Dog Sledding holidays, Finland

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Date
Price
Basis
14 Jan 2018
£ 2719
including UK flights
4 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Jan 2018 departure
28 Jan 2018
£ 2769
including UK flights
5 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 28 Jan 2018 departure
18 Mar 2018
£ 2799
including UK flights
5 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Mar 2018 departure
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Dog Sledding holidays, Finland

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip you will spend 1 night in a snow hotel, 4 nights in wilderness huts and 2 nights in wilderness cabin. The trip starts at the Arctic Circle, passing then through the Oulanka National Park and along the Russian border zone. There is no running water and no electricity in any of the accommodations, our stay there has zero impact on the environment. The clients can experience a Finnish shower and they get involved in the process of cutting water from the river ice to use for the shower and for the sauna, along with hot water. The fuel used is totally sustainable and no waste is produce as all rubbish is removed and taken away at the stay of the stay by the leader.

Activity:
Before starting the actual activities for the week the clients have the opportunity to learn the habitat of the area by studying the Oulanka NP exhibition at Karhunkierros visitor centre.
Our main activity is dogsledding, which is very environmentally friendly in that we leave no permanent ‘footprint’ on the land. Very limited use of cars for transfers helps to sustain the reputation of this area having the cleanest air in Europe - a fact that our local operator is proud to promote. We are careful not to leave litter in our pristine surroundings and even pay attention to light and noise pollution levels. The dogs are taken great care of and clients will get an insight into the schedule of nurture which goes into working with these animals. Although this is a wilderness trip, we do stay at local cabins and there will be opportunities to engage with locals, which encourages positive cultural exchange. The local leaders have a great interaction with the group and play a key role in imparting local knowledge about Finnish traditions as well.

Husky Farm:
There are only 50 huskies at Karhunkierros Huskies and as the number of dogs is small, each of them has a name and gets the personal care and attention. The dogs are well trained and they enjoy human company. This has been made possible by treating the dogs with fair discipline combined with positive rewarding. It is strictly forbidden to use painful methods or tools designed for controlling or training the dogs by fear or pain. There are 4 dogs in each kennel and they are much more spacious than animal welfare law in Finland requires. As a result dogs feel much more relaxed and calm and this also prevents unnecessary aggression and behavioural disorders. The kennels are cleaned every day, and the bowls washed every day. Doghouses are cleaned anytime needed and kennels are disinfected twice a year.

Conservation:
Part of the trip cost is a contribution which goes towards wilderness protection and conservation of Oulanka National Park. This donation is used partially for the restoration of Kärpäskelhä- which is an old meadow area used for cows, sheep and reindeer to graze in. The meadow has been out of use since the mid 50’s and has since been growing freely, slowly losing its usual customers and instead becoming overrun with plants and insects. Now, with Basecamp Oulanka, clients can volunteer in Kärpäskelhä if they like and participate in conservation activities. Together with our local operators we have donated more than 60,000 Euros over the past 6 years to wilderness protection work.

A Fair Deal:
All of our guides are local and live close to the camp, which has a positive effect on the very high unemployment levels in these rural areas. This also ensures that all generated income stays within the community and helps the village to function properly. Our staff work all year round and receive wages every month- despite our working season not covering the whole year. All staff is educated on responsible tourism issues and this should come across to clients in frequent briefings on current environmental and community issues. Their training extends to topics like flora and fauna, socioeconomic systems and sustainable tourism.


UK Office
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in a unique, family-run hotel that cannot benefit from big coach tours and other mass tourism due to its limited size.

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