ABOVE & BELOW: The Verandah Bar on the port side of the ship, looking forward. The newbuild correspondent for Shipbuilding and Shipping Record commented on this colourful area as being "successfully 'with it'" and that "British Rail expects it to be popular with younger travellers."
Later experiences with the discos aboard
Hengist and Horsa demonstrate that BR did not have as sure a touch as it believed with this particular segment of the travelling public, but the overall arrangement appears to have been quite acceptable. Again, fixed tables and seating predominate whilst the windows overlooking the port-side promenade deck have in this picture been covered. After the conversion of the area to the new duty free supermarket in 1984, all but the forward three windows were plated over.
Further details of the following areas are available on separate pages:
General overview
The A Deck Cafeteria
The B Deck Forward Lounge
The B Deck Side Lounges
The B Deck Aft Garage (later Aft lounge)
The C Deck Cabins
The Train/Vehicle decks
Outside deck space
In addition to the main lounge forward on B Deck, Vortigern was also completed with two other bars of rather differing styles, neither of which survived to the end of the ship's career. Ahead of the forward lobby, on the starboard side was a rather subdued smokeroom - the Britannia Bar. Right aft to port, with a pair of double glass doors leading out to the aft deck area was the Verandah Bar.

The Britannia Bar was small, intimate and very stylish, but by the late 1990s all trace of it had disappeared and the area it occupied was instead additional passenger cabins. Its small size appears to have counted against it somewhat and, as on half-sister
Saint Eloi, which had a similar sized bar, it's use in Sealink service appears to have been limited and mixed. Certainly, by 1985, it is referred to on Sealink deckplans as a (waiter service) restaurant - the location adjacent to the galley making it convenient for this. Latterly, In Greece, the area was converted to a section of additional passenger cabins.

The Verandah Bar ultimately had a similar fate - although undoubtedly popular due to its prime location adjacent to the outside deck, it fell victim to the needs of Duty Free shoppers.
Vortigern as built had only a small counter-service shop, fronting the forward lobby on B Deck. By the 1980s this was inadequate and the Verandah Bar was sacrificed in the refit of 1983/84, making way for a duty-free supermarket, similar to those installed aboard Hengist and Horsa when built in 1972. The need for such a large shop when in Greek domestic service was limited though, and after the ship became Milos Express in 1988, the whole aft end of this deck (which on the starboard side originally housed crew cabins and a store for the bar) was also converted into additional passenger cabins.
ABOVE: The Britannia Bar, as built. This was perhaps the quietest area aboard the ship and with seating for about 50 people, its relatively subdued decor provided a contrast to that of the Verandah Bar. The light fittings, bar servery and partially enclosed booths combined to make this one of the most stylish cross-channel ferry interiors ever seen.
Click here to return to the Vortigern index
See also:
The complete 1985 Vortigern deckplan
Vortigern 1969 General Arrangement plan
e-mail: matt@hhvferry.com
ABOVE AND BELOW: Two more views of the Britannia Bar. On a night crossing, without the effect of the sunlight through the starboard-side windows, the lighting and colour scheme gave the bar an especially dramatic quality.
ABOVE: The former location of the former Verandah Bar on board Nisos Limnos in July 2004, now simply an area of cabins. This view is looking aft to the covered deck space at the stern on A Deck level.
ABOVE: Another view of the Verandah Bar seen here during a busy crossing in 1969.