ESN Vaasa Student Trip to Northern Lapland, Vasatokka (17.11.2016-22.11.2016)
- Departure 17.11.2016
- End date 22.11.2016
- Availability Sold out
- Price from 325€
Vasatokka is located 300 kilometres beyond the Arctic Circle, beside the beautiful fell region! Enjoy a variety of winter fun, learn about the life and culture of the North, meet Santa and his reindeers and - if you dare - swim in the Arctic Ocean! In addition, Inari is a great place for viewing the Northern Lights!
THE BEST PLACE TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
included in the basic fare
Vasatokka is located in the polar region of Scandinavia where the Aurora Borealis is most active. According to the statistics, it is visible 200 days during the active season, from September to April. This means you have an 80% chance of catching it. The only thing that may prevent you from seeing the Northern Lights is cloudy weather. However, the possibility of a cloudless night during your visit is pretty good.
TOUR OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN
included in the base fare // DAY TRIP TO NORWAY
During this guided day bus tour you will learn more about the arctic nature, three sámi cultures and Finnish kven culture located in the Bugoynes village on the shore of the Arctic Ocean. In addition, you will see breathtaking landscapes, have a chance to walk on the shore of the Arctic ocean and even swim there. You have also a possibility to taste a traditional fish soup in local restaurant. The tour is about 550 km in total and takes about 8 hrs.
from 45€ // DURATION 5hrs // VERY WARM CLOTHING RECOMMENDED
How to survive in extreme weather conditions. Professional wilderness guides teach you the basics of building snow houses, ice fishing and cross-country skiing. Price includes rental of necessary gear and warm clothes for all the activities.
- Ice Fishing (1 hour)
- Cross Country Skiing (2 hours)
- Building a Snow House (1hour)
from 35€ // DURATION 6hrs // WARM CLOTHING RECOMMENDED
The Siida museum in Inari is devoted to the nature of Lapland and the culture of the Saami, the indigenous people who live in the northernmost territories of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia. The museum also has a souvenir shop and a restaurant that offers traditional Lappish dishes.
Visit the Reindeer Farm and meet the real Saami people and their reindeers. Go on a short reindeer sledge ride and learn how to use lasso. After the reindeer have been fed, you will go to the cosy Kota for a tea break and listen to Joiku, traditional Saami songs.
THE NIGHT SNOWMOBILE SAFARI
from 75€ // DURATION 2hrs // WARM CLOTHES PROVIDED
You do not need a driver's licence for this, but previous driving experience is recommended. Snowmobile is shared between 2 persons (price per person is 75EUR), each can drive about 30 minutes. The route takes you to the top of the fell through beautiful landscapes. Please mind that the self risk (deductible*) is 900 € if the snowmobile is damaged during the excursion.
*The part of the damage, which is not compensated by the insurance company and has to be paid by the client.
NIGHTTIME SNOWSHOE HIKE + BBQ
from 30€ // DURATION 3hrs // WARM CLOTHING RECOMMENDED
We gather in the evening to experience snowshoeing – one of the oldest ways to explore the snowy forests of the Arctic region. After a short introduction, you will use a GPS device to navigate through the forest at night. During the short 2–3 kilometre hike through the forest next to Vasatokka you will come across animal tracks and the Northern Lights if you are lucky! At the end of your trek you will learn how to make a fire without matches and celebrate with a tasty BBQ.
THE HUSKY SAFARI
from 65€ // DURATION 2hrs // CLOTHING IS WEATHER DEPENDING
Siberian huskies and cheerful and strong dogs those really like to pull the sledge! After a short instruction lesson the huskies will take you for a tour through the snowy landscapes. The sledge is shared for two people, each can drive about 20 min. After the safari you will enjoy a warm snack and tea in the base camp.
One of the cafeterias in Vasatokka offers a half board package that consists of four dinners and four breakfasts. Half board will not be organized if less than 20 people from the group order it. In this case money paid for the service is refunded in full.
Preliminary trip program
PRELIMINARY ITINERARY (You will receive a final itinerary prior 2-3 days the trip by email)
DAY 1 ARRIVAL IN LAPLAND
03:00 Departure from Vaasa Bus station
10.00 Arrival in Rovaniemi
10:00 Visiting the Arktikum museum in Rovaniemi
12:00 Shopping in Rovaniemi
14:00 Arrival in the Santa Claus village in Rovaniemi. A stop for 2 hours.
Possibility to meet Santa and have pictures with him, send post cards from Santa's official post office,
cross the magical Arctic circle and purchase a certificate of it, buy souvenirs, have a lunch etc.
16:00 Departure from the Santa Claus village to Inari (340 km left)
20:00 Arrival in Vasatokka (estimation). Briefing & lodging.
(Dinner for those, who have bought the Halfboard) Starts at the time you arrive in Vasatokka
DAY 2 SURVIVAL COURSE
10:00-10:30 Theory of Arctic Skills*
10:30-12:30 Guided Cross-Country Skiing*
12:30-13:30 Lunch Break (lunch is not included)
13:30-14:30 Ice Fishing at the Lake Fox*
14:30-16:00 Making Quinzee at Lake Fox*
18:45-21:00 Night Snowmoblie Safari*
21:30-23:30 Snow-Shoe Aurora Hunting + BBQ* (Group 1)
DAY 3 TOUR OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN TO NORWAY (inclusive)
07:00 Bus departure for the fjord trip to Norway! Lunch (Fish soup and Sauna included)
20:00 Arrival back
21:00-23:00 Snow-Shoe Aurora Hunting + BBQ (Group 2)
DAY 4 SAAMI DAY– Reindeer farm and visiting the SIIDA saami museum
09:30-11:30 Reindeer Farm + Siida Museum* (Group 1)
12:30-14:30 Reindeer Farm + Siida Museum* (Group 2)
15:00-16:00 K-Market Visit & Souvenir Shop
16:00-18:00 Sports Hall open for collective games (Free of Charge)
21:30-23:00 Snow-Shoe Aurora Hunting + BBQ (Group 3)
DAY 5 SAARISELKÄ DAY & DEPARTURE
08.30 Check-out & Bus departure to Saariselkä. Cabins and dorms must have been cleaned up!
10:00 Husky Safari* (Group 1)
12:30 Husky Safari* (Group 2)
Possibility for downhill skiing, husky & snowmobile safari, SPA, shopping. There is time to do all the preferred activities. If you have booked Husky Safari, you have only 2h for Skiing!
There are also several shops and restaurants in the territory and a sledding hill.
16.00 Bus departure from Saariselkä.
20.00 Passing Rovaniemi, Dinner stop
DAY 6 ARRIVAL HOME
04.00 Arrival in Vaasa (Estimated)
What is included
- Round Trip to Lapland by bus from chosen point of departure
- 4 nights in chosen accommodation (Dorm or Cabin)
- Day Trip by bus to the Arctic Ocean in Norway
- Visit of the Arktikum museum in Rovaniemi
- Visit of the Santa Claus Village
- Visit of the Saariselkä ski resort
- Services of Timetravels Tour Leader in Vasatokka
Package price does not include
- Catering, meals, breakfasts (Half Board can be booked for €55)
- Bed linen (can be rented in Vasatokka for €15/trip)
- Extra activities as described in the itinerary (can be booked online up to 7 days before departure)
- Capacity 6–10 people per cabin
- Electric heating
- Kitchen equipped with stove, fridge, microwave oven, coffee maker and basic tableware
- Fireplace + logs, TV
- Shower and toilet
- Drying cabinet
Dorms with shared facilities
- Rooms for 3–6 people with bunk beds
- Living room with TV
- Kitchenette with stove, fridge, microwave oven, coffee maker and basic tableware
- Showers and toilets
Good to know
Q: Are there any meals included?
A: In order to get the trip price as low as possible, we stay in cottages with self-catering. Lunches or breakfasts are not inclusive. There are good kitchen facilities or in Vasatokka you can also buy half-board, which includes 4 breakfasts and 4 dinners.
Cooking at the cottages
There are basic kitchen facilities in the living room of the cottages and dorms. Kitchens are equipped with plates, glasses, mugs, knives, stove, and fridge. The meals are not included, but we stop for buying groceries in Rovaniemi City Market. You can for instance decide with your cabin group what you are going to cook together and share the groceries and costs. There is no oven in the cottages though, so don’t buy any groceries such as frozen pizzas, chickens etc.
Grocery shopping; We recommend doing all the shopping on the way to Lapland. Your groceries will not freeze in the bus’ trunk, unless we will get a -35 C temperature. In Kemi or Rovaniemi groceries can be way cheaper than in the Southern Finland. In Inari there is also a SIWA and K-market but no ALKO. If you would like to purchase beverages, please do it in Rovaniemi. You can save a lot of money, if you decide together with your roommates what would you like to cook together.
There is lunch included in the Arctic Ocean trip.
Q: IS IT POSSIBLE TO TRAVEL BY TRAIN?
A: The night train option is convenient only if you can afford to book a sleeping compartment, which is quite expensive. Moreover, in our experience, travelling in a seat on the train is less comfortable and less convenient than travelling by overnight bus. That’s why it’s not possible to order a train ticket through us. However, if you really want the extra comfort of a sleeping compartment, you are free to book the train yourself at www.vr.fi and join the trip in Rovaniemi for example.
Q: WE ARE A GROUP OF 8 PEOPLE. CAN WE STAY IN THE SAME APARTMENT/COTTAGE? SHOULD WE BOOK THE TRIP TOGETHER?
A: All rooming preferences will be taken into consideration. If there are people you already know you’d like to room with when signing up, just indicate their names in the message field. But please note: to make this possible, they will have to book and pay for the same accommodation category! If you want to book 8 places at once, you should pay everything in one invoice. If that is not convenient for you, please make separate bookings. About a week before departure, everyone who has signed up for the trip will receive an email containing a cabin sign-up document where you can choose the cabin you would like to stay in and the people you would like to share it with. If you don’t receive this email, check your spam folder, ask your friends to share it with you or contact our Customer Service Team.
Q: DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING WITH ME?
A: You should bring the following at least:
- Warm clothes (clothes can also be rented for €12/set/day or €7/day for overall and boots only)
- Bed linen or sleeping bag (bed linen is not included, but it can be rented from the reception at €15/trip)
- Swim suit and towel (unless you want to do it the Finnish way)
- Anything else you may need during the trip: cash, credit card, medicine, etc.
- Student card for discounts
- A small pillow or a special neck cushion for the bus trip
- Flip flops for Arctic swimming and jumping in the snow after sauna.
Q: What if there is no snow?
A: The reason we use North Lapland as the location of our main destinations is that plenty of snow is virtually guaranteed from the beginning of November. However, we cannot control the weather. So, in the unlikely event that the snow is not deep enough for certain activities, we will offer an alternative or a full refund for the cancellation.
Q: WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAND IN OUR CREDIT CARDS AT THE START OF THE SNOW MOBILE SAFARI?
A: The company that organises the snowmobile safaris now requires participants to leave their credit card as a deposit. They kindly remind you that crashing a snowmobile into a tree is not only dangerous but also expensive and can result in the organizers having to pay a minimum of €850. If you follow your guide’s instructions and stick with the group, these accidents are easily avoided. The organizer will collect credit cards at the start of the activity and return them as soon as the tour is over.
Q: SHOULD I GO TO LAPLAND IN FALL OR SPRING SEMESTER?
A: Spring semester is of course more fun because there is more snow and more sunlight. Due to its popularity, the spring semester is slightly more expensive. If you have the choice, we recommend you travel in February, March or early April. During the fall semester there may be less snow. Additionally, the shorter periods of daylight impose certain restrictions on the schedule such as having to get up early in the morning.
Q: Is there WIFI in the cottages?
A: There is a Wi-Fi connection and one free client computer in the Vasatokka main building. Please note, however, that although there is no Wi-Fi or Internet in the cottages, some of the closer dorm rooms may catch the Wi-Fi signal from the main building.
Other Answers you might be looking for:
1. All mobile phones work normally in Lapland
2. There is all kitchen equipment, forks, knives etc. in the cabins as well as toilet paper, soap, dishing liquids etc.
3. Buy ONLY groceries, salt, sugar, spices, but not frozen pizzas or anything which requires an oven!
4. Best place to do shopping is in Rovaniemi or Kemi (on outward journey) - There will be City Market and Alko. In Vasatokka there are no shops around, the closest shop is in Inari about 10km away from the Vasatokka youth center.
5. Prepaid activities are considered as tour package so there are no partial refunds, if you have changed your mind! You can still sell your place for some of the activities to someone else.
6. If something goes wrong, immediately contact the Timetravels Tour Leader(s). They will do all their best to solve your matter!
7. The bus trip will be overnight from Helsinki to Lapland, so we recommend taking a sleeping pillow with you.Thanks to its northerly location on high ground, Saariselkä is the most snow-secure of all Finnish ski resorts. The snow often starts falling here as early as October. Despite this, local snowfall and global climate change are beyond our control, which is why we cannot give a 100% snow guarantee. A complete lack of snow is highly unlikely (it hasn’t happened in recorded history), but on rare occasions the snow may not be deep enough for certain activities to take place. In such cases, you will have the option of an alternative activity or a full refunded for the one that is cancelled. Whatever the snow situation, Lapland is always well-worth the trip!
Timetravels reserve the right to change the program and prices at any time. The itinerary is provisional. The final itinerary will be sent to you a few days before departure, as some activities dependent on prevailing weather conditions.
Q: Can I rent warm clothing, skis and other equipment in Vasatokka?
A: Sure you can! Please find the price list below – fees payable to Vasatokka reception.
GEAR RENTAL IN VASATOKKA
GPS 7 euros/set / day
Snowshoes & poles: 10 euros / set / day
Cross-country skiing gear: 10 euros / set / day
Ice fishing set including rod, shovel, lure and bait: 5 euros / day, drill: 4 euros / day
Forehead flash light: 3 euros / night
Overall: 7 euros / day
Jacket 3 euros/ day, 6 euros/stay
Boots: 6 euros / day
Bed linen: 8 euros / set / stay