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“Don't Miss This Experience!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Sampo Icebreaker

Sampo Icebreaker
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Kemi
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Other
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Sampo, the former icebreaker for the Finnish government, offers a unique cruise experience on the Gulf of Bothnia. The union of the majestic steel, ice and the sea will be unlike anything else you've ever experienced. Four hour cruises yearly from December to April. Cafe, tours and souvenir shop open also on the summer time. Come and experience the Sampo in the midst of vast open arctic sea-scenery!
Useful Information: Lockers / storage
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
542 reviews
238 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 992 helpful votes
“Don't Miss This Experience!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2012

The 4 hours long trip with Sampo Icebreaker was one of the best activities of our 6 days long Lapland tour and I wholeheartedly recommend this amazing experience to all... The ship leaves at 12:00 o'clock from the Kemi port. As long as you can stand outside (as it's freezing cold), it's better to stay on the deck but beware, it's very slippery. Inside the ship, there are plenty of space to sit and rest but of course, there is nothing else to do inside except for a guided tour to explain how the ship works. The lower floors are very cold, so if you look for warmth, go to the upper floor where it's really warm. They serve lunch in the restaurant but it's nothing fancy. There is also a buffet/kiosk inside, from where you can buy snacks, drinks etc. The amazing part of this experience is the view, ice up to the horizon, that feeling of eternity... At one point, the ship stops and those who want can swim the frozen sea in special immersion suits. Of course, it's not exxactly swimming but is rather floating on the water but it seems fun. I did not try that as there are limited immersion suits and you have to use them in turn and it did not appear to me very hygenic (as the suits covers mouth and nose as well). Those who do not try this, walk on the ice, indeed frozen sea and that was an increadible feeling.... I will never forget this experience and consider myself very lucky to have had the chance to participate to this tour.... Highly recommended....

Visited February 2012
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4 Thank TubaKoseogluOkcu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Inari, Finland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great adventure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2011

Great experience of arctic world. Best restaurant and Salomon meal ever, I love it!

Helpful?
1 Thank LeenaFin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norcross, Georgia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“You have to do it...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2009

I had the opportunity to take a last minute "Safari" last weekend where I not only got to enjoy the Sampoo Icebreaker (swimming in the Baltic, eating Reindeer soup, and getting a very informative tour of the ship) but got to the boat after they set sail from port by driving a snowmobile to a desiginated spot. We left our snowmobiles there, boarded the ship, left that spot for a bit of icebreaking, then returned to the spot where we went swimming and then back to our rides. Very cool to actually walk up to the ship and touch the hull.

There were five people in total for this tour (Lapponia Safaris) and I joined at the last minute. I got to meet some very nice people from other countries who were visitng Kemi specifically for the Icebreaker and Ice Castle (I personally was working there for two weeks and had an open weekend). We snowmobiled to a reindeer farm where we saw traditional Finnish tents used for keeping warm, etc., took a short sled ride powered by a reindeer, ate reindeer sandwiches and warmed up sipping Lingonberry juice. From there we headed towards the ship for a once in a lifetime experience seeing how a small Icebreaker works its magic.

The 3 hour time on the ship was filled with a very informative tour of the ship, a short lunch, and then swimming. There were probably about 70 or so people on the ship and almost all went swimming. The Sampoo uses survival suits so you do not feel at all cold when you get into the water and swim with the ice. You float automatically because of the air that's in the suit. You look like a blow up doll or a red Gumby floating in water. When the ship was ready to go back to port, our group left the ship and got back onto our snowmobiles.

The whole adventure was so worth it and would recommend it to anyone. Enjoy!!!

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6 Thank Anonymous_in_US
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
“Amazing but EXPENSIVE!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2005

Sailing on this boat is really a once in a life time experience, partly because the cost is prohibative! But if you have made the decision to part with the cash you won't regret it. The trip we made was the basic boat only option but I believe you can combine it with snowmobiling etc. We had a tour of the boat, lunch and a chance to swim in the frozen water! Both weird and exilarating at the same time! I think the biggest impact on me was the huge open expanses of nothingness visable as the ice merged into the sky, it still makes me wax lyrical even now! One piece of advise, if you think you have enough warm clothes with you, sneek that extra jumper into your bag, you'll need it! You really don't want t spend you whole trip in the bar just because you are too cold to go outside. Have fun!

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27 Thank smileme2you
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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