Meals aboard Viking Skadi are more about meeting and mingling with fellow travelers than about high-tech cooking and gourmet dining. Though dishes are expertly prepared and nicely presented, choices, particularly at dinner, are limited and portions on the small side. We found breakfast in the main dining room to offer the greatest variety, though each day offered similar selections.
The Restaurant (Deck #2): The main dining room, called the Restaurant, is filled with tables for six, eight or 10. There are no tables for two. Seating is always open, so you can sit where you like. The decor is straightforward and contemporary. White cloths and fresh flowers adorn tables at dinner and pots of fresh herbs at lunch. The highlights are floor-to-ceiling windows lining the two side walls for superb views of the passing scenery.
Breakfast (7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.) and lunch (noon or 12:30 p.m. to about 2 p.m.) are mainly buffet with some menu dishes to order. The breakfast buffet includes an array of cheeses, cold meats, breads, salads, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, fresh fruit, bacon, beans and an omelet station. You can even pour yourself a glass of sparkling wine or mix a mimosa. Choices from the menu might be pancakes or eggs Benedict. The lunch buffet offers salads, appetizers and a pasta station. Sample menu items delivered by your server are soup, hot sandwiches, Irish stew or fish and chips.
Dinner is served at 7 p.m., and everyone is expected to be seated by 7:10 p.m. All appetizers are served at once, followed by all main courses. Desserts or a cheese plate round out the three-course evening meal. Appetizers, soup and salad are listed together, and if you order more than one of these, they will all be brought at one time. Main courses usually include a fish (scallops), meat (roast beef) and vegetarian (stuffed mushroom). Caesar salad, grilled salmon, chicken breast and steak are always available. There may be a themed dinner, such as Austrian, featuring an impressive array of local specialties and even local musicians for tableside entertainment.
Red and white wine, several types of beer and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner in the Restaurant and Aquavit Terrace. The wine is occasionally one purchased locally while Viking Skadi is in port. Or, you can buy wine in town and bring it to lunch or dinner at no charge. A drink package available for an extra charge includes premium wines and cocktails, but few passengers get one.
Aquavit Terrace (Deck #3): The alternative dining area is the more casual Aquavit Terrace, an indoor/outdoor area at the bow, forward of the lounge. A wall made of folding-glass panels helps block the wind or can be opened to let in breezes on sunny days. If it's chilly, blankets are set out. Tables are set for four with a few smaller twos. All meals are self-service with limited choices. Continental breakfast is available from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., so it's handy if you sleep in and miss the full dining room meal. It includes fruits, cereals, cheeses, cold meats and pastries. Lunch, the most popular meal on the deck, and dinner times generally coincide with the dining room. The buffet for either meal offers salads, soup, sandwiches and one or two hot items that may or may not be the same as in the dining room. In addition, there is usually a dish such as burgers or kabobs prepared on the outdoor grill.
While there is no room service, there is a self-serve coffee station on either side of the lounge entrance if you like your morning coffee in your room or on your balcony. Help yourself to a selection of teas or choose an espresso or cappuccino from the coffee machine. Breakfast pastries are set out in the mornings starting at 6 a.m. and delicious cookies (often a regional specialty) appear for the rest of the day.