Norwegian steak, Russian vodka & Danish sandwiches – best Baltic cruise food with Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises offers delicious food and drinks both on and off the ship thanks to its range of shore excursions. These are just some of the delicacies you can enjoy on Princess' Baltic cruises this summer.
Sandwiches in the UK get a bit of a bad rep. We all remember the limp, bland rectangles foisted upon us in our childhood lunchboxes, with nothing but a pack of salt and vinegar chips to perk up the sweaty slices of cheese and ham, right?
Well, it turns out that over in Denmark it's a very different ball game, and by hopping ashore in Copenhagen on one of Princess Cruises' Baltic sailings to Denmark, you can find out why.
Farewell Hovis sarnies and hello the exotically named smørrebrød - an open-faced sandwich piled high with an abundance of the most sublime toppings – and a must-eat when in Copenhagen.
Seafood lovers should sample the famous “Stjerneskud” - or Shooting Star - sandwich with a fried fish fillet, remoulade, small shrimp, caviar, lemon, asparagus and dill. Alternatively, try the cream cheese, cucumber, egg, beet cured salmon, dill and capers topping. Meanwhile, meat lovers will enjoy the smørrebrød crested with roast beef, mustard, cornichons, roasted and crispy onions.
As for the best bread to use, make yours with Rugbrød, a dense, dark, and sour Danish rye and wash it all down with a Danish-style pilsner or chilled aquavit for the perfect accompaniment.
Princess Cruises recommends heading to Christianshavns Færgecafé, Øl & Brød By Mikkeller or Aamanns 1921 during a stop in Copenhagen to source some of the best smørrebrød.
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That said, you can enjoy top-notch seafood onboard Princess ships, too. French speciality restaurant Bistro Sur La Mer, for instance, serves incredible dishes such as lightly smoked cured salmon, devilled egg, hazelnut-balsamic vinaigrette as well as seabass filet with crispy bread, braised vegetables, olive and tomato sauce.
Meanwhile, included eateries the International Café and World Fresh Marketplace do what it says on the tin and serve up tasty dishes from around the globe should you want to assemble your own smørrebrød!
Seafood is also the name of the game on sailings to Iceland. Princess boasts the delightfully named 'Lava Fields & Lobster Tails' excursion for those calling at Reykavik.
- READ MORE: Best Princess excursions for food & drink -
Guests will board a 4x4 and drive to Kleifarvatn Lake, the largest lake on the Reykjanes peninsula. After a stop at Krysuvik, a geothermal area known for its boiling pools of wildly coloured mud known as solfataras, and a visit to a church dating back to 1200 A.D, it's time to eat.
Tuck into a delicious, langoustine lobster lunch in Stokkseyri, a coastal town famous for its black sandy beach.
Of course, if it's a more vegetarian option you're after, Princess' cruises to Sweden deliver on the A Taste of Gotland excursion. Gotland is Sweden’s largest island and home to verdant woodlands, extensive heaths and wildflower-strewn meadows.
Your motorcoach will take you to family-owned Stafva Farm which specialises in delicious cheeses and fruit jams - and yes, you'll be able to sample some of the tasty stuff while exploring the typical Swedish farmhouse.
You might have eaten game before in the UK, but have you eaten moose? That's right, meat-eaters should be sure to tuck into a moose steak while in this corner of the world.
These animals might be enormous but they actually have a more subtle game flavour than other venison and the meat is considered one of the best cuts of wild game there is.
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Perhaps less appealing is Smalahove - a salted and smoked sheep's head, boiled and served with potatoes and kohlrabi mash. We're told the fatty bits around the ears and eyes are considered the tastiest, but please, you serve yourself first. Thank goodness copious amounts of beer are considered the ideal accompaniment.
We can get behind Svele though, it's a batter-based cake resembling American pancakes and smothered in butter and anything sweet. Do sample some traditional cookies during your time in Kristiansand, too!
There are plenty of sweet treats back onboard as well. Princess ships are home to The Pastry Shop serving pastries made from scratch. You can get your mitts on biscuits, pies, cakes and more. Guests can also enjoy complimentary soft-serve chocolate or vanilla ice cream on deck!
A wide selection of Princess's Baltic itineraries also sail to Russia where more traditional foods are up for grabs, and yes, you guessed it, no visit is complete without sampling vodka.
In fact, Princess offers an excursion entirely dedicated to food and drink in partnership with monthly American food and entertaining magazine Bon Appétit for those visiting St Petersburg.
On the half-day Bon Appetit Recommended: Roots of Russia tour you will be introduced to the history and significance of pelmeni and vodka - two of Russia's culinary staples.
- READ MORE: What you didn't know about dining on Princess Cruises -
The former is a delicious meat dumpling - a filling seasoned with savoury spices wrapped in thin, unleavened dough and boiled (although occasionally fried in some Russian regions).
The food is said to date back to Mongolian nomads and was favoured by hunters looking for easy, light but nourishing food to take on long winter trips.
These days pelmini are a Russian national dish and rustled up in homes across the country as a popular family meal.
On this foodie excursion, you'll work side by side with the chef Fedorov Alexey - who studied at one of the most prestigious culinary schools in St Petersburg - learning how to make this traditional dish as well as fascinating historical nuggets.
Don't worry, we promised vodka and we will deliver vodka. The spirit's history goes back over 500 years in Russia, beloved by peasants and powerful rulers alike.
Legend has it that monks at the Chudov Monastery in the Kremlin in Moscow were the first to taste vodka in the late 15th century.
Tsar Alexander III then went on to a standard of 80-proof for Russian Vodka in 1894 but it was Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev who is said to have created the formula for the perfect 40-proof vodka that continues today.
On this excursion, you'll be able to taste a variety of vodkas to see which you prefer. Don't forget to say: "Za vashe zdorovie!" as you toast, it means "to your health."
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Back onboard Princess ships, you'll be able to carry on with liquor tastings and meat feasts. Speciality restaurant Crown Grill is a refined steakhouse that serves aged and hand-cut, cooked-to-order steaks while Sterling Steakhouse offers up the highest quality cuts of beef, including New York strip steak, Porterhouse and Filet Mignon.
There are also drinks packages to suit all passengers. To really make the most of your trip and bag truly excellent value, go for the all-inclusive Princess Plus fare which includes the Premier Drinks Package; enjoy cocktails, wine, beer, spirits, fountain soda, speciality coffees, bottled water, teas and more, as well as unlimited Wi-Fi and crew appreciation.
The all-inclusive upgrade is just £30pp per day, but worth more than £65pp per day.
Right, holiday sorted; we're off to have a cheese butty.
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