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What to expect on day and short trips to Lapland

Financial security

We are an ABTA bonded retail agent for ATOL holders for all trips to Lapland and therefore your money is protected.

Insurance

IMPORTANT: many policies will not cover you for all the activities on a trip and we advise you to check you own policy / take out a policy with the organizer when confirming your holiday. Some of the key points to check are:

- Many annual policies require an overnight stay and therefore will not cover you on daytrips.

- Flight delays: most annual and single trip policies only compensate after delays of 8 hours or more. On a day or short trip this could be disastrous,

- Driving motorised Snowmobiles. This requires 3rd party liability insurance in much the same way as driving a car in England. It is extremely important that you check with your insurance company that they cover you for this Lapland activity - some that include winter sports activities may do.

Climate

Christmas in Lapland is extremely cold compared to the UK. Temperatures rarely rise above freezing point and December temperatures range between -7C and -35C. The air however is quite dry so it does not feel as cold as you might expect. Snow falls in Lapland between October and May and it is common to find thick snow cover in December. There is limited daylight lasting between 10:30am and 15:00. On clear days the brief sunrise adds a special glow to the scenery. Otherwise a perpetual twilight reigns.

Clothing

Please do not underestimate the cold in Lapland. You will be provided with outer layer suits and boots. Please ensure you take and wear thick winter woollens, scarves, ski gloves, thermal underwear, hats and extra pairs of socks. Larger number of thin layers are preferable to one thick layer. If you require suits or boots outside the normal size range for either children or adults please contact us well in advance.

Other useful items to protect against the severe cold are lip salve, hot pads which insert into your gloves and boots.Young children are particularly vulnerable to the cold, so please pay special attention in protecting their hands, feet and face. Children do need to move to keep warm and therefore we do not recommend these trips to children under 3 years.

Medical Care

Finland has reciprocal health care agreements with the UK. This entitles you to emergency medical treatment and to prove eligibility for this treatment you only require a British Passport. An EHIC is also useful, and is essential for non UK nationals. Treatment is available either free of charge or for a standard fee depending upon the municipality.

Currency

Finland's unit of currency is the Euro. Please take enough currency as there are limited chances to change money in the more remote areas although there are a few cash machines if you are going to Saariselka.

Time

Lapland is 2 hours ahead of time in Great Britain and Ireland. On a day trip to Lapland you will have approximately 4 - 6 hours on the ground (some of this will be travelling to/from the airport and for lunch).

Photographic Equipment

Most photographic equipment does not function correctly in lower temperatures. Most manufacturers of camcorders advise against their use in temperatures lower that -4C. Protective covers for such equipment can be purchase at reputable photographic shops and we advise you to store them in inner pockets of your snowsuits for warmth. Batteries drain very quickly so it is worth taking spares. Please remember that there are few daylight hours in December.

Shopping

Shopping in Lapland can be up to double the price of items in England. Souvenirs range from cheap imports to quality local goods like reindeer rugs. Typical Lapland souvenirs are Lapland dolls, carved wooden items, woollen hats and gloves, and other goods made from reindeer skin etc. Please note on day trips there may not be time for shopping.

Snowmobiles

Driving a snowmobile in Finland is like driving a car, similar laws apply. Please ensure you bring your driving licence with you as you may be requested to present it. Normal traffic laws apply on snowmobile routes, where drivers must be over 15 years old and have a valid T-class licence. Under-15s may not use snowmobiles even off these routes. Safety helmets must be worn at all times. As a general rule, all children 15 and under will travel in a sleigh pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. It is possible that children 12 plus can ride as a passenger behind a responsible parent/adult, however this is physically demanding and therefore they will be assessed by the local guide on the day and it is at the local guide’s discretion, their decision being final.

Some locations have miniature snowmobiles available for children to use. Depending on their size they are normally suitable for 4/5 – 10-year-olds. As it is a motorised vehicle, the track and rides need to be supervised so they are only available at specified times.

Reindeer

Reindeer are the native deer of Lapland and can be seen all over Lapland. They are gentle in nature, but like all wild animals they can be unpredictable. Please respect them during your short holiday in Lapland.

Food

You should bear in mind that, given the remote nature of the location, fresh fruit and vegetables are less plentiful than in the UK. Menus will vary from establishment to establishment. However the following are some of the dishes that might make up a typical menu:

Starters - spinach, cheese, tomato soup.

Main Courses - meat loaf, macaroni casserole, minced meat, frankfurters in sauce, meatballs, chicken drumsticks, fried fish fillet, beef stew, roast pork.

For Children - hotels usually provide additional dishes for kids if required such as fish fingers, frankfurters and chicken nuggets.

Desserts - berry pudding, apricot dessert, pancakes. (All other drinks and snacks are at extra cost).

On longer trips it should be possible to sample local dishes, such as reindeer meat and poached salmon. Guests wanting to explore such dishes can choose to dine from the a la carte menu in the hotels when available (extra charge).

For those clients travelling on our all-inclusive day breaks or when out on activities on the longer trips there will be a very simple lunch which includes kids’ and vegetarian options. Typical dishes are soup, jacket potatoes or spaghetti bolognaise.

Flight Delays

If this were to happen on your outbound day break flight, then every effort would be made to ensure that the delay time was made up by a later return departure time from Lapland. Once the day break flight is delayed by more than three hours, it is likely that the whole trip will be cancelled and you will be offered an alternative trip by your tour operator or a full refund of monies paid. In the event that the delay is less than three hours and the flight takes off, every effort will be made to deliver the programme as planned but it may be necessary to reduce the time spent on the activities or on occasions to omit some of them. Please note that no compensation will be paid in these circumstances.

It is possible that short break passengers may still be flown out even if the delay exceeds three hours and guests will need to refer to their insurance policies for compensation. Should it be impossible to return home from the destination on the programmed evening departure due to reasons beyond our control (eg force majeure see booking section on our website for terms and conditions), your tour operator will make every effort to accommodate passengers overnight in accommodation of a reasonable standard and provide an evening meal and breakfast.