Visit Sweden 1 December 2009
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010, the ICEHOTEL has a selection of special celebrations planned for the 2009 - 2010 season, as well as introducing special deals for single travellers. Discover the World offers many holiday options to the region and this season launches a brand new Northern Lights tour which costs from £994pp including flights, three nights accommodation on a b&b basis and transfers. So why wait?
Occupying the country's northernmost territories, Swedish Lapland is home to fewer than 5% of the country's population and comprises unpolluted coast, mountains, rivers and forests. With Discover the World's exclusive direct flight between Heathrow and Kiruna, Swedish Lapland is only 3 ½ hours away and easily accessible for a short winter break.
New Northern Lights (Abisko) Trip
A new offering from Discover The World for the 2009 - 2010 season, this tantalising short break offers a superb chance of witnessing one of nature's most incredible phenomena from a mountain base in the heart of Swedish Lapland. The Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis, are formed when electrically charged particles are thrust into the earth´s magnetic field at great speed, propelled by solar winds. Winter is the best time to experience them dancing across the velvet black polar skies - considered by many as one of the most beautiful, spectacular and dramatic sights to be seen on this planet.
The Abisko Mountain Station is situated within Abisko National Park, regarded as one of the best places in the world to observe the Northern Lights, due to its clear air and virtually cloud-free sky. A natural occurrence in the behaviour of the prevailing winds in the area means that cloud rarely forms, keeping the skies clear.
What's more, the 2009/10 season is the perfect time to go as it is set to mark the beginning of an ‘Age of Aurora'. The sun works in cycles of magnetic activity and the next high point is due to start this season, so there will be more sunspots and the solar wind will be more powerful than usual, making the Northern Lights more regular occurrence. Discover The World's exciting trip includes one night at the Abisko Mountain Station and an excursion to the Aurora Sky Station by chairlift where you can peruse the aurora exhibit, relax in the cosy café and hopefully observe the Northern Lights for yourself. The following two nights are spent at the ICEHOTEL including one night in a Snow Room. This-three night break is available from December through to March and costs from £994 per person.
ICEHOTEL celebrates 20th anniversary
Most of Discover the World's packages to the region incorporate the famous ICEHOTEL - the world's first hotel made entirely of ice, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2010. Artists from around the world started visiting Jukkasjärvi in Swedish Lapland in 1996 to help build the ICEHOTEL, and around 500 artists have visited since. A further 39 artists, aged between 30-70, will travel there this November to create art suites in the ICEHOTEL for the twentieth time. This year's hotel will feature 62 rooms and will cover an area of 5,500 square meters.
The birthday celebrations will kick-start with a New Year's Eve party to ring in the Jubilee year. During the evening, an unusual 'tractor ballet' involving three 'dancing' tractors will be performed on the ICEHOTEL stage on the Torne River. Throughout the whole season, the local Sami theatre group will give performances on the stage whilst a Jubilee menu will be served at the ICEHOTEL Restaurant - more details can be found at the ICEHOTEL website www.icehotel.com.
New this season at ICEHOTEL, single travellers can now save on stays by opting to share with another single (same sex) traveller. This offer is valid for the ICEHOTEL Break and Christmas at the ICEHOTEL trips only and includes an upgrade to an Art Suite or a (two-bedroom) Northern Lights Chalet. The Northern Lights Chalets have a single room and a double room with skylights, so travellers would just share the bathroom and lounge areas. Art Suites are larger than standard Snow Rooms and individual sleeping bags are provided, but the ice bed would be shared. Three night breaks start from £936 per person including flights and transfers. For more information visit www.discoverlapland.co.uk.
Other activities on offer this season
Adrenalin seekers will delight in a trip to Swedish Lapland, thanks to a wide variety of activities on offer. Choose from a moose safari on traditional Icelandic horses through the picturesque forests of Lapland (£81 for six hours) or a Northern Lights tour on horseback (£90 for four hours). Alternatively, enjoy a starlit dinner at the wilderness camp with a guided tour of the Esrange Space Center (£180 for four hours) or try to make your own ice sculpture (£52 for three hours). These activities are all in addition to the popular favourites such as snowmobiling, snow-shoeing and husky sledging over the arctic landscape.
Launched last season, Discover the World's ‘Taster of Saab Ice Driving' excursion is the ultimate adventure, offering the opportunity to experience extreme driving, whilst having fun! The four-hour excursion is available from £256 as a driver or £99 as a passenger, with a maximum of ten participants. Each participant has manoeuvring tests on the ice in a Saab 9-3 Sport combi (4WD) with a qualified instructor before taking it in turns to speed round the track at speeds of up to 100km/hr. While waiting for their turn the other participants can enjoy coffee and cakes in traditional Sami-style tents, before everyone heads out to take part in a timed rally race on the ice at the end of the day.
For more information or to book Discover the World holidays to Swedish Lapland
call 01737 218 801 or visit www.discoverlapland.co.uk
For more information on Sweden go to www.visitsweden.com
for Visit Sweden Winter 2010
The cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg hosted a Swedish Design Doctor pop-up at Westfield and bgb was tasked with raising awareness online of the pop-up, driving traffic to the Swedish Cities website and creating buzz around designated keywords.