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5 days - Snowhotel stay easily combined with Hurtigruten voyage
Join us for a fun-filled winter adventure in Northern Norway, including an unforgettable night in a hotel constructed entirely of ice and snow. This is an independent itinerary and is right in the Aurora Zone. You will enjoy snowmobile safari riding through snow covered fjord areas and mountain fells, husky dogsledding and also king crab fishing. There will also be a chance to see the Northern Lights on an evening tour if you are lucky.
This trip is great for everyone - fun family trip, romantic get away or a relaxing easy way to enjoy the Northern lights and Winter season in Norway.
- Day 1
- Arrive in Kirkenes
- Day 2
- Husky Dogsledding Safari during the day and searching for the Northern Lights in the evening
- Day 3
- King Crab Fishing Safari
- Day 4
- Snowmobile Safari and your night in the Snowhotel
- Day 5
- Scandinavian breakfast, saunas and check out
- Start/End Place
- Kirkenes, Scandinavia
- Destinations Visited
- 5 Days
Dogsledding, private transfers and snowmobiling.
- Standard: 3 nights in a hotel room with private facilities + 1 night at the Kirkenes Snowhotel, in a snow suite.
- Nordic+: 3 nights in a Gamme Cabin with private facilities + 1 night at the Kirkenes Snowhotel, in a snow suite.
- Standard: 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 1 Dinner.
- Nordic+: 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 4 Dinners.
- Snowmobile excursion with warm clothing, Husky safari with warm clothing, Northern Lights evening excursion by minibus, and King Crab fishing excursion.
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
- Meals not specified in the itinerary
- Gratuities and items of personal nature
- Travel insurance
- Airport transfers
Day 1 - Arrive in Kirkenes
Arrive in Kirkenes airport or port, and make your way to your hotel in Kirkenes, a small Northern Norway town. The rest of your day is at your leisure and if you wish to add some activities to your day, please let us know.
Day 2 - Husky Dogsledding Safari during the day and searching for the Northern Lights in the evening
After a relaxing breakfast in the morning you will be picked up from your hotel, and we drive to our husky farm. The guides will teach you the basics of handling your husky team and then we head out into the nature. Husky sledding is one of the best ways to travel in the Arctic Tundra and during this 2-hour safari you will get to see the amazing winter landscapes and enjoy the thrill of driving your husky team.
After dinner time you will head out to the nature again, this time on our Northern Lights minibus tour in search for the magical Northern Lights.
Day 3 - King Crab Fishing Safari
The Arctic King Crab is a sought after delicacy and you will learn how to catch, prepare and eat them. Your guide takes you out and you can lend a hand in sawing through the ice before your guide attempts to land you a few of these massive crustaceans. Enjoy the day's catch for lunch seated by a cosy fire in a small local farmhouse by the lake. You will travel to the lake by snowmobile sleigh (you are passengers on the sleigh).
Day 4 - Snowmobile Safari and your night in the Snowhotel
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and get ready for your Snowmobile Safari. You will be kitted out in warm clothing before leaving. Enjoy a picnic lunch served en route as you snowmobile through the snow covered fjord area and over the beautiful surrounding fells.
Tonight you will sleep in one of the cold snow rooms at the Snowhotel. Every room in Kirkenes Snowhotel is like a small treasure. The rooms are equipped with everything needed for a comfortable night in the somewhat extreme conditions. The pictures look like you are sleeping on ice, but that would be too cold and too hard for your back. The beds are framed with ice blocks and have comfortable mattresses with thermal insulation on top. You sleep inside a sleeping bag graded for -35 degrees celcius. However, snow is a very good insulator, so even when it's -35 degrees outside, the Snowhotel remains a stable -4 degrees.
Upon entering the gates of the Snowhotel, you will receive a welcome drink at the snowbar, made from berries collected from surrounding hills. It will then be time to make the ‘coolest’ hotel check-in around!
Your evening will then progress to a delicious 3 course dinner. The food served is charmingly traditional and locally sourced. Your guide will be available to help you prepare for the evening ahead, making sure you are as comfortable as possible. After dinner you will have the opportunity to walk around the snowhotel and say hello to our resident reindeers, and with any luck, catch a glimpse of the northern lights.
Staying overnight gives you free access to borrow cross country skiis, snowshoes, winter clothing and kick sledges. Wifi, tea and coffee included.
Day 5 - Scandinavian breakfast, saunas and check out
After having one of the most 'refreshing' sleeps to date, you are able to take a sauna and a shower before having breakfast between 7:00am and 9:30am. All snowhotel overnight guests will receive one of the ‘coolest certificates’ to commemorate their stay at the snowhotel.
All prices listed are per person. Early indicative price for 2019/2020.
18 Apr 2020
18 Apr 2020
18 Apr 2020
There are other optional excursions you can add to this itinerary - please ask us for details about the cross country skiing, aurora hunting, ice fishing and other optional activities.
Generally, the entire exterior and interior is made of snow and ice including the beds, tables and internal features. They typically have a bar and/or restaurant attached – some made of ice, others are traditional wooden structures providing a cosy atmosphere with open fires. Ice chapels are also built within the structure.
The temperature inside the rooms remains constant at minus 4-7 degrees Celsius. Depending on your location, reindeer hides, balaclavas, thermal mattresses and sleeping bags will keep you warm, and ensure you will have a comfortable night. You still might feel the chill of the night, however, adjacent to the cold rooms are lounge areas with facilities, showers, and in some locations, a sauna to warm up in. Warm drinks are provided in the morning.
Interactive Tour Map
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/
Practical Information for travelling and packing for Scandinavian Winter
- Warm wind and water proof jacket and trousers large enough to fit thick woollen jumper/clothing underneath
- Rain trousers – waterproof and breathable material
- Warm windproof cap/hat
- Warm gloves or mittens. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves.
- Windproof gloves or mittens, which you can pull over the warm gloves
- Warm scarf
- 2 pairs of long woollen underwear (Merino wool in a few different thicknesses is perfect)
- 1-2 warm woollen jumper(s), or one jumper and a warm fleece
- Woollen or fleece trousers
- 2-3 pairs of warm woollen socks
- Warm & sturdy footwear with good grip
- Clothes for indoors, i.e. a shirt, T-shirts and jeans or cotton trousers
- Back pack for day trips (approx. 30 litre)
- Light footwear/trainers (mainly for indoors)
- Sun screen & Lip salve (the sun reflects off the snow and the air is dry)
- Hand warmers
- Nordic Grip anti-slip soles for walking on ice
- Personal medication
- Water bottle - thermo, or include a cover to keep warm (or you can stick it into a warm sock)
- Travel documents (including insurance)
- Photo ID
- Note book and pencil
- Camera, memory cards and charger
- Chargers for other gadgets
- Extra batteries for your cameras as they are used fast in cold conditions.
General information about staying at the Kirkenes Snowhotel
First the Kirkenes Snowhotel engineers produce a lot of snow with water, cold air and snow-machines. Then they inflate a large balloon and cover this with snow. When this balloon is totally compacted with 2 metres of snow, they then deflate the balloon and remove it, leaving a circular room. For the corridors, they construct wooden frames and also cover them in snow before removing them.
Kirkenes Showhotel opens each year around 20 December and closes on the 20 April.
The temperature inside is a constant minus 4 degrees Celsius.
There are 20 bedrooms with normal mattresses. On top of the mattress is an extra thermal insulation layer. You are also provided a sleeping bag made for extreme expeditions, rated for minus 30 degrees celsius. Most guests however, find that it can get too hot inside the sleeping bag.
In the marketing pictures, it looks like the beds are made of ice! However, they have cleverly placed ice-blocks around the beds to create the illusion of an ice-bed! Sleeping directly on ice would be a bit drastic and not very comfortable.
Every room is decorated differently which is why there is also different lighting used to create a different atmosphere. The lights are LED which gives off very little heat. For security reasons the lights are not switched off. We advise using eye covers to sleep if a small amount of light bothers you.
There have nice bathrooms, showers and a sauna in the building next to the Snowhotel. So you have to leave your sleeping bag for a few minutes. Brrr....
It is usually couples. Average age is around 45, however their oldest guest has been 92 years old! Each year, the Kirkenes Snowhotel sees marriage proposals being made and of course, in such a beautiful place, weddings for many happy couples take place.
Yes. The Snowhotel is constructed to the calculations and standards made by a Finnish professor of snow building. The Snowhotel is still standing a month after they close for the season, even with the warmer weather!
People with claustrophobia have had trouble sleeping in the Snowhotel. There is also a minimum age of 7 years to stay in the snowhotel. There is a warm lobby available in case people may feel uncomfortable during their night’s stay.