Travel to a magical winter Lapland and join optional dog sledding, snowmobiling and king crab safaris! Start in Stockholm and continue by overnight train to the Ice Hotel in Sweden. Travel to Abisko for Northern Lights observations at the Aurora sky station before making your way through the Arctic wilderness to Norway. Cruise with Hurtigruten from Tromsø to Kirkenes.
This tour can commence in: Stockholm
Arrival in Stockholm according to your own itinerary. Sweden’s capital is stretched across an archipelago of 14 islands connected by a network of waterways and bridges. Visit the old town “Gamla Stan”; a maze of narrow cobbled alleyways lined with restaurants and boutiques. This is one of the best-preserved medieval city centres in Northern Europe, with its oldest structure dating back to the thirteenth century. Other sights of interest include the Royal Palace, the Vasa Museum, Skansen Open Air Museum, the City Hall and Stockholm Cathedral. We also recommend a cruise in the Stockholm archipelago, comprising 24.000 islands. Accommodation in Stockholm.
Breakfast at the hotel. Spend the day exploring Stockholm, both by land and by sea. We recommend one of the optional sightseeing tours, i.e. the Stockholm Winter cruise where the guide on board the boat tells interesting facts and stories about Stockholm, or perhaps try your skills at long distance ice skating on the numerous large and small lakes of Lake Mälaren. At 6 pm your overnight train to Kiruna departs from Stockholm. As an alternative to heading straight to the Ice Hotel we recommend breaking the tour and adding an overnight at the Treehotel in Harads, located 3,5 hours south of the Ice Hotel (please contact us for further information). Accommodation in a sleeping compartment onboard the train.
At 10.30 am you will be met at the train station in Kiruna and transferred to Sweden's Ice Hotel. The Ice Hotel is situated in the small village of Jukkasjärvi in Swedish Lapland. For the last 23 years artists from all over the world have gathered here to create the world's largest Ice hotel. The hotel has over 50 rooms built each year from snow and crystal clear ice and you will also find an ice chapel, an ice art exhibition hall, a cinema and the famous ‘Absolut Ice Bar’. The interior is always between -5°C to -8°C, even when it gets up to -37°C outside. In 2012, the Ice Hotel will open on Friday, 7th of December and some building work will continue into early January where guests can watch the creation of this masterpiece. Winter activities have not been included in this tour giving you the opportunity to choose freely amongst the activities on offer in Jukkasjärvi. It's recommended that you book these in advance. This evening we recommend joining one of the Northern Lights tours. Overnight at Kaamos Hotel (warm accommodation) next to the Ice Hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. This day is at your own leisure. We recommend joining one of the winter activities such as dog sledding, where you can experience driving your own team of huskies, a snow mobile safari or rent cross country skies or snowshoeing equipment and head off on your own. In the evening, guests can choose to dine at the Ice Hotel Restaurant, awarded with the prestigious Werner Vögeli Statuette and featured in gourmet magazines around the world. Alternatively, dine at the authentic and charming Old Homestead Restaurant 800 meters away from the Ice Hotel, which offers a rustic á la carte menu and overlooking the Torne River. Tonight you will stay at the Ice Hotel, in rooms furnished with furniture made from ice and snow. You will sleep in a thermal sleeping bag on comfortable reindeer skins in a special bed built of snow and ice (please see hotel description for further details about the Ice Hotel and dining options).
In the morning you will wake up to a cup of hot lingonberry juice at your bedside. Take a walk to the sauna to warm up before breakfast is served at the restaurant. Transfer from the Ice Hotel to the train station in Kiruna for your 2 pm train towards Abisko is included (1,5 hrs train ride). Here you will stay at Abisko Tourist Station, located only a few minutes’ walk from the chairlift going up to the Aurora Sky Station in the evening. Before travelling up to the station you will be provided with warm overalls and blankets. The mountain station is an excellent location to observe the Northern lights since there is no air pollution and the nearby lake Torne träsk, "the blue hole of Abisko” is said to keep the skies above the mountain station clear, even when fog covers other parts of Lapland. Upon arrival you will join a guided tour. At the Aurora Sky Station you will find a panorama café selling coffee, tea, cakes and sandwiches, a souvenir shop and look-out tower. There is also a Northern Lights exhibition, which emphasizes observing and understanding the Northern Lights. The observations are made with help of both radio receivers and Northern Lights cameras. Please note that for guests booking category 1, a 4-course dinner is included at the restaurant. Accommodation at Abisko Tourist Station.
Breakfast at the hotel followed by a 1,5-hour train ride to Narvik, Norway. You will travel by train on a scenic route passing through Abisko National park, with the mountain Kebnekaise as backdrop, towards the port town of Narvik on the Norwegian coast. Just after having passed the border between Sweden and Norway the train travels slowly downhill from the mountain region and for the last part of the journey you can look down into the deep Rombakks fjord with a view of Lofoten Mountains in the far background (not visible during the darkest winter months). In Narvik you will change to a bus which will take you to Tromsø, the Northern Lights capital of Norway. Arrival in Tromsø in the evening. Accommodation in Tromsø.
Breakfast at the hotel. This day is at your own leisure to experience Tromsø, often referred to as Paris of the North due to its lively atmosphere. The city is surrounded by mountains, fjords and islands and is the largest town in the Nordic countries north of the Arctic Circle. It is placed right in the Northern Light’s belt making it one of the best places in the world for spotting the Northern Lights. Sights of interest include the Polar Museum, Polaria Arctic Aquarium, Tromsø Gondola lift and more. Today you will also have the possibility to join one of the optional activities, before embarking on your winter cruise with Hurtigruten at 6 pm. Dinner and accommodation onboard.
This morning you will spend at sea before arriving in Honningsvåg around noon. Excursion possibility to the North Cape Plateau where you can admire the panoramic view of the wide open expanse of the Arctic Ocean. Entrance to the North Cape Hall with viewing platform, souvenir shops, cinema, cafeteria and restaurant, is included in the excursion (please see add-ons for the additional cost for the excursion). The cruise continues in the afternoon towards Kirkenes. Dinner and accommodation onboard
While you sleep, the ship continues sailing east along the Varanger peninsula, past Båtsfjord and Vardø. At breakfast time, you will pass by Vadsø, the administrative centre of Finnmark. It was from here that the Arctic explorers Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth began their flights over the North Pole in the airship, Norge. At 9.00 am you will arrive in Kirkenes, the last stop on the northbound journey with Hurtigruten. Here you will disembark, but before leaving Kirkenes you have the opportunity to choose between several shore excursions. Or perhaps you would like to add on an overnight stay in Kirkenes, or even spend the night at Kirkenes Ice Hotel (please see add-ons)? Departure from Kirkenes will be according to your own itinerary.