PLEASE NOTE: Winter departures have unspecified outside cabins with windows on the Norwegian coastal voyage, we are able to upgrade cabins on request to superior or suites.
Activities differ when travelling in Autumn (before the snow arrives). Autumn Activites in Ivalo will be a husky wagon ride, Finnish Smoke sauna experience and Aurora hunting by car.
We recommend arriving into Helsinki a day or so before the tour starts and enjoying this city. The first few days on tour is very busy and not being affected by jetlag will help you enjoy the activities.
You can pre-book your optional Norwegian Coastal Voyage excursions with us. However, you can also wait until you are on board and do it then - however, there is a maximum number and they can book out (unlimited numbers on the North Cape tour). It is not possible to pre-book within 2 weeks prior to departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum numbers and weather/local conditions.
Other travellers will join at various points along the way as this tour can be done in shorter sections. The group size will never extend beyond it's maximum numbers.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH INFORMATION:
All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy group travel. During winter, roads and footpaths can be icey so please consider carefully how much luggage you bring as you will be responsible for carrying all the luggage on these outside paths. There is limited portage service in Scandinavia and your tour escorts cannot help you, beyond reason.
Scandinavia is a fairly accessible destination for people with restricted mobility and other disabilities and is actively working to be more accessible every day. However, please note that our group tours are often not suitable for persons with limited accessibility due to inclusions and pace. 50 Degrees North is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability and we can tailor-make independent itineraries for travellers when needed. Please contact us for further details.
Several of your accommodations on this itinerary are Nordic Choice hotels, who we support due to their outstanding sustainability policies. This group of hotels are ISO 14001 certified (which is given to enterprises that have a high-quality environmental managing system), has launched plastic free initiatives in partnership with WWF, where possible is powered by renewable energy and are taking great strides to reduce water consumption and reduce the use of chemicals. Even though access to water is not an issue in Nordic countries compared to other parts of the world, this hotel is conscious of the energy consumed for heating, and chemicals required for purification, so reduction makes up part of their overall environmental policy. In addition to this they provide sustainable, organic, fair-trade food, and only use sustainably produced palm oil. Your hosts also encourage guests to eat less meat and substitute this for plant-based alternatives.
Your glass igloo hosts in Ivalo were the first accommodation in Northern Lapland to receive the Green Key award, the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. This prestigious eco-label represents a commitment by businesses that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. Some examples of how they carry this out include offering recycling facilities in all cabins and no longer offering plastic bottles in accommodations, along with protecting the diversity of the surrounding nature, i.e., bird house and insect hotels. Hiking, biking, and skiing tracks are direct from the hotel and as such they encourage low carbon activities such as snowshoeing and toboggans.
Your journey along the iconic Norwegian coastline comprises a large element of this tour. Traditionally the company Hurtigruten had exclusive access to this route, but in 2017 the Norwegian government ended their 130-year monopoly by granting Havila access and allowing them to also take travellers along the coastline. With this change comes innovation; traditionally the ships on this route are powered by fossil fuels however the Havila ships are fitted with batteries and can partly run on renewable hydroelectric power. Not only will the lack of noise and emissions improve the tourist experience and disruption to the environment, but the approach is essential to meet the strict zero emissions regulations for the fjord region to be introduced by the Norwegian government later this decade. We are proud to partner with Havila for this journey, and welcome their newer, greener ships.
Please note this tour is not suitable for children under the age of 14.