Mighty Icebreaker Sampo

 

Icebreaker Sampo, Lapland, Finland, 2010

Finland was never on my bucket list. There wasn't much I knew about their people and culture. Was on a spanish TV program that I got to see how incredible that country was, specially the north region called Lapland. I was extremely excited to experience the extreme opposite of Spain weather. Lapland has a vast subarctic wilderness, ski resorts and incredible natural phenomenons like the mid night sun.

In 2010, we flew from Barcelona to Rovaniemi, at the Arctic Circle. We've planned a husky and night reindeer safari (do never ask a reindeer farmer how many reindeer does he have), snowmobile, visit to the Rania´s Zoo, the Santa Claus Village and finally a cruise on Icebreaker Sampo, which was the most exciting adventure during this Arctic holidays.

The Mighty Icebreaker Sampo blew our socks off. It operates on the Gulf of Bothnia right outside the city of Kemi. It was a splendid sunny day and the sun reflected back brightly from the vast white frozen sea. Listening to the sound of a 3,500 tonne icebreaker crackling ice, crushed ice blocks rise from the icebreaker’s hull, dark water splashes out left us even more astonished. You can feel your whole body trembling.

During the cruise you will get to see the icebreaker from the engine room to the bridge. Approximately at the midpoint of the trip, the ship anchor and you could go for a walk on the frozen sea. I can´t describe the feeling of being walking over the water! This is a unique experience. At this point the icebreaker makes a pool free of ice and you could take a swim in the dark (very dark) icy water with a special flotation survival suit. Well, we can´t call it swimming, it's better to say floating. You have to wear your winter clothes under the wet-suit. That is the reason why the suit is so big and funny.

When going to Finland, you should head straight to the Lapland area. The Icebreaker Sampo is a most do experience, scrap all the rest if you have to. I never thought snow and frozen sea could be so much fun.

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