Louise Goldsbury
Cruise Critic Australia Managing Editor
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Dining

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room on Deck 2, which is divided in half by the galley. The decor is basic but the communal tables are nicely presented with tablecloths. Most passengers move around each mealtime to dine with different people, including the crew. Self-service tea, coffee, biscuits and fruit are available 24 hours; an afternoon treat (such as cake, muffins or brownies) changes daily.

The quality and variety of food is very good on Polar Pioneer. On our 17-night voyage, no lunch or dinner dishes were repeated. Breakfast is buffet style, with eggs, bacon, mushrooms, porridge, cereals, toast, yoghurt, fruit and juice. A two-course lunch and a three-course dinner are served by English-speaking, Russian waitresses.

Only one choice of meal is offered at lunch and dinner, but a vegetarian alternative is available on request by marking your name on the whiteboard outside the dining room. Gluten-free, dairy-free and other dietary requirements can also be accommodated by notifying the cruise line in advance of sailing.

Our Antarctic voyage started with a lovely, fresh entree of ceviche, followed by roast beef and vegetables, and an apple tart for dessert. Other dinners included chateaubriand steak, lamb shanks, pork loin, fish and rosemary chicken, followed by desserts such as cheesecake, pumpkin pie or peach melba. Lunch often starts with soup and bread, then a hot dish such as lasagna, schnitzel, stew, pizza or burgers. 

Polar Pioneer Information

Aurora Expeditions Polar Pioneer Ship Stats

  • Crew: 23
  • Launched: 1982
  • Decks: 6
  • Passengers: 54
  • Registry: Russia

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