Sunday, December 4, 6am: Arrive at Manchester for 8am Canterbury Travel Santa Santa special flight to Finnish Lapland. Staff are wearing reindeer antlers.
8am: During the three and a half-hour flight (Lapland is two hours ahead) Santa sends us a message over the tannoy that he ‘can’t wait to see us’!
1.30pm: We’ve arrived! It’s cold outside, -8C. It is the Arctic after all. So the thermal snow suits and boots, plus gloves and socks provided free, are so welcome. Inside the airport we meet our first elves who help us change into our warm gear, and we put our other clothes in a sack to leave in a storage tent. The 25-minute snowmobile trip takes us onto the frozen Lake Ounasjärvi. The scenery is spectacular.
2.30pm: Enjoyed a warm Finnish welcome and even warmer, delicious hot berry juice then we are taken on a secret, tree-lined path by snowmobile to a camp to meet an elf who took us along a candle-lit snowy path to the camp for the day and even more elves - to Sophia’s delight. Razzle and Marlow then take us up to Santa’s cabin. He is there to meet and greet us before our private audience. When it’s our turn to meet him, he offers Sophia to pull his beard to make sure it (and he) are real. He is. It was a warm and wonderful 15 minutes.
3pm: It’s already dark which makes the snow-covered paths lit by candlelight all the more enchanting. We return to the main resort. We enjoy a reindeer sleigh ride and a husky ride accompanied by Trixie the elf who points out the glimmer of northern lights in the distance.
4.30pm: Enjoyed lunch in the wood-built restaurant as elf Torie sang songs. Lots of fun and giggles.
5pm: We made for the snow castle, sat on ice seats and enjoyed the ice sculptures as we sipped more hot berry juice. More fun in the snow with the elves. Singing songs around the fire pits was a treat.
5:45pm: A look around the souvenir shops with lots of Christmas goodies. Reindeer hide anyone?
6pm: Sledging together set us off giggling again. There are also snowmobiles which children can drive.
7pm: Time to go home. In the coach back to the airport we enjoyed a sing-song with one of the elves and this continues on the plane home and we are all feeling so festive. As we fly over Lapland we are treated with a rare sighting of the dancing green lights of the Aurora Borealis. It’s like being in the perfect Christmas movie. A truly magical, unforgettable day. We’re tired but full of wonderful memories. Thank you Santa!
Tara was hosted by Canterbury Travel on a Canterbury Travel package. The lead-in price for 2023 for a family of four is £2,668 (UK departures). Enchanting Lapland includes flights, a two-course hot lunch, in-flight catering, snow suits and boots, snowmobile and sleigh transfer from the airport, unlimited husky and reindeer sleigh rides, tobogganing, adult and children’s snowmobiles, an Ice Igloo, Elves and a private meeting with Santa Claus. Departures from various regional airports.
Tel: 0800 270015