With the Corona situation as it is in the world, it is sure to be a major factor in deciding where you go to see the Northern Lights this coming winter. Obviously, you want to choose a holiday with the absolute minimal odds of catching Coronavirus and you are in a dilemma whether when and where you should go. So I have put together this page which will tell you all about our holidays to give you a better understanding of how we operate and let you make your mind up if we are a good choice for you.
Firstly, since the whole start of the Corona situation, the advice from governments and health professionals has been to avoid large groups. Well the good news is, since we started our tours in 2014, they have always been exclusively for very small groups. In fact I use the “group” term loosely, because on average, we have only 10 or less people per week! Indeed this is our business model. We don’t want big groups of tourists because we were never designed for that. We focus solely on individuals, couples and small families visiting us. From the moment we pick you up from the airport, this is it for the rest of your time with us, just you and a few other people. Our tours made sense before Corona, but now they make even more sense! We are one of the smallest tour operators going, because our motto has always been quality over quantity. We’d much rather give 8 people an awesome holiday, than 80 people a mediocre holiday.
Secondly, Finland has had an incredibly low number of cases. If you look on the world list https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/, Finland is way down in 84th position. At the time of writing (July 2020) there isn’t a single person in intensive care with Coronavirus in the whole of Finland! I wouldn’t use the term anti-social, but Finns are by their very nature “reserved” and love their own space, so the Corona situation never really got a foot hold here like it did in other countries. It’s one of the largest countries in Europe but has only 5.5m people, so people are spread out and quite isolated by the very nature of the country. As such Finland fared much better than it’s Scandinavian neighbours, such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark all whom have many more cases than Finland. This can be verified by looking at the list on the link above. Compare Finland to Sweden for instance and see what a stark difference there is! So Finland having the least amount of cases in Scandinavia does make good sense.
Thirdly, where our tours are based in Utsjoki, Lapland, and the places we travel to in search of the northern lights, there have been no recorded cases of Coronavirus (Time of writing July 16th 2020).
Fourthly, and quite an important point that I think is worth mentioning, is that our minibuses are huge. In fact they fall under a bus category and we require bus driving licenses to drive them. We have always had these large minibuses for comfort levels, because a big bus that you can stretch out in is more comfortable, but now they make even more sense. We generally only ever have them half filled because of our small tours, so it bodes well that you have big minibuses that are only half filled in these Corona times. I think this is an important aspect. I see at the airport people from all over the world coming out the airport and being squeezed into tiny minibuses like sardines. I don’t think this was good pre-Corona, and it certainly isn’t good practice now.
Fifthly, If we have clear skies, we don’t even go out in the bus. We watch the aurora from our amazing watch tower, or on the terrace of your own cottage. Additionally, all our daytime activities are outdoors, so provided you keep to social distancing, the only air you are breathing is totally crisp fresh Arctic air. On the Huskies or Snowmobiles, you will not be sharing them with a stranger, only yourself or your family/friend!
Sixthly, our cottages are cleaned thoroughly between guests (as they always have been) but now with an additional disinfecting of all surfaces, handles, etc. There are dishwashers in all the cottages too which ensure crockery and cutlery is steam cleaned.
In addition to all the above, we have tons of hand disinfection gel at all our sites, including in the bus, cottages, etc. Also, when your guide is driving the bus they will always have a mask on. It would be common sense for people to follow suit and wear masks in the bus so I’m sure people will bring masks too, but we also have spare masks in the bus and will provide them to anyone who doesn’t have one.
To summarise, we are a small tour company in the middle of nowhere 🙂 In a country with one of the lowest rates of Coronavirus and in an area which hasn’t had any. We have very small groups and we pick you up in very big buses. We think your chances of catching Coronavirus while on our tours is incredibly low. Once you get with us, you are really in good hands and we are sure you will have an awesome holiday. Come and breath in the crisp, super fresh arctic air, switch off and forget about all this Corona stuff for a week and just enjoy the beautiful Lapland nature and the northern lights dancing in the sky. We’ll look after you.
If you have any questions or queries at all about visiting us next winter, do not hesitate to contact us.