Embrace Finland’s majestic beauty and Nordic charm on this seven-night, active journey! Explore vibrant Helsinki and indulge in the quintessentially Finnish tradition of a rejuvenating sauna. In northern Lapland, gaze at the awe-inspiring Northern Lights from your glass-domed cabin, plus enjoy a snowshoe trek by moonlight and a fast-paced dogsled ride across the pristine fjells. Learn about the heritage of Finland’s three Sámi cultures and see reindeer in the wild at a traditional reindeer farm. You’ll also tour the splendid old town of Tallinn, Estonia.
Depart your gateway city for Helsinki, Finland.
Arrive at Helsinki Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you. The meeting location will be provided with your final documents.
Transfer to Hotel U14, conveniently located in the city center near the harbor. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.
This afternoon, take a short stroll with your Travel Director to familiarize yourself with the area. Then get better acquainted with your fellow travelers at tonight’s Welcome Reception and Dinner in the hotel. Hotel U14 (D)
Settled since the Ice Age, Finland first appears in written sources sometime in the 12th century. Over the subsequent centuries, it was ruled by neighbors Sweden and Russia during different eras until it declared its independence in 1917. It was a Swedish king, Gustav Vasa, who established the city of Helsinki in 1550 on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland with an eye toward establishing trade along the Baltic Sea.
On your guided, scenic tour of Finland’s beautiful capital, take in eye-catching architecture that ranges from Neoclassical to contemporary. Along your route, visit green-domed Helsinki Cathedral, or Tuomiokirkko, built in 1852 by architect Carl Ludvig Engel, who designed several of Helsinki’s other grand Neoclassical buildings. Check out the sculptural, light-filled and inviting Oodi Library, popular with Finns since it opened in 2018, and the subterranean Temppeliaukion Church, better known as Rock Church, adorned with rough-hewn walls of natural granite. Choose a nice spot for lunch on your own before returning to the hotel for this afternoon’s lecture on Finnish Sauna Culture.
Then head out along Helsinki’s waterfront to Löyly Sauna, a sleek, modern sauna that serves as a tranquil oasis amid the urban landscape. During your visit, try different styles of saunas and soak up the soothing steam. Afterward, cool off outside on the large terrace, and if you’re game, take a bracing plunge into the Baltic Sea. Dinner is on your own. Hotel U14 (B)
After breakfast, board a ferry for the two-hour journey to Tallinn, Estonia, across the Gulf of Finland. Founded in the 12th century, Tallinn boasts an enchanting, medieval old town that’s one of the most impressively preserved in northern Europe. Its delightful Gothic and baroque churches, elegant spires and red-tile roofed buildings imbue this Baltic gem with a special romance. On a guided walk through this UNESCO World Heritage site, take in the charming, twin stone towers of Viru Gate that guard the entrance of the imposing, 14th-century town walls. In the bustling Raekoja plats, or Town Hall Square, admire the stately Gothic town hall, the only surviving one of its kind in northern Europe. Learn more about Tallinn’s landmarks and intriguing history from your guide while exploring its picturesque, winding cobblestone lanes.
Enjoy lunch on your own and a free afternoon sightseeing around the old town. Rejoin your group and embark the ferry for Helsinki. During your return journey, enjoy dinner on board. Hotel U14 (B,D)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and head to Helsinki Airport for your flight to Lapland. Land at Ivalo Airport and transfer to Saariselkä, where you’ll check in to the Northern Lights Village. The Village will provide thermal snowsuits, boots and mittens for all the outdoor activities in Lapland. Spend some time on your own to get settled in your cozy cabin and check out the lovely, snowy surroundings. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a delicious dinner in the Village’s restaurant.
Later tonight strap on snowshoes and venture off for an invigorating hike under a moonlit sky amid the stillness of the pristine forest and fjells. Follow your professional guide over gentle slopes to special vantage points for your chance to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. During the springtime months, an optimal time of year for viewing, they can be seen approximately every second night in northern Lapland, weather permitting. This amazing natural phenomenon is the result of collisions overhead. When electrically charged particles generated by the sun hit the molecules of the Earth’s upper atmosphere, they become excited. As these particles calm down, they emit the glowing, dancing green and violet lights we see as the Aurora.
Savor a refreshing break by a fire, complemented by toasty beverages, snacks and tales about the Northern Lights, before returning to the Village. Northern Lights Village (B,D)
Today visit the Sámi Museum Siida and delve into Finland’s three indigenous Sámi cultures, which are deeply intertwined with nature and the Arctic landscape. View exhibits related to the traditional livelihoods of reindeer herding, fishing and gathering as well as Sámi handicrafts, clothing and music. Learn about the three Sámi languages spoken in Finland: North Sámi, Inari Sámi and Skolt Sámi. With your guide, explore the outdoor area that includes more than 50 traditional structures, such as dwellings, dugouts, turf buildings and traps. Enjoy lunch at the museum.
Reindeer husbandry is an intrinsic part of Sámi culture, a custom that dates to the Middle Ages when the Sámi people first domesticated wild reindeer. Today, Lapland’s reindeer remain semi-wild, roaming the forests and fjells while local reindeer herders watch over them. At a farm owned by a Sámi family, ride through the countryside to see these beautiful animals, and chat with the reindeer herder about the herd and daily life over the seasons. Return to our hotel for dinner. Northern Lights Village (B,L,D)
Today you choose one of the following excursions.
- Husky Safari. You’re in charge as you drive a team of eager huskies on a fun, fast-paced and unforgettable journey across the snowy fjells! A professional driver will provide training. Then, you’ll lead the team of dogs in a sled that can accommodate two people. All the sled teams will follow the professional driver and will be accompanied by a second guide on a snowmobile. (Requires strong balance over a two-hour period.)
- Snowmobile Safari. Feel immersed in the wintery wilderness as you zip across powdery snowdrifts on a carefree and breathtaking ride! Your experienced guide will provide safety training and accompany you. Pause for great photos and a warm drink during your two-hour ride. Maximum of 12 participants. The Village will provide thermal snowsuits, boots and mittens for the ride.
Later today we hear a lecture about Finnish culture. For the sixth year in a row, Finland tops the World Happiness Report, which measures how people around the world evaluate the quality of their lives. Discover the reasons behind the Finns’ strong sense of well-being from a local expert. Then, follow her into the forest to learn how to bask in the splendor of the natural world and connect to it on a deeper level in true Finnish fashion. Northern Lights Village (B,L,D)
Spend the entire day pursuing your own passions! Delight in more of Lapland’s breathtaking scenery by taking advantage of the free cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals for Village guests. In addition, the Village offers many optional experiences (available at an additional cost). Take a cross-country skiing lesson, zip off on a snowmobile tour or travel by snowmobile to a secluded lake and try ice fishing. You might also choose to unwind in the resort’s sauna or stroll through the small village of Saariselkä.
Celebrate your amazing adventures in Finland with your fellow travelers at tonight’s Farewell Reception and Dinner. Northern Lights Village (B,L,D)
After breakfast, depart for the Ivalo Airport and fly to Helsinki. Connect in Helsinki to your international flights home.
Cost and Details
All prices quoted are based on double occupancy and do not include air transportation costs (unless otherwise stated).
Full Price Special Savings
Single accommodations are an additional $1,095.
Applicable taxes are an additional $395 per person.
Accommodations for 7 nights; Extensive Meal Program: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunches and 6 dinners, including Welcome and Farewell Dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, plus wine with dinner. Expert-led Enrichment programs enhance your insight into the region; A personal VOX headset to hear your guide clearly; gratuities for wait staff at any included meals, hotel porters.
Airport transfer costs for those not participating in AHI's FlexAir. Fees for passports and, if applicable, visas, entry/departure fees; gratuities for lodge housekeeping staff, train staff, and safari rangers and trackers; personal gratuities; laundry and dry cleaning; excursions, wines, liquors, mineral waters and meals not mentioned in this brochure under included features; travel insurance; all items of a strictly personal nature.
This active program is designed for people who are in good health and can comfortably participate in a demanding daily schedule of physical activities. The itinerary may feature full days of ongoing activities. Depending on the excursion, more leisurely alternatives may be available.
Excursions on the program require:
- Standing and walking for up to 2 hours during dogsled ride and snowshoe hike
- Walking on cobblestone, unpaved paths, and uneven surfaces
- Getting on and off motor coaches and boats
- tolerating colder temperatures during outdoor activities in the snow
Throughout your trip a seasoned Travel Director and expert local guides work together to deliver the learning along the way.
Terms and Conditions
Program-specific terms and conditions are available here and below. You can also request a copy from our travel experts. Any payment to AHI Travel constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out therein, including but not limited to the cancellation terms.
NOT INCLUDED - Fees for passports and, if applicable, visas; entry/departure fees; personal gratuities; laundry and dry cleaning; excursions, wines, liquors, mineral waters and meals not mentioned in this brochure under included features; travel insurance; airport transfer costs for those not participating in AHI's FlexAir; all items of a strictly personal nature.
MOBILITY AND FITNESS TO TRAVEL - The right is retained to decline, to accept or to retain any person as a member of this trip who, in the opinion of AHI Travel is unfit for travel or whose physical or mental condition may constitute a danger to themselves or to others on the trip, subject only to the requirement that the portion of the total amount paid which corresponds to the unused services and accommodations be refunded. Passengers requiring special assistance, including without limitation those who permanently or periodically use a wheelchair, must be accompanied by someone who is fit and able to assist them, and who will be totally responsible for providing all required assistance. AHI Travel regrets that some itineraries cannot accommodate wheelchairs.
SPECIAL COVID-19 NOTICE - During the period of COVID-19 contagion, you should refrain from joining a trip if you are feeling unwell, exhibit fever or other symptoms of contagious disease, or have been in contact with a person exhibiting symptoms of contagious disease within 14 days of trip departure. Affected passengers will receive a full refund in the form of a credit applicable to a future AHI Travel program. All passengers must complete a health questionnaire and execute an Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability Relating to Coronavirus/COVID-19 prior to trip departure. If you cannot or will not complete and execute these documents, AHI reserves the right to consider your booking canceled as of that day and assess applicable cancellation fees.
AIR TRANSPORTATION-The price of air transportation offered by AHI Travel is based on Advance Purchase Excursion fares. After tickets are issued, penalties up to 100% of the ticket price may be levied. If connecting flights are requested, special promotional fares may be used, in which case penalties of as much as 100% may be assessed by the airlines if reservations are changed or canceled after ticketing. After departure, if the reservations are changed, you will be charged the higher, all year Economy class fare. VARIATIONS TO THE GROUP ITINERARY MUST BE REQUESTED NO LATER THAN 60 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. Passengers who choose to make their own airline reservations independently will be wholly responsible for arrival and departure transfers, and any airline fees or penalties incurred as a result of program cancellation and/or change in travel dates, or airline schedule(s).
CANCELLATION-All cancellations must be submitted in writing to AHI Travel.
- Cancellation received up to 90 days prior to trip departure will incur a $300 per person administrative fee.
- Cancellation received 89 to 60 days prior to departure will result in forfeiture of 25% of the entire cost of the trip per person.
- Cancellation received 59-45 days prior to departure will result in forfeiture of 50% of the entire cost of the trip per person.
- Cancellation received 44 days prior to departure to the time of departure (or no show) will result in 100% forfeiture of the entire cost of the trip.
TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE AND RECOMMENDED. AN APPLICATION WILL BE SENT AFTER YOU RESERVE.
If a tour is canceled by AHI Travel before the date of departure for reasons other than Force Majeure and the cancellation is not caused by your fault or negligence, you will have the choice of accepting one of these options from AHI Travel:
i) transfer to another date of the same tour, if available; ii) book another tour of equal or greater value, if available (you will be responsible for paying any difference in price); or iii) book another tour of lesser value, if available (with a refund payable to you for the difference in price); or iv) receive a full refund for the land-only portion of the applicable tour
TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE. AN APPLICATION WILL BE SENT AFTER YOU RESERVE. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to AHI Travel. CANCELLATION OF TRIP OPTIONS-Purchases of optional excursions, trip extensions and additional hotel nights become fully non-refundable 45 days prior to departure. Air transportation and private transfer purchases are subject only to penalties assessed by the airlines and transfer suppliers. PLEASE NOTE - Vouchers for future travel, travel credits and transfers are subject to the Terms and Conditions, including without limitation the cancellation fee schedule, agreed upon at the time of the original reservation.
AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR RESERVATION, YOU AGREE AS FOLLOWS: You have read, and you understand, these terms and conditions of your participation in an AHI Travel program. You recognize and accept any risk associated with the travel program and the conditions, including the Cancellation policy, set forth herein. You acknowledge that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel, including, but not limited to weather, flooding, high/low water levels, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, widespread communicable disease outbreak (e.g., COVID-19, SARS, etc.) or other public health emergency event declared by local, State or Federal government order to be an epidemic, pandemic, public emergency or similar, quarantines, bites from or attacks by animals, insects, or pests, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the travel program, you hereby agree to release, hold harmless and covenant not to sue AHI International Corporation (d/b/a AHI Travel), its officers, employees, representatives or agents, the sponsoring association and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this travel program, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of travel program staff or other related persons or entities.
BAGGAGE-Baggage restrictions vary according to the airline policy and the class of service flown. Details will be provided with your pre-departure information. Baggage allowances are subject to change by the carrier without notice. Excess baggage charges for additional or oversized/overweight pieces are expensive and not included in your trip price; plan your wardrobe accordingly. Transport of baggage and personal effects is at the owner's risk throughout the travel program.
PRICING - All prices quoted are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy and do not include air transportation costs (unless otherwise stated) and are subject to change without notice.
AUTHORITY TO USE IMAGES AND AUDIO RECORDINGS-On occasion, AHI Travel obtains, from its staff, or from trip participants, photographic or video images of passengers and trip activities. By participating in this travel program, you authorize AHI Travel, without providing compensation to you, or obtaining additional approvals from you, to include photographic and video recordings of you, as well as voice recordings included with any videos, in AHI Travel's sales, marketing, advertising, publicity and/or training activities.
ELIGIBILITY: We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a national membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit commonwealthclub.org/membership or call 415-597-6720.
RESPONSIBILITY-AHI Travel and The Commonwealth Club of California do not own or operate any entity which provides goods or services for this program, and act only as agents for the independent suppliers of travel conveyance, transport, accommodations or other services. All such persons or entities are independent contractors. As a result, AHI Travel and the Sponsoring Association are not liable for any negligence or willful act of any such person or entity or any third person. In addition and without limitation, AHI Travel and the Sponsoring Association are not responsible for any delays, delayed departure or arrival, missed carrier connections, loss, death, damage or injury to person or property or accident, mechanical defect, failure or negligence of any nature howsoever caused in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services or for any substitution of hotels or of common carrier equipment, with or without notice, or for any additional expenses occasioned thereby. Dates, Program Details and Tour costs, although given in good faith and BASED ON TARIFFS, EXCHANGE Rates and other information CURRENT AT THE TIME OF PRINTING, ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT OR BEFORE THE TIME OF DEPARTURE. No revisions of the printed itinerary or its included features are anticipated; however, the right is reserved to make any changes, with or without notice, that might become necessary, with the mutual understanding that any additional expenses will be paid by the individual passenger. In no event shall any party to this contract be liable for incidental or consequential damages. In the event of an act of God, war (whether declared or undeclared), terrorism, accident, natural disaster, outbreak of disease, or other event or circumstance beyond its control that results in the cancellation of all or a portion of a travel program, AHI Travel reserves the right to issue a credit to the passenger in lieu of a money-back refund, applicable to a future AHI Travel program. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. If the entire program is canceled for any reason, participants shall have no claim other than for a full refund. By forwarding the deposit, the passenger certifies that he/she has no physical, mental or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for himself/herself or other passengers and accepts the terms of this contract set out herein and in more specific pre-departure passenger information. The airlines and other transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event, during the time passengers are not on board their conveyances. The passage contract in use, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the company(ies) and the passenger and/or purchaser of this trip.
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40