Tree House Hotel

Best Hotels in Lapland to Stay in When You Go on an Icebreaker Cruise

The Icebreaker cruise has become a  “must do” activity in recent years, and an important part of the tour to Lapland for thousands of visitors.

The Polar Explorer Icebreaker is cruising the Northern part of the Bothnian Sea, not far from the border of Finland and Sweden.


ROVANIEMI – 168 km from Icebreaker (2 h 10 min drive)

The capital of Finnish Lapland – Rovaniemi – is world famous as the home of Santa Clause. Many other activities are available in winter in the city center or in the surrounding area. The busiest times are Christmas and New Year, though February and March also require early bookings to guarantee your tour.


Accommodation on Arctic Circle

in walking distance to icebreaker shuttle bus. Pick up location by Santa Claus Holiday Village:

Apukka resort – 9 min drive

Nova Skyland hotel – 100 m

Santa Claus Holiday Village – 0 m

Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle – 800 m

Snowman World – 200 m


Accommodation in Rovaniemi city center

in walking distance to icebreaker shuttle bus. Pick up location by Santa Claus Hotel:

Aakenus hotel – 800 m

Arctic City hotel – 250 m

Arctic Light hotel – 200 m

Arctic Snow Hotel and igloos – 23 min drive

Guesthouse Outa – 700 m

Lapland Hotels Ounasvaara Chalets –  3100 m (6 min drive)

Lapland Hotels Ounasvaara Sky – 3200 m (8 min drive)

Santa Claus hotel – 0 m

Santa’s hotel Rudolf – 750 m

Santasport resort and hostel – 2000 m (5 min drive)

Scandic Polar hotel – 170 m

Scandic Pohjanhovi hotel – 250 m

Scandic Rovaniemi hotel – 280 m

Sokos Vaakuna Rovaniemi hotel – 190 m

Vartiosaari the Aurora Island hotel – 12 min drive

Accommodation in walking distance to icebreaker shuttle bus.

Pick up location by Rovaniemi train station:

Guesthouse Borealis – 300 m


Accommodation in walking distance to icebreaker shuttle bus.

Pick up location by Arctic Tree House:

Arctic Tree House – 0 m

Hostel Ibedcity – 900 m


KEMI – 73 km from Icebreaker (1 h drive)

Kemi is a Southern town and airport in Finnish Lapland located on the shore of the Bothnian sea, only 30 km from the Swedish border. Many winter activities are available in the area from January to March.


Accommodation in Kemi city center in walking distance to icebreaker shuttle bus

Accommodation in city center in walking distance to icebreaker shuttle bus. Pick up location Scandic Kemi hotel:

Scandic Kemi


Accommodation in city center in walking distance to icebreaker shuttle bus. Pick up location Merihovi hotel:

Merihovi hotel – 0 m

Palomestari hotel – 190 m


Accommodation in city center in walking distance to icebreaker shuttle bus. Pick up location Kemi Snow Castle:

Seaside Villas – 0 m

Snow Castle


Accommodation in city center in walking distance to icebreaker shuttle bus. Pick up location Kemi train station:

Putiikkihotelli Kemi 1932 – 0 m

Villa Kemi hostel – 650 m

Yöpuu hotel – 10 min drive

TORNIO / HAPARANDA – 45 km from Icebreaker (40 min drive)

Tornio (Finland) and Haparanda (Sweden) are twin cities located on the Finnish-Swedish border. Despite a border splitting the two adjacent cities,  there is still a 1 h time difference on each side, two currencies (Euro and Swedish Krona), two languages (Finnish and Swedish) and two different administration systems for each country.  Of course, IKEA is located only on the Swedish-Hapanada side! Winter activities are available from December until April around the city.


Accommodation in Tornio / Haparanda city center in walking distance to icebreaker shuttle bus.

Pick up location Tornio/Haparanda bus station:

Park Inn hotel Tornio – 850 m

Mustaparta hotel Tornio – 450 m

Olof hotel Tornio – 700 m

River motel Haparanda – 1100 m

Svefi hostel Haparanda – 1200 m

Stadshotell Haparanda – 1300 m

Kukkolaforsen Village – 15 min drive


KALIX – 23 km from Icebreaker (25 min drive)

Kalix is a well-known town on the Northern shore of the Bothnian sea, with a reputation for culinary speciality. Only in Kalix can you try caviar called Kalixlöjrom with its special flavor. There is no Icebreaker shuttle bus pick up from Kalix, but car transport is cheap, around 350 Swedish Krona (35 €) one way per car.

Valhall hotel – 25 min drive

Lilla Grand hotel – 25 min drive

STF Kalix hostel – 21 min drive

The Mansion of Filipsborg – 25 min drive (transportation available also by snowmobiles)


FREVISÖREN – 4 km from Icebreaker (5 min drive)

The Frevisören wilderness camp offers accommodations and experiences for those who are seeking an adventure in Lapland. It features cozy high standard cabins, restaurant with local cuisine, safari departure from the door, wild Arctic nature and frozen endless sea. The Icebreaker is only a 5 min drive. Snowmobiles are also available as a means of transport for the once in a lifetime icebreaker cruise.

Arctic explorer

Top Things to do in Rovaniemi, Lapland

Rovaniemi is a capital of Lapland province, Finland, most famous as the alleged home of Santa Claus. While the city was almost completely destroyed during World War II, it has since been fully modernized.  A road trip to Lapland can be an excellent decision and Rovaniemi is a focal point for tourists. The following is a list of the best things to do in Lapland in the city of Rovaniemi.

#1 Husky Safari

A husky safari is not something that can be done anywhere, aside from certain regions with a low temperature. While zoos and theme parks are relatively easy to come by, a husky safari is a bit rarer. Anybody visiting Rovaniemi should consider a husky safari with Huskypoint or Bearhill Husky, for those looking for just a taste of safari there is a Husky Park available on Arctic Circle.

Entrance fees are often very reasonable, at 10 per adult and 5 per child. Safari price depends on it’s duration and vary between few tens of euros to few hundreds. Safaris are safe and suitable for families, with experienced workers and highly trained huskies.

#2 Santa Claus Village

While in Rovaniemi, the home of Santa Clause, it would be a shame not to drop in for a visit. Especially if you are travelling with children. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions and kids can meet Santa Claus in person. Santa Claus village is located 8 kilometers North of Rovaniemi on the arctic Circle and there are various kinds of accommodation available for tourists looking to stay. There are also a number of cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and tour companies operating in the region. Santa’s reindeer are also nearby. It is certainly one of the more family friendly things to do in Lapland.

#3 Arktikum Science Museum

The Arktikum Science Museum was established in 1992 and it is a little more conservative and scientific than the Santa Clause Village. It is a popular tourist destination and conference hall for meetings. Exhibitions at the Arktikum Science Museum include history, modern life, and culture in the Arctic region. For people who are interested in science, art, and culture, the museum is a great way to examine life in the area. It also has a café and library for visitors.

#4 Cross the Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle demarks a geographical region. It is the furthest north of five major circles of latitude on earth. Above the circle lies the arctic, and below it lies the Northern Temperate Zone. The position is not fixed but moves North 49 feet each year.

While so close to the Circle, it could be a good idea to cross it. You can officially say that you have crossed the Arctic Circle and spent at least some time in the Arctic. There are a large number of tour guides and companies which can take you across the circle on an excursion. Alternatively, you can choose to rent a vehicle and cross it with the help of an old fashioned map. Just make sure you are familiar with driving in Finland in cold conditions. Rovaniemi lies right on the cusp so it a focal point for people wishing to cross the Arctic Circle.

#5 Snowmobile Safari

While a husky safari can be a great experience, a snowmobile can be even better for those who like a sense of adventure. Snowmobiles are possibly one of the most popular attractions in Rovaniemi. A snowmobile safari adventure usually lasts between 2-6 hours and often features a look at some animals and local attractions. Mini-snowmobiling is also available for younger persons. Adults are required to have a motorcycle or driving license, though many are specialized for families with young children, where children can ride in a sleigh pulled by the tour guide.

#6 See the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are an awesome spectacle for those lucky enough to witness them. They are the result of collisions between electrically charged gas particles with vibrant sparkling hues of all colors. It can be a little difficult to witness the lights in action without some prior investigation and knowledge.

It is best to go in Spring or Winter to catch them, and you will also require clear skies. Obviously, you will need to be in a latitude where the Northern Lights occur. If a trip can be timed with a full moon, then the chances increase significantly. Thankfully, Lapland is one of the perfect places to view the Aurora Borealis, though it is never certain.

#7 Sleep in Snow Hotel

A snow hotel is a hotel built entirely from ice and snow. It is definitely an experience that should be tried out for all visitors. Many snow hotels are modern and luxurious. Glass igloos are also available. Many snow hotels display ice art and beds are entirely made of ice, though sleeping bags and reindeer fur will keep guests warm. Temperatures usually range from 0 to -5 degrees. It is often possible to visit the lobbies of ice hotels as a tourist without booking a room. If a bed made of ice is not for everyone, the warm glass igloo can accommodate clients with high demand. Observing the night sky with Aurora Borealis is directly from the own bed is a main advantage if staying in glass igloos.

#8 An Icebreaker Cruise

An icebreaker is essentially a giant ship that breaks ice apart. They can handle conditions unlike any other ship due to the way they have been designed. An icebreaker cruise can be a great way to explore the waters. It is possibly one of the best things to do in Lapland.

A Road Trip to Lapland?

Rovaniemi is an excellent tourist destination for multiple reasons and there are many things to do in the area. It has wonderful scenery, excellent food, and friendly people. An ice holiday is something different and visitors to the city will certainly not be stuck for something to pass the time. The best things to do in Lapland are often found in Rovaniemi.

Polar explorer Icebreaker

Polar Explorer Icebreaker guided tour


Welcome aboard! We are pleased to host you on the Polar Explorer icebreaker cruise and invite you to explore the 7 decks of this unique ship tour that will take you all the way down to the machine room and up to the captain’s bridge. During this tour you will discover and experience how the icebreaker operates and navigates through the ice-covered waters in rough Arctic and Antarctic seas.

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lapland attractions

Finnish Lapland – main attractions

Planning to visit Finnish Lapland? Be sure to take all the best from your trip. 

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A Remarkable Finnish City: Rovaniemi Attractions, Hotspots, and Historical Sites

Ever since its founding in 1453, the quaint and picturesque city of Rovaniemi has been growing, expanding, and staking its claim in the nation’s budding tourism sector; however, it’s important to note the city’s humble beginnings before investigating the present-day landscape.

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Icebreaker ship

Basic facts about Icebreaker Ships

An Icebreaker, as the name suggests, is a ship specifically designed to travel through ice-covered water, breaking the ice along the way and clearing a safe path for itself and other ships.  

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Icebreaker ship

How do Icebreaker Ships Work?

An Icebreaker ship is designed to enable people to sail through ice-covered waters, by breaking the ice blocks and creating a clear passage through the Arctic seas.

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Icebreaker ship

Where are Icebreakers Used?

Given their specific purpose of travelling through ice-covered waters, icebreaker ships are mostly used in the coldest areas of the globe, which include Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean.

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