Europe Scandinavia


If you’re looking for an exhilarating and unforgettable adventure on the water, then look no further than a sea cruise on board the Polar Explorer Icebreaker in Sweden. This unique winter sea experience will take you on an unforgettable journey through the icy waters of the Gulf of Bothnia, where you will have the chance to witness some of the most breathtaking landscapes of the Swedish coastline before taking an exhilarating dip in the ocean!


The cruise company offer pickups throughout Finland (Rovaniemi, Kemi and Tornio) and Sweden (Haparanda, Luleå), or like us, you can take on the scenic drive and enjoy snow-covered landscapes of both Finnish and Swedish Lapland. You might even see a white hare or a herd of reindeer on your drive. The journey (by car) from Rovaniemi took us a little under 3 hours and with our sail time commencing at 10am (there’s also the option of 1pm), our start was rather early indeed. Small Continental breakfast before we left (I need caffeine in the mornings), and the ‘Alphabet’ game to try and keep boredom at bay for our journey – didn’t last long as the girls closed their eyes for a nap! I have to say, floating in icy waters has been on my bucket list for many years, so I was super-excited at the thought of today’s excursion!



The 3 hour ice cruise adventure starts in Axelsviksvägen, a charming little city located on the coast of northern Sweden. Dockside, you are greeted warmly by the crew of the Polar Explorer Icebreaker, before being allowed to board and embark on a thrilling journey to the frozen Baltic sea. The icebreaker is a massive vessel that is specifically designed to break through the dense layers of ice that cover the winter waters of the Gulf of Bothnia. As you venture further out to sea, you will be amazed by the stunning scenery that surrounds you. The landscape is dotted with snow-covered islands, frozen bays, and rugged cliffs. The eery winter-silence is broken only by the sound of the icebreaker as it crushes through the 1 metre thick ice.


Don’t forget to survey your surroundings whilst out at sea, as there’s always a chance to see the majestic wildlife that calls this Arctic region home. You may be lucky enough to spot a polar bear, arctic fox, leopard seals, or even a humpback whale as you cruise through the frozen seas. For families with children, there’s a chance to leave the cruise ship and explore the frozen landscape once the vessel stops to allow for ice floating. Its a strange feeling stepping out onto a frozen ocean as you can hear the ice moving beneath your feet…which is quite unsettling! A crew member provided us with a kicksled to enjoy whilst out on the frozen ocean. I also had time to take out the drone…until it crashed down to earth – rotary blades froze mid flight (it was -8oC)! Thankfully I did recover the drone and aside from needing new propellers, no serious harm one!



The Polar Explorer Icebreaker is absolutely huge! Standing at the front of the ship it’s clear to see why it is so effective in breaking through the ice – sturdy, powerful and built for Arctic exploration! Back on board the Polar Explorer Icebreaker, there are plenty of amenities to keep everyone comfortable. The cosy restaurant provided a warm and inviting retreat from the chilly outside temperatures, and there was a great variety of delicious meals, snacks and hot drinks that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.


The highlight of the trip is having the chance to take a dip in the icy waters of the Arctic Circle – but it’s not as bad (or as scary) as it sounds! You will have the opportunity to put on a warm and protective arctic survival drysuit and plunge into the frigid waters. The water has less than 1% salinity and floating is completely effortless, however…manoeuvring takes a little more effort and energy! Matilda and Lily-Belle were both a little apprehensive until they hit the water, and then they were completely at ease, allowing the mild current to move them around on the surface of the water. And we know this activity might sound dangerous, and maybe a little crazy, but it’s 100% safe and an experience that you and your family will cherish forever! I must warn you, the crew do make jokes about sharks, and people floating out to sea never to be seen again!


If you’re lucky and take the Polar Explorer Icebreaker cruise in the depths of winter (December/January) you may even get to witness the spectacular Northern Lights. The ship’s crew keep an eye out for the Aurora Borealis and will alert you if they make an appearance in the sky. Imagine watching the shimmering green and purple hues of light dancing across the sky while cruising through the icy waters of the Arctic Circle – amazing! As our cruise was in the morning, no light show for us!



The Polar Explorer Icebreaker is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. It’s an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Arctic winter landscape. You’ll make new friends, try exciting activities, and create memories that will last a lifetime. With stunning natural scenery, exciting wildlife encounters, on-ice activities and of course, ice-floating – it’s the perfect way to experience the magic of the Arctic in comfort and style. And don’t forget to drop by the shop to collect your souvenirs, and purchase photographs of your frozen floating adventure. Oh, almost forgot – on disembarkation, the crew hand out a ‘Cruise & Swim Certificate’ to prove that you did indeed, swim in the Bothnian Sea in the depths of winter!


A unanimous yes! We’re so glad that we got to collaborate with the Polar Explorer Icebreaker for our trip to Swedish Lapland. Floating in icy water has been on my bucket list for quite some time. The experience is out of this world – such a unique activity to partake in as a family and in all honesty, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that, if we ever get the chance, we’d like to repeat! Quite possibly one of the best winter activities that we’ve ever taken part in! Wow!

With a very special THANK YOU to:

  • Kerttu (marketing) – we are extremely grateful to you for organising our amazing morning on board the Polar Explorer Icebreaker – what an unbelievable experience we had. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and look forward to encouraging others to attend and float around in the icy water of the Bothnian Sea.

This, for me, was probably one of the best collaborations we’ve experienced – massive ship, crushing ice, floating in the sea and just enjoying the deep depths of a Swedish Winter – simply amazing! Thank you for helping us to create memories that we will cherish for ever!


As this was our fifth visit to Finland, it was great that we got to cross into Sweden and try something completely unique and different. Floating in the sea is really scary at first, but you soon relax and enjoy floating around.


I was very scared and really didn’t want to do the ice floating, but once I got the survival suit on, and was lowered into the freezing cold water, I started to relax and enjoy it – the suit keeps the cold water out, and you stay really warm, it’s so much fun just floating around looking into the sky!

Travel Itinerary

Date(s) of visit: 17th February 2023
Excursion Fee: from €242 (children) and €285 (adult) per person – Book Here
Pricing & Info: for further information, please visit Polar Explorer Icebreaker

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[disclaimer: Our visit to Polar Explorer Icebreaker was gifted. Gifted item(s) were provided in return for social media and blog coverage. This blog post contains external links – we do not receive any commission or payment if you click through these links]


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