Adventure Canada Bids a Long-Time Friend and Team Member a Happy Retirement
By Adventure Canada | May 31, 2023
By Adventure Canada | May 31, 2023
Message from Adventure Canada CEO, Cedar Swan:
It is so difficult to imagine the Adventure Canada world without you—seventeen years!
I remember when you first joined our team and I learned you had previous experience as a travel agent—I thought to myself, we’re moving on up—we have a trained travel professional with us!
I’ve always been so appreciative of all the little things that you’ve taken care of over the years—and I mean ALL of the little things. You have literally kept this office running in so many ways for close to two decades. Birthdays, lawn care, garbage night, mail, office supplies, news clipping—even the laundry when we were at Front St., you’ve been such an important part of how it all runs smoothly! All of this on top of doing a spectacular job caring for the thousands of guests that you personally serviced along the way. Thank you.
I feel so privileged to have worked with you Loretta and to have had you as a part of our family. Especially, all of the care you've shown for our entire family, Loretta. As you enter this next stage of your life, I wish you only the best. I hope that you’re able to kick your feet up, enjoy as many books and glasses of wine as you wish and never have to look at another email again! I’m sure you’ll find a way. I hope that you and Vic will relax and relish the many days ahead in your new home. Who knows what joys and adventures lay ahead.
Thank you Loretta for your kindness, your dedication, your intelligence and care—thank you for just being you!
I love you and you will be greatly missed,
Loretta with the Adventure Canada team on a hike through the Bruce Trail in Ontario.
Bidding farewell to a long-time friend and team member at Adventure Canada is no easy job, especially when it’s someone like Loretta Rempel, who has a natural talent and passion for helping people realize their dreams when it comes to adventuring.
Loretta’s relationship with Adventure Canada began seventeen years ago when she stumbled upon a job opening for a travel company in her hometown of Port Credit, Ontario. She had already worked in the travel industry prior to being a stay-at-home mom to her two children, Katie and Matthew.
“I started looking for opportunities and I saw something listed for Port Credit—an expedition cruise company at that. It's really a small area, I was quite surprised that there was a perfect fit for me in Port Credit,” explained Loretta.
“I looked into it further, and sure enough, it was in a building by the river that I walked by pretty much every day,” she added.
Loretta then applied for the job, got it, and the rest is history.
Loretta in the Galapagos
Loretta has been with the company since 2006, when it was a small team made up of eight people. Right from the start Loretta was an MVP in our guest services team. From helping folks choose their dream holiday to preparing our guests for their voyage, Loretta has been a cornerstone for our guests, expedition team and office staff alike. Loretta took care of everyone like family—and she did it like no other!
With a deep passion for travelling herself, Loretta’s journey with adventuring began at a young age, as she always had an insatiable desire to explore different parts of the world.
Right after graduating from high school, Loretta eagerly enrolled in a travel and tourism course at Sheridan College, in Mississauga, Ontario. Being as brilliant as she is, Loretta secured a job as a travel agent in no time. She caught the travel bug early in her career and it stuck with her right until the end.
She was drawn to the company because of her personal interests in travel and in the Canadian north. Loretta always took great pride in keeping up with politics, art and goings-on in the north. Many of our ship's bulletin boards were filled with carefully clipped news articles and special interest pieces that Loretta knew our guests would enjoy.
(Right to left) The Client Service team, Keara, Lauren, Kaleigh and Loretta, 2022
She dedicated countless hours of our short Canadian summers to ensuring every little detail was just right. The best was when Loretta would join and expedition herself, sometimes on her own and other times with her husband Vic, who plays a mean fiddle (big hit in Newfoundland!). Loretta has been a big fan, advocate, and one of the lead organizers of the numerous Arctic, Atlantic and global expeditions. She describes them as being “simply spectacular and amazing,” adding “it’s an experience like nothing else”.
Loretta says she’s grateful to have had the chance to grow alongside a team that offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to adventure enthusiasts. When she first joined the team, expedition cruising and leisure travel to the Arctic was extremely niche and tended to attract people who had already caught ‘Arcticus Feverous’—a term coined by the Arctic enthusiast, Farley Mowat.
The Adventure Canada team hiking Auyuittuq National Park, Nunavut
“It was something I had never seen before in my years with travel. I found it to be just fascinating.” It got Loretta thinking more about the Arctic and the people that call it home.
“One memory that sticks out in my mind the most, is the Northwest Passage expedition that I did in 2012. We reached 80.5 degrees north, the furthest north Adventure Canada had ever traversed.” Loretta shared excitedly.
“We were on Sea Adventurer, under the command of the late Captain Kenth Grankvist, and sailed far up into Kane Basin in between Greenland and Canada. It was quite spectacular to get up that far and when you come home, look at a map and see how far you had actually gone north, and to be a part of our company’s history—it was striking to take in,” she stated.
Visiting communities in the Arctic make up some of the fondest and dearest travel memories Loretta has. She adds that Grise Fiord—one of the most northern communities in Canada—which Adventure Canada visits most years, is one of the most moving expedition experiences she’s ever gone on. She says being able to speak to local community members, to better understand their way of life—the joys, the challenges, the beauty, is something she’ll never forget.
Speaking of unforgettable encounters, witnessing breathtaking wildlife in their natural habitats, such as polar bears, walruses, and narwhals is something else she’ll forever have ingrained in her mind.
Loretta says there are countless indelible moments that Adventure Canada offers their guests, many of which she has been able to partake in herself, such as Zodiac cruising in the Arctic.
“You're bouncing around and there are icebergs all around you and you just think, wow, this is just absolutely incredible, that I get to do this. It's an experience of a lifetime. It's not something that I ever thought I would have the opportunity to do,” she said.
Loretta has even been seen at the tiller herself!
Always up for a glam shot, Loretta gives ’er
“I'm very grateful that I got to do it and that I got to see the Canadian Arctic—it's an opportunity that I think most Canadians would love to be able to experience at some point in their lives,” Loretta adds.
With countless thrilling moments shared with Adventure Canada, there have been some bumps in the road as well, with the COVID-19 pandemic being the biggest one. Loretta recalls it being an undoubtedly tough time, with no expeditions for two years. Despite the many cancellations, she says our guests remained unequivocally supportive, as they kept their trust in the team and rebooked.
With rebooking being no easy feat, Loretta played a significant role in helping the team make several adjustments.
Nonetheless, after the whole ordeal, the team was able to persevere with the support of great clients, who helped Adventure Canada ride out the stormy and unprecedented waters.
Last year, the team had its first season post-COVID, and although it was still a challenging one, everyone was able to come together and get through the season, feeling stronger.
“Our guests are profoundly understanding, thoughtful and caring, they really worried about us and it was very heartwarming on difficult days, it was a major bump,” Loretta explained.
Loretta’s retirement party at her favourite restaurant, Colossus Greek Tavern, in March 2023
She said the team has had other hurdles to overcome over the company’s thirty-five years—everything from medivacs, to mechanicals to exciting itinerary twists due to the dynamic ice in Northern Canada.
“It's a great team, Adventure Canada works through it all. Behind the scenes, sometimes you have no idea what we’re going through—and you shouldn’t—but we give it our best and we manage to get through it,” she stated.
Loretta has been on numerous expeditions with Adventure Canada throughout Atlantic Canada, the British Isles, Galapagos, Costa Rica and Panama, but when it comes to travel advice for others, Loretta recommends a personal favourite.
Loretta enjoying the sun on her recent expedition to Costa Rica and Panama
“If you can—I'm fully aware of the financial investment, but honestly, see the Canadian Arctic. It's so rich in culture. Inuit are so welcoming. It is a privilege to be in their homeland and they're so open to us understanding their way of life,” she reflects.
“The beauty in the Arctic is just something else as well, point and case is Baffin Island, the fjords, the mountains—you really can't imagine how beautiful it is until you're up there. If you can at all experience the Canadian Arctic, I would highly recommend you make the effort. You will definitely not be disappointed.”
Loretta and her husband, Vic enjoying themselves on the Newfoundland Circumnavigation in 2008
Just before her retirement, Loretta and Vic, joined our Costa Rica and Panama expedition as our very special guests. Loretta looks forward to enjoying her retirement with her husband and two children, who are all avid travellers as well, along with going for walks, hikes and having more time to spend with her loved ones. She’s also thrilled about having more time to cozy up with a good book and continue seeing her Adventure Canada family.
Loretta will be dearly missed by the entire Adventure Canada community. Please join us in wishing her the utmost joy and great health in the years ahead. A special thanks to all who sent in their personal farewell messages.
(Right to left) MJ, Vic, Loretta, Alana, and Cedar at Loretta’s retirement party, March 2023
An Inspiration For Me
I am so happy to see you on your journey into retirement! I can hardly believe it! You are leaving us with a legacy of hard work, perseverance, and excellence that will be tough to beat. It’s been an absolute joy working with you over the years, and I’ve been lucky to have you as a mentor and friend. In my young adult years, I looked up to you and Judy as you raised your kids and showed me how you prioritized family and work. I admired how you balanced work and still did everything you could with your children and Vic. An inspiration for me.
You’ve always been a dependable person who has put their heart and soul into all that you do at Adventure Canada. From teaching us about insurance and educating us on hotel and manifest details that we are missing, a detail rarely went by you. Thank you, Loretta, for putting so much time and care into your job at Adventure Canada.
There is a reason why we have been able to build a reputation around customer service, and you are one of those key contributors that helped get us there. It was a pleasure getting to travel with you on High Arctic this year, and I can certainly say it was a pleasure to see how you took the time and care with all of our guests onboard, some of which you had been working with throughout the past few years. Your ability to put our guests first, in every moment is
at the heart of Adventure Canada, and you have done this both on the ship and in the office. Thank you for being you. Thank you for caring about everyone around you.
Now that you are onto your next chapter, you have earned every moment of it! So, enjoy your retirement to the fullest and know that we’re all here cheering you on and wishing you the best. Please don’t be a stranger!
All the best, Loretta! We’ll miss you a ton!
With love and admiration,
You’ve Been A Beacon Of Light And Positivity
Loretta, it was always a pleasure during my occasional office visits from out west to see your smiling face and feel the kindness you send out in all directions. You’ve been a beacon of light and positivity in your career with Adventure Canada and your contributions to our collective AC Family success will always be treasured.
Wishing you all the best, in however you define and pursue ‘retirement’ and I certainly hope we cross paths again soon.
Loretta Put Me Totally At Ease
Thank you for the opportunity to provide my thoughts on Loretta’s retirement. I know you and your team are going to miss her.
When I first got your email, I thought “say, it isn’t so!!!” It’s always been a great pleasure to work with Loretta over the years. The first time I met Loretta was back in 2010. I had signed on for the Out of the Northwest Passage trip. I had never done adventure travelling before, nor been on a ship for that matter, so was a bit apprehensive. I’m sure I had more than the usual number of questions, but Loretta put me totally at ease. It was a fairly straight forward interaction—until it wasn’t!
I was one of those passengers anxiously waiting in Edmonton to fly to Kugluktuk to start this spectacular journey, only to find out our ship had grounded and we wouldn’t be able to go that year. Needless to say we were all disappointed. However, I was in good hands with Loretta. All the necessary paperwork got done for rebooking for the following year, reimbursements, etc., with minimal effort on my part. I know it must have been quite chaotic behind the scenes, but I never felt that dealing with Loretta.
You learn a lot about an organization by how their client service staff, as the front door to the business, deal with the ‘unusual’. All my interactions with Loretta were professional, knowledgeable and supportive. It is because of this initial relationship that I have continued to enjoy travelling with Adventure Canada. Fast forward, I have now travelled with Adventure Canada to Galapagos/Machu Picchu, the East Coast, the Arctic again, and I’ll be off to Scotland this year.
Even when I have had other client service representatives as point people for my travels, Loretta has always been there in the background to help handle my questions about the trip, payment, insurance, whatever, and to just have a nice chat. So, to Loretta I say—Thank you and Happy Retirement! I know you will enjoy it, whatever you intend to do, but I do hope some of it will involve travelling!
When I think of my mom’s time at Adventure Canada, I think of how significant a role it’s had in her life and our family’s. From the first day my mom started at Adventure Canada, my sister and I have graduated from high school and university, moved out, moved abroad, returned home, moved out again, gotten new jobs, and become full-fledged adults (well, almost). My parents went from having a full house to being empty nesters, then back to a full house, then back to empty nesters, and finally moving out of the family home and into a new home altogether. Through it all, Adventure Canada has been a constant, a reliable partner, and a pillar that my mom and our family can lean on.
My mom has loved her time at Adventure Canada. She’s never had to say it for us to know it’s true. It manifests itself in the way she talks about her co-workers, making everyone sound like they’re part of one big family. It shows when she recaps her work day to us through laughter and joy. It’s evident in the way she fondly recalls the trips and cultural experiences she’s had the privilege to be a part of over the years. No amount of busy seasons and client service challenges could sway my mom into feeling anything other than love for a company that has given her so much.
Our family is very grateful to AC and the Swan family for being alongside my mom through all these years. While we’re all excited about the next stage in my mom’s journey, there’s no doubt that Adventure Canada will always be a part of her life, just as it has been since her first day on the job. I trust that it will continue to be a pillar for her, one built off of the memories made and friendships forged. That doesn’t sound like a goodbye to me.
Happy retirement mom!