Ultimate Arctic Adventure

Glass or Snow Igloos , Escorted, Northern Lights
From Tromso to Alta, Kirkenes, Saariselka, Kemi and Rovaniemi, including overnight in a Glass Igloo at the Arctic Snow Hotel
10 days
Dec - Mar
Itinerary
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This fantastic and comprehensive, guided exploration of Northern Norway and Finland is a true Winter experience. From Tromso it moves on to Alta, then Saariselka, Kirkenes, Kemi and Rovaniemi. For a shorter version of this tour it is possible to start this tour in Alta instead of Tromso, please enquire.  

The highlights are Tromso city tour including the Botanical Gardens & the Arctic Cathedral, a visit to the award-winning Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral, overnight in a Glass Igloo at the Arctic Snow Hotel, 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 Kemi Snow Castle.  Plus you can add some great optional activities.

Day 1  Tromso Arrival
On arrival in Tromso take the airport coach to your hotel. Time at leisure - this university town has a lively atmosphere and friendly locals. Perhaps visit Polaria Aquarium (don’t miss the Northern Lights & Spitsbergen Arctic Wilderness films), the Polar Museum to learn about the role Tromsø has played in Arctic exploration, and MS Polstjerna, a well preserved sailing vessel from 1949. Visit one of the several excellent art museums, or sample some local beer at Mack Brewery, the world's northernmost brewery. 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 2  Tromso City Sightseeing incl. 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 afternoon is at leisure. 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 3   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 4   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 5  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 6  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 7  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 8 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.

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 9 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.  We return to Rovaniemi in the early evening for a 2nd overnight.

*Please note: the departure on 12 December will include a visit to the Ranua Wildlife Park instead of the Sampo Ice Breaker Cruise. The departures on 16 and 23 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 10  Rovaniemi Departure
Transfer to Rovaniemi Airport and end of arrangements.

Maximium group size: 32 persons

2019 departures:  12* December 
2020 departures:  16*, 23*, 30 January; 06, 13 (on request), 20, 27 February; 05, 12 (on request), 19 (on request) March  

Includes: 8 nights in First Class hotels in standard double/twin rooms with private facilities; breakfast daily, 2 x dinners (Days 2, 7), 5 x lunches (Days 3, 5, 6, 7, 9), picnic lunch (Day 8); coach transfer Tromso Airport-hotel (Day 1 only); 3hr guided city tour Tromso and 4hr Aurora Husky Visit (Day 2); Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral visit (Day 4); 3hr King Crab Safari and Sami Culture Centre visit Inari (Day 6); 2-2.5hr Reindeer Farm Visit & Sleigh Ride and overnight in Glass Igloo at Arctic Snow Hotel Rovaniemi (Day 7); 2hrs Husky Safari and Santa Claus Village visit (Day 8); Snow Castle Visit and Sampo Icebreaker Cruise Kemi (Day 9). N.B. construction of the Snow Castle is weather dependent and may not be completed until mid to late January; shared transfer hotel-Rovaniemi Airport (Day 10 only); services of English-speaking guide; transport in modern coach with WiFi (Days 2-9); entrance fees for included excursions; use of outer winter clothing during included activities and safaris. 

Excludes: Optional excursions being: 2hr Tromso cable car excursion (Day 1); 4hr Horse-drawn sleigh ride (Day 3), 3-4hr visit to Sorrisniva Ice Hotel and Northern Lights Search (Day 4), 1.5hr Snow sauna & outdoor jacuzzi and upgrade to a Snow Suite at the Snow Castle (Day 7); 3hr Aurora Camp by snowmobile (Day 8); 3hr Magic of the Arctic Circle dinner at Snowland (Day 9). All other meals and drinks, gratuities, luggage service at hotels.

All optional excursions must be pre-booked.

For a shorter version of this tour, starting in Alta instead of Tromso, please refer to the itinerary below:-

Day 1 Alta Arrival
Day 2 Alta: Alta Museum & Arctic Cathedral
Day 3 Alta-Kirkenes
Day 4 Kirkenes-Saariselka:  King Crab Safari
Day 5 Saariselka-Sinetta: Sami Reindeer Farm Visit & Sleigh Ride and overnight in Glass Igloo
Day 6 Sinetta-Rovaniemi: Husky Farm & Safari
Day 7 Roveniemi-Kemi-Rovaniemi:  Sampo Ice Breaker & Ice Floating
Day 8 Rovaniemi Departure 

2019 departures:  
14** December 
2020 departures:  18**, 25** January; 01, 08, 15, 22, 29 February; 07, 14, 21 March

**Please note: the departure on 14 December will include a visit to the Ranua Wildlife Park instead of the Sampo Ice Breaker Cruise (Day 7). The departures on 18 and 25 January will include a lunch onshore in the Seaview Restaurant and a 3 hour Sampo Icebreaker cruise (Day 7).

Please enquire for 8 day tour prices

Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 7095.00
Single AUD$ 8848.00

Includes: 8 nights in First Class hotels in standard double/twin rooms with private facilities; breakfast daily, 2 x dinners (Days 2, 7), 5 x lunches (Days 3, 5, 6, 7, 9), picnic lunch (Day 8); coach transfer Tromso Airport-hotel (Day 1); 3hr guided city tour Tromso and 4hr Aurora Husky Visit (Day 2); Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral visit (Day 4); 3hr King Crab Safari and Sami Culture Centre visit Inari (Day 6); 2-2.5hr Reindeer Farm Visit & Sleigh Ride and overnight in Glass Igloo at Arctic Snow Hotel Rovaniemi (Day 7); 2hrs Husky Safari and Santa Claus Village visit (Day 8); Snow Castle Visit and Sampo Icebreaker Cruise Kemi (Day 9). N.B. construction of the Snow Castle is weather dependent and may not be completed until mid to late January; shared transfer hotel-Rovaniemi Airport (Day 10 only); services of English-speaking guide; transport in modern coach with WiFi (Days 2-9); entrance fees for included excursions; use of outer winter clothing during included activities and safaris.

The price shown here is for the 10 day tour 

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

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