Questions that people frequently ask me
I am asked a lot of questions about Lapland and about the trips to come and see me. I have set out below the most frequent questions asked, along with some important information that you might find useful before you start your magical journey to visit me in Lapland.
Are the meetings with me private for each family?
Yes is the answer! This is a very special time, just for your family, and my special snowmobile driver and helpers will help you to find my hidden log-cabin in the woods. I know some other companies just don’t allow enough time for this, but I promise that on these, my own special trips, you are absolutely guaranteed your private family meeting with me!
Are my trips suitable for grandparents?
Yes, absolutely! Many grandparents come to see me every year and they have tremendous fun, not to mention the simple joy of being with the grandchildren in such a magically special place! Don’t forget my special Grandparents’ Bonus on page 5!
What happens with the children’s letters to me?
My festive friends at Esprit will send out full details to you with my special writing paper for the children – all this is supplied with your pre-departure information.
Is there time to buy souvenirs?
Yes – you can see on the itineraries that there is plenty of free ‘fun-time’. Saariselkä has several small souvenir shops and two supermarkets for purchasing traditional Lappish goodies, and Ivalo Airport also has a small selection of souvenir shops.
When do the pre-booked Optional Magical Adventures operate?
Usually on the afternoon / early evening of the main activity day, or on departure morning, depending on the activity and availability, and of course on the ‘Adventures Galore’ day on my Santa’s Spectacular 4-day breaks. Although you can sometimes also book these in resort, pre-booking in advance in the UK is cheaper, and is the only way to guarantee your reservation, as places fill up fast! See page 20 for details.
Are activity vouchers issued?
No, there is no need, as all the detailed information is passed on directly to my helpers in Saariselkä for your convenience.
What is the best thing to wear?
My home is above the Arctic Circle, so the right clothing makes all the difference in keeping you and your children warm, happy and having fun. I have arranged for each of you to have a complimentary thermal outer-suit for your stay, along with cosy woollen socks, snow-boots, outer gloves and hats, all free of charge. I recommend you also bring additional mittens or gloves (ideally waterproof ones for children’s snow play) to be worn next to the skin, and balaclavas or scarves to cover your face if necessary. Hats should have flaps or be able to be pulled down to cover your ears. Several layers are far more insulating than one or two thick items, so the best bet is thermal undies, shirt or roll-neck fleece and a jacket/anorak under your suit when outdoors.
What if an extra-large thermal suit or boots are needed?
No problem, I have all sizes – but please mention this when you book, so I can put one aside for when you arrive in resort.
Is there time to go downhill skiing?
Yes, but only on the ‘Adventures Galore’ day on my Santa’s Spectacular 4-day breaks.
What is the normal temperature in Lapland?
During December it is normally about -12°C, but can reach as low as -30°. These temperatures are perfectly manageable however with the thermal suits and boots I provide free of charge. My activity helpers reserve the right to amend itineraries if weather conditions dictate.
How ‘commercialised’ is it?
Not at all! As you can imagine, I do not like these ‘Santa theme-park’ experiences. I want you to experience the true, traditional spirit of Christmas, set in the unspoilt wilderness of Lapland, where each family’s private meeting with me is much less commercialised for example than a department-store ‘grotto’ in the UK. This is why I live near Saariselkä, with its charming, unspoilt atmosphere and ‘winter wonderland’ feel, which creates a far more magical and Christmassy atmosphere than some larger resorts.
Do the Finnish speak English?
Yes, most people in Saariselkä speak English extremely well, like me!
How many of hours of daylight can we expect?
Approx. 4½ hrs in December, with approx 2-3 hours of ‘grey light’ either side, rather like twilight in the UK.
What currency is used in Lapland?
The Euro – and there is one cash-point machine in Saariselkä. If this is out of order however, there is nowhere else, so ensure you bring enough Euros with you! Major credit cards (except Amex) are accepted in hotels, most restaurants and for booking my ‘Optional Lapland Adventures’ locally.
What is the food like?
My Saariselkä hotels serve an extensive buffet breakfast, and a hearty breakfast is also provided in my Christmas Cabins. Lunch is provided on your ‘Search for Santa’ day and is a simple, sustaining meal rather than ‘Haute Cuisine’. Lunch is not included on arrival or departure days, or on your ‘Adventures Galore’ day on my Santa’s Spectacular 4-day breaks. Dinner in the hotels is generally buffet-style, and mostly offers a choice of international cuisine, some Lappish specialities and standard children’s options. My Christmas Cabins offer good home cooked food that I have chosen specially for you.
Does Lapland suit infants and toddlers?
I do not recommend these trips for infants under 2 years of age. Toddlers of 3-4 years generally love the excitement and magic of it all, but clearly will not be able to benefit from all of the activities.
How much luggage can be taken on the plane?
20 kilos per person, plus 5 kilos per person hand-luggage.
Is it worth bringing a camera?
Yes – as there will be so many magical moments to capture! However, extreme cold can adversely affect some cameras, so do check the manufacturers’ guidelines. Camera batteries also discharge very quickly in the cold, so bring plenty of spares! Also be aware of the ‘twilight’ times, when flash photography is necessary.
What are the Northern Lights and when can they be seen?
The ‘Aurora Borealis’, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, is a natural phenomenon caused by solar particles colliding with the earth’s magnetic field. As a natural event, no one can predict or guarantee their appearance during your stay. However, December is one of the best times to see them, and Saariselkä is an ideal location, being one of Lapland’s most northerly resorts. See page 20 for my ‘Northern Lights Adventure’ evening snowmobile expedition!
Does my insurance cover everything?
All my included activities are fully covered for medical costs (up to the insurance limit). The snowmobile supplier’s insurance also covers damage to the snowmobile, (subject to a €500 excess). for more insurance details click here.
Is there a swimming pool?
Yes, there is a superb swimming-pool in the Hotel Holiday Club in Saariselkä (for photo click here), complete with water-slide, waves, water-chutes, two whirlpool spa-baths, an upstream ‘river’, children’s pool and pool-bar! It is free for Holiday Club guests, and offers a special reduced rate, payable locally, for my other guests staying elsewhere.
What is the time difference in Lapland?
Lapland is 2 hours ahead of UK time in December (i.e. GMT + 2).