Best time to visit Finland

Icebreaker Cruise and Ice Floating in Finland

Take a cruise through the endless frozen sea on the icebreaker and try a dip in the frigid waters

Best time: December–April

Icebreaker Cruise and Ice Floating
Icebreaker Cruise and Ice Floating
Icebreaker Cruise and Ice Floating

A unique cruise on board of the massive icebreaker will let you explore the North like never before. Enjoy the frozen white sea everywhere around with only the sound of crashing ice to break the silence. Solid ice covers the sea for about 5 months out of the year.

In the beginning of winter the ice is 30-50 cm thick, but in April it can be up to 2 m thick. In Finland you can have a great chance to cruise and even take a dip in the icy waters. Visitors can walk on the frozen sea and even swim in the dark, freezing water among crushed ice.

You’ll be provided a special floatation survival suit, which will make you float so no need to even be able to swim. When you get into the water you’ll be amazed to feel it’s warmer than on the ice. A guided tour inside the giant ship may be interesting as well. An Arctic Icebreaker can take you to one of the most memorable trips of your life.

The most famous Sampo Icebreaker cruise departs from the north port of Kemi, on Bothnian Bay in the Finnish Lapland. There are also alternative icebreaker cruises in Swedish Lapland on the Polar Explorer boat.

Practical info

When is the best time to experience the Icebreaker cruise in Finland?

One can experience the Icebreaker cruise in Finland between December to April. The sea covers itself in around 2 meters of solid ice, creating an ideal setting for the unique cruise expedition. At the beginning of winter, the thickness may range around 30-50 cm, which grows later in the season as temperature drops. The breathtaking frozen sea view adds to the charm of the experience. Show more

Where does the Sampo Icebreaker cruise depart from?

The departure location of the Sampo Icebreaker cruise is the charming city of Kemi in the Finnish Lapland, situated on Bothnian Bay's north port. Travelers can reach Kemi from Helsinki through train or plane. Besides Sampo Icebreaker, Polar Explorer provides icebreaker cruises on the boat from Luleå, located in Swedish Lapland. Depending on the visitor's preference or availability, one can choose between the two alternatives. Show more

How thick can the ice cover the sea during the winter in Finland?

During winter, the sea can cover itself up to 2 meters thick by ice, making it an ideal time for an Icebreaker cruise in Finland. However, at the beginning of the winter, the ice thickness is around 30-50 cm, less than what it is during the peak season. The five-month long water freeze turns Bothnian Bay into an endless frozen sea, providing a perfect setting for the Icebreaker cruise and an unforgettable experience of ice floating. Show more

What special equipment is provided to visitors for a dip in the icy waters?

A flotation survival suit is made available to dip in the icy waters during the Ice floating experience to protect visitors from frigid temperatures. These suits provide thermal insulation keeping visitors warm in the freezing water, and could be used by people of all sizes without requiring swimming skills. The suits ensure the safety of visitors while also offering an adrenaline-rushing opportunity to float in icy waters. Show more

Are there alternative icebreaker cruises in Finnish Lapland besides the Sampo cruise?

In addition to the iconic Sampo Icebreaker cruise, there are alternative options for icebreaker cruises in Finnish Lapland. The Polar Explorer boat provides an excellent experience, just like Sampo, coupled with delicious food and drink options. The boat proceeds through Bothnian Bay archipelago, offering tourists a breathtaking experience. Considering the availability and location, visitors can decide between Sampo icebreaker and Polar Explorer as their preferred alternative icebreaker cruises in Finnish Lapland. Show more

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