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Europe’s most incredible cosy cabins for watching the Northern Lights

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The Northern Lights are a phenomenon likely to appear on the wish, bucket or to-do list of any intrepid traveller. And what better way to experience them in Europe than by bunking down in cosy cabins, surrounded by miles of forest, still water or the peaks of mountains. They might be pared-back but still boast polished elements, whether it’s a heated hot tub in Sweden, an ‘igloo’ extension in Norway or a glass roof above your bed in Finland. Nothing distracts as the Aurora Borealis flames across the sky – curl up under a blanket and take a look inside. . .

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Travel & Escape

48 hours in . . . Bruges, an insider guide to Belgium’s city on water

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Little Bruges, the perfect pocket-sized medieval city, was a Sleeping Beauty. Laced with canals, it was one of the great North European trading ports in late medieval times. The magnificently detailed paintings of its artists, such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling, record its wealth in clothing, jewellery and ornament. Then it fell rapidly into decline and slept until rediscovered and restored to glory in the 19th century.

Today its new riches are in tourism, carefully managed and constantly refreshed by year-round cultural events, so that it retains the dynamism of a living city. The best way to appreciate all this is to stay a few days, luxuriating in the dreamily romantic boutique hotels, and visiting the rewarding museums and churches at your leisure. Above all, this is a place to walk and wonder, and there are still plenty of quiet corners to discover, where historic Bruges sleeps on.

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Travel & Escape

The curious idiosyncrasies of the Icelandic, from elves and nudity to dark jokes and shark meat

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Iceland: the land of fire and ice, home to long winters, pickled foodstuff and perhaps the world’s most confounding alphabet. Considering a trip there? Arm yourself first with five of its more curious cultural quirks…

They believe in elves. Sort of

… at the very least, the ancient mysticism around them remains alive and well. According to an oft-quoted survey conducted by the University of Iceland, nearly 10 per cent of citizens actually believe elves to be real, while more than 80 per cent are on the fence but refuse to deny their existence.

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Travel & Escape

Hurtigruten Beefs Up Canadian Presence

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Hurtigruten has made an important hire to help boost their presence in Canada and work more closely with Canadian agents.

Hurtigruten, the world leader in exploration travel, has appointed Kristin Erz as Business Development Consultant for Canada in the Americas region. Erz brings 13 years of travel industry expertise, and will build the Canadian business and embody Hurtigruten’s values to Inspire, Empower, Care, and Explore.

“Kristin Erz has established a track record of successful business growth. She will serve on our Americas team and be dedicated to increasing our presence in the Canadian market. As we partner with and support travel agents in Canada, Kristin’s strong relationships and expertise will assist us in positioning Hurtigruten as the largest and greenest expedition cruise line,” said Hurtigruten Americas President, William Harber.

“I’m excited to join a brand with such a deep history of expedition cruising, and to initiate new channels for growth in my home country,” said Erz, “I’m confident that providing Canadian agents with the necessary training and resources will bring Hurtigruten to the forefront of their conversations with clients, and I look forward to growing agency preference for Hurtigruten.”

Erz began her career in the cruise industry as Assistant Cruise Director for Princess Cruises. Since then, she has pursued her passion and talent for sales, most recently serving as Business Development Manager for TravelBrands, Inc., the largest independent travel company in Canada. There, she implemented successful growth strategies throughout the company and successfully partnered with travel agents. Erz herself is an avid explorer with a passion for adventure, having traveled to 65 countries on six continents.

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