One of the best reasons to visit the Swedish Lapland—or any other Arctic location—during the winter is the vast expanse of snowy tundra that can be seen from so many different angles. And in Luleå, one of the largest cities in the Swedish Lapland, a hovercraft tour is one of the most unique ways to get out into that tundra.
Visit Lapland makes it really easy to find tour operators offering these kinds of experiences through a search engine that makes exploring your options easy. A quick look for wintertime activities will unveil a hovercraft tour—lunch included—around the Luleå archipelago. What that means: You’ll scoot across the frozen water in a machine that more resembles a covered zamboni than anything else, taking in the Arctic wildlife and scenery.
After being outfitted in a snowmobile suit and all of the warm weather gear that comes with it (gloves, balaclava, socks, boots, and a helmet), you’ll be on your way with up to four other guests inside the hovercraft. But first: what even is a hovercraft? Take the “hover” part of that name seriously: This machine runs on a constant blast of air cushioning the automobile from the water or ice it’s traveling on. It moves quicker than a boat, thanks to a set of propellors (like an airplane). By definition, it takes the movement methods of a boat and an airplane and pushes them together to create a craft that can easily navigate different types of terrain (like water and ice) in very remote areas. It hovers above waves and other small ice obstructions you’d easily feel on a snowmobile or boat.
There are windows all around you, so checking out the passing scenes is a must. If the conditions are right, you’ll also get the chance to step out of the hovercraft and walk around on the ice. You’ll also enjoy lunch out on the ice in true Lapland fashion. All in all, the experience will last around two-and-a-half hours.
About the weather conditions: There are some instances in which it might be too cold to take the hovercraft out on the ice. If you’re visiting the Swedish Lapland during its coldest months (January or February), have a back-up plan. When the air is too cold, the machine can’t propel itself properly. In the case of a cancellation, you’ll be notified no less than two hours before your tour and will receive a full refund or a rescheduled tour date.
For more information on booking a hovercraft trip with Visit Lapland, head to the tour website.