Behind each local product we serve, there’s an interesting story about life along Norway’s coastline. The local purveyors are not just passionate about delivering the freshest, most high quality produce possible, they also share their knowledge and insights to their daily lives at the places we visit. We call our galley ‘Norway’s coastal kitchen’ because the food we serve comes from the freshest, most delicious produce found on the Norwegian coast.
Food blogger’s delight
Food blogger, restaurant critic and author Anders Husa is on MS Nordkapp. He has just boarded the ship at Ålesund and is ready to sail north to Tromsø. He has already tasted some of Norway’s finest farm-to-table dining on his first day at sea. Local supplier Ole Christian Skaugen, from Dybvik, delivers fresh klippfisk (dried and cured cod) to be served as part of the evening meal. Husa´s description of the dinner is mouth-watering.
‘A three-course menu with carpaccio of Gran Reserva klippfisk from Dybvik, brushed with olive oil and parsley, followed by fantastic tenderised leg of lamb from Hellesylt, in Møre and Romsdal, and ending with “veiled peasant girls”, made with apples from Hardanger.’
A gourmet meal is best enjoyed paired with some equally fine wines so Husa selected the recommended wine package to accompany his food.
‘A glass of Hurtigruten’s own-label white wine – “José Maria da Fonseca” from Portugal has a lot of taste for the money! There´s a bouquet of fresh lime, and good acidic balance. A more robust red wine works well with the lamb, and a Tokay at the end of the meal is a perfectly sweet preface to dessert,’ was Husa’s verdict.
This is just the beginning of our voyage through one of world’s most abundant larders. 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 first-hand stories about the places we visit is chef Eirik Larsen. Ten years ago, he left Oslo´s city life and restaurants to become a chef for Hurtigruten. Today, he prepares more than 1,500 meals a day. He is continually impressed by the passion local suppliers have for their products.
‘The story behind the food is part of the culinary experience,’ he says. ‘Imagine sitting in the restaurant eating lamb while we sail past the meadows where the sheep once grazed. During autumn, we serve cloudberries out on deck. A lady in Finnmark handpicks these berries and delivers them to our ships. Experiences don’t get more real than this. To meet the suppliers, hear their stories and to know that all of their produce are of the highest quality fills me with pride and respect.’
There’s more than just lamb and fresh berries on the menu. Calling at 34 ports daily creates opportunities to have fresh ingredients delivered to the boats every day. At 15 of the ports, fresh seafood, eggs, poultry, dairy products, mustard, syrup, salt, mushrooms, berries, fruits and vegetables are brought directly on board. Local deliveries reduce food miles and optimise the use of port facilities. It’s good for the environment, it inspires the chefs, and it’s good for you.
The culinary journey continues
When the ship arrives in Trondheim the next day, Husa dines at Kysten, our on-board, á la carte restaurant, where he enjoys an entrée, main course and dessert, plus a couple bottles of Arctic craft beer, Mack and Lofotpils.
‘The entrées were superb. Perfectly cooked pan-fried scallops from Frøya, velvety smooth inside with a delightful crunchy outer crust, served with cauliflower purée and small chunks of chorizo from Stranda. The other entrée option, slices of duck breast from Gårdsand farm in Vestfold, might have even been better, laid atop sweet potato purée and accompanied by pickled shallots. 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 had good lives, the food tastes even better!’
On board our ships you can choose between three-course dinners or bountiful buffets - all based on fresh, seasonal ingredients. While you’re relaxing on board or enjoying excursions, local fishermen are out securing the day’s catch, such as Arctic char from the deep, cold waters of Sigerfjord in Vesterålen Husa doesn’t opt for the Arctic char for his last dinner on board, but almost turns blue from excitement when describing his delight over what he did pick.
A royal send off
Instead, Husa picks a live king crab from the fish tank. The chefs prepare the dish so well that Husa is moved to superlatives.
‘What fantastically fresh seafood this is! The long legs are packed with meat and lots of it. The kitchen chose a very simple presentation, highlighting the sweet and delicate taste of crabmeat. We also got good freshly baked bread, with mayonnaise, aïoli and soy sauce, and a simple salad with thinly sliced, pickled vegetables. Together with the juice of a grilled lemon, it’s all you need to let the king crab play a leading role in his own culinary performance.’
After a meal fit for a king, the ship sails to Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands. Husa ventures out on deck. The evening turns magical as the ship enters Trollfjorden. The following day, Husa disembarks at Tromsø, where ice blue seas and snowy white mountains 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 other food enthusiasts on board. He’s confident that the fresh local ingredients they serve enhances the experience of sailing Norway´s coastline.
‘Procuring, preparing and serving fresh, locally produced food is vital to the coastal experience. Our local interaction also generates positive ripple effects and good stories from the communities we visit. Our passengers experience an authenticity few others can offer. They can even buy some of the local products on board the ship. That way they get to savour their Norwegian coastal experience a little longer,’ chef Larsen says smiling.
Restaurants on board
Kysten/Á la Carte Restaurant
Choose from a wide selection of innovative dishes based on high quality, local produce that each have 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 selected small-scale producers. We recommend topping off your meal with tempting Scandinavian desserts, inspired by the two extremities of Arctic light - the Midnight Sun and Polar Night.
An extensive breakfast buffet including hot dishes, cold cuts, fish, homemade smoothies, energy shots, yoghurt, granolas and fruit jams. Fresh bread, fruit, local cheeses and chef stations such as pancakes or salmon carving. Coffee/tea/juice/water included.
Traditional husmannskost (traditional rustic dishes) from the region. Every day, a choice of one meat, one fish and one vegetarian main dish is served along with fresh bread and local cheese and a wide selection of salads, vegetables, cold cuts, salmon, herring and other seafood. Homemade desserts and cakes are also available. Coffee/tea/water included.
Enjoy the best of Norwegian farm-to-table dining with three-course dinners or buffets. The menu varies over an 11-day cycle, with a selection meat, fish or vegan dishes. Water included. Wine packages, local beverages and alcohol-free alternatives available.
Multe (on refurbished vessels only)
Indulge yourself with freshly baked cakes and pastries, smørbrød (open sandwiches with generous amounts of topping), smoothies, yoghurt with granola, a large assortment of local ice cream with homemade toppings, premium coffee (espresso, latte, macchiato, americano), hot chocolate, organic herbal tea and regular tea, soft drinks and premium juice.
Serving traditional husmannskost, soup of the day, fresh salads, wraps and sandwiches. Enjoy bistro dishes such as Hurtigruten’s signature burger and famous shrimp sandwich, sirloin steak, grilled salmon, locally-inspired pizza, desserts and sweet cakes. Juice, yoghurt with topping, soft drinks, local beverages and wine are also available.
Explorer Bar/Panorama Bar
Serving premium local and international beverages, premium coffee (espresso, latte, macchiato, americano) tea and hot chocolate. Snack platters available. On refurbished vessels, grilled paninis are also available.