So far this year, since 2016 began, I have done some pretty extreme travel activities. I’ve swum with sharks, zip-lined through the jungles and slept in a snow hotel, as crazy and fun as all these things were, nothing comes close, to going on the incredible Sampo Icebreaker ship and swimming with icebergs! In my wildest dreams, I never ever thought I would do something so amazing and crazy. Up until a few months ago, I had no idea that something so crazy and incredible like this actually existed, except for in Antarctica.
Swimming with icebergs in the arctic circled seemed like something you can die from, doesn’t it? I mean what kind of a crazy person does that? That would be me! 😉 and a few other badass people.
Going on the Sampo Icebreaker was by far one of the best things I have ever done in my traveling life. I would put it on my top 3 best experiences throughout my travels. It was just amazing and perfect in every way! The ship was beautiful and well kept, the staff was amazing and the food was great.
When I originally was planning my winter Europe trip and stumbled upon the beautiful SnowCastle in Kemi, Finland, I saw the Sampo Icebreaker, at first, I didn’t fully understand what it was about. I saw a massive ship in the middle of nowhere breaking through icebergs and glaciers, which completely looked like something from Antarctica. Up until that moment, I only thought that in order to go and do something that amazing, I would have to go to the end of the world to experience it. Turns out, I was wrong! You could simply do it in Kemi, Finland! But swimming in the freezing cold water was a whole other crazy I was shocked to see existed.
Researching the Sampo Icebreaker
When I did some more research and began to watch videos of people swimming with icebergs, I thought to myself, these people are completely insane! How crazy is that?! Who does that?! It seemed completely scary and out of my comfort zone. However, shortly after booking my trip to Kemi to sleep in their snow hotel and glass igloo, I was offered a once in a lifetime chance to actually ride the Sampo Icebreaker! There was no way in hell I was going to pass up a free ride on this beautiful and massive ship, that looked like a better version of the Titanic! It turns out that swimming in the water with icebergs in the middle of the arctic circle isn’t that crazy or scary in reality.
Swimming with Icebergs
It turns out that swimming in the water with icebergs in the middle of the arctic circle isn’t that crazy or scary in reality, anyone can do it! You’re given a survival suit, that mostly protects you from the cold. The only thing that is exposed is your face and let’s just say that’s a good thing, otherwise what good would the experience be if you couldn’t see anything lol. The only part of my body that was freezing was my hands. The gloves were made out of very thin rubber, very similar to the kind of rubber gloves you would use in your kitchen to clean dishes or your house. It was the only reason I got out of the water, I literally couldn’t feel my hands.
The water itself doesn’t get any colder than 0’C/32’F, which I found to be shocking because it’s warmer to swim in the water than it is to sleep in the snow hotel which is -5’C/23’F! However, the temperature outside was -7C’/20’F.
Transportation to the Sampo Icebreaker
There are 2 ways of getting to the Sampo Icebreaker, one would be a pick up from your hotel and the other is taking a snowmobile ride there. I ended up taking the snowmobile to the Icebreaker, which stops at a reindeer farm before arriving at the ship. However, if I had to do it again, I would have probably not taken the snowmobile, it was just too much for one day, they had bad customer service and after that long crazy day, where you’re tired and freezing, the last thing you want to do is ride 20 miles in the freezing cold at night back to your hotel (just my personal opinion).
So here it is, snowmobile, a reindeer farm, the amazing Sampo Icebreaker and swimming with icebergs in the Arctic Circle!
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* Vanilla Sky Dreaming was invited by Visit Kemi Tourism and The Sampo Icebreaker. Thank you to Visit Kemi Tourism and the Sampo Icebreaker for welcoming Vanilla Sky Dreaming! As always, my opinion is my own.