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The Sampo Icebreaker
  • The Sampo Icebreaker
  • The Sampo Icebreaker
  • The Sampo Icebreaker
  • The Sampo Icebreaker
  • The Sampo Icebreaker
  • The Sampo Icebreaker
  • The Sampo Icebreaker
  • The Sampo Icebreaker
The 3,500-tonne Sampo icebreaker kept shipping lanes open in the Gulf of Bothnia for thirty-odd years until she was forced into retirement. Now, the ship departs on thrilling excursions throughout the winter months, breaking through the Bothnian icefields off Kemi for the pleasure of adventure-seekers. During the tour, there is even the unimssable opportunity to don a bright-orange puffy rubber survival suit and (safely and warmly) bob in the icy waters off the ship’s stern.
The 4-hour tours depart from the port of Ajos Harbour, 11km south of Kemi. Bus transfers from Kemi are available on request (but you must book), or you can park (for free) right in front of the ship if self-driving. The tour includes lunch onboard. Dress warmly, and don't forget your sunglasses, since the glare of the sun off snow-covered ice can be harsh. Take some chapstick, too. There’s a minimum age of 12 and minimum height of 145cm for the ice floating activity.
Tours generally run from late December to late April. There are morning cruises from 9am-1pm, day cruises from 12pm-4pm and afternoon cruises from 2pm-6pm. The best time to go is when the ice is thickest, which is usually during the month of March. Avoid January, when the ice thins.
Going in summertime?
If you're in Kemi during the warmer months, you can still pay visit the Sampo, when it operates as a floating restaurant.
Arrive by snowmobile
For the complete adventure, depart by snowmobile from downtown Kemi, venturing over the ice to join the ship once it's parked out in the icefield. Request when booking the cruise.
Where to eat or drink
After the world's most unique sea tour, why not dine at one of its most unique restaurants? Kemi's Snow Castle serves three-course meals and includes Lapland delicacies such as reindeer.
Fact sheet
  • Type Activity
  • Place Kemi
  • Notoriety Undiscovered
  • Price guide $$$$$
  • Adults price from £248
  • Duration 4 hours
  • Available Jan-Apr
  • Best time March
  • Booking requirement Booking required
  • Wheelchair friendly No
  • Physical difficulty
  • Fear factor
  • Authentic & unspoilt
  • Cultural insight
Book online
Tours & Activities