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THE LAPLAND SERIES, DAY 11 & 12

ROVANIEMI – KEMI – POLAR EXPLORER ICEBREAKER TERMINAL – RUKA

The Polar Explorer Icebreaker, Sweden. Today was another travel day as we heading a few hours south to the seaside town of Kemi. I had chosen to stay at the Seaside Villas months before the trip but for whatever reason they had been fully booked on this date and only this date.

WELCOME TO SWEDEN, COUNTRY NUMBER 160

However with a bit of luck there was a last minute cancellation and we took the 3 rooms, hoping it would all live up to its expectation. The views (if it was ever bright enough to show you) are incredible and look out over the frozen Bothnia Bay (Baltic Sea). Unfortunately we weren’t able to check in until 4pm, several hours after sunset and left the following morning at 8am 🤣

WHERE IS THE POLAR EXPLORER ICEBREAKER?

The Polar Explorer Icebreaker

SNOW EXPERIENCE

The seaside villas are part of the snow experience complex which should have included a snow hotel (our first choice accom) and a snow castle. However, it was decided that these wouldn’t be built this year. You can’t win them all.

The day was spent going down the same sh*tty slide, hunting down a decent pizza and playing the new monopoly card game that’s actually a lot of fun!

The Polar Explorer Icebreaker, Sweden

DAILY INFO….

  • MILES COVERED – 242.3 miles
  • HOTEL – Seaside Glass Village, Kemi 7.5/10
  • RESTOS – Puistopaviljonki
  • ATTRACTIONS –
    Snow Experience 365
    Monopoly cards
    Polar Explorer Icebreaker
    Ice floating
  • MILES COVERED -331.7 miles
  • STEPS – 9,500 & 6,700

SWEDEN

Visiting the polar explorer took us across the border to country 160, Sweden. I am in two minds whether to call this a visit or not as it was literally half a day, mostly spent on a boat, not to mention I am super keen to still visit Stockholm to really tick it off the list!

The Polar Explorer Icebreaker, Sweden

FLAG….

  • BLUE – Represents justice, loyalty, truth, vigilance and perseverance.
  • GOLD – Is a representation of generosity.

THE POLAR EXPLORER ICEBREAKER

Like any typical guy, I like big machines that move and what more impressive than an icebreaker moving though a foot of ice in the Bothnia Sea. There are several options, one that was based within Kemi and saves you the extra miles but the Polar Explorer is the one you must do.

You are free to roam around the boat as much as you wish and it was super interesting, most notably the engine room and seeing the boat sail over the ice like it was nothing.

The Polar Explorer Icebreaker, Sweden

ICE FLOATING

Mum and dad haven’t shut up about having a dip in the ice lake in Saariselka (Click to read). I would go as far as saying they enjoyed telling the story but they both seemed to tell it like it was just a normal day for them. They both missed the fact they were screaming like baby girls. I don’t blame them but when they heard we would be ice floating during the cruise they soon quietened down.

It was actually broken to them while we were chatting to someone on the way home from yesterdays excursion. This lady had heard of it and said, “that’s the one you can swim on?” This is the reason I didn’t tell them about any activities until the day before. I had to make sure they didn’t pull a fast one!

The Polar Explorer Icebreaker, Sweden

  SWEDEN FACTS:
  • LANGUAGE – Swedish , or as they call it “Svenska.”
  • HELLO – “Hallå”
  • HOW TO CHEERS -“Skål!”
  • BEVERAGE OF CHOICE – “Glögg” red wine.
  • POPULAR SPORT – Ice hockey and football
  • STAPLE DIET – Potatoes

20 HOUR SUITS

Fortunately for them we would be dressed in dry suits and not one ounce of your body would touch the water. It was such a strange experience, knowing how cold the water is but yet being fairly cosy and extremely buoyant.

These ships are legally required to have these dry suits encase of an emergency and can keep you dry and warm for up to 20 hours. We spent 20 minutes prancing around and wouldn’t like to do an hour let alone 20!

SUMMED UP….

  • HIGHLIGHT – Ice floating
  • LOWLIGHT – Not being able to check in until 4pm (when its dark)

FINAL THOUGHTS

I expected to enjoy this but didn’t expect it to be one of the best experiences so far. Definitely worth the several hours drive from Rovaniemi.

Now it’s time to say bye to the others and to begin the last leg of the trip and the run in to the new year in Ruka. Here’s to another 4/5 hours on the road.

NEXT UP

Back into the cold water for some river floating 🤣!!! Click to read.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
160/229

This post was part of The Lapland Series. To view my Instagram highlights click here.
If you would rather read the rest of the series from the blog just click here.

Question Time

  • Have you been to Sweden?
  • What other suggestions do you have for when I revisit?
  • Have you driven in the snow?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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CHRISTMAS DAY IN LAPLAND
REINDEER YOGA, VENGEANCE & NYE

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