Norway tour: Arctic Adventures

Glass and Snow Igloos / Unique Accommodation, Regular Group Touring, Northern Lights & Winter Fun
Saariselka, Inari, Rovaniemi & Kemi in Finland + Kirkenes in Norway
8 days
Jan - Mar
Itinerary
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A truly unique guided experience in Northern Norway and Finland!  Visit Saariselka, Inari, Rovaniemi and Kemi in Finland, as well as Kirkenes in Norway. Highlights include a visit to the Arctic Snow Hotel with overnight in a Glass Igloo, a King Crab Safari, reindeer farm visit with sled ride, a snowshoe walk, Husky farm visit with sled ride, a visit to Rovaniemi and the delightful Santa Claus Village, a wonderful day on the Sampo Icebreaker cruise with ice swimming, and (weather permitting) a visit to the Kemi Snow Castle.

Day 1 Saariselka Arrival
On arrival into Ivalo Airport, transfer by coach to your hotel in Saariselka. Here in the far north of Finnish Lapland is an area of national parks, lakes, rivers and highland fells, where the Northern Lights can dance across the sky up to 200 days each winter, and the ancient Sami culture is still very alive. Time at leisure and overnight at Santa’s Tunturi Hotel or similar.

Day 2 Saariselka – Kirkenes, Norway: King Crab Safari
We travel north today, to Kirkenes in Norway. On arrival, check-in your hotel then enjoy the amazing experience of a King Crab Safari. This 3-4 hr safari was rated one of the best 25 excursions in the world by National Geographic, and is great fun. This giant of the sea lives in Kirkenes Fjord and can reach up to 2 metres across, and weigh up to 15 kilos. Depending on the weather and ice this excursion might be by boat or snowmobile drawn sleigh (you do not drive the snowmobile, only sit in a sled drawn by the guide’s snowmobile). Once the king crab has been caught, transfer to a remote cabin where the crab is cooked for your delicious lunch. Overnight at Thon Hotel Kirkenes or similar.

Day 3 Kirkenes – Inari – Saariselka: Sami Culture and Optional snowmobile Safari
Leaving Kirkenes we head to Inari, the heart of Sami culture and the centre for Sámi self-governance, culture, education and knowledge. Here we visit the Sami Cultural Centre Sajos and Parliament on the shores of Lake Inari. Then return to Saariselka, where the rest of your day is at leisure. Overnight at Santa’s Tunturi Hotel or similar.

Tonight perhaps join the optional Aurora Snowmobile Safari, an exciting evening 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. Dinner is served in a traditional Lappish wooden tent or Kammi. We then return to the hotel by coach. 2 persons share each snowmobile and each driver must have a full valid driver’s license.

Day 4 Saariselka: Snowshoe Walk, Optional Fatbike Adventure & Optional Snowmobile Sleigh Ride
In the morning, enjoy something that literally has you following in the footsteps of the Sami. Snowshoes are one of the oldest forms of transport in the world, and wearing these you can capture the true feeling of winter in the woods. The afternoon is at leisure - perhaps try a Finnish sauna, available at the hotel.

An optional 3 hr Fatbike adventure is offered this afternoon. These push bikes have special “fat” tyres, so you can ride on snowy trails. Ride on trails and enjoy the silence of the tranquil forests and natural environment around you.  

This evening perhaps join the optional Aurora Snowmobile Sleigh Ride. Sit back and enjoy the view as your guide takes you to an area of beautiful hilltop scenery, with unlimited views of the northern sky. Hopefully the sky will be clear to see the moon, the stars and even the Northern lights. (You do not drive the snowmobile, only sit in a sled drawn by the guide’s snowmobile).

Day 5 Saariselka – Sinetta: Sami Reindeer Farm & Sleigh Ride and Arctic Snow Hotel Glass Igloo
In the morning we make our way to Sinetta, just outside Rovaniemi. Along the way, enjoy a delightful visit to a traditional Sami reindeer farm. Meet the farmers who will be dressed in their colourful Sami clothing, as they tell you the importance of reindeer in Sami culture, and teach you how to throw a Suopunki (Sami lasso). Then relax  with a short reindeer sleigh ride, moving through the white landscape, where the only sound you will hear is the music of the reindeer bells. Lunch is included at the farm. Afternoon at leisure.

Tonight get ready for a truly magical experience – a night at the unique Arctic Snow Hotel, where you will check-in to your private Glass Igloo. Enjoy the warmth of your Glass Igloo with it’s glass roof - weather permitting you can watch for the Northern Lights or the millions of stars, from the comfort of your bed.  Your stay includes a traditional Lappish 3 course dinner in a magnificent wooden “Kota”, where fresh salmon is slowly grilled over the fire in a huge pit.

You might like to take an optional Snow Sauna & Outdoor Jacuzzi at the hotel tonight. The snow sauna has walls made of snow and ice - only the sauna benches are made of wood - an astonishing combination of thick steam within intimate snow walls. Afterwards jump into the outdoor Jacuzzi, and admire the Northern Lights or the spectacular starry night skies of Lapland.

For those who are feeling adventurous, tonight you can upgrade to stay in a Snow Suite at the hotel. Every year the Snow Hotel is built anew, with local artists designing and creating the ice and wall sculptures that decorate the hotel and Snow Suites. Each Snow Suite is different and offers a unique arctic experience, spending the night as the Sami once did in a snow igloo. A mattress on an ice bed with special arctic sleeping bags keeps you warm in the ambient temperature of 0 and-5 C. Bathroom facilities are located in a warm section of the hotel, just nearby.

Day 6 Sinetta - Rovaniemi: Husky Safari and Santa Claus Village + Optional Aurora Camp by Snowmobile
After your wonderful overnight stay we depart late this morning and head to Rovaniemi. On the way we visit the  Husky Farm - the barking of happy dogs will welcome you, and the head “musher” will tell you all about the life of these hard working Arctic dogs. Then enjoy a sled ride - riding in pairs, with 1 person driving and the other seated in the sleigh, on trails through the forest. Refuel with a traditional outdoor lunch of Lappish sausage grilled on the campfire, followed by Lappish pancakes. This afternoon we visit the wonderful Santa Claus Village, the official home of Santa Claus. Take a step into this magical world and meet the man himself, send a letter from his Post Office, step across the Arctic Circle and more. The rest of the afternoon and evening are at leisure. Overnight at Santa’s Hotel Santa Claus or similar.

This evening perhaps join the optional Aurora Camp by Snowmobile adventure. Travel to the Aurora Borealis camp 10 km from the city, to a theatre built inside a massive snow igloo, where you will watch a film about the magic and the facts of this extraordinary natural phenomenon. Then relax by the open fire in the snow observatory and admire the northern sky. Your guides have great tips on how to catch the Auroras with your camera, and tripods are available for you to use.

Day 7 Rovaniemi & Kemi:  SnowCastle & Sampo Ice-Breaker Cruise + Optional Magic of the Arctic Dinner
Today we head to the town of Kemi. First we visit to the fabulous SnowCastle*. Pure white snow walls surround the gigantic SnowCastle, the biggest of its kind in the world, and built entirely out of snow and ice, with a special snow slide and amazing snow sculptures. Then we board the Sampo Icebreaker for a cruise on this remarkable  vessel, breaking though the ice of the northern Gulf of Bothnia. This extraordinary experience includes a guided tour of the ship and a 3 course meal. Plus something very different- swimming in the middle of the largest ice field in Europe. Wearing a snug survival and floatation suit, just jump in the sea and float! You stay completely dry and a guide is with you at all times.  We return to Rovaniemi in the early evening for a 2nd overnight.

*Please note that the construction of the Snow Castle is dependent on the weather conditions and accordingly the Castle may not be open before the 19th of January

Tonight there is one last optional excursion offered – dinner and Aurora watching at Snowland, the world´s “coolest” and biggest Igloo Restaurant. Here you will feast on a delicious 3 course dinner including fresh bread & cheese, water, and coffee or tea. After dinner, sit out on the restaurant’s terrace by the bonfire, searching for the Aurora Borealis one last time.

Day 8 Rovaniemi Departure
Transfer to Rovaniemi airport and end of arrangements.

Maximum 28 persons

Departures 2019:
05, 12, 19 and 26 2019
02, 09, 16 and 23 February 2019
02, 09, 16 and 23 March 2019

Includes:  5 nights in First Class hotels in standard double/twin rooms with private facilities and daily breakfast; 3-4hrs King Crab Safari Day 2; Sami Culture Centre visit Inari Day 3; 1.5-2hrs Snowshoe Safari Day 4; 2-2.5hrs Reindeer Farm Visit & Sleigh Ride Day 5; overnight in Glass Igloo at Arctic Snow Hotel Rovaniemi Day 5; 2-2.5hrs Husky Safari Day 6; Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi visit Day 6; Snow Castle Visit Day 7 (please note the construction of the Snow Castle is weather dependent and may not be completed until mid to late January); Sampo Icebreaker Cruise Kemi Day 7; 1 dinner Day 5; 4 lunches Days 2,3,5 and 7; 1 picnic lunch Day 6; shared transfer hotel – Rovaniemi Airport Day 8; services of English speaking guide; transport in modern coach Days 2-7 with WiFi on board the coach; entrance fees for included excursions; use of outer winter clothing during included activities and safaris. 

Excludes:  optional excursions being 5 hrs Snowmobile Safari Day 3 / 3 hrs Fatbike Adventure Day 4 / 3 hrs Snowmobile Sled Ride Day 4 / 1.5hrs Snow Sauna & Outdoor Jacuzzi Day 5 / 3 hrs Aurora Camp By Snowmobile Day 6 / 3hrs Magic of Arctic Circle Dinner at Snowland Day 7; upgrade to Snow Suite Day 5; all other meals; drinks; departure transfer hotel-Rovaniemi Airport any day other than Day 8; gratuities; luggage service at hotels.

All optional excursions must be pre-booked.
 

                                   Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 5075.00
Single AUD$ 6394.00

Includes:  5 nights in First Class hotels in standard double/twin rooms with private facilities and daily breakfast; 3-4hrs King Crab Safari Day 2; Sami Culture Centre visit Inari Day 3; 1.5-2hrs Snowshoe Safari Day 4; 2-2.5hrs Reindeer Farm Visit & Sleigh Ride Day 5; overnight in Glass Igloo at Arctic Snow Hotel Rovaniemi Day 5; 2-2.5hrs Husky Safari Day 6; Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi visit Day 6; Snow Castle Visit Day 7 (please note the construction of the Snow Castle is weather dependent and may not be completed until mid to late January); Sampo Icebreaker Cruise Kemi Day 7; 1 dinner Day 5; 4 lunches Days 2,3,5 and 7; 1 picnic lunch Day 6; shared transfer hotel – Rovaniemi Airport Day 8; services of English speaking guide; transport in modern coach Days 2-7 with WiFi on board the coach; entrance fees for included excursions; use of outer winter clothing during included activities and safaris. 

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