Lapland Reindeer Safari
March 14-28, 2012
14,990.00 Per Person
Travel to the top of the world with us. You'll cross the Arctic Circle, pay a visit to a local reindeer farm, and tour the former studio and home of three of Finland's most renowned architects. Then board a mighty icebreaker for a trip into the Gulf of Bothnia. Spend the festival of Maria's Day with the Sami people, sharing their traditional festivities. In the far north of Finland, embark on a three-stage arctic adventure through the wintry terrain, with legs by snowmobile, husky-pulled sled and colorful Lapp sledge. End your adventure in style with an unforgettable night in Sweden's grand ICEHOTEL.
Please contact Westgate Travel for more information or to book this trip.
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* Due to remote or undeveloped locations on some journeys, accommodations may not always meet Western standards. Dine-Around opportunities will be limited in remote or unsecured locations.
- Deluxe rooms in the best available hotels
- Three meals per day, including our unique Dine-Around program that lets you enjoy any restaurant you choose with à la carte dining, or relax with room service when available*
- A professional Travel Director as your personal concierge
- Local sightseeing with professional English-speaking guides with unparalleled knowledge, including entrance fees for places visited
- Active participation and up-close encounters to experience the cultures of your journey
- Bottled water, soft drinks, coffee and tea included with meals; bottled water during sightseeing excursions
- All gratuities to hotel and restaurant staff and local guides and drivers
- Group or individual airport transfers on arrival and departure flights
- The TravcoAssist Travel Protection Plan, including emergency medical evacuation insurance coverage for injury or illness, and 24-hour Worldwide Live Travel Assistance through Travel Guard Assistance
Day by Day Itinerary:
March 14-18, 2012
DAYS 1 – 3
Built in the 16th century on the peninsulas and islands of the Baltic, Helsinki is a city of the sea. Tonight there is a welcome cocktail and dinner party to meet your Travcoa Travel Director and your fellow travelers and learn about the wonderful adventures ahead. On Day 3 you will explore Helsinki's historic market squares, cobblestone streets and romantic houses. You'll visit all the highlights including Temppeliaukio Rock Church, Senate Square, Uspensky Cathedral, ice breakers, ship yards, and the Sibelius Monument in Sibelius Park, dedicated to composer Jean Sibelius, Finland's most famous son.
Hotel Kamp, Helsinki
DAYS 4 & 5
Today you will tour Hvittrask Country. Hvittrask is the former studio home of three famous Finnish architects; Eliel Saarinen, Hermann Gesellius and Armas Lindgren. The studio home was made of logs and natural stone in 1902 and designed to blend in with the magnificent scenery of the deep forest, majestic rocks and clear waters. A short flight this afternoon will take you to Rovaniemi airport in Lapland. The region is one of Europe's last wildernesses, comprised of lush forests, rushing streams, mighty glaciers and narrow gorges. Nothing compares to winter in Finland. On Day 5, you'll meet Santa himself at his workshop on the Arctic Circle in Santa Claus Village — a great opportunity to shop for some Lapp handicrafts and send postcards from Santa Claus' main post office. After lunch, learn how to drive and lasso reindeer at the Salla Reindeer Farm. It is the world's only reindeer “driving school” where you'll earn a reindeer driving license. Before the arrival of the snowmobile, the reindeer was a prerequisite of life and the Lapp's sleigh, pulled by reindeer, was used for transport of goods and people. On your reindeer sleigh ride you will experience an essential part of the history of Lapland. In the evening, savor local specialties at a traditional restaurant located in a wooden house built in the 1880s.
Hotel Santa Claus, Rovaniemi
DAYS 6 & 7
Rovaniemi, Tornio, Kemi & Haparanda, Sweden
This morning you will visit the Arktikum (Arctic Research Center). It focuses on the life, natural habitats, customs and culture of the peoples living north of the Arctic Circle. The science center and a museum have two independent sections — the Provincial Museum of Lapland and the Arctic Science Center. Then you will skim over the snow on a horse-drawn sleigh ride for lunch at Snowland, a magical kingdom of snow and ice igloos. You will have lunch on ice tables at the Igloo Restaurant, see the Tornio Church, and visit a local brewery, the Lapin Kulta, which produces the best beer in Finland. On Day 7, travel to Ajos Harbor for an icebreaker cruise and lunch on board. The Sampo, the world's only tourist icebreaker, operates on the northern Gulf of Bothnia out of Kemi in Finnish Lapland. After your cruise, enjoy sightseeing in Tornio. Visit the Gemstone Gallery where you will see one of the largest collections of gemstones, jewelry and crowns, including the royal crown of the only King of Finland. Then visit the “SnowCastle” in Kemi. The SnowCastle, a magnificent example of the great talent and skills of local architects and their builders, is built anew each year. Inside the towering walls unforgettable experiences await: artwork of ice and snow with lights and sound effects, a hotel, restaurant, bar and chapel.
Haparanda Stadshotell, Hasparanda
DAYS 8 & 9
Drive to the village of Levi where you will pick up safari clothing for this afternoon's snowmobile adventure and some driving tips. Everyone will be accompanied by an experienced driver during the 35 kilometer snowmobile safari, and you can even try your own hand at driving your snowmobile. Zip over the snow at breathtaking speed through pine, spruce and birch forests, set against a blanket of pure white snow. Experience the pristine winterscape, pausing along the way for hot beverages. On Day 9, take a Husky safari. Experience the legendary winter twilight — the fascinating play of colors, and the bright sunshine while driving a team of well-trained, powerful but friendly Huskies through a snow-covered landscape. Later visit the Pontso Gallery-Kievari where the owner will conduct an art tour.
Hotel K5, Levi
DAYS 10 & 11
Levi, Muonio & Hetta
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Muonio and visit the Kiela Naturium. At the planetarium become acquainted with Lappish “elements,” such as the Northern Lights and hear an explanation of the stars from the Lapp viewpoint. After lunch continue past picturesque villages and reindeer herds to Hetta, situated in the heart of Lapland's snow-covered wilderness close to the borders of Norway and Sweden. Lapps gather here from Norway, Sweden and Finland for the festive St. Maria's Day celebration, and will be wearing their colorful, traditional clothing. On Day 11, witness the ancient celebration of Maria's Day. Afterwards, everyone gathers on the ice for reindeer races and roping competitions. Enjoy the market that is a part of Maria's Day and join the local people in eating, drinking and good cheer.
Lapland Hotel, Hetta
Hetta, Kiruna & Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
Take a beautiful drive through the countryside to arrive in Kiruna, a small iron ore mining town 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. It's the center of research on the Northern Lights and the winter sky is often lit up by the amazing Aurora Borealis. Few sights can equal the magic and mystery of these luminous sheets of color playing in the frigid air of an Arctic night. Transfer from Kiruna to Jukkasjärvi by dog sled. Spend the night in the ICEHOTEL, an unforgettable experience and the ultimate winter adventure. Sculpted from ice and snow, this incredible work of art is set in the heart of Swedish Lapland in the quaint, small village of Jukkasjärvi. A beautifully ornamented suite has been reserved exclusively for you. The ICEHOTEL has an ice sauna, art gallery, theater, chapel, and the famous Absolut Ice Bar that's different every year. You'll stay as warm as toast on a solid bed of ice insulated by soft mattresses and reindeer hides inside your specially designed sleeping bag. In the morning, you'll be awakened with a hot drink of mountain berries and invited to sit in the sauna while your breakfast is being prepared.
DAYS 13 & 14
Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna & Stockholm
After breakfast, board snowmobiles for a drive through the Talma Laplanders reindeer grazing land. The trail takes you over frozen lakes and through dense forest until you reach a wilderness camp for a coffee break. This afternoon, fly to Stockholm, the sophisticated capital of Sweden. On Day 14, visit Stockholm's treasures. See the Gold Room in City Hall, where Nobel Prizes are presented each year. Take a walking tour of Old Town (Gamla Stan) with its narrow and winding streets and buildings from the Middle Ages; the Royal Palace, and Stockholm Cathedral. Gamla Stan is a maze of medieval streets all crammed with historic attractions.
Package price is per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement applies. Intra-tour air pricing is subject to change. International airfare is additional. Other restrictions may apply. Contact us for complete journey details.
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