Located at the Nordic Sea Hotel in Stockholm, the world's first permanent Absolut Ice Bar has doubled in size and now accommodates up to 60 guests. It's ideal for a brief, but cool, party ashore with your cruise mates should your ship happen to be making an overnight call, or if you choose to add a pre- or post-cruise night to your vacation as Mel and I did last year. We chose accommodations at the Radisson SAS Royal Viking Hotel during our visit--located only a block away and an easy walk to the Nordic Sea Hotel.
It was an easy task to pre-reserve a spot in the Ice Bar over the Internet before our trip and it turned out to be a fun way to kick off our time in Sweden. Even with its expansion, to avoid disappointment I highly recommend making an advance reservation; admission includes one Absolut cocktail of your choice. While I'd been to the Ice Bar on a previous trip, Mel hadn't, and I don't think he quite expected the surreal atmosphere. Everything, from the tables and chairs to the glasses and the bar itself is made of sparkling clear ice from the Torne River in Swedish Lapland, and the 'seating' is covered with furry hides. After donning the parkas provided for our 40-minute session in the -5 degrees Celsius environment, we had a great time mingling and meeting other "cool" patrons--an international lot--in the exhilarating and festive setting.
If you go... don't forget your camera!