served as a private retreat for the family. The vessel boasted some very intriguing curiosities which wouldn’t normally be found on a yacht. Author Peter Pigott made the revelation in his book Royal Transport.

The Royal Yacht Britannia was home to several unusual features but perhaps most curious was the mahogany bar in the middle of the deck of the ship.

The royal bridge was where many photos of the royal family were taken – but what purpose did the bar serve?

Pigott revealed in his book that the wooden bar actually had a very important function indeed – especially for Elizabeth and other females.

“While it appeared to have no function, it was built to preserve royal modesty in case a breeze lifted the ladies’ skirts,” said Pigott.

This isn’t the only trick member of the royal family to prevent any fashion mishaps in the wind.

Queen Elizabeth’s hems fall below her knee and include tiny lead curtain weights sold by department stores in a bid to avoid any Marilyn moments. 

The oddities of the Royal Yacht don’t stop there, however. There was also a large area where the family could play.

“Within the royal quarters there was a large deck where the royal family relaxed and played, and one of their favourite games was desk hockey,” revealed the author.

Perhaps, even stranger was one of the cabins. “There were unusual cabins like the Jelly Room,” wrote Pigott, “where the royal children’s desserts were stored, and the Silver Room.

“A yachtsman polished the massive silverware collection daily and understandably, a three-month deployment used 240 tins of polish.”

The Queen was also fussy about what she brought on the ship with her, claimed Pigott.

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Travel & Escape

American woman faces $2,800 parking bill after leaving car in Toronto during pandemic

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Parking in the city can be costly, but one American woman is learning just how bad it can be after being unable to retrieve her car for nearly a year.

Detroit resident Kim Richardson left her 2004 Honda Element at the Park2Sky lot by Pearson airport in March 2020 before flying out to Europe for a medical procedure. She originally planned to retrieve it within two weeks but partway through her trip, the Canada-US border got closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Richardson’s return flight was rerouted to Detroit and she’s been unable to return to Toronto since.

What was originally a $100 bill has now inflated to $2,800 as the lot’s owner says he has a business to operate and is owed payment for 11 months of storage. However, Richardson believes she’s being extorted for an issue beyond her control.

Park2Sky personnel claim that several Americans who found themselves in similar predicaments have had their cars shipped home.

“I don’t understand, I don’t know what’s going on here. Business is down, I’m not making any money at all. People who leave their car are paid. She’s the only one that hasn’t paid,” said the owner to CBC News this week.

The stalemate is expected to last a while longer as travel restrictions remain in place and Ontario Provincial Police have said they won’t get involved in a civil matter.

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All systems are go for St. Lawrence Cruise Lines in 2021

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KINGSTON — Despite Canada’s newly extended cruise ship ban, Canadians still have a small-ship cruising alternative in 2021 with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.

The small-ship operator, which sails on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, has confirmed operations for 2021, with overnight cruises on both rivers from May 20 to Oct. 24. A variety of cruises ranging from four to seven nights will depart from Kingston, Ottawa and Quebec City, sailing exclusively in domestic waters with stops at select ports in Ontario and Quebec.

On Feb. 4, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra announced that Canada’s cruise ship ban will be extended until Feb. 28, 2022. This measure, which effectively prohibits cruise vessels carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Canadian waters, does not impact the small-ship operations of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and its 32-stateroom CANADIAN EMPRESS.

“We are excited to offer travellers a small ship option for the 2021 season,” said President Jason Clark. “Our overnight cruises stay close to shore in Canadian waters and our COVID-19 Health and Safety program has been recognized for its high standards.”

This past December, the cruise line was awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) for adherence to global standards of health and hygiene. The program includes a wide range of safety measures, including reduced passenger loads, masking, physical distancing and hospital-grade electrostatic disinfecting for both private staterooms and shared spaces. Plus, all staterooms have access to fresh air, climate controls and views of the river.

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Here’s How Canada’s ‘Screening Officers’ Will Check On Travellers During Quarantine

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The federal government is reminding all travellers in Canada that “Screening Officers” may pay them a visit post-arrival.

In a statement about the country’s latest travel restrictions, Transport Canada confirmed that newly-trained officials would be tasked with checking up on travellers during their two-week quarantine period.

The role of the Screening Officers will be to visit travellers’ quarantine locations to “establish contact, confirm identify and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada.”

This is to make sure individuals are complying with Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement.

The checks will be conducted across 35 Canadian cities, having already started in Montreal and Toronto back in January.

The officials will provide “compliance education” and will be able to issue verbal warnings, but stronger enforcement action will be referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and then law enforcement for follow-up checks. 

Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act or with Screening Officers’ instructions could result in fines of up to $750,000 or even jail time.

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