Escorted Tour, Santa Claus Holiday, Northern Lights, Husky Safari, Reindeer Safari, and Snowmobile SafariNorway and Finland
From $7,245 USD
December 15 - December 26, 2020
12 Days / 11 Nights
Arctic Christmas Adventure in Tromsø and Northern Norway. From Alta to Kirkenes, Saariselkä to Rovaniemi. Stay in a Glass Igloo, visit Santa Claus Village.
Arctic Christmas in Tromsø and North Norway, an action-packed adventure in Norwegian and Finnish Lapland. Visit Alta and the north-eastern town of Kirkenes. Enjoy a guided tour in Tromsø, search for the Aurora, and taste the delicacies of the North in Kirkenes on a King Crab Safari. Visit Saariselkä, ideal for skiing, and Rovaniemi, where Santa is expecting you at Santa Claus Village. Sleep in an Arctic Glass Igloo, enjoy huskies and reindeer rides.
December 15 - December 26, 2020
Sunday, guaranteed departure
December 15, 2020
- from $7,245 per person in double room
- from $9,440 single room
- from $6,655 for 3rd adult in extra bed sharing double/twin room
- from $6,150 child (4-12 years) when sharing room with parents
- 11 nights in **** hotels, standard double/twin rooms with private facilities
- 11 x breakfasts, buffet style
- 5 x dinners, 5 x lunches and 1 picnic as per program
(all lunches & dinners are 3-course meals or buffets including coffee, unless otherwise specified)
- Bi-lingual Tour Escort from Day 2 to Day 12 inclusive
- Arrival transfer in Tromsø by public service Flybussen
- 3-hours guided city tour of Tromsø
- Regular departure transfer to Rovaniemi Airport
- The long-distance coach from day 2 - 11 offers WIFI
- All tours and transportation as per program
- Visits, excursions and entrances as per program
- Aurora Husky Visit
- Visit to Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral
- King Crab Safari
- Visit to Reindeer Farm and sleigh ride
- Snowshoe Safari
- Rovaniemi and visit to Santa Claus Village
- Outdoor clothing for winter activities/safaris as per program
- Luggage allowance is 1 suitcase & 1 piece of hand luggage per person
- International Airfare
- Personal insurance / personal items
- Optional Excursions
- Beverages or any extras
- Porter service
- Any services not mentioned in the program
- This is an escorted tour!
- Children between 4-12 years, when sharing room with adults, receive a reduction.
- Arrival transfer in Tromsø is by a regular (public) airport bus service Flybussen.
- Regular departure transfer service included in the program is only available for transfers to Rovaniemi Airport and only on the published official date of end of the tour.
- The transfers are escorted by an English-speaking driver and is shared with other fellow passengers; therefore, minor waiting time may occur.
- This transfer service is not valid for passengers with pre/post nights or passengers who require private transfers – for a supplement, private transfers can be reserved.
- The Northern Lights are weather dependent and cannot be guaranteed as they are a natural phenomenon.
- It is important to note that in all our winter programs can be physically demanding and the passenger may be exposed to different kinds of physical strain. Uneven grounds during walking tours, snow and ice are common surface in our destinations.
- All activities involving sailing, snowmobiling, reindeer sleighs, husky sleighs, igloo dinners & ice breaker will include appropriate thermal equipment.
- The operator reserves the right to amend the itinerary and/or included entrances without notice due to extreme weather conditions. The weather conditions in the Norwegian and Finnish Lapland can vary and road closures are sometimes enforced by local authorities, which is out of the control of Five Stars of Scandinavia and its handling suppliers/partners.
- All optional tours must be pre-booked and pre-paid and are always subject to availability and confirmation.
List of included Hotels
Day 1 ARRIVAL TROMSØ
Tuesday, December 15
Arrival to Tromso airport. Upon exiting the airport, please proceed to the Flybussen bus stop (regular airport express bus) and present your voucher to the driver. Your voucher is valid for both the arrival and departure transfers so please be sure to keep it safe. The Flybussen will transfer you the 5 km distance to the center of Tromsø and drop off is within walking distance of your hotel. Check-in at your hotel (guaranteed from 15:00). The rest of the day is at leisure. Please consult the Via Hansa & Borealis welcome letter, which you will receive upon check-in to your hotel, and kindly note where and when to meet your Tour Director.
Day 2 TROMSØ (B, D)
Wednesday, December 16
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning we depart by private coach for a 3-hour city sightseeing tour. This tour will be the perfect introduction to Tromsø where you will visit the worldæs most northern Botanical gardens. Here you can enjoy the views of the mountains to the east and south. Tromsø enjoys a subarctic climate, its location corresponding to the northern coast of Alaska. Visit the Tromsø University Museum where you will learn fascinating facts on nature and culture in northern Norway. Learn about the indigenous Sami people, their traditional culture and recent history.
Following this, you will continue on a tour around the island, passing Lake Prestvatn where the Meteorological Institute is situated. Travel across the bridge to the Arctic Cathedral for a visit to this masterpiece by Jan Inge Hovig. Built in 1965, the cathedral reflects north Norwegian nature, culture, and faith with a monumental stained-glass window. We end the city tour with a visit to the Arctic experience center POLARIA, where the co-dependency of sea- and land life is both seen and felt. Polaria is located in walking distance from the hotel, should you wish to extend your visit.
AURORA HUSKY VISIT, LIGHT DINNER INCLUDED
Duration: approx. 4 hours, 18:45-22:45
Meeting Time: 18:30 at the hotel reception
Included: transportation, guide, warm overalls, traditional Norwegian dinner
Be ready for a pick-up right outside your hotel at 18:30 where you will be met by a representative from Tromsø Villmarkssenter and taken on a 25-minute bus ride to the Aurora Camp. At the camp you will be equipped with thermal overalls and boots to keep you nice and warm all evening. 300 friendly Alaskan huskies are waiting to greet you and enjoy some cuddles, followed by an affectionate and playful visit to the puppy enclosure. Once you have filled up on puppy love, it is time to enjoy a traditional Norwegian dinner in our cozy Gamme-hut (turf home).
You will be served Norwegian Bacalao, prepared with locally sourced cod and tomato sauce, and for dessert their savoury signature chocolate cake. 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 and the program will be adjusted accordingly. For those of you who wish to sit outside and wait for it to appear, a bonfire will set the mood and keep you toasty.
Day 3 TROMSØ - ALTA (B, L)
Thursday, December 17
Breakfast at the hotel. The ride from Tromsø to Alta is breath-taking regardless of the time of year. Stunning scenery and magnificent nature ensure that this trip will stay with you for a long time. The distance between Tromsø and Alta is about 300 km, a route traveled in approximately 8 hours, and include two ferry crossings. Lunch (included) en route. Arrival in Alta and check in at your hotel. Evening at leisure. (186 mi)
OPTIONAL: SLEIGH RIDE UNDER THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
Price: USD 265 pp / Min 2 persons
Children 7-12 years: 30% discount
Duration: approx. 4 hours, 20:00 – 24:00
Meeting Time: 19:45 at the hotel reception
Includes: Transportation, traditional dinner including dried meat chips w/dip, reindeer meat, lingonberry sauce, homemade cinnamon rolls, bonfire-coffee and glogg.
This tour offers you an evening of cozy adventure. You will be picked up in Alta and driven to a farm in the nearby countryside where you will climb aboard a sleigh and get bundled up in warm blankets. Your sleigh is then pulled by a Norwegian Fjord Horse through the forest and along the Alta River, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the peace and beauty all around you. Near the end of the ride, you will stop at a wilderness shelter where a light dinner will be served around a warm fire. Under the right conditions you might also be able to captures some beautiful images of the Northern Lights. REQUIRES PRE-BOOKING
Thon Alta ***+
Day 4 ALTA (B)
Friday, December 18
Breakfast at the hotel before departing for the prestigious EMYA award-winning Alta museum. The museum is situated at the site of early settlement of Finnmark dating from around 11,000 years ago and presents exhibitions on local culture and historic industries. A must-see for anyone visiting the area. Afterwards we will pay a visit to the modern Northern Lights Cathedral located in the central part of town.
ALTA MUSEUM (included)
Experience the Northern Europe's largest and richest rock carving site, inscribed on the UNESCO's World Heritage List. Here you can walk on pathways arranged around the rock carving area while enjoying a fantastic view over the Alta Fjord. The 2000 to 6200 years old rock carvings show the life of hunters and fishermen. You will have a guided tour at the museum with some free time afterwards to walk around at your own pace.
NORTHERN LIGHTS CATHEDRAL (included)
The impressive Nordlyskatedralen is a result of an architectural competition launched in 2001. Designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects in collaboration with architect Kolbjorn Jenssen of Link Arkitektur, the elegant and modern construction features concrete and wood with external cladding of titanium sheets. The central feature being the towering spiral with belfry. Inside the church you will find art work by Danish artist Peter Brandes.
OPTIONAL: NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR & SORRISNIVA ICE HOTEL
Price: USD 270 pp | Min 6 persons
Duration: approx. 4 - 5 hours, 19:00– 23:00/24:00
Meeting Time: 18:30 at the hotel reception
Includes: transportation, guide, sweet snacks and soft drink
Meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel for a 20 minute bus ride into the countryside. The family owned Sorrisniva adventure facility is perfectly located to maximize your chances of seeing the magnificent Aurora Borealis in the time between September and March. Experience the Igloo Hotel - the worlds northernmost ice hotel, built from ground every year with different themes. Get a break from your daily life and feel the serenity and silence the Igloo Hotel gives you. Wander among handcrafted ice sculptures or take an ice drink in our bar. Everything is made from pure snow and ice.
After the visit in the company of a knowledgeable local guide you will take on the Northern Lights chase. Along the way you will have an excellent opportunity to learn more about the natural phenomenon as well as the local history of Alta. Your guide will also be very happy to help you catch some beautiful images with your own camera. REQUIRES PRE-BOOKING AND SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
Thon Alta ***+
Day 5 ALTA - KIRKENES (B, L)
Saturday, December 19
Breakfast at the hotel followed by an early departure. You will travel the 465 km east to Kirkenes by coach, an approximately 8-hour journey taking you through the beautiful northern Lapland. Your eyes will feast on breathtaking nature as you sit back and watch the landscape unfold.
You will make a stop along the way in Karasjok for a 3-course lunch (included). Arrive in Kirkenes and check-in at your hotel before dinner (not included). (290 mi)
The departure is waitlisted at Thon Hotel Kirkenes. The hotel will be confirmed latest 3 weeks prior to departure, and it will be a 4* centrally located hotel.
Day 6 KIRKENES - SAARISELKÄ (B, L)
Sunday, December 20
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out at 07:00 and meet at the lobby at 07.15 for departure at 07:30 for the amazing experience of the "KING CRAB SAFARI". Directly after the King Crab Safari you continue by coach towards Saariselkä. Depart Kirkenes traveling south through the northern Lapland landscape to the center of Sami world at Inari, the capital of Lapland. Here we visit the Sajos Sami Cultural Center and parliament set in the heart of Sapmi in a unique natural landscape on the shore of Lake Inari, serving as a center for Sami self-governance, culture, education and know-how. Modern conference premises, facilities and technology go hand in hand with authentic, living Sami culture.
After the visit we continue onto the tiny village of Saariselkä, the center of Finland's winter sports. Check-in to the hotel and the evening is at leisure. (160 mi)
KING CRAB SAFARI (included)
Duration: approx 3 hours, 08:00-11:00
Meeting Time: 07:15 at the hotel reception
Included: transportation, thermal equipment, king crab lunch
"Rated one of the best 25 excursions in the World by National Geographic"
One of the highlights of Northern Norway with the chance to taste one of the local delicacies known worldwide. Heading out on the Kirkenes Fjord you will come face to face with this giant of the sea on the King Crab safari. The red king crab found in the Barents Sea can reach up to two meters from claw to claw and weigh up to 15 kilos. Depending on the weather and ice the trip might be by boat or snowmobile drawn sleigh. Once your king crab has been caught, you are transferred to a remote cabin where the crab will be prepared for a delicious lunch. All equipment and clothing will be provided.
Day 7 SAARISELKÄ (B)
Monday, December 21
In the morning, get ready for some fresh air activity literally following the footsteps of the Sami.
SNOWSHOES SAFARI INCLUDED
Duration: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes
Put on your snowshoes and feel the crunch of snow under your feet. Capture the true feeling of winter in the northern woods as you explore the nearby white wilderness of forest and hills and Urho Kekkonen National Park, surrounding Saariselkä. The afternoon is at leisure and we recommend trying a Finnish sauna, available at the hotel.
OPTIONAL: SEARCH OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS BY SNOWMOBILE
Price: USD 175 pp | Snack included
Single supplement: USD 54
Children 7-14 years: USD 130
Duration: approx. 3 hours, 20:00 – 23:00
Meeting Time: 19:45 at the hotel reception
Included: Thermal outfit, English guide, snowmobile ride & snack
This evening safari takes you in the search of the Northern Lights by snowmobile. Your guide will lead the snowmobiles toward the best spots to admire the northern skies and seek for the Aurora Boreal. In the lightness of the Arctic night a stop is made to enjoy hot sausages and drinks by the open fire while sharing stories about the Arctic way of life. REQUIRES PRE-BOOKING
Note: To drive a snow mobile in Finland you must have a valid driver´s license from a country of issue which has signed the Road Traffic Convention of Geneva. Via Hansa & Borealis cannot accept responsibility for licenses that are not accepted. Please consult if you have any doubts.
Day 8 SAARISELKÄ - SINETTÄ (B, L, D)
Tuesday, December 22
In the morning after breakfast, the adventure continues as you make your way to Sinetta, located in the outskirts of Rovaniemi. Along the way, you will experience one of the highlights of the tour.
SAMI REINDEER FARM VISIT & SLEIGH RIDE (Included)
Duration: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes, 11:30-14:00
Included: a traditional 3-course lunch
Meet the traditional Sami farmers who will tell you about the reindeer, the Sami and teach you how to throw Suopunki (Sami lasso). Sitting in a two-person sleigh, pulled by your reindeer, you will experience a short ride in this traditional and peaceful way of moving through the white landscape where the only sound you will hear is the melody of reindeer bells. A typical three course lunch is included at the farm. (175 mi)
OVERNIGHT IN A GLASS IGLOO (Included)
The journey continues south to Sinetta following the winding roads through the snowy forest and arriving at the unique Arctic Snow Hotel, where you will check-in to your private Glass Igloo. Enjoy the warmth of your Glass Igloo and weather permitting you will have the opportunity to marvel at the amazing Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) and the millions of stars from the comforts of your bed. In the evening, you are invited for a traditional Lappish three course dinner in a magnificent wooden "Kota" where fresh salmon is slowly grilled over the fire on a huge fire pit in the center.
OPTIONAL: SNOW SAUNA & OUTDOOR JACUZZI
Price: USD 80 pp | Min 2 persons
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes, 22:00 – 23:30
EXCLUSIVE FOR VIA HANSA & BOREALIS GUESTS
Even the most enthusiastic sauna bathers are deeply impressed by the snow sauna with its walls made of snow and ice. Only the sauna benches are made of wood! The sauna bathing experience is 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. REQUIRES PRE-BOOKING
OPTIONAL: OVERNIGHT IN A SNOW SUITE with EVENING SAUNA & OUTDOOR JACUZZI EXPERIENCE
Price: USD 150 pp
Single supplement: USD 78
Overnight includes SNOW SAUNA & OUTDOOR JACUZZI, 22:00 – 23:00
SAUNA & JACUZZI ARE SHARED WITH OTHER VIA HANSA & BOREALIS GUESTS
Each year the snow hotel is built with local artists designing and creating the ice and wall sculptures that decorate the hotel and Snow suites. Each Snow Suite is different each year and offers a unique arctic experience to spend the night as the Sami once did in a Snow Igloo. A mattress on an ice bed with special arctic sleeping bags keep you warm in the ambient temperature of 0 and-5 C. REQUIRES PRE-BOOKING. SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. ONCE THE SNOW SUITE IS BOOKED, THE GLASS IGLOO IS NO LONGER AN OPTION.
Day 9 SINETTÄ - ROVANIEMI (B, D)
Wednesday, December 23
In the morning after breakfast you will travel by bus to Rovaniemi where you will check-in at Santa's Hotel Santa Claus and your Christmas adventure can begin. Once you have settled into the hotel, you can enjoy a buffet dinner of traditional Lappish food. You may choose to round off the night with the unique experience of a Finnish sauna included.
OPTIONAL: Arctic ice floating – Day floating
Price: USD 190 pp | Snack included
Single supplement : USD 55
Children 7-14 years: USD 79
Minimum height for floating is 120 cm
Duration: 3 hours, 14:00-17:00
Meeting Time: 13:45 at the hotel reception
Included: transportation, thermal outfit, guide, hot drinks, snack
Come and experience the lightness of your body during the arctic ice floating! Don't fear the cold as you are totally protected with high quality rescue suit. Let your body and mind float, enjoy this frozen adventure. This guided adventure is safe 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 0-degree water. Lying down in the ice hole between the ice blocks is something worth trying, the circumstances truly are arctic! REQUIRES PRE-BOOKING
Day 10 ROVANIEMI – SANTA CLAUS VILLAGE - ROVANIEMI (B, Outdoor picnic, Christmas Dinner)
Thursday, December 24
Enjoy a Scandinavian breakfast buffet before going on your next adventure, the Husky Farm and Safari.
HUSKY FARM & SAFARI INCLUDED
Duration: approximately 2 hours (14:00-16:00)
Included: winter clothing, outdoor picnic 2 persons per sledge (self-driving)
The barking of enthusiastic dogs will welcome you to the most genuine Husky farm in Rovaniemi. The head musher will talk about the life and training of these Arctic animals and you will also have the chance to take some great photos. After brief instructions you embark, riding in pairs, on a run through the forest behind your pack of huskies (3 km). After the ride there is time to visit the farm and enjoy a traditional outdoor lunch of Lappish sausage grilled on the campfire followed by Lappish pancakes & coffee.
The day continues with a visit to the world-famous Santa Claus Village, built right on the Arctic Circle and home to Santa Claus. Stop by his busy post office where you can ask Santa to send a letter to your loved ones just before Christmas. Take a step into the magical world of Santa's home and meet Santa himself. No words can describe the emotions of this fairy-tale-like moment. It is something you will always remember. An absolute must for any visit to Lapland.
VISIT FROM SANTA CLAUS & CHRISTMAS EVE GALA DINNER (Included)
At approximately 16:00, all children are invited to participate in the traditional activity of decorating the Christmas tree. Around 18:00 Santa Claus will pay a visit to the hotel where he will deliver Christmas presents to our youngest guests. There will be a small gift per child from the hotel and the possibility for families to arrange, that Santa Claus special delivers a present to their children on behalf of the family.
Christmas Eve Gala Dinner buffet will be served at the hotel Santa Claus. An aperitif and one glass of house wine, beer or soft drink per person are included.
Day 11 ROVANIEMI - RANUA - ROVANIEMI (B, L, D)
Friday, December 25
Scandinavian buffet breakfast at the hotel before departing on another day of adventure. This morning we will visit the Ranua Wildlife Park, situated 50 mi south of Rovaniemi, 1 hour by coach. The Ranua Wildlife Park, established 1983, specializes in arctic and northern animal species. The spacious animal fencing is amid northern conifer forests, the natural habitat of most of the animals. You will be able to enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful park and visit different animals and birds. The guide will provide you with interesting and detailed information about the animals and their personalities, as well as answer whatever questions you might have about the animal life and arctic nature. Enjoy a self-service lunch at the restaurant in Ranua Wildlife Park.
After lunch, you will have one hour to visit the surroundings. You may want to visit the souvenir shops, the Fazer factory and the local wine shop with their unique selection of wines made from berries. Return to Rovaniemi, remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.
CHRISTMAS GALA DINNER INCLUDED
In the evening enjoy a festive Christmas Gala Dinner buffet at the hotel Santa Claus. An aperitif and one glass of house wine, beer or soft drink per person included.
Day 12 ROVANIEMI DEPARTURE (B)
Saturday, December 26
Breakfast and the rest of your day at leisure until your regular transfer to Rovaniemi airport in good time for your departure flight.