Lapland

THE WINTER MAGIC OF LAPLAND | FEBRUARY 21-28, 2019

EXPERIENCE A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME WINTER ADVENTURE

For a full printable version of our itinerary click here.

Thursday, Feb. 21

Dinnertime arrival.

Our tour begins with dinner at the Helsinki Synagogue – right across the street from our hotel 

Overnight: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Helsinki

Friday, Feb. 22

A half day tour of Helsinki, which includes sites of Jewish and general interest. Including the City’s beautiful synagogue; Senate Square, the site of many of Helsinki’s most important historical and cultural landmarks; Temppeliaukio Kirkko, a church that is built right into a solid brick wall and is one of the most distinctive architectural structures in Finland. We will learn about the crucial part General Mannerheim. Finland’s chief of staff and President during World War 2, played in saving the country’s Jews. Free afternoon to walk around the city center and prepare for Shabbat.

We will spend Shabbat with the Jewish Community of Helsinki

Overnight: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Helsinki

Shabbat, Feb. 23

Davening and all meals at the synagogue.

Late check-out from the hotel after Shabbat.
We board our flight to Rovaniemi, the Capital of Finnish Lapland.

Overnight: Santa Claus Hotel, Rovaniemi

Sunday, Feb. 24

Along the Reindeer’s Path:

This is a day to remember(as will every day this week)….We will travel by bus to the local reindeer farm where the reindeer herder and his reindeer will take us on a ride of a lifetime. Sitting comfortably in a reindeer sleigh, we will travel through snowy forests and frozen lakes. A hot cup of coffee will be served around a campfire, where we will have an opportunity to learn about the life of the reindeer and their herder.

Visit to a Lappish Home:

After lunch and a short rest, we will visit the Lappish home of a local artist, where we can observe their work and learn about their handicrafts, and about their life in Lapland in general. 

Overnight: Santa Claus Hotel

Monday, Feb. 25

Snowmobile Safari and Ice Fishing at a Wilderness Lake:

After learning how to drive a snowmobile, we set off on a trail along the frozen River Ounasjoki and through snowy forests up into the hills, where we can admire the beautiful countryside of Lapland. We will follow this trail through snow-covered fields until we arrive at a small wilderness lake, where we will try our luck at traditional ice fishing….and should we catch a fish, we will fry it over our campfire.

Visit to the Ranua Zoo:

After lunch, we will travel by bus to the Ranua Zoo, the northern-most Zoo in the world. Ranua’s excellent zoo focuses almost entirely on Finnish animals, although there are also polar bears and musk oxen. A boardwalk runs past all the creatures, which include minks and stoats, impressive owls and eagles, wild reindeer, elk, bears in a big paddock (they hibernate from November to March), lynx and wolverines. 

Overnight: Santa Claus Hotel

Tuesday, Feb. 26

The Husky Safari

Today we will learn how to handle our very own team of huskies. The friendly barks of these great animals greet us at the local farm…but as soon as the safari of dogs departs the farm, they settle down and start to work. The huskies love to run. Enjoy the surrounding nature and the sledge ride in silence. We will stop for a break in the wilderness and take photos, pet the dogs and hear amazing stories about these special dogs. The average length of this safari is 12-17 kms., but the weather conditions and the skills of the participants may affect the length of the ride.

The Arktikum Science Museum:

Arktikum in Rovaniemi is a museum, science centre attraction and popular culture destination. Arktikum exhibitions lead guests on an adventure to Finnish Lapland and the Arctic region.
The review of the history of Finnish Lapland spans from Rovaniemi to Upper Lapland and from prehistory to about the 1970s. The Arctic region is examined in light of the Arctic research of today and the future. The exhibitions provide a comprehensive section of the history and culture of Lapland as well as of Arctic knowledge. Also, the temporary exhibitions of Arktikum display Northern and Arctic life.

Seeking the Nothern Lights by Snowmobile – A Nighttime Safari:

We will experience the Arctic night by driving through the snow-covered forest and on the frozen river. Driving the snowmobile at night is a once in a lifetime experience. With a little luck we will travel under a bright, clear sky lit by the moon and stars. Perhaps the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, will appear to show us the way. We will sip warm beverages by a campfire and learn more about the Northern Lights and Lapland. 

Overnight: Santa Claus Hotel

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Ice Breaker Cruise and the Kemi Snow Castle:

The mighty Icebreaker Sampo operates on the Gulf of Bothnia right outside the city of Kemi. A cruise on the Sampo offers you the most exciting, memorable moments in the arctic nature; while this huge vessel breaks ice, you may admire the beauty of vast open ice fields all around, and the ever-changing sky above. The sun may reflect back from the white snow cover, or as twilight sets in, it may set down in rays of warm colors of yellow, orange and red. On board the Sampo we will have a guided tour from the Captain’s bridge all the way down to the engine rooms. Before returning to port, the ship will make a one hour stop to enable each visitor to participate in the swimming event comfortably dressed in impermeable survival suits. At the end of this unique cruise experience, the Captain will present the Sampo Cruise Certificate to each and every one.

After the cruise, we will visit the Kemi Snow Castle. The SnowCastle of Kemi is the biggest snow fort in the world. It is rebuilt every winter with a different architecture in Kemi, Finland. There is no point in describing this unbelievable man-made structure. You have to see and experience it to believe it. 

Overnight: Santa Claus Hotel

Thursday, Feb. 28

After an action-packed week….we fly back to Helsinki and home!!