Quebec's Best Winter Adventures - United Hub
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Quebec’s best winter adventures

By Nick Harper, November 21, 2017

Quebec City is one of North America's oldest and most visually impressive urban settlements, a city of cobbled streets, soaring spires and the picturesque Old Town, watched over by the grand and iconic Château Frontenac.

It also happens to be one of the snowiest places on the planet, with an average snowfall of around 124 inches. And while it's a great city to visit at any time of the year, Quebec really comes to life in the winter. So, to make the most of what may well be your first visit there, consider these five essential winter experiences.

Check in at North America's only ice hotel

For a short window between January and March each year, Quebec City is home to one of the world's most exclusive–and unusual–hotels. Since 2001, the magnificent snow-and-ice Hôtel de Glace opens its doors and offers luxurious shelter from the elements. Built 4km north of Quebec City, this magnificent ice edifice is home to 44 themed rooms and suites, hot tubs, sauna and ice bar. Part architectural masterpiece, part frozen work of art, for that small amount of time each year, there's no hotter address in the city or on the planet.

Morning Winter Ski Trails in Quebec

Hit the slopes

Quebec City is a powder hound's paradise, with four world-class ski resorts sat just a snowball's throw from the city center. Mont-Sainte-Anne, Le Massif de Charlevoix, Stoneham Mountain Resort and Le Relais offer ski, snowboard and XC slopes for all ages and experiences. XC? That's cross-country in powder parlance. In all there are 197 runs, ranging from the Easy to the Extremely Difficult/Borderline Insane, with 66 of them lit for evening adventure. A Multi-Resorts Ticket and regular shuttle busses from the city center make sampling multiple slopes easy and essential.

Person snowshoeing on trails in Quebec

Embrace the Big Freeze

In order to embrace the wintery conditions still further, strap on a pair of traditional rawhide snowshoes–think tennis racquets for your feet–and head out on foot. Hundreds of kilometers of marked trails make snowshoeing an unmissable Quebec experience.

Then again, you may want to consider one of Quebec City's more unusual leisure pursuits. Ice canoeing, ice canyoning, ice fishing and ice climbing are just four options elevated by having the word 'ice' prefixed. Anyone almost anywhere can canoe or canyon, fish or climb, but Quebec City takes the experience to a higher level by adding ice into the equation. Indeed, the ice climbing option involves scaling the almost 300ft-high Montmorency Falls waterfall, clambering a vertical ice face from top to bottom. In the world of water-cooler one-upmanship, it won't be beaten.

Quebec in winter

Join the Winter Carnaval

As far back as 1894, Quebec City has hosted a festival to celebrate the onset of winter and help the Quebecois prepare for the snow and would 'warm their hearts during the cold season'. The festival came and went until 1955, when a group of city businessmen realized a regular event could boost the economic development of Quebec. And so an annual traditional–Quebec Winter Carnaval–was born.

Held between the end of January and the middle of February and presided over by Bonhomme 'the giant snowman' Carnaval, a mix of parades, palaces and parties attract huge crowds to the city, making it one of the world's most popular winter festivals. We'd warn you to miss it at your peril–but if you're in Quebec during Carnaval season, missing it is nigh on impossible.

Experience a Nordic spa

It's said that you haven't truly lived until you've experienced a Nordic spa. In which case, head to Quebec City's Laurentians region and you will truly come alive.

For the uninitiated, a Nordic spa treatment involves working up a sweat in a sauna or eucalyptus steam bath, then plunging into an ice-cold pool, waterfall or freezing river, then repeating the process. This contrast between hot and sweaty and oh-so-very-cold stimulates circulation to reduce inflammation, boost your immune system and generally make you feel both relaxed but alive like never before.

Thanks to its stunning landscape and the snowy conditions, Quebec has become a haven for Nordic spas. The Polar Bear's Club and Scandinave Spa are just two of many excellent examples.

Essential information

Quebec's winter runs December through March, with December through February being the coldest and best time to visit for winter events and snow. Average high temperatures in December, January and February hover around the 20 degrees Fahrenheit mark. Pack accordingly and, to avoid disappointment, book what needs booking well in advance.

If you go

United Airlines offers flights from many cities to Quebec. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your trip to this top winter destination.

United's regional presidents join respective Governor's COVID-19 task force

By Ryan Wilks, May 21, 2020

As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.

A message from Scott Kirby, United’s new CEO

By The Hub team, May 20, 2020


Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.

While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.

First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.

As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.

Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.

We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.

But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.

Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.

Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.

While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.

Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, April 22, 2020
United Clean Plus | Clorox

We remain passionate about connecting the world safely

United CleanPlus SM is our commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of your journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. We're teaming up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures, and over the coming months, we'll roll out Clorox products across our U.S. airports, starting in select locations, to help support a healthy and safe environment throughout your travel experience.

At the airport

  • At check-in:

  • 1
    Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
  • 2
    Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3
    Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4
    Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5
    Introducing touchless check-in for customers with bags
  • At the gate:

  • 6
    Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7
    Providing hand sanitizer and
    disinfectant wipes
  • 8
    Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9
    Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing

On our aircraft

  • 1
    Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2
    Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 3
    Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
  • 4
    Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5
    Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6
    Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7
    Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
    • Limiting middle seat selection
    • Moving customers seated closely together
    • De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • 8
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
  • 9
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles

Cleveland Clinic We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.

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