A Trip Through the World’s Best Pantry
Cruising Norway’s coastline is more than just a trip through fantastic nature. It’s also a culinary journey – in the most ecologically compatible way possible.
Hurtigruten’s entire coastal Norway fleet emphasizes – and is dedicated to –procuring and preparing locally produced foods. We work with local suppliers along the entire coast to bring you the freshest, tastiest foods available.
Behind all the local products we serve are intriguing stories about life along Norway’s coastline. The local purveyors are not just passionate about providing and delivering the best produce possible, they also share their knowledge and insights into daily life in and around the places we visit. We call our galley ‘Norway’s Coastal Kitchen’ because the food we serve is made from the freshest, most delicious produce found on the Norwegian coast.
A Food Blogger’s Delight
Food blogger, restaurant critic, and author Anders Husa is on the MS Nordkapp. He boarded the ship at Ålesund, sailing north to Tromsø, and had already tasted some of Norway’s finest foods during his first day at sea. Local purveyor Ole Christian Skaugen, from Dybvik, had just delivered fresh ‘klippfisk’ (dried, cured cod) that became part of the evening’s menu. Husa’s description of the meal is mouth-watering. “A three-course menu with carpaccio, from Gran Reserva klippfisk from Dybvik, was brushed with olive oil and parsley; followed by fantastic, tenderized leg of lamb from Hellesylt, Møre, and Romsdal; and concluding with ‘veiled peasant girls’ made with apples from Hardanger,” he enthuses.
No three-course dinner is complete without good libations, so Husa selected the recommended wine package. “A glass of Hurtigruten’s own white wine, José Maria da Fonseca from Portugal, has a lot of taste for the money! There’s a bouquet of fresh lime, and a good acidic balance. A more robust red wine worked well with the lamb, and a Tokay (sweet wine) at the end of the meal was a perfect sweet preface to dessert,” he adds. This is just the beginning of our cruise through one of world’s most abundant ‘pantries’.
Between Bergen and Kirkenes, you can taste lamb from Geiranger, king crab from the Barents Sea, cheese and cod from Lofoten, reindeer from Finnmark, and apples from Hardanger. Nature’s pantry is filled to the brim with delicacies.
The Awestruck Chef
Someone who hears firsthand stories about the places we visit is Eirik Larsen, who left Oslo’s city life and restaurants 10 years ago to work as a chef for Hurtigruten. Today he prepares more than 1,500 meals a day. He is continually impressed by the passion local purveyors show for their products. “The story behind the food is part of the culinary experience,” he says. “Imagine sitting in the restaurant eating lamb as we sail past the meadows where the sheep had grazed.
During autumn we serve cloudberries out on deck. A woman in Finnmark handpicks the berries and delivers them directly to our ships. Culinary experiences don’t get more authentic than this! Meeting the suppliers, hearing their stories, and knowing that all of their products are of the highest quality fills me with pride, respect, and humility.” But there’s more than just lamb and fresh berries on the menu. Stopping at 34 ports of call daily creates the opportunity to source fresh products daily. At 15 ports, fresh seafood, eggs, poultry, dairy products, mustard, syrup, salt, mushrooms, berries, fruits, and vegetables are delivered to the ship.
Local deliveries reduce food miles and optimize the use of port facilities. It’s good for the local communities, it’s good for the natural environment, it inspires the chefs, and it’s good for you!
The Culinary Journey Continues
When Husa’s ship arrives in Trondheim, he is dining at the onboard the á la carte restaurant, Kysten. His meal consists of an entrée, main course, and dessert, plus a couple bottles of beer from north Norwegian breweries Mack and Lofotpils. “The entrées were superb. Perfectly prepared pan-fried scallops from Frøya were cooked to a velvety smoothness inside with a delightful crunchy crust outside, and served with cauliflower puree and small chunks of chorizo from Stranda.
The alternate entrée, slices of duck breast from Gårdsand Farm in Vestfold, laid atop sweet potato puree and accompanied by pickled shallots, might have been even better. It is the artful combination of tastes and contrasting textures that make these dishes so delicious and exciting. Also, when you know that the animals lived good lives, the food tastes even better!
On our ships you can enjoy three-course dinners and bountiful buffets – all based on fresh, seasonal ingredients. While you’re relaxing on board watching the beautiful landscape pass before your eyes, or exploring Norway on an excursion, local fishermen are out securing the day’s catch – for example, Arctic char from the deep, cold waters of Sigerfjord in Vesterålen.
When you sit down to dinner later that day, that very same Arctic char has been deliciously prepared on your plate. Husa didn’t choose Arctic char for his last onboard dinner, but gets very excited when describing what he did select.
A Royal Send-off
An aquarium next to the dining room is where the king crabs dwell. Husa selected one for dinner. The chefs prepared the crab in a manner that moved Husa to superlatives. “What fantastically fresh seafood this is! The crab’s long legs are packed with meat – and lots of it. The kitchen chose a very simple presentation, highlighting the naturally sweet and delicate taste of crabmeat. We were also served delicious freshly baked bread, with mayonnaise, aioli, and soy sauce, and a straight-forward salad with thinly sliced pickled vegetables. Together with the juice of a grilled lemon, it’s all you need to let king crab play the leading role in his own culinary performance.”
After the royal meal, the ship sails to Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands. Husa ventures out on deck. The evening becomes magical as the ship enters the Trollfjord. The following day, he disembarks at Tromsø, where ice-blue seas and snowy white peaks greet the ship’s arrival. Husa’s Hurtigruten voyage is over, but Chef Eirik’s day is just starting as he prepares tasty culinary creations for all the other food enthusiasts on board. He’s confident that the fresh, local ingredients they serve optimize and enhance the overall experience of sailing Norway’s coastline. “Procuring, preparing, and serving fresh, locally produced foods are vital to the coastal experience.
Our local interactions also generate positive ripple effects and good stories to tell from the communities we visit. Our passengers experience an authenticity few other cruise lines can offer. Guests can also buy some of the local products aboard the ship. That way, they can savor their Norwegian coastal experience a little longer,” Larsen says, smiling.
Famous Norwegian chef Anders Husa gives Hurtigruten's menu a go!
RESTAURANTS ON BOARD
Kysten/À la Carte Restaurant Choose from a wide selection of innovative dishes based on local, quality products, each with a story to tell. Enjoy everything from ultra-fresh seafood to sustainably cultivated root vegetables and free-range reindeer meat, along with excellent cheeses from select, small-scale producers. We recommend topping off your meal with a tempting Scandinavian dessert, inspired by the two extremes of Arctic light – the midnight sun and the polar night.
Breakfast An extensive breakfast buffet that includes warm dishes, cold cuts, fish, homemade smoothies, energy shots, yogurt, granolas, and fruit jams. The buffet also includes fresh bread, fruit, local cheeses, as well as chef activities such as making fresh pancakes and salmon carving. Coffee, tea, and juice and water are included. Lunch Lunch features traditional ‘husmannskost’ (traditional rustic dishes) from the region. Every day a variation of one meat, one fish, and one vegetarian main dish is served along with fresh bread, local cheese, and a wide selection of salads, vegetables, cold cuts, salmon, herring, and other seafoods. Homemade desserts and sweet cakes are also available. Coffee, tea, and water are included.
Dinner Three-course dinners or buffets are based on locally sourced food, each with stories to tell. The menu varies over an 11-day cycle and offers meat or fish and vegan dishes. Water is included. Wine packages, local beverage, and alcohol-free alternatives are also available.
Multe (on refurbished vessels only)
Indulge yourself with freshly baked cakes and pastries, including ‘smørbrød’ (sandwiches with generous amounts of fillings), smoothies, yogurt with granola, and a large assortment of local ice cream flavors with homemade toppings. Beverages available include premium coffee (espresso, latte, macchiato, Americano), hot chocolate, organic herbal tea and regular tea, soft drinks, and premium juices.
The bistro serves traditional ‘husmannskost’ (traditional rustic dishes), the day’s soup with condiments, fresh salads, wraps, and sandwiches. Enjoy bistro dishes such as Hurtigruten’s signature burger and famous shrimp sandwich, sirloin steak, grilled salmon, pizza with local toppings, desserts, and sweet cakes. Juices, yogurt with toppings, soft drinks, local beverages, and wine are also available.
Explorer Bar/Panorama Bar
The bars serve premium local and international beverages, premium coffee (espresso, latte, macchiato, Americano), tea, and hot chocolate. A snack platter is also available (including cold cuts, pickles, and other accompaniments). On refurbished vessels, a grilled panini sandwich is also available.