Heading back towards Copenhagen, Denmark the ICE is just about to be driven onto the ship for the next part of this journey. The fare is included on the Eurail Pass at no additional cost for this particular day’s travel.
The Intercity Express (ICE) sitting tightly on board whilst all passengers must go off the train whereby they can sit and eat, walk around or buy duty free during the crossing. Only need to take personal belongings and the luggage stays locked within.
We’re now coming off the ship and very close to Malmo, Sweden.
Look really cute ‘eh? Glad he didn’t like the smell of my luggage …
I overnighted in Malmo as it was a little too late for another four hours to Stockholm. Here at the station you can watch moving images on the walls and quite intriguing.
Heading through Sweden now and onto Stockholm for an overnight ferry crossing to Helsinki which is where the Santa Claus Express departs from.
Glad I travelled by train the next day – just so beautiful to see first hand.
Snowing quite heavily but it’s not something I see each Christmas and I’m really enjoying the view. Nice and cosy in the train I’ll admit …
Once in Stockholm it’s an easy transfer down to the port on bus 53. The ferry crossing with Viking Lines to Helsinki does not allow you free passage with your Eurail Pass, but it’s a saving of 30% when you book.
Once on board this Santa is into everything; fashion parades, chatting up the ladies, consoling all the crying kiddies and generally having a fab time.
The buffet was just delectable, with so many choices and at 38 Euro exceptional value and included beer and wine. I asked how much wine you could have, and promptly told as much as you like … In Aussie terms, how long can a piece of string be?
Now at Helsinki main train station waiting for the Santa Claus Express to arrive.
The train will let us off at Rovaniemi which is the official home town of Santa Claus. The journey overnight took just under 13 hours and smooth as.
To book the first-class cabins you must use a day of your first-class Eurail Pass and the additional cost is approximately 94 Euro per person based on a twin cabin with private facilities.
On our way and yes I’m snug in bed as it’s snowing well and truly outside.
Superb ride all the way and woke refreshed to find we had arrived at Rovaniemi.
Bus number 8 will take us to Santa’s office at the Village and is where the Arctic Circle crosses through.
I told Santa I’d especially come to visit him and he asked to send Greetings to everyone ‘Down Under’ as he knew it’d had been quite hot there. I also told him I’d be returning home to Sydney on Christmas Day from London as this was now one of the last parts of my trip in Europe.
I now have my official stamp and it’s time to return to Helsinki, but this time I’ll fly to London before making the trek back.
Merry Christmas to everyone and may 2015 be a joyous and prosperous year for everyone. A big ‘thank you’ to all the people along the way who have made the journey one of the most memorable I’ve ever encountered.