A new itinerary has been launched for this Christmas that is the perfect way to escape reality and meet Santa deep in the Lappish forest at his personal invitation.
The magical journey starts at home, with the arrival of a personalised handwritten letter and photobook from Santa, highlighting all the ways guests have been “nice” this year and requesting they visit him at his home in Lapland.
The seven-day Ultimate Christmas Invitation, from specialist travel company Off the Map Travel, has brought hyper-personalised travel to the traditional festive holiday and is perfect for anyone, big or small.
Available from November to January, the adventure begins with a night in Finland’s capital, Helsinki, where a ‘golden ticket’ for the festive ‘Polar Express’ overnight train to Rovaniemi awaits.
“This is an incredible opportunity to meet Santa face-to-face and will leave people big and small feeling like one in a million,” says Jonny Cooper, Arctic travel expert and founder of Off the Map Travel.
“The whole itinerary is created to build suspense and anticipation up to the moment of meeting Santa. With no queues and located in the most festive place on earth, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip for those who love Christmas and are looking for something a little different over the holiday season.”
During their stay in Rovaniemi, guests can stargaze through the huge skylight windows of the exclusive Aurora loft rooms at the contemporary Arctic Light Hotel, located minutes away from the city’s major shopping and cultural areas.
It’s almost time to meet Santa as guests head to their final destination, Inari to check in, collect winter clothing and receive an updated itinerary of what awaits.
Over the next few days, guests will go dog sledging, meet local reindeer and head out on a snowmobile through the stunning Lappish landscape before finally meeting Santa in the birthplace of Finnish Sami culture Inari.
This one-on-one visit with Santa allows him to talk about his important job and see what his elves have been making in the workshop for the festive season.
You will receive a special gift before getting comfortable on a sleigh that will transport you to the Inari Wilderness hotel for your final night.
The resort is a winter wonderland. Each log cabin comes fully equipped with comfortable beds, a bathroom with a sauna and views over Lake Inari or River Nukkumajoki. The cabin’s open fire is the perfect place to get cosy, unwind and reflect on your trip. You might also be lucky and catch a glimpse of The Northern Lights in the clear skies over Inari.
The seven-day, six-night Ultimate Christmas Invitation itinerary costs from £3299 per person on a full board basis; please note the cost does not include flights. Each itinerary can be tailor-made to fit the festive wishes and requirements of the guest. Just speak to one of their Adventure Artists to personalise your trip even more.
It includes one night in Helsinki, one night on the overnight train to Rovaniemi, one night in Rovaniemi, and three nights in Inari, private transfers, all activities and all meals.
Arrive in Helsinki, take a private transfer to your beautiful central hotel, and check into your connecting rooms at Lilla Roberts. Once you arrive at your room, you will be greeted with a personal invitation to head north to the beautiful wilderness of Finnish Lapland for a magical Christmas adventure! Explore the Christmas markets and festive spirit to get you in the mood tonight!
Enjoy the city today before you head to the train station and board your overnight train to Rovaniemi. Watch the amazing scenery as you head North before it gets too dark, and let the kids get excited about what they’re going to get up to!
Arrive in Rovaniemi late morning and take your private transfer to Rovaniemi city centre and to your hotel, the Arctic Light Hotel – where you will check in to your Aurora Loft room. Evening at leisure to explore the city centre and enjoy dinner in the city.
After breakfast, take your private transfer to Inari. On arrival at the hotel, you will check-in, receive your program for the next few days and collect your winter clothing. Afterwards, it’s time for a delicious dinner in the restaurant.
Don’t forget tonight; you could head out to try to spot the Northern Lights in the snowy wilderness or lay back and relax in your Aurora cabin, looking towards the night skies!
After breakfast, it’s time to head out on a magical dog sledging adventure! You will be taught how to handle the sledge before you head out for the husky safari, where the huskies will pull your sledge through the beautiful winter scenery.
The dogs’ excitement is infectious, and as the animals fall silent on the trail, you will realise that this is one of the very best ways to experience Lapland!
This afternoon it’s time to head to a reindeer farm to meet one of this area of the world’s most famous residents! You will be transferred by car to a local reindeer farm, where you will meet the reindeer herders and learn about the importance of reindeer in Lapland. You will learn how to lasso a reindeer and have a short ride in a sleigh pulled by reindeer.
Today it’s time for more fun in the snow on a snowmobile adventure! This tour is perfect for those who have never tried snowmobiling before. First, you will get familiar with the snowmobile and have full safety instructions and a driving lesson. After everyone feels comfortable, you will head out for a small journey into the nearby surroundings through the beautiful Lappish scenery.
This afternoon is the highlight of the trip you’ve all been waiting for – meeting Santa himself! Meet Santa, enjoy a chat with him and receive a gift for everyone.
Tonight you will end your stay with a beautiful trip to the Wilderness Hotel. This activity takes you to the amazing surroundings of Inari. You will be comfortably seated in a sledge pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. The resort has a log cabin with an open fire to warm you up, and your guide will also serve warm drinks to keep you cosy—what a lovely way to end your stay in Finnish Lapland.
Check out this morning and take your transfer to Ivalo Airport, ready for your departure flight.
For more information on the trip to meet Santa, visit www.offthemap.travel.
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