As tourism slowly rebuilds after a difficult two years, a brand new experience is proving popular in Finland’s Lapland.
Arctic ice floating sees tourists blissfully buoyed on an icy Lappish lake, amid 30-centimetre-thick ice.
But fear not, it’s not as chilling as you might think. Ice floaters don bright red rescue suits which keep them warm and totally dry, similar to those worn by stranded cruise ship passengers when awaiting rescue.
"People jump in the suit, and they get the experience of being in a frozen lake, with one part that is melted and just get to relax and enjoy," explains Barbara Dias, a guide for Safartica, a Rovaniemi-based tour agency that offers daily arctic ice floating trips.
The unique activity, found only in Lapland, has become so popular that it’s now offered by several tour companies who run trips every.
Tourism in Lapland
Lapland’s tourism is focused mainly in the winter season and as most of Europe went back into lockdown just in time for Christmas 2020, the popular festive Finnish destination was hit hard.
According to tourist board Visit Rovaniemi, 61,000 tourists visited the city in December 2019, over 51,000 from overseas.
But just over 11,000 came in December 2020 - an 82 per cent drop - and only 1,100 from overseas.
Just 1.4 million euros was made in accommodation sales in December 2020, a 90 per cent drop in comparison to December 2019.
Let’s hope January 2022 brings some good news with it and more and more tourists can discover this thrilling activity.
**Watch the video above to see the ice floating in action. **