Lapland - which tour operator?

(17 Posts)
MellowYellowWag Wed 06-Nov-13 11:59:43

Sorry I know there have been several threads about Lapland Santa holidays. I can't find which companies do a private meeting with Santa and which you just meet him at a Gala Dinner etc.
If you have been, which operator would you recommend? What was included? What did you have to pay extra for?
We are looking at Saariselka

MellowYellowWag Wed 06-Nov-13 13:27:15

Shameless bump!

MellowYellowWag Wed 06-Nov-13 20:38:34

Anybody?? I hate talking to myself

homework Thu 07-Nov-13 01:23:09

Most companies now do a private visit but best one we went with was canter berry travels , but there the most expensive out the lot and you don't get that much different than the others.

MellowYellowWag Thu 07-Nov-13 08:30:42

Thank you. I will have a look at their website

Hettyjones Fri 08-Nov-13 14:02:07

Look at esprit. I think their Christmas website is called Santa's Lapland or similar. I have two separate sets of friends who keep recommending how wonderful they were. Taken through the woods on a sleigh to meet FC if I remember. I will be looking for next year. I did look for this year but I'm now pregnant so on hold. Things that appealed to me was short transfer, lovely meeting with FC and great reviews from friends and on trip advisor.

But I haven't actually been myself so just going on friend's recommendations.

Hettyjones Fri 08-Nov-13 14:06:50

Oh, just noticed you are looking at Saariselka. I'm sure that's where Esprit go. The one we were recommended was the holiday hotel or holiday village or similar. It had a pool and friends said this was a godsend as dark mid afternoon so something to do with the kids. We did look as other operators but liked the fact that Esprit flew to a regional airport less than half hour from Saariselka whereas others flew yo main airport 2hours away.
So unless anything changes and the reviews dip dramatically between now and next year, I think we'll opt for them.

DH has taken each of our DC at appropriate ages with Canterbury (via Amex). They did different visits, but both 1 day trips and they both got to meet Santa one to one.

WallyBantersJunkBox Fri 08-Nov-13 14:22:08

Just be mindful that Canterbury can and will cancel if there aren't sufficient numbers for the trip.

This happened to a friend of mine last year.

She switched to Espirit and had a themed search for Santa and private meeting. You can do Sweden or Finland.

I booked independently for hotel and flights and had a private meeting with Santa at Joulukka. It's a specific winter woodland park where they have actors dressed as elves, and a secret underground station in the woods etc. it was fabulous and very memorable - especially when an Elf turned up at the hotel to meet us driving a mini bus. There was Elf school, cookie classes, a forest walk with hot chocolate stop and Santa's secret hidden base was very authentic.

www.joulukka.com/en/the-secret-of-joulukka

This was in Rovaniemi right on the Arctic circle in Finnish Lapland.

We stayed in wood cabins at the Santa Claus Holiday village.
It was commercial but Lots of activities indoors and out. And they were super friendly people there. We had our own sauna in the cabin which was great, and they were immaculate and peaceful.
www.santaclausholidayvillage.fi/apartments/

The Santa underground village is a few km away from here also, if it gets to cold to stay out, for an afternoon it is fine, but not a patch on the experience of Joulukka. The Santa looked so real my husband started crying. blush

Hettyjones Fri 08-Nov-13 14:35:53

I would also be very vary of Canterbury. When we researched the recent reviews were awful. I was disappointed as their brochure looked amazing but the reviews really put me off.

MellowYellowWag Fri 08-Nov-13 17:19:43

Gosh I had given up on this thread after such a slow start. Thank you all so much. Striking Canterbury off my list but definitely looking at Esprit.

MellowYellowWag Fri 08-Nov-13 17:21:53

Jouloukka looks amazing too! grin
Food for thought

homework Sat 09-Nov-13 01:15:00

It was around ten years ago now when we went with Canterbury travels , back then they where really good and less people interested in this sort of thing so not as many companies as now to look at . So they may have gone downhill since , sorry but at least it started your thread off for you

Kayl1476 Sat 09-Nov-13 18:00:04

We have booked with espirit and are off to saariselka on 30 November. They seem to have great reviews.

MellowYellowWag Sat 09-Nov-13 18:59:03

homework please don't apologise! I was really pleased to have a reply & it gave me a good starting point.
I think it has to be Esprit now. Have a great time Kay

SantasHelper2013 Fri 15-Nov-13 10:54:05

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sailorsgal Sat 16-Nov-13 15:18:56

we went with thomson to Yllas and it was fantastic. Private meeting with santa in the woods! I would love to go again!

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