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- New Igloos
- 2021 available
5 days - Celebrate the New Year in Finland staying in modern apartments and overnight in Glass Igloo.
Celebrating the New Year in Lapland is a wonderful experience – with the snow topped landscapes outside, and cosy fires indoors. This 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. Enjoy one of our favourite Scandinavian winter experiences - local fireworks at your doorstep!!
- Action-packed holiday with the opportunity to enjoy traditional husky sledding, reindeer sledding, snowmobiling, search for the Northern Lights and a Santa visit.
- Overnight in a Glass Igloo, including a private sauna within the igloo.
- 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
- Transfer from Rovaniemi to your apartment
- Day 2
- Head out for an escorted Wildlife park tour on polar bear feeding duties then husky safari in the afternoon
- Day 3
- Visit an authentic reindeer farm by snow mobile for lunch before your New Year's Gala dinner and fireworks!!
- Day 4
- Long Horse Sleigh through the forests & the Search for the Northern Lights snowmobile tour
- Day 5
- After breakfast, transfer to Rovaniemi airport (stop in Rovaniemi optional)
- Start Place
- End Place
- Rovaniemi, Finland tours
- Country Visited
- Finland tours
- 5 Days
- Active independent tour suitable for singles, couples & groups
Return transfers from Rovaniemi airport (for scheduled flights).
- 3 nights in a modern self-contained apartment
- 1 night in an Arctic Fox Glass Igloo (with private sauna, private amenities and small kitchenette). This night can be any of the nights during your stay.
- Half board at the Wild Arctic Restaurant incl. New Year's Eve gala dinner
- Airport transfers from/to Rovaniemi Airport on days 1 and 5 (for scheduled flights).
- New Year's Eve special inclusions: glass of wine and gala dinner, Santa Claus visit, Fireworks and Finnish Traditional Melting tins (outlook for the future) in Lappish tent
- All activities listed in the itinerary: Aurora Borealis Snowmobile Safari, Date with a polar bear within Ranau Arctic Wildlife park, Reindeer Farm Visit with snowmobile ride, Horse ride, Guided Zoo tour and Husky Safari.
- 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.
- Upgrade to Deluxe Apartments available
- Rovamiemi visit
Day 1 - 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. Head out for some snow angels and fun in the snow. Following this, you will enjoy your first taste of delicious Finnish food as you enjoy dinner in the main hotel dining room.
Day 2 - Head out for an escorted Wildlife park tour on polar bear feeding duties then husky safari in the afternoon
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.
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.
AccommodationGulo Gulo Apartments
Day 3 - Visit an authentic reindeer farm by snow mobile for lunch before your New Year's Gala dinner and fireworks!!
Today, you have an unique chance to visit a traditional reindeer farm hosted by the reindeer herders of the three generation with more than 300 reindeers. The safari starts with driving instructions, after which we head towards Laivala, an authentic reindeer farm. The reindeer herder welcomes you, tells you about reindeer husbandry and living in harmony with nature. After visiting the reindeer enclosures, the owner family takes you on a reindeer sled ride for about one kilometre. After the reindeer ride, a hot meal is served in a Lapp hut. Return to the safari house on snowmobiles.
Optional activities you can also include on this tour include horse sleigh ride, wellness packages, icefishing, wolf dog nature experience, craft, snowshoeing and nordic skiing.
This evening, enjoy a traditional Finnish New Years with fireworks, gala dinner and melting a candle tin in the snow for good luck and prosperity.
AccommodationGulo Gulo Apartments
Day 4 - Long Horse Sleigh through the forests & the Search for the Northern Lights snowmobile tour
Today, enjoy a more peaceful day with long wintry sleigh ride in the snowy wonderland! Be at peace inside the beautiful Ukonkangas forest, which is located next to the Wildlife Park. You will be taken on a smooth carriage ride through the beautiful nature and pure forests. Hear the stories behind our love for Lapland while the horses take you through the wintry scenery!
Tonight, move to your Glass Igloo for the evening. The Arctic Fox Igloos are located on the naturally beautiful, peaceful shores of the lake Ranuanjärvi, far from disturbing city light pollutions. Each Igloo offers an unobstructed view to the far-reaching open lake, and the northern skies, where the Northern Lights usually appear. Set some time aside for your private sauna in the glass igloo.
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.
Return and settle back into your glass igloo for the Arctic evening sky.
NOTE: Please note that the igloo stay could be another evening during your visit, determined at time of booking.
AccommodationArctic Fox Glass Igloos
Day 5 - After breakfast, transfer to Rovaniemi airport (stop in Rovaniemi optional)
After breakfast, return to the Rovaniemi airport. If you wish, please talk to us about visiting Rovaniemi along the way to say hello to Santa or to visit some of the cultural and science museums situated in this large Finnish town.
Prices are per person. Family quad share applies when 2 adults share with 2 children age 4-11. Please contact us for a personalised quote for larger families. Early indicative price for 2021.
2 Jan 2021
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Please note that polar bears are not native to Finland. Brown bears will be hibernating during this period.
Your final itinerary will be provided to you upon arrival at Ranua. Adverse weather can also influence the order of activities. Optional activities you can also include on this tour include wellness packages, icefishing, wolf dog nature experience, craft, snowshoeing and nordic skiing. Please also ask about visiting Rovaniemi.
Please note that included lunches in Scandinavia are often hearty soups with bread.
Travelling with little children? Short reindeer rides and baby snowmobile rides possible during the festive season.
Interactive Tour Map
Travelling with young children
Here are some suggestions and tips from our staff who have kids themselves, for travelling in Scandinavia with younger children. We hope that you will find this advice helpful and be sure to ask us for more information before travelling as our staff have all grown up in Scandinavia.
In general, Scandinavia and Finland are very child-friendly destinations and if you have any special requests or questions while here, please contact the staff at your hotel immediately. Almost all restaurants can be considered child-friendly with baby chairs and sometimes also drawing utensils, books or toys, and when using public transport, Scandinavia offers some great support for families with younger children. Baby changing tables in public toilets, play equipment and play rooms at airport terminals and family wagons in trains with playing area for the little ones are common place.
When possible, we suggest arriving to Scandinavia or Finland a day or two earlier before your holiday program begins so that your younger children can adjust to the time zone. Young children arriving from the Southern Hemisphere generally wake up at around 4 - 5am for the first few mornings before they get accustomed to the new time zone. Be sure to have breakfast provisions ready for this, as it is unusual for anything to be provided from the hotel at this early hour. We suggest bringing packages of the child's favourite breakfast cereal from home plus tea bags etc. to help in those first few days. Likewise, quiet entertainment for those early hours might be a good idea as well.
Hotel rooms in Scandinavia more likely than not, only have twin beds pushed together to make a double if required. The spare children's beds are often foldout beds. Generally, it is easy to arrange at reception for the cots but be sure to ask for help if something doesn't seem right. We were provided a cot without a mattress once - very uncomfortable indeed if we hadn't chased that up!
Also, in Scandinavia it is not common practise to have tea or coffee provided in the room, and even if there is a kettle, there might be nothing else. We suggest travelling with a small supply of your own tea bags/coffee, and asking directly at reception for a kettle on arrival.
Feeding your children adequately is probably the hardest thing to do on an arranged holiday - kids are out of wack with jetlag, fussy and hungry for their own comfort food. When hotels and packages provide set times for meals and buffets, it is important to come prepared.
It is handy to take a small cooler bag already from home filled with snacks, utensils and fresh food. From the breakfast buffets it is usually acceptable to take a small amount of fresh food such as boiled eggs, rolls and fruit for morning and afternoon tea for the little ones.
We would also suggest that you give your kids a taste of what’s to come before their holiday on some foods that they are likely to get in Scandinavia. Meatballs, European flavoured sausages, soups & then treats like cinnamon buns and waffles are typical children's menu items. Cinnamon is a very common flavour used in Scandinavia and Finland.
If you are part of an arranged program, be sure to ask at reception if you need anything in particular. The hotel staff will be more than happy to warm up baby food and organise more snacks or fruit.
We recommend seeking all available information from the reception or activity provider when considering what optional activities will suit your younger children. These activities can be cold and involve a transfer a certain distance from the hotel. If you are uncertain why the activity is being run at a particular time, please ask for clarification as there is often a reason that you might be unfamiliar with. We all know as parents that children generally perform better earlier in the day than later, however, the activity providers might have a safety, logistic or climate reason for picking a certain time.
In Scandinavia, it is often left up to the parents to make decisions about age limits and suitability (unlike other regions where everything is stipulated) so be sure to ask reception or other guests who have done the activity for further advice.
We usually don't recommend winter activities, such as longer husky safaris, snowmobile safaris and late evening Aurora Hunts to children under the age 4-5. This of course depends very much on a child as every child is different, but for younger children we recommend shorter excursions as it can get very cold sitting still in a sled. Some operators also do not take children under the age of 5 on their tours, so please ask us specifically before travelling about these limitations.
This is going to make or break your holiday in Scandinavia in the winter. Be sure to refer to our comprehensive packing list provided in your pre-departure information and be on the look out for the best protection for your children in the cold. Winter is great time for kids to play outside and snow-based activities will keep the young ones entertained for hours as long as they have appropriate clothing.
Extra (non-cotton) layers that can be added or taken away when needed, heat warmers and slip on crampons for the older children are recommended. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves, and extra pair of mittens will come in handy after building a snowman or two. A balaclava type of hat that covers both the neck and ears and which can also protect part of child’s face if needed, is also great under a warm and windproof beanie.
The base-layer next to skin should be either wool or synthetic blend, never cotton. With perspiration cotton turns quickly damp and then cold, no matter what other warmer clothing items are layered on top of it.
Many of the hotels and activity providers also do offer warm outer clothing for hire, but if traveling with small kids, please do check beforehand that correct sizes are available.
- Heat warmer pads for inside gloves and boots. Please note that these should not be used directly against the skin, hence for hands, you will need to use the pads in between the two pairs of gloves/mittens recommended in our packing list
- Good boots and warm woolly socks for your little ones
- Bags & suitcases that can easily be carried by one parent if the other is carrying children. Many of us use Trunkies for our travels so that our kids can sit on them, or sometimes the kids can pull the cases themselves. If your child is small enough to be carried, we highly recommend a baby or toddler carrier that leaves your hands free for handling the luggage.
- Provisions for the first day or two whether it is snacks, nappies or fruit drinks.
- Books, drawing pencils or other tranquil inside activity and your child’s favourite teddy!
Practical Information for travelling and packing for Scandinavian Winter
- Warm wind and water proof jacket and trousers large enough to fit thick woollen jumper/clothing underneath
- Rain trousers – waterproof and breathable material
- Warm windproof cap/hat
- Warm gloves or mittens. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves.
- Windproof gloves or mittens, which you can pull over the warm gloves
- Warm scarf
- 2 pairs of long woollen underwear (Merino wool in a few different thicknesses is perfect)
- 1-2 warm woollen jumper(s), or one jumper and a warm fleece
- Woollen or fleece trousers
- 2-3 pairs of warm woollen socks
- Warm & sturdy footwear with good grip
- Clothes for indoors, i.e. a shirt, T-shirts and jeans or cotton trousers
- Back pack for day trips (approx. 30 litre)
- Light footwear/trainers (mainly for indoors)
- Sun screen & Lip salve (the sun reflects off the snow and the air is dry)
- Hand warmers
- Nordic Grip anti-slip soles for walking on ice
- Personal medication
- Water bottle - thermo, or include a cover to keep warm (or you can stick it into a warm sock)
- Travel documents (including insurance)
- Photo ID
- Note book and pencil
- Camera, memory cards and charger
- Chargers for other gadgets
- Extra batteries for your cameras as they are used fast in cold conditions.
Practical information about Scandinavian Hotels
- Hotel rooms in Scandinavia are normally furnished with twin beds, which can be moved together to form a double bed or placed separately. Please note that single rooms are generally smaller than doubles, and are often equipped with a shower instead of a bath. Purpose-built triple or family rooms are likewise unusual in Scandinavian hotels. Whilst it is possible for 3 persons to share a room, this will normally be a double room with an extra bed, with correspondingly less space to move about in.
- It is also unusual to have a porter at hotels to carry your luggage.
- There is free wi-fi in many hotels in Scandinavia.
- Unexpectedly, all forms of Scandinavian accommodation rarely provide tea and coffee facilities in their rooms. If you are lucky, a kettle will be supplied but nothing else. Please ask at reception for some provisions when you arrive or just carry a small selection from home.
- Please also note that in Scandinavia - in particular, during winter - the included lunch will often be a hearty warm soup with bread.
- More remote hotels in Lapland will offer dinner at an additional cost. In some spots, there will be limited choices else where. Generally, you get a very nice home-cooked Scandinavian dinner. However, you may sometimes find only one or two choices only for your main course.
- In Scandinavia, it is normal for washing and laundry facilities to be in the basement. If you are staying in apartment type accommodation, check downstairs or ask for assistance.