Exploring the Arctic wilderness sounds daunting, but add a seasoned guide and an action-packed itinerary into the mix and the northern-most area of the world becomes an enviable vacation destination.
Many travel companies now specialize in adventure vacations in various Nordic countries.
Often called ‘arctic safaris,’ these expeditions allow travellers to combine a number of activities, such as dog sledding, whale watching, and viewing the Northern Lights, giving them a chance to map out their ideal guided excursion.
“Luxury travel in the Nordic is growing rapidly and we’re here to tell the story of nature in the area,” says Janne Honkanen, founder and CEO of the Finland-based Luxury Action travel company.
The arctic safaris cost roughly $4,500 to $111,170 depending on the activities participants choose and the amount of time the stay in the area.
See some of the coolest parts of the arctic excursions offered by Luxury Action below:
Welcome to the arctic circle, the area that consists of the five most northern latitude circles on earth. In January, temperatures can reach -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
But the beautiful views, like the Northern Lights, make the weather worthwhile. Travel companies take advantage of the Nordic's extraordinary features and host arctic safari travel expeditions.
In Finland, travel company Luxury Action uses its private terminal at the Rovaniemi Airport to pick up travellers in a fleet of black SUVs.
Once in the wilderness, guests can take snowmobile tours. In order to enjoy the outdoors while remaining warm, Luxury Action founder Janne Honkanen says travellers can borrow thermal clothing sets designed specifically for the freezing temperatures.
Then, they can catch some shut eye in a luxury teepee, complete with furs, candles, and, of course, champagne. 'You basically have a hotel room built in the middle of nowhere,' Honkanen says.
If a tent isn't your thing, they also offer igloo-shaped quarters in the middle of the wilderness, too.
Around the holidays, Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights, become a more frequent spectacle for visitors to see.
Vesa Rouvila, Luxury Action's wilderness guide, suggests travellers go whale watching. 'When you sit on a tiny boat, and a huge whale swims by you, it is kind of a speechless moment,' he says. Travellers may also see reindeer, arctic foxes, and wolves during their safaris.
'Most people think that the Arctic is really, really dark and really, really cold,' says Honkanen. 'But what they don't realise is that if they come around May, we have 24 hours of sunshine.' In fact, the arctic area experiences eight different seasons, rather than four like most other parts of the world.
The travel company gets its organic food from local farmers and hires a chef to cook Nordic cuisine like freshly baked bread and cheese, smoked salmon, and root vegetables for guests. 'We often have dining outside under the stars and with an open fire,' Honkanen says.
'Arctic Lapland has the cleanest air and crystal clear water, so we don't need to go to the market to find good ingredients,' Honkanen says.
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