Santa Claus Express night train Helsinki-Rovaniemi. Do I need a railpass?

Hi, I am planning to travel within the country Finland, from south Helsinki to north the artic circle and then back down.
I wonder if I first need to get an eurail Finland pass in order to make a reservation for the Santa Claus Express Night Train?
Since I wish to travel from south to north by Santa Claus Express Night Train, may I know if there is any other pass options I can choose? Like eurail Scandinavian pass? Knowing that eurail Scandinavian pass travels on national rail networks but does it also cover the trips within one country?
Please and thank you!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 13, 2016 19:47
    Hi Sy,

    There is no such thing as a train that would require passengers have a rail pass to board. A rail pass is something a traveler might purchase to save money when planning to take multiple trains while in Europe (if the cost works out be lower than the regular ticket costs added together). If you're just making a single one-way trip, for instance, then you would just want to purchase a regular ticket instead of a rail pass. The best option for any itinerary would depend on the specific itinerary itself and various other factors.

    Generally, the Santa Claus Express night train between Helsinki and Rovaniemi is able to be viewed and booked on our website; however, due to an error, this train has not been able to be viewed or booked there in recent months. Therefore, if you'd like to inquire about ticket costs and/or purchase tickets for this train, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Generally, trains in Finland can only be booked once within 60 days of an intended date of departure.

    In the meantime, you can check costs for the Eurail Finland Pass here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-finland-pass/index.html.

    You would only consider purchasing a Eurail Scandinavia Pass if you're also planning on traveling to the countries included on it. In addition to Finland, the Eurail Scandinavia Pass includes Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. For information on the Eurail Scandinavia Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-scandinavia-pass/index.html.

    Both of these passes would cover ticket costs for the Santa Claus Express night train between Helsinki and Rovaniemi. This train would just require that passengers purchase reservations in addition to any rail pass. Since this train is currently not able to be viewed or booked on our website, you would have to call us if you'd like to inquire about its 'passholder' reservation costs (just like you would for regular tickets).
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    • How much is a return ticket from Lapland to Helsinki in December
    • Hi,

      The night train between Rovaniemi and Helsinki is not able to be viewed or booked on our website at this time. Instead, if you would like to inquire about this train and purchase tickets, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.

      I'm sorry, however, we are not able to provide or verify prices through this forum.
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  • hi,
    1. I noticed that the Santa Claus Night Train alwyas indicate as from Helsinki to Rovaniemi. What about from Rovaniemi to Helsinki night train ?

    2. Can i confirm the sequence, I should get a rail pass first then try to reserve the Santa Claus night train or I can reserve first then get a rail pass ?

    Please help advise. Thanks.
    • This comment was removed on 2017-05-10.
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    • Jeff (Official Rep) May 10, 2017 17:30
      The Santa Claus Express is the train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi. It's just sort of an informal moniker for the Helsinki-Rovaniemi route.

      It is not required that you purchase one before the other, but I would recommend purchasing a rail pass and your reservations in the same order.

      Generally, passholder reservations can be purchased through our website. Due to an error, however, it is currently not possible for the train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi. Until this is resolved, you would have to purchase these particular reservations and inquire about their costs by calling us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.
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  • Hi,

    The experience of my last trip to Finland Rovaniemi tells me that the trains run both ways (to & from Rovaniemi). Santa Claus Express is just another name for a regular train going from Helsinki to Rovaniemi. Frankly, nothing really fancy but worth to experience.

    Like Jeff mentioned, if you are planning to go to a few different places within Europe or within Finland. Getting a rail pass will definitely save you some money. Otherwise, I would suggest you to get regular tickets instead of getting the passes. Again, my experience from the last trip tells me that I spent A LOT more than I should have as I have got a rail pass which I only used on the Santa Claus Express route (round trip). Therefore, I would suggest you to get the railway tickets from the local train company if you are only travelling on the Santa Claus Express route, it will be way cheaper. And yes, you may have to reserve your seats after you get no matter rail passes or train tickets, just in case. All that can be done online or through phone call. The train was not packed the time I travelled. (In fact, it was pretty empty on the train on my way to Rovaniemi. But on my way back, it was surprisingly crowded.) No one could guarantee.

    I hope this could help you.

    Sy
    • Jeff (Official Rep) May 10, 2017 17:33
      Sy is exactly correct -- what you decide to purchase should depend on the specifics of your itinerary itself. In some cases, regular tickets are the best option. In other cases, a rail pass is the best option.

      And, yes, 'Santa Claus Express' is just like an informal moniker for the trains between Helsinki and Rovaniemi.
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  • I am wanting to book a return trip Helsinki - Rovaniemi - Helsinki - leaving on the evening of the 18th Dec 2017 and returning to Helsinki on 22nd December. I can see that I am unable to book these journeys until two months out from my departure date (ie; 18th October), however, I am trying to dovetail the return journey to Helsinki to connect with a ferry to Tallinn, so can you please tell me what time the o'night train arrives in Helsinki from Rovaniemi so that I can work out which ferry to book to sail to Tallinn when the train arrives on the 23rd December,
    Thanks, Marilyn
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    • hi Jeff & all,
      If I have a rail pass (Finland Rail Pass or EURail Multi-country Pass) and I plan to travel Sleeper 1 - 1-bed-compartment - with private shower + WC, to and fro Helsinki and Rovaniemi, how much do i need to top-up ? or is it better to just buy point-to-point ticket ? please help advise. Thanks.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) May 18, 2017 16:17
      Hi Carol,

      The night train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi does have 'deluxe' compartments with one bed and a shower. If you have a rail pass to cover Finland, it would cover the ticket cost, so you would just need to purchase the reservation.

      Generally, passholder reservations can be purchased through our website. Due to an error, however, it is currently not possible for the train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi. Until this is resolved, you would have to purchase these particular reservations and inquire about their costs by calling us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.
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  • Hi

    I am planning to go Finland on coming March 2018. I would like to buy Santa Claus Night Train (VR) ticket from your website. I checked and I can buy train tickets through online by choosing 1st and 2nd case. How do I reserve 2 sleeper cabin for my trip? Are the train tickets and reservation seats not same? Can you help to explain me step by step?

    Thank You
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    • First of all, thank you very much for your advice.
      We arrive to Helsinki airport at 23h on Friday and the only train departuring after 23h is at 23:30 from Helsinki airport. Do you think we will have enough time to get to the train? Is a big terminal?

      Thank you very much!
    • Jeff (Official Rep) December 04, 2017 15:58
      Hi Cleo,

      I'm sorry but that would not allow you enough time to make a departure at 23h out of the Helsinki station.

      Just to take a train from the airport to the main station takes 35 minutes. These trains depart 3-6 times every hour. Then you would also need to account for taxiing the runway and walking through the airport.
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  • Hi, I am planning to take the night train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi. However, I would like to know it it runs on 24th December 2017. Since It is Christmas eve, I thought the service might take a break. I need this information so that I could plan the rest of my journey.
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  • Hi,

    I am planning to make a trip to Rovaniemi from Helsinki.
    May I ask if the sleeper train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi can be taken from the Helsinki Airport Railway Station?
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    • hi if i am calling from overseas, what numbers should I dial?
    • Jeff (Official Rep) October 24, 2017 14:28
      Hi Fanny,

      From overseas, you would call 1-847-916-1028.
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  • Hey everyone,

    just scrolled through These questions and answers and i guess i found my answer as well but just to be sure:
    i`m planning to do a return trip from Helsinki to rovaniemi in december and it`s just that trainride so an Interrail pass wouldn`t make any sense.
    But it`s not possible to buy the sleeper Train tickets via the Website, i have to call, right? 60 days in advance?

    Thanks very much for any info!
    Tina
    • Jeff (Official Rep) October 09, 2017 15:15
      Hi Tina,

      Tickets for a train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi are currently not able to be purchased through our website. Therefore, if you'd like to purchase tickets for this train, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays. Generally, trains in Finland can only be booked within 60 days of an intended departure date.
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  • Hi there,

    Im looking for the roundtrip between Helsinki and Rovaniemivia via Santa claus express night train. Would you have other options rather than 4-day pass ticket or that was the best choice at the moment? And now the Eurail website is accessible? Lastly, How long the mentioned train will take for oneway journey? Thank you so much in advance. Looking forward for your recommendations.

    Sirada
    • Jeff (Official Rep) October 12, 2017 16:48
      Hi Sirada,

      Yes, there is no requirement that you purchase a rail pass. If you don't purchase a rail pass, then you can certainly just purchase regular tickets. That is entirely up to you. Tickets for trains between Helsinki and Rovaniemi are just currently not able to be purchased through our website. Therefore, if you'd like to purchase tickets for this train and inquire about ticket costs, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.

      Generally, trains in Finland can only be booked within 60 days of an intended departure date.

      The night train between Helsinki and Rovaniemi takes about 11.5 to 12.5 hours in duration.
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  • Hi,

    I browsed through the above questions and responses but couldn't find one suitable for me. We (family of 2 adults and a child of 7 yrs), are planning to visit Finland during the month of December, 2017. We would like to use the one country Eurail Pass and our plans are as follows:

    1) A day trip on Dec 19 from Helsinki to Tallinn and back to Helsinki on the same day using the Tallink Silja Ferry (I understand we get a discounted price if we have the Eurail Pass but does it count as a travel day and use one day from my pass?)

    2) A day trip on Dec 21 from Helsinki to Tampere and back to Helsinki on the same day using VR.

    3) Trip from Helsinki to Rovaniemi on Dec 23 @ 11:30 p.m which reaches Rovaniemi on Dec 24 @ 10:50 a.m using the VR night train.

    4) Back to Helsinki from Rovaniemi on Dec 28 @ 9:15 p.m which reaches Helsinki on Dec 29 @ 9:15 a.m using the VR night train.

    Which is the best Eurail pass for us? I'm confused about the number of travel days. Kindly advice.

    Thanks in advance,

    Ann
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    • Hey, just one question for me left: if you take the nighttrain from helsinki to rovaniemi (we plan to do the same but after christmas), will it use 2 day of thepass? Cause it leaves in day A inthe evening and arrives on day B in the morning?

      All the best,
      Tina
    • Jeff (Official Rep) October 31, 2017 14:45
      With a flexipass, if you take a night train that departs prior to 7pm and arrives into your destination the following morning, then 2 days of rail travel would be used up on a rail pass. Therefore, taking the night train that departs Helsinki prior to 7pm would use up 2 days on a rail pass.
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  • 1
    Hello there I am from Australia and with my family (total 5 people) we are wanting to finish our Xmas visit to Rovaniemi on 26/12/17 and catch the night train (Santa Claus Express) that night to arrive in Helsinki the next morning (time not a big issue) and then hook up with a ferry to Tallinn.

    Tyt’s It in a nutshell - one way trip on 26/12 from Rovaniemi to Helsinki in sleeper cabins - however I am finding it increasingly difficult to find prices and what cabin types are available for this family white Xmas?

    Can you suggest how we go about this as I think a rail pass is a waste of money on this occasion.

    Cheers and thanks you for your time. Leon
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