An unforgettable excursion in Lapland is a visit to Kemi and a cruise on the majestic Icebreaker Sampo. The union and collision of sea ice and steel is a thrilling experience which won’t be soon forgotten, as you sail stretches of Finnish Lapland along the Gulf of Bothnia.
The Sampo was the Finnish government’s former icebreaker vessel, and has been operational for fifty years. The icebreaker ploughed through the thick sea ice of the Gulf of Bothnia, to open routes for trade vessels for a quarter of a century from the early 1960s, before it came to its permanent home as a tourist attraction in Kemi in 1987.
The Sampo fast became a popular tourist attraction for both locals and visitors. Today it is the only icebreaker in the world that operates specifically for tourism. Not only do visitors to the Sampo get to experience the icebreaker in action as it crushes through the Baltic ice; they also tour the ship, seeing the facilities from engine room to the captain’s bridge, and even have the opportunity to take a dip in the frozen Baltic Sea itself!
Those who choose to participate in this fully voluntary experience will be suited up for survival. The suits are warm and impermeable, so despite the icy waters, swimmers will not feel the chill.
There are a range of cruise options on the Sampo: a day cruise (four hours in the afternoon) which includes a three course lunch onboard; a brunch cruise (four hours in the morning), which includes a delicious brunch and the opportunity to watch the Arctic sunrise; an afternoon cruise (four hours) for either twilight or the “blue moment”, depending on the season, with lunch served; or an evening cruise to experience the Arctic stars and the Northern Lights. Dinner is served.
Each cruise participant is honoured by the captain with a Sampo Icebreaker Certificate.
Not only is the Sampo a once in a lifetime, thrilling experience, but the town of Kemi is a charming place to visit in its own right. With its waterfront location on the Gulf of Bothnia, it has much to interest visitors: old storehouses, summer cafes and restaurants, Meripuisto Park, the Guest Marina, friendly locals, the Snow Castle, and myriad winter activities nearby, why not stay a few days?
Contact Scandi Travel today to have us help you plan your Lapland trip with a visit to Kemi and a cruise on the Sampo. We are the premier tour company in the Baltic!