Journey beginning and ending at Rovaniemi, Finland
Fully booked: 2018-12-23 to 2018-12-28 starting from $3707 AUD
Available: 2019-12-23 to 2019-12-28 starting from $3785 AUD
Celebrating Christmas in Lapland is a wonderfully magical experience – with the snow topped landscapes outside, and cosy fires indoors. This Christmas tour is based in a small town outside Rovaniemi and introduces you to the incredible animals of the Arctic. Based within the wildlife park complex, you will meet and feed the polar bears as well as enjoy endless visits into the zoo.
- Action-packed Christmas holiday with the opportunity to enjoy traditional husky sledding, search for the Northern Lights and visit Rovaniemi
- Visit Santa Claus in his secret forest hideout
- Stay within the amazing Ranua Wildlife Park and meet the creatures of the Arctic. Using modern & expertly crafted enclosures, see animals such as polar bears, moose, golden eagles, Arctic foxes, otter, lynx, elk and deer in the snow setting. Grab a sled for quick & fun travel around the zoo.
- Relax in contemporary style log cabins, suitable for families and groups
Day 1 – 23 Dec: Transfer from Rovaniemi to your apartment
Arrival at Rovaniemi airport and transfer to your hotel (approx. 1 hour). Families will enjoy the private self-catering apartments, sleeps 6 (4 adults and 2 children) newly built in 2012. With your own sauna, lounge with log fire and kitchen in these semi-detached wooden houses, you have a great spot to relax with your family.
Upon arrival at the hotel you will be shown your accommodation and hotel services.
In the backwoods of Ranua, close to the Ranua Wildlife Park, you have the chance to visit Santa in his very, very secret place, his Hideout Cabin in the wilderness. At the reception, your family will meet your guide who drives you and your family through the dark, snowy forest towards Santa’s secret place. Within merely a 10 minute ride, you will see a tiny light flickering from far away. The guide stops driving in order to discuss what the light might mean, what it could be – in the middle of the mysterious dusk and darkness of just snow-covered trees all around. In a short moment the ride continues, ever towards the light. As you come closer and closer, you will see a tiny wooden cabin appearing in the shimmering darkness, with candle lights flickering in the windows, smoke rising up from the chimney.
You stop here; at this point the children might go and peek through the windows to try and see who on earth could be staying in a sweet little cabin like this. The children, ever more curious of the sights they might have seen, courageously knock on the door. And who comes to open the door – but Santa himself, welcoming the family to step inside and stay awhile in the comforts of his cabin adorned with a fireplace, with handmade wooden sculptures and handicrafts all around, red blankets on the bed, his books and pens on the table.
Santa explains that this is the place where he likes to come before all the Christmas work and hassle, to stay and relax, to enjoy the quiet of the woods and the nature around; where he comes after all the joy and delight of the Christmas festivities. Santa continues explaining that he remembers the names of the children; that he knew they had arrived to Ranua and was expecting the family to perhaps even visit him, as many families, having gotten a little hint of a secret place in the woods, do visit him. And Santa takes his scrapbook to read aloud who has visited him lately. Santa has plenty fun little stories to tell, and with the children he also discusses about the school, the family, and the manners of the children; if they have behaved well, what they have learnt, during the past year. Santa also listens to the children’s questions, and answers them in his utterly unique, and always supportive, positive manner. The visit takes about 20 minutes and after the fare-wells the guide drives the family back to the Holiday Village. The total program takes about 45 minutes.
Following this, you will enjoy your first taste of delicious Finnish food as you enjoy dinner with the group who will be sharing your upcoming Christmas adventure in the main hotel dining room.
Day 2 – 24 Dec: Head out for an escorted Wildlife park tour on polar bear feeding duties
This morning, it’s time to familiarise yourself with the polar bears of the Ranua Zoo. Meet your guide at the reception, and head to the polar bears’ fence. Prepare to look into the polar bear’s eyes by going through the safety instructions with the guide. You will not be allowed to go into the polar bear area, but you will have the chance to greet this largest predator in the world safely from the other side of the fence, just a couple of metres away. During this experience the zoo keeper will provide you with interesting information on the White King of the Arctic – and the Wildlife Park.
Next, you will head out into the surrounding forested wilderness in search of the perfect tree. Adults will travel via snowmobile (2 people per snowmobile) whilst the children will sit in a sled pulled by the guides snowmobile. This is a thrilling way to travel across the snow topped scenery and allows you to see more of the stunning landscape as it moves past you.
Christmas isn’t the same without the ideal Christmas tree and the children will no doubt want to get stuck into this important challenge as you look around the forest. There will be opportunity to enjoy hot drinks and biscuits by the fire too as a reward for all of your hard work.
This afternoon, get set for a Husky Safari. You will first receive detailed information on steering the sled. Then, the comfortable sleds head from Gulo Gulo into the winter wonderland. A sled can transport two adults and a child. You have the opportunity to steer your own sled, and change drivers with the other adult in the sled halfway. After the safari, you have a chance to ask our guides anything you have always wanted to know about sled dogs, who love to run fast and pull a sled, thus offering the visitors an unforgettable experience to enjoy the ancient, natural way of travelling in the wild.
This evening is the celebratory gala dinner for everyone with a range of Finnish and international specialities and lots of Christmas festivities for everyone to enjoy.
Day 3 – 25 Dec: Ice fishing safari on snowmobiles & guided zoo visit
After breakfast, get ready for a tour at the Wildlife Park. Accompany the Park Ranger on a tour to see all of the animals and you can even help out feeding some of the hungry critters! Which one will be your favourite? The Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes, Moose or Wolverine?
During the 2 hour tour, you will see some of the 50 different species residing in as authentic environment for the animals as possible. You can come back and visit for free whenever the park is open during your stay.
This afternoon, you will head to the lake to learn the secrets of ice fishing. Hot drinks are served during the trip, and any catch is fried on the open fire. You travel up to 5 – 10 kilometres, depending on the conditions, during this 3 hour trip with outer warm clothing provided.
Day 4 – 26 Dec: Day tour to Rovaniemi
A minibus heads towards Rovaniemi straight after breakfast. The capital of Lapland is about one hour’s drive away. The first stop is the Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle where you can experience the wonders of the Christmas spirit. The highlights of the day are meeting Santa Claus and souvenir shopping from the wide range of local products from Lapland.
After lunch, we head towards Arktikum, a wonderful modern museum exhibiting the unique flora, fauna, weather and culture of the Arctic in an illustrative way. Alternatively, you can visit the city centre and see what it has to offer.
Head back to Ranua and enjoy the peace & quiet of your apartments.
Day 5 – 27 Dec: Reindeer Safari & the Search for the Northern Lights snowmobile tour
Today, enjoy a more peaceful day with a reindeer safari. Take the time to savour the snowcovered landscape during a wonderfully peaceful 3km sleigh ride. As night falls, time to rev the engines again on the snowmobiles for a Northern Lights tour – fingers crossed, the Aurora will shine for you tonight?
Follow our guide from Gulo Gulo to the snowmobile track. The guide will teach you how to ride a snowmobile and what precautions to take. The snowmobiles have excellent headlights that guarantee good visibility, even on dark forest trails. We take a couple of short breaks on the way and enjoy a cup of hot juice by an open fire at the halfway point. If we are lucky, we will be treated with one of the most amazing natural phenomena in the world: the Northern Lights.
Day 6 – 28 Dec: Transfer to Rovaniemi Airport
Today your adventure will draw to a close as you are transferred back to the airport after breakfast.
- 5 nights in a self-contained apartment
- Full board incl. Christmas Eve gala dinner
- Airport transfers from/to Rovaniemi Airport on days 1 and 6 (for scheduled flights).
- All activities listed in the itinerary: Aurora Borealis Snowmobile Safari, Date with a polar bear within Ranau Arctic Wildlife park, Rovaniemi day trip, Reindeer Safari, Ice fishing on snowmobiles, Guided Zoo tour, Husky Safari, Visit to Santa Claus secret hideout and a search for a Christmas tree.
- Thermal clothing for the whole stay – thermal winter suit, winter boots, woolen socks, inner and outer gloves, winter hat and balaclava.
- Entrance fee and sled use at the Ranua Arctic Wildlife Park.
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
- Domestic flights
- International flight tickets, meals other than described, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, travel insurance, visas, gratuities and any items of personal nature.
To enquire, feel free to contact Globetrotter via the following link and we will be sure get back to you as soon as possible!