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Price from £1,775pp
VISITING: Sweden BROCHURE CODE: 26012
All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, meals, guided activities and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Over four exciting nights, you’ll get to experience a husky safari, dine on top of the frozen sea and hunt for the Northern Lights, all the while staying in a cosy winter cottage. Staying at Brändön Lodge with views out to the snow-topped Luleå Archipelago, your location is sublime and perfect for a winter getaway over the half term break.

What's included?

ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE

  • Flights: return flights from London Heathrow to Luleå (via Stockholm)
  • Transfers: return airport transfers from Luleå Airport
  • Accommodation: 4 nights accommodation in a winter cottage at Brändön Lodge
  • Meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
  • The following activities and equipment are included: husky safari, dinner on Ice, Northern Lights snowshoeing, Northern Lights hunt via snowmobile-pulled sled with wilderness dinner (the order of activities is subject to change)
  • Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
  • Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors during activities

Enjoy a four-night holiday to Brandon Lodge, situated on the edge of the frozen sea and backed by enchanting forests. While here, you’ll enjoy a husky safari through the snow-covered woods, as well as dining on the frozen waters of the archipelago, followed by two Northern Lights hunts in search of the Aurora.

The lodge sits in a magnificent position, with the main restaurant and lounge building in the centre and fifteen wooden winter cottages dotted throughout the grounds, all facing towards the Bothnian Bay. The archipelago is made up of 1300 islands, yet only 100 residents, so the area is a perfect wilderness waiting to be explored.

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Swedish Lapland is a beautiful destination and with a short transfer from Lulea, you’ll be right at the heart of this winter wonderland. Warming, local food awaits and the friendly locals are sure to make you feel welcome in this, your home for the next few days.

For those wanting to experience some truly wonderful activities, enjoy a perfect winter setting and hopefully catch sight of the Northern Lights, this holiday really is an excellent choice.


© Graeme-Richardson

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Key facts

Duration:4 nights
Pace:Balanced
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  • Upon arrival in Luleå, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the nearby Brändön Lodge, your home for the next few days.

    Your hosts will welcome you and show you to your winter cottage where you can unwind and relax, prior to enjoying your evening meal tonight in the main lodge building.

    Cold weather clothes are provided for you on arrival, so if the weather is right, why not have a look at the sky tonight to see if you can spot the Northern Lights. 

  • Following breakfast this morning, you will be transferred to the nearby husky farm where you will take part in your first winter activity: dog sledding.

    The perfect way to start your holiday, dog sledding is perhaps one of the most enjoyable and unique winter experiences you can take part in. The dogs absolutely love heading out onto the trails and it is evident in their excitement to get going upon your arrival! Expertly trained and cared for, these dogs enjoy nothing more than running through the stunning forests along the beautiful snowy tracks.

    During the activity, you will travel two per sled and there will be a chance to swap drivers when you enjoy a break and a hot drink. The activity lasts approximately two hours in total and you will be taken through stunning scenery, past snow-laden woods and frozen lakes and rivers.

    After your husky safari, you will transfer back to the lodge for lunch and then an afternoon of relaxation. Why not unwind in the lodge’s sauna and hot tub on the shores of the frozen sea? Please see our ‘Personalise’ section for further details.

    Tonight you will enjoy a three-course dinner (drinks not included) on top of the frozen sea for your 'Dinner on Ice' experience. The sea ice is your restaurant floor as you sit in the cosy tepee atop reindeer pelts and enjoy the warmth of the crackling fire; an experience like no other!

  • With an evening activity tonight, today is free for you to tailor your time and either relax in your cabin or at the lodge or perhaps take part in some extra winter activities.

    The sauna sits on the edge of the frozen archipelago and is a wonderful place to unwind, or maybe you would like to add in more action and take part in a snowmobile safari across the pack ice.

    We also offer a hovercraft tour of the Bay of Bothnia which takes you past the many islands which make up the Luleå archipelago, gliding across the ice and with the potential to spot sea eagles and seals. Please see our ‘Personalise’ section for further details.

    After dinner at the lodge this evening, you will head out for your first Northern Lights hunt. Your guide will show you how to snowshoe before leading you through the magical forest. Snowshoes have been used for thousands of years and they are a fantastic way to explore terrain that would otherwise be inaccessible, spreading your weight and allowing you to venture through the deep snow.

    Walking through the forest, your guide will tell you about the history and nature of the area, as well as searching for the Northern Lights.

  • Today you have another day of leisure, allowing you to choose whether to relax and enjoy the surroundings of the lodge, or perhaps take part in some extra activities, including a hovercraft ride, snowmobiling, or a trip the sauna. Please see our ‘Personalise’ section for full details.

    For your final night in Luleå, you will venture out for another night hunting for the Aurora. You will travel via snowmobile-pulled sled, wrapped up in warm blankets and reindeer pelts and your expert guide will use their local knowledge to drive to the best places for a potential Northern Lights display. Dinner will be prepared over a campfire and you will sit atop warm reindeer pelts as you gaze upwards in search of the Aurora, savouring the peace and tranquillity of the forest.

  • Unfortunately, your time in Luleå has come to an end and today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Included in price

Brändön Lodge

Nights: 1-4

Brändön Lodge is located on the edge of the sea that freezes around the Luleå Archipelago each year. It is a remarkable sight to see such a vast frozen mass of water each morning as you step out of your cosy cottage for a day of activities.

Hotel facilities

  • Your meals are all served in the restaurant in the main building. You will enjoy a variety of local dishes and more international cuisine in the evening menus (which are typically two courses and served as a hearty buffet). Breakfasts are typically Scandinavian in style and provide you with the fuel that you need for a day of adventure
  • The restaurant is situated on the upper floor of the main hotel building and offers panoramic views over the frozen bay while you tuck into your delicious meal. The lodge also has a fully stocked bar and pretty impressive wine cellar for any enthusiasts staying
  • A short walk from the restaurant building, there is also a sauna for guests to enjoy. Indulging in a sauna, after an exhilarating day in the great outdoors is just the perfect way to unwind! This is bookable locally and charges may apply

Guest room types

Winter cottages: Brändön Lodge consists of individual winter cottages. Each homely cottage is detached, allowing guests the space to unwind and relax in comfort and having all the added benefits of the main building within walking distance.

All the winter cottages have an open plan living and dining area with kitchenette. We recommend taking tea and coffee provisions with you. They have two bedrooms (both furnished with twin beds – in some cases these can be moved together), an en-suite shower room, hairdryer and toilet. Recent room refurbishment leaves the cottages with a modern yet authentic Scandinavian feel. One of the nicest features of the cottages are the terraces, where in the morning you can step out and inhale the cool, crisp air and marvel at the view of the frozen sea and snow-covered forests that stretch before you.


Image credit: Graeme Richardson, Andream Walitalo

Personalise this tour


Our pick

Snowmobile safari on the pack ice

From £205pp

On day three of your holiday, you will have the chance to participate in a thrilling snowmobile safari out on the pack ice.

Your destination for the day will be the village of Brändöskär on the outermost archipelago, an idyllic fishing hamlet dating back to the 17th century. To get here you will snowmobile across the frozen Bothnian Bay, an endless vista of pack ice and snow, which makes for a spectacular journey. Once you have reached your destination you will visit the chapel and fishing huts before a warming lunch that your guide will cook over an open fire. You will be out for around four hours in total. You will travel two people per snowmobile and will be able to swap drivers during the trip. You must be over 18 years old and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile.


Other options

Activities

Hovercraft excursion

From: £215pp

This region is the only place we feature where guests can explore the wilds in a hovercraft. These machines perfectly suit the ever-changing seasons here and are exceptionally good fun.

You will each be given an intercom headset in order for the pilot to be able to communicate with you and impart his local knowledge.

During this two and a half hour tour, you will set off across the ice and islands and head out to the island of Brändöskär which is typically close to the edge of the frozen sea. You will disembark and take a walk on the ice where depending on the weather conditions, you may witness some of the vast natural sculptures which form as the pack ice gradually shifts and cracks.

A light lunch is included and you will be served warm drinks before returning to the lodge.


Image credit: Graeme Richardson

Icebreaker

From: £335pp

The frozen sea is a sight to behold. A vast, thick sheet of shimmering white, stretching out far into the distance, it is hard to believe that the ocean lies below. The ship then cuts through the ice with apparent ease and suddenly the water is revealed. Shards of Ice surround the boat and you would be forgiven for wondering whether you are on an expedition to Antarctica. The title of the ship ‘Arctic explorer’ conjures up images of historic voyages and when you get out onto the open ocean it is difficult not to feel a sense of adventure. 

Read more about this activity

You will take a 35-minute transfer to Luleå from your accommodation at Brändön Lodge or Pinebay Lodge, before picking up a second transfer from Luleå to Piteå, which takes approximately 50 minutes. Following an introduction and safety briefing by the ship’s captain, the journey will begin in Pitsundskanalen, which is where the mouth of the river Piteälven meets the open sea. A mere 100 yards ahead of this point, the ocean opens out and there is a seemingly endless display of ice, which is easily broken by the ‘Arctic Explorer’. The ship leaves a trail of ocean behind and this makes it possible to bathe in the freezing water.

You will be given survival suits which will provide protection from the cold and also prevents you from getting wet. Following this, you will have the opportunity to float on the water. It is an invigorating experience, and when you are lowered into the ocean you may have feelings of trepidation, but this soon replaced by delight. You can also experience walking upon the thick Ice of the frozen sea, which is a surreal experience, particularly if you imagine the contrast of a summer’s day, where the water is flowing freely.

 A hot drink and survival suits are included.

Duration: 2 hours


Image credit: Graeme Richardson

Little Extras

Hot tub and sauna

During your stay at Brändön Lodge, you will have the option to relax in the hot tub and sauna. Both of these are just a short walk from the lodge and they sit on the edge of the frozen sea. The hot tub and sauna are rented for private use together, so you can use each of them as you like. If you would like to include this, please contact one of our Travel Experts who will be able to provide you with a full quote for your needs.

Price Comparison Guarantee

Expertise and knowledge are key to witnessing the Northern Lights. We’ve been running Aurora hunting holidays longer than any company in the UK and with no lead in prices, no hidden costs and more included, we’re confident our tours will come out on top.
Price guarantee

Single adult price: based on staying in your own cabin but sharing transfers and a husky sled during the safari. Please note: the minimum number required for the trip to run is 2 people.

Dates
Sat 16 Feb 2019
to Wed 20 Feb 2019
Book
Adults£ 1,775
Wed 20 Feb 2019
to Sun 24 Feb 2019
Book
Adults£ 1,775

Please note: our holiday prices are based on the lowest available airline fares. These fares can sell out quickly and, as a result, prices may increase and supplements may be applicable. We recommend booking at the earliest opportunity to secure the best possible fares and flight times.

Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices

To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-sale booking and fix the price of your trip at the pre-sale price displayed below. Simply by paying an initial deposit of £50pp, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain preliminary and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed, you will then have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. A further deposit payment of £350pp is due by 01 April 2019 or at the time of us confirming the trip details to you, whichever is sooner. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your full deposit payment. We reserve the right to charge supplements where there are significant changes to an itinerary or increases in flight costs. Any non-package rates remain subject to change.

Dates
Sat 15 Feb 2020
to Wed 19 Feb 2020
Enquire
Adults£ 1,900
Wed 19 Feb 2020
to Sun 23 Feb 2020
Enquire
Adults£ 1,900

For our full booking terms and conditions please click here

Holiday group size (approximate)

Minimum 2 people, maximum 24 people (approximately)

GROUP SIZE

We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.

Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.

MINIMUM NUMBERS REQUIRED FOR A HOLIDAY TO OPERATE

Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.

Itinerary amendments

The order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation.

Medical History and advice

We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.

In order to give us the best possible chance to do this we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.

In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.

Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.

PREGNANCY

If you are pregnant at the time of booking your holiday or you discover you are pregnant prior to your departure, firstly – congratulations! Secondly – please tell us as soon as possible. This situation does arise, and we are able to advise you both from our own first-hand experience and from discussing this at length with our expert local partners who have experience in this area. The more notice you can give us the better, in order to suggest any adaptions to the itinerary you have booked which will reduce the risk to both mother and baby. Please contact our customer service team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

INSURANCE

Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.

It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.

If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.

Reduced Mobility

If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our travel experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.

Experience and fitness

We offer a vast choice of holidays which range from 'relaxed' to 'active' so there really is something for everyone and our holidays can be filtered by how active they are. Regardless of the chosen holiday, all activities will include tuition from a beginner's level and no prior experience is assumed.

If you are unsure about the physical demands of a particular holiday please contact us and our expert team will be happy to help.

See our booking conditions for further information.

Guides and safety

It is absolutely essential when partaking in any activity that you listen very closely to, and abide by, the instructions provided.

If there is anything that you are unsure of during a safety briefing or that you would like to clarify with the guides please make this clear to them immediately before starting the activity.

Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times, please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.

See our booking conditions for further information.

Booking activities locally

Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).

When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern. In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time.

You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.

Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.

Car Hire

If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card.  Please see your trip dossier for full details.

Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.

FLIGHT SCHEDULE CHANGES AND CONNECTING TRANSPORTATION

On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.

Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.

BOOKING YOUR OWN FLIGHTS - CANCELLATION DISCLAIMER 

If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.

If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.

Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.

THE FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE ADVICE

We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.

The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/                                                    New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/                                                  Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/                                                                                                      The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html

If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.

If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.

If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.

If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.

Minimum age

The minimum age for participation in our itinerary is 12 years old, however, for some activities and transfers, you may be joined by other guests and this may include some of a younger age than stated. Any younger participants will be fully supervised and the guides will ensure that their participation takes place only if the activities will be unaffected.

Very few hotels have a minimum age and there may be families staying at them with younger children, especially during the holiday periods. We do have some itineraries and destinations which are guaranteed to be adult-only, so if this is important to you please speak to one of our Travel Experts.

To drive a snowmobile, you must have a full driving licence and be over 18 years old.

Traveller Reviews

Everything went according to plan 15 February 2017 by Margaret & David Jarvis and Anita Abri

We had a fabulous holiday; probably the best ever. I think that both you and Brandon Lodge do a fabulous job. I am still wishing that we were back there enjoying the excellent food and cold winter fun. Would definitely go back again.



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