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ON BOARD THE PENELOPE A (ex-HORSA)
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ABOVE: A simplified deckplan of the Hengist and Horsa as built. Although useful as a reference guide, this map is spatially inaccurate - for example the stairways aft of the forward lounge on B Deck should be directly beneath the equivalent on A Deck (not marked, but aft of the Coffee Lounge). Nevertheless, it gives an adequate overview of the ships' onboard spaces with a main sweep of accommodation along B Deck and the main bar and eating areas on A Deck above.

For a more detailed and comprehensive overview of the ship, see the original
General Arrangement plan.

In Greek service, the forward lounges have generally been reserved for distinguished class passengers, with all other areas available for all passengers.
ABOVE: Passengers as well as vehicles board the Penelope A over the aft vehicle deck ramp. In Greek service, the forward bow visor has been sealed and the ship operates as a stern-only loader. This is the view of the main vehicle deck on board the ship in July 2004, looking forward from the stern door. The unusual twin engine casing arrangement is of interest, as noted on the Hengist vehicle deck page, this was a legacy, from when the ships were being designed, of potential future use on the Heysham-Belfast overnight service.
ABOVE: A similar view from the Hengist in 1972, albeit in this case looking astern. Here the central and starboard-side mezzanine vehicle decks can be seen in the lowered position. In the previous picure on Penelope A, most of the mezzanine panels are in the lowered position, with the the starboard (right) panels and ramp being lowered, the port panels lowered (but not the nearest ramp) and those of the centre section being raised astern (nearest the camera) but in the lowered position forward. All this raising and lowering gave tremendous flexibility for the carriage of one level of high-sided freight or two levels of cars as demand dictated.
ABOVE: Beneath the car decks, Hengist and Horsa were equipped with passenger cabins for 24 passengers, principally for the lorry drivers which used the ships when they ran overnight to Oostende. These remain in passenger use today, being available to Economic Class passengers. This is the view at main vehicle deck level looking down the narrow staircase to the these cabins. The particularly high door sills are a noticeable legacy of the ship being built in a naval dockyard.
ABOVE & BELOW: In the car deck access stairwells, the Penelope A is still very much the Horsa, retaining large amounts of Sealink signage including (above) an example of the 1980s gold on blue insignia and (below) the signage directing passengers up to the "Orient Express Lounge" (now technically the "Macedonia Lounge".)
ABOVE: The first space most passengers enter is the aft lounge on B Deck. This is the scene on Penelope A in 2004: apart from being re-upholstered in rather pastelly shades in Greek service, the lounge retained all of the original Sealink seating, with circular booths around the permiter (originally these were black) and fixed upright seats (once orange) around small tables in the centre. Right aft (astern of this space) was once a disco, latterly a video lounge. Since the move to Greece, this latter area, once enclosed behind a double-thickness bulkhead, has been opened up to the lounge seen above.
ABOVE: The regimented lines of fixed seating seen here in the aft lounge in July 2004 are pure Sealink. Although the company's main interior designers, Ward & Austin, often designed amongst the most stylish of ferry interiors, simply meeting the requirements for passenger numbers within the available space often meant that luxury had to be sacrificed for capacity.
ABOVE & BELOW: In the Penelope A's early 2005 refit, the centre seating in the aft lounge benefited from a complete overhaul and re-upholstering. It emerged in red, and looking as smart as ever. Both views are looking across to the starboard stern quarter - the windows to left are those on the starboard side whilst to the right they are astern, having been installed since the move to Greece bringing light into what was once the location of the original disco (Pictures courtesy Nikos Thrylos)
ABOVE: The aft lounge on the Hengist as built. The only significant structural amendment, apart from the loss of the separating bulkhead to the area of the old disco (right) has been the removal of the luggage racks slung from the deckhead.
ABOVE: A view of the disco after it had been converted into a video lounge in the early 1980s. The conversion appears to have been rather crude, with the distinctive circular lights and wall trim left unchanged from the area's previous guise. As built, the colour scheme had been black, blue and purple with orange, red, purple and yellow stools, naked light bulbs, snacks and soft drinks dispensers and a juke box. In Greece, this space has been simply made open plan to the adjacent (forward) aft lounge through the removal of the separating bulkhead. This area has now been fitted with low-backed comfortable seating around small tables. (Picture courtesy Richard Seville collection)
Click here to continue the Penelope A/Horsa onboard tour
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BELOW: The disco in action in its original configuration.