Viking's first ocean ship to feature a Snow Grotto

By ,   April 26, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

MV Viking Star, the first ocean ship of river giant Viking Cruises, is home to a "snow room", the first of its kind on a cruise ship that caters to North Americans. 

The super-chilled Snow Grotto is a frosty spa retreat that boasts flurries of powdery snow falling down from the ceiling throughout the day. The latest unusual feature in a cruise ship spa is touted as beneficial to blood circulation.

After heating yourself in a sauna or steam bath, you walk into this small room with benches to sit on and snow on the floor, kept at sub-freezing temperatures.

The Snow Grotto is cold and its dark stone walls are illuminated by blue light which gives it a winter vibe. It's supposed to imitate the Nordic bathing tradition calling for a long sauna followed with a romp in the snow.

The snow room fits naturally with Viking Star's Nordic theme. The new vessel is the 1st purpose-built cruise ship to feature a snow room. The 2,800-guest Viking Grace, a Baltic ferry that debuted in 2013, also boasts a snow room. Norwegian Cruise Line revealed plans to offer one on board its next cruise ship, the Norwegian Escape.

The Arctic-themed spot is part of the elegant thermal suite within Viking Star's LiV Nordic spa. The relaxation zone offers a hot tub, sauna, heated loungers, therapeutic showers and salt-water-filled thermal pool. The "bucket dump" that splashes spa-goers with cold water is another special perk.

Just steps away from the thermal pool, the Snow Grotto is created for a quick visit in between stays in the hot tub, sauna and therapeutic showers. Instructions for the snow room recommend that first-time users only stay in it for 5 minutes at a time. 

Access to the Snow Grotto and all other thermal suite features on board Viking Star is complimentary to all passengers.

The 930-passenger ship will be christened in May 2015 in Bergen, Norway. At 48,000 GT, Viking Star is a 3rd the size of lots of the megaships. Her small size will help access smaller ports of call that megaships cannot reach.