Finnair Launches Brand New ‘Arctic Express’ Service: Connecting You to Santa Claus and the Northern Lights in One Magical Trip

If a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Arctic at Christmas has ever been on your bucket list, Finnair is making it possible to tick it off. The airline is set to improve its Nordic flight connections by linking Finland’s capital, Helsinki, the hometown of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi and the ideal Aurora Borealis viewing location, Tromsø in Norway. Finnair will then become the only airline operating a direct flight route between these two famous Arctic cities.

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis in Tromsø, Norway
The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis in Tromsø, Norway © Angela Compagnone

In preparation for the Christmas period, flights will begin operating on December 2, 2023, with the winter seasonal route allowing Northern Lights seekers to fly into Helsinki, adding stopovers to Rovaniemi and Tromsø before returning home via Helsinki once again.

The airline’s 68-seater ATR aircraft will operate the flights on this route, ensuring passengers a guaranteed window or aisle seat- perfect for spotting a glimpse of the Northern Lights and eliminating the dreaded assigned middle seat altogether!

As of now, Finnair offers flights to 14 destinations within Finland and five to destinations within Norway; however, by winter, the airline will increase its flights to include 10 direct daily flights from Helsinki to Rovaniemi and a flight to Tromsø. The flights offered have also been aligned to fit in with UK departures from all major airports, such as London Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Dublin. This means smooth connections from as little as 35-minute transfers, all from within the comfort of the same terminal.

On board a Finnair Aircraft that can take you to Helsinki, Rovaniemi and Tromsø.
On board a Finnair Aircraft that can take you to Helsinki, Rovaniemi, and Tromsø © Mikko Ryhänen

Conveniently combining Lapland and Norway…

What was once seen as a remote and niche location to visit due to the struggles of aligning flights to fit specific schedules is now an open and accessible destination, one of convenience and ease. Antti Tolvanen, Finnair SVP Network & Revenue Management, said: “The Arctic nature and high-quality travel experiences appeal to travelers from various parts of the world, such as Asia and Central Europe.”

 “With this new connection, visitors to the Arctic region can conveniently combine both Lapland and Northern Norway in one trip.”

Travelers now have no excuse to visit such a beautiful and unique part of the world during the festive season, perfect for families and Aurora Borealis chasers.

Flights will depart every Thursday and Saturday from each location before returning via the same route that afternoon.

How would you like to visit Santa Claus and the Northern Lights on Finnair’s new Arctic Express? Let us know in the comments.

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Romy Simpson
Romy Simpson
Romy is a final-year Criminology student at the University of Bristol, with a passion for investigative journalism. Utilising her skills learned throughout her degree, curious mindset and a newfound respect for travel after a year-long study abroad placement in Australia, Romy writes with these factors at the forefront of her mind.