Raison d'Etre's LivNordic spa concept launches aboard Viking Ocean Cruise ships

by Helen Andrews | 02 Jun 2015

Raison d’Etre’s spa and wellness brand LivNordic has launched the first of three spas planned on cruise ships as part of a partnership with Viking Ocean Cruises. Inspired by Nordic bathing traditions, including alternating hot and cold experiences, this ship’s spa offers the first snow grotto at sea.

Inspired by nature, the LivNordic design, by Raison d'Etre, uses white pigmented ash, reminiscent of the Tree of Life in Norse Mythology – Yggdrasil. This is complemented by limestone and black slate from Sweden, rough juniper panels, etched opaque glass and birch trees.

The new eight-treatment room spa – complete with one couples’ suite that offers its own whirlpool – also houses a steamroom, two saunas, two plunge pools, an indoor saltwater pool and a separate freshwater hot tub – heated to 39ºC (102ºF).

Day beds and heated ceramic loungers line the outside of the wet zone, which also features a -10ºC (14ºF) snow grotto that features real snow – supplied by TechnoAlpine Snow Experts.

While guests must pay for treatments, the entire wet zone is available for all passengers to use.

The two other LivNordic spas aboard Viking Ocean Cruise’s ships are set to launch – one in 2016 and another in 2017. The spas will be similar in size and design – with eight treatment rooms – other LivNordic spas will be rolled out globally.

The ‘Viking Star’ ship was christened in Bergen, Norway, and will offer its maximum of 930 passengers a chance to sail the Mediterranean, Baltic, Nordic and European waters. Other facilities aboard the ship include six food and beverage zones, one of which is a live demonstration kitchen. There is also a theatre and a cinema – which has a license to screen TED talks, a terrace, on-deck swimming pool and an impressive jazz bar called Torshaven.

The LivNordic concept is based on four principles that stem from the Nordic people’s ability to intuitively understand how to balance suitable activity with quality rest. Each of the four principles has informed the spa training, design and wellbeing support services for clients.

The first principle, ‘Nordic Wellbeing.’ demonstrates to clients how Nordic cultures have become experts in utilising the stark contrasts that exist in their countries to achieve high levels of health and wellbeing.

Another of the four principles, ‘Harnessing Contrasts’, shows the spa concept’s incorporation of extreme light and dark seasonal differences, plus hot and cold bathing rituals.

The principle ‘Connectivity to Nature’ further evokes the brand’s dedication to a culturally simplistic approach to a balanced lifestyle – via a balanced diet of fresh unprocessed food, functional exercise and finding the time to relax.

“LivNordic spas are our ambassadors, promoting a balanced and healthy lifestyle anywhere in the world – the Nordic way,” said Anna Bjurstam, owner of Raison d’Etre. In April, Raison d'être appointed CIDESCO International president Anna-Cari Gund as managing director, to lead the expansion of the LivNordic brand.

Raison d'Etre is backed by Pegasus Capital Advisors, which also owns spa operator Six Senses.

Established in 1995, Pegasus currently manages more than US$2.5bn (1.9bn euro, £1.6bn) in assets through several private equity funds.

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Raison d’Etre’s spa and wellness brand LivNordic has launched the first of three spas planned on cruise ships as part of a partnership with Viking Ocean Cruises. Inspired by Nordic bathing traditions, including alternating hot and cold experiences, this ship’s spa offers the first snow grotto at sea. Inspired by nature, the LivNordic design, by Raison d'Etre, uses white pigmented ash, reminiscent of the Tree of Life in Norse Mythology
The LivNordic spa's centrepiece is a -10ºC (14ºF) snow grotto that features real snow – supplied by TechnoAlpine Snow Experts / Raison d'Etre
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