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Impressions of Superferry

by Richard Seville

Richard Seville wrote on July 18: 

This weekend, I was able to sample Swansea - Cork Ferries SUPERFERRY for the first time. 

I sailed on the route during 2001 on the CITY OF CORK, but had never previously tried the route's mainstay SUPERFERRY

I have to admit that I was deeply intrigued by the SUPERFERRY, and had not previously realised quite how much of her original Japanese accommodation survives. 

During her conversion in 1990, it would appear that Strintzis simply added an extra, full-length passenger deck in place of an full-height upper vehicle deck, and largely left the original accommodation in situ on the decks above. 

The use of these saloons has been altered, but in essence the Japanese structure survives in many areas. The ornate light fittings are clearly Japanese, and the officers' mess is the most stunning example of an absolutely unaltered room, filled with typical Japanese screens for instance. Japanese script can also still be seen onboard.

Yet although undoubtedly interesting from an enthusiast's view, the standards onboard were rather less impressive. 

The public rooms and cabins are dated and worn, and in the case of the latter, dirty. Her layout is confusing, and her crew were almost unanimously unhelpful.

It is easy to see why she was previously detained over language standards. The only redeeming feature in her crew was her excellent Maitre'D in the Acropolis Restaurant. 

Catering standards onboard are however poor - the Agora Square 'Pastry' Shop has the atmosphere and
style of a back-street transport cafe, and the attempt to turn the self-service into an Italian venue, though admirable in concept, was dire. 

Her interior overall is too dark, and standards are way below the competition - for instance plastic-upholstered seating in the main Apollo Lounge.

It will be interesting to see how long SCF can survive.


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