Dining Experience on Midnatsol

Hurtigruten
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 11:47 PM.
#1
Tucson, AZ
90 Posts
Joined Dec 2014
My wife and I are considering an Antarctic cruise on the Midnatsol in late 2019. We've been on about twenty cruises, mostly on HAL, Silversea, and Oceania, but never anything that could be called an expedition cruise. We realize that such cruises are different and that Hurtigruten itself is different, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what those differences are with respect to dining.

For example, I have an espresso machine at home that I use every morning. On the cruise lines I've mentioned I can get excellent espresso (for a cost on HAL, for free on the other two lines), but I see no reference to espresso or other specialty coffee drinks on Midnatsol. Is it available?

At dinner, are tables for two available? (If not, that would be a deal-breaker for us---I hate being forced to dine with strangers). I know that wine and cocktails aren't included in the price, but are they reasonably priced and of good quality?

And what about diner hours? On cruises, we usually like to go to the bar around 7:00PM and the dining room around 8:00PM. Is that possible on Midnatsol? Or is the ship geared more toward earlier or later drinking and dining hours?

I realize that the destination, rather than the onboard experience, is the big draw on Hurtigruden, but I want to be reasonably sure that the onboard experience, especially with respect to dining, is a satisfying one.

thanks in advance for any and all information.
#2
Europe
368 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
No experience on the Midnatsol but on the Spitsbergen expedition cruise.

Originally posted by jimdee3636
My wife and I are considering an Antarctic cruise on the Midnatsol in late 2019. We've been on about twenty cruises, mostly on HAL, Silversea, and Oceania, but never anything that could be called an expedition cruise. We realize that such cruises are different and that Hurtigruten itself is different, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what those differences are with respect to dining.

For example, I have an espresso machine at home that I use every morning. On the cruise lines I've mentioned I can get excellent espresso (for a cost on HAL, for free on the other two lines), but I see no reference to espresso or other specialty coffee drinks on Midnatsol. Is it available?

Yes, in the bar area.

At dinner, are tables for two available? (If not, that would be a deal-breaker for us---I hate being forced to dine with strangers). I know that wine and cocktails aren't included in the price, but are they reasonably priced and of good quality?

Yes ask in advance or when boarding. Keep in mind it is an expeditioncruise and meal times can be flexable due to the expedition schedule. On our 8 day Svalbard there were 3 times fixed seatings, the rest come as you go and that happenened on days that half the guests were still on a shore landing.

And what about diner hours? On cruises, we usually like to go to the bar around 7:00PM and the dining room around 8:00PM. Is that possible on Midnatsol? Or is the ship geared more toward earlier or later drinking and dining hours?
Again two seatings for a couple of days. At these evenings you have your assigned table for two. First one at 18hr second 20hr. Other evenings free seating, just go in pick a table, starting at 18hrs.

I realize that the destination, rather than the onboard experience, is the big draw on Hurtigruden, but I want to be reasonably sure that the onboard experience, especially with respect to dining, is a satisfying one.

thanks in advance for any and all information.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Rotterdam - SouthAmerica/Antarctica 2008
Polar Star - Antarctica expedition cruise 2009
Eurodam - Amsterdam/Newyork Voyage of the vikings 2010
Prinsendam - Northcape 2011
Statendam - Panama 2012 San Diego to FLL
Zaandam - Alaska 2012 vancouver-seward - vancouver
NieuwAmsterdam - East and West Caribien 2013
Noordam - Southern Caribien 2013
MSC Fantasia 7 day Venice 2014
Rotterdam 14 day Northcape 2015
Rotterdam 17 day Canary islands 2015
Rotterdam 18 day Voyage of the Vikings 2016 Rotterdam-Boston.
Volendam 12 day Indonesia 2016
Rotterdam 14 day Northern Europe, northcape. 2017

MSC Meraviglia 7 day western mediteranien 2017
Ms Spitsbergen Hurtigruten. Cirumnavigation Svalbard, june 2018
#4
86 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I fear that if your big concerns are coffee, tables for two and dining times suitable for pre dinner drinks, that a Hurtigruten Antarctic trip is not suitable for you.

I am not being sarcastic in my comments. I do believe that your choice of ship may be an error.

On this sort of expedition trip, you will find that mixing with other people and the camaraderie is part of the experience.

If you do go, then make sure to request late sitting for dinner. This will give you time for pre dinner drinks.

On the Antarctic trip we had on the Midnatsol, all the dinners were at the standard times for the two sittings.

If you want to get the best from the experience, then you need to have a reasonable level of fitness and be able to walk fair distances over snow and very uneven ground as well as becadeot at getting in and out of the inflatable boats used for all the landings.

Do not expect the dining experience to which you have become accustomed on the cruise ships on which you have travelled in the past. Even compared to the same ship on European itineraries, the food on the Midnatsol on an Antarctic trip is quite different and much more restricted. The ship usually is able to purchase food almost daily. On the Antarctic cruise we were on reprovisioning only took place after about two weeks. Consequently, fresh salad was conspicuous by it's absence.

But if you go with the right mindset, then you can have a fantastic time.

Think very seriously as to what you actually want. If you are looking for a much more standard cruise experience, then opt for a different cruise line that goes not offer landings.

If you want to get a proper feel for Antarctica (albeit just the tip!) And the opportunity to get seriously close to nature, then go for it.