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LIST: SANTA TOURS

These are UK-based tour operators and specialist travel agencies featuring family Christmas breaks to visit Santa Claus in Swedish or Finnish Lapland.

Most operators fly their guests to Finnish Lapland, in particular the towns of Levi and Rovaniemi where larger numbers of visitors can be handled. The smaller destinations such as Harriniva, Yllashumina and Kakslauttanen tend to provide more intimate experiences.
Arctic Discovery 01229 208 536 A choice of 3/4-day family Santa tours to Swedish Lapland (unusual, most go to Finland).
Canterbury Travel 01923 822 388 star Canterbury Travel have been the best-known 'Santa tour' specialists since they started in the mid-eighties, with a range of 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5-night tour options. They also have a few post-Christmas tours (between Boxing Day and the New Year) when Santa is "resting following his arduous duties. He nevertheless always welcomes children visiting him in his homeland". And there is a Lapland Adventure programme for tours in January featuring loads of snow activities - skiing, snowboarding, snowshoe hiking, ice-fishing, reindeer safaris, snowmobile trips, and husky safaris.
Cosmos Holidays 0871 42 38 422 One to four-day tour options to see Santa and enjoy some Lapland activities with the family.
Esprit Santas Lapland 01252 618300 star An obvious sideline for the family ski specialists. All-inclusive day trips and 3-day trips from Manchester & Gatwick to Saariselkä and Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland featuring a reindeer sleigh ride, a traditional Arctic Circle ceremony, a husky sled ride and a host of snow and ice activities before a snowmobile search for the 'real' Santa Claus and his log-cabin. Also longer 3 & 4-night Santa breaks staying in hotel or log cabin accommodation.
First Choice 0871 200 7799 Three or four-night breaks in Finnish Lapland (Rovaniemi) with activities such as snowmobile rides, reindeer sleighs and dog-sleds, plus a visit to Santa's workshop and a Gala Meal at the end with a guest appearence from the man himself. First Choice have a £10 per person penalty for phone bookings.
Iglu Lapland 020 8544 6360 Specialist Lapland brand from online ski agency, Iglu.com, offering a range of Lapland experiences and activities including Santa trips.
Inghams 020 8780 8810 3 & 4 night Santa breaks in Finnish Lapland with skiing and supper with Father Christmas.
PackYourBags 0808 178 7533 Selection of one-day Santa trips, 2-5 day tours and a full selection of activities to go with them.
Small Families 01763 226567 Santa tours for single-parent families.
Transun Travel 0870 4444 747 Day trips to see Santa, and multi-day visits. Transun is one of the 'biggies' in this niche and operates Santa trips on behalf of other agencies. They do a neat trick with letters to Santa (not available on single day trips) where they make sure Santa has your child's letter in his hand when they visit. Flights from 12 regional airports in the UK.

Notes

  • Colchester Travel (0870 950 9977) are a specialist agency for santa tours selling a wide range of tours from different operators.
  • Lapland Holidays (0845 092 0363) is a travel agency specialising in Santa trips using a selection of other tour operators' packages. A division of Hays Travel.
  • Lapland UK, working with the Forestry Commission, brings the spirit of a Lapland Christmas daytrip - without the carbon footprint - all the way to the Bedgebury Forest in Goudhurst, Kent starting usually in late November. The first one was in 2007.

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