The Hurtigruten Midnatsol sails Norwegian coastal voyages between Bergen and Kirkenes in the summer months of the northern hemisphere and then repositions to Antarctica and Patagonia in South America for the summer months of the southern hemisphere. The dining venues on the ship are the same for both itineraries, but the Norwegian sailings have more cruise passengers and also have day trippers who use the ship as a ferry but don't have access to the dining room.
The Midnatsol has one main restaurant for its overnight cruise guests, plus a small bistro cafe that is open to both the day and cruise passengers on an a la carte basis in Norway. The bistro offers a complimentary lunch to cruise guests on Antarctic sailings.
The main restaurant on the Hurtigruten ship features an open seating buffet for breakfast and lunch and either an open buffet or two fixed seating times at dinner--6:30 pm and 8:30 pm. The fixed menu at dinner includes an appetizer, main course, and dessert. The fixed menu dinners served on the Antarctic cruises have a theme dedicated to different explorers.
The Midnatsol also has an intimate specialty a la carte dinner venue located on the same deck as the main dining room and bistro. This reservation-only restaurant is exceptional for a special meal like a birthday or anniversary.
This photo gallery takes a look at the three Midnatsol dining venues, some of the buffet items, and the special treats the chef designs to make the cruise even more memorable.
Hurtigruten Midnatsol Window Tables in Dining Room
The main dining room on the ms Midnatsol of Hurtigruten has windows offering great views of the spectacular scenery along the Norwegian fjords or Antarctica. In the summer months of the northern and southern hemisphere, the sun sets very late (or not at all), so there's always something amazing to look at during dinner.
Hurtigruten Midnatsol Luncheon Salad Bar
The ms Midnatsol has a diverse selection of salads available at every lunch. One of my lunch favorites was baked or broiled salmon, which went along great with the salads. Smoked salmon was on the breakfast buffet, and the dish was usually a dinner option also.
Hurtigruten Midnatsol Steamed Shrimp on Luncheon Salad Bar
The fresh shrimp went quickly on the ms Midnatsol. Those who love seafood can always find a fish dish at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Hurtigruten Midnatsol Lunch Buffet - Main Courses
In addition to salads, we also enjoyed a selection of hot dishes on the buffet of the Midnatsol. The dishes varied, and some were vegetarian. A chicken or beef casserole was also usually included on the buffet.
Hurtigruten Midnatsol Dessert Bar
It just wouldn't be a cruise without a great selection of desserts, and the ms Midnatsol did not disappoint. We enjoyed all sorts of puddings or flans topped with fruit and whipped cream, fruit cobblers, and even some chocolate delights.
Hurtigruten Midnatsol Fruit and Cheese at Lunch
Fruit and cheese are a popular item for lunch and breakfast on all the Hurtigruten ships. I love trying new cheeses and learned to enjoy the Norwegian brown cheese, which is called Gjetost.
Hurtigruten Midnatsol Dessert Tray
Isn't this presentation lovely? I almost hated to disturb it, but couldn't resist a taste.
Hurtigruten a la Carte Restaurant
On long voyages like Antarctic cruises, it's nice to have an alternative dining venue. The Midnatsol has an intimate a la carte dining venue next to the bistro and on the same deck as the main dining room. On Antarctic cruises, the venue is appropriately called Pampas Antarctic and is a Norwegian venue on coastal sailings in Norway.
Open to reservations only, the executive chef designs a special menu. On Antarctic sailings, it might be a fish menu or one direct from the grasslands of Patagonia, with beef and South American flavors.
Hurtigruten Midnatsol Bistro Cafe
This cafe sells meals and all sorts of snacks and drinks to the passengers on the ms Midnatsol. Most of the diners are those who are not staying overnight since they can dine in the restaurant as part of their basic fare.
Hurtigruten Midnatsol Coffee and Drink Station
Unlike traditional cruise ships, coffee and tea are not included in the basic Hurtigruten cruise fare on Norwegian voyages since many of passengers are using the ship as a ferry and do not have any food or drink included. Food and drink served in the Dining Room are included in the cruise fare, but not for ferry passengers. On Antarctic sailings, coffee and tea are included since only cruise guests are onboard.
Outdoor Barbecue and Other "Extra" Treats on the Hurtigruten Midnatsol
The three dining venues aren't the only places to find somewhere to eat on the Hurtigruten Midnatsol. The executive chef and his team have a "whale watch" tea every afternoon in the lounge on deck 8 with sandwiches, cookies, and other tasty treats to tide the guests over from lunch to dinner. Sometimes (weather permitting) lunch is cooked outdoors. In the photo above, the executive chef is stirring up some shredded reindeer in a giant wok. Since the Midnatsol is a Norwegian ship, the barbecued reindeer was served in a tortilla wrap with a lingonberry ketchup and juniper berry dressing. Delightful, and check out the Antarctic scenery behind the chef.