Viking offers a range of dining experiences on its ocean-going ships, from more casual eateries to culinary experiences, all with the elegant Viking style and flair. All restaurants on board are included in the cruise fare.
Viking’s cuisine is destination focussed and is influenced by the regions each of the ships sail in and through. I’ve sailed with Viking a few times and honestly, each and every meal has been superb, with service to match. Let’s take a look at what’s offered on board.
The main dining venue on board Viking ocean ships is The Restaurant. As with the rest of the ships, this space is light and airy, with scandi-influences and gorgeous art adorning all the walls. It wraps around the aft of the ship so make sur you try and grab and aft facing table for some stunning wake views.
The Restaurant’s menu changes daily and is heavily influenced by the region the ship is sailing in. So, you can expect a number of interesting dishes, together with a list of always available classics. Reservations are not required and is open for breakfast and dinner. All this is accompanied by exceptional personalised service.
Downstairs from The Restaurant you will find the two alternative dining venues on board. Something I’ve spoken to Viking about in the past is that they do not see Manfredi’s or Chef’s Table (which I’ll talk about next) as ‘speciality restaurants’ as all the food is of the same high quality on board and is all included in your fare.
This restaurant is full of rich materials and ambient lighting creating a warm atmosphere fit for any Italian Trattoria. For me, it has to be the best Italian at sea offering food from different regions of Italy, from hearty Tuscan cuisine to freshly made pasta, risotto and other delicacies. Of course, you can pair this with some equally delicious Italian wines.
My one recommendation when you visit and you enjoy steak, is to order the Bistecca Fiorentina. This is hand’s down one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten (on land or sea) featuring a thick cut ribeye that is marinated in a special rub of porcini mushroom powder, sugar and chilli. It’s simply divine.
Located on Deck 1 opposite Manfredi’s and just aft of the Viking Living Room Atrium, The Chef’s Table is less a restaurant and more of a culinary journey featuring a multicourse tasting menu, paired with select wines. For me, it’s one of the highlights of a Viking cruise. I cannot resist a tasting menu and this 5-course experience changes every few days, with a selection that draws on the itineraries of the ship.
I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing a number of the menus on board, with wine pairing, and they are all truly spectacular in every way – some of the best and more enjoyable cuisine I’ve had at sea. I think my favourite has to be La Route Des Indes, featuring a variety of spices.
One of the personal highlights is also the Great Britain Cuisine from an Island Nation menu, which has been created by guest chef and my friend, Karen Burns-Booth (you can read all about her here). I have yet to try it, but it looks truly delightful.
This is the main casual eatery on board and features a whole range of freshly cooked international cuisine from its open kitchen, including a staggering range of sushi/seafood choices and a great gelato/ice-cream selection. You can also enjoy coffee and tea 24/7.
Linked to the World Café, you will find the Aquavit Terrace. This is one of my favourite spaces on a Viking ocean ship to relax in the day and enjoy the infinity pool, but it also serves as the perfect spot to enjoy al fresco dining all day from the World Café.
Situated within the Explorers’ Lounge at the very front of the ship, this cute Norwegian deli is named for “Mamsen”, the Hagen family matriarch. This venue is open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks or an evening treat. I personally love coming here for breakfast and is a great way to start the day. Of course, the highlight (of many!) has to be the popular waffles, featuring fresh fruit, jam and Norwegian brown goat’s cheese – it is a must on board. You can also expect a variety of open sandwiches, pastries, soups and other deicacies throughout the day.
The Wintergarden is one of the most elegant spaces on board Viking ocean ships – and one of my favourite spaces to sit and relax in. Make sure you head here in the afternoon for the daily afternoon tea service, featuring a wide range of teas and treats while you sit and enjoy a string quartet in this perfect setting. One word, delightful.
The Pool Grill is the perfect spot to grab a burger or other casual fare. It has a range of burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches available, together with a small salad bar. It’s seriously delicious food to enjoy at lunch.
Of course you can also opt to enjoy a quiet meal in your room any time of day, with 24-hour room service available.
The Kitchen Table
I was lucky enough to immerse myself in the Kitchen Table experience on board the Viking Sea. This is an optional interactive culinary journey at the onboard cooking school.
Situated between the two alternative dining you will find the Kitchen Table, an interactive kitchen area where guests can cook a variety of meals with the very talented chefs on board. Typically, this is a two-part experience where guests will spend the morning shopping in port for exciting ingredients with chefs before cooking and enjoying the food later in the day. If you enjoy food then definitely consider it.
Want to find out more?
You can read all about my experiences with Viking here:
And you can see more at Viking.
So, where would you go first? Let me know in the comments and on social media