What do I need to know and consider before I book?
How do I check availability and make a reservation?
1. Checking availability: Over the phone on 01865 265200, online at www.transun.co.uk or with your local travel agents.
2. Confirm reservation: We will require forenames, surnames and dates of birth for all persons travelling. We will also request contact details of someone that can be contacted in case of emergency and also details of your insurer if you decline our insurance. A deposit will be required or, if you book within ten weeks of departure, full payment. Payment can be made via credit* or debit card. (*For payments made direct via credit card, there is a 3% transaction fee. Other travel agents’ charges may vary.)
3. Confirmation: A confirmation invoice will be sent via email. Please check all details carefully and advise us of any discrepancies within seven days. Any changes made after this will incur an amendment fee.
4. Tickets/Travel Documents: Travel documents will be sent approx. seven days prior to departure, where possible via email. You no longer require physical tickets to travel.
What insurance do I require?
We recommend the insurance offered in this brochure. If you choose to obtain other insurance cover, it is essential that your policy covers you for ‘winter sports’, including snowmobiles and huskies. For more information on insurance, see page 43.
I know it can get cold in Lapland but how cold?
Temperatures rarely rise above freezing temperatures usually ranging between -7C and -35C. You will need a series of base layers under your thermal suit. Those needing thermal suits outside the usual children’s sizes and adult small/medium/large range are recommended to buy their own before travelling, to avoid disappointment with the limited sizes.
How much daylight will there be from November to April?
There are four to five hours of daylight on average in December and January. This is called ‘grey light’ in Finland and is usually between the hours of 1000 and 1430. Either side of these times, it will be as night-time. Snow ensures a good level of reflection making it possible to see where you are walking. The darkness adds to the magical setting of your surroundings and is often emphasised by using the light of fires and outdoor candles (where appropriate). Some wilderness locations may be without artificial light. In February the days are longer and by March there will be approx. ten to twelve hours of day light.
What is the time difference?
Finland is two hours ahead of the UK whilst Sweden and Norway are just one hour ahead.
Will I be safe in Lapland?
The local operators are experienced and safety conscious and their equipment complies with local safety standards. To keep safe, you must ensure you follow the safety instructions given by our guides before commencing activities and exercise caution. And please remember that the animal rides are traditional and authentic and use untamed animals. Rides are taken at your own risk, although that risk is very small. Parents and guardians are responsible for the supervision of their own children and those within their party at all times. For all snowmobile activities you will require be required to sign a disclaimer which carries an excess of E550 in the event of damage to the machines. No one should travel without insurance.
How much snow can I expect?
Snow falls in Lapland between October and May and it is common to find thick snow cover throughout the winter. However, it is also possible that there may be a period of warmer weather, especially given the effects of global warming, which may cause the snow and ice to melt before the next snowfall.
What happens to my activities if there is not enough snow or it is extremely cold?
If there are insufficient levels of snow or ice for activities to operate upon the day of participation, then our suppliers will move all activities to a position where snow is available, adjust tracks accordingly so a modified activity programme can operate or provide alternative activities that are not reliant on snow and ice. Because it is possible that snow will fall just the night prior to one of our planned trips, Transun will not cancel trips nor refund payments in the event of no snow on the day and will endeavour to arrange all activities to replicate those planned. In cases where an exact replica is not possible a suitable alternative will be offered. Where this happens no refunds will be made.
All activities are arranged subject to local weather conditions, which are outside of our control. Should temperatures reach an extreme, then modified programmes will operate. We reserve the right to amend or cancel any part of tours or safaris if our suppliers or we consider that conditions are unsafe.
The provision of igloos and an ice bar is wholly reliant on the appropriate weather conditions being available for construction and safe use. Transun does not accept any liability for these facilities not being provided.
I have a dietary requirement: can this be catered for?
It is recommended that passengers with special requests including nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, diabetic etc. carry supplies of foodstuffs. For any dietary requirements, you must advise us at the time of booking and we will pass this request on to the relevant supplier who will endeavour to fulfil your requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed.
How accurate is this brochure?
Details within this brochure are correct at the time of going to press. All excursions and itineraries are subject to alteration and withdrawal in response to local conditions, timings and demand. We cannot accept any liability for opening times of places of interest during your visit. All breaks are subject to Transun’s Terms and Conditions and Frequently Asked Questions. Prices are subject to change and are confirmed at the time of booking. Throughout this brochure ‘child’ prices etc. refer to all children aged 2 to 12 years inclusive, unless stated otherwise. Please note that we do not recommend our Arctic Spirit breaks for children under 10 years.
Are the photographs in this brochure genuine?
Many of the photographs in this brochure were taken during our 2010 and 2011 season. However, we have also included other photography for the purposes of illustration. We can not guarantee that the exact scenes will be replicated.
Is the trip suitable for disabled, elderly or severely ill visitors?
We cannot provide any special assistance or care and we do not have specially-made vehicles nor adapted sleighs etc to offer specialist facilities to those who need them. While our staff have always done their best to help, they do not have specialist training in care for the disabled, so we strongly recommend that specialist carers who are experienced in providing expert help (lifting, etc) accompany any disabled travellers.
Physically challenged visitors are advised to discuss needs with our staff before making a reservation. Please note that acceptance of your booking by us does not mean that your needs will be met.
The flight time is approx. 3.5hrs. Flight plans may change before departure and we reserve the right to substitute alternative carriers and/or aircraft types where necessary. All flight times are provisional until confirmed on your tickets. Where this situation arises, it is not possible to transfer to another short break or cancel without incurring normal cancellation charges (see booking conditions). Airline regulations vary but many will refuse permission to fly for women who will be 28 or more weeks into pregnancy. In-flight meals will be provided to all passengers departing during November and December. For all other passengers, a buy on board catering service will be available. Please note that on some occasions, flights may touchdown enroute at a regional airport within the UK to collect additional passengers. If this is applicable to your flight it will be detailed on your confirmation documents. You will not be required to leave the aircraft during your outbound flight, however, due to UK aviation law, if this touchdown affects your inbound flight we will ask you to disembark the aircraft, pass through security and re-board. This is a simple process and takes up to one hour.
The checked-in allowance on all flights is 18kg per person. Sometimes specific airline’s allowances can vary so please check your departure documents to confirm. The allowance for hand luggage is 5kg per person and size restrictions apply – 55x40x20cm.
What clothing do I need?
We provide you with an all-in-one thermal suit and boots on arrival on all of our trips. It is also essential that you bring a warm hat, scarf and gloves. We recommend that you visit the mybooking area of the Transun website (www.transun.co.uk/my-booking) for further details regarding clothing. Please note that exceptional sizes may not be available. Those needing thermal suits outside the usual children’s sizes and adult small/medium/ large range are recommended to buy their own, before travelling. Minimum child sizes: 90cm suit and 25/26 boots. Maximum adult sizes: 48” chest and 47/48 boots.
The following guidelines are, in our opinion, a minimum requirement to ensure maximum comfort and enjoyment during your tour:
• Layer One: Thermal underwear or long-sleeved top and leggings, woollen tights, socks.
• Layer Two: Fleece or jumper and trousers (cotton or fleece i.e. jogging bottoms), woollen socks.
• Top Layer: Balaclava, hat, scarf, all-in-one suit (provided), gloves or mittens, boots (provided).
When choosing your clothing, we recommend you:
• Take lots of extra gloves, socks and scarves.
• Wear lots of thin loose fitting layers so you can add or remove layers as required.
• Avoid denim and other restrictive clothing, the best insulation is provided from wool.
• Select a hat similar to a balaclava or one that has flaps that can be fastened to cover your ears.
• Wear thermal boots too big which allows for extra socks.
• Wear a pair of thin gloves under a thicker pair.
• Use hot pads, which you insert into your gloves and boots, and provides useful protection against the cold.
• Avoid water-based creams or balms on your face, lips and hands.
• The temperature can drop rapidly so always ensure you have hats, scarves and gloves with you.
• If your hands or feet get wet whilst on activities, change into a dry pair of socks/gloves.
• Mittens are better than gloves as they allow warm air to circulate between your fingers.
Can I buy duty free?
Finland is part of the EU and therefore you are no longer able to purchase duty-free goods when travelling to Lapland.
What should I wear on the flight?
You do not need to wear too many layers for the flight to Lapland. You will be either on the flight, in the airport or on the transfer coach. The only times you will be facing the elements is the very short walk between the arrival lounge in Kiruna/Enontekio and the transfer coach. Wear whatever you are comfortable in and have a warm outer layer ready for if you get cold. Ensure you have a warm coat and suitable footwear for the short period of time you will be outside before collecting your thermal clothing – ie. from the plane, into the airport, and into the coach.
On arrival at the airport in Lapland
After you have collected your luggage you will be met by one of our local representatives who will direct you to your warm transfer coach which will be waiting for you. You will also be given your full itinerary on arrival.
Transfer times can vary according to weather conditions but as a guide the transfer time from Kiruna airport to Karesuando is 2 hours and from Enontekio is just 1 hour. Transfers from Karesuando to Tromso is approximately 3.5 hours.
Health & medical care
Finland has reciprocal health care agreements with the UK. This entitles you to emergency medical treatment and to prove eligibility for this treatment you only require a British Passport. Non-British nationals should obtain an EHIC. Clients who have special diets or are taking regular drugs for heart conditions, diabetes, etc, should ensure that they have ample supply, which should be carried with them at all times as well as required foods.
A full, valid EU passport (period of validity is dependent on country) to travel to Lapland is required. Please note that children who are not already included on an existing full passport are now required to hold their own passport. Non-British citizens should enquire at the Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish Embassy.
What can I expect in Lapland?
Will I see the Northern Lights?
The Northern lights is a natural phenomenon which is dependent on a number of natural events combining to produce the appropriate conditions. All of our breaks take place in an area which has been officially designated as part of the Northern Lights route. We make every attempt to take excursions to areas where there is little light pollution or to vantage points from which a large portion of the sky can be seen. However, we can not guarantee a sighting of the Northern Lights.
Can anyone drive a snowmobile?
Please ensure you bring your driving licence with you. A damage waiver must be signed before commencing the activity. Credit card copies are taken and a 550 Euros excess is payable locally for any damage, irrespective of severity. Normal traffic laws apply on snowmobile routes, including restrictions on driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. Safety helmets must be worn at all times. (Please note this is not a definitive list of instructions and liabilities, further information is available upon request). All children under 15 will travel in a sleigh pulled by the guide’s snowmobile.
How easy is it to ‘mush’ a husky team or drive a snowmobile?
‘Mushing’ a dog team is reasonably straightforward and is mastered by most people quickly. A certain degree of physical strength is needed as well as a sense of balance. It is not a strenuous activity although you should note that you will be required to stand up, on the two runners at the rear of a sled, for the duration of your excursion. In the case of overnight expeditions, a reasonable level of physical fitness is required to cope with the cold and the longer time standing controlling the dogs. In some cases, where track conditions are particularly harsh, you may be required to help the dogs by removing your weight and pushing the sled through deep snow.
Driving a snowmobile is easy. All snowmobiles are fully automatic and do not require any expertise or previous experience. In the case of overnight expeditions, a certain level of physical fitness is required to maintain composure against the cold and driving posture.
Towels are provided in all accommodation for the duration of your stay and housekeeping will change these at your request. Linen will not be changed during your stay.
A small selection of locally produced souvenirs can be purchased in resort for a memento of your special Arctic break, or as a present for loved ones back home.
Check in/out times
Rooms will be ready upon arrival, on your day of departure, check out is normally 9am. This will be confirmed during your stay. Luggage will be stored in a communal area and you are advised to take all valuables with you.
What are the hotel ratings and are they suitable for everyone?
There is no official rating for the properties in Finland and therefore you will not find any within our brochure. Additional beds provided may be sofa or portable beds. The operation and supervision of overseas property, accommodation, transport and other services is subject to local laws, standards and codes of practice of individual countries.
What is the food like?
Given the remote nature of the location, fresh fruit and vegetables are less plentiful than in the UK. Dishes that might make up a typical menu include:
- Starters - spinach, cheese, tomato soup.
- Main Courses - frankfurters in sauce, meatballs, fried fish fillet, beef stew, roast pork.
- Desserts - berry pudding, apricot dessert, pancakes.
(All other items are at extra cost).
It is often possible to sample local dishes, such as reindeer meat and poached salmon however these are not guaranteed.
Making a booking
How do I check availability and make a reservation?
You can check availability in real time on this website. To book select your preferred departure date on the appropriate tour/holiday page and then you can work your way through our easy-to-use online booking process. Alternatively, you can call us on the number at the top of this page, or visit your travel agent.
Book with confidence
How accurate are the itineraries on this website?
Information on this website is correct to the best of our knowledge. Departure dates and prices are feed directly from our reservations system, and is constantly updated. All excursions and itineraries are subject to alteration and withdrawal in response to local conditions, timings and demand.
How do I know that my holiday is in safe hands?
We are a member of ABTA and so we are required to meet the high standard of service laid out in their Code of Conduct. For more information, see the Book with Confidence section of our website.
All our holidays are ATOL protected, which means that your money is safe even in the very unlikely event of our insolvency. For more information, see Book with Confidence section of our website.
After you’ve booked
What will happen after I’ve booked?
Once you’ve booked, we will email immediately email you a confirmation invoice. Please check all details carefully and advise us of any discrepancies within twenty four hours of receipt. Any changes made after this will incur an amendment fee.
You will also access to the My Booking portal on our website, where you can update your Advance Passenger Information, make a balance payment on your booking, and check your documentation.
Once I’ve booked, can I make a change to my booking?
Requests for changes to confirmed bookings should be made by the person who made the booking. Where we can meet a request, all changes will be subject to any applicable rate changes or extra costs incurred as well as any costs incurred by ourselves and any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers. Amendment costs are £25 per person per change plus any other supplier charges. Changes include (but are not limited to): holiday package, accommodation, passenger names, dates of birth.
Can I cancel my booking after I’ve booked?
If you or a member of your party wishes to cancel your booking, notice of your cancellation must be received by us in writing at our offices signed by the person who made the original booking. Your notice of cancellation will only take effect on the day it is received in writing at our offices. We recommend that you use recorded delivery, upon receipt of which the following cancellation charges will apply:
* More than 70 days: deposit only
* 29-70 days: 50%, or deposit if greater
* 15-28 days: 70% or deposit if greater
* 14 days or later: 100%
Cancellation charge shown as % of total break price, excluding insurance premium. Insurance premiums purchased with Transun are not refundable.
You may be able to make a claim to recover the cost of your holiday, if your cancellation falls within the terms of the insurance policy offered with your Transun break. Clients taking alternative travel insurance should refer to their own policy.
After you’ve travelled
What happens if I want to make a complaint?
If you’re not completely satisfied with your holiday, then please do let us know.
If you have a problem during your holiday, please inform the relevant supplier (eg the hotelier) and our local agent or representative immediately, and fill out a complaint form. We need you to follow this procedure, otherwise we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify your complaint while you are overseas and this may affect your rights under the terms of your holiday contract with us.
If the problem is not resolved locally, and you would like to make an official complaint, please write to us within 28 days of your return home, addressing Client Relations at Transun Travel, 1a Iffley Road, Oxford OX1 4AS.