Review of Viking Polaris deck 1 (Lobby-Dining)
Lobby area with Explorers Desk (24-hour Reception, Tours booking, reservations)
Manfredi's Italian Restaurant (reservations-only, free of charge specialty restaurant)
Private Dining Room has a 12-seat table and can be booked for private dinners and other special events (family celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, parties, etc).
“The Restaurant” is an open-seating Main Dining Room (MDR) with a daily-changing menu. Reservations are not required. Here are served local specialties and traditional American fare. Freshest food ingredients are locally sourced (delivered in ports of call along the current Viking Expeditions cruise itinerary). The Restaurant operates with priority reservations for passengers in higher grade accommodations (priority level is based on the room category). At lunch and dinner are offered complimentary house wines (by the glass) and beer. The Main Dining Room is open for Breakfast (between 8 – 9:30 am) and Dinner (between 6 – 9 pm) – both with open-seating arrangements. The MDR features panoramic floor-ceiling window walls, plenty of 2-seat tables plus large tables (up to 8-seat). You may choose to share a table with others if you’d like to be even more social. A unique feature of the MDR is that (when weather permits) its floor-ceiling windows can be completely opened up, transforming the restaurant into an alfresco eatery. The MDR also has a Bar serving alcoholic beverages.
The Dining Room’s menu offers for Breakfast nice selections of cereals, yoghurts, pancakes, waffles, bread, cold meats, sausages, egg station. The dinner menu is in 3 sections and offers daily specials (shrimp, crab souffle, gourmet salads, Chilean sea bass, ribeye steak, filet mignon, chicken breast, strudel), tasting menu choices (itinerary-based regional dishes), and regular options (tiger prawns, Caesar salad, NY strip steak, poached salmon, roasted chicken, steamed vegetables, baked/mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, gourmet desserts- cheeses, creme brulee, cheesecake, a daily dessert special). Also always are offered vegetarian, healthy food, gluten-dairy-lactose-sugar-free items. On the MDR menu, there are also “Market Price” listed items available for ordering at extra cost.
The Laboratory is a 430-ft2 (40-m2) working space equipped with wet and dry lab facilities, sample processing area, comprehensive microscope optics, bench space for instruments, fume cupboard, freezer, cold storage. Passengers have supervised access and can also help scientists with research. Examples include helping scientists collect samples or monitoring birds in order to help identify migratory patterns. In the Great Lakes, NOAA scientists join expeditions to conduct climate change studies.
Lifts and staircase access - four Atrium Lifts (glass-walled elevators) connect all decks. A 5th Lift (aft) is wheelchair-accessible and interconnects decks 2 through 5.
The Hangar (upper level 2 of 2) is an aft-located indoor marina for launching the smaller-sized RIBs (rigid inflatable boats). The launch platform features a 26 m (85 ft) wide rollers-covered slipway (boat ramp) that allows safe and sheltered embarkation on the RIBs inside the cruise ship.
Cruise ship's expedition equipment is provided complimentary and to all passengers (regardless of cabin category). It includes Zodiacs (military-type rigid inflatable high-speed boats used for landings and coastal cruising), 2-seater sea-kayaks, two RIB boats (12-seats each), two mini-submarines (6-passenger, with revolving seats, spherical windows / 270-degree views), Expedition Kit (cold-weather boots, waterproof pants, snowshoes, trekking poles, skis, binoculars). Each tour boat is fitted with the latest Safety Equipment (satellite phone, VHF radio, ropes, life jackets, survival kits).