Student Trip to Northern Lapland, Vasatokka (18.03.2017-24.03.2017)
- Departure 18.03.2017
- End date 24.03.2017
- Availability over 8
- Price from 335€
Destination Vasatokka locates 300 kilometres beyond the Arctic Circle, beside the beautiful fell region! Enjoy variety of winter fun, learn more about life and culture of the North, meet the Santa and reindeers and - if you dare - swim in the Arctic Ocean! In addition, Inari provides you outstanding possibilities to see the Northern Lights!
THE BEST PLACE TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
included in the base fare
Vasatokka locates in the polar zone, where Aurora Borealis is most active in Scandinavia. According to the statistics, it's visible 200 days during the active season, from September to April. This means at least an 80 % possibility for their appearance. Only thing which can prevent you from seeing the Northern lights is cloudy weather. However, during the week a possibility of a cloudless night 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 the extreme weather conditions? Professional wilderness guides will teach you the basics of making snow houses, ice fishing and Cross-Country Skiing. Price includes rental of necessary gear / warm clothes during all the activities.
- Ice Fishing (1 hour)
- Cross Country Skiing (2 hours)
- Building Snow Houses (1hour)
from 35€ // DURATION 6hrs // WARM CLOTHING RECOMMENDED
Guided tour of Siida Saami Museum. Siida museum in Inari is devoted to Arctic nature and culture of the Saami people, the indigenous nation living in the Northernmost territories of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia. Museum also has a souvenir shop and a restaurant offer traditional Lappish dishes.
Visit to the Reindeer Farm. On the reindeer farm, you will get familiar with real Saami people and their reindeers, have a small reindeer sledge ride, learn how to use lasso. After all the reindeers are fed, you will go to the cosy Kota to have a tea break and listen to traditional Saami songs Joiku.
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.
Night Snow-shoe Hike + BBQ
from 30€ // DURATION 3hrs // WARM CLOTHING RECOMMENDED
We will gather in the evening to experience snowshoeing - one of the oldest ways to explore the snowy forest of the Arctic region. After a short intoduction you will get to use a GPS device to navigate through the nightly forest. During the short 2-3 km hike in the forest next to Vasatokka you can spot animal tracks and even Northern Lights if you are lucky! In the end you will learn how to make your own fire without matches and celebrate it with a nice 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.
Vasatokka has a cafeteria, which serves a half board package. It 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 is refunded in full for this service.
Preliminary trip program
DAY 1 Departure day
21.00 Departure from Helsinki railway station square (In front of the Casino)
21.50 Departure from Riihimäki (Matkakeskus)
22.30 Departure from Hämeenlinna bus station (Wetterhof tourist bus stop)
23.30 Departure from Tampere railway station square
DAY 2 The Kemi Snowcastle – Santa Claus Village – Arrival in Lapland
01.45 Departure from Jyväskylä Matkakeskus
06.00 Departure from Oulu bus station
06.30 Departure from Oulu university
08:00 Arrival in Kemi. Free time for shopping and breakfast in the Kemi City market.
10.00 Visiting the Kemi Snowcastle (approx. 1,5 hours)
11.30 Departure from Kemi Snowcastle to Rovaniemi
13.30 Arrival in the Santa Claus Village
14:30 Visiting the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. In Santa Claus village you can take pictures with the SANTA, cross the magical Arctic circle, have lunch in one of the restaurants, buy souvenirs, send postcards from the Santa’s official post office and have a lunch (we recommend SHELL gas station across the street). Duration 2 h. Departure to Vasatokka at 16.30.
19:30 Arrival in Saariselkä, briefing and lodging in apartments.
20:00 Arrival in Vasatokka (estimation). Briefing & lodging.
DAY 3: ARCTIC SKILLS (45EUR), NIGHT SNOWMOBILE SAFARI (75EUR), SNOW-SHOE AURORA HUNTING (30EUR)
1 0:00-12:00 Guided Cross-Country Skiing*
12:00-13:00 Lunch break
13:00-14:00 Ice Fishing*
14:00-15:00 Snow Houses building*
16:00-18:00 Guided Wall Climbing*
21:30-23:30 Snow Shoe Aurora Hunting* + Sauna & Arctic Swimming*
DAY 4: TOUR OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN TO NORWAY - INCLUSIVE
08:00 Bus departure for the fjord trip to Norway! During this tour you will see amazing Arctic scenery and discover how the forests and fells transfer to tundra and mountains the further North you travel. You will learn about the nature, Saami people and make photostops on most beautiful places. Eventually you will arrive to an idyllic fishermen village "Bygones" on the coast of Arctic Ocean. Here you will bath in the sauna and take a bath in a marvellous beach. After swimming you will enjoy a soup lunch, hosted by Norwegian fishermen, those will tell you about the life on the top of the world and about fishing king crabs. On the way back you will make a shopping break and arrive back to Vasatokka by 19.00.
1 9:00 Dinner*
DAY 5: SAAMI DAY (35EUR: Reindeer farm and Saami museum)
09:30 Departure to the Reindeer Farm*
10:00-12:00 Visiting the reindeer farm hosted by a saami family. After having a reindeer safari you will have a coffee break in a Lappish hut*
12:30-14:00 After reindeer farm, possibility to stay in Inari village and visit the famous SIIDA saami museum.*
14:00-15:00 Visit of the K-Market & Souvenir Store*
16:00-18:00 Sports Hall opened for collective games - inclusive
DAY 6: SAARISELKÄ DAY – HUSKY SAFARI (65EUR) and DEPARTURE HOME
08:30 Checking Out – Bus Departure to Saariselkä
10:00-12:00 Husky Safari *
12:00-17:00 Possibility for downhill skiing, SPA, shopping. There is time to do all the preferred activities. There are also several shops and restaurants in the territory and free sledging hill.
17:00 Departure from Saariselkä Holiday Club
20:00 Rovaniemi Dinner Stop
DAY 7: ARRIVAL HOME
We do not recommend to book connecting train, bus, ferry or flight tickets from Helsinki earlier than 12.00 since weather and road conditions may delay arrival.
00:00 Arrival in Oulu
04:00 Arrival in Jyväskylä
06:00 Arrival in Tampere
07:00 Arrival in Hämeenlinna
07:30 Arrival in Riihimäki
10:00 Arrival in Helsinki
* - EXTRA ACTIVITIES NOT INCLUDED IN THE BASIC TRIP PRICE
What is included
- Round Trip to Lapland by Bus from chosen departure place
- Accommodation 4 nights in chosen category (Dorm or Cabin)
- A Bus Trip to the Arctic Ocean in Norway
- Visit of the world famous Kemi Snow castle
- Visit of the Santa Claus Village
- Visit of the Saariselkä ski resort
- Tourleader services in Vasatokka
- capacity for 6–10 ppl per cabin
- electric heating
- kitchen equipped with stove, fridge, microwave oven and coffee maker and basic dishes
- fireplace + logs, TV
- shower and toilet
- drying cabinet
Dorms with shared facilities
- rooms for 3–6 ppl with bunk beds
- living room with TV
- kitchenette with stove, fridge, microwave oven, coffee maker and basic dishes
- 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 there a possibility to travel by train?
A: Night train option is convenient only if using sleeping compartments, which is quite expensive. Travelling on seats mean the same or less comfort than overnight bus trip according to our experience. Travelling by train is therefore not possible to be ordered in our tours, but if you want extra comfort you can book the train with sleeping cabin yourself at http://www.vr.fi and join the trip in Rovaniemi, for instance.
Q: We are a group of 8 people, can we stay in the same cabin? Should we book the trip together?
A: All rooming wishes will be taken into consideration. If you know your roommates when signing up, just indicate their names in the message field but please notice – they will have to book and pay for the same accommodation category to make this possible! If you want to book 8 places at once, you should pay everything in one invoice. If it is not convenient for you, please do separate bookings.
Q: What should I bring with me?
A: At least the following:
- Warm clothes
- Bedlinen or sleeping bag
- Swimming suite (unless you want to do it the Finnish way)
- Anything else you may need during the trip, money, medicine etc.
- Student card for discounts
- Cash or credit card for program payments
- A small pillow or a special neck cushion for the bus trip.
- Flip flops for Arctic swimming and jumping in the snow after sauna.
Please pay attention, that sheets and bed linen are not included! There are blankets, mattresses and pillows but you will have to bring your sleeping bag or bed linen with you - and towels as well! Bed linen and towels can also be rented at the Reception at the cost of around 10-15 €/set/person/stay.
Q: What if there is no snow?
A: The reason why we use North Lapland as our main destinations, is the fact that with high possibility there is plenty of snow there starting from the beginning of November. However, we cannot take responsibility for the weather conditions. If the snow depth will not allow to perform some activity, we will offer a substitute or possibility to have full refund for it.
Q: Should I go to Lapland in fall or spring semester?
A: Spring semester is of course more enjoyable because there is more snow and more sunlight. Due to its popularity, the spring semester is slightly more expensive. If you can choose, we recommend traveling in February, March or early April. During fall semester there is a small risk of having less snow. Besides, the short period of daylight brings some restrictions to the schedule, for instance early wakings in the morning.
Q: Is there WIFI in the cottages?
A: In Vasatokka there is a Wi-Fi- connection and one free client computer in the Vasatokka main building. Please notice, that while there is no Wi-Fi or Internet in the cottages some of the dorm rooms in the main building may catch the main building’s Wi-Fi signal.
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.Special terms regarding weather conditions in Lapland
Saariselkä is the most snow secure of Finnish ski resorts thanks to its Northern location on high terrain. Quite often the first snow falls already in October. Snow conditions and global climate change are unfortunately beyond our power, and that is why we cannot give 100 % snow guarantee. Complete lack of snow is highly unlikely to happen, (has not happened yet) but in case of poor snow depth, some activities may not be able to be performed. In this case those activities will be refunded in full or you will have possibility to book a replacing activity. Whatever the snow situation will be, Lapland is always worth travelling!
Timetravels reserve right to changes in the program and prices. Itinerary is a preliminary one and final itinerary is sent to passengers a few days prior to the departure, as some activities are subject to weather conditions.
Q: Can I rent warm clothes, skis and other equipment in Vasatokka?
A: Sure you can! Please find below the price list - payment can be done to Vasatokka reception.
GEAR RENTAL IN VASATOKKA
GPS 7 euros/set / day
Snowshoes & poles: 10 euros / set / day
Xc-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