Viking Helgrim Dining

Editor Rating
Very Good
Adam Coulter
U.K. Executive Editor

Dining is outstanding, with an emphasis on fresh, local produce, often sourced from the tiny villages along the way. Food quality is exceptionally high and reflects the region in which the ship sails, so expect a number of classic Portuguese dishes and local wines. Service levels are correspondingly high from attentive, knowledgeable and friendly staff.

Unlike other Viking Longships, the baby Longships do not serve meals at the Aquavit Terrace, so there is only one dining room for meals.

Restaurant (Deck 2): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Viking Helgrim's sole dining room is free seating, with a handful of tables for two, but most four and above. Even though it's the only place to eat, it never feels crowded.

Waiters ask for any food allergies or intolerances at the start of the cruise, and each menu item is clearly labeled. There is always a vegetarian option for each course at every meal.

Breakfast is buffet style with a selection of a la carte items, such as eggs Benedict. There is always a cooking station which usually serves eggs any style and pancakes, but on some days the chef will cook up waffles. Expect all the usual breakfast items, including a couple of unexpected delights (for Brits) -- Marmite and HP Sauce.

Lunch is buffet and a three-course menu. Buffet items are mainly salads and cold cuts, with a cooking station usually serving pasta. The set menu will be an interesting combo of the line's Scandinavian heritage -- Scandinavian baby shrimp sandwich, for example -- and standards such as grilled chicken breast or spaghetti Bolognese. Always-available items includes Nicoise salad, cheeseburger and hot dog.

Dinner is a three-course affair, with a choice of three items per course, including the Regional Specialties Tasting Menu, which is put together by chef Peter Benko every evening. Starters will always include a soup and a salad; mains might include a tuna steak or a Thai vegetable curry. There will usually be one dessert choice on the menu, but ice cream, fruit and a regional specialty are always available.

The regional specialties might include piri piri chicken, grilled sardines, Portuguese-style marinated steak and, on one night, Spanish specialties (before the day trip to Salamanca) -- gambas al ajillo (prawns in garlic) and roast iberico pork.

Note there is also an "always available" menu which consists of Caesar salad to start; rib-eye steak, poached salmon or roast chicken as mains and creme brulee, fruit or ice cream for dessert.

Wines are almost exclusively sourced from the region, with the majority Portuguese and a handful from Spain. You'll find just three wines not from the Iberian Peninsula, all red and all from the U.S. There will always be a sommelier's recommendation for both red and white, but you can always pick from the menu (wines up to 24 euros -- about $30 -- are included in the Silver Spirits beverage package).

Breakfast is served from around 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m., lunch is usually from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The only other spot to grab snacks is at the tea and coffee station just outside. You will also find pastries in the morning and fruit and cookies in the afternoon here.

Room Service: There is no room service.

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