This is the inside scoop on how the VR Overnight Train or Santa Claus train looks like.
It'll give you an idea of whether seating and sleeping berth passengers can cross visit.
For the purpose of this research, I booked a mix of sleeping berths and seatings. There were 6 of us, 3 sleeping berths and 3 second class seats.
In the end, my sister and I shared a bed while roomies for life shared a bed in the other room. The upper beds in both rooms were occupied by a single gorgeous person (A and J).
Helsinki - Rovaniemi - Helsinki
Helsinki Central Station
Helsinki to Rovaniemi
Leaves at 18:49 - Arrives at 07:13
(Basic Ticket) Upper deck - Second class seats - EU 80 pp
(Basic Ticket) Second class sleeping berths - EU 136 pp
Rovaniemi to Helsinki
Leaves at 18:03 - Arrives at 06:24
(Saver Ticket) Upper deck - Second class seats - EU 35 pp
(Saver Ticket) First class sleeping berths - EU 140 pp
*Saver tickets get snatch-up quickly so you really must book and pay immediately.
Company provider: VR
Booking: slots get book quickly depending on the season. You can book 3 months in advance, which losers like me do. I was on the dot 3 months ahead. I scurried to book our rooms and seats the week our dates opened. Even with that, we missed the "Saver Tickets" to Rovaniemi and almost missed it coming back to Helsinki.
VR Train link here: https://bit.ly/2pBPBht
If you ever do a combo like us, try your best to book cars that are closest to each other. Save that energy and time for meals and chit chats
Gets filled very quickly. Something we realised on our way to Roveniemi. We had to console ourselves with the bar stools and the fact that we are really ready to crash on the bed. Exhausted is an understatement.
Coming back to Rovaniemi, we were smarter. We hang out in the restaurant car first as soon as we got on board.
Even if you book a single passenger for the sleeping berth, the room will be set up for two. *wink wink
From experience in both of our trips, yes, you can. The restaurant car is at the end of the train. Go figure, everyone must have access to it.
First Class Sleeping Berths (Upper Deck)
- ensuite bathroom
- bath towel is provided
Second Class Sleeping Berths (Lower Deck)
- shower room and water closets are shared and are located at both ends of the car
- hand towel is provided
Bigger spaced rooms
These are available on the lower deck, at the end of the car in front of WC. Suitable for passengers with pets, wheelchair or anyone who prefers bigger space for a small additional fee.
Can only be accessed by the shower room key. It only has shower gels so bring in your bath essentials.
As I wrote it on 24 June 2014 and some additional insights I learned in the last 4 years. Still learning!
1. Before the end of each year, I pick 3 countries/cities I want to see.
I might not have the money, I might not have time, it might be difficult to get a visa... I don't care! I am picking!!! So, looking at the next 12 months, list the top 3 countries or cities you have been meaning to see and why do you want to visit each?
2. Build a rough "must-do". List your top 3 things in each places.
If you ever push through, you have the top 3 to aim for, everything else will be a bonus. That way, you don't feel stressed into jamming your day with so many things to do or places to see. You are on vacation, you are not at work!
I always get asked how did I come to know TREKKUP and why I think it's the best thing ever after the discovery of chocolates.
2017. I wanted to do something different, travel with more authenticity, more back door attraction, less on the cliches, less attention on the unnecessary, perhaps not after what is comfortable but more on the experience.
I saw one of their posts regarding a Sudan trip. Something about the Tree of Life looking like that tree in the Avatar movie. There was something about having proper encounter with Tribesmen. It really looks like one of those unique, once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip. I cannot remember why I didn't sign up but perhaps because the trip was intimidating for an adventure-newbie like me and I didn't have any more vacation days from work. I did not sign up for the trip but did join the group.
I remember receiving announcements of trips after trips each coming weekend, admiring the descriptions and dreaming of being there, wherever they will be.
Then one day, I saw a trip to experience Sunrise at Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka!
Life is hectic and complicated, even moreso when you have children and a full time career to take care of. Add in each individual dreams that are intertwined with the present, life becomes a full time exciting chaos.
We have to live in the present with one eye on the future, it is a constant balancing act.
Joseph and I met at a time when we had to be responsible individuals. We skipped the part of getting "to know you" and straight away had Alex. Naturally, we regressed to getting to know each other in bits and pieces throughout the years. So for us, we are not just living our present and preparing for the future, we are also looking back, way back to have a better understanding of each other's nooks and crannies.
It has always been one of my frustrations not being able to bring my skating shoes with me in my travels. I always like to try skating rinks in different countries but skating shoes are not particularly light nor small. Whether a solo traveler or with my family, suitcase space is important.
I once tried the skating rink of Rockefeller Center in New York under the watchful eyes of Prometheus and I badly wished I had my shoes with me. Wearing rentals is such a raffle draw, either the blade is too worn out, toe pick damaged or worst.... wet inside soles.
When I found out there is a trip to Kazakhstan for a skiing weekend and found out that they have the highest open skating rink in the world, or so it is claimed, I knew I have to bring them shoes. But perhaps will have to hide the fact from Joseph, he is such a practical traveler, I will earn a disapproving finger wag "no".
We used to flip through the pages of glossy magazines or colourful webpages, drool and gawk at gorgeous places we only dreamed of seeing. We used to daydream over the idea of food we might never get to taste. Wondered how each destination feels.