Dining in Style While Onboard Polar Expedition Cruise Ship Adventures

Polar expedition cruises and expedition ships these days are not merely about adventure but rather adventure in style; with abundant fine dining options-from morning buffets to crepes and tea and specialty dinners of worldly cuisines. The experts at CruiseCompete know that some adventurers expect different comforts and amenities, so when choosing an expedition cruise this information may be helpful in selecting the right cruise line and ship for your expectations and tastes.

The beauty of the cold and exotic polar caps is best complemented with good food to fire through the adventure-packed days. These restaurants are on a mission to take their guests through a culinary journey of flavors while journeying through areas of the globe with a glimpse into far reaches of Earth’s nature, animals and climate.

Here are several floating restaurants on high-end expedition cruises that plate up some hearty and tempting dishes while traveling to the far ends of the earth:

  1. Seabourn (Category: Ultra-Luxury)

Seabourn’s newest expedition ships, Seabourn Venture & Seabourn Pursuit, offer an experience that combines elegance and exploration. These state-of-the-art expedition ships come loaded with custom submarines, zodiacs and eight exciting places to grab a bite and explore new tastes. The main attractions include The Colonnade, an open-kitchen, casual restaurant; relaxed pool-side dining in The Patio, and the main restaurant conveniently named “The Restaurant,” along with much more. The Colonnade, an indoor/outdoor alternative, features a live kitchen with huge buffet spreads of regional foods for breakfast/lunch and bistro-style dinners every night curated by Chef Keller.

Must Try: Pan-Roasted Sea Bream Fillet with braised veggies and Beurre Blanc for Mains and Chocolate Pot De Crème for dessert at The Colonnade

Seabourn Ships to sail: Seabourn Pursuit, Seabourn Venture

  1. Atlas Ocean Voyages (Category: Luxury)

Atlas Ocean Voyages expedition ships World Navigator and World Traveler capsulate a relaxed luxury with a touch of intimate and yacht-style cruising. The dining options are lavish, with multiple cuisines and restaurants to check out. The main restaurants onboard – Porto on World Navigator and Lisboa on World Traveler – pay homage to authentic Portuguese heritage. Both carry a specialty menu named “Alma” (“soul” in Portuguese) with dishes like Bacaloa having the essence of a grandmother’s simple cooking. The 7Aft Grill is a casual poolside lunch spot that turns into an open-air chophouse by night; The Dome Observation Lounge is popular for its traditional high tea. Paula’s Pantry serves pastries, signature coffees and small bites. All restaurants offer delicious treats to guests.

Must Try: Seared tuna carpaccio with teriyaki sauce, a favorite among the patrons at Porto.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Ships to sail: World Traveler, World Navigator

  1. Scenic Luxury Cruises (Category: Ultra-Luxury)

Scenic impresses us with the 6-star ultra-luxury Discovery Yachts and its award-winning service staff. The Eclipse yachts offer up to 10 unique dining experiences unlike any other. The long list includes the main restaurant named Elements on deck 4, serving Italian, seafood and steak. A private, invite-only place – The Chef’s Table (serving a 11-course meal). A contemporary French fine dining and champagne bar named Lumière. Azure Bar & Café – a classic café and Yacht Club grill restaurant. You can also try your hands at local cuisines with culinary masterclasses at Scenic Épicure. The ships also feature an extensive Asian cuisine deck with options including Koko’s Asian Fusion restaurant & sake bar and Sushi @Koko’s parlor, with traditional Japanese benchtop seating.

Must-Try: The intimate Night Market @Koko’s with its classic teppanyaki grill – plating dishes from Asia & Middle East (pre-bookings are suggested)

Scenic Luxury Cruises Ships to sail: Scenic Eclipse I, Scenic Eclipse II

  1. Silversea (Category: Ultra-Luxury)

Silversea’s food culture is heavily influenced by its destinations, featuring dishes and cuisines that warm the soul. You can explore regional specialties with stunning views at the Main Restaurant or experience the ultimate French dining at La Dame, cooking your own meats on your table at The Grill, or maybe enjoy authentic Italian recipes at La Terrazza. Dining at La Terrazza with its the freshest and sustainable ingredients is delectable, and every bite lingers on the tastebuds with the sip of perfect wine pairings.

Must try: The Grill features cooking with a volcanic lava rock heated to 400?C where guests can grill their meat, fish or veggies or dish out a soup bowl.

Silversea Ships to sail: Silver Cloud, Silver Endeavor, Silver Explorer

  1. Viking Expedition (Category: Luxury)

The Nordic cruise line flaunts its ‘Best Dining at Sea’ tag with its six specialty dining options at no extra charge. The restaurants on Vikings expedition ships are thoughtfully curated and worthy of a chef’s kiss. Starting with World Café- which features international dishes with live cooking; Aquavit Terrace® – where guests can sip mulled wine or ship-matured aquavit over glacier views; Manfredi’s® serving Italian flavors or the elegant Main Dining venue with its classic dishes. The ever-available heart-shaped waffles fill the air at Mamsen’s, which also serves traditional Norwegian food.

Must Try: Ertesuppe, a pea soup served at midnight complemented by Spekemat og flatbrød-an array of cured meats and flatbread.

Viking Ships to sail: Viking Octantis, Viking Polaris

     6. Quark Expeditions (Category: Adventure / Premium)

Quark Expeditions newest addition, Ultramarine, comes equipped with the best portfolio of adventure activities and restaurants onboard. It offers a unique Tundra to Table experience that takes guests on a culinary ride to the Nunavut. The guests can enjoy a bite at Bisto 487 with indoor/outdoor dining, perfect for enjoying the landscape. Or enjoy fine dining at the Balena restaurant with great views from the wrap-around deck and dine on Intuit classics like Greenlandic lamb with pommes Anna or honey-glazed ptarmigan. You can be assured of the freshness of the food, with seafood caught fresh from the Arctic.

Must Try: The beer-braised muskox with mashed potatoes, mushroom sauce and berry jam served at Balena is a winner.

Quark Expeditions Ships to Sail: Ocean Adventurer, Ocean Diamond, Ultramarine, World Explorer

  1. Swan Hellenic (Category: Ultra-Luxury)

Your home away from home; Swan Hellenic boasts of three 5-star Scandi-design cruise ships sailing the remotest polar caps in luxury- SH Minerva, SH Vega and SH Diana. Guests have the option to dine in the casual 24-hour Club Lounge that encourages conversations over Piemonte’s popular pizza; afternoon tea and a wide variety of desserts. As well there is the Pool Bar and Grill. While the large Swan Dining Room serves global and regional flavor-with the menus changing between the buffet breakfast and lunch to the formal dinners with white tablecloths and napkins. The Swan’s menus are crafted by famous Italian Chef Andrea Ribaldone and Korean Chef Sang Keun Oh, together catering to all appetites.

Must Try: Lunch al fresco at the Pool Bar and Grill when paired with the right outdoor weather.

Swan Hellenic Ships to Sail: SH Minerva, SH Vega, SH Diana

  1. Aurora Expeditions (Category: Adventure / Premium)

Aurora Expeditions’ enthusiasm for adventure, discovering nature, and sharing the experience with people is as strong now as it was 30 years ago; as is their preference for small-group, sustainable expeditions with splendid dining options. The guests get fueled with changing menu of varied cuisines and 24×7 beverages at the open seating dining area on the cruise – which promotes camaraderie between guest travelers.

Must Try: After a hard day in the wilderness, you can unwind with a selection of house wine or beers along with multi-course meal.

Aurora Expeditions Ships to Sail: Greg Mortimer, Sylvia Earle

  1. Oceanwide Expeditions (Category: Adventure / Premium)

A pioneer of expedition cruises, Oceanwide Expeditions was one of the first cruise lines to take their guests deep into the heart of the polar region to the Arctic Island of Spitsbergen. The cruise offers the experience of nature up-close taking you near the wildlife and exotic landscapes. Guests can power up for a day of adventure activities from snowshoeing to scuba diving in the large retro-themed Dining Room.

Must Try: The large buffet spread for breakfast and lunch.

Oceanwide Expeditions Ships To Sail: m/v Ortelius, m/v Plancius, m/v Hondius, m/v Janssonius, s/v Rembrandt van Rijn

  1. Hurtigruten (Category: Adventure / Premium)

After a century of cruising through exotic, pristine and secluded icy waters; Hurtigruten has perfected expedition cruises and sustainable tourism. After a day of adrenaline pumping action, guests can soak in a hot tub and dine in the ships’ exquisite restaurants. The menus are heavily influenced by the regional cuisines – the main dining Restaurant Aune dishes up all three meals in an informal social setting with vast views. While the specialty fine-dining restaurant Lindstrøm serves an à la carte menu of Norwegian cuisine fused with modern flavors. The outdoor BBQ, on the top deck of MS Fram, is a place to feast finest meals with local ingredients.

Must Try: Three-course dinner entrees centered on locally produced food, including vegetarian dishes.

Hurtigruten Ships to Sail: MS Fram, MS Fridtjof Nansen, MS Roald Amundsen

  1. PONANT – (Category: Luxury)

PONANT’s latest launch, Le Commandant Charcot, is an eco-friendly icebreaker, being the first to be powered by natural gas. The ship with a league of adventure and exploration activities gives fine dining a new twist. The three unique restaurants on board; Sila (the sky) a casual restaurant on deck 9, Inneq (the fire) an open-air bar with sweet & savory dishes, and Nuna (the earth), the main restaurant that can seat the all guests together, takes you on a gastronomic journey. Chef Alain Ducasse and his team of food artists serve their contemporary French art to your table.

Must Try: Langoustines with pepper, tender fennels, light broth for main course and top it with Voiles Ponant chocolat-praliné for dessert.

PONANT Ships to Sail: Le Commandant Charcot

  1. Lindblad Expeditions / National Geographic (Category: Adventure / Premium)

The cruise line meant for nature discovery; where staff always go the extra mile for an unforgettable memory – either pulling an all-nighter for a polar bear sighting, docking at an incredible wildlife site at the first twilight, or waitstaff serving gourmet ice cream bars in the middle of exploration. The ice breaker ships with the signature X-bow have a lot to offer about food. The main dining room, 270º aptly named for its wide panoramic views, offers a selection of plant-based options and artisanal vegan cheese; while guests can head to C. Greens restaurant for a lighter lunch of salads, grilled meats or burgers.

Must Try: Any menu choices inspired by local, sustainable and regionally available food and delicacies.

Lindblad Expeditions Ships to Sail: National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution, National Geographic Orion, National Geographic Explorer

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