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The floating sauna revolution will be televised

light steam graphic

As of today, as lake ice is melting fast, floating saunas are on the cusp of a revolution soon to be televised.

We all know and have experienced that “the time to leave the hot room is when the idea of an ice cold lake plunge is about the best idea we’ve ever heard.” For cold water is amongst the holy trinity of a good cool down between sauna sessions (the other two being nature and time). So, for many, bringing hot sauna to cold water is becoming a sauna revolution well worth televising.

Floating saunas are more popular in Europe. Let’s take a look:

Floating saunas in Norway

A quick look at a map of Norway is the biggest clue as to why it could be considered the floating sauna capital of the world. The majority of Norway borders water. The eastern and western coasts of the North Sea are jagged, as they were stripped by glaciers during the ice ages. We have thousands of miles of shoreline with countless deep water inlets, channels, and harbors ready to welcome thermal enthusiasts to floating saunas. And don’t forget lakes!

Typing the words “floating sauna” into the search bar on returns us a dazzling list of 68 beautiful floating sauna options, from city harbor to deep nature fjords.

Sauna KOK floating in front of Oslo Opera House (photo Didrick Stenersen/
Sauna KOK floating in front of Oslo Opera House (photo Didrick Stenersen/
Floating sauna Dampen near Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel
Floating sauna Dampen near Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel (photo:

Floating saunas in Sweden

The Stockholm Archipelago is where I caught the sauna bug. And Thomas Sandell and Johan Strandlund from the Swedish architecture firm sandellsandberg Arkitekter, designed this floating sauna for traveling around the islands dotting the deep water baltic. When it comes to sauna, Sweden is the understudy to Finland, yet when it comes to architecture and design, Swedes are no slouches. “The interior is defined by transparency thanks to a generous amount of glazing that maximizes natural light and scenic views. ” Sauna in nature is bigger than all of us. And no more evident than this floating sauna in Sweden

Photo: Filip Gränström

Floating saunas in Denmark

Not to be outdone, Denmark has relatively recently joined the fleet of European floating saunas, with Sauna by GoBoat offering this floating sauna set on a quiet stretch of canal in Copenhagen’s city center. Vanessa Wilkins shares her experience in Travel & Leisure magazine here.

Floating saunas in Finland

As many of us know, Finland is a country with five million people and over three million saunas. And no matter where you go or where you turn in Finland, chances are you will bump into a sauna. On land or floating, what is great about so many of the saunas in Finland is that many maintain a practical, functional look and purpose.

Sauna need not have to be fancy and expensive in order to provide a wonderful experience.

Simply called “saunavene” (sauna boat), I dare any visitor to Finland to not discover one during their travels. And “one, two three… jump” into cold fresh water of the Baltic Sea or any one of the 180,000 lakes. floating sauna floating sauna sauna boat fleet sauna boat fleet, ready for deployment

North America Floating Saunas

A few ambitious sauna enthusiasts here in the United States have crafted their own floating saunas. This one is helping make family memories and thermal chill outside of Ely, Minnesota. You can follow along with the 2018 build here.

floating sauna
Floating sauna, the “Sauntoon” on its way to Ely, Minnesota.

And in central Minnesota, this floating sauna was also hand built in 2015. Grant refers to his floating sauna as “one of those best things in life.”

docked floating sauna
Floating sauna, western suburbs, Minneapolis Minnesota

Floating sauna builder on the rise

Viking Floating Saunas has launched their own Coast Guard approved floating sauna.

Viking Floating Sauna rendering
Viking Floating Sauna rendering

For many people with vertical hardship, or scratching their heads with unrealistic lakeshore setback requirements, Viking is blowing the horn of quality construction and fair pricing. Imagine a cool rainy day at the cabin. This is when you can turn a family gathering from quiet and grey to laughter and warmth.

Viking Floating Sauna 1.0 shell
Viking Floating Sauna 1.0 shell
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3 thoughts on “The floating sauna revolution will be televised”

  1. We just finishing building our wood fired sauna and now working on the outdoor shower. It has transformed our life! Absolutely love it. It was our own design with lot’s of research and reading all the great blogs. The floating saunas are awesome.
    Joan & Steve, Lawrencetown, NS

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