All Our Finnish Portfolio Adventures

The Adventure

A 5 day holiday focused around the Savonlinna Opera Festival with world class performances staged in the courtyard of St Olaf’s castle in the middle of Finland’s Saimaa Lake district, a labyrinth of clear blue lakes and pine clad islands crafted by nature during the Ice Age. In 2018, Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades with its romantic echoes of Pushkin’s Russia will premiere in Olavinlinna Castle and the Italian Puccini Festival from Tuscany will perform Tosca, Turandot and Madame Butterfly with Verdi's Faust and Otello completing the summer's progaramme, On one afternoon of your stay you’ll sail the waters of the Saimaa on a traditional hand built Lakeland Steamer, the S/S Paul Wahl; enjoy a guided tour of the castle before that evening’s performance, a pre-performance lecture and a glass of bubbly in the Congress Hall during the interval.

 

What’s Special About This

The unique synthesis of world class opera performed in the courtyard of a medieval castle against a backdrop of the exquisitely untainted Finnish countryside: a sort of Nordic Glyndebourne with a twist. Plus cruising on Lake Saimaa, gorging on the unique atmosphere of a Finnish summer and slipping in a stay in Helsinki, which has more to offer than its reputation amongst cynics would have you believe.

Hotel Torni

The domed ceiling and art deco inlaid wood panelling in the Torni’s reception speaks of something special. Once Finland’s tallest building the Ateljee Bar at the top of the building’s tower has the best views of Helsinki as do the loos which have outside glass walls. The rooms take you back to twenties elegance with tile stoves, wood flooring, claw feet bathtubs, all mod cons and are furnished in either art deco style or national romantic style. Twin rooms come in Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles with private WC/shower, TV, mini bar, tea/coffee tray. Not quite up to the Seurahuone on the pillows front, none the less each bed has 3 sizes and a memory foam mattress that adapts to your body based on your body heat and weight. Unmissable from Mannerheimintie Street, the Torni couldn’t be better placed for a short stay.

1st Day UK – Helsinki

fly to Helsinki, transfer to your choice of hotel (the Torni or Fabian) and check in. Helsinki is an eclectic mix of east and west set on a peninsula: a neo-classical gem with an art nouveau quarter laced with Alvar Aalto's spectacular modern architecture; smart pavement cafés on Esplanadi; gourmet restaurants at less than London prices and retail therapy for iconic design brands like Arabia and Iittala.

2nd Day Helsinki-Savonlinna

Take breakfast in your hotel, check out, leave for the airport and fly up to Savonlinna. Transfer to your hotel (the Totti or Suerahuone) and then get your bearings in this exquisite city dominated by its medieval castle. For the ultimate Savo supper try Muikkuterassi,which serves up Vendace fried in butter on a terrace overlooking Lake Saimaa.

3rd & 4th Days Lakeland Days & Opera Performances

after breakfast start off your first day with a cruise on Lake Saimaa in a traditional Lakeland steamer with its characteristic high pipe funnel, mahogany woodwork and all round viewing decks. The lake, formed by glacial melting at the end of the Ice Age, is dotted with some 14,000 islands like lilies on a giant pond; splintered by isthmuses and home to the Saimaa Ringed Seal. On the second day of your stay, a good way to get around and see more is by bike or kayak. The highlight events are of course the Opera performances staged in the Castle. The Festival has grown from a one-week event at its inception into a month long international festival. Each year it attracts an audience of around 60,000 and has become a byword among opera lovers the world over. Its artistic standard was already attracting widespread interest and approbation back in the 1970s, when the then Artistic Director, world famous bass singer Martti Talvela, sought to emulate Aino Ackté’s original purpose; that of placing Savonlinna on an artistic par with the great European festivals whilst showcasing the best of Finnish opera. Prior to your first evening’s performance you'll have a guided tour of the 15th-century three-tower castle and attend a pre-opera talk, and during the evening’s interval enjoy a glass of bubbly.

5th Day Helsinki-UK

take breakfast in your hotel before leaving for the airport and flying back via Helsinki to the UK.

What’s included in your ScanAdventure:

Return scheduled flights from the UK to Savonlinna via Helsinki
Airline stopover charges
Carriage of luggage (1pc Cabin & 1pc Hold)
All passenger service charges and airport departure taxes
Complimentary beverages & Pay on Board food service (international flight legs)
Accommodation at hotels as per itinerary
Lodging in twin rooms with private WC/shower
Opera tickets for chosen performances (2).
[Certain performances & seats may carry a supplemen]t.
Saimaa Lake cruise (1½ hrs)
Guided tour of Castle
Pre-opera talk(s) Interval drink(s) in Congress Hall

Departure Dates & Prices:

July 7th – August 4th 2018 From £1119pp
*Guide Prices are based on our mid-level contract air fares which are real time variable unlike our ground costs. We don't do fancy lead in prices and always use the lowest air fare available at the time you confirm your booking. This may mean your holiday being slightly less or more in which case a proportionate reduction/supplement will apply. Carpe Diem = the earlier you book the better, especially for public & school holdays. 

Safaris included or available on request

The S/S Paul Wahl sailing in front of Ovanlinna Castle | ScanAdventures

  • 5 Days in Finland
  • 2 Performance Tickets included
  • 3 Breakfasts & 3 suppers 
  • Protective Thermal Clothing included
  • Guide £1499 PER PERSON