Copenhagen might not exactly be known for its sizzling weather, but this new way to pass the time will have visitors and locals working up a sweat!
Copenhagen is a stylish, exciting city with lots to do and see - but this new attraction will give visitors a unique experience, joining the relaxation and wellness provided by the traditional saunas, with a privileged view of charming Copenhagen rising up above clean river waters - for a truly full Dane sauna experience, a dip in the wintry waters is encouraged, in fact. The ancient Scandinavians and Romans might have to forgive us, but the sauna has probably never been this stylish.
An ancient Scandinavian tradition
Saunas, which consists of a room wherein dry heat sessions are made, usually with heated stones, producing steam, are not anything new; (steam rooms are another type of bathhouse, which uses wet heat). Bathhouses and saunas have been a fixture in many cultures, from Ancient Rome to imperial Korea, and its oldest depictions can be found in Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Finland, the roots of the practices traced back thousands and thousands of years B.C.
In some countries, the sauna room was both a daily fixture, poor man's bath, and pharmacy both, but also a nearly holy place, its experience meditative and even spiritual.
Alongside the heat rooms, an adjacent tradition called “Russian bath”, which consists of a shower of ice-cold water in between sauna sessions is a sought-after shock to the system that has won its space in sauna activities. Today, Denmark has hundreds of public sauna rooms, not to mention a regular fixture in many houses.
The experience of sauna and steam rooms is a special aspect of Scandinavian culture, and perhaps one aspect that feels slightly out of reach for casual visitors and tourists in Copenhagen - but the floating saunas are seeking to change that.
The floating sauna concept, coming to Copenhagen
Seeking to bring this tradition to life with a fun twist, company GoBoat has come up with Sauna by GoBoat, a project that brings together scenic Copenhagen rides, the inherent tranquility of a boat ride, and the perfectly rejuvenating experience of saunas, a beloved winter activity both in Copenhagen and many other places in the world.
To explore this aspect of Danish winter culture and a way to enjoy the maritime activities during winter, a floating sauna that allows for clients to promenade through Copenhagen's canals and enjoy a steaming relaxing session at the same time seemed like the perfect choice.
Idealized as an oasis amidst the Copenhagen busy stone jungle, the floating saunas function as rentable spaces - clients can book the boats for 1-2 hours for up to 12 people. The recommended steam room time, which reaches 50ºC is 20 minutes; then, travelers can step out and partake in the ice-cold shock of a Russian Bath in the bucket above the cabin, or, to get a full Copenhagen experience, plunge into the chilly waters for a winter swim, in the designated dipping zone by the side of the floating sauna.
- Bookings and further info are available on the official website
Many people swear by the restorative properties of heat saunas and winter swims, as the temperature shock can feel deeply restorative. The benefits and setbacks of the sauna are still somewhat debated scientifically, but many people will swear by the properties of these particular bathing traditions - or at the very least the deeply relaxing and joyful experience that they propitiate.
The hot steam of the sauna can be a wonderful way to relax muscles and relieve tension, slower and more intense than a warm shower. Saunas make blood flow more freely, can clean out pores, but due to the effect they have on heart rates and blood pressure, people with a history of heart or pressure conditions should always check with their doctor first and, of course, practice sauna safety.
After the recommended 20 minutes in the sauna, the cold plunge suggested by Sauna by GoBoat is said to give the body a shock that makes many users feel invigorated, as the cold boosts adrenaline and sharpens the senses. The thrill of a “Big Chill”, whether by plunge or shower, is also a part of a Danish winter wellness section. (One other tradition involves getting slapped with herbs to stimulate the skin).
Coming back to the heat of the sauna after these renewed sensations is an even more intense experience!
Sauna by GoBoat wants to join wellness, relaxation, cityscape watching, aesthetics, and fun. For tourists and local Copenhagen dwellers, taking time in the chillier months to experience this unique water ride can be not only a worthwhile day plan but a new way to enjoy the city and self-care at the same time.