Arctic Land of the Northern Lights

Glass or Snow Igloos , Escorted, Northern Lights
From Stockholm to Rovaniemi - a true Winter adventure, overnight in a Glass Igloo at Arctic Snow Hotel, optional overnight at Ice Hotel
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, Sinettä, Kemi and Rovaniemi, so you can explore the very best of Winter in Lapland.

Highlights include an evening walking tour of Stockholm, visit to Abisko Sky Station, the 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 delightful Santa Claus Village, a Sampo Icebreaker cruise with ice swimming, and (weather permitting) a visit to Kemi Snow Castle. Plus you can add some great evening optional activities.

Day 1   Stockholm Arrival and Evening Walking Tour  
On arrival in Stockholm, 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 3hr city sightseeing tour. The city of Stockholm is built on 14 islands, connected by 57 bridges and embraces the unique character of its 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 and is proudly called 'Beauty on Water'. Your sightseeing tour with an Old Town walk, makes for a memorable morning and a discovery 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. You will even see the 700yr old cathedral of Stockholm, Seat of the Archbishop, along with Stortorget, where the Stockholm Blood Bath took place. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to Arlanda Airport for your flight to Lulea (1hr 20mins). Lulea is the largest city in Swedish Lapland and located at the mouth of the Lule River. Transfer from Lulea Airport to the hotel for your 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. 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 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 cosy café you might treat yourself to fika (coffee break) and cake, or browse for a souvenir? 2 overnights at Camp Ripan or similar.

Day 4   Kiruna: Visit 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 1980's. Learn the history of the impressive ice construction rising out of the snow and ice, in a new form every year. Afterwards, continue to Jukkasjarvi Church with some parts dating back to 1608, making it the oldest surviving church in Lapland. 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, and the artwork in the centre of the organ, suspended over the pipes, symbolises the sun rising over Lapporten, the two U-shaped mountain-tops near Abisko which are one of Lapland’s most enduring images. Then head next door to the Nutti Sami Siida where reindeer graze alongside the Torne River’s banks and outdoor exhibitions show nomadic and modern Sami life. A traditional Sami lunch will be served. Return to the hotel mid-afternoon.
 

Tonight offers an optional stay in an Ice Room at the IceHotel. Transfer for an extraordinary night in an Ice Room made of ice and snow, at a temperature of -5° to -8°C. You will lie comfortably on a thick mattress atop a wooden base, on a bed covered with reindeer, inside a special thermal sleeping bag. Privacy between the rooms is secured by a curtain. Private toilet facilities can be found in the warm building adjacent to the IceHotel, along with luggage storage, communal changing rooms, toilets and separate saunas for women and men. Access to your room starts at 18:00hrs – your wake-up call is around 07:30hrs. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it comes highly recommended. 

Day 5   Kiruna - Narvik - Svolvaer + Optional Fishing Village Walk & Dinner at Børsen Spiseri
Morning departure aboard the Arctic Circle Train for the 3.5hr journey to Narvik. Sit back and enjoy this beautiful journey on part of the Iron Ore Line, which played a central role during WWII, supplying the Germans with iron critical for wartime production of steel. Disembark with time for a casual lunch (not included) before continuing on by coach to Svolvaer, with its age-old history as a fishing village – a tradition which remains as one of the town’s most important economical foundations. There is also magnificent nature, a great cultural scene with many galleries, plus the Lofoten War Memorial Museum. 3 overnights at Svinøya Rorbuer or similar.

Tonight offers an optional Fishing Village Walk with dinner at Børsen Spiseri. Svinoya is the oldest part of Svolvaer and has thrived as a fishing village since 1828. Hear of the area’s culture, stories of how the fishermen lived 100 years ago and what happened in Trollfjord in 1890. You will also be able to taste the stockfish. Please wear warm clothes and sensible footwear, also bring your camera. The evening moves along with a 3-course dinner at Børsen Spiseri– the most distinctive restaurant in the Lofoten Islands. Housed in a venerable quayside warehouse dating back to 1828, you will be served dishes made with unique, fresh, 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, complete with several permanent exhibitions including audio guides. Then travel through idyllic, Leknes village, before reaching Reine where we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, continue via Nusfjord before returning to Svolvaer early in the evening. Time at leisure.

Day 7   Svolvaer: Henningsvaer - Kabelvaag North Museum + Optional Northern Lights Search
Today we head towards Henningsvaer, one of the most famous fishing villages in the Lofotens, inhabited by only 1300 people. Time at leisure to explore on your own, before continuing to Kabelvaag, (another important fishing village) with a stop at the North Museum (Nord Museum). See a history of the local fishing industry, presented in one of the best-preserved squire farms in the Lofotens. In Northern Norway’s first medieval city, you will find the main stately building (1815), authentic fishing huts and boathouses, while the Museum offers exhibitions on Lofoten fishing history, ports, lighthouses and traditional crafts. Return to Svolvaer mid-afternoon.

Tonight offers an optional Northern Lights Search by bus. Travel past frozen lakes, silent forests, beaches and small fishing villages as you prepare to hunt for the Northern Lights. As it is impossible to predict when the Aurora will appear, your guide will keep a close eye on the sky.

Day 8   Svolvaer – Tromso and Polar Park Visit 
Continue by coach from Svolvaer to Tromso stopping en route at the famous Polar Park. This is the world’s northern most animal park and your guided tour passes many Arctic animals including wolves, bears, deer, elk and reindeer. Onwards to Tromso where the evening is at leisure. 2 overnights at Radisson Blu Tromso, Scandic Ishavshotel or similar.

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

Day 9   Tromso: City Sightseeing including visit to Arctic Cathedral & Aurora Camp Visit  
Start today with a 3hr city sightseeing tour, including 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 crossing the bridge to the Arctic Cathedral, a masterpiece built by Jan Inge Hovig in 1965. It reflects northern Norwegian nature, culture and faith, and has 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. Polaria is located within walking distance of the hotel, should you wish to extend your visit.

At 18:30hrs, we head out to the Aurora Camp, where over 300 friendly huskies are waiting to greet you. A visit to the puppy enclosure is also possible! Enjoy a traditional Norwegian dinner in a cosy Gamme Hut and prepare to search for the Aurora, while a warm fire outside sets the mood and keeps you toasty. Late evening return to the hotel.

Day 10   Tromso – Alta and Optional: Northern Lights Sleigh Ride  
Travelling from Tromso to Alta sees stunning scenery and includes 2 ferry crossings. Sit back, relax and enjoy the views! On arrival in Alta, check-in at the Thon Hotel or similar, for 2 overnights. This evening is at your leisure.

Tonight offers an optional horse-drawn sleigh ride at a nearby, country farm. Pulled along by a charming Norwegian Fjord horse, your sleigh glides through the forest and along Alta River, as you sit back, 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 an early settlement site dating back 11,000 years, with exhibitions on local culture and history. Northern Europe’s largest and richest rock carving site has walkways around the 2000-6200 year old rock carvings, depicting the life of hunters and fishermen. After a guided tour of the museum we visit the Northern Lights Cathedral - an elegant, modern construction with architecture inspired by the Aurora.

Tonight offers an optional visit to Sorrisniva Ice Hotel and Aurora search. Travel by bus into the countryside to the family owned Sorrisniva adventure facility, perfectly located to maximise your chances of seeing the magnificent Aurora. Experience the world's northernmost ice and snow hotel, built from the ground every year with different themes, while also enjoying its serenity and silence. Wander amongst handcrafted ice sculptures or perhaps visit the ice bar for a drink (not included). Later a knowledgeable local guide will take you to search for the Aurora. 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 by coach this morning as we head east to Kirkenes, through beautiful northern Lapland. Sit back and enjoy breathtaking nature and landscapes, with a stop along the way for lunch in Karasjok. Late afternoon arrival into Kirkenes and 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 3hr King Crab Safari. This giant of the sea, living in Kirkenes Fjord, can reach up to 2m across and weigh 15kg. Depending on weather/ice, this excursion might be by boat or snowmobile drawn sleigh (no snowmobile driving; passengers’ sit in a sled drawn by the guide’s snowmobile). Once the King Crab has been caught, transfer to a remote cabin, where it is cooked for a delicious lunch.

Continue south to the centre of Sami world at Inari, the capital of Lapland, to 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, it serves 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 on to tiny Saariselka village, the centre of Finland’s winter sports. Your evening is 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, dressed in their colourful Sami clothing, as they tell you the importance of reindeer in their culture. Learn how to throw a Suopunki (Sami lasso) before relaxing with a short reindeer-sleigh ride, moving through a white landscape where the only sound is the music of reindeer bells. Lunch is included at the farm. The afternoon is at leisure.

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 you soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi, as you admire the Northern Lights or spectacular, starry night skies over Lapland.

Tonight is a truly magical experience, as an overnight at the unique Arctic Snow Hotel sees you check-in to a private Glass Igloo. Weather permitting, you can watch for the Northern Lights or 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 an amazing overnight in a Snow Suite, instead ot a Glass Igloo. Each 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 suite is different and offers a unique arctic experience, as you spend the night as the Sami once did in a snow igloo. Special Arctic sleeping bags keep you warm on a your mattress over the ice bed, at an ambient temperature of between 0° and-5° C. Bathroom facilities are located in a warm section of the hotel, just nearby.

Day 15   Sinetta-Rovaniemi: Husky Farm & Safari, Santa Claus Village, Santa’s Visit + Optional: Aurora Borealis Camp by Snowmobile
After your wonderful overnight we head to Rovaniemi for an 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 animals. Then enjoy a sled ride in pairs, with 1 person driving and the other seated in the sleigh, along forest trails. Refuel with a traditional outdoor meal of Lappish sausage grilled on the campfire, followed by Lappish pancakes. Afterwards, visit wonderful Santa Claus Village, his official home. Step into a magical world and meet the man himself, send a letter from his Post Office, stand with each foot astride the Arctic Circle and more. 2 overnights at Hotel Santa Claus or similar. 

This evening, you may like to join the optional Aurora Camp by Snowmobile adventure. Experience the Arctic night by driving in the wilderness, through a snow-covered forest and on a frozen river, to discover the phenomena of the northern sky. The camp’s theatre shows a film about the myths and facts, and there is also time for you to roam around, take a brisk sleigh ride or just lay back in the snow observatory, by the open fire, to admire everything overhead. With a little luck, the sky is clear and the Northern Lights appear, as you enjoy a delicious reindeer burger before returning to town.

Day 16   Rovaniemi - Kemi: Snow Castle & Sampo Ice-Breaker Cruise + Optional: Magic of the Arctic Dinner
Today we head to the town of Kemi and our first stop is the fabulous SnowCastle. Pure white snow walls surround the gigantic SnowCastle, the biggest of its kind in the world - built entirely out of snow and ice, with a special snow slide and amazing snow sculptures. Then we board Sampo Icebreaker for a cruise on this remarkable vessel, breaking through the ice of the northern Gulf of Bothnia*. This extraordinary experience includes a guided tour of the ship and 3-course meal… PLUS… swimming in amidst the largest ice field in Europe. Wearing a snug survival and floatation suit (dry suit), just jump in the sea - you can’t help but float! You stay completely dry and a guide is with you at all times. Early evening return to Rovaniemi.

*Please note: the departure on 05 December will include a visit to Ranua Wildlife Park instead of Sampo Icebreaker Cruise. The departures on 09 and 16 January will include 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 and cheese, water and coffee/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.

Maximum group size: 32 persons

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

Includes: 15 nights in First Class hotels in standard double/twin rooms with private facilities; breakfast daily, 2 x dinners (Days 9, 14), 7 x lunches (Days 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16) and 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, flight Stockholm Arlanda Airport-Lulea Airport and shared transfer Lulea Airport-hotel (Day 2); visit to Aurora Sky Station (Day 3); IceHotel, Jukkasjarvi Church and Nutti Sami Siida visit (Day 4); train Kiruna-Narvik (Day 5); Viking Lofotr Museum visit (Day 6); visit to North Museum (Day 7); guided Polar Park visit (Day 8); 3hr guided city tour Tromso including Polaria and 4hr Aurora Husky tour (Day 9); Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral visit (Day 11); 3hr King Crab Safari (Day 13); Sami Cultural Centre visit (Day 13); 2-2.5hr Reindeer Farm Visit with sleigh ride and Glass Igloo overnight at Arctic Snow Hotel (Day 14); 2hr Husky Farm and Safari plus Santa Claus Village visit (Day 15); Snow Castle Visit (N.B. as construction is weather dependent, it may not be completed until mid- late Jan) and Sampo Icebreaker Cruise (Day 16); transfer hotel-Rovaniemi Airport (Day 17 only); services of an English-speaking guide and transport in a modern coach with WiFi (Days 2-16); entrance fees for included excursions; use of outer winterwear during included activities and safaris. 

Excludes: optional excursions being overnight in an Ice Room at the IceHotel, Jukkasjarvi (Day 4); fishing village walk and dinner at Børsen Spiseri (Day 5); 3hr 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 Sorrisniva Ice Hotel visit (Day 11); 1.5hr Snow Sauna and Outdoor Jacuzzi and/or upgrade to Snow Suite (Day 14); 3hr Aurora Camp By Snowmobile (Day 15); 3hr Magic of the Arctic Circle Dinner at Snowland (Day 16); 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:  15 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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