The ship has one dining room where breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon tea are served. The buffet breakfast includes cereals, porridge, muesli, variations of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, spinach, grilled tomato, hash browns, toast, fruit, yoghurt, juices and pastries. On some days a special dish appears, such as dumpling soup or salmon pesto bagels. Before breakfast, croissants and other pastries are provided for early risers, next to the coffee machine.
Lunch is also buffet-style, offering two hot dishes such as lasagna and roast chicken, plus mixed vegetables, three different salads, bread, soup and sliced fruit. The majority of fresh produce is Australian, with some ingredients sourced from destinations along the way.
Dinner is served to your table, except for the seafood buffet night of fresh oysters, prawns, mussels and whole fish. The usual routine is three courses (entree, main and dessert) followed by tea and coffee service. Passengers are asked at lunchtime to choose between the fish or meat main; the entree and dessert are set (optional) dishes and all portion sizes are sensible. Vegetarian options are available upon request in advance.
The new chefs on our inaugural sailing had a couple of missteps in the first few days of the voyage but the standard greatly improved until the food became a real highlight. No dishes are repeated, and even passengers on back-to-back cruises are unlikely to see the same meal twice. Service by the young Australian wait staff was consistently delightful.
House wine (Angoves sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and sparkling) and beer (VB, Great Northern and Hahn Lite) are included during lunch and dinner service, along with soft drinks, juice and water. Wine connoisseurs will want to pay extra for better quality. Free drinks are also handed out during the captain's welcome party on the second evening and on the last night's farewell.
Morning or afternoon tea is offered, depending on the shore excursion schedule, with different types of cakes, scones or brownies available every day. All water, including the tap water in the cabins, is filtered for safe drinking.