Redefining wellness through its RHS Flower Show Gardens: Living well, eating well and connecting with nature
Viking, the award-winning cruise line, will be unravelling the meaning of wellness by exploring its homeland – Scandinavia – through its RHS Flower Show gardens this summer – The Viking Cruises Wellness Garden at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show (22 May – 26 May) and the Viking Cruises Nordic Lifestyle Garden at the 2018 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (3 July – 8 July). Both explore the three dimensions of wellness; connecting with nature, living well and eating well, providing a window into the experience of wellness the Viking way.
How to connect with nature
It is well-known that the great outdoors plays a profound role in the life of Scandinavians as it provides a sanctuary for both body and mind. These impressions of Scandinavia have influenced the design of Viking River and Ocean ships since its launch in 1997, where the themes, colours and textures of nature all contribute to the serene onboard ambience and overall experience.
A walk in the natural environment is known to improve mental and physical well-being. Recent research commissioned by Viking reveals that over 60% of 55+ year-olds regularly walk outside, spending time connecting with the outdoors and nature, whilst 31% specifically like being by the water, whether that be by the ocean or river.
Viking offers culturally-enriching, destination-focused river and ocean cruises for travellers curious about the world with options of active excursions for the health-conscious. For example, Viking provides guests the opportunity to go canoeing in the wetlands on Elbe, Danube and Moselle rivers, as well as walking tours. Connecting with nature and the great outdoors has long been associated with reduced levels of stress and increased happiness, which can be experienced through activities such as walking tours and climbing to the top of Fjords.
How to live well
Viking guests can “live well” via traditional Nordic treatments in the ship’s LivNordic Spa, designed for intense relaxation and mental healing. Guests can also indulge in the Nordic Bathing Ritual in the Spa’s Thermal Suite, which detoxes and relaxes tired muscles. Travellers are immersed in to the benefits of hot and cold on the body, as they jolt from standing in a hot sauna to an ice-cold snow room. After returning to the sauna, a few birch twigs are used to stroke the body creating an awakaning “dry brushing” sensation. The Viking Cruises Wellness Garden and The Viking Cruises Nordic Lifestyle Garden will feature a traditional sauna hut and a plunge pool, paying homage to this Nordic tradition, practised to find deep inner peace and relaxation and find a profound sense of calm like no other.
How to eat well
Viking’s rich cultural offering extends to its award-winning on-board dining experience. The Kitchen Table is a particular highlight, where guests have the opportunity to accompany the Head Chef to local markets and shop for ingredients under his expert guidance, before returning to ship for a hands-on cooking class. At The Chef’s Table, sommeliers and culinary masters create unparalleled multicourse tasting experiences for Viking guests in search of the perfect food and wine pairing. Al Fresco dining in the seating area of the Aquavit Terrace offers a dining experience surrounded by an infinity pool and beautiful panoramic views. Nordic plants and herbaceous species, chosen for their medicinal purpose, and culinary uses in traditional Scandinavian dishes, feature throughout both of Viking’s RHS gardens. This includes Lemon Balm, one of the key ingredients in traditional Nordic tea, Fox Gloves, known lowering blood pressue and Fever Few, which aids in the relief of toothache.
Wendy Atkin-Smith, managing director, Viking UK, said: “Viking’s homeland is Scandinavia – the lifestyle, traditions, food, people and culture have influenced Viking’s design and ethos profoundly since day one. The importance we place on living well, eating well and immersing ourselves in the destination to find the perfect balance is at the root of what we do”