Virtually Visiting offers world first four-day virtual holiday to Arctic Sweden

Virtual travel company Virtually Visiting is offering the world’s first four-day virtual ‘holiday’ through Arctic Sweden, according to reports online.

Starting this Saturday, April 18, each day of the ‘trip’ will offer new experiences taking guests on a wintery tour of Swedish Lapland. The holiday is free of charge.

Virtual holidays and virtual travel has provided an alternative after most countries grounded passenger flights and imposed travel restrictions looking to mitigate the health risks due to COVID-19 outbreak. The Arctic Sweden tour provides guests an opportunity to join local expert guides on some of the regions iconic Arctic experiences as well as visit the world famous ICEHOTEL and Treehotel. To join the adventure, visit https://virtuallyvisiting.com/360-journeys/

Jonny Cooper, founder of Virtually Visiting, said: ‘We wanted to put you right in the action, allowing you to experience tours as though you were there. This is about keeping the travel experience real; we meet some of the best local guides who walk us through local life to give guests the real-life experience – from their own homes.’

On the first day, guests will arrive 144km north of the Arctic Circle to the famous ICEHOTEL in Kiruna. ICEHOTEL guide Matilda will give guests a personal tour around the hotel and into four of the intricately carved ice rooms.

On Sunday, April 19, guests will head 250km south to Lassbyn to meet local guide and founder of the Aurora Safari Camp, Fredrik Broman who will take guests on a snowmobile adventure through the Swedish wilderness. On Monday, April 20, guests will meet the founder of the luxury Treehotel, Kent Lindvall who will take visitors on a tour of seven tree-top hotel rooms. On the last day, Tuesday April 21, guests will join Erik Hordijk from Yellow Snow Husky Tours in Kroktask to learn about harnessing huskies for the journey across the frozen landscape and set off on a dog-sled adventure.

‘As well as our new virtual holiday, we’re also working hard in the background to add further capabilities allowing us to run live VR tours in the future, adding even more real time interaction with guides,’ Cooper added.

Temperatures to drop below -10C, army are on standby

Arctic conditions could bring temperatures as low as -11C as the big breeze hits the UK.

This week temperatures are likely to plummet well below freezing, with many parts of the country seeing weather colder than Iceland. Four inches of snow and ice are likely to cover parts of the country over the next week.

A high-pressure system hanging over Scandinavia pushing freezing winds across to the UK.

The weather warning has been upgraded by the Met Office to level three. Explaining that England is 100 per cent likely to experience ‘severe’ conditions over the next seven days.

The army are already on standby incase level four ‘a major cold weather incident’ sets in.

According to the Met Office temperatures will drop to as low as -6C (21.2F) tomorrow and on Thursday, when daytime maximums will be no more than 3C (37.4F).

This is likely to be the longest spell of cold weather this winter, experts say.

Clare Allen, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: ‘We’ve got an easterly wind across the country bringing snow showers off the North Sea.

‘Most areas of the UK will see daytime maximum temperatures of 2C (35.6F) and 3C.

‘London will be a maximum of 4C (39.2F), so it’s going to be pretty cold.’

BBC Radio 5 Live reported that temperatures could fall as low as -11C.

Paul Mott, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: ‘The nights will be really cold throughout the week and there will be the occasional snow shower over the eastern counties of England, eastern Scotland and even London.’

Police in the south have warned drivers in some parts of the country not to travel unless it is vital after snowfall over the higher areas of Exmoor and Dartmoor.

Mr Mott said: ‘There has been a sprinkling of snow overnight over parts of Wales, Devon, Somerset and Hampshire.

‘It has mainly been over hills – with accumulations of up to 5cm in some areas – but there have also been some falls on lower ground locally.

‘There will be some fairly wet snow falling over the hills of Gloucestershire, Somerset and south Wales this morning but it will struggle to settle so shouldn’t cause too many transport problems,’ Mott said.

 

New Arctic adventures for visitors to Luleå in Swedish Lapland

This winter, it is even easier for tourists to experience the thrill of Swedish Lapland, as Visit Luleå has now launched fixed departure activity tours, which operate up to three times a week with a minimum of just two participants. All the activities, which include brand new hovercraft archipelago and Northern Lights tours, as well as snowmobiling and driving on ice, are within easy reach of the city, which makes Luleå the ideal destination for those who want a winter break without donning skis.

Luleå, set just south of the Arctic Circle in a stunning white winter desert, is a microcosm of everything that is great about Swedish Lapland but, instead of having to drive hours between each point of interest, everything is accessible within around 30 minutes. This means that visitors can spend all their time enjoying the new winter activities on offer on the ground, including:

·         NEWHovercraft archipelago tour – Brand new for 2011/2012, this spectacular hovercraft tour over pack-ice fields gives visitors a chance to explore the outer islands of the archipelago and even go for a walk on the towering ice on special trails – from 2,135 SEK (£203)

·         NEWNorthern Lights adventure – Donning snowshoes, adventurers can explore otherwise inaccessible terrain on this brand new, two-hour guided tour. Participants walk through the Brändö forests where Northern Lights can be spotted under the correct conditions, which scientists are claiming are better this year than for the last 50. During the tour, guests will find out more about life in the wilderness, and learn how to light a fire in the snow and prepare dinner under the open sky – from 975 SEK (£93)

·         Ice driving – Test your driving skills on ice! Take both cars and go-carts for a spin on six specially created tracks along the beautiful frozen Ebbenjarka lake – from 1,495 SEK per person (£142)

·         Dog sledding – Visit a husky farm and take off on a two hour dog sledding adventure through frozen lakes and forest. Alternatively, get involved and learn how to drive and command your own sled- from 1,335 SEK (£127)

·         Snowmobiling – A favourite winter pastime of the locals, enjoy an exhilarating snowmobile excursion through snow-covered forests and to superb viewing spots – from 1,215 SEK (£116)

·         Snowmobile pack ice tour – A snowmobile tour to the island of Brändöskär, a 17th century fishing village in the outermost archipelago, next to the Bothnian bay. Along the way the guide tells participants about life in the northern wilderness and gives them a chance to try ice-fishing. Lunch is cooked over an open fire in a large muurikka pan – from 2,150 SEK (£205)

·         Ice breaker – Jump aboard the ice-classified Arctic Explorer and head out into the frozen archipelago, breaking through the ice as you go.  And the particularly adventurous can don a survival suit and take a dip in the Arctic Ocean! Only available for ten people or more – from 1,235 SEK (£118)

All of these tours can be booked with transfers and are now available via www.tour-lapland.com

Tourists go in search of the frozen planet

The popularity of the BBC’s Frozen Planet nature series has created a boom in holidays to the Arctic and the Antarctic.

 

Viewers have been so impressed by the program hosted by David Attenborough that holidays to icy destinations are on the up.

 

Many tourists are now going in search of their own frozen adventure, booking trips to see penguins, seals and whales.

 

Whilst it may be difficult for the average Brit to venture as far as the Frozen planet team went, there are many alternatives. Trips to nature hot spots and polar cruises have seen a massive increase in bookings as tourists hope to search out the spectacular sights they’ve seen on TV.

 

Luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent says it has had a massive surge in calls about its Classic Antarctica voyage since the Frozen Planet series has been aired.

 

Annabel Tremaine, head of marketing for Abercrombie & Kent, said: ‘Our hands-on 15-day Antarctica voyage aboard Le Boreal has really captured people’s imaginations and sense of adventure, combined with the ultimate in safety and comfort.

 

‘Our sales team have been inundated with enquiries the morning after each episode of the BBC’s Frozen Planet. The fact that we can bring our clients the stunning reality they have seen on screen is really exciting.’