The story of Polar Explorer

Most of our passengers never navigated on an icebreaker before, there are some exceptions, of course, but the majority of them never imagined to be on board of an icebreaker.
Icebreakers in general seem like a faraway ship that only few people have had the chance to navigate, such as scientists, researchers, members of the Navy, specialized crew and so on. The fact that we can bring closer this kind of ships to people who want to experience something different is amazing, because by doing so our passengers can have a deeper understanding of how beautiful and complex our planet is.
For someone who comes from a faraway place to join Icebreaker cruise in Lapland, the experience of the Arctic condition and frozen sea is totally exotic! To join an icebreaker ship that able to navigate on frozen sea, to see the big pieces of ice being moved away by the hull, to even get to listen to the sound that the ice makes when being broken it is marvelous. We can see photos, films, and documentaries about it but to be able to experience it by ourselves it is a whole new experience, we see that every cruise.
Throughout our history, humans have had to learn how to survive in harsh conditions. Before the invention of icebreakers, it was extremely difficult to navigate the frozen seas, and this meant important supply problems for the ones living in countries where winters could easily freeze the sea. It is remarkably to think that only in the late 1800’s first icebreakers were built. Of course, they were not as advanced as the ones we can have now, but still it was a huge moment in our more recent history.
Our Polar Explorer was built in Hamburg, Germany in 1976 and used to work as an anchor-handling tug and supply vessel. One of the peculiarities about our Polar Explorer is that it is a multifunctional icebreaker, which means it can navigate even in open waters.
During its industrial life, it used to tow large barges around the world, from Norway all the way down to Brazil. It also used to handle anchors for oil rigs in the very Artic Ocean and bring supplies such as food and water to the crew men on the oil rigs. To think that a ship of this magnitude can now be open and available for tourists from all over the world, to experience by themselves the breaking of the ice it is a unique experience.
We see the “whoa!” from our passengers as soon as they get off the buses or cars and see our Polar Explorer for the first time. They all rush to get the perfect photo with Polar Explorer as background.
And that is the first “whoa!”, because many more come during the cruise.


Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, you can choose your pick up and drop of location during the booking process. Price will be calculated accordingly. Your luggage will be stored in the bus during the tour. 

Yes, when you are coming by our shuttle bus you can store your luggage in the bus during entire trip. No special reservation for luggage is required.

Yes, you can make your way with your own car and park free of charge at the cruise terminal. There is no actual border between Finland and Sweden, you can drive non-stop via the border.

There is no age limit for participating in a cruise, children of all ages are welcome on board!
Survival suits are available at size 125 cm so if your child height is close to 125 cm they can swim. It is up to responsible crew member decision if the child is grown enough and it is safe to swim for child. 

No, a double layer survival suit, which you will put over your normal clothes, will keep you insulated from cold water.
Swimming is voluntary – so if you don’t feel like it you don’t have to do it.

Walking on sea ice is allowed only when ice is solid and at least 20 cm thick. Early winter cruises may not allow walking on ice activity.
Captain makes a decision when it is safe to walk on ice on each cruise.

The ship is not wheelchair accessible due to high thresholds around the ship required for water holding in case of flood.

Lunch on board can be added at special price 20 € per person when booked together with shuttle bus. Lunch on board without reservation is 25 €.
Snacks and beverages can be purchased from the cafeteria on board.

Gluten and lactose intolerance is considered in all meals. Vegetarian meals are offered.

There is no border control between Finland and Sweden, driving is non-stop. Though occasional check may happen. Please also have valid ID with you.
If you hold Schengen visa, same visa is valid for both countries and single entry visa also valid to cross brothers within Schengen area multiple times. 

In case the border of Finland or Sweden is closed due to emergency lock down, all cruises will be cancelled and your payment is fully refunded. 
In case the country where you were travelling from closes down and travelling outside of the country is prohibited for leisure reasons, standard cancellation policy will apply.
We recommend buying travel insurance covering costs caused by cancellations due to COVID, health conditions or any other circumstances preventing travelling.

No cancellation fees are charged if you cancel your booking 31 or more days before cruise departure.
25€ booking fees per person are non-refundable. 
If you cancel 30 days before cruise departure or later, 100% cancellation fees are charged.
In case of “no show”, being late for cruise departure or shuttle bus pick up resulting in missing the departure, 100% cancellation fees apply.
Cancellation fees are charged If cancelled for any reason, including restrictions due to COVID-19 and medical reasons.
We recommend buying travel insurance covering costs caused by cancellations due to health conditions or any other circumstances preventing travelling.

In case our icebreaker cruise is cancelled due to weather conditions or lack of passengers, you will be offered an alternative cruise date or time.
If none of the alternative options fit you, you will get a full refund.

We do not practice discount coupons. 
We keep our prices as low as possible so everyone can join.