M/S Birka Cruise ship arrives to Kemi, Santa’s home port, on Christmas Eve
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International cruise season didn’t end in August this year in Sea Lapland. For the first time a passenger cruise ship arrives to the Port of Ajos in Kemi in the middle of the Winter. Santa Cruise departures from Stockholm on 22nd of December and arrives to Kemi on Christmas Eve at 7 am Finnish time.

Swedish M/S Birka is Birka Line shipping company’s luxury cruiser (Registered owner Eckerö Shipping). The length of the ship is 177 meters and width 28 meters. The capacity of the ship is 1800 passengers and this time there are approximately 1400 Christmas passengers on Santa Cruise. Passengers are mostly Swedish. What makes this cruise exceptional is that the Port of Ajos in Kemi is covered with sea ice this time of the year.  The icebreaker season has just started in Bothnian Bay, although M/S Birka does not need any help in arriving to the port. In the same port is located the only passenger Icebreaker Sampo, which will start cruising with customers around the world on 22th of December.

There is a lot of programme arranged for families on the five-day-long Santa Cruise, although the high point of the cruise is arriving to Santa’s Harbour in Finnish Lapland on Christmas Eve and meeting the Santa Claus in Santa Park in Rovaniemi. Sailor Elves from Kemi are also welcoming the cruiser’s guests to Finland. Elves are giving information about the services in the city. Most of the passengers travel by bus to meet the Santa Claus and part of the passengers spend their day on the ship. Some passengers will meet the reindeers and some go to the Husky safaris. Kemi Tourism Ltd. has also arranged bus transfers to Kemi city centre.

More information about cruiser’s timetable in Swedish https://www.birka.se/uploads/Pdf/Santa-Cruise-Kryssningsprogram-2017.pdf