Winter Lapland: Arctic Adventure
ESCORTED – 12 GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
Saariselkä | Kirkenes | Saariselkä | Sinettä | Rovaniemi | Kemi | Rovaniemi
Tours start in Saariselkä, Finland on Saturdays
Departures: January 05, 12, 19, & 26, February 02, 09, 16, & 23,
March 02, 09, 16, & 23, 2019
Experience the most remarkable and unique journey to Lapland, where you will be amazed by a blend of first-class travel and the most fascinating and invigorating winter activities in this outstanding Arctic region!
In Kirkenes, Norway, you’ll taste the delicacies of the North on a King Crab Safari. In Finnish Lapland you’ll stay in Saariselkä, with its dazzling white landscape, and on to Sinettä with a night in the extraordinary Arctic Glass Igloos. Weather permitting, you may see the breathtaking Northern Lights from your bed. You’ll also experience Santa Claus Village and visit the home of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi! Highlights of this winter adventure include the ‘Sampo’ Icebreaker Cruise (you’ll have a chance to take a swim in the fresh arctic waters of Kemi!), a snowshoe safari, a reindeer sleigh ride, a husky safari, and much more!
NOTE: There are two additional departures for this tour, with slightly varying itineraries, for December 2018. Please contact us for information regarding itinerary, dates, and pricing.
Day 01: Arrive Ivalo – Saariselkä
Arrive at Ivalo Airport and transfer to your hotel in Saariselkä, a unique northern countryside region within Sámi territory teeming with national parks, lakes, rivers and highland fells. Check in to your first-class hotel, and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
Please consult the welcome letter which you receive on check in to your hotel, and note the meeting place and time with your tour leader.
Santa’s Tunturi Hotel
Day 02: Saariselkä – Kirkenes – King Crab Safari
Early today after breakfast we check out of the hotel and cross the northern border into Norway, where we arrive in Kirkenes: capital of the Barents Region located right near the Russian border, and home to the famous SnowHotel. We make a brief stop at the SnowHotel before checking in at your hotel.
After check in at your hotel, you’ll enjoy the famous King Crab Safari directly from your hotel and experience one of the highlights of Northern Norway: tasting one of its famous local delicacies. The red King Crab, once found exclusively in the Bering Sea region and now an integral part of the Barents Sea ecosystem, can reach up to just under 6 feet between the claws and weigh up to 33 pounds! After you catch your King Crab, you’ll be transferred to a remote cabin where the crab is prepared for a northern Norwegian lunch. All equipment and clothing is provided, and the rest of the day is at leisure once you return to your hotel.
Overnight at your hotel in the heart of Kirkenes.
Thon Hotel Kirkenes
Day 03: Kirkenes – Saariselkä – Snowmobile Safari (Opt.)
Leave Kirkenes and Norway behind this morning after breakfast, and cross the border into Finland travelling via Inari back to Saariselkä. Along the way we’ll visit the National Museum of the Finnish Sámi (SIIDA), where you’ll experience more about the Sámi culture and way of living. Lunch is included.
After the museum visit, continue on to Saariselkä and check in to your first class hotel. The rest of your day in Saariselkä is at leisure.
Tonight you’ll have the option to join another exciting excursion: a nighttime snowmobile ride! Head back to your hotel afterward.
Santa’s Tunturi Hotel
NOTE: Come and experience an exotic Arctic evening by driving through snow-covered forests and over treeless fells! With a little luck, if the sky is clear, the moon, stars, and even the Northern Lights may show you the way. The safari is heading to the Igloo site, where you have the possibility to roam around the forest nearby, and watch the Northern Lights show inside the igloo. A Northern Lights dinner will be served at the traditional Lappish wooden Kammi. Return to your hotel in the bus. (Requires pre-booking; please see end of tour for pricing.)
Day 04: Saariselkä – Snowshoe Safari – Snow Adventure with Fatbikes (Opt.) – Aurora Borealis Sleigh Ride (Opt.)
Breakfast is at your hotel. This morning you’ll tread in the footsteps of the Sámi: in this included snowshoe safari, you’ll explore the winter-white wilderness of Urho Kekkonen National Park! Strap on your snowshoes and crunch over the powdered forests and hills which surround Saariselkä, following your guide.
In the early afternoon, you can join an optional snow adventure with fatbikes: off-road bicycles with oversized tires that can handle snow. After receiving your helmet, bike, and instructions on how to handle the bike, the adventure is ready to start and take you through snowy landscapes of Saariselkä. During the adventure you will enjoy the silence of the tranquil forests and nature around you. A break will be held for you to stop for a rest, fry sausages, and to enjoy some hot berry juice around an open fire. (Requires pre-booking; please see end of tour for pricing.)
The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to continue exploring the area. You may want to try the very popular Finnish sauna, available at the hotel.
Later on tonight, you can join an optional Aurora Borealis sleigh ride excursion: a magical ride through the fell district with spectacularly unimpeded views of the northern night sky, you’ll head towards a cabin where you enjoy warm berry juice and rest in the middle of Finnish Lapland. (Requires pre-booking; please see end of tour for pricing.)
Overnight at your hotel.
Santa’s Tunturi Hotel
NOTE: Sleigh ride excursion does not involve driving the snowmobile. The snowmobile pulls your group and sleigh into the fell district.
Day 05: Saariselkä – Sinettä Glass Igloos – Snow Sauna & Outdoor Jacuzzi (Opt.)
After breakfast at the hotel this morning, travel south toward Sinettä. On the way, you’ll visit a location that is one of the highlights of this winter tour—a Sámi reindeer farm—where you’ll learn how to throw the Sámi lasso (Suopunki) before exploring the wintry landscape by reindeer sleigh. A three-course lunch is included at the farm before you continue on to Sinettä.
Sinettä is the location of a unique hotel—the Arctic SnowHotel—where you’ll check in to a private Glass Igloo. Enjoy the warmth of your Glass Igloo and weather permitting, you can marvel at the amazing Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) and the millions of stars from your bed. Dinner—a special three-course meal featuring fresh salmon slow-grilled over a magnificent wooden ‘Kota’ (open fire pit)—is also included at the hotel.
After dinner, retire to your Glass Igloo for the night or enjoy a truly unique optional excursion: A sauna made from snow and an outdoor Jacuzzi to heat the Arctic night!
Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos
NOTE: Tonight’s short optional excursion is a snow sauna and outdoor Jacuzzi! With walls of snow and ice and benches made of wood, the snow sauna is a very unique experience, and the outdoor Jacuzzi is a relaxing retreat—with the bonus that you may be able to see the astonishing variety of the Northern Lights’ endless heavenly patterns. There is also an option to upgrade from your Glass Igloo to a Snow Suite with 1-hour outdoor Jacuzzi. (Requires pre-booking; please see end of tour for pricing. Sauna and Jacuzzi are shared with fellow tour guests.)
Day 06: Sinettä – Husky Safari – Santa Claus Village – Rovaniemi – Aurora Borealis Camp by Snowmobile (Opt.)
Breakfast is at the hotel this morning. In the late morning you’ll travel the short distance to Rovaniemi, stopping on the banks of the Kemijoki River for an exciting Husky Safari!
You’ll visit a local genuine husky farm in Rovaniemi, where the head musher greets you and speaks about the life and training of a husky in the Arctic, and then instructs you on how to use the sled. You’ll set off through the forest together on an exciting run in pairs, your husky companions churning up the snow before you. After the trip, visit the farm and enjoy a traditional outdoor picnic lunch: Lappish fire-grilled sausage and pancakes.
Later you’ll make the short journey to the world-famous Santa Claus Village, built right on the Arctic Circle, and meet Santa himself! You can stop by the post office to send a letter to someone special, as well as explore the magical grounds and Santa’s Park.
From Hotel Santa Claus, it’s a short trip to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free to relax, or to join an excursion to an Aurora Borealis camp by snowmobile.
Hotel Santa Claus
NOTE: Time permitting, you’ll have the option to join another exciting excursion tonight: travel to a nearby Northern Light resort by snowmobile or bus and experience the fantastic views for nearly 4 hours! Visit a theater built inside a massive snow igloo (known as a Kota), roam the resort, lay back in the snow observatory by an open fire to admire the sky, and enjoy traditional reindeer burgers in a wooden Kammi cabin cooked over an open fire. Head back to your hotel afterward. (Requires pre-booking; please see end of tour for pricing.)
Day 07: Rovaniemi – Kemi Icebreaker Cruise – Rovaniemi – Snowland Igloo Restaurant (Opt.)
You’ll have breakfast at your hotel before departing on your last memorable, full day of activities. First you’ll head to Kemi, Finland: home of the incredible Kemi SnowCastle (and the equally incredible snow slide). Explore the snow sculptures and the grounds here and enjoy the fun, festive atmosphere. NOTE: Due to weather conditions, the Kemi SnowCastle is not guaranteed to be open until Jan. 22. Please check with us upon booking.
At roughly noon depart in a private coach and travel south to Kemi, where you experience one of the highlights of your winter adventure: the Sampo Icebreaker. Board the ship at Kemi Harbor and spend 4 hours on this unforgettable vessel breaking though the ice in the northern Gulf of Bothnia. This special experience includes a guided tour of the ship, its massive engine room and bridge, and a 3-course lunch in the onboard restaurant.
In the middle of the largest ice field in Europe, you’ll get the opportunity to jump in the sea and float! Outfitted with a warm survival suit, those who dare to participate will be presented with a special certificate by the ship’s captain.
Tonight, there’s an optional excursion to an evening at Snowland: the first and only snow igloo restaurant in Lapland. Enjoy dinner and local specialties, and then sit outside on the patio around a bonfire while you observe the Northern Lights. (Requires pre-booking; please see end of tour for pricing.)
Transfer back to Rovaniemi and overnight at your hotel.
Hotel Santa Claus
NOTE: Due to weather conditions, the Kemi SnowCastle is not guaranteed to be open until Jan. 22. Please check with us upon booking.
Day 08: Rovaniemi Departure
After your final breakfast at the hotel, the day is at leisure until your transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight.
- 6 nights in First Class hotels in standard double/twin rooms with private facilities
- 1 night in a Glass Igloo at the Arctic SnowHotel outside Rovaniemi
- 7 breakfasts, buffet style
- 1 dinner & 4 lunches & 1 picnic lunch (Day 6) as mentioned in the program
- Tours of Rovaniemi’s Santa Claus Village and Kemi’s Snow Castle
- Tour of the National Museum of the Finnish Sámi (SIIDA)
- Sampo Icebreaker cruise, including ice swimming
- Bilingual tour escort included (English & Spanish/Portuguese) from Day 01 to Day 08
- All tours and transportation by 1st class coach with WIFI, as mentioned in the program
- Arrival and departure transfers on tour start/ending dates, i.e. not included with pre-/post-tour stays
- Visits, excursions and entrances as mentioned in the program (optional tours are not included in the price)
NOTE: Prices do not include beverages, extra items, or any services not listed in the program above. Optional pre/post-tour nights can be added if you wish. Please contact us for a quote. Tour can accommodate a maximum of 2 children per room, sharing with parents. This does not apply for Snow or Glass Igloos and is on request. Due to the nature of the tour and the destination, we are unfortunately not able to accept children younger than 7 years old on these tours.
WEATHER NOTE: Local tour operator reserves the right to amend the itinerary and/or included entrances without notice due to extreme weather conditions. The weather conditions in Finnish Lapland can vary and road closures are sometimes enforced by local authorities, which is out of the control of the tour operator and its suppliers. Snow and ice conditions can be unpredictable during the season, so some of the activities on this adventure are subject to change or cancellation without notice.
2019 STARTING PRICES | GUARANTEED DEPARTURESView Escorted Tour Specials
*Prices are listed as per person sharing twin-bedded room. Tours start in Saariselkä, Finland on Saturdays.
Departure Dates and Information
| All departures are guaranteed and in USD. Departure is a land-only tour. Guests 7 years or older are welcome; children 7-18 years old must travel with an adult. Max 2 children per hotel room, & restrictions apply for Glass and Snow Igloos. Tour space is not guaranteed until booked and confirmed. All tours are guided in English.
Third person in extra bed/special child discount! Deduct $311 from posted per person double room rates; extra bed discount only applies to third person 12 years or older. Child discount (7-12 years): deduct $585.
2019 Optional Pre-booked Excursions
Optional safari rates include: All snowmobile safaris include thermal outfit, guide services in English, a snowmobile shared by two guests taking turns driving, fuel, traffic insurance (maximum personal liability €980/~$1100), maintenance and VAT. The driver of a snowmobile has to be at least 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license. Solo driving possibility (1-4 hours) supplement: USD $on request per person. Please note: some excursions are unavailable on specific departure dates. Please check the list below for exclusions or speak with one of our tour specialists.
Saariselkä – Aurora Borealis by Snowmobile
Come and experience an exotic Arctic evening by driving through snow-covered forests and over treeless fells. With a little luck, if the sky is clear, the moon, stars and even the Northern Lights may show you the way. The safari is heading to the Igloo site, where you have the possibility to roam around the forest nearby, and watch the Northern Lights show inside the igloo. A Northern Lights dinner will be served at the traditional Lappish wooden Kammi. Return to the hotel in your bus. (Requires pre-booking.)
Details: 4 hours, 6PM – 10PM, $309 per person.
Saariselkä – Aurora Borealis Sleigh Ride
Sit back and enjoy the ride, capturing the true feeling of a winter night in the northern woods! Your guide drives a snowmobile into the fell district, pulling your sleigh as you experience the milky light of the moon and stars casting enchanting shadows across the snowfields. Travel to a cabin in the heart of the woods and enjoy warm berry juice while you listen to the sounds of the forest, and look up to try and catch the Northern Lights peeking through the trees. (NOTE: Sleigh ride excursion does not involve driving the snowmobile. The snowmobile pulls your group and sleigh into the fell district.)
Details: 3 hours, 7PM – 10PM, $139 per person (excursion will depart with a minimum of 4 persons).
Saariselkä – Snow Adventure with FatBikes
Take a guided snow adventure with FatBikes! After receiving your helmet, bike, and instructions on how to handle the bike, the adventure is ready to start and take you through snowy landscapes of Saariselkä. During the adventure you will enjoy the silence of the tranquil forests and nature around you. A break will be held for you to stop for a rest, fry sausages, and to enjoy some hot berry juice around an open fire. (Requires pre-booking.)
Details: 3 hours, 1PM – 4PM, $148 per person (excursion will depart with a minimum of 2 persons).
Sinettä – Snow Sauna & Outdoor Jacuzzi
Sauna bathers around the world are constantly impressed by the Finnish sauna, and the Sinettä snow sauna is no exception. With walls of snow and ice and benches made of wood, the snow sauna is a very unique experience, and the outdoor Jacuzzi is a relaxing retreat—with the bonus that you may be able to see the astonishing variety of the Northern Lights’ endless heavenly patterns.
Details: 15 min snow sauna + 1 hour Jacuzzi, 10PM – 11:30PM. $101 per person.
Sinettä – Snow Suite with Sauna & Outdoor Jacuzzi
Each year Sinettä’s Snow Hotel is built with local artists designing and creating the ice and wall sculptures that decorate the hotel and Snow suites. Each Snow Suite is different each year and offers a unique artic experience to spend the night as the Sámi once did in a snow igloo. A mattress on an ice bed with special Artic sleeping bags keep you warm in the ambient temperature of 0° and -5° C.
Details: Overnight w/ private 15-min snow sauna + 1-hour Jacuzzi, 10PM – 11:30PM. $171 per person.
Rovaniemi – Aurora Borealis Camp by Snowmobile Excursion
During this brisk safari you’ll travel (by snowmobile or bus) 12.5 miles into the Lappish wilderness towards a fabulous Northern Light resort. Visit the Aurora Borealis Theatre built inside one of the on-site massive snow igloos, where you’ll see a video about the myths and facts of this natural phenomenon, roam the resort’s igloo bar, or take a sleigh ride on a snowmobile-drawn sleigh. Dinner—traditional reindeer burgers in a wooden Kammi cabin cooked over an open fire—is included. Remember to bring your camera!
Details: 3 hours, 9PM – 12AM. Cost $243 per person; +$70 supplement for on-own snowmobile.
Rovaniemi – The Magic of the Arctic Circle (Snowland)
An absolutely unforgettable Lappish cuisine experience! Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Snowland, a restaurant inside a beautifully-constructed igloo. Enjoy dinner with local Finnish specialties and then sit on the white patio around a bonfire, spellbound by the Northern Lights high above.
Details: 3 hours, 7:30PM – 10:30PM, $179 per person (excursion will depart with a minimum of 6 persons).