The ship has three restaurants which reflect the line's Scandinavian legacy so -- along with plenty of familiar items -- you can expect to see all manner of herrings at breakfast and reindeer meat, which even comes as a hot dog.
The main dining room is the Aune, with the neighbouring Fredheim serving lighter options and "street food." The Lindstrom is solely for suite passengers at breakfast and lunch. Other passengers can dine there for a supplement during dinner, subject to availability.
The food is of very high quality, with imaginative menus that include vegetarian and vegan options. With a big accent on fish, open sandwiches, berries and other Norwegian specialities, it is also very healthy -- if you are able to resist the temptation of numerous visits to the buffet.
Staff members are unfailingly helpful, friendly and efficient, quickly topping up buffet items as they start to run out and coming around with drinks. Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks are served at lunch and dinner in all restaurants. A beverage package, costing 32 euros per person, per day is available and includes premium wines and drinks from the Explorer Bar menu, with a small number of exceptions. It does not have to be prebooked and can be purchased on any day of the cruise for the rest of the sailing.
Unusually, the ship doesn't offer any snacks, aside from a few cookies tucked by the drinks machine next to the bar, and nuts when you order drinks from the bar (although often you have to ask for them). There is no fruit or anything else, so if you are feeling a bit peckish during the day, you have to wait until the next mealtime comes around.
There are no formal nights or captain's dinner. Room service is available for suite passengers; however, any passengers can take food and drink from the restaurants back to their cabins.
Aune (Deck 6): Seating 249, the ship's main restaurant is a bright, airy room with a range of seating options, including tables for two, cosy banquettes and large circular and rectangular tables which are great for groups. Breakfast and lunch are expansive buffets, where you can expect to see Norwegian foods, such as brown cheese and seafood, alongside the usual options of hot and cold dishes. Drinks are served to the table, including tea and coffee. You also have the option to help yourself from the tea and coffee machine.
Dinner is generally a la carte (sometimes there is a buffet, depending on the itinerary) with tables allocated for the first or second sitting -- 6 or 8 p.m. -- at the start of the cruise. If you don't like the time or table you've been assigned, it is usually possible to change. The menu usually includes one soup, two starters, three mains and three desserts. Vegan and always-available menus are also available but you have to ask for them.
We were impressed by the vegetarian and other dietary offerings, which include gluten-free options and a selection of dairy-free milk alternatives.
Fredheim (Deck 6): This bright, colourful casual venue seats up to 64 and is a nice alternative when you want a change from eating in the Aune. The day begins with an early risers' buffet breakfast with a small selection of cold cuts and pastries.
Aside from a delicious self-serve selection of open sandwiches, which are only available at lunchtime, the waiter-served "street food" lunch and dinner menu is exactly the same with a choice of burgers, spring rolls, hot dogs, waffles and milkshakes (the latter of which you can spice up with alcohol). It's a fun concept.
Again, tables come in a variety of settings for two upward. There is a long table that is used for dinners with members of the expedition team, which makes for an interesting meal. You can walk in for dinner at any time during the opening hours, but if you want to eat with the guides you need to sign up at the expedition desk.
Lindstrom (Deck 9): This 74-seater restaurant, with menus that change every second day, is exclusively for suite passengers, with the exception of dinner.
Situated high on the ship, it's a classy venue that serves a mix of buffet and served items at breakfast and a la carte lunch and dinner. Subject to availability, passengers in other cabins can pay 25 euros to go to the Lindstrom for dinner -- and it's well worth it for the beautifully presented evening meal that culminates with a plate of petits fours.