Finnish Lapland in Winter
from $4250
Duration: 8 Days
Lapland, home of the Indigenous Sami people, is a magical place of pristine Arctic landscapes and snow-dusted woodlands. In this winter wonderland, the cold air is cut only by the sound of rushing rivers and panting huskies as they prepare to rush across this impossibly vast, white wilderness. Strap on your hiking boots and crunch a path through Finland’s spectacular taigas, get cosy with the locals over a glass of salmari and experience the rush of a real dog-sled. From the docks of Helsinki to remote Yllastunturi and Santa’s workshop in Rovaniemi – witness a beautiful part of the world where Christmas feels always close. Learn how people in the North cope with extreme temperatures. You may even find your inner Finn enjoying the solitude while in pure pristine nature.
  • Be pulled across the landscape at high speed on the back of a dog sled. These incredible huskies are doing what they love most – making a lot of noise before rushing along sprawling trails
  • Visit a local Finnish family, who will guide you through their world and lifestyle. You will be shown their skills in reindeer herding with the option to get close and personal with some of the animals on the farm
  • The aurora borealis is the best lightshow on Earth, and this trip is your ticket. Stay up late to see the northern sky dance with green light (subject to weather conditions)
  • Explore Helsinki, then travel on the famous 'Santa Claus Express' overnight train all the way from the cosmopolitan Finnish capital through the frozen Northern wilderness to Rovaniemi
  • Helsinki to Rovaniemi - Santa Claus Express Overnight Train
  • Yllästunturi - Dog Sledding
  • Yllästunturi - Reindeer Farm Visit
  • Yllästunturi - Northern Light Viewing Opportunity (subject to weather conditions)
  • Day 1 Location: Helsinki
    Welcome to Helsinki, Finland. If you’re in the city early, head out and discover a wealth of historical sights and gastronomic wonders in Helsinki. Surrounded by the sea, Helsinki is a modern European city that offers an endless array of options. Maybe check out the magnificent Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, Senate Square or catch a performance at the National Theatre. You may want to consider purchasing the Helsinki Card – an economical way to travel on Helsinki City Transport (HKL) services, as well as free admission to the main Helsinki sights and nearly 50 museums. Throughout its 450-year history, the city has often been the buffer between the east and west. This is shown in their cuisine, with a mix of root vegetables, berries and fresh fish. Perhaps head out in the evening to sample some traditional dishes with the other members of your group.
    Day 2 Location: Helsinki / Overnight Train
    Join your leader on an orientation walk around Helsinki in the morning. Once you get the lay of the land, the rest of the day is completely free for you to explore Helsinki in your own time. A few options to consider during your time here are a visit to the city's cathedral or the Design Museum. Don't miss the historic harbour-side market and market hall for local oddities. If you didn’t have time yesterday make sure you take a short ferry ride to the magnificent Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, a World Heritage-listed site that was once an important point of defence for the city and often referred to as the Gibraltar of the North. Later in the evening, you’ll board the famous 'Santa Claus Express', a comfortable overnight train to Rovaniemi (approx 12 hours), known to many as the hometown of Santa Claus. Rovaniemi is a quaint town in Finland’s far north, located just 6 km south of the Arctic Circle.
    Day 3 Location: Rovaniemi / Yllastunturi
    The train arrives in Rovaniemi early this morning. Continue by private vehicle to a family-run guesthouse deep in the Finnish forest (approximately 3 hours). This vast, remote and beautiful part the country is the original home of Finland’s Indigenous Sami people, known for their colourful cultural heritage and deep connection to the land they live on. There are currently around 10,000 Sami living in Finland, with an autonomous Sami parliament tasked with preserving their endangered language and culture. This location will be your base for the next four nights, situated near Yllästunturi, a popular cross-country and downhill skiing destination. Perhaps sweat out the rest of the day in a traditional sauna. Finnish saunas have a millennia old history, and are integral to the Finnish national identity. It is common for locals to visit a sauna at least once a week, and most apartment buildings in the cities have saunas for residents. Even the parliament building in Helsinki has one.
    Day 4 Location: Yllastunturi
    Make sure you rug up for today’s adventures, as you’ll be pulled across the landscape at high speed on the back of a dog sled. These incredible huskies are doing what they love most – making a lot of noise before rushing along sprawling trails. With the wind in your hair, ride through the snow as your new four-legged friends pull you onwards in a truly memorable experience. After the ride warm yourself by an open fire and chow down on sausages and drink some coffee or tea. If you’re lucky, you might get to give the dogs a pet and a cuddle – just be sure to ask the sledmaster first!
    Day 5 Location: Yllastunturi
    Your next adventure in Yllästunturi takes you on a visit to a traditional local family, who will guide you through their world and lifestyle. Their reindeer farm has been operating since 1861 and you may have the opportunity to feed and watch these cute animals go about their daily routine. You will be shown their skills in reindeer herding with the option to get close and personal with some of the animals on the farm. If the skies are clear tonight, why not take a stroll out into the snow and look skywards for the dancing green lights of the Aurora. Far away from the city lights, the guesthouse is an ideal base to see the Northern Lights. The natural display of coloured lights in the night sky are often visible in the high northern hemisphere, and there is even an open-top shelter nearby from which to observe the lights. Grab a hot drink, rug up and head out into the winter wonderland.
    Day 6 Location: Yllastunturi
    Yllästunturi is home to the largest skiing resort in all Finland, boasting some of the longest downhill skiing runs through its rolling snow parks. Today you’ll have a free day to explore this winter wonderland with plenty of optional activities that your leader or the accommodation owners can help organise for you. You may want to explore the snow-dusted wilderness with a snow-shoeing expedition, or alternatively ice fishing is also an option for anyone who’s after a more relaxing experience, with the added bonus of a self-caught dinner to boot. If it’s very cold (around minus 30 degrees C) try throw boiling water in the air and see it freeze before it hits the ground. It’s called the ‘Mpemba effect’ and it’s free to try.
    Day 7 Location: Rovaniemi
    Depart in the morning to Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, by private vehicle (approx. 3 hours). This city is an urban oasis amidst the Arctic wilderness, full of culture and stunning scenic hikes. With a free afternoon to explore the city and its surrounds, you have the option of visiting Santa’s workshop, or taking part in the numerous activities that the city has to offer. Maybe meet Siberian huskies at the Arctic Circle Husky Park, or go hiking and witness spectacular rapids and aapa mires. Make the most of your time here as tomorrow is your departure day – perhaps meet up with your group afterwards for a farewell dinner.
    Day 8 Location: Rovaniemi
    Your adventures through Lapland come to an end today after breakfast. If you would like to extend your stay in the region we are happy to book additional nights for you (subject to availability).
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    04DEC2021
    Return Date:
    11DEC2021
    4250NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    11DEC2021
    Return Date:
    18DEC2021
    4250NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    01JAN2022
    Return Date:
    08JAN2022
    4450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    08JAN2022
    Return Date:
    15JAN2022
    4450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    15JAN2022
    Return Date:
    22JAN2022
    4450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    22JAN2022
    Return Date:
    29JAN2022
    4450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    05FEB2022
    Return Date:
    12FEB2022
    4450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    19FEB2022
    Return Date:
    26FEB2022
    4450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    05MAR2022
    Return Date:
    12MAR2022
    4450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    26NOV2022
    Return Date:
    03DEC2022
    4450NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    08 Sep 2021

    Trip title

    Finnish Lapland in Winter

    Trip code

    BMXF

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Oct 2020 to 31 Mar 2023

    Introduction

    Lapland, home of the Indigenous Sami people, is a magical place of pristine Arctic landscapes and snow-dusted woodlands. In this winter wonderland, the cold air is cut only by the sound of rushing rivers and panting huskies as they prepare to rush across this impossibly vast, white wilderness. Strap on your hiking boots and crunch a path through Finland’s spectacular taigas, get cosy with the locals over a glass of salmari and experience the rush of a real dog-sled. From the docks of Helsinki to remote Yllastunturi and Santa’s workshop in Rovaniemi – witness a beautiful part of the world where Christmas feels always close. Learn how people in the North cope with extreme temperatures. You may even find your inner Finn enjoying the solitude while in pure pristine nature.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Explorer

    Transport

    Overnight train,Public bus,Private vehicle,Tram

    Physical Rating

    3

    Physical preparation

    This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.

    Joining point

    Hotel Arthur

    Vuorikatu 19

    Helsinki

    FINLAND

    Phone: +358 09 17 34 41

    Joining point description

    Hotel Arthur is located close to the railway station in the heart of Helsinki. The main sights, shopping district and theatres are just a short walk away. The recently refurbished rooms are cosy and brightly coloured. All rooms have a private shower/toilet, telephone, TV, and hair dryer - some also have a minibar. If you choose to arrange additional accommodation at this location you may be required to change rooms for the nights which are not included as part of your Intrepid itinerary.

    Joining point instructions

    From Helsinki Vantaa International Airport (airport code HEL), your best option is to take the train to the main railway station in Helsinki. Alternatively public bus No. 615 or the Finnair Bus go to Rautatientori (railway square). The train/bus journey takes about 35 minutes and both modes of transport depart frequently. From the railway station it's a 5 minute walk to our hotel. Go to the square on the eastern side of the railway station. Take Vilhonkatu Street which leads off the top left corner of the square with the railway station behind you. You will come to a metro station at the corner of Vilhonkatu and Kaisaniemenkatu, Here turn left and head towards Kaisaniemi Park. Our hotel is located on the next corner on the right hand side. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the airport directly to the hotel. Pre booked arrival transfer from Helsinki Vantaa International Airport (HEL): If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall in front of the airport's exit doors, holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name on it. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +358 50 545 5454.

    Finish point

    Hotelli Aakenus

    Koskikatu 47

    Rovaniemi

    FINLAND

    Phone: +358 16342205

    Finish point description

    Hotel Aakenus is located 500m from central Rovaniemi and just around the corner from the bath house Vesihiisi. It offers freshly decorated rooms with TV, desk, fridge, hairdryer and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also offers access to their sauna (at an additional cost) and serves home cooked meals at their in-house restaurant.

    Finish point instructions

    The hotel will be able to organise a taxi to the airport or the railway station for you. The ride to the airport takes about 15 minutes, and to the railway station its about a 5-minute drive. Alternatively you can walk to the railway station in about 20 minutes. Pre booked departure transfer to Rovaniemi Airport (airport code RVN): Please double check with your tour leader for the exact pick up time for your transfer from the hotel. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +358 50 327 27 88.

    Important information

    SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A Single Supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. The price of the single supplement does not include the following nights, where a single room does not form part of the package: - Day 2 - Overnight Train Please also note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent. COLD WEATHER Lapland can be extremely cold at this time of year. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions. Please see the Packing section in the Essential Trip Information document for more details on what is available for hire in location and what we recommend you should bring along.

    Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips in Europe are accompanied by one of our local European group leaders. ’Local’ in this context means a leader who is European or lives in Europe. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader takes care of logistics, will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we also aim to support local guides in the individual cities or locations we travel to. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend an optional local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

    SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

    Visas

    PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. COVID-19 Entry and Exit Requirements Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for the most up to date information.You may also refer to our travel alert page for more info https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/travel-alerts Make sure you are familiar with the current border measures and entry requirements as these are quite complex and changing frequently without notice. Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers your travels as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses within the country. RETURN TRAVEL Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour. We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested. Visas for Finland are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.

    Why we love it

    Be pulled across the landscape at high speed on the back of a dog sled. These incredible huskies are doing what they love most – making a lot of noise before rushing along sprawling trails

    Visit a local Finnish family, who will guide you through their world and lifestyle. You will be shown their skills in reindeer herding with the option to get close and personal with some of the animals on the farm

    The aurora borealis is the best lightshow on Earth, and this trip is your ticket. Stay up late to see the northern sky dance with green light (subject to weather conditions)

    Explore Helsinki, then travel on the famous 'Santa Claus Express' overnight train all the way from the cosmopolitan Finnish capital through the frozen Northern wilderness to Rovaniemi

    Is this trip right for you

    Lapland can be extremely cold at this time of year. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions. Please see the Packing section in the Essential Trip Information document for more details. There may be the rare occasion where your leader has to alter the itinerary and activities due to the weather. In this case an alternative will be offered. Please also note that even though it will be cold, not always will there be snow cover, especially on the departures earlier in the winter season. In these cases snow dependent activities will be replaced with suitable alternatives. The Northern Lights (also known as the Aurora Borealis) are a natural display of coloured lights in the night sky of the northern hemisphere. While Northern Light displays can never be guaranteed, as they are a natural phenomenon, you have a higher chance of seeing them in locations at high latitudes, such as Northern Finland. Keep your fingers crossed for clear skies during your visit. As accommodation on this trip is twin share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. Please also be aware that many guesthouses offer shared bathrooms rather than en-suite facilities. Rooms in Finland can be small, and at times you may be accommodated a short walk away from the main building. Finland can be an expensive destination in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money. In Yllastunturi the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at, or alternatively there are cafes and restaurants in the nearby town (approximately 35 minutes on foot, or a short taxi ride away).

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH 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 our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19

    Food and dietary requirements

    To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, only breakfasts are included on this trip. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. During our stay in Yllastunturi there will be a limited selection of places to eat. Most convenient is the cafeteria at our hotel, which offers a daily set dinner menu at around EUR 25 pp. Lunch is around EUR 10, and snacks and drinks are also available. Dinner should be pre-ordered the day before, and is subject to minimum numbers. Alternatively there are restaurants in the nearby town, which is just a short taxi ride or a 35-minute walk away. Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

    Money matters

    CURRENCY The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 360.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €4-€5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs.

    What to take

    PACKING On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

    WATER BOTTLE Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Cold tap water is safe and good to drink so you can avoid the purchase of bottled water by refilling from the tap.

    WINTER TEMPERATURES During the winter months in Lapland, temperatures can drop to well below zero. Winter boots and overalls are available for hire in location for the included activities, however in order to ensure you have high quality equipment with the right fit for your entire time in Finland, we recommend to all our guests to bring these items from home. This includes good sturdy shoes for walking across snow or ice (good waterproof walking boots), warm wind and rainproof jacket and trousers, gloves or mittens, thermals and base layers, extra wool or cotton socks, fleece, good head wear that covers your ears, scarf or other face protection, and sunglasses. DARKNESS We also suggest you bring along a torch/flashlight, as days are short, and street lighting in the village will be turned off in the evening to increase the chance of spotting the northern lights. RECOMMENDED - Personal medical kit. Your leader will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as blister relief, mild pain killers and bandaids. - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. - Swimwear - for an optional visit to one of Finland's famous saunas OPTIONAL - Camera with spare batteries. You won't be able to recharge during the day. Keep in mind that cold weather conditions drain batteries much quicker compared to warm weather. Keeping your camera or phone close to your body can be a solution. - Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)

    Climate and seasonal

    The winter months in Lapland can be extremely cold. The average temperature between November and March ranges from minus 5 to minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit), but cold snaps of below minus 35 degrees Celsius (minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit) are possible. Heavy snowfalls are common, and snow remains on the ground until the thaw in spring. Please read the 'what to pack' section for information on how to stay warm.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ If you have booked an arrival transfer, and you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on the number listed in the joining point instructions in the section above. In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below: Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8677 9186 657

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel Intrepid Travel acknowledges Finland’s Indigenous Sami people as the traditional owners of Finnish Lapland and recognise their important connection to the land. The Sami (also spelled Sapmi) are known for their colourful cultural heritage. There are currently around 10,000 Sami living in Finland, with an autonomous Sami parliament tasked with preserving their endangered language and culture.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

    Transport notes

    OVERNIGHT TRAIN Finnish overnight trains are a very comfortable way to travel long distances without losing valuable time to explore the destinations. Compartments usually consist of 3 or 4 berths (2 bottom bunks and 1 or 2 top bunks), lockable doors with key-card access, communal bathroom facilities at the end of each carriage (sink and toilet), and plenty of space for luggage. Blankets, pillows and linen are provided, and each berth has a reading light. The exact layout of the cabin depends on the carriage type the group are allocated to. All trains have heating, however please note that windows can't be opened.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (2 nights),Guesthouse (4 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

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