I have found a place of solace in one of my favorite parts of the Viking Sky cruise ship. It is none other than the thermal suite. Access to the thermal suite and all it’s amenities are included in the price of the cruise, so don’t let any thoughts of extra cost stress you out. The spa on Viking Sky is all about relaxation and revitalization.
The thermal suite consists of dry saunas, showers, cold plunge-pool’s, a hot-tub, vitality pool, Snow Grotto, heated loungers and more.
There are separate men’s and women’s locker rooms which each have a dry sauna, cold plunge-pool, shower, and a variety of indulgences. Inside each locker you will find a bathrobe (although I typically will use the one from my stateroom), flip-flops, a towel, and disposable underwear. The lockers are locked and unlocked with a simple swipe of your stateroom card, so this makes access hassle-free as well.
One thing you must try in the thermal suite is something called Nordic bathing. I was hesitant at first, but ever since I tried it on day 3 of this cruise I keep going back for more. The process starts with a quick warm-up in the dry sauna, followed by a dip in the cold plunge-pool, warm-up again in the sauna, and then a blistery walk into the Snow Grotto at sub-zero temperatures. This process can be repeated as often as one would like.
The first time I dipped my feet into the cold plunge-pool I could feel my body revolting against the idea, but after soaking in the cold water for a minute I felt quite at ease. Then after I warmed up in the dry sauna I headed over to the Snow Grotto in the thermal suite to cool off again. It’s really quite interesting how they make snow in this sub-zero room. You can hear the soft crunch of the snow beneath your slippers as you walk into the Snow Grotto and feel the frigid air clear the sinuses and open sensory receptors. About 4 or 5 minutes later I was ready to warm up again and this time headed over to the steam room right across the way.
The entire process of Nordic bathing really has two benefits. First, it benefits circulation, but it also allows you to enjoy the thermal suite longer, as you don’t have to worry about over-heating.
There is an ice-bucket in the thermal suite which can be used for a fun photo-op or to very quickly lower your temperature. With a simple pull of a chain a bucket of cold water is poured over your head, shocking the senses and cooling you off. I did this several times as I incorporated it into the Nordic bathing process.
There is plenty of steam in the steam room, which I really enjoy as it helps to warm up quickly and get that steam into the sinuses. For an even hotter experience you can sit on the top ledge of the steam room and let your body sweat out all the toxins. There is a shower in the thermal suite in addition to the locker rooms to repeatedly rinse off as well.
In the main area of the thermal suite there is a vitality pool and a hot tub. The metal bars allow you to recline in the vitality pool as the jets move the water around your body. Typically, the water is about 5 feet deep in this area.
There is a hypnotic view of a faux fire feature that I found a lovely added touch to the thermal suite as well, which is also found in the explorer’s lounge on deck 7.
All around the vitality pool are padded loungers, and there are 4 heated tile loungers at the other end of the thermal suite. On a sea day it might be hard to find an empty lounger, but my experience so far has been that the thermal suite is not very busy at all if you go during certain times like late afternoon and early morning.
Back in the locker room you will find a comfortable sitting area with ocean views. To re-hydrate yourself there is a water station with both still water and sparkling water.
I found a swim-suit dryer in the locker room as well. You simply put your wet clothing into the spinner, close the lid, and 20 seconds later your swim-suit is almost dry to the touch. I really like this feature as it cuts down drying time. There is of course a clothes line in the shower you can use to finish off the process.
I try to finish off my time in the thermal suite with a quick dip in the cold plunge-pool and warm-up in the dry sauna. I joked with someone earlier that it’s become like my cup of coffee. Doing even part of the Nordic bathing process has helped enliven my senses and give me energy even more than a cup of joe.
I hope the pictures in this post do the thermal suite justice. Just writing this makes me want to go back as soon as I publish this article. Keep in mind that the other two pools on deck 7 of Viking Sky are also heated and offer an enjoyable experience of swimming and relaxing in warm waters even if the air outside the ship is on the chilly side.
Interested in checking out a spa treatment like a massage while on a Viking ocean cruise? My wife Hana booked a massage treatment on Viking Sky and this was her experience that she wanted to share with our readers:
I signed up for a massage a month before our cruise set sail in London, England. So it was a pleasant surprise to get a letter from the spa addressed to me personally in our room the day we boarded the ship with the details and confirmation of the massage.
The day of the massage, I walked in and Aliksandra was there to greet me by name right away. I signed in and she led me down a beautiful hallway decorated with white birch trees and a fire place. We came to the ladies locker room where I was shown my personal locker that I could open and shut with my room key. Inside the locker there was a fresh white robe, black rubber slippers (super comfy), disposable underwear, a towel, a place to store jewelry, and a list of items that Aliksandra said she would bring to me if I wanted them such as q-tips, haircap, razor, and make up remover. She then took me on a tour of the spa and graciously went over the details of the vitality pool, steam room, snow grotto, cedar sauna, and all the amenities in the changing room. She was so helpful, and her demeanor was openly cheerful!
In the ladies changing room there are bathrooms and showers to change in. After I was robed up, I went into the lounge area of the women’s changing room and poured a glass of their refreshing cold water and barely had it finished before Linn came in and guided me to the massage room.
In the massage room it was quiet and dimly lit with warm lighting accenting the cool gray walls. Linn had a nice selection of classical music playing and asked if the music was ok. Well I love classical so it was lovely and I said so.
Linn then asked if I’d had a swedish deep tissue massage before and I told her I had. I then told her that I liked firm pressure and only really wanted my upper body massaged. Linn took all this with a smile and said that she would do the massage just the way I preferred which was such a relief.
The massage itself was amazing and one of the best I have ever received. Linn has the softest hands and yet some of the strongest I have ever had with a massage. It was the perfect pressure and concentration on my problematic areas.
So thank you Linn from Sweden for giving me my first “officially from Sweden” Swedish deep tissue massage.
Have you been to the spa on a Viking ocean cruise ship before? If so let us know your experience. We’d love to hear your thoughts.