Special thanks to Gary Andrews, David Baker, Guy Blanchout, Joe Canavan, Bernard Dobbs, Ferry Fantastic, Arjan van Gelder, Ann Haynes, Neil Howard, Trevor Kidd, Oliver De Langhe, Lucas Latreche, Antonis Lazaris, Mark Leiper, Stathis Livieratos, Scott Mackey, Fotis Marinelis, Emilio Mesa (Navegando.info), Mikael Nord, Andrew Orr, Bruce Peter, Andy Potts, Richard Seville, Nigel Thornton, Nikos Thrylos, Neil Tierney, Sebastiaan Toufekoulas, Marcus Vallianos, Ewan Wood, Dave Worth and the late George Grekos and Warren Platner both for their help and for the use of a selection of their own excellent pictures.
Ferry passengers generally want to be transported in comfort, preferably at speed, with little interruption or fuss. In many ways it could be said that a successful ferry design is achieved where the majority of crossings by these vessels are uneventful, perhaps even forgettable, from a passenger perspective.
From the enthusiast's point of view though, it is the differing ways of achieving these goals that make ferries fascinating. Even sister ships tend to 'grow' different over time - the mass-production that makes airliners or railways repetitively dull cannot be claimed of the shipping or ferry industries.
It has been argued that more recent large ferries lack the interest, both internally and externally, of their predecessors. It is perhaps fairer to say that all ships develop a certain character over time - today's bland newcomer is undoubtedly tomorrow's reliable veteran; what could now be dismissed as 'formulaic' interiors might in twenty years time become yet another fascinating period piece.
For now though, ferries new and old can be appreciated as the critical part of the transport system they truly are - wherever they operate and whatever their history, all ferries have their own particular character. Which gives each one a special interest - an interest I hope this site reflects in some way.
This homepage is the "historic" frontpage of the site - regular updates now are made to the blog but the old site will be updated as and when for events affecting the ships covered within these pages. The deckplans resource will continue to get its annual update - donations of plans for ships of any era not presently covered are still very welcome.
Mail any comments (including out-of-date links, spelling mistakes, queries, inconsistencies or other factual errors) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions are always welcome, especially unusual information or external and particularly internal pictures of any Sealink or other British-based car ferries in any period up to the mid-1990s. Full credit is always given for any information or pictures used.