This winter wonderland is just as dazzling as you dreamed. Spot reindeer trundling through snow-covered landscapes, enjoy sleigh rides and snowmobile safaris, discover Santa’s Village, and if you’re lucky, spy the Northern Lights dancing across the night sky. This enchanting region encompasses towering mountains, glistening glaciers, staggeringly beautiful coastal fjords and plenty more beyond. Walk straight into this storybook adventure, exploring the best of Lapland for yourself on our 18-day itinerary.
DAY 1: Australia to Helsinki
Welcome to Scandinavia! Arrive in charming Helsinki today. You’ll be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore this quirky city.
Please note: Some flights may depart the day before.
Check in: Passengers will be arriving at various times throughout the day from as early as 6am through to late evening. If arriving prior to standard check-in time, which is generally 3pm local time, you are welcome to leave your luggage with hotel reception and explore your surroundings until check-in becomes available, as there are generally no scheduled activities on Day 1 of the itinerary. The hotel may grant early check-in, however this is strictly subject to availability and at the hotel’s discretion.
DAY 2: Helsinki – Talinn – Helsinki
It’s an early start today for an adventure to the Baltics and back. You will be transferred to a ferry and enjoy breakfast onboard as we cruise through a small stretch of the Baltic Sea, before arriving in the medieval city of Tallinn, Estonia. We will then enjoy a guided tour of Tallinn’s magical Old Town. An exceptionally well-preserved district that dates back to the 13th century, the old town was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Later, we return to Helsinki by ferry, where we’ll be transferred to the hotel before enjoying a welcome dinner to get to know our fellow travellers a little better. (B,D)
DAY 3: Helsinki – Kemi
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of the Temppeliaukio Church, known locally as the ‘Rock Church’. Excavated directly into solid rock and completed in 1969, this is one of Helsinki’s star attractions.
This afternoon get ready to board the ‘Santa Claus Express’. This iconic overnight sleeper train will take us from Helsinki into the heart of Lapland and the ‘official’ home of Santa Claus. The modern train has private twin-share cabins, onboard dining and is the perfect way to travel up to the untouched north. (B)
DAY 4: Kemi – Snow Castle – Icebreaker Cruise – Rovaniemi
In the morning, we’ll embark on a snowmobile-drawn sleigh ride to cross the ice to the Arctic Adventure Island. Embrace this nature-filled experience in the crisp air, with free time to explore the beauty of this Arctic forest. Enjoy a warm drink and sweet pastry in this serene setting before heading back on your sleigh.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit SnowCastle Resort located by the Bothnian Bay, where the sea freezes over during winter. It’s time to board the Sampo Icebreaker for an incredible adventure. Ploughing through the thick ice is not the only attraction for passengers onboard this powerful vessel: guests also have the unique opportunity to swim among the ice (in a full-body waterproof ‘survival suit’, of course). The boat has been in operation since the early 1960s, when it would break up the ice to allow trade vessels to pass through the otherwise frozen waters. Today, Sampo is like a moving museum, retaining its old-fashioned charm.
After an unforgettable day, we continue the journey north to Rovaniemi, the home of Santa Claus. (B)
DAY 5: Rovaniemi
Today, visit Santa Claus’ Village for a couple of hours of Christmas magic. Here, you’ll cross the Arctic Circle and receive a certificate to commemorate this. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the village’s many charms and fun activities, like meeting Santa’s reindeer, perusing the souvenirs or exploring Snowman World. You can even send a postcard home from the post office, staffed by Santa’s postal elves – it will have a special Arctic Circle postmark not available anywhere else. And of course, you can meet Santa. (B)
OPTIONAL TOUR – Fishing Experience by Snow Mobile
OPTIONAL TOUR – Reindeer Safari
DAY 6: Rovaniemi – Sodankyla – Saariselka (Arctic glass igloo stay)
This morning we travel further north through the winter landscape, stopping at Sodankyla, where a quick outside visit to the old church is included.
Later, you’ll arrive at a husky farm to take part in your Inspiring Sight, a Husky Safari, where these friendly dogs will bark an enthusiastic welcome for you. Before departing on the 10km safari, you will be given instruction on how to control the sleds. Upon your return to the farm, enjoy some hot berry juice by an open fire and chat away with the head musher about these amazing animals.
Later in the afternoon, we leave Rovaniemi and continue our journey into Saariselkä for an Inspiring Stay. Tonight, we are bedding down in an incredible 21st-century igloo. The glass-roofed structures let you sleep right beneath the starry skies, and hopefully the Northern Lights. Each igloo is extremely well-insulated to ensure guests are not bothered by the cold in even the coolest of temperatures. (B,D)
DAY 7: Saariselka – Karasjok
Today, continue North, stopping in Inari, where a visit to the SIIDA Museum is included before crossing the border to breathtaking Norway, and a little later arrival to Karasjok. (B,D)
DAY 8: Karasjok – North Cape – Honningsvag
Leaving Karasjok we continue our Arctic adventures to Norway’s northern tip – the vast North Cape. Upon arrival you’ll be presented with a certificate to prove you’ve been to Europe’s most northerly point. Here, you’ll also enjoy an Inspiring Taste of sparkling wine and caviar. (B,D)
DAY 9: Honningsvag – Alta
Leaving the North Cape region today we begin our journey south, down the coast of Norway to Alta. Here we’ll explore the Alta Museum and its World
Heritage Rock Art Centre. Tonight, we go on an evening drive around Alta to hunt for the Northern Lights again from a different perspective. (B)
DAY 10: Alta – Lyngen Alps – Tromso
Today we leave Alta and continue south to Tromsø. Located 350km north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is the largest city in Northern Norway. The city is known for its lively nightlife, with many local pubs and a wide range of restaurants specialising in the fresh ingredients of the Arctic.
En-route, we travel via the Lyngen Alps. This mountain range dominates the landscape, bordered by the Lyngen fjord to the east, and Ullsfjorden to the west. On arrival, enjoy some time at leisure in this so-called Gateway to the Arctic. (B)
DAY 11: Tromso
Today is yours to enjoy at leisure. You’ll have the opportunity to visit one of the many museums within walking distance of your hotel, or alternatively, why not join one of the optional tours on offer. (B)
OPTIONAL EXCURSION – Reindeer Sledding, feeding and Sami Culture
OPTINAL EXCURSION – Aurora Safari
DAY 12: Tromso – Narvik
After breakfast we leave Tromsø and make our way to Narvik, which sits on the doorstep of the beautiful Lofoten Islands. On arrival, we visit the Red Cross War Memorial Museum. In the spring of 1940 Nazi Germany suffered its first defeat in Narvik at the hands of Norwegian, British, French and Polish forces. The Red Cross War Memorial Museum tells the full story of the epic Battles of Narvik. (B)
DAY 13: Narvik – Svolvaer
Leaving Narvik, we make our way to the town of Svolvær, within the famous Lofoten archipelago. The setting surrounding the town is sublime with a backdrop of high mountains and iconic red wooden houses. Svolvær is the perfect base to explore the magical Lofoten Islands. (B)
DAY 14: Svolvaer
Today, we explore the stunning Lofoten Islands and their natural beauty, including a stop in the small village of Henningsvær. Set among a group of tiny islands seemingly dropped into the ocean at the foot of the imposing Vågakallen mountain, Henningsvær is one of Lofoten‘s best-known fishing villages. The stunning setting and mix of traditional wooden architecture and modern art galleries make this island village one of a kind. (B)
DAY 15: Svolvaer – Evenes – Oslo
After checking out of the hotel we head by bus to Evenes, where we’ll board a flight to the captivating Norwegian capital of Oslo. After a short flight we arrive in Oslo where we’ll be transferred to our central hotel. Oslo is known for its green open spaces and museums. Many of these are on the Bygdøy Peninsula, including the waterside Norwegian Maritime Museum and the Viking Ship Museum. Depending on your arrival time, enjoy the rest of your day or evening at leisure, exploring this pedestrian-friendly city. (B)
DAY 16: Oslo
Today we enjoy a guided city tour of Oslo, including a visit to the Viking Ship Museum. All the Viking ships at the museum were once ocean-going vessels before they were hauled onto land to be used in burial rituals for their wealthy owners. In the burial mounds, archaeologists unearthed skeletons, beautiful wood carvings and a diverse range of artefacts from the fascinating world of the Vikings. Afterwards, enjoy some free time before tonight’s farewell dinner to recount the incredible experiences you’ve had over the last few weeks. (B,D)
DAY 17: Oslo – Australia
Today marks the end of your magnificent and unforgettable tour through Northern Scandinavia. Enjoy free time at the hotel before your transfer to the airport where you will board your flight home. We hope you have thoroughly enjoyed your inspiring Winter Wonderland experience.
Check out: Passengers will be departing at various times throughout the day. Standard hotel check-out times will apply no matter what time your flight is scheduled to depart. Check-out time is generally anywhere from 10am-12pm. You are welcome to leave your luggage at hotel reception and spend your final moments of free time exploring the area or, alternatively, please speak with hotel staff if you would like to extend your check-out time. Please note this service is subject to availability and will likely come at an additional cost. Your tour guide (or hotel staff) will confirm the time of your airport transfer with you directly.
Excluded from the package price: