ABOVE: A view of the port side lounge in its original state, with the four individual lounge spaces stretching away towards the bow. Cupboards and racks for the storage of foot passengers' luggage were located in the spaces between the lounge sections, except in the area between the second and third sections where an external door to link to the shore-side foot passenger gangways were situated on either side of the vessel.
ABOVE: A section of one of the starboard side lounges aboard Express Milos in 2001. Two different types of seating replaced the original BR type, differing between the various side lounges. In this case a bulky, wide and tall reclining chair has been fitted. Whilst the seats are new, the layout itself is unchanged. As built, this differed between the various sections of the lounges - the forward and aft sections had the face-to-face arrangement seen above, whilst the middle two areas each had six rows of recliners facing forward. The layout was symmetrical within the lounges themselves, the walkway splitting a 6-abreast, 3+3 arrangement. Although not visible in the picture, the small rectangular tables, fixed at one end to the wall in between the sets of seats, remain.
Further details of the following areas are available on separate pages:
General overview
The A Deck Cafeteria
The A Deck Britannia Bar and Verandah Bar
The B Deck Forward Lounge
The B Deck Aft Garage (later Aft lounge)
The C Deck passenger cabins
Outside Deck Space
The Train/Vehicle decks
ABOVE: Also unchanged were the overhead luggage racks which were entirely original and can also be seen in the top picture, taken when the ship was new. The ceiling panels and location and design of light fittings are also unchanged. The wooden flooring was a fairly new addition when this picture was taken and gives a more modern impression of what might otherwise appear a fairly tired scheme. This view is again from Express Milos on the starboard side, looking aft, this time in one of the middle two sections with reclining, forward-facing seats.
Vortigern retained the side lounges, port and starboard, which had become a common feature on Railway-owned passenger ships. In this case, however, the layout was rather different - unlike her later Folkestone running mates Hengist and Horsa, which had one long lounge on either side, Vortigern's equivalent were actually four smaller, square-shaped lounges per side which together stretched from the aft lobby (forward of the upper car garage) to the forward lounge, passing another pair of lobby areas in between. The lounges were filled with seating in a mixture of reclining and fixed facing layouts to accommodate overnight foot passengers when serving on the Dunkerque service. The smaller size of the lounges allowed the usual rather depressing sight of rows and rows of seating to be avoided to an extent. The seats themselves were grouped together by colour and were of an identical design to those used in British Rail's mock-up of its new Mark 3 railway passenger carriage.

The nature and dimensions of the side lounges meant they were not easily converted for alternative uses. In later Sealink service, the aft pair on the port side served together as a designated Motorists' Lounge, whilst the equivalent to starboard was a video lounge. At some stage, the original seating was replaced, possibly whilst the ship was still in Sealink service. After a thorough Hellas Ferries refit in the late 1990s, the walkways were fitted with laminate wooden flooring whilst the seating areas on either side were given new red carpets.
ABOVE: British Rail's mock-up of a proposed new standard railway carriage, as displayed at The Next Train exhibition in 1969, featured seats of an identical design to those used in the side lounges of Vortigern, completed in the same year.
Click here to return to the Vortigern index
See also:
The complete 1985 Vortigern deckplan
Vortigern 1969 General Arrangement plan
ABOVE: The scene on board Nisos Limnos in July 2004 in the forwardmost of the port side lounges. This view shows the second type of seating installed in place of the original; again the small tables have been retained.
BELOW: Another view from Nisos Limnos, this time on the starboard side looking astern in the furthest aft of the four grouped side lounges.
e-mail: matt@hhvferry.com