- Flights: return flights from London to Kajaani via Helsinki (flight routes subject to change
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 5 nights in double room. Upgrade to lake or hill view suites on request, subject to availability
- Meals: 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 5 dinners
- The following activities are included in the holiday: 12km husky safari, Northern Lights husky safari, 30km husky safari (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
- Winter clothing for duration
This holiday focuses on the delights of dog sledding. Based in a very comfortable hotel in the small ski village of Vuokatti, you will venture into the wilds of Finnish Lakeland on three safaris. We’ll get you eased in with an introductory 12km tour, chasing the Northern Lights during an evening safari, and you’ll end the holiday with a full day trip into the wilderness.
Dog sledding is an unforgettable experience and it is impossible not feel a sense of excitement and adventure as the dogs are being harnessed and leap around in eager anticipation of the trail. If the sleigh wasn’t anchored to the ground at the start, they’d be off in a shot.
The first time the anchor is released on your sled will be truly memorable as there will be no hanging around, the dogs will set off at a pretty pace and it always seems remarkably quick at first. They do soon settle down into a steady pace though and you relax into the journey and their excited howls are replaced with the sound of the sled’s runners on the snow.
Each of the safaris is designed to offer something different and to build on your skills. Full instruction will be provided of course and your expert guide will lead the way of each of the trips. The itinerary is designed to build your skills and confidence, culminating with your full day adventure.
In some cases, holidays which are more focused on dog sledding involve shared accommodation and a compromise on the comfort levels, but that is not the case here. Each night you will return to welcoming hotel accommodation where you can relax and enjoy your evening, relaxing in a sauna and dining in a very good restaurant.
Image credits: Vuokatti Safaris, Matt Robinson
Arrival and Welcome
On arrival at Kajaani Airport, you will be transferred to the ski village of Vuokatti, which is nestled amidst the forests and fells of the Finnish Lakeland.
After checking into the hotel your evening is free for you to settle in. The hotel has three saunas in which you can relax after your journey and you can then enjoy dinner in the impressive hotel restaurant.Included Meals: Dinner
Meet the Huskies and 12 km Safari
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to the husky kennels which are around 5km away. Your local guide will go over the itinerary for the coming days and you will be given your warm winter clothing, which you will keep for the duration of your stay.
After the briefing, you will be taken to meet the huskies, who will no doubt greet you with an assortment of excited howls. You will learn about the lives of these working sled dogs before your expert guide shows you how to harness the huskies and set up the sleds. Full instruction on how to control the team and sled will then be provided and then your adventure can begin.
The anchor on the sled will be released and you will set off on the trail, travelling two people per sled (you’ll have the chance to swap drivers). The first few 100 metres always feel lightning fast, but you soon settle into a steady pace and relax into the journey.
You’ll be able to enjoy the wilderness landscape in all its glory as you cover around 12km, breaking for a warm drink during the trip to soak up the atmosphere. This activity typically lasts around three hours.
Back at the hotel, the rest of your day is free for you to spend at leisure.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Free Time and Northern Lights Husky Safari
After breakfast, your day is your own. The sauna facilities and gym are at your disposal at the hotel, or we can arrange a variety of additional activities so you can experience other adventures during your stay. Snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice fishing are all available so please see the ‘Personalise’ section of the holiday page for more details.
As the light fades this afternoon, a completely new dog sledding experience awaits you as you head out under the cover of darkness in search of the Aurora Borealis. Travelling at night, with only the headlamps illuminating the forest is a thrilling experience.
After travelling across a frozen lake with unobstructed views of the night sky, you will stop at a yurt and keep warm by a cosy fire.
Here you will dine on a ‘musher’s burger’ (typically a reindeer burger – vegetarian options are available) as you keep watch on the sky for any sign of the Northern Lights.
During the tour, you can choose to either drive your own sled (2 people per team) or be driven by the guide whilst wrapped in a warm reindeer hide. The tour will last for approximately 4-5 hours.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
30 km Wilderness Trail
Today you will need a hearty breakfast ahead of your final and most adventurous safari; a 30km full day trip into the wilderness.
By now you should be confident in handling a sled and you can focus on enjoying the experience. You will get a sense of the true scale of this landscape as you explore with your own dedicated team.
During the tour, you will stop at a traditional Mongolian yurt where warm drinks and lunch will be served by the fire. The tour will last for approximately 5-6 hours and you will return to the hotel feeling like a seasoned musher.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today is free for you to simply relax after yesterday’s adventure or enjoy other experiences in the village.
Vuokatti has a selection of ski slopes for those who may want to enjoy some downhill action and it is also well known as a cross-country skiing destination (it even offers an indoor ski tunnel!). All equipment can be hired locally.
For those looking to enjoy guided winter activities we also have a number of options listed in the ‘Personalise’ section of the holiday page. These include sedate snowshoes, ice fishing, snowmobile tours and much more.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Today you will enjoy a final breakfast in Vuokatti before being transferred back to the airport with some great stories to tell and the title of ‘musher’ to add to your CV.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Snowmobile safari to Vuokatti hills
Vuokatti is situated against a backdrop of snow-covered hills and there are amazing views to be had from the top. This safari will see you ascend the slopes on snowmobiles during a thrilling safari on forest trails. Once at the top, the trees disperse and a wilderness winter landscape appears before you. Hot drinks and snacks are included.Read more
Full driving instruction will be provided and you will travel two people per snowmobile. The driver must be 18 years or older and hold a full driving license.
Duration: 2 hours (approx)
Minimum: 2 Pax
Image credits: Vuokatti Safaris
Snow and ice snowmobile safari
This snowmobile tour showcases the very best of Vuokatti and its surroundings. You will follow your guide up into the hills which offer stunning panoramic views. This region is known for its wealth of lakes and during the winter months these freeze, forming pristine snow-covered plains on which to drive your snowmobile. You will stop for hot drinks and snacks en-route. Full driving instruction will be provided and you will travel two people per snowmobile. The driver must be 18 years or older and hold a full driving licence.
Duration: 3 hours (approx)
Minimum: 4 Pax
Image credits: Vuokatti Safaris
Ice fishing and snowmobiling
This combined tour will begin at the safari centre in Vuokatti. You will follow an experienced fishing guide on snowmobile towards the frozen lake.
Ice fishing is a hugely popular pastime locally. It is slightly more labour intensive than normal fishing though as your first task is to drill a hole in the in order to get to the water below! You will then drop your line and wait patiently for a fish to bite.
Following your fishing experience, you will then hop back onto the snowmobiles and make your way back towards Vuokatti. Hot drinks and snacks are included. Full driving instruction will be provided and you will travel two people per snowmobile. The driver must be at least 18 years old and hold a full driving licence.
Duration: 2 hours (approx)
Minimum: 2 Pax
Image credit: Vuokatti Safaris
Snowshoeing is a perfect way to explore the snow-covered landscapes here as you are able to really appreciate and admire your surroundings in peace and quiet. The snowshoes also allow you to walk on deeper snow, meaning you can explore off the beaten trails with your guide. Venturing into the hills there will be spectacular landscapes to enjoy during this short hike.
Duration: 1.5 hours (approx)
Minimum: 2 Pax
Image credits: Vuokatti Safaris
Explore the pristine wilderness surrounding Vuokatti during this snowshoe tour. After a transfer into the hills, you will travel deep into the forest as your guide provides details on the surrounding nature and wildlife. You’ll walk in the deep snow, enjoying the silence of this winter landscape and keeping an eye out for local flora and fauna. Halfway, you will stop at a wooden cabin and assist your guide in making a fire before snacks and warm drinks are served. You will then hike back to Vuokatti.
Duration: 4 hours (approx)
Minimum: 4 Pax
For those looking to try something very Finnish then look no further than ice-bathing. The idea of jumping into a hole in a frozen lake can be quite intimidating, but it is actually really invigorating and you will be given a waterproof survival suit before you do it. It is an exhilarating feeling and the temperature in the water can actually be less cold than standing on the ice. In fact, the water is never below zero degrees as anything less than this would cause it to freeze solidly. This activity is great fun and very memorable.
Duration: 1 hour (approx)
Minimum: 4 people
Image credits: Vuokatti Safaris
Northern Lights chase by snowmobile
It is difficult not to feel a sense of adventure when you venture out into the dark winter night in search of the Aurora Borealis. Snowmobiling is a thrilling way to hunt the Northern Lights and, after full instruction, you will follow your guide to the trails to commence your hunt.
Away from the village, there is very little light pollution and your expert guide will use their local knowledge to determine which location offers the strongest Aurora potential.
Hot drinks and snacks are included. Full driving instruction will be provided and you will travel two people per snowmobile. The driver must be 18 years or older and hold a full driving licence.
Duration: 2 hours (approx)
Minimum: 2 Pax
Image credit: Vuokatti Safaris
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
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 a initial deposit of £400pp, 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. 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.
|Departure dates between|
Sun 12 Jan 2020Enquire
Fri 17 Jan 2020
Sun 19 Jan 2020Enquire
Fri 24 Jan 2020
Sun 08 Mar 2020Enquire
Fri 13 Mar 2020
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 in order to secure the best possible fares and flight times.
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 2 people; maximum 24 people
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.
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 in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page, the minimum age for participation in an Artisan holiday is typically 8 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
Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation.
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 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.
If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our Travel Experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.
Experience and fitness
Any activities included in your itinerary are all designed for beginners. Full instruction and tuition are provided for all activities and you do not need to have any previous experience. For example, you need never have set foot on a pair of skis of any kind before a cross-country ski tour. We have adults of all ages and fitness levels taking part in our holidays.
We do highlight certain itineraries where an increased level of fitness is required. If you have any questions at all with regards to fitness levels please get in touch and talk to one of our experts. You can find further details in our trip preparation section online. You must inform us at the time of booking if any of your party has a disability, medical or behavioural conditions which could affect their own participation in the holiday or indeed that of the other people on the holiday.
Guides and safety
It is essential when partaking in any activity that you listen very closely to, and abide by, the instructions provided. Nobody knows the environment better than our activity providers who work here almost every day.
Consequently, their knowledge and experience are unsurpassed. If there is anything that you are unsure of during a safety briefing or that you would like to clarify with the guides, please make this clear to them immediately before starting the activity.
There may be rare occasions when our guides consider local conditions unsuitable for a certain activity. Hence, your itinerary may be subject to change at short notice, but we will always endeavour to firstly find a replacement on the day and secondly, to provide the cancelled activity later in your stay whenever possible. Very occasionally it proves impossible to provide the activity in which case you will be refunded when you return home.
Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times, please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.
You must inform us of any medical conditions that may affect your participation in an activity at the time of booking.
Booking activities locally and equipment hire
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 order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival.
If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card. Please see your trip dossier for full details.
Travel Safety and 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 http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/ 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.
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.