What is the food like on board a Viking River Cruise? It’s a valid concern, but after several sailings, I can say that the food is great! See for yourself, though, in the menus and food photos and videos below as enjoyed on the Viking Heimdal and the Viking Forseti in March 2014.
First, an overview of what to expect. There is only one restaurant on board the Viking River Ships, and only one seating for each meal in the dining room. There is also a more casual buffet on the Aquavit Terrace. The dining room is casual, with large tables seating 6-8 guests. The casual chic color palette is calming with muted tones and pops of color with the bright turquoise blue glassware. There is no assigned seating.
Breakfast is a large buffet served every morning in the main dining room. As you can see in the video, the choices are amazing!
If you don’t see something you’d like on the buffet, order off of the limited breakfast menu in the main dining room.
Alternatively, you can also eat breakfast on the Aquavit Terrace. The small amount of breakfast selections are ideal for a quick, light bite to enjoy in the enclosed glass seating area, or al fresco on the open air patio.
Coffee, cappuccino, tea and hot chocolate are also available in two snack stations outside of the lounge on the Viking Longships. A small assortment of bakery items are available in the morning, with sweets in the afternoon. Many are specialties of the area in which you are sailing that day.
Related: Compare AmaWaterways’ Buffets and Menus from our recent sailing.
For lunch, a large buffet with a pasta station and salads can be found in the main dining room, as seen in the video below. A menu offers appetizers and main meals, along with desserts. A lighter lunch is served in the lounge.
Dinner brings with it a bit more flair, without all of the formality. Meal service presents more imaginative dinner options, but it is never too formal or too over the top with pomp and circumstance. There are no formal nights.
Along with the rotating choice of main meals, there are always classics such as Caesar salad, salmon, chicken breast, and steak that are consistently on the menu.
Appetizers, main meal and desserts are offered, along with a cheese course. Wine pairings are included, and plentiful, throughout meal service.
Wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner – so no nickel and dining there!!
The food is fresh, and locally sourced whenever possible. We watched from our verandah balcony as the Viking Cruises staff members walked off the ship and picked up a local delivery of breads and wines. Their arms were laden with boxes that had bread loaves peaking out or were clinking as the glass wine bottles moved within.
Some optional excursions include accompanying the chef to the local farmer’s market to pick out foods, and the chefs utilize fresh herbs from the sunroof gardens on the Viking Longships.
One night, we especially enjoyed the bread basket at the table. We asked for another basket, but what was brought was not the same thing. They had run out of the original bread selection. There was nothing frozen in the back, no more on hand than they needed.
What if you are celebrating a special occasion? We celebrated a birthday while sailing, and with some advance notice, the chefs were kind enough to create a birthday cheesecake made with mango and tropical fruits. The cake was large enough to serve our entire table of six.
Torstein Hagen, the owner of Viking Cruises, states that the food will never be considered gourmet, but will always be great, fresh food. I agree!
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