Food is a passion for many people, and a cruise presents an array of opportunities to dine on some of the finest cuisine in the world.
As more cruisers dine vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, cruise ship menu offerings have been expanding at a steady pace to meet the demand. Holland America Line is embracing these options and creating menus that cater specifically to the needs and desires of guests.
The culinary team is excited to see the growing interest for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options on all ships. We’re continuing to add more emphasis to these diets and guests can expect to see new and increased selections come fall on new menu rotations, as well as clearer identification of these selective and health-oriented dining options.
“We are working with our gluten-free suppliers who are providing a noticeable increase in the number and variety of ingredients offered that we can integrate onto our menus,” said Steve Kirsch, Holland America Line’s director of culinary operations. “Both our culinary and service teams are constantly training to increase their overall knowledge and expertise so they are better able to assist, educate and cater to guests.”
All guests are welcome to contact Holland America Line’s Ship Services Department prior to cruising, or have their travel agent do so, to request special dietary needs. Ship staff are happy to meet guests with gluten sensitivities at the beginning of the cruise to discuss the adjustments to standard menu items so that they can enjoy dining without worry. Some of the gluten-free options available upon request are bread, waffles, muffins, hot dog and hamburger buns, pasta and pre-made desserts. For guests who want to sample gluten-free, the Italian station in the Lido currently offers gluten-free pasta and sauces on a daily basis – there’s no need to prerequest these items.
“Cruising offers the perfect venue for guests who are more traditional eaters to sample different options such as vegetarian and vegan dishes, and we are sure they will be pleasantly surprised at the breadth of flavors,” said Kirsch.
Frisess Salad with Pomegranate Dressing, top, and Oven-baked stuffed eggplant.
Master Chef Rudi Sodamin designed an exclusive 22-dish vegetarian and vegan menu that highlights vegetables and other naturally healthy ingredients. The alternative menu includes a full range of appetizers, salads, soups and main entrées, and is available upon request at no extra cost for lunch and dinner in the main dining room.
Some vegetarian dishes include Asparagus, Carrot and Zucchini Tart; Strawberry and Bocconcini Bruschetta, Spicy Lentil and Garbanzo Salad, Baked Vegetable Lasagna, Vegetable and Bean Chili, Spinach Curry and Baked Cheese Polenta with Mushrooms and Artichoke Hearts.
Vegan options include Vietnamese Vegetable Spring Rolls, Vegetable Jambalaya, Grilled Vegetable and Tofu Kebobs, Sweet and Sour Vegetable Tempura, Asian Noodle Soup, Spicy Lentil and Garbanzo Salad, and Pad Thai Noodles.
In addition to the vegetarian-only menu, 30 vegetarian dishes are on the the main dining room menu. These offerings also are featured as a second vegetarian option in the casual Lido buffet during lunch. Additionally, every dinner menu offers guests the option of one appetizer, one soup or salad, and at least one vegetarian entrée each evening, increasing the total number of vegetarian options on board to more than 50 delectable dishes.
Some of the vegetarian selections on the main dining room menu include Apple, Pear and Cucumber Salad; Corn and Zucchini Pancakes served with Southwest-style cous cous salad, Asparagus and Zucchini Torte with wild rice and sun-dried tomato coulees, Ribbon Zucchini Risotto finished with a roasted red pepper rouille, Carrot and Parmesan Risotto topped with a lemony arugula salad and crispy carrot ribbons and Oven-Baked Eggplant Parmigiana layered with Provolone cheese and baked in the oven, served with spaghetti tossed in marinara sauce. The Pinnacle Grill also features vegetarian options, with baked stuffed eggplant, mushroom ravioli and pumpkin risotto.
If you are interested in speaking to Ship Services about gluten-free options, call 800-541-1576 (U.S. and Canada) or email Hal_Ship_Services@hollandamerica.com.
And remember, you don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy all of these exceptional dishes!