Overall, the standard of the food onboard is high and very varied to suit all tastes and most diets, including special diets. We like the fact that you can have a light and quick breakfast or lunch should you want or need to, while there’s of course the option of a full service a la carte menu in the elegant main restaurant. Service is always with a smile and very personable. Your waiter will get to know your name and your preferred drinks. Hot drinks are always available from the tea and coffee station; look out for the traditional Russian oatmeal cookies "Ovsiennoye" here, which are well worth sampling.
The Restaurant (Middle Deck): Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Seating is open and there is one sitting per meal. No reservations are required.
Breakfasts combine healthy and cooked options, fresh fruits, a variety of dishes including eggs cooked to order and lots of delicious pastries. The bircher muesli is something of a Viking specialty and recommended. However, the orange juice is not fresh and seems slightly watery. You are always greeted with a smile and a "hello" by the waiting staff who seem to deliver anything you order to your table within a few minutes.
Lunch is buffet-style, plus an a la carte menu with "always available" items including chef salad Nicoise style, cheeseburgers and all beef hot dogs. You can mix and match items from all sections of the menu should you wish.
Soft drinks, house wine and beer are complimentary during lunch and dinner service; a charge applies outside these hours. You may also bring local wines on board and these will be served without any corkage fee.
Dinner is taken in the restaurant only and serves "always available" classics including caesar salad, beef fillet steak, chairman’s choice: poached Norwegian salmon and roast chicken supreme; a regional specialties tasting menu, and a dinner menu. Again, you are free to mix and match items and have a starter for a main course and vice versa.
Your meal will be accompanied by two sommelier’s recommendation wines, and two included selection wines.
Vegetarian and gluten-free options are always available at breakfast, lunch and dinner and are marked on the menu -- the ship is very flexible when it comes to other dietary requirements and can cater for various diets; however kosher diets cannot be catered for.
With an elegant ambience, the restaurant is always busy and buzzy, however service is still efficient, if a little slower on drinks service at very busy times.
Opening times: 7.30 to 10 a.m. for breakfast; 12 p.m to 2 p.m. for lunch; 7 p.m. till the last diner leaves for dinner.
Panorama Bar (Upper Deck): Serves breakfast and lunch. Seating is open and there is one sitting per meal. No reservations are required.
Breakfast is an edited version of the main buffet found in the restaurant, featuring cold meats and cheeses, fresh fruit, pastries, yogurt pots, bircher muesli, hot drinks and orange juice, with the addition of DIY ham and cheese toasties, sparkling wine (for a morning bucks fizz/mimosa) and mini smoothies.
Lunch is designed to be lighter for those who would prefer something quick and easy, and consists of sandwiches, salads and hot and cold drinks.
A light and bright space, the bar always offers plenty of seating choices at breakfast as most passengers tend to choose the more formal restaurant; however, it did get a little busier in the mornings when we were sailing and also when certain landmarks were in the vicinity.
Opening times: 6 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. for breakfast; 12 p.m for lunch.