The Polar Express to Swedish Lapland

The Polar Express to Swedish Lapland

5 Nights: 1 x Stockholm, 1 x Train, 3 x Luleå

This truly wonderful holiday begins in Stockholm, before taking the overnight journey by rail northwards into Swedish Lapland.

You'll love exploring Sweden’s capital city which is beautifully situated over 14 islands connected together by 57 bridges. You'll find the city full of charm and atmosphere, old and new; for example Gamla Stan, the old city, is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centres in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The whole of Gamla Stan and the adjacent island of Riddarholmen feel like a living, pedestrian-friendly museum, full of sights, attractions, restaurants, cafes, bars and places to shop...all with that 'olde worlde' atmosphere.  With a crisp chill in the air and fresh snow sitting on the rooftops,  there are few places more magical.

Your overnight train, or ‘norrlandståget’ (northern train), from Stockholm to Luleå is a romantic (yes, we did say romantic!) way of making your long journey northwards to Lapland.  Your train leaves Stockholm during the early evening and arrives into Luleå the following morning.  But don't worry, you don't have to sleep in your seat - we have reserved a comfortable 2-berth sleeper compartment especially for you with shower and WC either in the compartment itself or available in the corridor.  You'll also find a buffet car on board serving simple meals and drinks though we think it is more exciting to travel like the Swedes and buy your own 'train picnic' in Stockholm before departure!

Luleå is truly a place of contrasts. You will be surprised by the international atmosphere of the town which has a bustling centre with an excellent selection of quality restaurants, bars and cafes from which to sit and experience everyday Arctic life. The city's Ice Road offers further opportunity to meet the locals as they ice skate, ski, walk, promenade with prams or simply walk the dog!

The beautiful Luleå archipelago has a total of 1300 islands and only 100 residents and is a unique wilderness environment where the sea around the island freezes up to a metre thick in winter and enormous ice statues, created by the build up of pack ice, can be seen out in the furthermost parts of the archipelago.  This is a spectacular place to explore by snowmobile and dog-sled, experiencing a true Arctic wilderness during the day and returning to the city for the evening to mix with the locals and share their lifestyle.  A Northern Lights hunt is included in your holiday as we know viewing these ethereal wonders is likely to be on your wish list.

This truly wonderful holiday begins in Stockholm, before taking the overnight journey by rail northwards into Swedish Lapland.

Prices from: £1395

To book, call us on:

01274 875 199

or Tailor your Holiday with a Booking Enquiry

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Day 1 - Arrive Stockholm

The Polar Express to Lapland, Day 1

Arrive Stockholm Arlanda Airport.  Take either the Arlanda Express airport train or a taxi to your hotel (not included).  You have the remainder of the day free to explore Sweden's beautiful capital city and find yourself a cosy restaurant where you can indulge your taste buds!

1 night STOCKHOLM - Clarion Hotel Sign (4 star)

Day 2 - Day in Stockholm before boarding the Polar Express to Lapland

Polar Express to Lapland, itinerary day 2

Another full day in Stockholm to explore before departing at 2112 by overnight train to the northern city of Luleå, beautifully located overlooking the Lule Bay and the Gulf of Bothnia.  A two-berth sleeper compartment has been reserved for your journey by 'Polar Express'.


Day 3 - Arrive Swedish Lapland and Luleå

The Polar Express to Lapland, itinerary day 3

Your train arrives into Luleå at 1103. Following breakfast make your way to your hotel and check-in. You now have the remainder of the day to explore the city, relax in your hotel's lovely spa (charges apply) or take part in one of our featured 'Ice Road' activities.

3 nights LULEÅ - Clarion Hotel Sense (4 star)

Day 4 - Free day in Luleå followed by Northern Lights Hunt

The Polar Express to Lapland, itinerary day 4

Full day in Luleå to explore further and take advantage of an array of fun and exciting excursions (see Excursions tab).

At 2000 you will be picked up from your hotel for your included Northern Lights Hunt. Your trip takes you to the outskirts and nearby forests of Luleå, searching for the best spots to see the Northern Lights. Your guide will drive away from the city's light pollution, constanly checking weather conditions and the forecast to maximize your chances of seeing Aurora Borealis.  Swedish Fika (tea/coffee plus cake or biscuits) is included during your trip.  Return to your hotel around 2300.

Day 5 - Free day in Luleå for optional activities

The Polar Express, itinerary day 5

A further free day to explore Luleå with the possibility to take part in an optional activity - see Excursions tab for more information.

Day 6 - Homeward bound

Relax and take your time savouring your final buffet breakfast in Swedish Lapland.  Your airport transfer has been reserved in accordance with your return flight times.

Departure Days: Daily from the UK
Departure Dates:
December 2019 - April 2020
6 nights

Prices: based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room and 2-berth compartment.  Single room prices on request.

Dep. Dates Price from
per person
Dec 2019 - Apr 2020 £1395
Extra night Stockholm including breakfast £99
Extra night Luleå including breakfast £70
This holiday is ATOL Protected


Price includes:

  • Scheduled flights with SAS in SAS Go class from London Heathrow Airport to Stockholm Arlanda Airport and from Luleå Kallax Airport to London Heathrow Airport including taxes.  23kgs of checked luggage and one-piece of hand-luggage included per person.  Alternative departure airports are available, please ask for schedules and prices.
  • Return airport transfer on the Arlanda Express from Stockholm Arlanda Airport to Stockholm central train station.
  • 1 night at the Clarion Hotel Sign in Stockholm based on a standard double/twin room including buffet breakfast.
  • Overnight rail journey from Stockholm to Luleå based on a First Class private rail compartment with shower and WC either inside the compartment or just outside in the corridor. Breakfast included either in the buffet car or possibly in a local eatery in Luleå upon presentation of ticket (if the buffet car has to be closed for any reason).
  • 3 nights at the Clarion Hotel Sense in Luleå based on a standard double/twin room including buffet breakfast.
  • Northern Lights Hunt including Swedish Fika, with pick-up and drop-off at your hotel.
  • Transfer from the Clarion Hotel Sense to Luleå Kallax Airport.


DEPOSIT:  The deposit payment for this holiday is £200 per person

TO BOOK:  To book this holiday either telephone us on 01274 875199 (this is our preferred option as it gives us the opportunity to chat with you!) or email your booking request to 



It is important to read the Terms and Conditions which apply when making a confirmed booking with us.  By asking us to confirm your booking, we are entitled to assume that you have read and understood our terms and conditions, and agree to them.

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We can only provide general information about this. You must check requirements for your own specific circumstances with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates and your own doctor as applicable. For further information contact the Passport Office on 0300 222 0000 or visit  Up to date travel advice can be obtained from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, visit

Non British passport holders, including other EU nationals, should obtain up to date advice on passport and visa requirements from the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of your destination or country(ies) through which you are travelling.

CLARION HOTEL SIGN (4 star) - Stockholm

Clarion Hotel Sign, Stockholm

Stockholm's largest hotel is located in the heart of Stockholm city adjacent to the Central Station and Arlanda Express facing the Norra Bantorget Square. The hotel is brand new, built in 2008, and is a spectacular building dominated by granite and glass, leaning over the square reflecting the green park. The hotel has a wonderful restaurant, contributed by renowed chef Marcus Samuelsson. The eighth floor of the hotel holds Selma CitySpa where you can indulge yourself in the sauna, gym, spa with a spa treatment and/or in the heated outdoor pool, all with a fantastic view of Stockholm. All rooms are non-smoking and have TV, telephone, hair dryer, Internet access and some of the most comfortable beds we have ever slept in in the whole of Scandinavia! Lift to all floors.

CLARION HOTEL SENSE (4 star) - Luleå

Clarion Sense Hotel, Lulea, Sweden

Stylish, atmospheric and comfortable are just a few ways to describe Clarion Hotel Sense. As its name suggests, this centrally located hotel works to heighten all of your senses: sight, touch, smell, taste and sound. Each floor is dedicated to a particular season and you will be able to see this through the tasteful decor. All rooms are equipped with modern facilities, including high-speed internet and flat screen TV. If you would like to truly indulge during your time here then head to the spa where you will be able to relax and choose from a variety of different treatments. On an evening the top floor offers a laid-back yet high quality bar and restaurant, and everyone who stays at the Sense will experience one of the best buffet breakfasts in the whole of Sweden!


Description:  Our dog-sledding tour from Luleå City Centre begins with a transfer to the dog-sledding ranch Brändön Lodge which is located overlooking the Luleå Archipelago.  Transfer to the lodge takes approximately 30 minutes in one direction. On arrival at the lodge you will be equipped with thermal clothing including overalls, boots, hat and mittens, before transferring to the nearby husky ranch where you will receive full instructions and a health and safety briefing.  Your activity includes learning how to take care of your dogs, how to instruct them and drive your sled. Each sled has one driver and one passenger with the opportunity to swap over part way.  Your journey takes you on a forest and lake trail where the only sounds you will hear are the swish to your sled rails and the instructions you shout to your dogs.  Of course when they are not running the dogs like to let you know that they want to be off again...!
Operates:  Late December to beginning April
Duration:  Transfer from Luleå at 0915, return to Luleå at 1500.  Please note, this activity does NOT include lunch.
Price:  £315 per person

NB!  Important information regarding dog-sledding tours - please click here


Description:  Your large playground is the ice of the frozen river, bays and sea or the snowy forests around Luleå city. From January to March you will see the citizens of Luleå taking tours on the specially prepared ice-road that circles the city and peninsula using different means of conveyance, for example skies, skates, bike or kick sled. We want you to be able to share their icy experience and Arctic lifestyle in Swedish Lapland so we are very happy to be able to offer a selection of fully guided Ice Road experiences! Your guide will pick you up from your Luleå city hotel. Equipment is included in all tours.

For the following tours you have the choice of Nordic Cross-Country Skiis, Ice-Skates, Kick-Sled or Fatbike.

3-hour tour (includes Swedish Fika)
Price:  £110 per person

3-hour tour (includes Muurikka BBQ lunch on the ice)
Price:  £130 per person 

A Muurikka is a portable griddle pan, reminiscent of a wok, which cooks food over an open-fire. They are almost considered an essential piece of equipment in Swedish Lapland!

Night tour
A two-hour night tour on the ice in the Luleå bay. A magical experience out on the ice-road where the only light comes from your headlamp. Then stop for a coffee break, turn your headlamp off and look for the Northern Lights.
Price:  £110 per person (skiis, ice-skates, kick-sled) or £120 per person (fatbike) 


Description:  All our snowmobile tours from Luleå City Centre begin with a transfer to Brändön Lodge which is located overlooking the Luleå Archipelago.  Transfer to the lodge takes approximately 30 minutes in one direction. On arrival at the lodge you will be equipped with thermal clothing including overalls, boots, balaclava, mittens and helmet, before receiving full instruction and a health and safety briefing.  You have the choice of a 2-hour tour or a 4-hour tour, both of which include lunch with the shorter tour having lunch served in Brändön Lodge's restaurant and the 4-hour having an outdoor, wilderness lunch.  Both safaris explore the snow-covered forests which form the backdrop to Brändön Lodge; needless to say this is an extremely scenic journey with a stop for tea/coffee (lunch for 4-hour trip) along the way.
Operates:  Late December to beginning April
Duration:  Transfer from Luleå at 0915, return to Luleå at 1500.  Those taking the 2-hour tour will relax at Brändön Lodge after their activity, following lunch, and return to Luleå with those taking the 4-hour tour.
Prices: Prices are per person and are based on two people sharing a snowmobile with the opportunity to swap around during the trip.  Supplement for being a solo driver as given.

Snowmobile tour, 2 hours including lunch at Brändön       £225 per person, supplement for solo £95
Snowmobile tour, 4 hours including wilderness lunch        £295 per person, supplement for solo £110

NB!  Important information regarding snowmobile tours - please click here


Who is this holiday suitable for?
It is actually suitable for anyone although it will especially appeal to those who do not want to spend all of their holiday in one place but would rather explore a few places and use local transportation between them.  The three featured destinations are all rather important in their own right.  Obviously Stockholm, being Sweden's capital, is her main city and is a delightful blend of Scandinavian and Baltic.  Luleå is the largest city in Sweden's Arctic region and is the last spot of civilisation before the great expanse of Arctic wilderness. 

Are the compartments on the overnight train comfortable?
Yes, they are very comfortable and most people will have a private shower and WC in their own private compartment or alternatively in the corridor outside.  The trains have a buffet car where you can purchase something to eat in the morning prior to arriving in Luleå.  Travelling by overnight train is rather adventurous and provides an exciting and sustainable alternative method of transportation to simply taking a domestic flight.

What sort of clothing will I need?
You will need clothes for cold/cooler outdoor weather: warm trousers, a woollen pullover or fleece sweater, a warm wind and waterproof jacket and rain pants, woollen socks and an insulated bottom layer, like thermal underwear. A hat, scarf and gloves that are made from material that will dry overnight are great protection in Iceland’s winter weather and strong winds. Sturdy comfortable (hiking) boots are necessary for walking and when there is snow and icy terrain.

Do I need to bring any sort of equipment with me?
You don't need to but we would certainly recommend the following:

  • Sunglasses and a bit of sunscreen are helpful - the air is very clear in Sweden so when the sun shines, it is very bright.
  • A camera with lots of film or memory cards. Many travelers say that they shoot twice as many pictures in Sweden than in other destinations.
  • For Northern Lights photography we recommend bringing a second battery for your camera and also a tripod.
  • A torch for evening walks and Northern Lights photography in order to operate your photo camera in the dark.
  • A good skin moisturiser that is not water-based and a lipsalve.

Are special diets catered for?
Absolutely! Just let us know at the time of booking what your requirements are so that we can inform our suppliers and ensure you are provided with delicious alternatives where appropriate.

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