- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 19, 2015


In keeping with its Scandinavian roots, a new ocean-going Viking Cruises ship will feature a sub-zero Snow Grotto for passengers seeking an experience beyond the typical pool deck and sun chairs that rival companies offer.

Set to launch from Norway in mid-May, the Viking Star has already picked up accolades for the unprecedented snow room, which features real flurries: powder-consistency snow falling from the ceiling in an environment done up in ice blue and white. A nearby “bucket dump” will douse brave guests with ice water to get their blood circulating.

There’s a thermal suite as well, this featuring hot tub, sauna, treatment rooms and a heated salt-water pool should the passengers get a little too chilled.

“The holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia is in mind - from the Nordic ritual of the hydrotherapy pool and the first Snow Room at sea, to materials inspired by Scandinavian nature: Swedish limestone and black slate; juniper and teak wood details; recycled and etched opaque glass; and cast iron,” the company explains.

When they’re through, passengers can retreat to the Explorers Lounge, where the decor was inspired by ancient Viking trade routes, complete with star constellations, astronomical maps, antique globes, astrolabes and “sofas with cozy pelts,” planners say.

Considered a small ship, the 930-passenger luxury ship will also feature a lichen garden, in a nod to the region’s native forests.



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