Arctic Land of the Northern Lights

Glass or Snow Igloos , Escorted, Northern Lights
From Stockholm to Rovaniemi - a true Winter adventure
17 days
Dec - Mar
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A truly unique guided experience in Northern Sweden, Norway and Finland!  This grand journey starts in Stockholm then takes you to Lulea, Kiruna, Abisko Jukkasjarvi, Svolvaer in the Lofoten Islands, Tromso, Alta, Kirkenes, Saariselka, Sinetta, Kemi and Rovaniemi, so you can explore the very best of Winter in Lapland.

Highlights include an evening walking tour of Stockholm, visit to the Abisko Sky Station, Icehotel in Jukkasjarvi, Viking Lofotr Museum, famous fishing village of Henningsvaer, Polar Park to see the Arctic animals; the award-winning Alta Museum and the Northern Lights Cathedral, a King Crab safari; a reindeer farm visit with sled ride; a visit to the Arctic Snow Hotel with overnight in a Glass Igloo, Husky farm visit with sled ride, a visit to Rovaniemi and the delightful Santa Claus Village, a Sampo Icebreaker cruise with ice swimming, and (weather permitting) a visit to the Kemi Snow Castle. Plus you can add some great evening optional activities.

Day 1: Stockholm Arrival and Evening Walking Tour  
On arrival in Stockholm Oslo, transfer to your hotel.  Remainder of the day at leisure. Tonight at 18:00hrs meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers at the hotel for a short welcome meeting. At 19:45hrs, again join your Tour Director for an evening walking tour of the beautiful Swedish capital. Overnight at the Scandic Anglais or similar. 

Day 2  Stockholm - Lulea
This morning enjoy a 3-hour city sightseeing tour. The city of Stockholm is built on 14 islands and connected by 57 bridges. The city embraces the unique character of the 13th century Old Town and modern high-tech architecture. Stockholm's islands are bordered by Lake Malaren in the west and the Baltic Sea in the east where the archipelago, with its 30.000 islands awaits exploration. The capital is a big city with a small town personality. Stockholm is proudly called “Beauty on Water” and a sightseeing tour, which includes a walk in the Old Town makes for a memorable morning tour. Discover a city of contrasts. Go back 750 years in time and feel the medieval atmosphere of the Old Town "Gamla Stan" as you wander through its narrow streets. The seven-hundred year old cathedral of Stockholm, Seat of the Archbishop, will be seen during your stroll through Old Town, where you will also get a chance to see Stortorget, where the Stockholm Blood Bath took place. At the end of the tour you will be transfererd to Arlanda Airport for your flight to Lulea (1hr 20mins). Transfer from Lulea Airport to the hotel. The city of Lulea, the largest city in Swedish Lapland located at the mouth of the Lule River. Evening at leisure. Overnight at Clarion Hotel Sense or similar. 

Day 3 Lulea - Kiruna
Today you will travel by coach to Kiruna. The scenic ride across the top of Sweden gives you time to relax while taking in the beauty of nature. There will be a stop for lunch (not included) along the way. Overnight at Camp Rigan or similar. 

Meet your Tour Director in the hotel lobby at 19:15hrs then travel by bus to Abisko. From 21:00-01:00hrs, the unique Aurora Sky Station offers the possibility to gaze at the Northern Lights and the stars from a large, outdoor terrace and lookout tower. Inside you find a Northern Lights exhibition with a comprehensive presentation of the Aurora Borealis. Perhaps in the warm cozy café you may treat yourself to “fika” (coffee break) and cake or browse around for a souvenir

Day 4  Kiruna:  Visit to the Icehotel, Jukkasjarvi Church and Sami Culture + Optional Overnight in an Ice Room at the Icehotel
Today travel to Jukkasjarvi where you will enjoy a guided tour of the world’s most well-known Icehotel, the first in the world dating back to the late 80's and learn the history of the impressive ice construction rising out of the snow and ice - every year in a new form. Following the visit to the ICEHOTEL continue to Jukkasjarvi Church. Parts of the church date back from 1608, making it the oldest surviving church in Lapland. You will see the richly decorated altarpiece by Uppsala artist Bror Hjorth, depicting the revivalist preacher, Lars Levi Laestadius, alongside the woman who inspired him to rid Lapland of alcohol, Maria of Aasele. The organ above the door is made from reindeer horn and birch wood; the artwork in the center of the organ, suspended over the pipes, symbolizes the sun rising over the Lapporten, the two U-shaped mountain-tops near Abisko which are one of Lapland’s most enduring images. Afterwards, head next door to the Nutti Sami Siida.  Here you will find reindeers grazing at the banks of mighty river Torne and outdoor exhibitions covering nomadic and modern Sami life. A traditional Sami lunch will be served.  Return to the hotel mid-afternoon. 2nd overnight in Kiruna. 

Tonight offers an optional stay in an ice room at the IceHotel. Transfer to the Jukkasjarvi Ice Hotel and spend an extraordinary night in an Ice Room “Igloo”. The rooms, all made of ice and snow, holds a temperature of -5 to -8 degrees Celsius.  You  spend the night comfortably rested on a thick mattress a top of a wooden base.  The bed itself  is covered with reindeer hides and you sleep inside a thermal sleeping bag. Privacy between the rooms is secured by a curtain. There are no private toilet facilities for each room. In the warm building adjacent to the Icehotel you find communal changing rooms, toilets and saunas for women and men. You have access to your room from 6:00 pm and wake-up call is around 7:30.  Your luggage is stored in a luggage storage room in the adjacent building. This once-in-a-lifetime experience and comes highly recommended. 

Day 5 Kiruna - Narvik - Svolvaer + Optional Fishing Village Walk & Dinner at Borspen Spiseri
Morning departure aboard the Arctic Circle Train for the 3.5hr journey to Narvik. Sit back and enjoy a most beautiful train ride in this region. This trainline, part of the Iron Ore Line, played a central role during WWII, supplying the Germans with iron critical for wartime production of steel. Disembark in Narvik and time for a casual lunch (not included) before continuing towards Svolvaer by coach. The town of Svolvaer has an age-old history as a fishing village and the fishing tradition remains one of the most important economical foundations of the town. Asides from the proud fishing culture, Svolvaer offers magnificent nature, a culture scene with many galleries and the well-known Lofoten War Memorial Museum.  Overnight at Svinøya Rorbuer or similar.

Tonight offers an optional Fishing Village Walk & Dinner at Borspen Spiseri. Svinoya is the oldest part of Svolvaer, and has been a thriving, vibrant fishing village since 1828. You will experience a living fishing village and learn about the culture. Your guide will tell stories of how the fishermen lived 100 years ago and what happened in the Trollfjord in 1890. Hear all the stories, ask all the questions and smell and taste the stockfish. Remember warm clothes, sensible footwear and your camera to be able to capture the memories. You finish your evening with a 3-course dinner at Borsen Spiseri – the most distinctive restaurant in the Lofoten Islands. The restaurant is housed in a venerable quayside warehouse dating back to 1828. The dishes you will be served are all made with unique, fresh and local ingredients from the Lofoten Islands.

Day 6 Svolvaer: Viking Lofotr Museum and Village of Reine 
Morning departure by coach to the Viking Lofotr Museum, where you can see the excavation of the largest known Viking house and take a guided tour of the museum. This museum offers several permanent exhibitions with audio guides, the state of the art in museum technology. Then travel through the idyllic village of Leknes, before reaching Reine where you can enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we continue via Nusfjord before returning to Svolvaer early evening. Evening at leisure.  2nd overnight in Svolvaer.  

Day 7 Svolvaer: Henningsvaer - Kabelvaag North Museum + Optional Northern Lights Search
Today we head torwards Henningsvaer, one of the most famous fishing villages in the Lofoten Islands, inhabited by only 1300 people.  Time at leisure to explore on your own.  Then continue to Kabelvaag, another important fishing village with stop at the North Museum (Nord Museum) with its history of the local fishing industry is presented in one of the best preserved squire farms in the Lofotens. On site in this medieval city you will find the main stately building of 1815, authentic fishing huts and boathouses.  The museum also offers exhibitions on Lofoten fishing history, ports, lighthouses and traditional crafts.  Return to Svolvaer mid-afternoon. 3rd overnight in Svolvaer. 

Tonight offers an optional Northern Lights Search - the Aurora Borealis!  Travel by coach through frozen lakes, silent forests, beaches and small fishing villages as your hunt for the Northern Lights. As it is impossible to predict when the Aurora will appear during the evening, your guide will keep a close eye on the sky for you looking for the Aurora. This is an evening tour for lovers of adventure, photography and knowledge.

Day 8 Svolvaer – Tromso and Polar Park Visit 
Our journey continues by coach from Svolvaer to Tromso. On the way we stop at the famous Polar Park, the world’s northern most animal park. Here you can see many Arctic animals including wolves, bears, deer, elk and reindeer, on a guided tour of the Park. Then on to Tromso where the evening is at leisure. Overnight at Radisson Blu Tromso, Scandic Ishavshotel or similar.

Tonight at 19:45hrs you can join an optional cable car ride up to Mount Storsteinen. After a short transfer from the hotel to the cable car station, you will board a gondola which will transport you to 421 metres above sea level. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Tromso and the surrounding islands, mountains and fjords.  If you are lucky, the Northern Lights may make an appearance! 

Day 9  Tromso: City Sightseeing including visit to Arctic Cathedral & Aurora Camp Visit  
This morning enjoy a 3 hour city sightseeing tour, starting with the world’s northernmost Botanical gardens, then Tromso University Museum, where we learn about the nature and culture of northern Norway, and the indigenous Sami people. Next we travel around the island, passing Lake Prestvatn and cross the bridge to the Arctic Cathedral, a masterpiece built by Jan Inge Hovig in 1965. The cathedral reflects north Norwegian nature, culture and faith, with a monumental stained-glass window. The tour ends with a visit to the Arctic experience Polaria, where the co-dependency of sea and land life is both seen and felt. Note: Polaria is located within walking distance of the hotel should you wish to extend your visit. 2nd overnight in Tromso. 

Tonight at 18:30hrs leave town and head to the Aurora Camp, where more than 300 friendly huskies are waiting to greet you, and you can pay a visit to the puppy enclosure! Then enjoy a traditional Norwegian dinner in a cosy Gamme Hut and prepare to search for the Northern Lights - a warm fire outside will set the mood and keep you toasty. Return late to the hotel for your 2nd overnight in Tromso.

Day 10 Tromso – Alta and Optional: Northern Lights Sleigh Ride  
Today we travel from Tromso to Alta, a trip with stunning scenery that includes 2 ferry crossings. Sit back, relax and enjoy the views! On arrival in Alta, check in at Thon Alta or similar. Your evening is at leisure.

Tonight offers an optional horse-drawn sleigh ride, at a nearby countryside farm. Your sleigh is pulled by a charming Norwegian Fjord horse through the forest and along the Alta River, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the peace and beauty all around you, snuggled warmly in blankets. Along the way, stop for a light supper served around a warm fire. Maybe the Northern Lights will appear!

Day 11   Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral + Optional:  Sorrisniva Ice Hotel & Northern Lights Search
Today visit the award-winning Alta Museum, on the site of the early settlement dating from 11,000 years ago, with exhibitions on local culture and history. This is Northern Europe’s largest and richest rock carving site; here, you can walk on pathways arranged around 2000 to 6200 year old rock carvings, showing the life of hunters and fishermen. After a guided tour of the museum we visit the modern Northern Lights Cathedral, an elegant and modern construction with architecture inspired by the Aurora. 2nd overnight in Alta.

Tonight offers an optional visit to the Sorrisniva Ice Hotel and a search for the Northern Lights. Travel by bus into the countryside to the family owned Sorrisniva adventure facility which is perfectly located to maximise your chances of seeing the magnificent Aurora Borealis. Experience the Ice Hotel - the world's northernmost ice hotel, built from the ground every year with different themes. Enjoy the serenity and silence of the Ice Hotel. Wander amongst the handcrafted ice sculptures or perhaps visit the ice bar for a drink. Later a knowledgeable local guide will take you on a Northern Lights search, where you will learn more about the natural phenomenon as well as the local history of Alta.  Your guide will also be happy to help you catch some beautiful images with your own camera.

Day 12  Alta-Kirkenes
Early departure this morning from Alta. Head east by coach to Kirkenes through the beautiful northern Lapland. Sit back and enjoy the breathtaking nature and landscapes. Stop along the way for lunch in Karasjok. Late afternoon arrival into Kirkenes.  Evening at leisure. Overnight at Thon Hotel Kirkenes or similar. 

Day 13  Kirkenes-Inari-Saariselka, Finland: King Crab Safari and Sami Culture
This morning join a 3 hour King Crab Safari. This 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 weather/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.

Later continue south to the centre of Sami world at Inari, the capital of Lapland. Visit the Sajos Sami Cultural Centre and parliament set in the heart of Sapmi in a unique natural landscape on the shore of Lake Inari, serving as a centre for Sami self-governance, culture, education and know-how. Modern conference premises, facilities and technology go hand in hand with authentic, living Sami culture.  Continue onto the tiny village of Saariselka, the centre of Finland’s winter sports. Evening at leisure. Overnight at Santa's Hotel Tunturi or similar. 

Day 14  Saariselka-Sinetta: Sami Reindeer Safari, Overnight in Glass Igloo + Optional: Snow Sauna & Outdoor Jacuzzi
This 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.

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.

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.

Day 15 Sinetta-Rovaniemi: Husky Farm & Safari, Santa Claus Village, Santa’s Visit + Optional: Aurora Borealis Camp by Snowmobile
After your wonderful overnight stay we head to Rovaniemi. Afternoon visit to a 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 meal of Lappish sausage grilled on the campfire, followed by Lappish pancakes. Then 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. Overnight at Santa's Hotel Santa Claus or similar. 

This evening perhaps join the optional Aurora Camp by Snowmobile adventure. Drive through the wilderness and discover the phenomena of the northern sky at our Northern Lights base. Experience the Arctic night by driving through the snow-covered forest and on the frozen river to the Aurora Borealis camp. At the resort, you will find a theatre, presenting a film about the myths and facts of this natural phenomenon. You will also have time to roam around the resort, take a brisk sleigh ride or you can just lay back in the snow observatory by the open fire admiring the northern sky. With a little luck, the sky is clear and the Northern Lights may show up!  Delicious reindeer burger will be served before your return back to the city

Day 16 Rovaniemi - Kemi: Snow Castle & 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.  Return to Rovaniemi early evening for 2nd overnight.

*Please note: the departure on 5 December will include a visit to the Ranua Wildlife Park instead of the Sampo Ice Breaker Cruise. The departures on 09 and 16 January will include a lunch onshore in the Seaview Restaurant and a 3 hour Sampo Icebreaker cruise.

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 17  Rovaniemi Departure
Transfer to Rovaniemi Airport and end of arrangements.

Group size: maximum 32 persons

Departures 2019:  05* December 
Departures 2020:  09*, 16*, 23, 30 January; 06, 13, 20, 27 February; 05, 12 March

Includes:  16 nights in First Class hotels in standard double/twin rooms with private facilities and daily breakfast; 2 x dinners (Days 9, 14)  7 x lunches (Days 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16); 1 x picnic lunch (Day 15); shared transfer Stockholm Arlanda Airport-hotel (Day 1 only); 1.5-2 hr evening walking tour of Stockholm (Day 1); shared transfer hotel-Stockholm Arlanda Airport (Day 2); flight Stockholm Arlanda Airport to Lulea Airport (Day 2); shared transfer from Lulea Airport to hotel (Day 2); visit to Aurora Sky Station (Day 3);  visit to the Icehotel, Jukkasjarvi Church and Nutti Sami Siida (Day 4); train Kiruna-Narvik (Day 5); visit to Viking Lofotr Museum (Day 6); visit to North Museum (Day 7); Polar Park visit with guided tour (Day 8); 3hr guided city tour Tromso including Polaria (Day 9); 4hr Aurora Husky Visit (Day 9);  Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral visit (Day 11); 3hr King Crab Safari (Day 13); Sami Culture Centre visit Inari (Day 13); 2-2.5hrs Reindeer Farm Visit & Sleigh Ride (Day 14);  overnight in Glass Igloo at Arctic Snow Hotel Rovaniemi (Day 14); 2hr Husky Farm and Safari (Day 15); Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi visit (Day 15); Snow Castle Visit (Day 16) (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 16); transfer hotel – Rovaniemi Airport (Day 17 only); services of English speaking guide; transport in modern coach Days 2-16 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 overnight stay in an ice room at the Icehotel in Jukkasjarvi (Day 4); fishing village walk & dinner at Borsen Spiseri (Day 5); 3 hr Search for the Northern lights by bus (Day 7); Tromso cable car excursion (Day 8); 4hr Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride (Day 10); Northern Lights tour and visit to Sorrisniva Ice Hotel (Day 11); 1.5hr Snow Sauna & Outdoor Jacuzzi (Day 14); 3hr Aurora Camp By Snowmobile (Day 15);  3hr Magic of Arctic Circle Dinner at Snowland (Day 16); upgrade to Snow Suite (Day 14); all other meals; drinks; arrival transfer Stockholm Arlanda Airport-hotel any day other than Day 1; departure transfer hotel-Rovaniemi Airport any day other than Day 17; 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$ 10634.00
Single AUD$ 13365.00

Includes:  14 nights in First Class hotels in standard double/twin rooms with private facilities and daily breakfast; 1 hr walking tour of Oslo Day 1; shared transfer hotel-Oslo Airport Day 2; flight Oslo to Harstad/Narvik Evenes Airport Day 2; shared transfer from Harstad Narvik Evenes Airport to hotel Day 2; luggage transfer hotel to wharf Day 3; voyage Hurtigruten ferry Harstad- Svolvaer Day 3; 2hrs Trollfjord & Wildlife RIB Safari Day 4; 3hrs Fishing Village Walk with dinner at Borsen Spiseri Day 4; Polar Park visit with guided tour Day 5; 3hr guided city tour Tromso Day 6; 4.5hr Aurora Husky Visit Day 6; Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral visit Day 8; 3-4hrs King Crab Safari Day 10; Sami Culture Centre visit Inari Day 11; 1.5-2hrs Snowshoe Safari Day 12; 2-2.5hrs Reindeer Farm Visit & Sleigh Ride Day 13; overnight in Glass Igloo at Arctic Snow Hotel Rovaniemi Day 13; 2-2.5hrs Husky Safari Day 14; Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi visit Day 14; Snow Castle Visit Day 15 (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 15; 3 dinners Days 4, 6 and 13; 4 lunches Days 10, 13  and 15; 1 picnic lunch Day 14; shared transfer hotel – Rovaniemi Airport Day 16; services of English speaking guide; transport in modern coach Days 2-15with WiFi on board the coach; entrance fees for included excursions; use of outer winter clothing during included activities and safaris. 

Please note the price may change according to your dates of travel

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