|THE SIDE LOUNGES
|Very much in the traditional mould of railway ferries were the long side lounges which stretched on either beam of the main passenger deck linking the forward and aft lobbies. Seating 168 passengers each, they provided high-capacity but comfortable accommodation with good views through large, deep windows. In between the two, in the centre of the ship, was (forward) the duty free shop and, just aft of that, a tea bar servery where passengers sitting in the side lounges could purchase refreshments (see below). The lounges were originally designated the motorist's lounge (port side) and the tea bar lounge (starboard side), but this was relatively short-lived with the forward lounge, even before the VSOE refit, becoming the official motorist's lounge.
|Below: This picture dates from summer 1999 aboard the ship as Panagia Ekatontapiliani, and there has been little change to the side lounge over the intervening 27 years: the luggage racks slung from the deckhead have disappeared, but the typical Sealink fixed seating remains in its entirety, including the crown emblems on each seat. The original corrugated ceiling panels with lighting set flush into the deckhead are also unchanged in this view, and remain throughout most of the passenger areas. Also visible in this picture are the original framed advertising panels on the inboard bulkhead which advertised duty free products, special offers or items of local interest. (Picture courtesy Richard Seville)
|Top: One of the side lounges in its original guise, complete with deckhead-mounted luggage racks.
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|Below: Soon after the Hellas Ferries' takeover, the ship received a thorough refurbishment, which included the removal of all the original seating in the side lounges - they were replaced by new forward-facing reclining seats. The lounges also received new flooring - carpeting on the seating sections and laminate in the central walkways. This is the scene of the starboard lounge in July 2003.
|Below: Another view of the refurbished starboard lounge, this time looking forward. The original advertising panels still survive. The televisions are another new addition.
|THE TEA BAR (LATER LIFESAVERS/REFRESHERS)
|The small tea bar servicing the side lounges was a beneficiary of the thorough 1986 refit, from which it emerged as a new Sealink brand 'Lifesavers'. Effectively providing the same service, the area was finished in light pastel colours and sold sandwiches, pastries and other snacks as well as tea and coffee. Within a couple of years, this area was mysteriously rebranded as 'Refreshers', although there was no further refit of the facility itself.
In Greek service, the area has been retained as a snack bar (latterly under the Everest brand), although there is little left of the Lifesavers refit in what is now a rather dark and gloomy space. The area is also used for storing passenger's luggage during the journey.
|Above & Below: Lifesavers/Refreshers. The first picture shows the area as it appeared just after the 1986 refit, the second is on the ex-Horsa in Greek operations, showing the brand as it finished Sealink service on the two ships.
|Above: The Lifesavers servery as it was after the 1986 refit.
|Above: The same area in 2003, with the Everest branding used throughout the ship.
|Below: Section from the Hengist's original GA for amidships on B Deck (stern is to the left), showing the side lounge lounges linking the forward and aft lobbies, with the tea bar servery and duty free shops in between.
|Below: A view from the Hengist's early days, this time the view is of the port lounge, looking forward.
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