There is only one dining room on Akademik Ioffe, which serves hearty, tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner with plenty of variety at every meal each day. There is always a meat, fish and vegetarian option at each meal, and special dietary needs are well catered for. Particular note should be made of the excellent desserts and pastries produced by ship's pastry chef. The decor is pleasing, with striking photographs of the polar regions taken by One Ocean Expeditions photographers. Fast efficient service is provided by the bar manager, expedition staff and Russian crew, who have a good basic understanding of English. There is a small but good selection of sodas, beers and wines available for purchase at lunch and dinner.
Dining times vary depending on wildlife viewing opportunities but generally, breakfast is served around 7.30 a.m., lunch around 1 p.m. and dinner at 7.30 p.m. Passengers can also make their own tea and coffee in the bar at any time of the day or night. Complimentary fresh fruit smoothies are served there as well, a half-hour before breakfast. Free cookies are also on offer at the coffee/tea bar throughout the day.
Breakfast options include a good selection of cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast and juices. Cooked options include eggs prepared different ways, meats (including bacon, sausage, etc.), French toast and pancakes. Tea and coffee are available.
Lunch always includes soup and a good selection of salads. Each day a different hot meal is served, which could be hamburgers with all the fixings; a Mexican selection with tacos, fajitas, corn chips and guacamole; a chili buffet; or a wide array of hot sandwich selections.
Three-course dinners include offerings like creamy celery soup, lentil soup with ham and sausage, roast turkey with all the fixings, steak with garlic sauce, and duck breast with plum sauce. Fish selections include Norwegian salmon, citrus halibut, and fried hake with apple polenta. Vegetarian options might be asparagus risotto, vegetarian shepherd's pie, and baked eggplant with sauteed mushrooms. Dessert offerings include New York-style cheesecake with lemon curd and blackberry compote, dark chocolate cake, raspberry and peach cobbler, and a serve-yourself ice cream bar.
One evening an outdoor barbecue is served on the deck with roast pork, hamburgers, grilled tuna, baked potatoes, cauliflower cheese, corn on the cob and salad. Complimentary gluhwein (mulled wine) flows freely.
Akademik Ioffe Ship Stats
- Crew: 41 crew, 23 expedition staff
- Launched: 1989
- Decks: 4
- Passengers: 96
- Registry: Russia