Hurtigruten Dining Experience
Dining on a Hurtigruten voyage can be the highlight as Asko discovers.
As a qualified chef and passionate traveller, the food on the journey is always important for me. And on my recent Hurtigruten Classic voyage North on the MS Trollfjord, sampling and enjoying the food was high on the agenda.
Chefs on the Hurtigruten ships use only fresh and local ingredients to make the dining experience memorable. The concept is called ‘Norway’s Coastal Kitchen’, and with regular stops at 34 Norwegian ports along the coast, there are always seasonal local ingredients available.
I was travelling in autumn, when local berries and meat were in season. Of course there was plenty of seafood also available, as we visited many small fishing towns on the way.
Breakfast was served buffet style from 7am until 10am. But if there was an early excursion on the day, the kitchen opened even earlier. It was a exhaustive Scandinavian buffet; at the cold selection there was meats, pate, cheeses (including Norwegian brown cheese), tomatoes, vegetables, herrings, prawns, smoked salmon, yoghurts, cereals, fresh breads, fruits and sweet pastries. From the hot food selection you can find eggs, potatoes, bacon, meatballs, sausages, omelettes and porridge. Coffee/ tea and juices were also served during the buffet.
Lunch was also served as a buffet and commencement time varied depending the daily excursions and port visits. Normally lunch was served from midday until 2.30pm.
Again, you can find something for every taste. Starting with a soup of the day, continue with selection of salads, cold meats and seafood including crayfish, mussels & smoked salmon. Hot food changed every day, usually with options of meat or fish with vegetables. But my favourite part was the desserts; the buffet included chocolate mousse, lemon mousse, Crème caramel, different cakes, ice cream and fresh fruits. Again coffee and tea was also available.
The dinner was a set 3-course menu. For breakfast and lunch, there was free seating, and you can arrive at whatever time suits for you. The dinner service started at 7pm and it was allocated seating.
With the dinner, Hurtigruten chefs endeavour to bring you a taste of Norway. Each day the menu was waiting at the table and it explained where the ingredients were from. For an example on day 2 of my voyage, we had a lamb for main course from Hellesylt; this town is located in the fjord where we visited earlier that day.
Likewise, an example menu from day 6 (Nordkapp visit), for an entree we had a seafood plate with Gravlaks, marinated cod and king crab. For the main course marinated sirloin with savoy cabbage and potato puree. For the dessert; chocolate terrine with black crowberry and raspberry sorbet. King Crab is a distinctive offering of the far North. Crowberry is also found high above the Arctic Circle and was something new for most of the passengers to taste.
With your dinner, you can also choose a matching wine package. This deal gives you a glass with each course, each carefully chosen to match with your menu. Or if you like, you could order a bottle of your favourite wine. Ask about the wine package when booking your Hurtigruten voyage with us.
The wine was usually European wine from France, Italy or Germany as the Nordic region is not good for the grapes. But one day we did have some local cider to taste as well. Delicious and a match with all the gastronomic experiences that I enjoyed on my MS Trollfjord voyage.