Review Finland tour package offered by Singapore tour agencies

Finland, the home of Santa Claus. It's a popular destination among Singaporeans spending their Christmas holiday. I plan to spend my coming Christmas (which is 9 more months to go) in Finland and I've decided to do it free and easy. I've booked accommodation and air ticket. However, I'm interested to do a comparison between packaged tour and my planned free & easy tour.

Dynasty Travel
9D6N Finland winter spectacular, $4708 (inclusive of $550 airport taxes) twin sharing (Finnair), departs by March 2014

EU Holidays
10D7N Aurora hunting in Finland, $4338 or $4738 (inclusive of $550 airport taxes) twin sharing (Finnair), departs 2nd week or 3rd week in Dec 2014

ASA Holiday
8D5N Lapland winter fairy tale, no price information, departs by March 2014

Super Travels
10D7N Winter Finland Santa Claus wiz igloo, no price information, departs by March 2014 (Lufthansa)

CTC Travel
8D5N Finland winter wonderland, $3038 (inclusive of $550 airport taxes) twin sharing (Finnair), depart by March 2014

Prices above exclude ... 
  • Tips for the tour guide and local driver which is probably about €80/pax
  • Optional day trip to Estonia Tallinn (2 hours ferry) from Helsinki €70/pax
  • 4 hours ice breaking cruise optional tour €390/pax (if you sign up with local winter safari company, not quoted by Singapore tour agent)
  • Shopping expenses

Similarities among these packages 
  • All fly from Singapore to Finland capital, Helsinki and airline is usually Finnair which flies direct except Super Travels travel to Helsinki by Lufthansa which requires a transit at Frankfurt Germany. 
  • The entire trip will be spent in Finland (duh ... it's Finland tour!) and visit at least 4 cities like Helsinki (the capital), Rovaniemi (Lapland), Ivalo (Lapland) (except CTC) and Saariselka (Lapland)
  • Spend at least 5 nights (except ASA and Super Travels which their package allow you to stay 4 nights only) in Lapland which means higher chance of spotting northern lights 
  • At least a night stay in Helsinki and city tour
  • A night stay in snow igloo or glass igloo (except CTC, glass igloo room rate is about €385 - €469/room)
  • Christmas market (if departs in December)
  • Visit to igloo village in Saariselka
  • Visit to ice gallery or ice chapel (subject to weather condition)
  • Visit to Santa Claus Village and Arctic Circle
  • Northern lights tour
  • Husky sledge experience (except Dynasty Travel which can cost about €99/pax (if you sign up with local winter safari company, not quoted by Dynasty)
  • Riding snowmobile (2 persons per snowmobile) (except CTC which need to top up €160/pax)
  • Reindeer ride

Meal plan
  • Dynasty Travel 9D6N: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners (quite well covered)
  • EU Holidays 10D7N: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners (remaining 7 meals on your own)
  • ASA Holidays 8D5N: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners (remaining 1 meal on your own)
  • Super Travels 10D7N: 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners (remaining 6 meals on your own)
  • CTC Travel 8D5N: 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners (remaining 2 meals on your own)

Special treats
  • Dynasty Travel 9D6N: (1) Visit to Luosto. It's a Finnish Lapland city which takes only 90 minutes drive from Arctic Circle (2) Skiing in Saariselka and Luosto
  • EU Holidays 10D7N: (1) Optional ice breaking cruise (2) Optional tour to Estonia Tallinn
  • ASAHolidays 8D5N: (1) Traditional Finnish sauna. You will be invited to take off all your clothes (which means naked!) and sit together with others in a little room heated to almost 100 degC for a while and sweat. Once you are ready, you will go outside, naked and jump into a small hole in the ice on a lake or sea or roll yourself in the snow. You can wear swim suits if you choose not to be naked. (2) Skiing in Saariselka (3) Lappish lunch, stew reindeer meat and mashed potato
  • Super Travels 10D7N: (1) Visit the world largest Snow Castle in Kemi 
  • CTC Travel 8D5N: (1) Optional tour to Estonia Tallinn

My own free & easy tour
  • Budget SGD5000/pax (inclusive of airport taxes)
  • 10D7N (including travel time), direct flight by Finnair
  • NTUC travel insurance
  • 3 nights in Lapland Rovaniemi (by Finnair)
  • 2 nights in Finland Helsinki
  • 2 nights in Sweden Stockholm (by Finnair)
  • 1 day tour to Estonia Tallinn (by ferry). Tallinn old town is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site  
  • A night stay in glass igloo (an awesome once in a life time experience!)
  • 2 nights stay in 4 star hotel junior suite room
  • Visit to Santa Claus Village and Arctic Circle
  • Visit to snow hotel, ice chapel and snow restaurant
  • Christmas market in Stockholm and Tallinn
  • 2 hours husky ride
  • 2 nights northern lights tour
  • 4 hours snowmobile ride (2 persons per snowmobile)
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners (€23/pax/meal)
  • Local transport (subway, airport transfer, bus and etc)
  • €167 (SGD290) shopping expenses

Read here to find out more about my itinerary.

I'm not the only crazy one who book accommodation and air ticket 10 months ahead, 25 people had signed up December 2014 Finland tour with ASA Holidays. Not sure if you should choose free & easy or tour package? It's very much depending on your interest, your needs and your budget. Discuss with your family, your kids, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your husband or your wife, I'm pretty sure you will find one that suits you the most.

Updated 10th Jan 2015

Click here to read day 1day 2day 4day 5day 6day 7 and day 8 trip report

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