What better way to spend a white Christmas than in wonderful Lapland! Spend Christmas itself at Rovaniemi, Santa's Home Town, plus visit Saariselka, enjoy an overnight in a Glass Igloo at the Arctic Snow Hotel, a reindeer farm visit with sled ride, Snowshoe Walk, Husky Safari, a visit to delightful Santa Claus Village, a trip to the Arctic Zoo at Ranua and more.
On arrival into Ivalo Airport, transfer by airport 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 much alive. Time at leisure and two overnights at Santa's Tunturi Hotel or similar.
This morning, enjoy something that literally has you following in the Sami's footsteps! Snowshoes are one of the oldest forms of transport in the world and when you wear them, you can capture the true feeling of winter in the woods. Afternoon is at leisure - perhaps try a Finnish sauna, available at the hotel. Tonight you may like to join the optional Aurora Snowmobile Safari for 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 Northern Lights may show you the way. Enjoy hot sausages and drinks by the open fire before returning to the hotel. 2 persons share each snowmobile and each driver must have a full valid driver's license.
In the morning we make our way to Sinetta, just outside Rovaniemi. En route, 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 cultural importance of reindeer and teach you how to throw a Suopunki (Sami lasso). Then relax with a short reindeer sleigh ride, moving over white landscapes, 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 -5º. 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.
After your wonderful overnight stay we head to Rovaniemi. Check in to the hotel and then some free time - explore the town, browse the shops or perhaps visit the fabulous Artikum Museum. This afternoon you might like to take an optional ice-floating excursion. Experience the lightness of your body during the arctic ice floating! Let your body and mind float, enjoy this frozen adventure. You will be provided with a high-quality rescue suit that covers your whole body and keeps you dry. As you have your own clothing under the suit you will not get cold even in the open 0º water. Lying down in the lake's ice hole, is definitely something worth trying. The circumstances truly are arctic! Tonight enjoy a traditional buffet of Lappish specialities at the hotel. Three nights at Hotel Santa Claus or similar.
Today 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 one 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. Then at approximately 16:00, the children are invited to participate in the traditional activity of decorating the Christmas tree. At around 18:00 Santa himself will visit the hotel, to bring special Christmas wishes and to deliver a small gift for each child, followed by a Christmas Eve Gala Dinner. Merry Christmas to all!
Another day of adventure! This morning we visit the Ranua Wildlife Park, situated 80km south of Rovaniemi. Established 1983, specialises in Arctic and northern animal species and the zoo sits amid northern conifer forests, the natural habitat of most of the animals. Enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful park and visit the different animals and birds which include wolverine, deer, bear and of course the King of the Arctic, the polar bear. After lunch at the restaurant in the park there is time to further explore - visit the souvenir shops, the Fazer factory and the local wine shop with their unique selection of wines made from berries – before we return to Rovaniemi. In the evening enjoy a Christmas Gala dinner buffet at the hotel.
Transfer to Rovaniemi airport and end of arrangements.
Maximum Group Size: 32 persons
All optional excursions must be pre-booked. Some excursions subject to minimum age & height requirements.