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Price from £2,410pp
VISITING: Finland BROCHURE CODE: 20019
All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, meals, guided activities and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Kick start your New Year with an Aurora hunting holiday in Saariselka, Finnish Lapland. During this four-night break, you’ll stay in an amazing glass-roofed Aurora Cabin and take part in two dedicated Aurora hunts. There are also brilliant daytime experiences such as dog sledding and snowmobiling included.

What's included?

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

  • Flights: return indirect flights from London Gatwick to Ivalo (via Helsinki). Regional and non-UK departures available on request (flight routes subject to change)
  • Transfers: return airport transfers
  • Accommodation: 4 nights in an Aurora Cabin
  • Meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Activities: Aurora workshop, reindeer experience, snowmobile and ice fishing tour, Aurora camp by the lake,  husky safari and Northern Lights snowshoeing (order subject to change)
  • Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
  • Aurora alert service which you can set to alert you throughout the night or end at a specific time
  • Services of our expert local guide

The Northern Lights Village sits on the outskirts of Saariselka in North East Finland. Sheltered from the light pollution of the town and tucked amongst the trees, the village is an ideal base for those wanting to spend New Year looking for the Northern Lights.

The Aurora Cabins will be your base for the whole of your stay and these partially glass-roofed structures allow you to watch the northern skies from the comfort of your very own bed. Couple this Aurora accommodation with two dedicated Northern Lights hunts and you have the makings of a fabulous Aurora adventure.

In the company of experts, you will spend two evenings in search of the lights. The activities typically kick-off with an Aurora workshop which will give you a grounding in Aurora science. The guides here are keen photographers and so hints and tips on how to capture the Northern Lights on camera will also be provided. Please note that you will need to bring your own equipment (camera, ideally SLR, and a tripod).

During the day, the blue light of deep winter offers a unique perspective on the landscape and you will enjoy some traditional Arctic activities. At this time of year, the sun does not appear above the horizon and so the dusky light during the middle of the day provides around four hours of light (please note that some activities may start/end after dark as a result).

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Meeting a reindeer herder and their animals is a real pleasure and a sleigh ride is always memorable. Next on the agenda is a snowmobile and ice fishing tour which introduces some of the most popular local activities. For many people though, the highlight will be the dog sled safari which offers a taste of this incredible mode of transport.

On New Year’s Eve, there will be some wonderful celebrations at the Northern Lights Village and if the Aurora are dancing overhead when the clock strikes Midnight, it will be an unforgettable way to see in the New Year.


Credit: Markku Inkila, Eerikki Rundgren, Matt Robinson
  • You will arrive at Ivalo Airport today and a driver will be waiting to transfer you to the Northern Lights Village. Your Aurora accommodation will be ready for you to settle into. Dinner will be served at the restaurant this evening. 

    Please note: the agenda shown is simply an example order for the activities and your final agenda will be provided on arrival in Saariselkä.

    Included Meals:  Dinner
  • Reindeer are synonymous with Lapland and an encounter with them is practically mandatory. Your guide will introduce you to the animals and shall provide an insight into how the reindeer and their herders survive the long winters and keep this age-old way of life alive.

    The reindeer paddock is situated in the village and here you will see the animals up close and will be able to feed them. There will then be the chance for you to enjoy a one-hour reindeer-pulled sleigh ride as part of the experience. Lunch will be served in a warm kota (traditional teepee) at the Northern Lights Village and with this included, the activity will last around four hours.

    This afternoon, you will enjoy an Aurora Workshop with an expert guide. Your host will give you hints and tips on how to capture the Northern Lights on camera. Please note that you will need to bring your own equipment (camera, ideally SLR, and a tripod).

    After dinner at the hotel tonight, it’s time for an evening of Aurora hunting. Lasting around three hours in total, it begins with a bus journey north to Lake Inari. The guides have a selection of camps set up on the lake shore and each is in a prime Aurora viewpoint. At the chosen camp, a fire will be lit, and warm drinks and snacks will be shared as you commence your Aurora stake-out. With a little luck and the right conditions, your patience will hopefully be rewarded with a display.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • After breakfast today, you are in for a real treat. Your guide will be leading you on an activity which combines two of the most popular pastimes in Lapland – snowmobiling and ice fishing.

    After full instruction and a safety briefing, you will ride your snowmobiles through the forest and out to a nearby frozen lake. Travelling two per machine, you can swap drivers should you wish at the halfway point (you must be over 18 and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile).

    At the lake, your guide will help you drill a hole through the thick ice and you will drop your line into the icy water below. This can be a game of patience but if you are lucky you might land a perch or perhaps a local Inari whitefish.

    Whilst you focus on the fishing, your guide will build a fire and you will enjoy lunch in the wilds (weather permitting) before heading back on the snowmobiles. You will be out for around four hours in total today.

    During your free time this afternoon you may like to include additional activities which can be found in the ‘Personalise’ section of the holiday page.

    Tonight is, of course, New Year’s Eve and the Northern Lights Village will host a special evening meal with some local specialities. There will also be a firework display to mark the end of the year. Fingers crossed, the Northern Lights may join in the fun.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • A dog sled safari is often a highlight for guests in Lapland and today you will have the chance to experience it for yourself.

    When you meet the dogs they will demonstrate their enthusiasm for the trail with a pretty deafening display of howling and barks – they just love to run and their excitement overflows when guests get ready to take them out. You will, however, notice that when the sleds’ runners begin to move, all the dogs will fall silent and focus on the task at hand.

    We include an excursion which is around two hours in total and includes around one to one and a half hours of dog sledding depending on the conditions. You shall cover around 10km during the safari.  You can, however, upgrade to a longer experience should you wish to do so and the details of the options available can be found in the ‘Personalise’ section of the holiday page.

    All safaris are two people per sled as standard and full instruction will be provided before you take control of the teams. You can switch drivers should you wish to do so.

    After your adventurous morning, lunch will be served at the restaurant back at the Northern Lights Village. Your afternoon is your own and so you may wish to include additional activities or perhaps explore the town of Saariselkä which is within walking distance. There are plenty of shops to keep you busy and downhill skiing is also an option.

    Your final Aurora hunting activity is a snowshoe hike. You will venture out into the wilderness to a great Northern Lights vantage point. Enjoy a hot drink around the fire and with any luck, the Northern Lights will appear.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Following breakfast, it will be time to leave the Northern Lights Village behind. As you are departing on an early flight, a packed breakfast will be provided for you to take with you on your transfer.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast

Included in price

Saariselkä Northern Lights Village

Nights: 1-4

Located in North East Finland, the Northern Lights Village sits on the outskirts of the ski resort of Saariselkä. Tucked away from the town and separated from it by dense forest, the location is ideal for viewing the Northern Lights but is still within walking distance (around 1000m) of the town’s amenities. The ski slopes can be accessed via a shuttle (small charge applies) or a pleasant walk of around 40-50 minutes.

The Northern Lights Village offers accommodation in Aurora Cabins which are half-roofed with glass. The twin or double beds are situated beneath the panoramic roof and provide the chance to view the Northern Lights from your bed! It’s not often that folk prefer a sleepless night but here it’s not considered to be a huge inconvenience as it provides the chance to potentially witness Mother Nature’s greatest light show!

There are 80 cabins in total, all of which are within a 5-10 minutes’ walk of the Village’s central facilities which include the restaurant where you’ll enjoy breakfast and dinner.

Facilities

  • The village restaurant is an atmospheric place, inspired by traditional wooden kotas (Finnish teepees). Breakfast is a buffet of continental options and some hot dishes. Evening meals are a buffet with starters of soups and salad, a choice of local meat or fish will follow (the reindeer and white fish in this region are delicious!). Typically a cake will be served for pudding, keeping you well-fuelled for your nocturnal Aurora hunting adventures. Dietary requirements are all well-catered for as long as we are informed at the time of booking. There’s also a large lobby near reception for you to relax in after your meal.
  • The Northern Lights Village has an onsite reindeer paddock and all activities start in the village so there is no need for time-wasting transfers. Basically, because we want to make your holiday as uncomplicated as possible, life is made very easy here.
  • Saariselkä is around a 20-25 minute walk from the Northern Lights Village (40-50 minutes to the ski slopes) which means that all of the amenities, shops, cafés and local restaurants are within easy reach.
  • For all Northern Lights activities, an expert guide will provide you with photographic tuition. The guides sometimes take pictures throughout the activities which can be purchased on your return to the village, if they take any. 
  • For all of your provided winter clothing, simply go to the onsite Safari House where overalls, gloves, boots, skis and snowshoes are stored for easy access.
  • Guests can pay extra to use the hot tub, sauna and ice pool. This can be used during public time or booked for private use.

Aurora Cabins

The Aurora Cabins have a half-glass roof and all face north. The design is based on the traditional wooden kotas (teepees) of Finland.

Each cabin has twin beds (which can be made into a double) and a sofa bed, suitable for an additional adult. There is a shower room (with underfloor heating) and a toilet, as well as a luggage storage area (please note that hot water is limited). Tea and coffee making facilities, a hairdryer and a minibar are also included.

Importantly for duvet-based Aurora hunting, a timer switch can be used to heat the glass roof should your view be obscured by snowfall. It takes approximately 5-10 minutes to heat and melt the snow so there’s no need to go and sweep the roof in your pyjamas!

Cabins are not cleaned between arrival and departure unless requested from reception. Additionally, towels can be exchanged at reception if required.

Free Wi-Fi.


Image credits: Markku Inkila

Personalise this tour


Our pick

Snowmobile safari - 2 hours

From £102pp

We know that for some people the thought of snowmobiling may be a little daunting so this short 2 hour (approximate) safari provides the ideal introduction.

Full instruction will be provided along with a safety briefing from your expert guide and then you’ll set off in convoy, following the well-marked trails and travelling two people per machine.

Snowmobiles offer the chance to explore further afield and offer the passenger (you can swap drivers) the chance to fully enjoy the sights of Lapland.

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There will be a break for you to enjoy warm drinks and snacks along the way.

Please note: Snowmobile drivers must be 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence.

Group size: 1-24 (approximately)

Available: Monday - Sunday at 10 am, 1 pm & 3 pm from December until mid-April. Please note that the times may vary throughout the season. 

Duration: 2 hours (approximately)


Other options

Activities

Snowshoe hike in the fells

From: £54pp

The beauty of snowshoeing is that it provides the chance for wildlife encounters, as the local flora and fauna will not be scared off by the noise of engines or the sound of sleds. So, for nature lovers, this is an ideal choice as your local guide will provide information on the wildlife and its natural environment. You may have the chance to witness Siberian Jay, willow grouse or a herd of roaming reindeer.

Group size: 1-16 (approximately)

Read more about this activity

Available: Monday - Sunday at 10 am, 1 pm & 3 pm from December until mid-April. Please note that the times may vary throughout the season.

Duration: 2 hours (approximately); a light lunch is included


Photography by Markku Inkila

Little Extras

Husky safari upgrade options

From: £65pp

A husky safari is one of those experiences you are likely to remember for the rest of your life. Once the dogs are running and the sled enters the wilderness surrounding Saariselkä, all else is forgotten.

Whilst we do include a safari in the holiday, we know that many people like to extend this activity and so the option is listed below for you. It is based on two people per sled but if you would like your own team then this can be arranged on request for a supplement.

Read more about this activity

Upgrade to a 20 km trip

This safari will see you cover around 20km during around 2-2.5 hours of driving.

In total, you will be away from the village for around four hours (including briefing). Lunch is included.

Driving time: 2 – 2.5 hrs (depending on weather and track)


Image credits: Lapland Safaris

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.
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Special Offer

⭐Special Offer⭐

Save £250 per Aurora Cabin for holidays departing up until 2nd April 2020. T&Cs apply, click here for details.

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 will be due at the time of us confirming the trip details to you. 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
Wed 30 Dec 2020
to Sun 03 Jan 2021
Enquire
Adults£ 2,410

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.

For our full booking terms and conditions please click here

The Specifics

Holiday group size (approximate)

This holiday requires a minimum of 2 people to run, however, on some dates we require a minimum of 8 people for our flight allocation. Maximum 30 people (approximately). Please speak to our Travel Experts for further information.

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.

Minimum and maximum age

If a specific minimum age applies to this holiday, it can be found in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page.

Unless otherwise stated in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page, the minimum age for participation in an Aurora Zone holiday is typically 12 years old (there may be younger children in some destinations who have booked with other companies). If an adult-only environment is important to you, then please contact our Travel Experts and they will advise on the best dates and destinations for you. If you are looking for a holiday designed specifically for families then please see our sister company www.activitiesabroad.com.

Itinerary amendments

The order of activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only, your final and detailed itinerary will be provided either with your final travel documents (which are uploaded into your online account around a week prior to departure) or upon arrival.

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.    

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.

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.

The UK Foreign Office Advice

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.

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

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.

Brexit information for British Passport holders

For the most up to date information on how the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your holiday please click here to view our Brexit information for British Passport holders.

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.

Terms and Conditions

Our full booking terms and conditions can be found on our website: https://www.theaurorazone.com/booking-conditions

Cancellation terms

Please note that the cancellation terms below supersede those mentioned in section 7 of our booking terms and conditions:

- More than 63 days prior to departure - Loss of deposit (including the full cost of flights or other services where paid at the time of booking)

- 63 to 43 days prior to departure - 40%

- 42 to 31 days prior to departure – 60%

- 30 or less days – 100%

Traveller Reviews

Everything about the holiday was superb 29 December 2019 by Stephanie Howdle-Lang & Tina Lamber

Honestly, everything about the holiday was superb. It felt like so much longer than the three days we were actually there, because of the amount that was packed in. I keep looking back at the photographs in amazement. The packing guide was particularly helpful before we travelled. I would also like to extend a huge thank you for the card and wine for Tina's birthday - it made an already special
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holiday even more enjoyable.
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